Space Chimps rocket

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Mike Howie

Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2009
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A while back I saw an DVD of a movie called Space Chimps. The movie has
a few rockets shown that could be made to fly. :) I decided to make the one
that take our heroes into space.

BT101 5 inches
BT 80 17.75 in and 2 in
BT 60 6 in
BT 50 8 in
BT 5 4 pieces 2 @ 1.5 in and 2 @ 3 in
T 2 26 in
PNC 60 something (the round one)

.544x.736x.25----need 4

and a bunch of centering rings.....:jaw:

1st I cut 2 cr101/80 and glued them to the BT80. From the rear end at 1 in
and the other at 6 in (pic 1)

2nd cut the BT 101 down to 5 in. and make the patterns for the bt 101 shrouds. (pic 2).

3rd glue the BT101 onto the CR. and make the shrouds. I also made a fin
wrapper to mark four lines down the length of both BT (pic 3)

schimp1 (Medium).jpg

schimp2 (Medium).jpg

schimp3 (Medium).jpg
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Have you got any source pictures? I haven't seen the movie and don't know what the ship looks like.
Have you got any source pictures? I haven't seen the movie and don't know what the ship looks like.

Not good ones. They only show the whole rocket in a long shot. There are
shot of the stages. I don't have a DVD drive on my computer, so I get screen
shots by pausing on the TV and taking a photo. :D

I guess you'll just have to be surprised as the build develops.
Next up the upper stage. In the movie the chimps are in a shuttle like craft
on the very tip of the rocket. But in the scale shown on the movie, it would
be too small to build on my model.

4th Combining a few steps here. Take the 6 in BT 60 and glue on the rear one
CR80/60. Make a tube coupler from the 2 in section of the BT 80. (You know,
cut a slice out of the BT80 so it will fin inside an unmodified BT80).
Glue the second CR80/60 onto one end of the coupler. After the fillets dry, slide
the coupler over the BT 60, and glue to the aft CR80/60. This whole mess
should slide into the BT 80. Make a shroud 2.6x1.637x3. (pic 4)

Glue the shroud in place. NOTE: there is only 1 in of BT 60 showing. (pic 5)
The shroud will stop the assembly from sliding into the main body.

Now you can see how it is starting to look. (pic 6)

OOPS! :eek: There's still time, Glue the 4 x 2.6 x 1 shroud to the aft end
of the rocket. Glue the 4 x 2.6 x .5 shroud to the front of the BT101.

schimp4 (Medium).jpg

schimp5 (Medium).jpg

schimp6 (Medium).jpg
Now for the innerds. Unfortunately I forgot to take as many pics during this
stage. I hope I can describe what I did well enough. If any questions arise
just ask. :) The rocket in the movie has 5 engines. A central large, surrounded
by 4 smaller. This of course means a cluster. I didn't want to do a 5 motor
cluster, I went with a 3 motor cluster. A central 24mm and 2 13mm in parallel.

Pic 7 shows all the parts. :y: BAD news. That's the only pic I took for this
part of the build.

5th Make the four .544 x .736 x .25 shroud, and the 1.325 x .976 x .5 shroud.

6th Glue the CR 55/50 to the end of the BT50, and one each CR20/5 to the
rear of the BT5.

7th Glue the shrouds over the motor tubes. Glue an engine block in the BT50
and in the two 3 in BT5. These are the motor mounts.

8th Cut two CR80/50. On one of the rings cut out the four additional BT5
holes. The BT 5 holes should be right at the edge of the centering ring.
otherwise the fake nozzles will bump, and won't fit. :shock:

9th Glue the 5 hole CR80/50 up against the top of the fake nozzle on the
BT50. Glue the second CR80/50 at the top of the BT50.

10th Glue this assembly into the rear of the main body assembly.

11th IMPORTANT NOTE****Glue the two BT5, 13mm motor mounts in a
straight line with the 24mm motor mount!*****
Spread some glue on the inside wall of the BT80 body through the 13mm
hole of the aft CR80/50. Slide the 3 in BT5 motor mount in place. The
BT5 mount is glued to the side of the BT80! (that's why we can get
away with one ring). Make sure the thrust line is parallel to the BT 50.
Repeat on the opposite side.
12th Glue the two remaining short BT5 fake nozzles into place. These two
short BT 5 tubes will act as the vents for the two 13mm motors.

12 ALT If you go for a 5 motor cluster you'll have to make other vents.

schimp7 (Medium).jpg
I hope I haven't lost you yet. It seems when I get into the build, I take fewer
photos. :cyclops: Now for the fins and external details. I didn't want to just
stick a launch lug on the side of this rocket so I took some liberties here. I also
made the fins slightly larger than what was shown in the movie. (To improve

13th Using the T-2 body tube, cut 4 lengths of 3 in and glue them around the
BT101 section of the main body.

14th I drew a right angle on a piece of paper, y=3.5in x=2in. Using a dinner
plate I drew the curve. Instant fin pattern. I cut the fins from 3/16 balsa
then papered them.

15th The pipes are made from the T-2 body tubes. Cut 4 pieces 6.5 in. On
end cut the tube at a 45 deg angle. Cut 4 more pieces .75 in. Again
cut one end at a 45 deg angle. Glue a 6.5 in piece to a .75 in piece
at the 45 deg angle. You should now have 6.5 in piece of T-2 with
a 90 deg angle on one end. Repeat for the other 3 pipes.

16th Sand the end away from the 90 deg angle (front), to match the contours
of the .5 BT101/80 shroud.

schimp8 (Medium).jpg
Almost done! (wheew).:caffeine:

17th Glue the fins and the pipes inline with each other.

18th Add shock cord, parachute.

19th Add nose weight. I don't have ROCSIM nor a scale. I just swing (swung)
tested it until good. Then I glued the nose on.

20th PAINT.. That will have to wait for another day.

schimpaft (Medium).jpg

schimpprofile (Medium).jpg
In the movie, the yellow bands I painted on, look like corrugations. But I
really couldn't tell for sure. It looked plain when finished in white with yellow
bands, so I added the "United States" decals. They should be bigger. :(

schimpsdone (Medium).jpg