# The Launch Pad rockets - show us yours

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#### Queeg500

##### Well-Known Member
My AIM-4 Falcon. I first found out about TLP kits from this forum - version 1 -admiring the kits built by Styme and others. I understand the real Falcon was an awful air to air missle - small warhead, no proximity so a kill required a direct hit...but this is my absolute favorite low power rocket. I even made a MMX version. Quite an attention grabber because I notice people stare at it during pre-launch so it is definitely the missle that looks like a missle. I have only flown it on D12-3s but maybe with all my business I will remember to order a few E-15s.

#### dedleytedley

##### Well-Known Member
That is one sweet falcon! You did some very nice work on it. Did you make the decals yourself? They really give it a realistic look.
I love the TLP kits and have built several so far including a Bullpup not shown. The Pershing 1A is a 24mm+3x18mm cluster and the Nike Ajax is 2-stage. Ted

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#### Fred22

##### Well-Known Member
All looking great fellas has anybody built the nuclear tipped falcon?
Cheers
fred

#### timorley

##### Active Member
Great looking TLP rockets!

Here's my TLP ALARM. I have some other TLP kits still to build, Bullpup AGM-12B, Pershing 1A, Lance, and Harpoon. The ALARM was my first TLP kit, I enjoyed building it.

#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
Those look great. I especially like the Falcon, Queeg! I'm on the finishing stages of a Seawolf right now. It's my first and only TLP kit. It took some time to build, few mods here and there, but the end result is pretty good. It sat nekkid for more than a year, and I finally began painting it last week. Should be done soon. I'll be sure to post here when it is. If I were to purchase another TLP kit, it would be the Falcon or Nike Ajax.

#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
My AIM-4 Falcon. I first found out about TLP kits from this forum - version 1 -admiring the kits built by Styme and others. I understand the real Falcon was an awful air to air missle - small warhead, no proximity so a kill required a direct hit...but this is my absolute favorite low power rocket. I even made a MMX version. Quite an attention grabber because I notice people stare at it during pre-launch so it is definitely the missle that looks like a missle. I have only flown it on D12-3s but maybe with all my business I will remember to order a few E-15s.
On a related note, I modified my Estes Heatseeker to more closely resemble the Falcon. Maybe not as close in scale as the TLP kit, but looks a little better now, IMO.

BTW, Styme sure makes these kits look the great. He was a big reason for getting my Seawolf!

#### Queeg500

##### Well-Known Member
That is one sweet falcon! You did some very nice work on it. Did you make the decals yourself? They really give it a realistic look.
I love the TLP kits and have built several so far including a Bullpup not shown. The Pershing 1A is a 24mm+3x18mm cluster and the Nike Ajax is 2-stage. TedView attachment 11836

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I made the decals with Photoshop and decal paper from ASP Products. I used the Falcon photos from Jim Ball's defunct scale data site - now found at Rocketry Online - as a guide. I missed a lot of detail but I came reasonably close. It took a lot of time to find free fonts that resembled the actuals. The trickiest part of this build was painting the tip of the nosecone black.

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#### Queeg500

##### Well-Known Member
On a related note, I modified my Estes Heatseeker to more closely resemble the Falcon. Maybe not as close in scale as the TLP kit, but looks a little better now, IMO.

BTW, Styme sure makes these kits look the great. He was a big reason for getting my Seawolf!
I think there was another builder Stones or somebody who built every kit - the photo of a spare room full of LP rockets is burned in my mind.

I have three of those "recallable" (not Launchable) Heatseekers. Did your very cool mod make it more stable?

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#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
No, the mod on the Heatseeker does not make it more stable. Since I shortened the overall length of the rocket, it was less stable. What remained of the of the plastic nosecone was filled with lead. It flies really well now.

Do you still have the decal file? Those decals on your TLP look super and make all the difference. I'd love a copy of if you don't mind...not for the "Recallable", but in case I buy the TLP kit some day.

#### Queeg500

##### Well-Known Member
Sure just PM me. It is a .psd file.

#### grog

##### Well-Known Member
Here are my TLP Nike-Ajax launching on an F23-4 and AMRAAM on a G35-7. I converted both kits to fly with 29mm motors.

