The Understated Estes Alpha.

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by Overeasy123, Jul 6, 2015.

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  1. Jul 18, 2015 #61

    Flyfalcons

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    That monster AIII is sick!!!!
     
  2. Jul 18, 2015 #62

    qquake2k

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    Thanks! It's a lot of fun to fly. It's just a 4", I've seen pictures on here of much bigger ones. But it's big enough for me. I built it in honor of the first rocket I built and flew as a kid, the Alpha III.
     
  3. Jul 18, 2015 #63

    RoyAtl

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    me with alpha 1968.jpg me_and_vern.jpg
    Me in 1968 with the second of many Alphas over the years (yesterday was the 47th anniversary of my first model rocket flight -- an Alpha -- which was lost. Hence me with a new Alpha in October of '68.

    Then me with Vern Estes, and my MegaAlpha in Chicago in 1991.
     
  4. Jul 18, 2015 #64

    Woody's Workshop

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    Smokey, Sparky Alpha...
    Ain't no Bertha!!!
    (Love my Bertha's too)
     
  5. Jul 18, 2015 #65

    Woody's Workshop

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    You're so lucky!!!
    I would have loved to meet Vern.
    He's one of few I wish I had the pleasure to meet.
    Right next to #1, Gene Krantz
    I would still love to have a day to walk through Estes Building.
    Right along with the Apollo Mission Control Room.
     
  6. Jul 20, 2015 #66

    Overeasy123

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  7. Jul 20, 2015 #67

    Overeasy123

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    Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.09.52 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.09.27 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.09.01 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.08.49 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 5.08.31 PM.jpg
    The Long Side of the Black Line takes a bit of a jog from the Fore Fin to the Rocket Aft. I'll sight the mask better in subsequent models.
    I peeled the mask as the Semi-Gloss Black was still tacky. Although not a Razor's Edge, I'll prefer the Painted Effect over Automotive Pinstriping. Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 8.29.28 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2015
  8. Jul 21, 2015 #68

    Overeasy123

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    Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 9.28.11 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 9.27.42 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 9.31.03 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 9.29.04 PM.jpg
    I can't rave enough about Tamiya Masking Tape, really. If I'd been spraying with a Airbrush, I bet I would've gotten Razor Sharp. I'll bite my tongue 'til after curing when I can clean up the pencil lines and overspray. Maybe I'll give Chris's Magic Eraser Trick a go?

    Geez, am I excited by this Design and Livery. It's so graphically strong; so simple.

    The stripes vary in thickness somewhat, I just drew pencil lines on each side of a Fin with Aluminium Angle. I could've measured to get a precise 1/8" or so across the board, but now I've got Homespun.

    -Eric B.
     
  9. Jul 21, 2015 #69

    Gary Byrum

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    I really admire your ambition. I'm just wondering, why so many Alphas? Plus, I can't say enough about Tamiya tape. I love that stuff. The thin stuff is a little more forgiving when using it in small places and around curves.
     
  10. Jul 21, 2015 #70

    hcmbanjo

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    I can't rave enough about Tamiya Masking Tape, really. If I'd been spraying with a Airbrush, I bet I would've gotten Razor Sharp. I'll bite my tongue 'til after curing when I can clean up the pencil lines and overspray. Maybe I'll give Chris's Magic Eraser Trick a go?
    -Eric B.

    Hi Eric,
    The finished models looks great!
    If you go with the magic eraser, dampen the eraser and squeeze out most of the water.
    Go light with the eraser. While it can remove most anything, too many passes might dull a gloss finish.

    Erase as much of the pencil lines as you can with a white eraser, not a pink pencil end eraser.
    Then use the Magic Eraser.
     
  11. Jul 21, 2015 #71

    Overeasy123

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    Hi, Gary, and thanks.
    So many Alphas. Firstly, it's probably about an Ebay Score wherein a gentleman almost paid me to mail 12+ Bulk Kits. So, I had the kits around and once I start gluing it's easiest to work them up in assembly-line fashion. I don't want to belabor the "simplicity" of the Alpha, it's just that the lines are so clean and in its Retro Dress, it dazzles me. Looking at the 1971 Catalog, there's no shortage of rockets that hit the Sweet Spot: Avenger, Cobra, Sprint, et al.
    There's something strange about it, eh? At some point something Really Weird happens and the little bugger transcends its balsa, cardboard, and enamel construction.
    I'm curious to see how long my Mojo holds, I've gotta keep my head down and keep sanding!
     
  12. Jul 21, 2015 #72

    Overeasy123

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    Thank You, Chris!

    I still check your Blog daily!
     
  13. Jul 21, 2015 #73

    Maxitout

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    Here's a photo of one of mine. This is a 10X upscale, built with sono tube. The nose cone is from my Polecat Thumper, it's pretty close to scale. This flew on Cesaroni motors, an M-1675, then airstarting 3 K-815 Skids. :D

    Phil L.

    Picture 005.jpg
     
  14. Jul 21, 2015 #74

    Woody's Workshop

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    Now that's an Alpha!
     
