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  #1  
Old 06-14-2018, 12:22 AM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Default "Countdown" and "Launch Pad" Specials, even more from '64

Trying to finish all the rockets in the Estes 1964 catalog, I got to the "Countdown" and the "Launch Pad" Specials. These again were parts kits where you could build your own rockets. But, they had illustrated rockets, suggesting that they could be built.

So, I took that as a challenge.

I was ready to take out my ruler and calculator, and draw me up some plans. And then I noticed something that was obvious - a rocket hiding in the "Countdown" special was the Cobra, K-10, which I just built for this catalog. One down, four to go.

But, then the question became "Are the other drawings of existing rockets?" Maybe so.

I started my quest with the "Launch Pad" Special, since they were very specific. They were all BT-40 tubes, with BT40-sized noses and fin canisters. Not being very familiar with the BT-40 rockets, I just started going through the old, old documents. In Estes' Rocket Plan No. 4, available on JimZ's site, is the Bug-a-Bye, a near match with the middle rocket (B) in the "Launch Pad" Special. There isn't a payload section, but then it's just an illustration, so some leeway may have been taken.

The third rocket (C), I matched to the old Dirty Bird III. The nose on the rocket is longer than on the drawing, but I'll grant it some leeway again, since the total length is about right.

The first rocket (A), I couldn't find an adequate match, what with the oversized BT-40 nose cone and Bertha-looking fins, so I decided to scratch build that one.

Finally, I needed to place the other rocket in the "Countdown" special. It wasn't a BT40 rocket, and had that ring and fins. So, I guessed one of the Augies. I went with Li'l Augie, since it was published before these plans, and the fins were a better match to the drawing than Augie II.


The plans for the published rockets are available from JimZ's site.
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  #2  
Old 06-14-2018, 09:22 AM
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Rocketflyer Rocketflyer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidQ
Trying to finish all the rockets in the Estes 1964 catalog, I got to the "Countdown" and the "Launch Pad" Specials. These again were parts kits where you could build your own rockets. But, they had illustrated rockets, suggesting that they could be built.

So, I took that as a challenge.

I was ready to take out my ruler and calculator, and draw me up some plans. And then I noticed something that was obvious - a rocket hiding in the "Countdown" special was the Cobra, K-10, which I just built for this catalog. One down, four to go.

But, then the question became "Are the other drawings of existing rockets?" Maybe so.

I started my quest with the "Launch Pad" Special, since they were very specific. They were all BT-40 tubes, with BT40-sized noses and fin canisters. Not being very familiar with the BT-40 rockets, I just started going through the old, old documents. In Estes' Rocket Plan No. 4, available on JimZ's site, is the Bug-a-Bye, a near match with the middle rocket (B) in the "Launch Pad" Special. There isn't a payload section, but then it's just an illustration, so some leeway may have been taken.

The third rocket (C), I matched to the old Dirty Bird III. The nose on the rocket is longer than on the drawing, but I'll grant it some leeway again, since the total length is about right.

The first rocket (A), I couldn't find an adequate match, what with the oversized BT-40 nose cone and Bertha-looking fins, so I decided to scratch build that one.

Finally, I needed to place the other rocket in the "Countdown" special. It wasn't a BT40 rocket, and had that ring and fins. So, I guessed one of the Augies. I went with Li'l Augie, since it was published before these plans, and the fins were a better match to the drawing than Augie II.


The plans for the published rockets are available from JimZ's site.



The Li'l Augie you posted is not the Augie II, it is the original. I've built several way back when. They fly well. A B-14-0 and a C6-7 made for some very high flights for that bird.
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  #3  
Old 06-14-2018, 11:17 AM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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The supply seems to have dried up, but until a few years back you could buy, from firework supply places, those four-fin cans used on the Dirty Bird.

If anyone can track down a source, let us know!
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  #4  
Old 06-14-2018, 10:42 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Default Bug-a-Bye

The Bug-a-Bye is a BT40 rocket with a clear payload section. Even though it is listed in their catalog, as of early 1960's, I didn't count on ordering the clear plastic tube. Instead, I went through my collection of old toy parts and stuff, and found that I had a section of clear tube with an OD of 0.83". Well, a BT40 tube is 0.825", so that's good enough to call it a match.

The body tube is some I rolled by hand. I had some heavy-weight kraft paper left behind from some painting I did, since it was a roll to cover the floor. I noticed the ID of BT40 is 0.765", and lo and behold, the OD of BT30 is also 0.765". Which made a BT30 into an instant mandrel for DIY BT40. I rolled a few, and used them on most of the BT40's coming up.

