Friday, August 31, 2018

Another Boy Scout rocket...

I just finished the Estes "Space Exploration" Boy Scout rocket, which I bought in a bulk pack from the Boy Scout store (Scout Shop) many moons ago. It was a great deal - 6 rockets for $30, including shipping; unfortunately, this product has been discontinued, with the only offerings being standard Estes fare. The reason is pretty clear - Estes has stopped producing the Ricochet, and the Space Exploration rocket was nothing more than a Ricochet with different stickers. So it went bye-bye with the Ricochet.

The kit parts are good Estes quality - laser-cut fins, nicely fitting plastic adapter and nose cone, and decently strong body tubes. I would rate this build a definite skill level 2, as you have to line up the three components making up the fin. This is more tedious than hard, but it does require that you pay some attention to what you are doing. Finishing was straight forward - 4 coats of Brodak sanding sealer on the fins, then a couple of coats of primer followed by the paint. I screwed up the paint scheme by relying on my failing memory, for if I had bothered to take another look at the box art, I would have seen that one fin was red and the others blue. My memory had all four fins blue, and that's how she was painted. The stickers went on easily, but appear shiny against the paint - you can tell there are stickers on the model. Why can't Estes just give us waterslide decals, which look so much better? I know - stickers are easier for young ones to handle, but they all too often look crappy to us old geezers.

Boy Scout "Space Exploration" rocket (Click to enlarge).
Anyway, the rocket turned out OK, as you can tell from the pic. A bit of trivia for you non-Scouts - the circular logo beneath the American flag is a replica of the Boy Scout Space Exploration merit badge. I thought it was kinda neat that they managed to incorporate that into the kit.

Now it's back to assembly line - I have to apply the second primer coat to the lower part of the Artemis (my 2nd Geezer TARC rocket), build an egglofter for the NRC Eggloft Duration event, and finish assembling my Apogee tower. Gonna be a busy weekend...


  1. Do you brush your Brodak sealer before are after the fins are glued on? From reading your other post, you brush on 2 coats, sand with 400. Then you brush on 2 more coats and sand again with 400? I love Brodak sealer and have been brushing one and then sanding for a total of 3 coats. I find it easier to seal and sand before gluing the fins on especially on the more complicated builds where it is had to sand certain areas once the balsa is glued on.

  2. For simple rockets, I apply the sealer after the fins are glued on, especially if they are 1/16” (reducing chances of fins warping). For complex builds, I apply sealer before gluing on the fins. I may also prime them before.