Saturday, July 25, 2020

What can you do with the Estes Generic fin can?

You can replicate a bunch of old rockets, that's what. Even though the fin can has evolved from rectangular fins with a diamond shaped cross-section to the current one with a slightly swept leading edge and a wedge-shaped cross-section, you can use the modern version in cloning the older rockets from the late 1970's  and early 1980's- Only the most nerdy of rocket nerds is able to tell the difference. Here's a list of the rockets that have used this fin can:

#1418 STAR TREK (starter set) (1976-1978) - O
#1416 Challenger-1 (1977-1986) - C
#1420 STAR WARS Proton Torpedo (starter set) (1977-1980) - O
#1328 Kadet (1979-1986) - O
#1333 Scorpion (used 2 fin units) (1980-1988) - C
#1438 DUNE Guild Heighliner (starter set) (1985)
#1417 Screaming Eagle (starter set) (1987-1991)
#1993 Lancer (1988-1989) - B
#2026 Athena (1990-1998) - B
#2042 America (1991-1992) - B
#1447 America (1993-1994) - B
#2076 Pegasus (1994-1996) - B
#2092 Mongoose (used 2 fin units) (1994-2005; 2008-present) - O
#1764 Generic bulk pack (1994-present) - O
#1805 Asteroid Hunter (1998) - B
#1472 Scorpion (2000-2001)
#1235/1260 Sky Writer #2 (2002-present) - B

In the above list, B(uilt) means it is part of my fleet, O(wn) means it is part of my stash and C(lone) means I replicated it. The Dune set is extremely rare and goes for a very high price when it does appear, so I am currently focused on the #1417 Screaming Eagle and the #1472 Scorpion (Estes loves reusing names, so the numbers are necessary to avoid confusion with other rockets). The Screaming Eagle, being the oldest of the two, is up first. It is a pretty standard build - fin can, 9.5 inch Estes BT-50 body tube, motor mount, and a PNC-50YR plastic nose cone. The patriotic paint job is also easy - red nose, white body, and blue fins; very little masking.

Estes Screaming Eagle (Click to enlarge).
Only difficult part of this build is the decal - there are no scans available. So I spent an hour or so this afternoon trying to replicate it. I suck at drawing, so there were some colorful words, but in the end I managed to generate a reasonable facsimile:

Now all I have to do is put the grab on the parts and start the build. And you want to know the best part?

Very little sanding.

P.S. - The Estes Generic is a GREAT 1st rocket for kids, especially young groups. Not only does it go together quickly with little fuss, it also comes with a good set of stickers for decoration. I have found that kids absolutely love to customize these rockets using markers. 12 rocket bulk packs can be had cheaply from AC Supply or

1 comment:

  1. I have the Star Wars Proton Torpedo sitting down by the printer waiting for me to figure out how to best replicate the hot pink parts. It's been built for years, waiting on my figuring. Sigh.