Vintage Estes F-61 Starfighter build

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SCIGS30

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After building some vintage simple rockets, I decided to step it up with a little more challenging rocket. I just ordered some more Balsa Sealer so I should be ready to go in a few days.

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I noticed that there is one bulge on the finished model picture, but two bulges on the supplied nose cone. How do the instructions say to remove one of the bulges?
 
I noticed that there is one bulge on the finished model picture, but two bulges on the supplied nose cone. How do the instructions say to remove one of the bulges?

Look closer, the nose cone is "side on" with only one bulge (the right hand one) showing and the clear plastic "canopy" on top. After adding the canopy you will have three bulges!:cool:
 
That looks like the same clear canopy from the old Centuri Fighter Fleet kits.
 
I think they are the same plastic parks, I'll compare when I get home.
 
On this model, the opposing canopies on the nose cone become some type of maneuvering rocket system or maybe gun pods because, ya know, 22nd century star fighters still need guns. :)

Thanks, I missed that part. I also missed the clear canopy in the parts layout.

Perhaps Estes could re-release this kit? I hear that they have a a lot of those nose cones hanging around.
 
Other points of interest are the cockpit interior decal and that the canopy is injection molded instead of vacuformed.
 
This was a fun little bird and more challenging than my last couple of vintage builds. As you can see the plastic parts are the same parts that came in the Centuri fighter jet series. The yellowed parts on the left are from my Centuri F-16, and on the right from my Starfighter. The canopy gets glued onto the nose cone with Testors cement after the decal is placed and the canopy will get masked before painting. I sealed all the balsa with 4 coats of Brodak Balsa Sealer and will prime everything tonight. Then the fun part of masking and painting over the next few days.

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I have her all sealed with Brodak Primer and a coat of grey primer. Next will be the fun task of masking and painting.

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Awesome!

Not knit-picking, but an observation that leads to a question... It doesn't appear that you tried to fill BT seams. Are you anticipating that the filler/primer and paint will hide them, or is not really something you worry about?
 
Tango, All my builds over the last 10 years, I have never filled the spirals. I tried it before and just was not worth the time and effort for a flying rocket. The only reason I fill the balsa fins is because unfinished balsa is pretty rough with just paint and no sealer. Also decals look pretty bad on deep rough grain. The spirals never bothered me.
 
That's fair enough reasoning. Some I do, some I don't. For me it just depends on how deep and noticeable they are prior to primer/paint. And it's only something I've started doing since becoming "Born Again" last year.
 
Leo, The front of the pods are supposed to stay clear, or tinged yellow since the clear plastic is old. The missile is supposed to be white with blue tip and red fins.
 
Gotcha... Indeed the instructions say to paint the missile tips blue which I find awkward as the real side winder missiles have a clear tip. Well, I left them all clear :)
 
Leo, I saw a picture of your build on your website, did you ever finish it? Your website shows it all built but unpainted. I have a large dealer catalog with a colored F-16 Starfighter picture and the top looks light grey, the bottom is light blue. The pods are olive green with clear nose. The missiles are indeed white with red fins and light blue tips. All and all this is a cool little rocket.
 
Oh man, I wish you hadn't looked on my site :) I started that build some time in 1982 or early 1983 and to this day nothing has changed. It still looks the same like on the picture :facepalm:
 
and I envy you when each of your builds are complete :) So unfair.... :D
 
Perhaps Estes could re-release this kit? I hear that they have a a lot of those nose cones hanging around.

Their new Protostar kit uses 3 of those nose cones for fin pods. That should help get rid of a lot of inventory!
 
I have the F-16 all painted and in the next few days begin adding the decals. I used Testors little spray cans for all the colors. Testors is my favorite spray paint but due the cost I normally don't use it for my rockets.

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I'll bet that took some time to mask everything for separate colors. What masking product do you use?
 
Yes, masking was fun. They did not come out great on the misses because I masked over the fillets. I use Tamyia masking tape.
 
I was able to finish my F-61 rocket adding the vintage old decals. As always the decals were a challenge because of age but the Testors decal solutions really helped out.

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After building some vintage simple rockets, I decided to step it up with a little more challenging rocket. I just ordered some more Balsa Sealer so I should be ready to go in a few days.

Scigs. Who and what brand of balsa sealer are you ordering these days?

Kooch
 
I was a Aerogloss balsa sealer user for years and loved it until they stopped making it. I was not happy, but it ended up being the best thing that ever happened to my balsa sealing journey. I tried a bottle of Brodak balsa sealer and now I am hooked and wish I would have used it years ago. Sands easier than Aerogloss if you can believe that and the filling qualities are superb. I first tried it with the 4 oz can and since I have ordered the 16oz can and divided it up into 4oz jars for easy use.
 
Give yourself a pat on the shoulder. It turned out great!

I hope to finish mine hopefully within the next 20 years.
 
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