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  #11  
Old 10-02-2010, 10:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Solomoriah
The Vampire looks a lot like the Mini Max with a shorter nosecone. Of course, the Mini Max is not plastic; but it would be easy to build a look-alike using the Mini-Max kit and Semroc BNC-50G3.

Or just build the Mini Max, paint it black and apply similar stickers/decals.


The Vampire was re-released a few years ago as the Jinx, a purple RTF rocket. Unfortunately, they've never re-released the cool little launch pad.
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  #12  
Old 10-02-2010, 11:36 PM
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This set still has the manual/instructions sheet, as well as instructions on the box-back. Should I see if JimZ wants scans for his website?
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2010, 01:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroRay
This set still has the manual/instructions sheet, as well as instructions on the box-back. Should I see if JimZ wants scans for his website?
I don't know if JimZ is updating his site anymore, *but* Scott Hansen (LTVscout on here) could host the scans on "Ye Olde Rocket Plans." Also, is the launch rod piece in the set half of a 36" rod or an 18" rod (the current Moon Mutt Starter Set uses an 18" launch rod)?
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2010, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackshire
Also, is the launch rod piece in the set half of a 36" rod or an 18" rod (the current Moon Mutt Starter Set uses an 18" launch rod)?

IIRC, it was supposed to be a 24" rod.

.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
IIRC, it was supposed to be a 24" rod.

.
Interesting...judging by the quick liftoffs my Estes Firing Line Vampire and X-15 had (from my old Estes "Tilt-A-Pad"), a 24" launch rod would have been quite adequate for them. Shorter launch rods make "bus-portable" starter sets for urban kids practical (the Estes Moon Mutt Starter Set is a good current example, as was the Estes Screaming Eagle Starter Set).
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http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
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Last edited by blackshire : 10-03-2010 at 10:08 PM. Reason: This ol' hoss done forgot somethin'.
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  #16  
Old 10-04-2010, 09:48 AM
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I think I've collected enough images of the Vampire to reproduce the body decal. The manual has an obviously retouched but clear reproduction of the decal's text, although the graphics and layout don't quite match what I see on all the other catalog photos and box illustrations of it.

Attached is a thumbnail of the collection of the catalog images and the manual scan I'm using for reference. I haven't shot the Firing Line box images. They offer a bit of clarity for the decal's layout. Notice, though, that the decal is a wee bit different in each iteration...?

So I'll use that as a basis to reproduce the main body decal, maybe reverse it for the other side, and I'll use the degraded remaining fin decals to reproduce those as well.

Still, if anyone's got a Vampire I can check my results against, LMK. There seems to be a small red line of text under the line-work on the body decal that doesn't appear on the retouched manual image and is illegible everywhere else. I'm curious if that actually made it into the final product, given that some of these images are probably of a prototype used for marketing photography.
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Last edited by AcroRay : 10-04-2010 at 03:53 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-04-2010, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroRay

Still, if anyone's got a Vampire I can check my results against, LMK. There seems to be a small red line of text under the line-work on the body decal that doesn't appear on the retouched manual image and is illegible everywhere else. I'm curious if that actually made it into the final product, given that some of these images are probably of a prototype used for marketing photography.


I think the red text is the same text as your manual image, "For study and research...."

On the left photo, the text is flipped over compared to the other two photos and the manual image, but the red graphic design is in the same orientation in all four images.
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  #18  
Old 10-04-2010, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroRay
I think I've collected enough images of the Vampire to reproduce the body decal. The manual has an obviously retouched but clear reproduction of the decal's text, although the graphics and layout don't quite match what I see on all the other catalog photos and box illustrations of it.

Attached is a thumbnail of the collection of the catalog images and the manual scan I'm using for reference. I haven't shot the Firing Line box images. They offer a bit of clarity for the decal's layout. Notice, though, that the decal is a wee bit different in each iteration...?

So I'll use that as a basis to reproduce the main body decal, maybe reverse it for the other side, and I'll use the degraded remaining fin decals to reproduce those as well.

Still, if anyone's got a Vampire I can check my results against, LMK. There seems to be a small red line of text under the line-work on the body decal that doesn't appear on the retouched manual image and is illegible everywhere else. I'm curious if that actually made it into the final product, given that some of these images are probably of a prototype used for marketing photography.
That looks good. It's probably impossible to see because it's black over black, but the Vampire body tube decal had rounded corners.
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Black Shire--Draft horse in human form, model rocketeer, occasional mystic, and writer, see:
http://www.lulu.com/content/paperba...an-form/8075185
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6122050
http://www.lulu.com/product/cd/what...of-2%29/6126511
All of my book proceeds go to the Northcote Heavy Horse Centre www.northcotehorses.com.
NAR #54895 SR
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  #19  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:07 PM
joeld1212 joeld1212 is offline
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I still have this rocket. I purchased it in '73 or '74. I'm looking at it right now.

The two middle pictures in the above post are correct. The small wording under "Estes Vampire" is "For study and research purposes.
Stand clear during launch phase." This lettering is in red.

In the design next to this wording, also in red is "1/2A3-2T" just above the upper line of the design that's next to the two balls.

Hope this makes sense.
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  #20  
Old 10-04-2010, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeld1212
Hope this makes sense.


Excellent! Thanks for the info! (You too, Blackshire!)

joeld1212 - If you have some way to shoot a photo of the decal and post it here, I'd appreciate it. Also, if you could proof what I come up with against your Vampire, I'd appreciate it.

I did up the fin decals in Photoshop earlier this evening, based on a scan of the one surviving on this rocket. I'll work on the body tube decal over the next couple of days. I measured out the size based on the glue residue on my Vampire's BT.

Over the last couple of days I took the Vampire apart, cleaned the parts, removed the old fin decals. I replaced the old, burnt, very short shock cord with a longer one of similar - but slightly more durable - cord. I also cleaned up and smoothed out the 'chute, and tied it to a black #7 fishing swivel. The Vampire's BT is also coming apart a little at one of the seams at the top, so I patched that up a bit with 2-part epoxy to shore it up and fill in the seam pressure-tight.

A lot of effort, maybe - but I enjoy restoring old toys. The black & red color scheme also reminds me a lot of a sci-fi RPG I used to play back in high school called TRAVELLER. So I've taken a liking to this older bird.
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