Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The (short) 2018 build list...

It's the end of October and time to put together a build list for the coming year. I have done pretty well this year - the Falcon Commander is done, the Gyroc is in the final coat of primer, and the Centuri Mach 10 is under construction. Should easily have the latter two finished by Christmas, which means I will have completed all 3 models on the 2017 list. It would seem that a short list is best for me, given my rocket ADD - I am too easily sidetracked to handle more. So what about this coming year?

Centuri Javelin in the 1971 Centuri catalog (Click to enlarge).
The first choice, and top of the list, is easy - 1968 marks my 50th year in rocketry, so a clone of my first rocket must be the priority. The Centuri Javelin was released in 1965, sporting a black paint decor with a set of white roll bars. It kept this appearance until 1971, when the catalog art showed a white body with a black nose cone and fins, along with orange roll bars and a Centuri logo. This is my favorite style, and I will fashion my clone in a like manner. Its maiden voyage will be powered by a 1/2 A6-2 motor, just as in my first flight almost 50 years ago. I am really looking forward to this build - which should be easy, btw. The only slightly difficult part will be creating the roll bar decal.

The last appearance of the Estes Starlight in the 1972 catalog (Click to enlarge).
The other two models on the list both made catalog appearances in 1968, but I avoided them in the past because they had too much balsa to finish. The Estes Starlight was designed by Bill See, and sported 4 huge fins with rings - the body tube is lost amidst all that fin area. It had a relatively short run - only available from 1968 to 1972 - but its looks are quite appealing. Appealing, that is, if you can get past the thought of all the filling and sanding you will have to do to get a nice looking model. However, 2018 is the year that I am going to tackle this puppy.

Estes Trident in the 1970 catalog (Click to enlarge).
The last model on the list is the Estes Trident. Designed by Gene Street, the rocket features separate nose and tail sections, joined by three tubes that duct the ejection gases up from the motor into the nose, thereby deploying the parachute. This sleek beauty is also finishing hell, possessing 3 nice size fins and 9 (!) balsa nose cones that require sanding and sealing. As a kid, the Trident scared the heck out of me - it seemed a lot of work to build, too much effort to watch it drift away from the small fields I often flew in back then. But now, older and wiser, with my days of cramming into my models the biggest motor that would fit behind me, I am going to build a Semroc version of this kit. Hopefully I can keep it within the confines of Pegasus field.

And that's the build list as it stands now... 3 models over 12 months. I wonder if I can do it 2 years in a row.


  1. My 40th anniversary passed without fanfare this past July. It didn't occur to me until September, and only then after I was already in Dayton without an Estes Beta in my flying circus.

  2. Then you are going to have to have a really big shindig for your 50th!