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Andy Greene

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So when the Estes PS II Kits where in there very early stages, I was fortunate enough to have a very good friend in the right places that sent me 3 PSII Kits long before they where mainstream so to speak. I received an Argent / Ventris and a Leviathan - I promptly kept the Argent for myself, because IMHO - it was the tallest and coolest looking of the bunch (sans that ugly paint job)
I gave the remaining 2 kits to good friends from my RC Boat racing days that either already flew or wanted too. We all built and flew our rockets several times and gave feedback for our gifts.
I guess what REALLY makes me ask this question is -

1) The Argent never really got as popular as the Ventris . Build threads on this bird (Ventris) are very common.
2) The Leviathan , fell by the wayside - as I have only seen my buddys .
3) The Ventris went out of control with interest and build threads .
4) You can get an Argent for 25 or so bucks - yet we dont see builds on them ?

Why is that ??

I still have my Argent - and its a Wonderful performing rocket on a G40 or G80 in totally STOCK configuration-tea bag and all- and I plan to fly it on a CTI 29MM soft H motor when I get back on my feet again .
Why is the interest soo much more in the Ventris than the rest of the fleet of initial selections ??

BTW- I do have a new Nike Smoke I cant wait to fly in a few weeks.........My favorite of the entire bunch so far IMHO :cool:
Couple shots of my Argent.
10570398_4551780169854_3026693660295811858_n.jpg
10410573_4551780489862_639588766103133796_n.jpg
10364105_4551781249881_6345127363014755428_n.jpg



Andy
 
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MikeyDSlagle

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The Leviathan is immensely popular and was often sold out on the Estes website. My first PSII kit was the Partizon because the Leviathan went fast during all the sales. I now have one of each (two for some), but have built none other than the Partizon, lost interest for some reason. To me the Ventris is probably the neatest looking, with the large "payload" section.

My older brother has built the Argent. He wanted a rocket with transitions so I got him one for Christmas.
 

TopRamen

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It's because they are so common and so basic, and you can only build them so many ways.
Their all great rockets, but even if I built one I probably would not bother with a build thread.
If I built it my way I might, but with conventional methods it's just another 3fnc 4fnc, and not many will learn much.
Kinda like the Aerotech G-Force. Really popular, but also really already talked about twenty different ways.
I'm designing an inflatable rocket that deploys from the nose cone of a regular 3" rocket at that rockets chute deploymet, inflate, orients itself, then ignites itself for a perfectly straight flight. It will look like a shriveled streamer as it rides the shock cord of it's parent rocket, but at a pre-determined altitude, a rubber band will be alowwed to do it's thing by means of a chute release, and a small servo will actuate the inflation cartridge and start a 2.5 second T-minus delay to ignition, which inturn severs the small thread holding it to the shock cord.
Flights of my Estes Centuri have shown the sustainer section always riding the shock cord nicely, and generating enough drag of it's own, that it always trails last, tail down. Rather than try to figure out how to orient a rocket electronically, I'll just use what I know performs how.
I have not had time to get to mechanical rockets yet, but wish to when I get done kicking the crap out of real life stuff.
I like the TLP Plan Pack Version of the Nike Ajax, and want to use that ignition system on a foam model that will weigh half or less than the TLP parts.
All the rockets you are being sold as "Kits" from the companies that now get all their stuff made overseas are not very exciting.
I would like a rocket that fit together like a puzzle, and was comprised of the lightest and strongest materials so far known to exist.
 

Flyfalcons

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I'm just not the biggest fan of the Argent style, with the larger diameter tube on the bottom. Scale models excepted, of course, or a second set of fins halfway up to give the appearance of a two-stage. Didn't stop me from getting one to complete my set of the original 4 PSII builders kits, though.
 

jeff_j_black

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I have an Argent. But for my interest in using these PSII rockets as payload haulers, I'm bashing the Argent into a Partizon. I have kits and parts for 3 Partizons and two Leviathans. These are both looking really capable for H and I AT DMS motors. One Partizon and the booster for the first Leviathan are complete. Don't worry! I'll make a stout sport flyer out of the front end of the Argent. I already thought that through.
 

