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Bulleteer

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Just joined, 43 year old teenage dork in adult clothing, trying to build rockets again after about 30 years.

I see they've changed from real decals to crummy stickers since I was a kid. The last couple I've tried are absolutely lousy, they look cheap and keep peeling up (one I had to secure with a piece of tape). I just picked up a Der Red Max and was happy to find it had real decals in it. I guess for other rockets that have the crummy stickers, I'll just paint them and leave them plain. They would look better that way.

I hope to learn a lot here, and maybe avoid some of the catastrophes I experienced as a kid.
 

RangerStl

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With no catastrophes there would be no learning! Welcome to the party. Hope you like the folks here and just make sure you post lots of pictures!

N
 

powderburner

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We're always happy to have another victim....um, I meant participant, join in here on TRF. You'll be hooked quickly on how much help and advice is available.

As to decals versus stickers, you are right on target with your comments. Lots of people have noticed the change and are not super happy with it. I know the big manufacturers have to save money to keep kits marketable but I would prefer spending an extra 50 cents or a dollar (and I believe they could go back to decals for that price, at the bulk rates they crank out) for the old-style decals.

Hey, if it really bugs you, we have some pretty darned good vendors that hang out here on TRF who could supply you with some replacements for those stickers...
 

Bulleteer

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Thanks for the welcome.

So the ones sold by Excelsior are waterslide replicas of the original decals?
 

Micromeister

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Just joined, 43 year old teenage dork in adult clothing, trying to build rockets again after about 30 years.

I see they've changed from real decals to crummy stickers since I was a kid. The last couple I've tried are absolutely lousy, they look cheap and keep peeling up (one I had to secure with a piece of tape). I just picked up a Der Red Max and was happy to find it had real decals in it. I guess for other rockets that have the crummy stickers, I'll just paint them and leave them plain. They would look better that way.

I hope to learn a lot here, and maybe avoid some of the catastrophes I experienced as a kid.
Welcome aboard: You'll find lots of great folks here ready to helps.

I think it really depends on the model as to which way they go with the Stickers or Decals.
As of few have said there are a couple really go places to purchase after market Water Slide decals and there are also Lots of us who make our own Waterslide decals with dry transfer (Alps) like the after market printers or inkjet printers which have a few more restrictions but can still be worth the time.
 

Daddyisabar

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I too had not built a rocket since the 70's and it was quite a shock when my first set of Chinese Estes decals just fell apart. If you use the decals with the kit first give them two thin coats of Krylon Clear or the Testors decal stuff. After at least a day of drying time place them on a gloss white background. If you place them directly on a red background (like you could in the 70's) you will get a Der Pinky Max as the cheap, thin decals have only one layer of white printing. I did this and had to put up the shame curtains. As for Excelsior decals my Der Grosser Vatti set was ok over red but the goony max let a touch of red through.
 

MarkII

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If you place them directly on a red background (like you could in the 70's) you will get a Der Pinky Max as the cheap, thin decals have only one layer of white printing. I did this and had to put up the shame curtains. As for Excelsior decals my Der Grosser Vatti set was ok over red but the goony max let a touch of red through.
And you really needed to hang those shame curtains, too, because I could see those weird pink decals from here. :p :D

(I've had my DRM for two years, and still haven't built it yet. But that's what winter is for. I'll let you know when I do, so that you can poke fun at mine, too. :D Deal?)

Be careful when you apply those decals to your Red Max, Bulleteer -- the word is that they are quite delicate. You might want to coat them with a couple of coats of Microscale Liquid Decal Film (get it at a hobby shop) or else Pledge with Future Shine (yes, the acrylic floor finish) to toughen them up a bit before you get ready to apply them.

MarkII
 

jflis

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Welcome to TRF, you're going to love it here :)

Keep reading, keep posting, participate and don't forget pictures!
 

Marlin523

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Welcome. Some folks have solved the sticker problem by printing their own decals using a laser printer and decal paper. With some practice these can be very nice.
 

GregGleason

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Thanks for the welcome.

So the ones sold by Excelsior are waterslide replicas of the original decals?
As far as I know, that is correct. By reputation, sandman (aka, Gordy) of Excelsior is a craftsman who produces excellent work and strives for customer satisfaction (always a good business model for success).

Greg
 

Bulleteer

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Thanks for the tips. Having some replica decals available is nice, it would be a shame to have to leave all your rockets plain due to cheap stickers being supplied with them.

I assume people have complained to Estes about it but they care more about saving money than pleasing customers?

The other big rocket maker I can remember from decades ago was Centuri. Are they still in business? Are there any other model rocket manufacturers today besides them?
 

Peartree

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TAre there any other model rocket manufacturers today besides them?
Oh man! You are in for an gigantic treat. Just take a look at the "Rocketry Resources" Sticky at the top of the Watering Hole forum and look under 'Manufacturers.' Estes is still the global giant but there are LOTS of small companies, many of whom are regulars on this (and others) forum. I have built models from Fliskits, Squirrel Works, Quest (which is not small) and Semroc and have some models from Pemberton Technologies that I haven't built yet and these barely scratch the surface. If one word had to describe the rocketry hobby today, it would almost have to be CHOICES!

Take a good look around had HAVE FUN (and take pictures).:D
 

jflis

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Thanks for the tips. Having some replica decals available is nice, it would be a shame to have to leave all your rockets plain due to cheap stickers being supplied with them.

I assume people have complained to Estes about it but they care more about saving money than pleasing customers?

The other big rocket maker I can remember from decades ago was Centuri. Are they still in business? Are there any other model rocket manufacturers today besides them?
um, yup :D

Check us out at http://fliskits.com/ :)
 

Bulleteer

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Well, that's good news. One more question: Are the other manufacturers using real decals, or cheap stickers like Estes?
 

MarkII

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Well, that's good news. One more question: Are the other manufacturers using real decals, or cheap stickers like Estes?
The overwhelming majority use water-slide decals in all or nearly all of their kits.

The present-day Estes-Cox Corporation is not the Estes Industries that you remember. And Centuri Engineering was completely merged with Estes Industries and ceased to have a separate identity in 1983. The spirit that was embodied in the old Estes Industries and Centuri Engineering lives on, but in other, smaller companies now. One or two massive companies no longer dominate the industry, although Estes-Cox still makes the vast majority of rocket motors that are sold in the USA. Instead, there are dozens of smaller companies that are run by real model rocket enthusiasts who listen to their customers and who make great products. A handful make truly superior products that easily stand up to or beat anything that Estes Industries and Centuri ever produced, even at the height of their glory years. Stick around and read some threads, and you'll soon figure out who they are. (You may find one already mentioned earlier in this thread.) Some of the very best rockets that have ever been made are currently being produced by several small companies. We are now in what is starting to be recognized as the "New Golden Age" of rocketry.

Here is a site that was of enormous help to me in getting back up to speed when I came in from the cold in 2004 after 33 years. It is one of the most important web sites for our hobby, because so many active rocketeers contribute content to it. Switch back and forth between there and here, and you will quickly begin to recognize many of the names of those contributors.

Also, check out this very well-run forum. It is a bit smaller than TRF, and its focus is more on vintage kits and the history of model rocketry, but not exclusively so. In addition, it has also become a real designer's forum as well.

MarkII
 
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Pantherjon

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Be sure to also check out SEMROC..Many kits, tons of parts, and amazingly fast shipping! Also, Carl and gang are a great group of folk and will bend over backwards to help you out.

Oh, and welcome to the neighborhood!
 

dpower

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Welcome back to the hobby, and to TRF! Beware, the bug bites much harder the 2nd time around... :)
 
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