What kits should Estes bring back?

Discussion in 'Low Power Rocketry (LPR)' started by LostMosquito, Sep 22, 2018.

Help Support The Rocketry Forum by donating:

  1. Dec 12, 2018 #151

    lw_hughes

    lw_hughes

    lw_hughes

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    3
    I think they should reproduce the space shuttle stack with the detachable orbiter glider. Have allowance for a micro r/c brick in the glider.
     
  2. Dec 14, 2018 #152

    Big-Bob

    Big-Bob

    Big-Bob

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    2
    This may sound silly, but I would like to see them bring back the X-Ray, only about twice the original size, capable of using D engines. Way back in 1973, the X-Ray was my second rocket after the Alpha. I built 3 or 4 of them. I have built a couple of near replicas, but they were not to scale.
     
    prfesser likes this.
  3. Dec 14, 2018 #153

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    286
    Its a good call. Its a clean design and goes well on a wide range of motors.

    The X-ray was my second rocket too (after the WAC Corporal). I cloned it as soon as I figured out that the parts were available. First launch of the clone was on an AT D21 with a streamer. Removed the launch-lug and stand-off, but the fins stayed on. It took a long time to come back down <smile>.

    As it apparently does for you, it seemed small to me so I built pretty much the upscaled version (BT50 into BT55) that you propose -- but with an 18mm motor mount. Much easier to pack a chute in the BT50 than in the BT20/BT50 original. Its a great park flier on a B6. It will disappear on a C6. I tried to launch it on a AeroTech D9, but couldn't get the motor to go. I am planning to send it up on a QJet D in the Spring.

    I've got parts for a 2 inch to BT70 version. That might be a good candidate for a PSII rocket.

    20181213_185722.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
    prfesser and Tyler P like this.
  4. Dec 14, 2018 #154

    Scott_650

    Scott_650

    Scott_650

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    50
    Another vote for an upscale X-Ray. Something about those clear payload sections just looks right.
     
    prfesser and Tyler P like this.
  5. Dec 14, 2018 #155

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    140
    I always liked the Centuri Snipe Hunter for that reason.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  6. Dec 14, 2018 #156

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    I assume that the new owners also purchased the trademarks and copyrights to Centuri? If that's the case--then bring back Centuri!

    Seriously, a nostalgia line of kits (from both companies early days) marketed under the Centuri brand name. This would help to differentiate them from the normal brand. These kits could be sold online only. The target demographic would be older rocketeers (BARs) looking to collect the kits of their childhood.

    Marketing them under the Centuri name makes it easier to target the advertising efforts, reducing costs and increasing profitability.

    BTW, has anyone else purchased one of the new Estes T-shirts available on their web site? I've literally been stopped in stores by men of a certain age. Always with big smiles and lots of great memories of the hobby.

    One of the keys to success for Estes may be in bringing back all that history--what better way than by co-branding with their former competitor, Centuri!
    Centuri Fly Forever.png
     
  7. Dec 14, 2018 #157

    kuririn

    kuririn

    kuririn

    BARGeezer TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,961
    Likes Received:
    417
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hawaii
    +1. I always thought the Centuri kits were way "cooler" than the Estes offerings.
    A lot of the old Centuri kits I remember flying as a squirt are available as "Retro Repros" at Semroc (erockets). These include the Li'l Herc, Recruiter, Defender, and more.
    Didn't pick up a shirt from the Estes website, but a few weeks ago picked up this one:
    https://www.zazzle.com/estes_aerospace_club_t_shirt-235024726035281681
    And I think I still have an iron on transfer somewhere. Cheers.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2018 #158

    neil_w

    neil_w

    neil_w

    When in doubt, add more rocket TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Messages:
    5,801
    Likes Received:
    698
    Location:
    Northern NJ
  9. Dec 14, 2018 #159

    lowga

    lowga

    lowga

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    316
    Likes Received:
    38
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Birmingham, AL
    When I was a kid back in the 1970's, our local hobby shops sold both Centuri and Estes. While most of us flew some models from both--we also quickly divided into two camps. You either had to be an Estes guy or a Centuri guy.