Tonimus

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I personally went with a Ventris because the larger diameter upper tube allowed me more room for an AV bay.
 

EXPjawa

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The Argent is my favorite of the original group, and the first one I built. I've actually acquired three of them, though one got bashed into an upscale Cherokee and a smaller, Cherokee-like rocket. The other I eventually gave to my nephew. The other PSII kit worth mentioning is the Sahara, which is essentially a shortened Argent with Partizon fins. I've got a couple of those too. But to original question - I think that people are less likely to do build threads for more common, basic rockets. By the same token, you don't see a lot of build threads for Big Berthas or Der Red Maxes (standard size, anyway). Build threads in general don't seem to garner a lot of attention, or at least a lot of posts, even when they're for something unique. Ones for normal rockets are probably thought to be unnecessary. :confused2:
 

Cabernut

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Perhaps the Ventris is more popular because Estes lists the max altitude as 2000 ft where the Argent is 1700 ft. Higher is better in the eyes of the general public.

I personally like the look of the Ventris more and it was a Youtube video about a Ventris that helped get me back into rocketry. But that's me, I'm sure others will rightfully like the Argent more. As far as looks, its very subjective.
 

jbuscaglia

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The Argent is my favorite of the original group
Ditto, although I built the Leviathan first. Not really crazy about the Ventris. I guess I just don't care for larger diameter forward sections on a rocket.
 

Banzai88

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I built the Leviathan first, then the Argent. I did my L1 flight on the Levi, and had my worst crash on the Argent with almost no damage. They're good kits in their own right, but for me (like many others) they were a gateway drug.

I did not put buttons on mine, just the 1/4" lugs. Many of the clubs that I launch with are getting away from 1/4" rods.

I have a Ventris and a MDRM that, when built, will get buttons.
 

lcorinth

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I got an Argent, Partizon, Leviathan and Ventris all at the same time. I really liked the looks of both the Ventris and the Leviathan.

I guess I was biased against the Argent because of the ugly paint job on the face card. But having looked more closely at it, and seen a few photos with different paint, I've realized it's actually a pretty cool looking rocket, and the launch videos I've seen are impressive. Funny how ugly paint can skew your vision of something.

I haven't started building the Argent yet. I built the Partizon first, because it was my least favorite, so I figured if I was going to screw one of the larger rockets up, I'd do that one. Once it flew, I really liked it, though, so I'll probably paint it (it's the only rocket I've flown in just primer - usually, I have to paint completely before I fly. It's a personal problem). My Leviathan is done and looks beautiful. The Ventris is nearly ready for paint, and I really like the looks of it. I saw one at a CMASS launch this weekend that knocked my socks off.

I'm also just a few steps away from finishing my Nike Smoke. Should be done Saturday.

I really like all of these, and wish I'd gotten some more of the Basic Four while they were still in production and $22. I'll probably get another Ventris and Argent or two while they're still around, and maybe a Scion to make a stretch Leviathan.

For a while, I had a real complex about the Estes clearance sales. When I realized that they were liquidating some stuff, I kept checking the website several times a day, trying to figure out what I had to have before it was gone, and whether I could do it before the next paycheck. I missed out on a few (and a few cheap ones I wasn't crazy about, but realize now that I'd have made good use of the parts) and it drove me crazy.

I eventually had to take a deep breath and tell myself that there are a lot of rockets out there, and I would find other cool ones. Besides, if I give all my money to Estes, I won't have any more for NCR, Mad Cow, PML, 3D Rocketry, Quest, Aerotech, FlisKits, Apogee...
 

