Modified Estes Renegade (aka My Big Fat Pig)
After finding my boxes of old rocket stuff a couple of months ago, I've dived back into the hobby with a vengeance. As part of my re-introduction, I of course had to come up to speed on the current offerings from all of the manufacturers. After finding this site and learning about the HL 50% off coupon a few weeks back, I made a trip up to Madison and made my first kit purchase in over 18 years, an Estes #2109 Renegade.
Now, this being the 21st century and all, I didn't just start building it right away. I searched the Renegade threads on this forum and read the reviews on EMRR before even opening the package. It seemed that the overwhelming consensus was that the booster was just to **** heavy with all those wings and cones to survive more than a few flights. Hmmm, what to do, what to do?
I've always been of the opinion that any two-stage rocket must look good as a single-stage as well. Looking at Estes design, the Renegade in s.s. format is actually quite boring. Right back to the "3 fins and a nose cone" formula that puts me to sleep. So modification #1;
Main forward-swept wings with wingtip pods moved forward to end of main body tube.
This made the upper stage look quite cool by itself, but that still left the side pods and their heavy nose cones attached to the booster. I liked how the side pods nestled under the main wings, but I also wanted to keep the booster stage a little interesting too, so Modification #2;
Side pods moved 1.25" forward and split at upper/booster joint.
This gave me the overall look I wanted, but I was concerned about the alignment of the side pod lowers on the booster and the side pod uppers on the main body lining up, so Modification #3;
Addition of BT-50 tube couplers to side pod joints.
At last with the final physical changes complete, I had to finish her up. After looking at my fleet and realizing I had A LOT of black, white, and grey, I decided that I needed to add a little more color. I really like the picture in the EMRR review with the yellow booster, so Modification #4;
Color scheme changed to Rust-Oleum American Accents spray paint "Midnight Blue" and "Summer Squash"
Here's a some pictures of the final result.
#1 - Overall view
#2 - Close-up of the rear section showing the relocation of the main wings and the forward shift of the side pods.
#3 - The booster pulled out about a quarter inch to show the line-up of the upper and lower side pods.
#4 - A final shot of just the booster showing the added BT-50 couplers.
Flight report to follow when she goes airborne next weekend.
P.S. - The "Big Fat Pig" moniker is because of all of the dang Play-Doh I had to stuff into the nose cone to make her stable...
Lookin Cool BUT...
If I were doing it, I would eliminate the tube couplers.
Use a set of 3 toothpicks set equally around in the tube .
It aligns the tubes and is lots lighter.
This will allow you to reduce the nose wt and thus increase performance.
BAR gone Hi-Power - B I G Mars Landers RULE !!!
To keep weight down, I didn't use full BT-50 tube couplers. Each one is only 1/2" long, with 1/4" inside each tube side.
I did the swing test with both stages this morning, and she flew nice 'n' straight. I can't wait to send her up on Saturday!
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