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Starlight - Jay Hawk

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JAL3

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As a kid, I liked the looks of the Jay Hawk but never had one. When Starlight introduced their kit, I ordered it and it has been sitting around since. I was up to my eyeballs in other projects but again found myself in a situation where valuable rocket time was going to waste because I was waiting for glue or paint to dry, waiting for parts or just plain tired of sanding. I saw the Jay Hawk bag beckoning too me and all of the sudden I had another project to juggle.

The Jay Hawk is a semi-scale of the old target drone. It looked simple but nice, designed to fly on 18mm motors and recover with a chute. It is marketed as a skill level 2 kit and that seems about right with today's inflated scales.

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JAL3

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Construction begins by marking off the motor tube for the engine hook, making a mark and then a slit to insert the hook.

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JAL3

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When the hook was in place, the thrust ring was glued right above it and the edges were filleted.

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JAL3

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The kit came with two centering rings. Both were extremely tight and had to be sanded and even trimmed a bit with a razor to slip over the motor tube. Once they did fit, they were glued in place and filleted with yellow glue.

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JAL3

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The fins were of good quality balsa and were removed from the parent material. Although the instructions made no mention of this, I rounded the leading and trailing edges.

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JAL3

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The little finlets mounted forward were also rounded on the leading, trailing and outer edges.

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JAL3

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The nose cone was made of plastic and came in 2 pieces. Unlike the Estes cones, this one had no visible seam. The base was glued into place with a bit of epoxy I had mixed for another project.

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JAL3

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The outer parts of the fins (rudders?) were lightly sanded and then glued along their centerlines to the outer edges of the fins with a double glue joint of yellow glue. A steel ruler was used to ensure that the angle between the two pieces was a right angle.

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JAL3

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At this point I added a step since the kit included a stick on shock cord mount reminiscent of what Centuri used to provide. Instead of doing this, I wanted to attach Kevlar to the motor mount. I tied a length of Kevlar around the motor mount just abaft of the forward centering ring and then laid anothing yellow glue fillet over it to hold it in place. When it dried, the ring was notched to pass the Kevlar.

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JAL3

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When the glue on the shock cord was dry, I passed the cord through the motor tube and then swabbed the inside of the BT with yellow glue. I pushed the motor mount in and had just gotten everything aligned when I realized that I had shoved it into the wrong end. OOPS! I was able to pull it back out, clean out the glue and then reinstalled it correctly.

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JAL3

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It might be legitimately asked why it mattered which end of the BT the motor mount was installed in since nothing had been done with the BT yet. The reason is that Starlight ships its body tubes with the fin and lug lines already marked. That being the case, it is nice to have the main fins at the same end of the rocket as the motor.

The first fin was mounted with yellow glue and a double glue joint along one of the pre-marked lines. When it was in place, it was carefully checked to alignment and to make sure it extended at the proper angle.

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JAL3

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After the first fin had dried, the second was placed in the same manner.

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JAL3

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The forward finlets were likewise applied in the same manner along the provided lines.

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JAL3

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The launch lug was also glued into place along its line.

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JAL3

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QUESTION FOR STARLIGHT

I put on many of the decals today and the rocket is looking good. I'll post as I'm able.

I have a question though about the yellow stripes and about the small little rectangular hatch looking thing. I cannot from the facecard Identify where they go. Can you tell me?

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bob jablonski

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The yellow stripes go about 3/8" either side of the solid blue stripe decal (which is about 1 1/2" forward of the Fins). The small hatch is centered between the large stripe ring and the tail on top. As most folks know we have hired part time folks to help with production and I also have part time graphic artist help. Were working on 4 new kits and as time permits were redoing the instructions of our older kits. The Jayhawk is on the short list for redo and we will have the decal placement in it. Those who have seen the new NANO, MINUTE MAN and now the MICRO will see the massive improvenent in that area.
Mr. Bob
 

JAL3

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The yellow stripes go about 3/8" either side of the solid blue stripe decal (which is about 1 1/2" forward of the Fins). The small hatch is centered between the large stripe ring and the tail on top. As most folks know we have hired part time folks to help with production and I also have part time graphic artist help. Were working on 4 new kits and as time permits were redoing the instructions of our older kits. The Jayhawk is on the short list for redo and we will have the decal placement in it. Those who have seen the new NANO, MINUTE MAN and now the MICRO will see the massive improvenent in that area.
Mr. Bob
Thanks for the information.

I think mine is looking good. Its done now and I hope to finish posting about it today.
 

JAL3

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While the glue was drying, I also went ahead and tied the provided elastic to the Kvlar anchor.

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JAL3

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When the glue had a full day to dry, I used Tightbond Molding and Trim glue to apply fillets along all the fin joints and the launch lug. I cannot stress enouhg how pleased I am with this product in this role. Thanks to Luke Strawalker for telling me of it.

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JAL3

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As the fillets were drying, I went ahead and tied the nose cone onto elastic.

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JAL3

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With that, the construction was done and it was time to move to the finishing.

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JAL3

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The first step in the finishing process was to fill the grain and I did so using Elmer's filler. It was brushed on and then left for a few days to dry.

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JAL3

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The sanding process was then begun and I was reminded of the wisdom of often doing this before the fins are installed. My big hands and fat fingers had a hard time getting into the crevasses but eventually it was done.

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JAL3

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After the sanding the rocket got a trip to the spray booth and was primed with Kilz. That too got a day to dry and it needed some more sanding. Instead of spraying on more primer, though, I gave it a coat of regular white paint.

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JAL3

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After another day for the white to dry, The rocket was painted with several thin coats of fluorescent red until the color built up deeply.

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CharlaineC

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I LOVE IT!!!!!! I want a jayhawk so bad both this one and the big ones.
 

JAL3

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Looking good John!
.
Thanks.

You realize, don't you, that your Nike Smoke was my first ever attempt at anything resembling scale. I've made a little progress since then but have a ways to go. Partly it my own "that seems too much like work" attitude.:rolleyes:
 
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