EXPjawa

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I guess I was biased against the Argent because of the ugly paint job on the face card. But having looked more closely at it, and seen a few photos with different paint, I've realized it's actually a pretty cool looking rocket, and the launch videos I've seen are impressive. Funny how ugly paint can skew your vision of something
I'm not a fan of the Estes color scheme either, though by just replacing the actual colors and keeping the patterning in place, it can be quite a bit more appealing. I finished mine in champagne, gold & dark red, because I liked how the colors looked together. In fact, I tend to forget that the original design was a kind of tacky white/orange/black combination and that mine isn't "correct"...

 

Andy Greene

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Thats sharp - nice way to keep the scheme , with a better twist . :cool:

After doing mine silver and emerald green - I swore I would NEVER paint another rocket silver again - esp one that long .
I fought and fought and fought that color to get it right :facepalm:
 

lcorinth

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I'm not a fan of the Estes color scheme either, though by just replacing the actual colors and keeping the patterning in place, it can be quite a bit more appealing. I finished mine in champagne, gold & dark red, because I liked how the colors looked together. In fact, I tend to forget that the original design was a kind of tacky white/orange/black combination and that mine isn't "correct"...

Yeah, see, those subtle changes can make a big difference. Same lines, beautiful rocket! Nice job.
 

EXPjawa

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Thanks :cool: The scheme was inspired, to a degree, by a sunset I watched a number of years ago while driving across the Mojave. I'm not sure it does it justice though...
 
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Viking

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It was the Leviathan that drew me to the PSII line. The Ventris is my least favourite, sorry to say.
I bough three each of the Leviathan, Scion, Argent, Partizon and Ventris kits, but so far I've yet to build one, 'coz I keep bashing them!!
Pics: PSII Big Daddy on a H163 (was a Leviathan kit)
2" IRIS from Argent and Ventris bits
Yet-to-be-painted 3" upscale Optima (Scion/Leviathan bits)
Not photographed is a Black Brant II from Partizon bits that's waiting for me to finish its nose.




IMG_4544_sm_.jpg
 
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Andy Greene

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Okay , you have FAR too many really cool colors on the shelf in that last shot ....
Im jealous.
 

EXPjawa

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Okay , you have FAR too many really cool colors on the shelf in that last shot ....
Im jealous.
Looks like he has most of the Duplicolor Metalcast colors there. I think I've used everyone at one point or another. My PSII Sahara, which is a combination of Metalcast and Rustoleum (for the gold and dark copper):



The checkers and purple bands are vinyl from Stickershock, both of which are metallic. Lots of metallic on this bird.
 

CORZERO

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I'm just not the biggest fan of the Argent style, with the larger diameter tube on the bottom. Scale models excepted, of course, or a second set of fins halfway up to give the appearance of a two-stage. Didn't stop me from getting one to complete my set of the original 4 PSII builders kits, though.
Modified two-stage Argent... Thank you for my newest project idea! I will keep the site informed.
 

lcorinth

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Looks like he has most of the Duplicolor Metalcast colors there. I think I've used everyone at one point or another. My PSII Sahara, which is a combination of Metalcast and Rustoleum (for the gold and dark copper):



The checkers and purple bands are vinyl from Stickershock, both of which are metallic. Lots of metallic on this bird.
WOW!!!! For the roll pattern, did you do that with squares of tape painted all at once, or with strips, masked and painted over a period of days?

There was an article in the latest Sport Rocketry magazine about doing a roll pattern (on a Ventris) with bits of tape cut to shape. I'm worried that if I try this with the Rusto I usually use, I may not be able to get the masking tape back up off the rocket.
 

EXPjawa

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No, its vinyl from Stickershock. I'll mask off a large-block roll, like I did with my V2, but checkers like that are too fussy for me. Much easier to ask Mark to cut it to my specification!
 

Viking

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Okay , you have FAR too many really cool colors on the shelf in that last shot ....
Im jealous.
Looks like he has most of the Duplicolor Metalcast colors there....
Bingo. Dupli Metalcast. There was a sale on here(Australia) a few months ago, they were all two-for-one. Couldn't resist.
Lovely colours but as they are Candy they need a perfect base.
There's about three rows behind what you can see here, mostly metallics but a few solids.
Cans.jpg

The two cans on the lower right are Dupli Clear Effex:

 
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dr wogz

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unfortunately, the Estes sales don't happen north of the border. Our PSII kits are full price, with a major mark-up. And that is, if yu can find them! So, we might as well pay the little bit extra, and get a LOC, a PML or a Binder.. Sad, but true.

