The better Mars Snooper kit? Exotic Designs of the early 1970s

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
1
Hi,

I'd like to built the whole "Exotic Designs" collection from the 1971-1973 Estes Catalog pages.
For Orbital Transport, Trident, and Mars Lander I think I will go with the available Semroc kits.

For those of you who have seen and/or built the Mars Trooper well after its early 1970s glory, do you prefer the BMS clone or the Estes "Collectors Series" kit? Or alternatively collect the parts from Semroc?

I'd like to go on to include Interceptor and Saros, but I think I am needing some key plastic parts for both of those.
 
Last edited:

Initiator001

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
2,926
Reaction score
199
As I recall when the 'Collectors Series' Mars Snooper was released some modern parts were substituted for original size parts (BT-20 for BT-30?).
 

Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
1
As I recall when the 'Collectors Series' Mars Snooper was released some modern parts were substituted for original size parts (BT-20 for BT-30?).
Thanks, I will look into that.

Using the (Semroc) clones is of course a compromise too, but I'd like to get them fairly close and will follow the old plans / decals as possible. I may use an Interceptor reissue too, which is clearly different from the original.
 
Last edited:

dmo

Active Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2009
Messages
41
Reaction score
2
As I recall when the 'Collectors Series' Mars Snooper was released some modern parts were substituted for original size parts (BT-20 for BT-30?).
No, the Mars Snooper was always a BT-50/BT-20 rocket, even the 1964 original Estes Industries Rocket Plan #25.

The Collectors Series version was just a duplicate of the K-20 kit that was in a box and included a few extras like a decal sheet and a display stand. The only "modern" part was a 90's era parachute/shock cord rather than the 60's era originals.

As for BMS vs Estes, that would depend a lot on how much you like cutting balsa. The BMS kit has laser cut pieces, the Estes kit does not. Semroc also has the laser cut fins available. Of course the BMS kit is available for order, while getting a K-20 or #2063 would be subject to finding a rare OOP kit for sale. The BMS kit has the decal sheet, I don't think eRockets has the decal.

FYI, there is a #2063 for sale on eBay for the next 3 days. Current bid price is reasonable, but who knows what the final price will be.
 

mikec

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2009
Messages
2,524
Reaction score
392
I'd like to go on to include Interceptor and Saros, but I think I am needing some key plastic parts for both of those.
The Saros is fairly easily clonable using the balsa nose cone and transition from erockets/Semroc. The fin/nozzle assembly doesn't need to be plastic, I just used balsa fins and a paper transition for the nozzle.

Interceptors haven't been OOP from the last reissue for long and should be available somewhere.
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
47
Location
Washington DC
Hi,

I'd like to built the whole "Exotic Designs" collection from the 1971-1973 Estes Catalog pages.
For Orbital Transport, Trident, and Mars Lander I think I will go with the available Semroc kits.

For those of you who have seen and/or built the Mars Trooper well after its early 1970s glory, do you prefer the BMS clone or the Estes "Collectors Series" kit? Or alternatively collect the parts from Semroc?

I'd like to go on to include Interceptor and Saros, but I think I am needing some key plastic parts for both of those.
All of those are currently in my flying fleet as well as most having been down-scaled to Micro Maxx flying models. As others have said the Mars Snooper was always BT-50-BT20. my original Mars Snooper is still flying along with a 1.41 Single D12 Upscale & 3x Micro powered Down-Scale.

You might want to add a couple Centuri Rocket for that same era the Laser-X & SST Shuttle are super along side the Estes Exotic designs;)

037-sm_ Laser-X 1.41 D Upscale_10-27-89.jpg


088-sm_Laser-X (centuri 1968)_11-15-90.jpg


119-sm_Mars Snooper_04-06-92.jpg


220a1-sm_OrbitalTransport_11-12-99.jpg
 
Last edited:

Mugs914

Pardon me for talkin' while you're interruptin'...
Joined
Oct 1, 2012
Messages
1,533
Reaction score
1,552
Location
Temple TEXAS
The Saros is fairly easily clonable using the balsa nose cone and transition from erockets/Semroc. The fin/nozzle assembly doesn't need to be plastic, I just used balsa fins and a paper transition for the nozzle.

Interceptors haven't been OOP from the last reissue for long and should be available somewhere.
I've got a Saros clone in progress here: https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?136846-Estes-Saros-question&highlight=saros+clone

Semroc nose and transition, built up fins. Haven't done the nozzle transitions yet, but they will be paper soaked in thin CA.

Maybe I need to get going on it again tonight...
 

Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
1
You might want to add a couple Centuri Rocket for that same era the Laser-X & SST Shuttle are super along side the Estes Exotic designs;)
Interesting suggestion. I was not aware of Centuri back in 1971, but you are right that those two model do seem to be of the same exotic genre as the Estes group. Also maybe Quasar and Orion? I already own a Semroc kit for the Laser-X. The SST clone kit seems to have been available from Semroc some years ago, but apparently eRockets still has the key parts like decal, plastic ramjets, fin sets, etc. This is getting expensive!

Addendum - I am maybe leaving out the Enerjet Athena KE-5 (though a most excellent rocket to clone, I'm sure) because I judge it to be a 1972 model. Sticking with 1971 issues to keep this fleet reasonably sized. Although the 1972 version would I think be identical except for the addition of the Athena and maybe Centuri Taurus and Space Shuttle.
 
Last edited:

caveduck

semi old rocketeer
Joined
Jun 6, 2011
Messages
1,546
Reaction score
239
For a full scratch original Mars Snooper I turned all the balsa parts, and except for being a bit time consuming it wasn't that hard. The painful part is getting the 3 cardstock shrouds at the aft end to fit precisely with the little balsa radiator vanes and at the same time line up to get the launch lug through them. It would be well worth it to get the idiot vanes laser cut.
 

Tramper Al

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Messages
334
Reaction score
1
As for BMS vs Estes, that would depend a lot on how much you like cutting balsa. The BMS kit has laser cut pieces, the Estes kit does not. Semroc also has the laser cut fins available. Of course the BMS kit is available for order, while getting a K-20 or #2063 would be subject to finding a rare OOP kit for sale. The BMS kit has the decal sheet, I don't think eRockets has the decal.
Thanks for spelling out the differences. I definitely don't miss the old process of starting with a slab of uncut balsa (vs. laser cut fins), so there is that. Still could go with Estes + Semroc fins. If I started from scratch, I think the Tango decal would work, though for the 1971-1972 livery, I may only use the 1 - 2 - 3 for the fins and one thin wrap around.
 

PhlAsh

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2011
Messages
987
Reaction score
68
I always preferred the Mars Snooper II. I'll upscale it eventually...
4xMarsSnooperII-LayoutB.jpg
 

Trident

Retired, plenty of kits
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
862
Reaction score
9
A bit of trivia -- the 1959 artwork that inspired the Mars Snooper kit, by Frank Tinsley.

IMG_0150.JPG
 

Latest posts

Top