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Can you advise me on how to fix an Estes rocket kit?

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Posted · Report post

My nephew is 10, and was mesmerized by the hundreds of rockets on display in the 4-H building at the State Fair.

I swear, we could have walked off without him, and come back 5 hours later, and he would have still been looking at the rockets, not knowing that we had ever left.

I recently found a sealed Estes rocket at a thrift store, but I found that the cardboard tube/body has had something heavy lay on it at one point during it's life.

The tube is not crushed, but is out of round, and may have a flat spot on it.

Is there any way we can fix this?

(Please forgive me for asking such a dumb question. I've only built one single rocket in my life, back in the 7th grade, for a mandatory shop class project, and that didn't go well. Not at all. In fact, it was a total disaster.)

Thoughts? Ideas? Solutions?

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

Straight and round is the name of the game with these things. I built them as a kid and it's what makes them fly straight. The fins help, but if the body is out of round it will go all over the place and it's not a pretty sight. It is a rocket, after all. Some can top 500 feet. They aren't expensive and are easy to build. Go to a hobby shop or even Fred Meyer or a craft shop like Michael's and get a new one. Great fun.

Dale

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Posted · Report post

Thanks, Dale!

I was hoping to salvage this kit.

My sister is a great person, and well healed, but last year she adamantly told me, in frustration, "No kit will ever be assembled in my home, ever again. Not one dime will be spent on any model, paint or glue...at least not in my lifetime."

Money isn't growing on trees around here. This is one of Estes' better kits. Sure, only about $30, but in my world $30 is $30.

I'd like to have an extra $30 to blow on another kit for myself...

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Posted · Report post

You should be able to salvage the kit, no problem. What kit is it?

There are many places you can get a new body tube.

try:

Uncle Mike's Rocket Shack:

http://www.unclemikesrocketshack.com/

You can also ask at the rocketry forum

http://www.rocketryforum.com/ They are very nice to new comers. PM me if you need assistance.

Have Fun

-K

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Posted · Report post

Your sister sounds like my dad when I was in Little League. Wouldn't spare $20 for a uniform, and he had the cash. "Hell,no". Funny how you remember stuff like that after, oh, 55 years.

Dale

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Some good stuff here http://www.ohio4h.org/sites/d6-ohio4h.web/files/Designing%20Your%20Own%20Model%20Rocket.pdf also http://nar.org/images/papertig.gif

To fix the rocket tube from your kit it may be easier to start over and simply make your own rocket "body". This can be done by finding a rod or tube or something around the house similar in size to the damaged kit supplied part. Then simply rolling a piece of paper on the diagonal as shown in the last link, gluing as you go. then trimming the ends.

Edited by Greg Myers

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Your sister sounds like my dad when I was in Little League. Wouldn't spare $20 for a uniform, and he had the cash. "Hell,no". Funny how you remember stuff like that after, oh, 55 years.

Dale

My sister is a very good person.

I helped her other boy build an airplane, which possibly may have been the worst disaster build that anyone could ever expect in the world. It all took place during crunch time just a week before it was due at the fair, Because of the high humidity and heat, we moved the build from her garage, to her kitchen and dining room. There was a mess in three rooms, and if anything could go wrong with a build it did. I've built quite a bit in my life, but I almost pitched that kit into the trash, literally. I would have trashed it, had it been my own project, no questions.

We still eked out a Reserve Grand Champion at the fair for that model.

So the next year, her oldest boy, full of pride, decided he didn't need my help, not one iota, in order to win.

The results, and the build, I am told, were not so good. And he earned a red ribbon, which is kind of like getting a "You may be the biggest loser in the world" award, LOL.

After that, my sister banned all models to be built in her home.

And in a way, I kind of don't blame her...she dropped $60+ for the Hellcat model, not including the supplies I came with, and no one had a good time building it. In fact, it was quite miserable!!!

Edited by clovis

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Posted · Report post

You should be able to salvage the kit, no problem. What kit is it?

There are many places you can get a new body tube.

try:

Uncle Mike's Rocket Shack:

http://www.unclemikesrocketshack.com/

You can also ask at the rocketry forum

http://www.rocketryforum.com/ They are very nice to new comers. PM me if you need assistance.

Have Fun

-K

Thanks!!!

It is an Estes Gemini DC kit, number 2136.

Again, thank you!!!!!!

