Vintage Estes Exocet MM38 build

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Well-Known Member
Jan 18, 2009
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Moving onto my next build is the Estes Exocet, all the parts look to be in good shape and there is a lot of wood to be sealed, other than that looks to be a simple build. I am moving right along with my builds and that includes my vintage freeflight builds like this Sterling Piper Cub J-3.

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I'm in! :pop:

I cloned this kit with a D motor and ended up with my longest flight of a rocket.

I had just finished the rocket, and it looked really good, so I had go fever. It was a tad windy, and I went to an abandoned mill location in Phoenix, Oregon to fly it. I cranked the angle to the max and used my most sacred (holey) parachute, and the rocket weathercocked. When the chute popped, the wind caught it, and despite being mostly a 3" ring of material around a huge hole (in an 18" diameter Estes chute), the rocket was swept up and over the local hill behind the launch site, there it got caught in the updraft and spent what felt like 20 minutes just hovering in the same patch of sky, caught in that bubble of air.

I was able to run after it, pause, acquire it's current location (unchanged), and after managing to climb/banana right (a film making term) I watched it go down into a recently plowed field. Well out of breath from the running, I managed to get into the field, and promptly gained 3 inches in height. Every step I took, I got taller as the wet clay soil that made up that field stuck to my shoes, eventually pulling them off. I recovered my shoes, and the rocket. It was missing a small fin, and I felt like I was 6" taller, and about 20 pounds heavier (clay covered shoes, clay covered feet).

I walked barefoot (if you could call it that) until I found a house with a person washing their car, and was allowed to clean my shoes and feet. I still have the rocket in the collection, but it never flew again.
Sub'd :pop:, again.

K'Tesh - Great story!

If it weren't for the unique shape of the nose cone, I'd like to make a MPR upscale of this one.
So far the build is going with no issue, pretty simple but a lot of balsa to seal. Built out of the bag with parts still in good shape. The balsa is sealed with 4 coats of Brodak balsa sealer and fillets have been added. I am planning on putting the primer coat on tomorrow.

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Here she is painted and ready for the decals in the next day or so. I sprayed a coat of grey primer followed by Acryli-Quik Gloss Orange and Black.

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Honestly, it is not me but the supplies I use. The Brodak works great, goes on fast and sands easy. The paint is the old style Krylon that only takes a day or two to dry with recoat anytime.
You're scanning all these old OOP kits for us right? Not all of us have been lucky enough to find them.
I only scan the kits I have when Jimz or Ye old rocket shoppe does not have them already scanned. This kit has been scanned except for the decal, and that is probably because the decal is white and does not scan very well.
Here she is all done, another fun vintage build. Since there are only 2 decals, applying them went fast and they went on smooth for older decals. It may be a week or so before I start my next vintage build.


Very nice build!

I did a clone about 3 years ago and set it up to run E motors. E9's gave it a nice slowish take-off but good altitude. E15's shot up quick. E30's were like SNAP!! and it was up to 1000 feet in a blink.

Lots of fun!
The PNC-55EX was used in 3 kits (The Neptune, Exocet, and the Ranger), and... to the best of my knowledge... to date... hasn't been produced since the discontinuation of the the Estes Ranger (1955) in 1989.

eRockets and BMS have balsa versions of the nosecone though. If you're looking to score an original, I'd suggest reaching out to Micron Météore on FB, as he may have some old original kits available for purchase (you have to ship them from France), or set up a notification for when the Ranger or other kits come up for sale on eBay (the Ranger seems to be the most common version found there).