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  #1  
Old 06-08-2018, 04:11 AM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Default Two Drifter K-14s

The final K-kit in the 1964 catalog is the Drifter. Some regard the K-15 Sprite as a 1964 rocket, since it was included in advertisements that Estes published in 1964. I'm fine with that. But, it's not in the catalog, so I'll save the Sprite for the next set, when I'm working on the 1966 catalog. A mystery - no 1965 catalog? A story for a future adventure.

(Actually, there are at least two catalogs for 1964, one on Ninfinger's site, and one at the Estes site. The Ninfinger one doesn't have the Drifter, but the other one does. So I counted it in.)

The I've always liked the look of the Drifter, but had never built one. So, I decided to build two. Not just two, but really thematically different versions.


One is classic. With a decal pattern similar to what was published in the black and white 1964 catalog.


The other, well, I needed inspiration. I remembered that I had taken a casual weekend recently, surfing the TV, and had come across one of my favorite Clint Eastwood movies- High Plains Drifter. So, Eureka (which is more Greek than old West, but never mind) I decided the other rocket would be of a High Plains Drifter theme.


But, I'll start with the classic style.


I started by cutting out the parts. Instead of using balsa transitions, I went with cardboard transitions. I've gotten pretty good with them - way better than I used to be. The main trick I've found is to use a template calculator, but lie about the tube sizes. Instead, take the paper thickness of the transition into account. For instance, with this template, BT20 to BT50, I made the transition actually go from 0.756" to 0.976", and stand 1.125" tall. That is, I made the BT20 end 0.02" wider, since at that end the outer edge of the transition is a paper width out from the tube.

I sanded the overlaps so that they were tapered in thickness for a smooth seam.

I also printed two transitions and doubled them up for a stronger transition. Of course, I had to trim off the overhang with a knife once it dried.
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2018, 01:38 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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I made the section with the transition into the motor mount. It took three centering rings - one at the top of the transition, one just beyond that, and one higher up. I extended the tube for the motor mount by an additional inch, so it would extend further into the body tube and hopefully be held stronger and straighter.

Once the transition dried and I added a thrust ring, I sanded the fins, glued the transition into the body tube, and put the rest together.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2018, 02:06 PM
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BEC BEC is offline
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The story, as I understand it, on there being no "1965" catalog is that the creation of the new color catalog which we know as the 1966 catalog just took too long and they didn't get it done in time.

The 1966 catalog I have to my left here actually has, down in the lower right hand corner "CAT. NO. 651" and the copyright notice on the bottom of page 1 says 1965.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2018, 10:55 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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The second drifter of my build is inspired by the movie High Plains Drifter. I wanted to capture the important parts of the show - the whip, cigars, TNT, the town that was painted red, the reveal as to who the High Plains Drifter really was, and the ending of the show.

I started with the town painted red.

Or course, the town was an old western town made out of wood. Well, probably it was a Potemkin village built by some Hollywood folks meant to look like a western town made out of wood. But, wood was the important part. I wanted the rocket to be made out of wood. I thought about it, and decided not to make it out of wood. I instead found some old really, really thin wood I had from a cigar box. (There's that cigar theme again.)

It was dry and brittle, but I needed to wrap it around a BT50 tube.

I started by moistening the thin sheet of wood, and wrapping it around a BT80 tube. Then, when it dried, I repeated it around a 2" tube. Then a BT60, and finally a BT50. I could then trim the wood to fit the second drifter rocket that I started.
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2018, 10:58 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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I also cut some wedge shaped pieces based on the transition, to wrap the transition and the tiny section extending toward the engine. Voila, and entire wooden-looking rocket, sans nose cone and launch lug.
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2018, 11:07 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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The cigar needed to fit into the theme now.

Lug, fins, or nosecone. A big fat torpedo cigar would make a perfect nose cone. Or, a nose cone could be made to look like a big fat torpedo cigar. As luck would have it, I had some tobacco leaf that was from a project from long ago.

Several years ago, I discovered a website call Leaf Only (no affiliation) that sells whole leaf tobacco. In case you want to make your own cigars. Well, I make things. I smoke cigars. So, why not make cigars to smoke? I'll tell you why. It's really hard if you don't have the equipment. Which I don't. So, I have a couple bags of dried out tobacco leaf. Leaf which now has a use.

I started by rejuvenating the leafs by putting them in a large sealed bin, with a paper towel soaked in water. Think of it as a temporary humidor. (I have a humidor that holds many cigars. I made it to match my wet bar. Which I also made.) After a couple of weeks, the dried crumbly leaves were pliable. I could now unfurl some of them to find the right ones to fit the nose cone.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2018, 11:28 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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To make the cigar cone, I first tried dry fitting the leaves to the cone. As necessary, I trimmed them, so that I could end up with two leaf pieces that would cover the cone. I also cut a small cap to cover the tip.

Then, I covered the nose cone with a very thin layer of epoxy. Using gloves of course, I carefully spread the leaves onto the cone. I made sure to apply epoxy to both sides of the leaf. After some careful positioning, the cone was a cigar.

I forgot to take a picture of the nose cone during construction. This photo is from after the rocket was built, so it's kind of a sneak peak.
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  #8  
Old 06-09-2018, 03:31 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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A wicked, yet integral, part of the High Plains Drifter was death by bullwhip.

So, I needed a bullwhip in my High Plains Drifter rocket.


Which, to me, meant the shock cord. But, there are no bullwhip shock cords.


Using some vinyl lacing cord, I braided a black bullwhip. First, I had to learn how to braid a black bullwhip. Thanks for the internet.

There was also the ghostly apparition at the end of the show. That became the parachute.
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2018, 08:37 PM
DavidQ DavidQ is offline
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I painted the wooden rocket with red paint, to match what the Drifter had the townsfolk of Lago do their town. I only painted partway down, like some of the buildings, so the wooden underneath was still visible.

The modified sign entering Lago was put on one of the fins.

The tombstone that Mordecai was carving at the end was put on another fin. It reads "Marshall Jim Duncan. Rest in Peace."


The launch lug was a stick of TNT used to harass the Bridges gang.

The movie logo became the rocket's main decal.

Finally, the classic design got its main decal as well. I made it like the one in the 1964 catalog, and applied it in one piece.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2018, 10:55 PM
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Great theming on the High Plains Drifter!
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