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
I have flown the Krypton on an SU E30-4, straight as an arrow, good deployment and landed with just a little ding on the nose cone point. The other kits are still being finished up and waiting for good weather to fly. These kits are easy to build and inexpensive. I have built them stock - boring - but they are light, strong and stable. Those witch hats roll to such a sharp point they will put your eye out. All you need is a dowel, mousepad, patience and my method of moistening the paper by simply breathing on it - a porn method but it works. A bit of squadron putty on the nosecone is all the filler I used. Laminate the balsa fins with lable paper and they are plenty strong. Wick in some CA on the boat tails, sand and 2 coats of primer are all that are needed. Easy paint schemes with lots of vinyl tape and letters and you can really crank these kits out.

#### kelltym88

##### Well-Known Member
Here are the 2 that I have:
Me with my Nike Ajax, I left it 3x24mm
My Scimitar, which I made with interchangeable motor mounts 2x24, 3x24, 1x29. The picture shown is with a G77 Redline, and it has flown successfully in all 3 configurations.

#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
Great looking missiles guys. Well done.

#### dixontj93060

##### Well-Known Member
My Maverick AGM-65 in flight (photo taken by Allen Carroll of the CIA club). Paint scheme along the lines of the snapshot.

#### Rocketcrab

##### Well-Known Member
All of this talk about Launch Pad kits had me digging deep into my stash - and I came up with a Sea Wolf kit. Started it tonight. It's so old, it still has the old face card and the clay nose weight was dried solid as a rock! It has to be from @ 1995. I can already see I'm going to use bass instead of the kit balsa. I can use that elsewhere. Any recommendations for this particular kit?

#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
All of this talk about Launch Pad kits had me digging deep into my stash - and I came up with a Sea Wolf kit. Started it tonight. It's so old, it still has the old face card and the clay nose weight was dried solid as a rock! It has to be from @ 1995. I can already see I'm going to use bass instead of the kit balsa. I can use that elsewhere. Any recommendations for this particular kit?
Clay in my kit was rock hard too. I stuck with the balsa and laminated with paper. Judging from other people's experience and the Rocksim file I made for this, you'll need at least an ounce and a half of weight in the nose. Not sure how much weight basswood will add, but you might want to add a few more grams to the nose to be on the safe side. Since the motor mount is recessed a goods ways up into the main tube, you might want to consider lining the tail end with something. I lined the aft coupler with a piece of aluminum taken from a soda can, epoxied in place. This added very little weight and should help protect the tube from charring. I've heard folks tell of using metal foil tape, but apparently it doesn't hold up very well.

Stymye had a couple good threads on the Seawolf on TRF v1:

#### chuckpo

##### Active Member
I finally got a (bad) pic of my partially painted Hellfire from TLP. This thing sat around for about 4 years before I built it, and it was the second one I tackled after becoming a BAR this year. Still waiting to fly it...

#### Pantherjon

##### Well-Known Member
I would show you my TLP rockets but they are still in the bag!:roll:

One of these days!

#### AKPilot

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe I've missed it, which wouldn't be the first time in my life, but was it the status of TLP? I remember that they were down for a while, but are they back up selling these great looking kits you're showing off?

#### dedleytedley

##### Well-Known Member
I like TLP kits because they are a good starting point for building scale models. If they are modified, the lack of info as to LL placement or CP/CG locations can be a difficulty for flying them stably. EMRR has a center of pressure library that includes some of the TLP kits. If you have Rocksim and have any CP data please submit it to EMRR. Scale changers and modifiers will be eternally grateful! Ted

#### KHamel

##### Well-Known Member
My version of the TLP Maverick. I also have a Bull Pup under construction.

##### Oddrocs Rule!
TRF Supporter
All of this talk about Launch Pad kits had me digging deep into my stash - and I came up with a Sea Wolf kit. Started it tonight. It's so old, it still has the old face card and the clay nose weight was dried solid as a rock! It has to be from @ 1995. I can already see I'm going to use bass instead of the kit balsa. I can use that elsewhere. Any recommendations for this particular kit?
For rock hard clay just add a little water to the bag and let it set over night and give it a good mashing in the morning. It is just potters clay so it is a bit messy to work with - if you get it too wet just let it dry out a bit. Ram the snakes down the nose cone and completely cover it with white or yellow glue and set the nose cone aside - it can take a looong time to dry. If you don't get enough glue in the cone the clay dries, separates from the plastic and falls out on the first slight impact - then you have to reglue again. Such are the perils of building this kit stock with its lighter components.

