Writer Needs Early Estes Information

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Peter

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Gentlemen, My wife is a published adult fiction writer and after observing my love for all things rocketrey will be incorporating / writing a scene involving Estes rockets. Can anyone tell me if the "Fatboy" was around in 1968? If not I may suggest that she mentions the Alpha? What other Estes models were popular for young boys in 1968 and did they have starter kits? Her character (in 1968) is talking about how he wishes he was home (instead of Nam) for his little brothers' birthday to buy him an Estes _____. Thanks in advance! - Peter
 

vjp

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Peter, if I had been a bit older in '68 (I didn't get into rocketry until about 6th grade, around '74) and my birthday was coming up, I'd definitely have an Estes "Mars Snooper" on the short list. If I was a somewhat older, more experienced modeler, with a few finished rockets under my belt, a "Saturn 1" would have been my dream rocket.

Check out the online 1968 Estes catalog, at:
https://www.ninfinger.org/~sven/rockets/nostalgia/68estcat.html

...it might be useful for background to help with your wife's endeavor.
 

vjp

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Doh! That'll teach me to read other's posts first!:D
 

dtomko

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Ha! Great minds . . .
I got a Saturn 1B for Christmas in, I think, 1970, when I was 8. I waited a year or so before building it.
DT
 

Steward

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There's plenty to choose from in the 68 catalog...

Personally I had the "Astron X-ray"... but always wanted the "Big Bertha"... it's popularity came from the size of the rocket... A bit hefty for the time period... Then again I was eleven years old then...

Good Luck...!!!
 

JStarStar

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That was the first Estes catalog I got my hands on.

The Uprated Saturn I (later known as the Saturn 1B) was definitely the ultimate kit in that catalog (they hadn't introduced the Saturn V yet - that arrived in 1969). The Mars Snooper was also a cool kit I wanted to get, but at the time realized I probably didn't have the "chops" to build.

I knew my limitations (I was 10 at the time), and never got that Saturn 1B kit (although I do have the later 1/100 version).

Let's see, out of that catalog I eventually built the X-Ray, the Sky Hook, the Alpha, the Streak, the Scout, the Camroc/Delta, the Sprite, the Falcon, the Drifter, the Farside, the Big Bertha, the Honest John, the WAC Corporal and the V-2... Big fun!

:D :D

In '68, the starter kits mainly came with Alphas, I think...

the next rockets most kids wanted to try were usually Big Berthas, Sky Hooks, Drifters, Snoopers and Tridents ... then, Space Planes and Falcons, because gliders looked cool!! :D
 

shreadvector

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Big Bertha: yes.

FatBoy: NO.



Originally posted by Peter
Gentlemen, My wife is a published adult fiction writer and after observing my love for all things rocketrey will be incorporating / writing a scene involving Estes rockets. Can anyone tell me if the "Fatboy" was around in 1968? If not I may suggest that she mentions the Alpha? What other Estes models were popular for young boys in 1968 and did they have starter kits? Her character (in 1968) is talking about how he wishes he was home (instead of Nam) for his little brothers' birthday to buy him an Estes _____. Thanks in advance! - Peter
 

tdn

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I'd go with the Trident. From a literary standpoint it scans better than Big Bertha or Mars Snooper, or even Fat Boy. Even readers who are not familiar with the hobby will relate to something as cool sounding as "Trident."
 

Fore Check

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Why not give the rocket a military tie-in and make it an Honest John?
 

loopy

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Has your wife written anything we might recognize? The idea is really cool, by the way.
 

jpasqual

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My kit of choice would have been the Saturn 1 - Wow what a kit - only problem was the $$$ back then - I had to rob my piggy bank many of times to get some of those rockets
 

Stymye

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the saturn is the pinnacle yes,

but the mars snooper, trident..ect would be more
like something my older brother would have built with me.
and that would have been just fine. and probably more realistic to the story don't you think?
 

gpoehlein

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Originally posted by tdn
I'd go with the Trident. From a literary standpoint it scans better than Big Bertha or Mars Snooper, or even Fat Boy. Even readers who are not familiar with the hobby will relate to something as cool sounding as "Trident."
Well, I wasn't flying in '68, but I started flying in '72 and I did go with the Trident. In fact, it is one of the only two rockets I built back then that still survives today - a bit worse for wear, it needs to be re-filleted, a new shock cord and chute and a new paint job, but she's definitely still "spaceworthy". :D

Greg
 

shreadvector

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Once again, I say "Big Bertha".

WHY?

Because I read his question.

This is a passing reference in a book that takes place in 1968. It is not a book aimed at "Rocket Geeks". The average person on the street old enough to remember 1968 is not going to remember the Estes Trident or the Estes Saturn 1B. They do stand a VERY good chance or remembering (or at least hearing about a friend's) Estes Big Bertha.

Originally posted by Peter
Gentlemen, My wife is a published adult fiction writer and after observing my love for all things rocketrey will be incorporating / writing a scene involving Estes rockets. Can anyone tell me if the "Fatboy" was around in 1968? If not I may suggest that she mentions the Alpha? What other Estes models were popular for young boys in 1968 and did they have starter kits? Her character (in 1968) is talking about how he wishes he was home (instead of Nam) for his little brothers' birthday to buy him an Estes _____. Thanks in advance! - Peter
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by shreadvector
Once again, I say "Big Bertha".

WHY?

Because I read his question.

This is a passing reference in a book that takes place in 1968. It is not a book aimed at "Rocket Geeks". The average person on the street old enough to remember 1968 is not going to remember the Estes Trident or the Estes Saturn 1B. They do stand a VERY good chance or remembering (or at least hearing about a friend's) Estes Big Bertha.
I was 11 in 1968, and I never heard of the Estes Big Bertha until about 5 months ago. It's probably not very important which model she mentions, as long as it was actually in production during the time period that the book is set in.
 

powderburner

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shreadvec is correct, the "classic" Estes kits of the day were stuff like the Bertha, the Alpha, the Apogee, the Streak

Big Bertha is indeed a highly recognizeable name, so much so that one of the competitors named their copy of this design the 'Big Betty' (even copied the name as closely as they could)
 

JRThro

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Originally posted by powderburner
Big Bertha is indeed a highly recognizeable name, so much so that one of the competitors named their copy of this design the 'Big Betty' (even copied the name as closely as they could)
Kinda like that same competitor has a "Gamma Ray" payloader, while Estes has an "X-Ray" payloader?
 

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