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Semroc Saturn 1B

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EXPjawa

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I saw today that eRockets finally has the Semroc Saturn 1B available to ship. I'm pretty sure that the kit has been shown on their site since they first took over the Semroc brand last year. I've been checking regularly to see when it would actually become available, and in the process have watched a bunch of other kits trickle in, some get removed, then later reappear. I bought their Little Joe II kit last year, taking it as a sign that the Saturn would be close behind, but it wasn't the case. In recent weeks, the (re) addition of several SLS kits - including the SLS Laser-X - had me paying closer attention again. I've checked back at their site nearly daily in the last month or two, and until today, the Saturn 1B was the only kit not shown in stock. Now it shows 31 available! Now, if Estes follows through with their reissued Saturn V, July will be a big month indeed. Big for scale modelers, and potentially terrible for their wallets...
 

Daddyisabar

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I think on that other forum I heard the Mars Lander might even be coming back. With the Cosmodrome Vostok coming back and all the other scale and fantasy kits coming out it looks like happy days are here again:)
 

Flyfalcons

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It sounds from John Boren that Estes has another scale kit coming out this year as well. I'm looking forward to it, with some luck it'll be a reintroduction of their 1/100 Saturn IB. That Semroc is a great size though, man I need more money and time for all these cool projects.
 

Daddyisabar

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Where are the good ole days of the $35 Lander and the $52 Saturn 1B? Now it is $50 for the Lander and $93 for the 1B.
 

Gary Byrum

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I surely hope eRockets has taken the time to address the quirks in this reissue, as there were quite a lot of ill fitting wraps for the discharge tubes & the retro rocket housings. Nothing fit properly at all. I ended up fabricating my own from wood. The tube wraps were poorly embossed and didn't fit properly. The worst thing was the big tube fairing shroud. I resized that thing 3-4 times and never got a decent fit. Hands down, I would never buy this kit again.

The Saturn V on the other hand, had much better wraps but the fins & fairings were so poorly made, I ended up casting my own in resin. Very much like the ones in the "Moldin' Oldies". The tower assembly still sucked as bad as it always had. And the recommendations for adhesives really should be addressed. I followed the destructions to the letter and really wish I hadn't. Should have known better than use a spray adhesive for a plastic tube wrap. And that Testor's Plastic Cement they say to use on the vacuformed plastic parts...Bitch & Groan...BLAH BLAH BLAH!

The embossing issue spread out even farther when I saw how bad they were on the Mars Lander. Even the kind folks at SEMROC were clueless about how to go about fixing it too. They were aware of the problem and I was certain I knew how to remedy that for them (since they couldn't), until Carl took a turn for the worse and they sold the company.

Still, I got so fed up with both Saturn builds, that they are still sitting unfinished on a desk collecting dust. And to think, I bought two of them when they had that crazy sale on Amazon a few years back, believing they might be a collectors item someday. I wouldn't give you 2 cents for either of them now.

(rant over)
 

Daddyisabar

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And how far back were those days, Mr. Bar?
Golly, like 2008, just before the crash. Back then I twas but a wee-BAR and real dreamy like towards the 1B. Back then there was no video on yer fancy phone! I tell my daughters to just imagine how we got by back then! At $93 I will still have to mow many lawns to make that much, just like when I was a kid in '76 trying to buy the Estes 1B for something like $14.95 when they went OOP. Then right after, in like '78, the Mars Lander went OOP and I had to again rush to the Hobby store in the big city to get the last one on the shelf. Things never change, they just get more expensive, and the old dudes get even grumpier.
 

Daddyisabar

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I surely hope eRockets has taken the time to address the quirks in this reissue, as there were quite a lot of ill fitting wraps for the discharge tubes & the retro rocket housings. Nothing fit properly at all. I ended up fabricating my own from wood. The tube wraps were poorly embossed and didn't fit properly. The worst thing was the big tube fairing shroud. I resized that thing 3-4 times and never got a decent fit. Hands down, I would never buy this kit again.

The Saturn V on the other hand, had much better wraps but the fins & fairings were so poorly made, I ended up casting my own in resin. Very much like the ones in the "Moldin' Oldies". The tower assembly still sucked as bad as it always had. And the recommendations for adhesives really should be addressed. I followed the destructions to the letter and really wish I hadn't. Should have known better than use a spray adhesive for a plastic tube wrap. And that Testor's Plastic Cement they say to use on the vacuformed plastic parts...Bitch & Groan...BLAH BLAH BLAH!