I wish the kit would include a pre-weighted never dry modeling clay because the "swamp mud" is a little hard to use and can be a real pain when it dries and contracts. Real pros have a scale and substitute the exact weight of the provided clay with an exotic adhesive like epoxy mixed with lead shot. If you are going to substitute heavier bass wood you should just toss the clay anyway because you are going to need more nose weight to keep the modified Sea Wolf stable.

I used the pinhead method for the rivets and it wasn't too hard since there are only 20. I don't know if I am a big enough pinhead to put 100's of them on a Harpoon. The really nice resin adhesive rivets are like $15 on eBay, but that is two thirds of what I paid for the kit. My opinion is this is such a cheap low power oriented kit that I would not bother modifying it because there is a real mid/high power Sea Wolf kit from Mad Cow that does not have all the headaches associated with modifications and overbuilding. But then again I am not able to talk the talk and walk the walk with all the cool dudes at the launch that have glassed tip to tip, incorporated Baltic Birch, have rip stop nylon parachutes, forged steel and Kevlar recovery harnesses, ebays and simulated computer printouts guaranteeing their rockets are going to be successful. No, I just go over with the kids and hope my swamp mud nose weight stays in place so my Sea Wolf will at least fly as straight as the Alpha with the C motor and the hot glued fins. Some day I might be a pro, but until then I will stick with cheesy laminated balsa, thin walled tubes, elastic shock cords with tri-fold mounts, cheap 24 mm motors, garbage bag or old Mylar balloon chutes, edible glues and old school building techniques. The miracle is they some how seem to fly straight and not suffer much flight damage and at least the kids think they are cool. #### Rocketcrab ##### Well-Known Member Clay in my kit was rock hard too. I stuck with the balsa and laminated with paper. Judging from other people's experience and the Rocksim file I made for this, you'll need at least an ounce and a half of weight in the nose. Not sure how much weight basswood will add, but you might want to add a few more grams to the nose to be on the safe side. Since the motor mount is recessed a goods ways up into the main tube, you might want to consider lining the tail end with something. I lined the aft coupler with a piece of aluminum taken from a soda can, epoxied in place. This added very little weight and should help protect the tube from charring. I've heard folks tell of using metal foil tape, but apparently it doesn't hold up very well. Stymye had a couple good threads on the Seawolf on TRF v1: https://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/showthread.php?t=20327&highlight=seawolf https://www.rocketryforumarchive.com/showthread.php?t=42909&highlight=seawolf Thanks for those links Foose - I knew there had been a thread on the Seawolf somewhere, but I just couldn't remember! Reading through them has already paid dividends - when I weighed out the clay nose weight that came with the kit, it came in at 25 grams. So, I just put that much of my own clay in - which appears to be only about half as much that is needed. :y: #### RangerStl ##### Well-Known Member The potters clay makes me nervous. If it's wet, a portion of that weight is water. Then when it dries out, you have less weight and could end up in bad territory depending on how close the stability margin runs. I think I'll us an equivalent weight in BBs or lead shot. I am also surprised that the 24mm kits use fiber centering rings. N #### Daddyisabar ##### Oddrocs Rule! TRF Supporter I have never had any significant charring with the rockets where I have built the motor mount way up high to help stability. I just coat the tube with yellow glue, use a stand off and angle the blast deflector. Even with those hot AP motors all I get is some residue. The black powder clusters leave more soot but a little water or alcohol gets most of it off. #### Daddyisabar ##### Oddrocs Rule! TRF Supporter I am also surprised that the 24mm kits use fiber centering rings. N It is amazing how much force a little paper and glue can withstand - just like those paper bridge contests we had back in 7th grade. Why even DynaStar uses them on mid power kits. Nonetheless when I showed off my fancy new TLP kit to my real pro mid power rocketeer buddy he said I know mid power rockets and that is no mid power rocket. I felt just like my hero Dan Quayle in that debate with Benson. I said well look at the kits face card  it says mid power and it is even underlined! I said look! I have to use high tech seven dollar AP motors  this thing will crash on my beloved three dollar D12s. I said look at the a** end of the kit  it is reinforced with a coupler & yellow glue that makes it a bona fide thick walled mid power body tube! I said I paid upwards of$23 for this Sea Wolf kit, thats big money and puts me solidly in the mid power class!

