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  #1  
Old 07-19-2017, 01:43 AM
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Default Has anyone ever seen - colored plastic nose cones in Alpha kits?

In my continuing gathering of Alpha minutiae I was looking at several Estes catalogs online last night. What I was looking for was when the nose cone changed from the balsa BNC-50K to the first blow-molded nose cone (which is pretty similar in shape).

I got a surprise when I read in the Alpha descriptions in the 1989-1992 catalogs mentions of a "red, white or blue plastic nose cone."

I have never seen an Alpha kit with a plastic nose cone that wasn't white. Has anyone seen a blue or red one? Or for that matter any other Estes kit that used a BT-50 ogive-shaped blow-molded cone that was red or blue?
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:10 AM
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I have two Alpha IIIs, both thrift-store finds, which had red, injection-molded cones.

They have a lug in the base to put a screw-eye into.

I'm actually building one right now. Painting the plastic parts for a more lustrous look.

Could some balsa-fin Alphas have come with this model cone?
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:23 PM
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Stefan,

Interesting thought. I have seen (and have examples of) the Alpha III cone in the original red, the orange everyone is familiar with, black (Alpha IV) and clear (1207 Phantom). I know it was also white and/or chromed for the Quasar. It is, I believe, unique among Estes plastic nose cones in having that boss for the tiny screw eye on one side of the base.

But having it rather than the pointier blow-molded cone in regular Alpha kits....I hadn't thought of that. The illustrations that accompany the Alpha listing in those catalogs show either the red/black version of the familiar Alpha livery (1989 and 1990) or the red/blue version that is probably the best known (1991 and 1992). The nose cone in the illustrations is same pointed shape that we have seen for many years.

So.... while that's an interesting idea, I think those catalog listings imply a colored other-than-white blow-molded nose cone similar to the ones in current kits or the earlier, closer-to-BNC-50K shape of the first blow-molded cone which first appeared sometime after 1982 (though I haven't yet been able to pin down exactly when).
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:18 PM
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I have never seen a "regular" Alpha kit after the balsa-cone era with anything other than a white plastic cone.
Alpha III's I have seen with Red, Orange, and an odd White cone.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
In my continuing gathering of Alpha minutiae I was looking at several Estes catalogs online last night. What I was looking for was when the nose cone changed from the balsa BNC-50K to the first blow-molded nose cone (which is pretty similar in shape).

I got a surprise when I read in the Alpha descriptions in the 1989-1992 catalogs mentions of a "red, white or blue plastic nose cone."

I have never seen an Alpha kit with a plastic nose cone that wasn't white. Has anyone seen a blue or red one? Or for that matter any other Estes kit that used a BT-50 ogive-shaped blow-molded cone that was red or blue?


I have a couple of the Red Cone Alphas - picked them up when I was working part time at a hobby shop ~1990 to feed my habit. Kept an eye out for the Blue Cones, even called the warehouse asking for them, but no luck. I meant to post photos when this thread started, but (enter excuse of your choice here).

Edit- meant to add the they are the rounded cone as in the alpha three.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEL
I meant to post photos when this thread started, but (enter excuse of your choice here).


I would love to see a picture if/when you get the chance, both to see the red and to see that there was - apparently - some mixing between Alpha and Alpha III, which would validate Stefan's theory above.
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Old 07-19-2017, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I would love to see a picture if/when you get the chance, both to see the red and to see that there was - apparently - some mixing between Alpha and Alpha III, which would validate Stefan's theory above.


I'll post some photo's later this afternoon when I get home from work (Pacific Time).
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
In my continuing gathering of Alpha minutiae I was looking at several Estes catalogs online last night. What I was looking for was when the nose cone changed from the balsa BNC-50K to the first blow-molded nose cone (which is pretty similar in shape).

I got a surprise when I read in the Alpha descriptions in the 1989-1992 catalogs mentions of a "red, white or blue plastic nose cone."

I have never seen an Alpha kit with a plastic nose cone that wasn't white. Has anyone seen a blue or red one? Or for that matter any other Estes kit that used a BT-50 ogive-shaped blow-molded cone that was red or blue?


The funny thing about the instructions for the kits from that period is they have the nosecone part listed as either the PNC50ka blow molded or the pnc50k injection molded alpha 3 version with the screw eye. The instructions list both types.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x7
The funny thing about the instructions for the kits from that period is they have the nosecone part listed as either the PNC50ka blow molded or the pnc50k injection molded alpha 3 version with the screw eye. The instructions list both types.


That's because the White cone was the same old blow molded cone we know and love.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5x7
The funny thing about the instructions for the kits from that period is they have the nosecone part listed as either the PNC50ka blow molded or the pnc50k injection molded alpha 3 version with the screw eye. The instructions list both types.


If you have some Alpha (1225) instructions that show that, please scan and post.

Part of what I'm going to do when I get closer to done with this whole Alpha 50th project is scan and post somewhere (Ye Olde Rocket Shoppe?) the whole sequence of Alpha instructions that show the evolution from the beginning to the current form of the model. eBay purchases are helping me to fill in the gaps, but between them and online scans of catalogs I still have some gaps in the chain and it is also hard to pin down when changes were really made.

Right now I have a pretty big gap - I'm guessing about 15 years - between the second version with the red/black livery - which has first appearance of the blow molded nose cone (1984 catalog) - and what is essentially the last US-made version in the late 1990s. This latter has the narrower-shaped blow molded white nose cone (and the big centering "cylinder" and the later style motor hook).

These kits that optionally would use the Alpha III cone would fall in that range where I have that gap, and the fact that I had to ask if they even existed means I've not seen one on eBay or otherwise in person.

So.....if you've instructions showing that nose cone option, again, please share .

Added: the instruction sheets that I have that bracket that time gap both show a blow molded cone (and in the older one, show removing excess flashing as well as opening up the eye for the shock cord) but give no part numbers for the nose cone (or any other part for that matter).
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Last edited by BEC : 07-20-2017 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Fixing a sentence I obviously started and then wandered away from....
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