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  #1  
Old 06-01-2022, 02:51 PM
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Earl Earl is offline
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Default Estes Quasar (Citation)

I never had this kit back in the day but recently picked up a non-Citation version of the kit (rainbow hang tag).

I was wondering for those who might be more up on the history of the Citation kits and their follow-on linage, when did they stop having the chrome nose and tail pieces and when did the fins tips stop being pre-clipped.

I knew the one I was getting was not chromed and I could tell the plastic fin can tips were not clipped, as they continued to be shown in the Estes catalog as clipped throughout the run of this kit.

Best I can tell, looking at catalog images, maybe only the initial "Citation" versions came with chromed noses and fin units. Catalog images from about '75 on show non-chromed versions. But it appears the catalog images never changed to show non-clipped fin tips. And there is no step in the instructions that direct you to actually clip the fin tips.

My kit came with the "Citation" instruction sheet (though as mentioned above, my kit is not a Citation version...it is a bagged rainbow hang tag kit). In looking at Jimz site, I see there was apparently a later set of instructions for the Quasar that shows a non-clipped fin can in the instructions, but I did not see any indications there for clipping the fin tips either. (Link to Jimz plans: http://www.spacemodeling.org/jimz/e...ar/est0650.pdf).

So...just curious if anyone knows some of the timeline details of chrome to non-chrome and clipped fin can to non-clipped fin can.

Thanks,

Earl
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Old 06-01-2022, 03:04 PM
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Your research concurs with mine. The catalog showed the clipped fins all the way through the last year in 1984. I've seen examples that weren't clipped, but have no idea when they stopped. 1974 was the last catalog year it had the silver fin can and NC.

As for personal experience with the Quasar, I liked all varieties of it in the catalog, but never bought one. It began and ended life costing more than the Alpha III, but for the most of its run, had the same catalog price.
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Old 06-02-2022, 02:18 AM
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The Citation version of the Quasar was available 1973-1974.

The non-Citation version was available 1975-1984.

I bought, built and flew an original Citation Quasar back in the 1970s.
I still have it.

I also have a sealed Citation Quasar in the box that I picked up at the NARAM-50 auction.

About fifteen years ago I made a clone of the non-Citation Quasar.

I kinda like the Quasar.
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Old 06-02-2022, 06:30 AM
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Thanks Tim and Bob for your posts. Much appreciated.

So Bob, are you indicating then that the chromed fin can and nose cone and clipped fin can both ended with the he Citation version?

I kinda wondered whether that might be the case, but, as stated above, the catalog images showed clipped fins for the entire run of the kit...all the way through ‘84. The chrome stopped though after the ‘74 catalog image. So, it is not really easy to know exactly when the clipped fin can stopped.

Earl
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl
Thanks Tim and Bob for your posts. Much appreciated.

So Bob, are you indicating then that the chromed fin can and nose cone and clipped fin can both ended with the he Citation version?

I kinda wondered whether that might be the case, but, as stated above, the catalog images showed clipped fins for the entire run of the kit...all the way through ‘84. The chrome stopped though after the ‘74 catalog image. So, it is not really easy to know exactly when the clipped fin can stopped.

Earl


My understanding is that Estes had many more of the wrap-around Quasar body tube decals than the chrome-plated fins and nose cones. At some point they ran out of the chrome-plated parts. Perhaps there were bagged Quasar kits which had the chrome-plated parts? I don't know. It would be a good collector's item if these existed.

The Citation line was not successful in it's original purpose (Product for mass-market retailers) so the kits were downgraded from boxes to bags and had other cost cutting measures applied. In the case of the Quasar the Alpha III fin cans no longer had the tips cut off (Estes had a jig to hold the fin can and cut off the fin tips but it was a manual operation). In addition, the chrome-plating was eliminated.
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Old 06-02-2022, 01:50 PM
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My first rocket kits were the Bagged Quasar and Bagged Patriot.
The Quasar had a white nose cone and white non-clipped fin can.
Both purchased on the same day in June of 1977 at Toys-R-Us.
Neither mentioned "Citation" anything on the face cards, but both did on the instructions.

The one difference in the Patriot was a white two piece molded nose cone. The Citation ones had black plastic cones.

In my opinion the chrome plated cone and chrome clipped fin version look about 1000x better. Without those, it just looks like a goofy extended length Alpha III.
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Old 06-02-2022, 02:17 PM
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Is there a template floating around for the clipped fins? Some of the modern chrome paints are pretty good.

Even if one doesn't want to deal with chrome paint, the catalog shows clipped white fins all the way to the end of availability, so a catalog clone with white clipped fins and NC is a good way to go as well.
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Old 06-02-2022, 03:23 PM
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I came into possession of some Alpha III type nose cones that are white translucent plastic. I have no idea of their provenance — they were in a bin of "stuff to be given away" at the last Blue Mountain Rocketeers launch last October.

I presume they have some connection with the Citation Quasar/Quasar but I'm still not clear on what that might be. In Bob's clone of the non-Citation Quasar, his parts are glossy white, not translucent (though I suppose they could be painted Alpha III parts).

I think when I posted about these before someone suggested they might have been intended to be chromed but never were. Does that make sense? If so, how did they get "into the wild" one wonders....
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Old 06-02-2022, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for the additional posts and info.

Yeah, I recall reading at one time that the Citation line was not quite as successful as hoped. Kinda like the Centuri Stellar line I guess, and both released in roughly similar timeframes.

It does seem like when the original Citation version appears on eBay it goes for some pretty decent amounts. And that full Quasar starter set with chrome pad is also very pricey. I recall some ‘fire sale’ listings in old black issues of Estes Model Rocket News when they were apparently trying to move out some of the of the original Citation stock at some fairly decent prices. Well, decent prices by our standards now. I have a decent number of original Citation kits, but not the Quasar.

As Tim referenced, yeah I was wondering if there might be a fin clipping template out there somewhere possibly. With the catalog art reflecting a clipped fin can for the entire run of the kit, I am somewhat surprised there was not an instruction sheet addendum that gave specs for doing that and maybe a couple of suggested ‘best ways’ to actually clip the fins if a customer wished to do so.

Earl
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2022, 08:39 PM
ManofSteele ManofSteele is offline
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My understanding is that the reject rate of the chromed units was very high - hence the reason for the discontinuation.

Matt
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