    I was Team Centuri all the way. I thought their designs were cooler, and looking back I was probably attracted to the artwork and packaging. Remember those silver foil decals that came with each of their rockets? Loved 'em.

    Plus Centuri had a lot of iron-on's for t-shirts and decals for the range box that they would send if you ordered kits or parts. Our hobby store owner, Mr. White also used to give us things from the company.

    Brand loyalty is a real thing. All these years later, if I see a Centuri logo or model at a launch, a big smile crosses my face.

    ESTES--BRING BACK CENTURI!

    Centuri Iron-On There are Flying Saucers INVERT.png
     
    Fattbank64 likes this.
  10. Dec 15, 2018 #160

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Teknofossil TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    A general answer to kits that I'd like to see Estes bring back is more of a broad answer: to loose the plastic nose cones and fins that have cheapened the product and bring back balsa parts. My Big Bertha, built in 1970 had balsa fins which I had to cut out and a balsa nose cone. Yes, I remember having to carefully cut out the fins, sanding the proper airfoil shape on the leading and trailing edges and then to apply multiple coats of sanding sealer to the fins and nose cone, letting dry, applying more sealer.. You old people like myself remember. Yeah, its easier and quicker (and less expensive) to have plastic ready to go parts. From my perspective the old way builds DIY skills, leading to more complex builds and the satisfaction that goes with the completed model.

    Kit wise, the original Gemini Titan kit.

    -Tom
     

    Attached Files:

    Fattbank64 likes this.
  11. Dec 15, 2018 #161

    GlenP

    GlenP

    GlenP

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,587
    Likes Received:
    140
    CenturiModelRockets.png

    another iron-on
     
  12. Dec 15, 2018 #162

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    286
    <smile> Kids today!

    Welcome to the forum Tom.

    I just got a couple of vintage Peck Polymer's kits from an eBay seller. I'd forgotten that "printwood" was a thing. I did not miss it. I am scanning in the plans and/or the printed balsa. I am tracing them into Fusion360 and and will let the CNC cut them out for me. And not only because I want to save the kits intact; I want the precision that my pre-teen hands didn't have, and that my middle-aged hands can no longer deliver.

    gipsymothparts.png

    While I agree that laser-cut parts tempt us to indolence and imprecision, I think that there is a place for pre-cut fins and centering rings.

    As for plastic nosecones (and tailcones and transitions); these are often more easily customized or repurposed than balsa, as a kit-basher I would have to say that I would miss them.

    edit: If you haven't already found these suppliers

    eRockets Balsa Nosecones

    Balsa Machining Service

    ASP Wooden Nosecones
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2018
  13. Dec 15, 2018 #163

    kuririn

    kuririn

    kuririn

    BARGeezer TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2016
    Messages:
    1,961
    Likes Received:
    417
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Hawaii
    I agree that doing things the old way requires more craftsmanship. However, there is a practical side that businesses must be cognizant of. I was just looking for a NC-80K nose cone for a clone build. The plastic one is selling for $6. The balsa one is $24. Guess which one I bought?
    The wheels of progress will inevitably turn, as oldtimers we just have to adapt, evolve, and incorporate them into our hobby. Cheers.
     
  14. Dec 15, 2018 #164

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Teknofossil TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
     
  15. Dec 15, 2018 #165

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Teknofossil TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    My "re-entry" into the rocketry world found a few vendors. I bought a few kits from JonRocket along with some parts to scratch build a Bertha from the original plans. (I see the kit evolved a little from the original besides laser cut fins and a plastic nosecone). Mars Snooper was a favorite from Estes as was the Centari Lazer X. Your airplane kit printed parts was interesting to see. Reminded me of some of the early kits my dad had. I agree, laser cut balsa is a great innovation. Die cut, or should I say "die crushed" from all those kits I built in the early 70s had a world of issues themselves. I quickly learned to keep an X-acto knife within reach.
     
  16. Dec 15, 2018 #166

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Teknofossil TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
     
  17. Dec 15, 2018 #167

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Tom Howe

    Teknofossil TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2018
    Messages:
    47
    Likes Received:
    10
    That must be a very large nose cone for a large model. I forget my body tube diameters but I'm guessing the 80 series were 2.5"? I could see why that was pricey. Yes, plastic has its place...
     