He said is that a drinking straw I see as a launch lug?... are those surface mounted balsa fins?... is that paper tipped nose cone hanging on by a thread?... isnt the same body tube as an Estes Executioner?... no plywood, no Kevlar and a little low power engine hook. Why this is at best just a glorified low power kit. When you are ready to play with the big boys you will have to do better than this abomination. Some day I hope I can stop using edible glue and get a reloadable motor casing, then I can experience true Baltic Birch through the wall fin locked and glassed mid power rocketry. Until then I will have to stay in the low power section of the forum.

#### foose4string

##### Well-Known Member
The potters clay makes me nervous. If it's wet, a portion of that weight is water. Then when it dries out, you have less weight and could end up in bad territory depending on how close the stability margin runs.

I think I'll us an equivalent weight in BBs or lead shot.

I am also surprised that the 24mm kits use fiber centering rings.

N
I ditched the potter's clay and used BB's and Gorilla glue. I tried adding a little water to the clay and it just became a sloppy mess inside the bag. Wasn't worth the trouble. And as you pointed out, how much of the of the original clay weight is water mass? Modeler's clay would have been a much better choice to include with the kits rather than potter's clay. Modeling clay "sticks" and takes much longer to dry out. In regards to the Seawolf, an ounce and a half would be a very large chunk of clay!

#### luke strawwalker

##### Well-Known Member
It is amazing how much force a little paper and glue can withstand - just like those paper bridge contests we had back in 7th grade. Why even DynaStar uses them on mid power kits. Nonetheless when I showed off my fancy new TLP kit to my real pro mid power rocketeer buddy he said I know mid power rockets and that is no mid power rocket. I felt just like my hero Dan Quayle in that debate with Benson. I said well look at the kits face card  it says mid power and it is even underlined! I said look! I have to use high tech seven dollar AP motors  this thing will crash on my beloved three dollar D12s. I said look at the a** end of the kit  it is reinforced with a coupler & yellow glue that makes it a bona fide thick walled mid power body tube! I said I paid upwards of \$23 for this Sea Wolf kit, thats big money and puts me solidly in the mid power class!

He said is that a drinking straw I see as a launch lug?... are those surface mounted balsa fins?... is that paper tipped nose cone hanging on by a thread?... isnt the same body tube as an Estes Executioner?... no plywood, no Kevlar and a little low power engine hook. Why this is at best just a glorified low power kit. When you are ready to play with the big boys you will have to do better than this abomination. Some day I hope I can stop using edible glue and get a reloadable motor casing, then I can experience true Baltic Birch through the wall fin locked and glassed mid power rocketry. Until then I will have to stay in the low power section of the forum.
Meh, talk is cheap... I don't let that kind get me down... let's face it, if we REALLY think about it we probably ALL know or at least have met this type of
"bulletproof HPR rocketeer".

My response to this type is that ANY chimp can shove a BIG motor into a completely glassed, kevlared, through the wall fiberglass finned monstrosity that weighs DOUBLE what a rocket that size should weigh-- what does that prove?? The only thing I can see that it proves is that they have money to burn, and have an oedipus complex to prove they've got 'more power' than you've got. Whatever; life is too short to waste trying to 'out-Jones' them...

You don't HAVE to build a rocket solid enough to penetrate tank armor, unless you plan on putting a WAY too-big motor in it, and again, what is the purpose in that?? Then when something goes wrong, you have a bulletproof missile heading where it doesn't belong WAY FAST and you can only hope you're not in the way, and nothing you own is...

Usually they're the type that would be dangerous flying an Alpha on a C motor...

HPR has a place, but the 'shove the biggest motor you can in it and see what happens' set really don't impress me... quite the contrary...

JMHO! OL JR