Whats a good first Mid Power Build

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Jun 6, 2011
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Good day.I need some advice.I have built lots of LP models but never a mid power.Whats a good starter kit.
Anything from Madcow in the 29mm MMT range. Indeed LOC, Madcow, and others. Just stick to 29mm which can bring you from E to G or even low H. Or 38mm and make sure you have a 29mm adaptor.
Aerotech models are popular. But they are special in construction. So they don't teach techniques you may need later... for other kits. Nonetheless they are fine!

Just SO many good choices....
Look at Jon Rocket, or Apogee. Look for kits in the 29mm MMT range (E-G), or 38mm MMT range with a $30 adapter).

Even Estes Pro Series which have tremendous discounts at times.
Good day.I need some advice.I have built lots of LP models but never a mid power.Whats a good starter kit.

I started with the Loc Graduator. It's a simple 3 Fin design that can go up on everything from D12-3 to a G. It has a 29mm native motor mount and a 24mm adapter. Makes it very good for small and large fields and "Growing" through motors.
The Estes PS-II Kits are also very good, the Sahara will go up on everything from a small E to a G and is a cheaper option.
I have built a couple PML Tiny Pterodactyls, I think it is a great kit to build.
You can go cheap and try to score one of the Estes PSII line of kits from their website (if any are left).
I have always liked the AeroTech kits, especially the Initiator. :wink:
little surprised that no one has mentioned the Estes Big Daddy or the Executioner. sure they use 24mm motors when built stock, but that still gets into the F impulse range motors.
Estes Star Orbiter is probably my favorite recommendation in this area right now. You could build it in a couple hours, or really take your time but all the basics are there and the cost is amazingly low.
Estes Pro Series II builder series are so cheap, all of them. The Panavia (or a Partizon built with 2 tubes) comes to 14.5 oz painted which is about the largest to nicely launch on the F15-6 blackpowder motors and also accepts up to about H151's.
I just nabbed a Trajector to be my first MPR, to build with a John Pursley skin.

I also really like the North Coast Rocketry kits (SA14 Archer, Lance Delta).
You can go cheap and try to score one of the Estes PSII line of kits from their website (if any are left).

I would second that. I have a PSII Nike Smoke that has flown twice so far on F and G motors with great flights, and I just picked up a Ventris and a Mega Der Red Max from Hobbylinc for a great price and will be building them soon. The Ventris kits was the cheapest at $30.
Always liked Madcow and LOC kits,they come with chute protector and chute(Madcow)LOC kits come with chutes
.Only thing you would need besides epoxy or wood glue would be rail buttons.Best quality for your money.That's important for me.I don't care for the cheap chutes and thinner tubes that Estes give you and in some cases you get that rubber band shock cord and trifold shockcord attachment.Nothing against Estes as I have many low power kits and enjoy and still build them today.But there's no comparison between them and Madcow or LOC.
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Hello fellow Canadian,

Many great options mentioned you can't go wrong. My first MPR was AeroTech Arreaux and I would make the same choice again if I did it over. https://www.allrocketengines.ca/Rockets/Arreaux

If you do purchase the Arreaux, I would modify two things.

One, don't build it with the engine hook but use a retainer instead. https://www.allrocketengines.ca/Build/Motor-Retainers/29-mm-plastic

Two, pickup a second coupler and install it on the booster, then install the one that comes with the kit with the black bulkhead and screw up far enough in the payload section so you can pack your recovery gear. This will save your rocket from zippering, but you have to be careful in packing the chute because of the coupler. I have never had a failure since I did this and when it zippers it just puts a dent in the coupler. https://www.allrocketengines.ca/Build/Couplers/1.9
I know you asked about a kit, but do not rule out building your own. They build the same, just bigger.

A favored LP kit can be up-scaled easily and inexpensively. The Mega Bertha and Mega Alpha are just that, the originals up-scaled to a BT80 tube. BT80 and 2.56" are effectively the same, with 2.56" being of a heavier wall.

Open Rocket can be downloaded for free, and there are LOTS of files out there to work with.
What follows are my opinions...no empirical basis, no facts, just opinions...

1) Pick a mid-power kit that will teach you building techniques that can act as a stepping stone to high-power. My criticism of the Estes PSII kits is their use of rubber bands & the "tea-bag" method of connecting the shock cord to the body tube. Those are low-power building techniques that aren't really going to help with mid- to high-power.

2) With #1 in mind, you don't necessarily want to job to totally alien materials & glues right away. Save the fiberglass & epoxy stuff for high-power. You want this to be a gradual learning curve, not a steep slope up (or down...).

3) Evaluate how big your flying field is, and what motors you can put into it. You may have a small field, in which case you could still fly big rockets on a G (or even an H, potentially). No point in getting a smaller kit, only to have it sail away (but the Jolly Logic Chute release could be helpful with this).

So, with that it mind...I would recommend you focus on 2.6" to 4" diameter kits, and I'm pretty much going to echo everything everybody said above about Madcow &/or LOC kits. Those Mercury kits look cool, I've never bought any.

No one has mentioned any Binder Design kits, I'll post a link to the 3" kits below. These kits are fantastic in that pretty much everything you need to fly is included with the kit, and the instructions are incredibly detailed & helpful. The instructions even say to call or email the owner if you have questions at any point, and Mike Fisher is on these forums quite often, so, I highly recommend these to anybody looking to get a start in mid- to high- power and is looking to learn modeling techniques for these rockets.

