Vintage rocket 'triage'

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Sep 23, 2004
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As I mentioned in my other post, I was graced with the dusty, dirty refuse of a friend of a friends old rocket collection, which has been sitting for some time in a box. He was into the Centuri line, and heres are partial list of what I've identified so far

Quasar - This guys really hurting, broken fins, crunched pods, lousy paint job, I orginally threw it out, but after seeing a picture, of one of the originals, I pulled it out, and I'm going to try and restore it.

Orion - Big *** rocket for a C, rough shape, all fins were broken, one of the pods too, I've have everything reattached, but it will need a lot of TLC to make right.

Space Shuttle - All there, kind of messy original build, may want to strip and redo, if I can get decals for it

Arcon -Probably the best shape of the bunch, decals still "OK", only one wrecked fin, which we repaired, need to fillet, sand, repaint and clear

Flutter-By - Its there, but needs to be repainted

Vector V - Lousy paint job, iffy finish, resanding, refilling, repainting plus decals

Snipe Hunter? - Not sure, need to make sure I have the right nose cone on it before I can ID correctly

Pics of some of the originals here

I'll take pics of these beasts as I get into them.

^I gather the back section is supposed to fit loosely into the nose section so they can separate on the recovery charge so they can both float down (is that the gist of it?).

This one is a bit snug, might need sanding of the tail section
That's quite a haul, even if they are in bad shape. Decals aren't a problem for any of the kits - TangoPapa has most, or check with Excelsior Rocketry. I would suggest trying to strip the paint off first - there are several products that should be able to do this safely, or you can sand. If repairs need to be made, you can replace fins and tubes very easily, especially since you have the originals for patterns and dimensions. The main pieces you want to salvage are nose cones, and in the case of the Orion, the wraps. If you, or anyone else out there can find a way to reprocuce those wraps that also go on the Sat 1B, you would make some of us extremely happy!:D
Drew Tomko
Yeah, I've yet to go through the Saturn kit to do an inventory, it looks complete, but until you dump everything out and go through the checklist, you don't know. Right now, that guys low on the list :) No idea how you'd reproduce the 'wraps' unless your uncle ran a plastics vacuum mold company.

The Quasar will be the real test, I may have to just try and make it a "10-footer" (looks OK from 10 feet away). will need to do some balsa and filler work on it. Has a bad gaudy gold and red paint job (with little sanding prior to), that has to go. The white and red scheme of the original pics looks cool, and is what made me pluck it back out of the trash.

BTW, whats a good recommended brand of clear coat for these things (one that won't kill decals)?

Will try to post ppics in their present state later...

Whoa! Didn't realize you had a Saturn in there too! Is it the 1B? If it is, perhaps you could trace one of the fins. I'm looking to clone this one and JimZ's site doesn't have scans. Can't wait to see pictures.
You'll get a lot of opinions on clear coats. You might do a search around here to find several threads. Testor's Dullcoat yellows badly. I have been using MicroScale acrylic flat and satin, but I just noticed some yellowing on a rocket I recently painted. Laso, Future floor polish for glossy. Some say it's the white enamel that yellows. I read once that putting a drop or two of blue paint in the white will help. Many use Krylon clear sprays in cans.
Originally posted by dtomko
Whoa! Didn't realize you had a Saturn in there too! Is it the 1B? If it is, perhaps you could trace one of the fins. I'm looking to clone this one and JimZ's site doesn't have scans. Can't wait to see pictures.

Yep its a 1B (still in kit form in box). Need a copy of the plans or just fin specs? As mentioned earlier, still need to do inventory on it, but I 'think' its complete. I'll try and go through it a little more tonight.

Whats the application method for Future Floor Polish?

You are a lucky man! The plans are on JimZ's site, and the BT lengths are on the plans. What I need are outlines of the fins and the heights of the wraps, if you can. That would be terrific.
Future is best put on with an airbrush; you don't need to thin it, and it cleans up with Windex. You can also use a cheap foam brush. Try not to put it on too thick, and make sure paint and decals are thoroughly dry.