Some good stuff here http://www.ohio4h.org/sites/d6-ohio4h.web/files/Designing%20Your%20Own%20Model%20Rocket.pdf also http://nar.org/images/papertig.gif

To fix the rocket tube from your kit it may be easier to start over and simply make your own rocket "body". This can be done by finding a rod or tube or something around the house similar in size to the damaged kit supplied part. Then simply rolling a piece of paper on the diagonal as shown in the last link, gluing as you go. then trimming the ends.

Thank you!!!!!!

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Posted · Report post

The Hellcat for a first build.....well that there may have been the problem. A 60$ hellcat is certainly not the Ideal first build....even more so for a kid. Snap tite, pre painted bodies are a great start and much cheaper. I wouldn't really put in my .02 cent's ,but your sister has already decided they can't build model's so seem's like mission not accomplished...nevermind ribbion's or trophies it is a great hobby that stimulate's the brain and imagination. Good luck with the rocket, but after the first disaster I wonder if adding a propelled agent is such a good idea haha.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

LOL, Krazyglu!

It was as much about the kit, which I recommended at the time. I hadn't built a model in twenty something years, so when she called and asked me for my help with the build, I was excited.

"Let's get a vintage kit, but make sure it is sealed" I quipped, without thinking about it much. I was shocked when she called a few weeks later, and said, "It's here. I found one that he liked on ebay, so I pulled the trigger."

I'm guessing she had about $40 in the kit, and she bought another $20 in supplies.

It would have been a fun build, except:

1. The nephews and the adult babysitter decided that they should open the kit, including the sealed bags, when UPS delivered it. Yeah, they did, and lost a few critical parts, like the hub that holds the prop to the radial engine.

2. About 40% into the build, I discovered that someone at Revell, back in 1987, decided that it would be okay to box and ship a sprue that hadn't filled 100%. We had about 1/3 of the landing gear, and the rest was missing. I'm a decent builder, but have no fab skills whatsoever!

3. Once I had fabricated some new landing gear, they got smashed...and smashed bad.

4. We got it into it's final paint, ready for decals, and both wings fell off where they fold, as they did on an aircraft carrier. The model was due the very next morning.

Man, I am getting sick all over again, just thinking about that build, LOL.

Edited by clovis

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Posted · Report post

Haha everything you have described is just exactly what I imagine happening in that situation starting with the bag's being opened. Kids are halrious and even though I have none myself I am a Uncle so I have seen what they are capiable of, I am still amazed everytime I babaysit lol. It is neat that you are helping them with project's and possibly getting them into a hobby, hopefully thing's go a bit smoother this time around Jeff.

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Posted · Report post

$60 Hellcat from Revell ? Hasegawa maybe ? Even $40 :o

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Posted · Report post

All this is a good example of why I don't do contests. Building is supposed to be a hobby that is fun and stimulating with no deadlines or judgment passed on the end product. Parents need to realize this about model building: builders are interested in systems of parts and how they work together. That's the definition of an engineer. I'm pretty sure that all those NASA guys that put us on the moon were model builders. Isn't it good to encourage your child to be an engineer?

As far as rockets go, the Estes kits were too tame for me. I built my own engines and made my own propellent in the garage. Talk about some grand messes! Tried a two stage once with zinc dust and sulfur that blew in half while still in the launch tube.

Dale

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Posted · Report post

$60 Hellcat from Revell ? Hasegawa maybe ? Even $40 :o

I think the kit was $32 on ebay, plus $10 to ship.

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Posted · Report post

All this is a good example of why I don't do contests. Building is supposed to be a hobby that is fun and stimulating with no deadlines or judgment passed on the end product. Parents need to realize this about model building: builders are interested in systems of parts and how they work together. That's the definition of an engineer. I'm pretty sure that all those NASA guys that put us on the moon were model builders. Isn't it good to encourage your child to be an engineer?

As far as rockets go, the Estes kits were too tame for me. I built my own engines and made my own propellent in the garage. Talk about some grand messes! Tried a two stage once with zinc dust and sulfur that blew in half while still in the launch tube.

Dale

I agree. On one hand, I'd love to have some great builders constructively criticize my work, and tell me how to make it better. I'd like for them to share real and very specific information, and not general statements like "the paint could be better."

But on the other hand, the real world works under deadline, and money is paid for the results. And the world, generally speaking pays and rewards those producing the best work, and work that is completed within a set time frame.

All in all, I don't think that those are bad lessons for a kid to learn.

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Posted · Report post

There are probably model rocket forums on the internet where you can find what you need.

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