What makes this Big Bertha so desirable?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

kenobi65

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
892
Reaction score
1
Originally posted by Super Sabre
Is this Vern Estes ? Is this really the first Big Bertha ? Year photo taken ?
Well, that sure looks like Vern. The lack of a crew cut, and the graying sideburns, probably put it more recent than the 1960s, but that's guesswork.

And the BB in the photo looks an awful lot like the pictures of the original BB that Vern has, as shown in Launch Magazine issue #1 (he still has that original, which he himself built as a kitbashed Astron Ranger).
 

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,155
Reaction score
2
Originally posted by Super Sabre
Can someone provide some information about this picture ? Is this Vern Estes ? Is this really the first Big Bertha ? Year photo taken ?




Thanks for any info provided !!

SS
Ummm yeah, I took the pictures. It is Vern, it is the original Big Bertha and it was taken in the Early to Mid 80s at a NARAM most likely in Allentown PA.
 

Super Sabre

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
405
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by rokitflite
Ummm yeah, I took the pictures. It is Vern, it is the original Big Bertha and it was taken in the Early to Mid 80s at a NARAM most likely in Allentown PA.
That's great Rokitflite !! Thanks for the info (and for posting the picture earlier in this old thread I dug up from 2004). This is one great photograph.

Thanks, SS
 

RoyGreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by stymye
I thought they were always plastic?
They started coming with plastic nose cones around 1972 or 73. About the time the Goonybirds came out.

Note that the plastic nose was almost a 1/2" shorter than the balsa nose cone. (You can get an original shaped balsa cone from Semroc)

Also, there were two types of plastic cones. The originals were injection-molded, two piece, with a back plate that took a screw-eye. The second one was the blow-molded version we're familiar with.

Also, due to the wear and tear on the plumb grinders Estes used to make the balsa cones, the shape of the cones tended to vary, at least as far as O.D was concerned.
 

RoyGreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by Steve
Believe me - I wish I had some kits that would sell for that much. :)

I think sandman's right about the model's ugliness being it's charm. It's not futuristic, or slick-looking like some others - but it came out in what, the mid 60's? (Even earlier, if you count the Ranger). I won't argue that it's not ugly, but it's size and shape make it a good outlet for some creative decorating - if you're into that. To each his own...

S..
wowee... That's exactly how I painted my second or third Bertha back in the day, except my nose cone was black. I used painted Scotch Magic Transparent tape for the stripes.
 

RoyGreen

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
1,288
Reaction score
0
(grrr... Can't attach in an edit, and can't delete my own post to start over. I HATE this software.)


Anyway, here's a pic of me and my friends and some of our rockets. Summer '69 timeframe. The Bertha I'm holding is mine, minus the spiral stripes I soon applied.
 

Fishhead

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,515
Reaction score
170
Originally posted by Super Sabre
That's great Rokitflite !! Thanks for the info (and for posting the picture earlier in this old thread I dug up from 2004). This is one great photograph.

Thanks, SS
Here's that same Bertha in 2005 at NARCON.
 

Fishhead

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,515
Reaction score
170
And finally, one I'm sure Scott will kill me for.
 

kenobi65

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
892
Reaction score
1
Originally posted by Fishhead
Here's that same Bertha in 2005 at NARCON.
I note that the fins (esp. at the bottom) are rounder than the current BB design. IIRC, they were rounder in some of the pictures of the Ranger I've seen in old Estes catalogs. Is it accurate that they were originally rounder than they are now, or is that just wear and tear?
 

Jirimar

Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2006
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
man, i can't tell you how many things i bought off ebay for Nostalgia purposes

but recently i bought a Phoenix rocket cause of the memory of my dad and i launching and losing one.
 

Super Sabre

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2006
Messages
405
Reaction score
0
Originally posted by Jirimar
man, i can't tell you how many things i bought off ebay for Nostalgia purposes
Me too, it's like an obsession sometimes.
 

rokitflite

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
5,155
Reaction score
2
OK,
This thread is forcing me to make a decal sheet to match the yellow, black & white roll pattern scheme of the early 80s Bertha. If I EVER get the model finished I will post pictures.:rolleyes:
 

Fishhead

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2009
Messages
3,515
Reaction score
170
Originally posted by kenobi65
I note that the fins (esp. at the bottom) are rounder than the current BB design. IIRC, they were rounder in some of the pictures of the Ranger I've seen in old Estes catalogs. Is it accurate that they were originally rounder than they are now, or is that just wear and tear?
Based on an "up close and personal" observation, I'd say years of wear and tear.
 
Top