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  #1  
Old 05-12-2020, 08:29 AM
MarkB.'s Avatar
MarkB. MarkB. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: El Paso
Posts: 994
Default The Return of the Empire

Comrades:

Many years ago, I bought an old Empire Nike-Ajax on eBay shortly after returning to rocketry. I wasn't impressed, being off put by the conduits. But, with the help of some of the guys on this website, I sorted it out. I modified it in that I replaced the BT-70 Nike with a much-closer-to-scale T-180 (ST-18) from Totally Tubular, added an "E" length motor mount and reworked the transition piece to fit. I built it, painted it, but never flew it. I wasn't happy with the way it looked, especially the nose, I didn't leave enough room for the parachute on top of the baffle I installed and the white paint just was not attractive somehow. Every once in a while, I'd go back to it and try to figure out what to do to salvage the build but. . . .


10 years past.


A couple of weeks ago, while surfing eBay, I saw an Empire Nike-Ajax and didn't give it a second thought beyond "Been there, done that." I saw another a few days later and thinking it was a heck of a coincidence, looked more closely and discovered this was a "new" Empire kit, the other two being sport rockets. The seller is Jen123-2009. I discovered a build thread on the other website. Importantly, on these new kits, the nose issue was addressed by a custom basswood tri-tapered nose rather than a not-even-close-to-scale-looking BNC-55AC. I thought it looked fabulous. I contacted the seller and yesterday in the mail, voila, a brand new nose cone. He was very nice and fairly prompt on his emails. I would buy from him again.

So, as if I didn't have a enough partial projects going for quarantine time, I moved the Nike-Ajax to the rescue pile. The new nose didn't fit the BT-55 of my original kit so either I sand down the shoulder or I use a BT-56/ST-13 as a basis and salvage the fins and conduits. No matter what, the forward fins are going to be moved. I'll dig out my 14 U.S. Army Missiles of the Cold War and see what I need to do. For those unfamiliar with the kit, it's approximately 1/8.96 scale based on a 1.34" ST-13 equating to a 12" sustainer on the real thing. I think the new kits still have an "oversize" Nike but hey, there's not a lot of Nike-Ajax kits out there right now.


I'll post pictures.
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__________________
Identifying a problem without proposing a solution is just whining.

NAR 79743
NARTrek Silver
SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire; Tomahawk 12, Tomahawk 9; Rescue Alpha
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk 7; Paiute; Nike-Rams
Repair/Rescue: Centuri Stilleto; Estes Sandhawk; Empire Nike Ajax
On the Bench: Atlas V 541; Alway Arcas
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7

Last edited by MarkB. : 06-05-2020 at 07:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-12-2020, 10:54 AM
jetlag jetlag is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 2,196
Default

Yes, Vin Sauriol is the seller. Jenny is his wife.
Vin is a fantastic guy and always answers his emails and Messenger.
He turns all his balsa himself. His new lathe is muuuuch better than his old one.
He's a prince!

I read somewhere his first iteration of the Bomarc left some to be desired flight-wise, but he will be making an improved version soon.

He's on FB.
Allen
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  #3  
Old 05-12-2020, 12:08 PM
A Fish Named Wallyum's Avatar
A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Ft. Thomas, KY
Posts: 7,340
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetlag
Yes, Vin Sauriol is the seller. Jenny is his wife.
Vin is a fantastic guy and always answers his emails and Messenger.
He turns all his balsa himself. His new lathe is muuuuch better than his old one.
He's a prince!

I read somewhere his first iteration of the Bomarc left some to be desired flight-wise, but he will be making an improved version soon.

He's on FB.
Allen

I think I know where you read it.
__________________
Bill Eichelberger
NAR 79563

http://wallyum.blogspot.com/

I miss being SAM 0058

Build floor: Estes Luna Bug, Semroc Laser X, Semroc S.P.E.V

In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Estes Goblin, Estes Nike Apache, Quest Intruder, Red River Stratos, Semroc Cyber III, Semroc Egg Crate, Semroc Recruiter

Body shop: Estes Jayhawk

Ready to fly: Estes Astron Sky Hook, Estes Nova Scout Ship, FSI Dart, Semroc Point
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  #4  
Old 05-15-2020, 07:44 PM
MarkB.'s Avatar
MarkB. MarkB. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: El Paso
Posts: 994
Default

Comrades?

Did you ever have a build that just nothing ever seemed to go right? Like the rocket was just cursed or something? That's this rocket for me. I decided to build a completely new sustainer from BT-56 and managed to cut off the fins from the original BT-55. That's where it all went wrong.

I took the first picture to show what I was going to do to complete this rocket which sat for 11+ years. I show a coupler on the booster transition, a Semroc baffle and Kevlar leader with another coupler and two pieces of BT-56.

Not a single part of that worked.

The coupler on the transition froze before it went all the way on and I had to cut it off. When I glued all the BT-56 pieces together, I forgot to brace and it came out crooked, when I went to cut it a part, I somehow partially cut through the Kevlar. In the end, of all the pieces you see in the first picture, all I could save was 12" of the longer tube.

Luckily, I have a lot of BT-56/ST-13 parts lying around as I used that size for Scouting rockets, science fair rockets, Enerjet rockets, even a rescue V-2. So the second picture shows the rebuild sustainer braced against my Estes fin marking angle thingy while it sets. Total tube length is 20". I tied the Kevlar leader around a 5056 paper ring that I trapped under the coupler for the body tube. I got the other coupler on the transition by applying glue to the bottom of the transition and the top of the coupler. so the coupler was halfway on before any glue was involved. I was pretty excited when that worked.

So, I'm letting it sit overnight and tomorrow I'll tackle the fins and conduits. I found out today that I'll have a partial return to work beginning June 1 so I need to start wrapping all of these projects up.
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__________________
Identifying a problem without proposing a solution is just whining.

NAR 79743
NARTrek Silver
SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire; Tomahawk 12, Tomahawk 9; Rescue Alpha
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk 7; Paiute; Nike-Rams
Repair/Rescue: Centuri Stilleto; Estes Sandhawk; Empire Nike Ajax
On the Bench: Atlas V 541; Alway Arcas
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7

Last edited by MarkB. : 05-15-2020 at 09:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2020, 10:23 PM
MarkB.'s Avatar
MarkB. MarkB. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: El Paso
Posts: 994
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Twelve fins later, the sustainer is finned. I managed to save nine of the original fins and the three I had to make were the little antenna fins. Tomorrow, I'll do the four conduits that run almost the full length of the sustainer.

The new nose looks 100x better than the old one. It's still not "scale" in terms of shape but at least it looks like a missile.
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__________________
Identifying a problem without proposing a solution is just whining.

NAR 79743
NARTrek Silver
SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire; Tomahawk 12, Tomahawk 9; Rescue Alpha
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk 7; Paiute; Nike-Rams
Repair/Rescue: Centuri Stilleto; Estes Sandhawk; Empire Nike Ajax
On the Bench: Atlas V 541; Alway Arcas
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7
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