Shape Shifter 75 Build Thread

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rocketgeek101

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Welcome to the build thread for my Wildman Shape Shifter 75! :welcome:

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I purchased this kit during the Super Saturday Sale this past November and finally received it in the mail earlier this month.

The design of the Shape Shifter has always had a special place in my heart. The Shape Shifter Jr. was my first HPR rocket back in the day and I used it to get my CAR/ACF L1 and L2. Despite having built bigger and better rockets since, it remains one of my favourite rockets. It is also currently my most flown HPR. I also have a Shape Shifter Mini which gets a steady diet of F motors and the occasional G making it one of my most flown MPR rockets. To date the Jr. has flown 17 times and the Mini 21 times.

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The 75 is 3" diameter and a little under 7' tall. The main goal with this build is to have a good all around sport flyer for J's, K's and the occasional L, much like how the Jr. is perfect for H-I and the Mini F-G. Perhaps the 5" diameter version will join the fleet one day to cover the M-O's? :questions:

Anyway, the plan is for a maiden flight in the Spring on an Aerotech DMS K535W. My most recently completed build project was my Ultimate Wildman last year and for this new build I plan to use many of the lessons and techniques learned from that project.

Without further ado here are the parts:
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After cleaning up the fibreglass components and sanding parts to achieve a proper fit (the fin tabs as received were a few mm too short which required a fair bit of filing to correct), the first thing I did was to begin building the motor mount. I started by tacking into place the two CR's and some 3D printed PETG epoxy dams to the motor tube with medium CA. Once that fully dries, I will fillet the CR's and encapsulate the two ends of the kevlar harness with epoxy.

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All for now! More updates to follow as the build progresses in the coming days/weeks...
 
This is awesome man, love mine, I have the 75 as well as a 5” and am building the Jr now…..

My 75 has flown on everything from a J350 to an L1000 just eats them up. 5” is going up on an N3300 this year in Argonia.

Will be watching your build! Will be starting a build thread on the jr this week as well.
 

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This is awesome man, love mine, I have the 75 as well as a 5” and am building the Jr now…..

My 75 has flown on everything from a J350 to an L1000 just eats them up. 5” is going up on an N3300 this year in Argonia.

Will be watching your build! Will be starting a build thread on the jr this week as well.
Awesome! One of my goals with this one is to fly it on the L1000 (inspired from finding your onboard video on YouTube actually). I'm looking forward to your build thread on the Jr.

I wasn't planning to work on the build anymore today, but I couldn't resist! This evening I mixed up a batch of Rocketpoxy to bond the CR's and shock cord to the motor tube. I mixed up a bit more epoxy than I needed so I used the leftover to glue the switch band to the avionics bay coupler. I also realized that my Rocketpoxy supply is lower than I thought, but I should have plenty to complete this project as long as I'm careful not to mix up too much more than I need.

My surface prep for epoxy bonding is as follows:
  1. Rinse parts with warm water to remove fibreglass dust etc.
  2. Wipe with 99% isopropyl alcohol to remove any mold release/skin oils not rinsed away by the water.
  3. Sand area to be bonded thoroughly with 60 grit sandpaper.
  4. Repeat steps 1 and 2.
  5. Apply epoxy to part.
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This weekend I installed the rail buttons and epoxied the motor mount into the booster tube.

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Once cured I began installing the fins. I mixed up 20g of Rocketpoxy per fin and used a syringe to inject most of it through the fin slot to fill the 3D printed epoxy dams. I then applied a bead of epoxy along the fin root and inserted the fin though the fin slot until it touches the motor tube. After wiping away any stray epoxy with a paper towel wetted with isopropyl alcohol, I slid into place a 3D printed fin alignment jig to keep the fin perfectly aligned while the epoxy cures. I installed the first fin last night, the second one this morning and the third this afternoon.

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Next up will be external fillets!

I've attached the STL for the 3D printed fin guide. Should work for any 3" Wildman rocket with 3 fins. I printed it out of PLA with 10% infill.
 

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Received some Stickershock in the mail today! For this build I'm sticking to tradition: I will be going with the same black and green colour scheme that features on my Mini and Junior.

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I've been busy this week so haven't made much progress on the build since my last post, but if all goes well I will start on external fillets tomorrow.
 
That's an interesting idea for the dams. Did you come up with that idea yourself? I can't say that I thought about that before.
 
Those dams look really cool.

Are they parametric? Can you adjust for the diameter of the motor mount and the width and length needed for your particular rocket?

Where did you get that or did you make the file and print them yourself?

They have got to help with the assembly and spacing the motor mount rings correctly.
 
That's an interesting idea for the dams. Did you come up with that idea yourself? I can't say that I thought about that before.
Yes I did.
Those dams look really cool.

Are they parametric? Can you adjust for the diameter of the motor mount and the width and length needed for your particular rocket?

Where did you get that or did you make the file and print them yourself?

They have got to help with the assembly and spacing the motor mount rings correctly.
Yes they are parametric (well sort of... I would need to go back and modify CAD file to make it user friendly). I modelled them in Fusion 360 and printed them on my Ender 3.
 
Well, I dropped the ball on this thread halfway through the build but since it got recently revived I figure I'll at least post the final results.

The build was completed back in May of last year. I have since successfully flown it on a J425 for its maiden flight. Original plan was for the first flight to be on a K535, but the winds on launch day were high enough that I decided to scale back (I'd actually acquired the J425 for just such a scenario).

Here are some pics of the rocket:

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Electronics bay:
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And a pic of me with the other two Shape Shifters in the fleet!
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And some pics of the maiden flight on the J425. Apogee was 2514'. This was back in September 2023.
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I had attached an Estes Astrocam to the side of the rocket to get onboard video of the flight, but unfortunately it stopped recording before the launch. Video of this flight can be found starting at the 5:47 mark in my launch event video:


I'm hoping to fly it again (this time on the K535) at our clubs next HPR event in a little over a months time!
 
Well, I dropped the ball on this thread halfway through the build but since it got recently revived I figure I'll at least post the final results.

The build was completed back in May of last year. I have since successfully flown it on a J425 for its maiden flight. Original plan was for the first flight to be on a K535, but the winds on launch day were high enough that I decided to scale back (I'd actually acquired the J425 for just such a scenario).

Here are some pics of the rocket:

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Electronics bay:
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And a pic of me with the other two Shape Shifters in the fleet!
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And some pics of the maiden flight on the J425. Apogee was 2514'. This was back in September 2023.
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I had attached an Estes Astrocam to the side of the rocket to get onboard video of the flight, but unfortunately it stopped recording before the launch. Video of this flight can be found starting at the 5:47 mark in my launch event video:


I'm hoping to fly it again (this time on the K535) at our clubs next HPR event in a little over a months time!

Great photos. I absolutely love the shape shifter family photo.
 
Good to know! Though of course I literally added 8 oz of BBs to the nose cone 10 minutes before you replied lol. Open Rocket is showing stability of 0.339 cal when a L1000 is inserted so I'm just being extra careful I guess.
 
Picture perfect 2nd flight to 6762' on Friday May 17th with the Aerotech K535W (as originally planned for the maiden flight).
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Video of the flight starts around the 0:30 mark in the launch event video I made for YouTube:
 
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