Yet Another A.C.M.E Spitfire

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kcobbva

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Day one.
So here is yet another A.C.M.E. Spitfire. Not another one for me; but the board. Let’s face it, I watched Mushtang begin his build, chatted with him, and shortly thereafter bought one myself! This thing is just too cool NOT to try to build it! I’m not sure if my build will have any value add; compared to his thread,https://www.rocketryforum.com/showt...itfire-Beer-Can-Version-Build-Thread-FINISHED, but it helps me document my own steps, so here we go. This may be a slow build as I have alot going on; but I hope to have it ready to fly by July 16th when I take my Cubscouts out to launch Rockets with NOVAAR.

The hardest thing I had to do was decide HOW I wanted this to look. Obviously Mushtang did the beer can design and that thing rocks. I also found a thread that has all sorts of cool designs: https://www.rocketryforum.com/showt...itfire-Photo-collage!&highlight=acme+spitfire They are all great and really made it hard to decide. Especially when I saw the Captain America one. Pretty cool. Finally I’ve decided on the copper colored design.

To that end, I wanted to put rivets on the rocket so I ran to Michaels and picked up some craft gems, taped them to a package, took outside and then primed them. About that time I heard my wife in the front yard talking with a neighbor and walked up to join in. After a while we started talking about our new watering system and wondered how much coverage our side garden got; so she called it up on the Iphone and started that zone. I walked over watching it and then glanced down the hill. I didn’t realize we had a zone head down the hill, which was spraying directly on the gems I’d just finished painting! Nutz. Oh well, get all the kinks out right away and hopefully the rest of the build will go smooth!
gems.jpg

The next step has you using an old 24mm engine to insert into the long motor tube up to ¼”; then pull. I didn’t have a used one, so I just grabbed a D and went to town.
motortube.jpg

Next is the tedious task of cutting out the four body wraps. After that, you need to ensure the bottom is aligned with the bottom of the tube and then draw a straight black line the length of the tube on one side and then a straight red line the length of the tube on the opposite side. This will help align everything later on.
blackline.jpgredline.jpg

Once done, I carefully wrapped the first wrap on the body tube, flushed the bottom, and then marked the top all the way around. As you can imagine from pictures on the board, this line will not be straight across the tube. Then carefully and slowly begin to spin the tube while lightly cutting the surface with a fresh Xacto blade. Go light and slow. It took about 5 passes for the tube to pop apart. Then lightly sand smooth and also along the inside to remove any burs.
section1.jpg

At that point, I also sanded the main body tube smooth and remove burs, then continued the process with wraps 2 – 4. NOTE: The bottom of wrap 2 will flush up with the odd cut at the bottom of the body tube, where wrap 1 ended and so forth.
Here’s what four looks like laid out with the others cut.
sections1-3done.jpg

And again transferring the top line to the tube.
aligning4.jpg

Finally all tubes are cut.
1-4.jpg

Finally a dry fit Black to Red/Red to black/ etc, and done for the night
dryfit.jpg
 
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Mushtang

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Looking good so far! I can't wait to see how it turns out.

I've never simulated rivets on a rocket but I really like the way those things look when it's all finished.

You're posting lots of pictures, I like that! Keep it up please! Ha ha.
 

kcobbva

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So a little yard work then a little further prep. Mushtang was dead on when he said wipe down the black Centering Rings. They'll leave a mess otherwise. Got the first ring cut set and marked. You can tell Jim put a lot of thought into this kit with the alignment marks etc on the CRs to align to the Red mark. Pretty cool design.
ring1.jpg

I also painted the rivets this morning. I'm probably going to go buy more because I DON'T like the look with those that had primer on them. I cut a short strip of others from the package that are too big to use and painted them as an alternate to get an idea of what looked better. I definitely prefer those w/o the primer. The larger rivets have no primer and the smaller one's I'd planned to use have primer. They may present a neat look somewhere on the finished rocket; but for now, I prefer the former.
no primer.jpgw-primer.jpg

Off to Church.
 

jflis

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Looking great :). Can't get enough of A.C.M.E. threads!
 

kcobbva

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Thanks Jim! I'm trying. So I completed the first step connecting CR1. I can say fitting the CR's into the body tube 1/2 of the way is difficult at best. but, we'll get there. I ran out to help my daughter finish hers; https://www.rocketryforum.com/showthread.php?134287-Daughters-Phoenix-Bird-thread and then completed gluing in the first CR in Section 1. Now sit back and let it dry. I hate drying times! :)
first cr glued.jpg
 

kcobbva

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Before I left to work, I ran down and glued the bottom ring to the outside of section 1 for the lower shroud. When I returned, I deviated slightly from the script and threw a few pieces of scrap balsa in for strength on the lower wrap.
Step 13.jpgstep 14.jpg

