What's the Difference Between Estes Brown and White Main Body Tubes?

mh9162013

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
681
Reaction score
428
Location
Western, KY
As the title says, what's the difference, besides the color and the finish on the tubing?

For example, some BT-60 Estes rockets use the brown main body tube, like the Red Nova and Big Bertha. But some BT-60 Estes rockets use the white main body tube, like the Mini Fat Boy (OOP), Patriot and Citation Patriot.

Just curious as to if there's a functional difference between the two types.
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
525
I recently bought a Cherokee E kit from Hobby Lobby. Its long tube was brown, its short tube was white. The brown tube had the very thin plastic finish on it, I don't think the white one did. Once I put them together and primed the rocket it all looks the same.
 

mh9162013

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
681
Reaction score
428
Location
Western, KY
I recently bought a Cherokee E kit from Hobby Lobby. Its long tube was brown, its short tube was white. The brown tube had the very thin plastic finish on it, I don't think the white one did. Once I put them together and primed the rocket it all looks the same.
Why do you think that kit was designed with two different main body tube "styles?" It's not the only one. For example, the Patriot has the 2 white main body tubes + that odd yellow tube. Why, I have no idea...
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
525
Why do you think that kit was designed with two different main body tube "styles?" It's not the only one. For example, the Patriot has the 2 white main body tubes + that odd yellow tube. Why, I have no idea...
Last fall I bought a couple of kits for kit bashing- a HiFlierXL and a MeanMachine. The tube couplers in these 2 kits were quite a bit different, I don't remember which was which but one coupler was twice as long as the other. It also seems that the HiFlierXL had white tubes and the MM has the brown tubes. More recently I bought the CherokeeE kit and a Vapor kit. There was a slight difference in the diameters of the motor mount tubes. Not enough to affect their use but enough that I could see it. But back to the couplers- at the time I bought those kits I asked here about it and the explanation was that Estes probably orders parts from a supplier and that's what they get, then when they order another batch of parts maybe they can only get white tubes. When they put my CherokeeE kit together maybe those were the parts that they had on the shelf at the time.
 

mh9162013

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
681
Reaction score
428
Location
Western, KY
hen they put my CherokeeE kit together maybe those were the parts that they had on the shelf at the time.
But I'm willing to bet, EVERY Cherokee E kit has the same mix of body tubes. I just did a search for that rocket on Google and I saw a pic showing the two different tube types you mentioned.

Also, with the Estes Patriot, every single kit (including mine) I've ever seen online has the 2 white tubes + 1 yellow tube.

Maybe your explanation applies to when the kit was first produced? Then once supply issues weren't a consideration (logistical or financial), Estes continued making their kits the same way just to add uniqueness to the kits?
 

SolarYellow

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2022
Messages
363
Reaction score
191
Location
First country to put a man on the moon.
I think I read somewhere that the white just means there's some Ti dioxide powder mixed into the glassine. Structurally and functionally, no difference. So it's whatever the tube mfr. had in stock, or was set up and running, etc., when that particular batch of tubes was made/purchased. I'm sure Estes' producing partner in China buys massive lots of tubing and probably cuts huge volumes of parts when they do a run.
 

prfesser

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 7, 2017
Messages
2,993
Reaction score
3,951
Location
Murray, KY
The color is in the paper itself, not the glassine; sand the glassine from a white tube and the underlying layer of paper is still white.

White paper has been bleached, hydrogen peroxide being the most common method. Brown, unbleached paper may be slightly stronger but I doubt that it makes any significant difference. It appears that the outer layer of a white body tube is white paper; inner layer(s) are brown. White is probably just for appearance.

Fun fact: Estes motor casings are made by New England Paper Tube (I think they're still the supplier) from high-strength unbleached kraft paper. Walls of such casings can be slightly thinner than are typically used for fireworks tubes.
 

mh9162013

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
681
Reaction score
428
Location
Western, KY
@mh9162013

If the brown is a concern, buy a replacement tube from BMS. Every body tube I've ever received from them has been white. They are also American Made.


LOL

The color of my main body tubes is not a concern. Brown (most kits), white (some kits), yellow (Patriot), black (Bandito and Alpha III)...I don't care about the color, just function. But I was curious as to whether there was a reason Estes use white tubes in certain kits and brown in others...especially when some kits have both for seemingly unknown reasons.
 

lakeroadster

Improvise, Adapt and Overcome
TRF Supporter
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
6,003
Reaction score
5,917
Location
Central Colorado
LOL

The color of my main body tubes is not a concern. Brown (most kits), white (some kits), yellow (Patriot), black (Bandito and Alpha III)...I don't care about the color, just function. But I was curious as to whether there was a reason Estes use white tubes in certain kits and brown in others...especially when some kits have both for seemingly unknown reasons.
It's rude to laugh at someone who is attempting to help you. You posted...
Just curious as to if there's a functional difference between the two types.

If you're concerned, I gave you an option.
 

mh9162013

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Apr 25, 2022
Messages
681
Reaction score
428
Location
Western, KY
It's rude to laugh at someone who is attempting to help you. You posted...


If you're concerned, I gave you an option.
I wasn't laughing at you. I was laughing at what you said and how it sounded like we were about to get into a political conversation (not your intent, I imagine).

I respect you and your contributions to this forum...as well as your status and seniority here compared to me. I apologize if I came across as ungrateful or disrespectful.
 

jrap330

Retired Engineer, NAR # 76940
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
798
Reaction score
258
Location
NJ
I recently bought a Cherokee E kit from Hobby Lobby. Its long tube was brown, its short tube was white. The brown tube had the very thin plastic finish on it, I don't think the white one did. Once I put them together and primed the rocket it all looks the same.
I never come across a kit w/. 2 different color tubes. It forces you to prime them. Of course most rocketeers prime. I concur white tube is heavy....a better tube.
 

bjphoenix

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
May 3, 2011
Messages
1,414
Reaction score
525
I never come across a kit w/. 2 different color tubes. It forces you to prime them. Of course most rocketeers prime. I concur white tube is heavy....a better tube.
I used to never prime, but that was years ago. Now I prime everything. Sometimes that means sanding the white nose cone, priming with white primer, then paint with white paint. On my older LOC kits if I wanted the nose cone white I just left it white.
 

Back_at_it

Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
1,430
Reaction score
1,377
Location
Chicago Burbs.
I've found that the white tubes seem to be softer. I build a Star orbiter that came with a white and brown tube and the white tube as noticeably softer that the brown. I replaced the white tube with a brown tube and added a coupler for strength. When I eventually used that white tube I sleeved it with a coupler as well.
 
Top