  15. Jul 21, 2015 #75

    BEC

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    It sure is!
     
  16. Jul 25, 2015 #76

    Gary Byrum

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    Hey, would anybody happen to have a decal sheet of the Alpha 3 they could scan for me?

    And I am referring to the orange model with the black decals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  17. Jul 25, 2015 #77

    Justblair

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Here is my/my 5yr old sons Alpha III. It was built and flew in the original Black/Orange livery, but after a CATO I rebuilt it and opted for a different colour scheme.

    It was our first rocket and still a favourite (although my son and I have not been in the hobby for a very long time).

    I have a ms publisher file with these decals if they are any use to Gary. I drew them myself as I could not find a clean scan for laser printing decals.

    I have a half built Alpha (from scratch) that needs finishing. That is going to be Red cone/tail, white body and black decals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2015
  18. Jul 26, 2015 #78

    Gary Byrum

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    That was strange. There was no link until I went to reply, so I copy pasted the link and found the picture. Sure! I'd love to have the file. I can convert it to a jpg and bring it into Autocad, trace & scale it for a BT 70 size bird. I'll PM you my email address.
     
  19. Jul 26, 2015 #79

    Justblair

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    Yep. Getting to grips with this forum, couldn't link to google images. Changed to Photobucket.

    By all means pm me.
     
  20. Aug 15, 2015 #80

    Overeasy123

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    Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 7.08.34 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 7.09.23 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 7.10.10 PM.jpg Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.40.44 PM.jpg

    Two'll be Stock, and one'll be finished as a Current-Livery Upscale. It'll be my first time applying StickerShock Vinyl.

    Paint is Rustoleum Painter's Touch 2X Semi-Gloss White, Gloss Apple Red, and Glossy Brilliant Blue.

    -Eric B
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  21. Aug 15, 2015 #81

    Trident

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    Easter egg dipping paint job replacing the Halloween themed Alpha. :) Did this close to 10 years ago, and just flew it this week with my grand daughters. The 2nd picture shows a Generix E2X in similar scheme. Those work great, having a standard white base color.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2015
  22. Aug 15, 2015 #82

    Leo

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    My special Estes Alpha powered by "Coldpower" that incidentally had it's maiden flight at NSL 2015.

    [​IMG]
     
  23. Aug 15, 2015 #83

    Solomoriah

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    Apologies if I've shown this one here before:

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Aug 15, 2015 #84

    TALON

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    Your Super Alpha looks SUPER SWEET.
     
  25. Aug 15, 2015 #85

    TALON

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    When I got into rocketry in 68 (as a 13 year old), I thought the Alpha was too "generic" & too small. My 1st two rockets were the Estes ARCAS & Aerobee 300. About a year later I built & flew the Alpha and realized the beauty of it's classic lines and out of sight performance! I have built a total of 4 with three in the hanger, one in the build pile & with plans to build an up scale version!
     
  26. Aug 15, 2015 #86

    hcmbanjo

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    Here's my 1969 Estes catalog page Alpha -

    Alpha 1969 4 .JPG Alpha 1969 1.jpg

    At the 2014 NARCON Vern Estes posed for a picture holding my 1974 Catalog Alpha.
    He also signed it for me.

    Vern and Me.jpg
     
  27. Aug 15, 2015 #87

    RFMan

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    My very first model was the Alpha, around 1972. I think I've build three of the "classic" (balsa nose cone and black stripe/fin/panel), and maybe one with a plastic fin can. It's just not the same - I can't get excited about the plastic cans, noses, and the newer paint schemes. I'm time-locked regarding that one particular model; the nostalgia is strong in this one...
     
  28. Feb 4, 2017 #88

    BEC

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    Maybe this is the Alpha thread to revive (rather than the fin shape one) to point out that the Alpha first appeared in the 1967 Estes catalog, so this will be its golden anniversary year. As far as I know it has been in continuous production (or at least continuously available) for that entire 50-year span, making it the second-longest-running model rocket kit of all time (after Big Bertha, which appeared first in the 1966 catalog).

    Maybe we should build some sort of golden anniversary livery Alphas and those of us going to NSL this year could do a group launch or something.....

    (Oh - I asked the folks at Estes Industries if they were planning anything like this. They are not.)
     
  29. Feb 4, 2017 #89

    Todderbert

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    I've been looking into building an original Alpha for the Nartrek Bronze 60sec chute carried on an B motor launch. I have an Alpha III, thought about trying a slightly bigger chute, or the same with a generic E2X. Figured the rocket could double duty for the second 30sec streamer launch. Would this fit the bill? Also thought about the Wizard for the streamer launch, but wasn't to sure if it could handle a chute.
     
  30. Feb 4, 2017 #90

    TangoJuliet

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    My first Estes rocket was also an Alpha III (maybe 1980/81?) with the red plastic NC and Fin Can. I recently picked up one of the newer (uglier) kits with the black tube and orange plastic parts from a bulk pack that was separated. I was going to try to finish it like my original, but the 50 year anniversary has me thinking of something different... Hmm... Decisions, decisions.
     

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