Once that was done I glued the shroud on and after it dried, trimmed it flush.
step 15.jpgstep 16.jpg

Ok. So I think I said it before, but will reiterate. It is difficult, at least to me, to line up the CRs 1/2 way in each tube at the coupling spot. I'm getting there, but it's not something you just put in place and move along!
step 17.jpgStep 18.jpg
 

Mushtang

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Ok. So I think I said it before, but will reiterate. It is difficult, at least to me, to line up the CRs 1/2 way in each tube at the coupling spot. I'm getting there, but it's not something you just put in place and move along!
Agreed! That's why I glued the CRs into the tops of the body sections, let them dry, and then put them onto the tall motor tube. Except the last one.
 

kcobbva

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Agreed! That's why I glued the CRs into the tops of the body sections, let them dry, and then put them onto the tall motor tube. Except the last one.
ahh. Maybe I need to do a little more reading! :) Smart man!
 

Mushtang

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Yeah, check out posts 12, 35, and 38 of my build. 38 is where it went wrong and I put a CR in the wrong way. Oops. Don't do that.
 

kcobbva

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Yeah, check out posts 12, 35, and 38 of my build. 38 is where it went wrong and I put a CR in the wrong way. Oops. Don't do that.
That I remember well. I left a launch rod inserted throughout the build to ensure proper alignment. Just ran home, finished tube four and off to get the kids
 

kcobbva

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A little more progress today. I got the upper CR installed and glued in successfully. No issues getting section 4 nor that CR in place.
Step 19.jpgstep 20.jpg

I then cut out the fins. Nice strong balsa here! I had absolutely NO FLAWS with any of the balsa stock. Very nice!
step 21.jpg

After gluing the seams well, I then put some elmers wood filler around all the seams and smoothed everything out. Finally stuck one fin on and am calling it a night.
step 22.jpgstep 23.jpg
 

K'Tesh

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I still think that this should be included in every ACME Spitfire build thread...



If/When I get my hands on one of these, I'm going to try to replicate this paint scheme, complete with the rivets. Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong. The actual kit does not have the (red) nozzle at the bottom right?
 
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Mushtang

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If/When I get my hands on one of these, I'm going to try to replicate this paint scheme, complete with the rivets.
Do it! Do it today!

Oh, and correct me if I'm wrong. The actual kit does not have the (red) nozzle at the bottom right?
It doesn't, but yours can be the first... unless you're not exactly a rocket scientist.
 

kcobbva

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K'Tesh - Agreed with Mushtang! The nozzle would be a VERY EASY addition to this rocket! and DO IT as soon as you get back across the POND! We know you are stuck for now.
 

K'Tesh

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K'Tesh - Agreed with Mushtang! The nozzle would be a VERY EASY addition to this rocket! and DO IT as soon as you get back across the POND! We know you are stuck for now.
I don't want to wait that long...
 

kcobbva

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So my 12" launch lug arrived today and I got a second fin attached. Still moving along. Btw, my goal is to mimic (as much as possible) FATBOYs build: https://www.rocketryforum.com/showt...-Steampunk-style&highlight=steampunk+spitfire . Don't think there's much of a chance of getting to his level of detail...or that of Mushtang's Beer machine...but will give it a shot and be happy with whatever comes out of it as long as it flies UP, deploys, and comes down. :)
 

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"There is always room in the world for more ACME Spitfire build threads."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
 

kcobbva

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Well sitting here waiting on a process to complete so I started looking at the work I completed last night. Got all the fins installed with a little sanding to conform to the shroud.
finson.jpgfinson2.jpg

Then I started on the nose cone shroud. That one wasn't as easy as the rear shroud, trying to get it to form a cone without bending the paper; but eventually it came out well. One it'd had dried, I covered the inside with glue and let it sit overnight. This morning I covered it with a second helping of glue to sturdy the material.
noseconestart.jpg noseconeglue.jpg

So as I begin nearing the painting stage i find myself in a thought process dilemma. I have three colors to paint different parts. However I am not NEARLY as good with a small paint brush as FATBOY is, as can be seen through his threads. I considered painting parts seperately; then gluing together, but that means glue on paint and I don't believe it will bond properly like that. It's been a long time since I have tried it and simply don't recall the outcome. Sure would make it easier. Any thoughts? Else, I'll paint it all with spray and then go to town with paint brushes.
 