I did manage to snag a Leviathan, and found it strange that this particular model, as popular as it seems to be, was one of the first to go OOP.. Sad..

As for build threads, as others have mentioned, it's just a 3FC or 4FC rocket. the true beauty is in the finish!
 

Kruegon

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I overbuilt the crap out of my Argent. Wood fillered the grain, rounded and ca'd the edges, 6 fillets per fin, turned the transition into a 5" a/v bay.

I have launched mine on several H motors and even once on an I200 successfully. The Argent is a seriously stable flyer that gets good altitude. I do not exactly care for the stock paint, but I'm not very creative at painting, so I'm doing it stock. Still have 1/2 the paint to go and the black stripes then I can clear it.

My Partizon is probably my favorite of the PSII kits. I like my Scion, but it has issues right now. The Leviathan is really popular, but is just ok to me. I did the Ventris first. Out of the original 4, it was my least favorite. Figured I would build it first to practice on. Turned out descent but so far it's only had one flight. E16 to a top altitude of 223 ft. The Argent has been to just over 3100 ft on the I200.
 

neil_w

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This discussion of the stock paint scheme for the Argent reminds me of how I've often wondered how the stock paint and decal designs get done at Estes. Does the rocket designer do it him or herself? Is there an art department that picks that up from the designer?

For many of the rockets, the paint scheme or decals are as iconic as the rocket itself (e.g.: Interceptor). In the case of the vast number of 3FNC or 4FNC rockets they've made over the years, the finishing design is the primary differentiator (e.g.: DRM).

With the PS2 kits, builders seem less interested in following the face card designs.

Just pondering.
 

EXPjawa

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I'd imagine that the lack of decals with the PSII kits (MDRM the obvious exception) leaves them as blank canvases, with the face card a mere suggestion. OTOH, the smaller kits with established decal sets and "standard" color schemes make more likely that people will follow along.

As far as your first question, though, I guess JumpJet will have to answer that...
 

neil_w

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As far as your first question, though, I guess JumpJet will have to answer that...
Were I to get the opportunity to interview him this is one of the things I would curious to ask. Although it is one of a long list. :)
 

dr wogz

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To me, the face card is a mere suggestion of how to paint it. It's not based off anything except the conceptualizer's own idea. So, to me, creativity is key to having a stand-out model on the pad.

But, scale models, models of actual things should be represented as such, and with all pertinent decals, details and nomenclature. In most cases! :D

(This kinda reminds me of those people who buy a Lego model, build it per the instructions, then place it on a shelf for years to come. It's Lego. Build it, then take it a part & build something else.. be creative, design & develop you own style, build something you think is cool! )
 

Cabernut

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Talk about stand-out models, I recently found an old VHS at my Mom's place from 1989 when I started in rocketry. I swear, everything was white, fluorescent orange and yellow. :rolleyes:
 

neil_w

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To me, the face card is a mere suggestion of how to paint it. It's not based off anything except the conceptualizer's own idea. So, to me, creativity is key to having a stand-out model on the pad.
In many instances, a big reason I build kits in the first place (rather than scratchbuild) to relieve the mental effort of having to figure everything out myself, and that especially includes paint scheme. For me at least, coming up with new paint schemes is like pulling teeth. I do admire those who can reinvent the way these rockets look, and even (sometimes) figure out how to incorporate the stock decals.

I probably would not be drawn to purchase a LPR kit for which I didn't like the face card paint scheme. Not as much of an issue for MPR (and up) though. To each his or her own.

Back on topic: the Argent has always been one of my favorite PSII kits, for what it's worth. I like the ones that are more than just 3FNC or 4FNC.
 
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