  18. Dec 15, 2018 #168

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    jlabrasca

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2016
    Messages:
    1,083
    Likes Received:
    286
    http://www.erockets.biz/body-tube-sizes/

    BT-80 will seem small at about the time that you start work on your L1 rocket. <g>

    Okay. I am not that old. Printwood was around at least into the late 1980s (about the time that I stopped paying attention).
     
  19. Dec 15, 2018 #169

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    706
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pasco, WA
    There are two different weights of 2.6" airframe BT80 and BT80H, the standard BT80 and PNC-80K nose cones are pretty light, light enough to fly a Maxi Alpha 3 or Exectutioner (original) on a D12-3. The BT80H and PNC-80K (available from Balsa Machining Service) is much heavier and those same models build with it would probably be marginal at best (by my mindsim). I use a fair amount of both weights as the 3" balsa block from Hobby Lobby and my LHS allow me to turn my own boattails/tailcones and nose cones easily
     
  20. Dec 16, 2018 #170

    Fattbank64

    Fattbank64

    Fattbank64

    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2018
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    14
    Bring back those nostalgia prices.
     
  21. Dec 16, 2018 #171

    lw_hughes

    lw_hughes

    lw_hughes

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    3
    Is anyone from Estes on this forum I wonder? I emailed them to ask bout kits that may make a come back. Is there a good thread about the history of the company? Didn’t they have a fire back in the 90s that destroyed a lot of original tooling? If it’s family owned again, that’s a good thing. I recently bought the little joe kit and was impressed with its unboxing (old nasa and Centauri info sheets). The more that is produced on shore I’m willing to pay for that increase in quality. I assume it’s mostly produced in China. Would love to see more scale stuff, space x and even Russian rockets.
     
  22. Dec 16, 2018 #172

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    706
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pasco, WA
    John Boren aka Jumpjet is here occasionaly and generally watches many Estes specific threads.
     
  23. Dec 16, 2018 #173

    samb

    samb

    samb

    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    I think Jumpjet has always maintained that his participation here is as a fellow hobbyist rather than his professional capacity as the Chief Designer at Estes. He has on occasion dropped tantalizing hints about upcoming offerings.
     
  24. Dec 16, 2018 #174

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    rharshberger

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,161
    Likes Received:
    706
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Pasco, WA
    True fact.
     
  25. Dec 16, 2018 #175

    samb

    samb

    samb

    Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    3,580
    Likes Received:
    75
    Location:
    Plano, TX
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  26. Jan 9, 2019 #176

    BrianS

    BrianS

    BrianS

    Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2018
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Anderson Indiana
    I am in the process of building a bt80 der red max. with dual d12 motors and decals from stickershock.when I figure out how to post pictures i will.
     
    Tyler P likes this.
  27. Jan 9, 2019 #177

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Tyler P

    Nom-nom-nom... TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2018
    Messages:
    379
    Likes Received:
    105
    Gender:
    Male
    Even though I'm a fan of the PSII series of kits, I'm starting to think that scratch-building your own is the best way to get larger versions of rockets you really like. That is, except for the really complicated ones, although skilled builders do well with those too.

    There's two sides to our hobby. Those who want the easier kit form and those who like to design and or modify. I'm a bit of both of those descriptions.
     
    OC-Patrick, Jozef and BDB like this.
  28. Jan 14, 2019 #178

    DankMemes

    DankMemes

    DankMemes

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    May 15, 2018
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    39
    Would like to see the bring back the ARV condor that was a fun build, and if done correctly was fun to fly
     
  29. Jan 14, 2019 #179

    TimothyG

    TimothyG

    TimothyG

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2018
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    67
    Gender:
    Male
    The plastic R2D2 rocket with bottom eject fly crazy as hell and was a blast to fly with my family growing up.
     
    kmcquown likes this.
  30. Jan 17, 2019 #180

    DRAGON64

    DRAGON64

    DRAGON64

    Forum Supporter TRF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,016
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    Toney, AL
    Estes Pathfinder #1997 42" tall, flies on "The Mighty D12"
     

Share This Page