Sunday, October 4, 2015


The weather has positively sucked the past several days - dreary, dismal, and wet. Our Fall seasons are normally very nice, but this one has started out poorly. The forecast shows some potentially better weather tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday, so I am hopeful that I will be able to get through some of the painting backlog. I have a Squirrel Works Vulture and Estes Vampire clone awaiting paint, and two Der Red Maxen needing primer. I need to get these guys finished and off the bench.

The poor weather hasn't stopped me from building though. Last night I put together an Aerospace Specialty Products (ASP) NEO Standard. It's one of their 18mm starter kits, and I must say it is very nice. High quality parts - a strong body tube with practically no seams, thick laser cut fins, a kevlar shock cord attachment, and an appropriately long sewing elastic shock cord (those in most kits - especially Estes - are way too short). The motor tube protrudes about an inch from the bottom, which gives the rocket a somewhat unique appearance. Here's a pic of it tacked together:

Nekkid NEO Standard - Der Red Max to the left, Vampire clone in the
background right, and another Red Max's fin visible at right edge. The
work bench is crowded (Click to enlarge)!
The NEO went together fairly quickly, but you do need to pay a little attention to the well-written instructions to make sure you get the centering rings in the right position on the motor tube. A lot of beginners like to use super glue when they build a rocket - this one is a white/wood glue bird, at least when assembling and installing the motor mount. You definitely do not want things to get stuck in the wrong place.

A finished NEO Standard from the ASP web site. I will try to duplicate this
paint/marking scheme (Click to enlarge).
There was some big news from Estes this week, which sent ripples throughout the universe of rocket geezers. The old 1/45th scale Centuri Little Joe II is one of the most sought after kits in Rocketdom, commanding prices of hundreds of dollars when they make rare appearances on eBay. Well, those prices are about to get lower, because Estes is planning on re-releasing this kit in December, for the bargain price of $49.99! I say re-release, but it's really not - John Boren, the chief designer for the big E, says that the only things used from the old Centuri kit production were the molds for the capsule and tower; everything else is new for this model. He posted some pics on the forums and on Facebook, and the rocket looks absolutely beautiful!

Upcoming Estes Little Joe II (Click
to enlarge).
Closeup showing detail (Click to enlarge).
I NEED a couple of these - Santa, are you listening?

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