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  #11  
Old 07-05-2017, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JumpJet
Hopefully by the next production run the nose cone will again be Red like it used to be.

John Boren


I presume you mean the header card art....since the blow-molded nose cones themselves have all been white (so far as I know, anyway).
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2017, 12:16 AM
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The change gives one hope that the Halloween colors of the Alpha III could someday change ...

Unti then, here is how I do them.
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  #13  
Old 07-06-2017, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
I presume you mean the header card



Yes




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  #14  
Old 07-06-2017, 02:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex R
I discovered a possible reason for the protruding motor mount tube (and a solution). the (now) stock motor hook is too wide to allow for the tube to be flush, one can't get a motor in or out of the tube. fortunately semroc/erockets has old style motor hooks that will work.
Rex
Thank you--that makes sense. I couldn't see them "changing it just for the sake of novelty," as is done occasionally for decor schemes.
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  #15  
Old 07-06-2017, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
Jason,

I have a bulk box of very recent Alphas (using it to plan for what Pat commented on just above) and the fins appear to be the same planform as they have had since they went to laser cut. That planform IS different than the die-cut version , which is VERY close to the original SP-25 pattern.
Thank you for confirming that (that the fin planform *hasn't* changed since they went to laser-cut fins).
Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
I guess I'm going to have to see if I can find one in the new style packaging that Bob reported on. I've seen that packaging for awhile at my local Hobby Lobby - but they don't carry the Alpha. So maybe HobbyTown.....
Yes! I agree with John Boren that this brief "decor scheme & kit header aberration" will make these particular Alpha kits collectors' items (for the same reason that short runs of accidentally upside-down printed postage stamps become collectors' items; they're so rare). And:

Thanks to pterodactyl for covering your Alpha 50th Anniversary project for the Museum of Flight! (Estes could possibly provide a batch of Alpha kits [although Alpha IIIs would be easier] as "Make It, Take It" rockets for the fun fly that will be part of the event--that might be a combination PR *and* tax write-off possibility for them...)
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  #16  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:17 AM
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We're going to do regular Alphas rather than IIIs....the III's 50th anniversary is a few years off yet, and sadly we can't invite Mike Dorffler to attend when that comes around in - what - 2022? I will have to figure out how to build one safely in about an hour and a half, but I think I can do that.

I'm not quite sure I agree with Rex about the motor hook. I put a recent Alpha together from the bulk box I alluded to above (date code on the box from sometime last year - and showing the projecting motor tube in the instructions) and I built it with the motor tube flush with the aft end of the body. It is true that you have to pull the motor hook out far enough to flex the main BT a little to get a motor in or out, but it's certainly not impossible. However, pulling the mount aft would obviate the need to flex the BT-50....and gain a precious 1/4 inch of space in the body for wadding/chute.

(it really gets tight in there to add a PerfectFlite FireFly as well....but it can be done. I have an older bulk-kit Alpha from six years ago - awful soft blue motor tube - that has the motor mount flush with the aft end - and it has a couple of dozen flights with a FireFy aboard now. But...I have to pack the 'chute really tightly and it doesn't always open. Substituting a Semroc 12 inches has helped.)
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Last edited by BEC : 07-06-2017 at 02:51 PM. Reason: address a case of mistaken identity :) (sorry, Lee)
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  #17  
Old 07-06-2017, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
[...]

I'm not quite sure I agree with Lee about the motor hook.
[...]

That wasn't me! It was my twin brother Rex R!
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  #18  
Old 07-06-2017, 03:21 PM
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Lee, edited my post.

I will say that Rex's rationale seems plausible. The motor hooks with the finger tabs do need to go over further to install/remove a motor and maybe someone at Estes (before John Boren) decided that momentarily deforming the base of the body tube to get the motor in or out was not a good idea for the target users of the kit.

The details of the motor mount assembly have changed several times that I know of and I'm still gathering data for where I have gaps in the chronology. But this last change - to push the motor mount assembly aft 1/4 inch - is pretty recent. It's happened in the last handful of years.

The reason I asked Bob Sanford about the face card of that new packaging is that up to the latest ones I've see, the projecting motor tube is not shown in the illustrations. Instead it's flush to the aft end of the body tube as it has been since the beginning of the Alpha. Yet more minutiae.....
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  #19  
Old 07-06-2017, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEC
Bob,

Did the box rendering show the motor tube sticking out the aft end of the rocket by 1/4 inch? That's what the current instructions have one do (though I don't have any idea why).

I wonder, too, looking at what you posted, if the nose cone has changed again.....

On the red/white/blue color scheme.....sometimes the colored fin is shown blue, sometimes red. And of course at some point the markings went from waterslide deals to peel-n-stick. I'm not sure when that happened. One of the many Alpha evolution things I'd like to lay out on a time line in this 50th anniversary year of the Alpha kit.


The facer card does not appear to show the motor tube extending out the aft end of the model.

I don't know if the shape of the Alpha nose cone has changed. The last Alpha I built was in the early 1970s and that model had a balsa nose cone plus I had to cut the fins out of a sheet of balsa.

I look forward to your postings concerning the 50th anniversary of the Alpha.
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  #20  
Old 07-06-2017, 04:22 PM
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Bob,

OK - thanks.

I'm starting on this huge spreadsheet that will be based on using each different version of the instructions for the rows to try to lay all this out. That's the only way I'm going to even be able to try to keep it all straight.

Even the K-25 Alpha (BNC-50K, cut your own fins) has at least two different motor mount arrangements. Since then the big changes were die cut, then laser cut fins, going to a blow-molded nose cone (at least two shapes at different times) and several motor mount variations. And then there's the livery changes, culminating (for now) in the one you started this thread with.

I flew a BNC-50K/cut your own fins by tracing around the SP-25 pattern Alpha at NSL, done up in the simple two-color livery, but substituting the white with gold for the 50th year. That one was a little hard to find on the ground.... Parts for it came mostly from a late 1960's kit I got on eBay but which arrived with a crushed main body tube. Fortunately the one constant for all Alpha variations I've seen is a 7.75 inch-long BT-50 for the body.

Note to others reading this: by "Alpha" in this context I mean the K-25, later 1225 Alpha and it's bulk-packaged and starter/launch set packaged compatriots and not Alpha II, III, or IV (though I believe the Alpha IIs all have 7.75 inch BT-50s as the main body as well).
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