The embossing issue spread out even farther when I saw how bad they were on the Mars Lander. Even the kind folks at SEMROC were clueless about how to go about fixing it too. They were aware of the problem and I was certain I knew how to remedy that for them (since they couldn't), until Carl took a turn for the worse and they sold the company.

Still, I got so fed up with both Saturn builds, that they are still sitting unfinished on a desk collecting dust. And to think, I bought two of them when they had that crazy sale on Amazon a few years back, believing they might be a collectors item someday. I wouldn't give you 2 cents for either of them now.

(rant over)
DANG. I thought I was always going to rebuild the shelf queens from my childhood, the Saturn 1B, V and Mars Lander, but I never have. Hopefully the new releases will be better. I know I no longer posses the patience, eye sight, or rock steady hands I had back in the day.
 

Gary Byrum

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I know I no longer posses the patience, eye sight, or rock steady hands I had back in the day.
I have the patience of Job with most things. I even stretched my patience with these Saturns. When I threw in the towel, I had already flunked my patience test. I really don't mind fabricating parts for something I designed, because I knew I was going too. But I shouldn't have to do this with an overpriced kit. Or any kit for that matter. By my own definitions, A kit should be nearly flawless, all parts accounted for and made from well manufactured parts. AHEM!!!!!......NOT.
 

Daddyisabar

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I seem to remember the fit on the originals wasn't that great back in the day, but I was only ten or eleven at the time. Maybe I should just save up for those DREAM BOAT Apogee kits!
 

MaxQ

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I surely hope eRockets has taken the time to address the quirks in this reissue, as there were quite a lot of ill fitting wraps for the discharge tubes & the retro rocket housings. Nothing fit properly at all. I ended up fabricating my own from wood. The tube wraps were poorly embossed and didn't fit properly. The worst thing was the big tube fairing shroud. I resized that thing 3-4 times and never got a decent fit. Hands down, I would never buy this kit again.

The Saturn V on the other hand, had much better wraps but the fins & fairings were so poorly made, I ended up casting my own in resin. Very much like the ones in the "Moldin' Oldies". The tower assembly still sucked as bad as it always had. And the recommendations for adhesives really should be addressed. I followed the destructions to the letter and really wish I hadn't. Should have known better than use a spray adhesive for a plastic tube wrap. And that Testor's Plastic Cement they say to use on the vacuformed plastic parts...Bitch & Groan...BLAH BLAH BLAH!

The embossing issue spread out even farther when I saw how bad they were on the Mars Lander. Even the kind folks at SEMROC were clueless about how to go about fixing it too. They were aware of the problem and I was certain I knew how to remedy that for them (since they couldn't), until Carl took a turn for the worse and they sold the company.

Still, I got so fed up with both Saturn builds, that they are still sitting unfinished on a desk collecting dust. And to think, I bought two of them when they had that crazy sale on Amazon a few years back, believing they might be a collectors item someday. I wouldn't give you 2 cents for either of them now.

(rant over)
Very Interesting.
I have several of both of those Semrocs kits (unbuilt) ... I wasn't aware of the problems you encountered, at least from reviews I've read.

I suggest you mention this in the reviews:


https://www.rocketreviews.com/semroc-astronautics-corporation-saturn-1b--by-chan-stevens.html

https://www.rocketreviews.com/semroc-astronautics-corporation-saturn-1b--by-frank-casey.html

https://www.rocketreviews.com/semroc-astronautics-corporation-saturn-1b--by-duane-keith-boldt.html

https://www.rocketreviews.com/semroc-astronautics-corporation-mars-lander--by-chan-stevens.html
 

Kruegon

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Question about the Saturn 1B. Is this an actual Semroc kit, or one of the "Estes" versions that are a Semroc release? You know, like the Orbital Transport and Starship Vega.
 

EXPjawa

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I have the idea that Semroc's line up is, on the whole, made up of reissues of kits that were either Estes or Centuri once upon a time. I don't think that too many of them are actually Semroc-unique, though I could be wrong. I'm under the impression that the Saturn 1B falls into that catagory - a reissue of the Estes original from the late '60s. If there were issues with fitment of the wraps with the previous Semroc, they probably carry over. However, given the gestation period it took to finally become available, maybe eRockets did have to put a bit of work into it. I guess Randy would have to answer about that.