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... I considered painting parts seperately; then gluing together, but that means glue on paint and I don't believe it will bond properly like that. It's been a long time since I have tried it and simply don't recall the outcome. Sure would make it easier. Any thoughts?...
I think it depends on the type of paint and type of glue, but generally it is something I would avoid unless you remove the paint from the surfaces to be glued.
 

kcobbva

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I think it depends on the type of paint and type of glue, but generally it is something I would avoid unless you remove the paint from the surfaces to be glued.
Agreed; which would look a lot worse than a few brush strokes here and there. I believe I am going to be trying your method. Sure wish I'd fully read your thread PRIOR to purchasing the spray cans! Oh well. More for another project some day!! :)
 

kcobbva

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Got a little further tonight. I glued the final CR into the nosecone and ensured it was set exactly as described in the instructions.
step 23a.jpg

The next step had me cutting a toothpick and placing it on the body of the rocket, giving the nosecone a centering place to attach. Gotta hand it to Jim; pretty slick method here. I can't help but be curious on how many things he tried before coming up with a toothpick! This is just an engineering marvel! My only issue was it said to cut the toothpick 1/2". Mine didn't pass the outer edge of the body tube; so I had to go a little over 3/4". Hoping that won't affect much. We need a praying hand icon here as that's what I'm doing! Once that was dry i fit the clay into the nosecone and pressed it in tight.
step 23b.jpg step 24.jpg


Finally I placed the nosecone on to see how it looks. Not too shaby.
step 25.jpg

Now I'm going to sit back and start thinking about setting the launch lug in place and other things to add to make it look slick before painting. (...with a brush)
 

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Nice job, Kevin! Its looking perfect. The hard part is behind you now.
 

Mushtang

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Nice job on the build!!! You got all the parts on in the correct place (better than I did) and you now have a beautiful blank canvas to go nuts with. I can't wait to see what your result is.

Well done so far!
 

jflis

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Couple of interesting (well, to me...) things about the A.C.M.E. Spitfire... :)

- the toothpick (pin) is there to keep the nose cone from rotating. When flying the Proto it would be stable on one flight, then marginal or unstable the next... Took a while till I realized the orientation of the nose cone was critical... ...not many rockets that can make THAT claim... Lol

- you were concerned about bending the paper while forming the nose cone... ...no worries. This is one of those rockets where, the worse it looks, the better it looks.... :)

- for future builders, a tip on those centering rings (if they can even be CALLED "centering" ring...): push a pin into the center edge of the ring in 4-5 places. This will keep half the ring above the edge of the tube...

Great build!
 

K'Tesh

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Couple of interesting (well, to me...) things about the A.C.M.E. Spitfire... :)

- the toothpick (pin) is there to keep the nose cone from rotating. When flying the Proto it would be stable on one flight, then marginal or unstable the next... Took a while till I realized the orientation of the nose cone was critical... ...not many rockets that can make THAT claim... Lol

- you were concerned about bending the paper while forming the nose cone... ...no worries. This is one of those rockets where, the worse it looks, the better it looks.... :)

- for future builders, a tip on those centering rings (if they can even be CALLED "centering" ring...): push a pin into the center edge of the ring in 4-5 places. This will keep half the ring above the edge of the tube...

Great build!
Great Tip!

and +1 to the "Great build!" remark.
 

kcobbva

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Couple of interesting (well, to me...) things about the A.C.M.E. Spitfire... :)

- the toothpick (pin) is there to keep the nose cone from rotating. When flying the Proto it would be stable on one flight, then marginal or unstable the next... Took a while till I realized the orientation of the nose cone was critical... ...not many rockets that can make THAT claim... Lol

- you were concerned about bending the paper while forming the nose cone... ...no worries. This is one of those rockets where, the worse it looks, the better it looks.... :)

- for future builders, a tip on those centering rings (if they can even be CALLED "centering" ring...): push a pin into the center edge of the ring in 4-5 places. This will keep half the ring above the edge of the tube...

Great build!
Interesting input here Jim! Well done on coming up with the toothpick. I also like the pushpin idea! Hmmm. Will that work on the macme shrew as well? I hope on time to give that a whirl as well; and mow likely the Nantucket lighthouse. Pretty cool lineup you have designed!!
 

KenECoyote

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I think it looks a bit crooked. :wink:

J/K! Looks terrific! :grin:
 
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