The fin canister on the Bug-a-Bye is supposed to be the SpinFin canister that Estes sold back in the early 60's. Which, again, I didn't have. So I made one. I wrapped more kraft paper around the BT-40 tube, gluing it in a wrap with a thickness of 0.03", or so. I trimmed it to length, glued the fins on with a spin angle, put a centering ring at the bottom as a shoulder, and now it is a removable fin canister.

Although I really like to build with fin alignment guides, I went back to an old school fin alignment guide. It comes on a roll, which back then was probably brown, and is now blue. Trusting that my eyes are good enough, I just held the fins in place with tape while they dried.

The canister comes off so the engine can go into the tube, against the engine block 2 3/4" up into the tube. I figure I'll have to use some tape to hold the fins on during launch.

Sand, prime, and paint. And decals. Voila!
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  #5  
Old 06-15-2018, 06:31 AM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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I actually found one of those plastic spin-fin units in the first months I was in the hobby. I found it on the beach after the 4th of July. It has split along one side, but seemed like a perfectly good thing for using to build a rocket. I rolled a tube using the instructions in the plan book that came with my starter set. Carved a cone out of a nubbin of wood.

It wasn't until years later that I realized that this item was sold by Estes back in the day.

It was cast in a slightly flexible silver plastic, similar to the plastic used in firework nose cones.

FYI, plastic fin cans are sold by cannonfuse.com. Two styles, neither quite like the Dirty Bird unit, but close enough.
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  #6  
Old 06-15-2018, 09:27 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Default Li'l Augie for Countdown Special

For the line drawing in the catalog's Countdown Special that wasn't a Cobra, I went with the Li'l Augie. It's called a Ducted Thrust Augmentation experiment, with two stages.

The outer 1" tube surrounds the inner BT30 tube, drawing air into it, like a combustion chamber. Maybe that helps it fly higher, I'm not sure. Actually, I used BT50 for the outer tube, since that was close to the mailing tube used for the original Li'l Augie, and was in the parts list for the Countdown Special.

I am sure that it's also a 2 stage rocket. The booster stage is just an engine pushing up against the 2nd stage engine. At burnout, the entire first stage engine is expelled, but nothing else. The augmentation tube also serves as the surround for the 1st stage engine.

As you can guess, that puts the 2nd stage engine at least 3 inches up into the augmentor tube. Which, if you've tried before, likely brought you into familiarity with the Krushnic Effect . (Not the Kalashnikov Effect which the people of Mozambique are familiar with.) To break the Krushnic effect, the air gets pulled into the vents at the top of the augmentor tube, allowing full thrust from the second engine.

Well, that's the theory. I've not launched mine yet. But, I did build it. As you'll note in the photo, the rockets of this era were still built with shock cords laced through the body tube. Still no 3-fold mount in these rockets. Or Kevlar cord, for some reason.
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  #7  
Old 06-17-2018, 12:48 AM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Default Dirty Bird III for Launchpad Special

For one of the BT40-based rockes in the 1964 catalog's Launchpad Special, I built the Dirty Bird III. It has the right fins, is about the right length, but has a different nose. Close enough, I figured.


The problem with building the Dirty Bird III is that it was designed with a plastic fin canister that isn't available any more, even when I looked on eBay. So, I built a model of the canister to fit my model of the model rocket.

I started by making a thick wrap of Kraft paper around the rocket, gluing it as I wrapped. When it was the right thickness, I let the glue dry. (I found the dimensions of the fin canister in this thread.) I built the fins originally from 2-layers of 3/32" basswood, thinking I'd sand the taper into them. I gave up on that, and remade them with 2 layers of 1/32" plywood, with a shim between them to make the taper. I filled the leading and trailing edges with body filler that wouldn't shrink. Some careful sculpting of the ring, and epoxy to hold the fins, and beveling on my belt sander, made a pretty good replica of the fins.

Then, primer, paint, and decal.

Still no 3-fold mount for the shock cord. Nor an engine mount. The fin canister comes off, you put in the engine, and put the canister back on, making sure it doesn't come off. The instructions called for a hollow wooden thrust ring, but I made mine from BT-30 and BT20 tube, and a centering ring. BT-30 fits exactly inside of the BT40 (which I hand rolled), and the BT20-bit inside the BT30 once I trimmed out a section.
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  #8  
Old 06-19-2018, 08:55 AM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Default Launch Pad Special, end of '64

The last of the builds to complete the 1964 catalog is one from the Launch Pad Special section.

I used a balsa cone for a BT40F from eRockets. The BT40 tube for this one is not one that I rolled - it also is from eRockets. The fins I cut to approximate the drawing in the catalog.


Cut, glue, prime, sand, paint, decal, photo. That's it.

I think I'll take a breather for a while before tackling more of the builds.

(edit: reposted because wrong photos were included)
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