I will comment that, although I'm generally pleased that most of these kits are available again, the pricing does seem kind of screwy to me. I'm sure that there are a lot factors involved - eRockets probably needs to recoup their investment in Semroc in a timely manner, and, of course, they are the only outlet for these parts and kits. But some of the kits are reasonable in price, some are a bit out of whack. I can't really see any rhyme or reason for it. The Mars Lander is once example. Another is the SLS Brighton - why is that $100, when the SLS Laser-X is $80? Unless I'm missing something, the SLS Brighton is essentially a Super Big Bertha; I'd think its price point ought to be a 1/3rd what it is, just from the available info.
 

James Duffy

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Where are the good ole days of the $35 Lander and the $52 Saturn 1B? Now it is $50 for the Lander and $93 for the 1B.
$50 for the Mars Lander and $93 for the Saturn 1B strikes me as a screaming bargain. If anything Carl was selling stuff at prices that were set too low, and Randy has simply reset them at more appropriate levels.

While it is admittedly a bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison, consider the $228 price point on the Apogee Saturn 1B. Sure, the Apogee product has scads of injection molded and vacuum-formed parts that the Semroc kit lacks, but the two kits are the same scale, and will look pretty much the same when they are on the pad 30 feet away. Viewed through that lens the price on the Semroc Saturn 1B seems like a heck of a deal.
 

Buzzard

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EXPjawa asked: "Another is the SLS Brighton - why is that $100, when the SLS Laser-X is $80?"

Part of the cost issue has to do with the price of balsa wood. The SLS Brighton has a very large nose cone compared to the SLS Laser-X. Prices for good balsa
have skyrocketed (pun intended). The Brighton also comes with three different interchangable motor mounts for differnet diameter and configurations. That results
in a lot of parts. As an aside, my first flight ejected the motor mount of three D12s. I, and others, have chosen to permently glue in the motor mount although there
are other ways to improve securing them. That would be easier to do during the build. I have a second, low numbered SEMROC kit and a couple of the SLS
Laser-X kits. It always amazed me how Sheryl managed to pack all those parts in such an efficient way.

I plan to fly my SLS Brighton at NARAM 58 later this month. I finished it like the 1968 catalog: https://www.ninfinger.org/rockets/nostalgia/68estp28.html

Chas
 

samb

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Question about the Saturn 1B. Is this an actual Semroc kit, or one of the "Estes" versions that are a Semroc release? You know, like the Orbital Transport and Starship Vega.
It is based on the Estes design K-29/1229. I don't know if erockets has tweaked anything with their kitting process.

FWIW I think James Duffy is spot on. Carl's prices were INSANE !!!
 

EXPjawa

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The nose cone on the Brighton is indeed large, but the retail price of that part is $14, so I'd imagine that eRocket's cost isn't too bad. Does the SLS Laser-X not also have the interchangeable mount design? I know that they did previously, but perhaps eRockets dropped that aspect of it. Still, its a complex kit with a lot of fin segments and small fiddly bits. By comparison, the Brighton at least appears to be a large-scale skill-level-1 kit. So, I still don't the see the price discrepancy. Just the same, the Brighton isn't a kit I'm likely to ever buy. I've already built an upscale Bertha & Ranger in that size, so this would be redundant for me. The Laser-X is much more appealing anyway, so I'm glad its the less expensive of the two. Not that any of that really matters anyway...
 

astronwolf

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I wouldn't give you 2 cents for either of them now.
OK Gary. I'll give you an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, and you can get rid of those junky Saturn 1B kits by selling them to me for $0.05 each. You'll be doubling your money.
 

Gary Byrum

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OK Gary. I'll give you an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is, and you can get rid of those junky Saturn 1B kits by selling them to me for $0.05 each. You'll be doubling your money.
Actually, it's a 'still in box' Saturn V I paid 45.00 for. If I had waited another week, I could have gotten them for 35.00 apiece. The 1B was bought at retail price from SEMROC I believe. That being said, and knowing what I'd do now, I wouldn't have invested in either of them. The 1B and one of the SAT V's are the unfinished birds that may or may not get finished. I suppose I'm still mad at them, eh? But if I do invest the time, I prolly won't even fly them. I will not wreck what I have already invested too much time in. And that's a great lot of time considering I fabricated so many of the parts. And I wouldn't get my hopes up on your nickel investment offer....:wink:
 
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