Yet another Barbie Rocket

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Well-Known Member
Jun 18, 2003
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Yesterday, while shoping with the on-site vendor (Performance Hobbies) for "daddy's" big booster rocket, my little rocket girl noticed some of the other kids looking in the Estes kits section...... Wanting to be just like them, she looked also...... Watching this, I figured it was time for yet another Barbie rocket..... We ended leaving with a bunch of body tubes and couplers AND a Big Bertha.......

So do we have any pink Big Berthas out there? I have not opened the kit, but I am sure there are some things she will be able to do herself (she's only 4, going on 14)...... At least she can "supervise" the construction for the parts that require sharp tools etc....... When it's done, I'll paint it (got to find the actual barbie pink.... might have to get lowe's to mix a quart and spray it with an airbrush) then I'll let her put the stickers on totally by herself...........

Here's the first pic....... more to come as we start construction
It is good to get the kids started in the hobby so early... :). You will get them hooked while they are young, then you have a future excuse to buy more rocket stuff...

I can hear it now....
"But hunny... You don't want to disapoint our daughter, do you?" :D

I have seen pink Big Bertha's in magazines, but never in real life.... However, I have seen plenty of Pink Rhinos :D.
Randy, she's adorable! Look at her - already in love with her "whocket". :) I bet she's got a better death grip on that kit then most men have on their HPR birds! :D

I don't have any kids of my own, but if I did I'm sure they'd be Power Ranger yellow or red (boys) and some other fun colors for the girls. Good stuff. One thing is for sure, at least now when she enters the dating age one of her criteria might have to be that the boy *has* to be into rockets! :D
Here is a baby "Barbie" bertha.
The paint is Krylon 3533 watermelon
when it drys it is a dead match for Barbie pink
Originally posted by eugenefl
when she enters the dating age one of her criteria might have to be that the boy *has* to be into rockets! :D

She only has 21 years left before she can date (I grounded her the day she was born from 25 years)...... Little boys are just plain bad, I know!!!!!

Anyway, on to rockets........ Tonight while working on my 3X bullpup, she asked when we were going to start on the "Barbie" rocket...... Well, no better time than now........

Here we are getting ready to start building..... Kitchen table all covered so we don't make mommy mad...... (mommy is gone to work)
Here we have completed the first few steps....... Motor tube assembly is drying, shock cord mount is drying and the fins are cut out and have been sanded......... (I am trying to decide if I put a coat of finishing epoxy on them or try Carl's "Dry rub")
One end of the body tube has been damaged (maybe from that iron grip Brianne had on it the day we got it)....... If I cut off 1/2" will this effect the stability too much?
Don't look so bad .... just iron it out with your finger a bit and use that end for the "motor" end .... the motor mount should stabilize that area as well as having the fins glued on that end ....

Your little girl is precious !

My grand-daughter is wanting a rocket too .... I think I'm going her a pink Alpha .... or maybe on of Semroc's easy jobs !
Instead of cutting off 1/2 inch of the end, smooth it out as best you can and wick in some thin CA glue or epoxy to strengthen the end of the tube. You could put this crimped section at the aft (bottom) end where the motor mount centering rings will strengthen the crimped section and just use a filler to level any of the cracks and wrinkles.

Bruce S. Levison, NAR #69055
Teflon and the others have a good approach, I think. Use that crimped end for the motor mount end, then wick in thin CA for strength. That said, I'd be dumfounded if the BB got unstable by losing just 1/2" of length. The fins are huge, and rear-swept. You'd almost certainly be fine with a shortened body tube. I'd swing test it first to be sure, but I'll bet it would be stable.

I have a five year old "rocket girl" myself. I find that she gets bored quickly with kits that have long delays built in (fin drying time, etc.). I have to get her re-excited about building rockets each session. She can hack it, and it's fun still, but it's effort. I find that Estes E2X kits and Quest quick-kits are a GREAT solution.

The Quest Falcon is particularly good. She broke open the bag, slaped the fine can and nose cone onto the body tube and started zooming it around the room immediately. Assembly is almost all knots and quick-drying plastic model cement. We built it in an afternoon, finished it with kit decals and her favorite "kitty" stickers, and flew it that weekend. It's not the kind of kit I'd pick for myself, but it's perfect for some Daddy-daughter rocketry.

Hope this helps,
Well, we (the little "supervisor" and I) have done some work on the rocket........ I ended up cutting off about 1/4" of the bodytube..... There still was some damage left, but the aft centering ring pushed it out just fine..........

