Friday, November 30, 2018

The weather sucks...

and it is putting a major downer on rocket activities. This November in Huntsville has been unusually rainy, forcing the cancellation of the monthly launch and preventing me from making progress on my builds, which are still sitting in primer. I am seriously hoping that December will be drier, as I would like to finish off my Redstones and, you know, actually fly a few rockets at the club launch on the 8th. You hear that, weather gods? I really, really need to fly and make some headway, so clear dry days would be greatly appreciated. The current rain won't do at all.

I did take advantage of practically the only good day in recent memory to finish a couple of rockets and get the Mercury capsule painted. The first one to be completed was the Sky Bird II - an old Estes plan (#2) from the design book. It features break apart recovery by separating just below the bottom black stripe in the pic. The four color, pseudo native american decor was inspired by the stylized bird on the plan sheet, and I made the decals on my trusty ink jet. I think she turned out pretty well, and am looking forward to see this bird take flight at the next launch.

Sky Bird II (Click to enlarge).Sky Bird II plan sheet (Click to enlarge).
Next to roll off the assembly line was an Estes kit from the late 80's, the Lancer. An easy build, it makes a nice addition to my collection of kits that use the Estes Challenger/Generic fin can.

Estes Lancer (Click to enlarge).
Finally, I managed to paint the Mercury capsule, after struggling for hours trying to assemble that stupid escape tower. Doesn't seem to matter whether they are made of plastic or dowels, escape towers are a pain, especially for those of us with fat fingers. If you build one of these, I do suggest following Chris Michielssen's advice - assemble it from the top down, just like in the old Centuri instructions. After the paint dried, I applied a strip of red pin stripe tape around the capsule base, and it is now ready for the other markings.

Mercury capsule (Click to enlarge).
Waiting for some decent weather...

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