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  #1  
Old 08-02-2014, 01:58 PM
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MarkB. MarkB. is offline
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Default K-41 Mercury Redstone Project

Next project: A real, live, Estes K-41 Mercury-Redstone.

I thought it was long gone, but my dad found the bag in the back of a storage box, called me and said "Guess what I found . . . ." I started it when I was a little shaver back in 1975 but quickly realized it was beyond me. Now, all is not perfect: the weird little sheet of dowels for the tower has disappeared as have the rings for the tower, the shock cord is rotted and the instruction sheet is gone, but the capsule and engine mount construction from 1975 has held up remarkably well. I ordered replacement decals from Gordy as there's little chance the original sheet is still good.

Using the original balsa sheet I tried to make the famous six piece fins. After much fiddling and salty language, I decided to make a one-piece base fins and use the plates and vanes from the originals. The fillets are outlined in cardstock and I'll build them up with Fill-n-Finish and CA glue. Using some David Weeks drawings, I added cardstock details to the fin can.

I'll post some more pictures as I go along, but really, this will be all about the escape tower. If anybody has the diameter of the little dowels, I'd love to know. I downloaded the plans from JimZ but they don't say.
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  #2  
Old 08-02-2014, 04:11 PM
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Semroc used to offer laser-cut pieces for the 6-piece fins. I bought a few of those sets for my K-41 kits.
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  #3  
Old 08-02-2014, 04:37 PM
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A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Awesome! I would love to see how mine really turned out. I remember being very impressed back in 1978, but it didn't take much to impress me back then. I do have an original capsule as a place to restart.
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On the build floor: Estes PemTech Kraken, Semroc S.P.E.V

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In paint: Centuri Stellar Hercules, Centuri Zebra II, Estes Alpha, Estes Monarch, Semroc Squire

In the body shop: Estes Jayhawk, TLP Perseus

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  #4  
Old 08-11-2014, 12:30 AM
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Well, I did it!

The photo shows the completed pieces for the tower. It's built of 1/12 dowel and toothpicks. It turns out that the toothpicks are very close to 1/12 themselves. I might consider redoing this with smaller diagonals if I ever find smaller diameter dowels.

Both rings were gone so I made the smaller one using SWMBO's punch set. The larger one is a peeled 24mm engine block that I stripped both the inner and outer paper from and then sliced it in half with a razor saw.

Having built both, I'd put the 38 piece Soyuz interstage as slightly more difficult to build than the 29 piece MR escape tower structure only because the Soyuz is structural and there is a fair amount of weight above the structure; on the MR it's only a small balsa dowel for the escape motor.

I'll post more soon.
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SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: micro V-2; Blossom V-2; Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk sustainers (3!)
Repair/Rescue: Eggspress, Centuri Stilleto
On the Bench: Atlas V 541;
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Last edited by MarkB. : 08-11-2014 at 08:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-11-2014, 06:39 AM
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A Twoer, A pun? Made of toothpichs
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  #6  
Old 08-11-2014, 08:39 AM
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Duly edited. That's what I get for posting late at night.
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SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: micro V-2; Blossom V-2; Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk sustainers (3!)
Repair/Rescue: Eggspress, Centuri Stilleto
On the Bench: Atlas V 541;
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7
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  #7  
Old 08-11-2014, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
The photo shows the completed pieces for the tower. It's built of 1/12 dowel and toothpicks. It turns out that the toothpicks are very close to 1/12 themselves. I might consider redoing this with smaller diagonals if I ever find smaller diameter dowels.



I have had decent luck making smaller dowels by twirling them through decreasingly smaller holes in a drill gauge. It takes a bit of practice, but finding the gauge was the hardest part.


Bill
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2014, 11:30 PM
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It occurs to me that one of the definitions of Insanity is to repeat an action with the expectation of different results . . . .

So, I wasn't happy with how the tower came out on a number of levels:

1) It was too wide at the base;
2) The diagonal pieces looked very heavy;
3) The glue joints were a mess and because of extraordinarily high humidity over the last two weeks, they had never quite set properly.

So I took it apart and started over.

This time, I used the Robert Blaske drawings from the Ninfinger website. I still used 1/12 dowel for the long runners and the short cross pieces but deviated from the Estes instructions and went ahead and added the bottom-most cross piece that touches the cap of the capsule. This made the partially completed tower MUCH stronger.

I'm still working on Bill's suggestion of pulling toothpicks through the drill gauge to create 1/16 dowels for the diagonals. In the meantime I'm working on the escape motor. The motor will be a 3/8 " dowel with cardstock wraps and details. Pictures in the morning.
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Identifying a problem without proposing a solution is just whining.

NAR 79743
NARTrek Silver
SAM 062

Awaiting First Launch: micro V-2; Blossom V-2; Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk sustainers (3!)
Repair/Rescue: Eggspress, Centuri Stilleto
On the Bench: Atlas V 541;
Dream Stage: 1/39.37 R-7
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2014, 02:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkB.
I'm still working on Bill's suggestion of pulling toothpicks through the drill gauge to create 1/16 dowels for the diagonals. In the meantime I'm working on the escape motor. The motor will be a 3/8 " dowel with cardstock wraps and details. Pictures in the morning.



If you have trouble making them, I can send you some.


Bill
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Please unload your question before you ask it unless you have a concealed harry permit.

: countdown begin cr dup . 1- ?dup 0= until cr ." Launch!" cr ;

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  #10  
Old 08-28-2014, 01:03 PM
NAR29996 NAR29996 is offline
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You can make small dowels with this tool: http://www.micromark.com/jewelers-draw-plate,6942.html. I'm still honing my technique, but it seems that it should get you the dowels you need.
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