I'll second Binder Design kits... Awesome Designs... Great Materials... Excellent Support!!!

Emailing Mike, or messaging him here is better than the phone though. Machine shops are noisy environments, and hearing a phone (or heariong someone on the phone) in one isn't always the easiest thing to do in one.
Since he's in Canada, anything from a US supplier is going to be $$$ to ship, if they even ship to Canada at all.

I'll echo and distill what's been said above. Target something with a 29mm motor mount.
allrocketengines.ca has everything you need, very easy to browse their mid-power rockets.
Also, sunwardhobbies.ca has some supplies as well and also an excellent CTI vendor north of the border.

Pick one that has the "it" factor for you to start with. You'll be buying more down the road.
My first true mid power rocket was the Mercury Engineering Hijacker. I really like its features - TTW plywood fins, ripstop nylon parachute, and a baffle. Its features really led me into scratch building, of which my first was the Slipstream. It's more expensive now, though, and shipping to Canada might be an issue.

hijacker2 (1).JPG






My Mega Der Red Max is becoming one of my favorite rockets, and it's currently my only MPR rocket. Launched twice now on AT Single Use G40-7's.
I was gonna suggest a Mega Mosquito (if you can find one)...as it has through the wall fin construction... and takes a D or E engine...

But then there's also the Big Daddy (which I have not flown yet) that also can handle such sized engines...
LOC Precision:
Hi Tec

Just about any simple offering from Madcow's cardboard 2.6" line (simple being 3 or 4 fins and no wings), and maybe even their smaller 2.6" fiberglass models like the Goblin or Piranha, or smaller 3" models as well.. Little John maybe.

All should be light enough for an 'E' but able to take a 'G' if you have the room.

Or pick up one of Wildman's "Sport" kits. Built light enough it can take an 'E' and loves to fly on 'G's. They are fiberglass, 29mm MMT, 54mm airframe, through the wall fins. I built mine heavy and it is a low flyer on high thrust 'F's but flies great on 'G's.

And of course Estes PSII kits will fly low on 'E's and should take a 'G' as well. I have a Partizon built, but not flown. And one of each of the others (Argent, Ventris, Leviathon) stowed away for when I feel like building em, or selling em.

I love the Big Daddy, but I wouldn't consider it MPR. Even though built stock it is made to handle 'E's. I have been a little wary to put mine up on an 'F'. Not worried that the rocket can't handle the motor.. but it sure is light and will drift quite a ways. Unless you have the JLCR or course, which I don't. It loves 'E's though, I chased it for a quarter mile on an E20. But it was pretty darn windy. Went about as straight up as it could, then deployed and drifted...then it drug through the dirt. I have another being built along with a Mega Mosquito.

Mikey D
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I personally like PSII kits as mid power work-horses.

They fly great on F/Gs, and are good for practicing high power techniques.
The very fact that they Aren't thickwalled like the Aerotech's or Loc's makes me slow down and build them carefully if I want to stick an H or hi-G in them.

For example, I'm learning more converting a set of PSIIs for Hi-power flight than I did building my L1!
Welcome Humma,

Most have mentioned their preferences, and you'll see the same names come up; Estes PSII series, Madcow, Binder, and LOC, with a few for Aerotech's kits.

It's true, they all pretty much build the same. The only real difference you'll see from the LPR kits you've built is the shock cord mounting (and the parts being larger!) . Plywood is used quite a bit, TTW (Thru the Wall) fin mounting is also popular (and strong!). You'll be using a different style motor retainer, and maybe even rail buttons..

Madcow and a few other have their manuals online for review. https://www.rocketreviews.com/ is also good place to do your research. And https://www.allrocketengines.ca/ will help you out. As well as https://coastrocketry.com/ for your kit & supplies.

Finding a club locally might be an issue, but being in SK, I'm sure you have pu-lenty of room to fly!!

My 2 cents would be any of the Madcow 2.6" dia kits, any of the Binder 2.6" kits, or the smaller LOC kits, and in that order. Allrocketengines sell PML kits, but wait on those..
My advice is to compile all the recommendations and check them out based on your budget and which one 's looks grabs you. Worst case is you decide you want another.
Any MAC Performance kit with a 29" MMT. They fit together perfectly out of the box. They can be built with 30-minute hobby store epoxy. They will get you familiar with using a retainer and thrust plate. Plus, Mike has everything accessory you need right there in his online store.

Granted, you will pay more for one of these than an Estes kit. But it is just one step up to fiberglass HPR after you build one of these.
Being a Canuck, he has a few limitations:
He will most likely be mail order, from a very small group of vendors (unless he goes with a US seller, and pays the duties, shipping, exchages, etc..)
Clubs will be few & far between.. But oh man, does he have a prime choice of launch fields! :D
CAR rules differ for HPR..
Being a Canuck, he has a few limitations:
He will most likely be mail order, from a very small group of vendors (unless he goes with a US seller, and pays the duties, shipping, exchages, etc..)
Clubs will be few & far between.. But oh man, does he have a prime choice of launch fields! :D
CAR rules differ for HPR..

Hmmm....this is something I haven't given much thought to.

How much more expensive does it become? and what vendors are available to y'all North of the Border?

Plus, no matter how hard I try, I will never be a Level 4. Little jealous down here.