Here she is ready for a coat of primer.......
And here is where we are at now........ Brianne says she wants it painted more than just one color.........

Hey Carl, get this........ She said quote "daddy, make it like the rocket on your computer with two colors, but with pink and purple not blue and yellow" (I have the pic of Carl's 38mm Deuce taking off as my wallpaper)
I'm really disappointed........ I went to Lowe's and spent $20 and got 2 quarts of custom paint........ (Fuschia and Pink Passion.... She picked them out)...... Went to Super Wal-Mart and spent $8 on a "Can of Air"....... Came home and set everything up...... Got me a pic of plex-glass....... Played with the spray adjustment for about a minute (I had to get 2-3 inches away)....... Then I started on the rocket......... I was painting no longer than 2-3 minutes and big rush of air came out...... After a few seconds (5-10) I looked down at the ground and found that I had knocked over the can of air...... I quickly turned it back up...... But from that point on the volume of air was a lot less and the amount of paint coming out was next to nothing.......

The can still feels like there still a good bit of air left....... So, did I tear-up my air brush?

Please help ........... Now I have to explain to my daughter how I messed everything up and can't finish her Barbie Rocket.......
It is doubtful that you messed up your airbrush, but knowing more about the can of air, the airbrush (model, type) and what kind of paint you were using would be a big help.

When the can of air tiped over, you likely drew some liquid up the tube which expanded *very* rapidly upon getting into the air line (this was the rush of "air" you heard) (i'm just guessing here, but this is probably it).

This would have also been **very** cold and could have easily frozen some paint in the brush. Cleaning with solvent should fix that up.

Another possibility is that the paint you're using is either too thick and/or had contaminants in it. I say this because another possible cause of the "air rush" would be a blockage that finally breaks loose under the pressure. This would have the same sound.

That you mention that you can barely get any pressure or paint flow due to low pressure tells me that the first senerio is of higher probability and you may have actually damaged the air valve in the can of air itself. I doubt that you dumped so much air that your can is empty, but there could still be some damage or obstruction in either the can itself, the feed line to the brush or the brush.

Worst case (i would guess) is that some paint got frozen inside the brush then dried in place, causing the obstruction. If you can dismantle the brush and/or soak the affected pieces in solvent, you should be ok.

keep us posted!
I don't think you've hurt your air bruch but you may have damaged the valve stem in the air can. I do really detest those cans of air. but if it's what you have to work with, I'd suggest getting at least two additional cans. Heres way!

all "Canned air" get really cold after a short amount of time in use. I've had them frost over in the summer time. When the air gets really cold it lowered the pressure so badly you can't get the paint to flow...."More air coming out then paint"
Here's how I got around this problem, Untill I bought a compressor.
Buy at least two cans of air. I usually went with 3 but at 8 bucks a pop that may be more than you'd like to spend. Get a baking pan that will hold at least two cans. Set up you spray area with some kind of table or stand that will keep the air supply up giving you as much air line as possible. Soak the cans in hot and I mean HOT tap water for about two or three minutes before begining the sparying. Have every thing ready..Paint in bottles already thinned, and handy, model mounted on some kind of turnable stand the will allow complete access to all sides of the model without physically having to walk around the model. Remove one of the cans of air, connect and spary until the pressure drops and/or you noctice ice or frost on the can, replace this first can back in the hot water, switch to the next can, and so on until you get the job done. It is important to keep the cans warm with hot water, not boiling, but hot, replace the water as it cools keeping the cans as warm as your tap water will.
At 8.00 buck a pop it won't take long to burn thru the 75 to 150 bucks you'd spend for a compressor. For hobby type use a small diaphragm pump with a regulator will do, next step up would be to add an air tank to the line to smooth out the pulses> Top end will be a small tanked compressor from Sears. Mine has been working over 10+ years for 129.95.. likely in the 150.00 range now.
Hope this helps.
I agree with the can frezzing over theory. I made an adapter for the airbrush by taking an empty can, and drilling a hole in its dome. Then I soldered a copper tube that the compressor clamps to into the hole. Then you can use the valve system that the airbrush came with instead of buying adapters and such.
Well, I guess I need to save up some money and buy a compressor........

What brand and models are the best? (or the best value, as I know I could spend hundreds of dollars)
Thanks for the tip on the "pink" paint .... photo is of a "pink" Semroc Rawhide with butterfly stickers I just finished making for my grandaughter ... I have another rocket, Semroc Sky Hook, destined for pink paint as well ..... my 8 year old daughter wanted a pretty one too .... lol