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  #51  
Old 02-11-2021, 11:13 AM
Scott_650 Scott_650 is offline
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Now that I have my Estes 3Ē PSII DBRM in hand hereís a few thoughts. If youíre looking for the return of the mid-2010s PSII kits this is not the rocket for you - there are plenty of other vendors who will happily sell you a MPR/HPR 2-4Ē kit, including Toby Vanderbeek with an improved version of the Mega Der Red Max - this is not one of those rockets. The Big Max is a very good LPR/MPR kit, not perfect by any stretch, but very good. The 3 piece fins wouldnít be my first choice but the balsa and laser cutting of my fin set is good quality and well done. The body tube is heavier than regular Estes Euclid sourced paper tubes with cleanly cut fin slots - I havenít checked the fit of the fins but if itís typical of Estes TTW slots theyíre on the snug size - as preferred since opening up the slots is preferable to filling oversized ones. The nose cone is a lovely rendition of the PNC-60AH cone, nicely molded though it does have the infamous PNC-3000A ďBig DaddyĒ style shoulder that some folks attribute the BDís tendency for lawn darting to. The accessory pack has the well made Estes 29mm threaded motor retainer, plenty of clay nose weight, the ubiquitous Estes rubber shock cord and trifold mount and big tube style launch lugs.

Now the stuff that really seems to be causing consternation - the plastic chute and self-stick decals. Chute first - itís a heavy, almost vinyl-like plastic with the classic skull and bones printing. Looks good but I wonít deny Iíd much prefer it was nylon rather than plastic - I wonít be using mine in cold weather for sure and will probably swap it out for a homemade chute kludged up from a cheapo cloth novelty pirate flag. It appears perfectly serviceable and definitely heavier duty than a standard Estes chute but a nylon one wouldíve been a great addition. The decals donít quite reach the almost vinyl level of the Quest Advanced Rocketry kitsí self-stick decals but do appear better than Estes standard self-sticks - Iíll call them a serviceable near miss. Some enthusiast/advanced builders will certainly be unsatisfied and will probably swap them out for an inclusive set of cut vinyl from Stickershock. Iíll be using mine for my first kit and a variation from Stickershock if I end up buying a second one. Overall I give the new Big Max a solid ďBĒ - not perfect but a solid kit, a decent value at its $49.99 list price and a great one at the discounted $29.99 price from online vendors.

Now hereís my thoughts about why this kit is what it is. The biggest elephant in the room would be the fins - why pieced together balsa fins? I think thereís two primary reasons: first, weight - in order to make it flyable on an adapted Estes E12, second is cost - with the cost of balsa rising this is probably the only way the fins can be done and hit Estes needed price point. A third and minor reason could be packaging - stuff has to fit in a box a certain size based on retailer shelf space so the fin sheets size may have been limited by those considerations. Now the decals - self-stick decals arenít my first choice but these are pretty good for what they are. And for a builder with minimal experience who picks this kit because itís really cool looking self-sticks are a better choice than water slides. Finally, this kit was never going to mark the return of the older PSII builder kits, ever. All the current PSII kits must be flyable on both Estes 29mm motors and adapted 24mm motors so anything heavier isnít happening.
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  #52  
Old 02-11-2021, 03:19 PM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_650
Now that I have my Estes 3Ē PSII DBRM in hand hereís a few thoughts.
[Ö]


Scott,

Good review. I havenít ordered one yet, but I have seen a friendís kit. I do have the plywood fins and centering rings upgrade kit from Vanderburn. I ordered it and the Big Daddy 29mm full upgrade kit from Toby last week.

I hope Estes offers the new ďDRM-styleĒ nose cone as a separate part, like they do for the 4Ē version for the MDRM. I have an MDRM kit, but ordered several nose cones and tubes for cloning in the future.
The slotted 3Ē tube for the DBRM would be nice, but Estes already stocks the 3Ē PSII tube, and BMS also sells this tube. Slotting them yourself is a relatively easy task.

I will attempt my own vinyl decals on my Cricut, but my fallback will be Stickershock. I am not overly concerned about the chute, since I rately use kit chutes, preferring to us thin mill nylon like TopFlight, Apogee, or Spherachutes.
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  #53  
Old 02-11-2021, 03:31 PM
Scott_650 Scott_650 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeR
I hope Estes offers the new ďDRM-styleĒ nose cone as a separate part, like they do for the 4Ē version for the MDRM.

I will attempt my own vinyl decals on my Cricut, but my fallback will be Stickershock.

Thanks! Itís been intriguing reading other folks opinions about this kit, hopefully my thoughts at least brought some amusement.

I really hope the 3Ē AH nose cone is made available as well - there are a couple upscales Iíd love to build. Itís one of Estes best looking nose cones.

Try and post some pictures of your CriCut made decals, itís an interesting machine. Iíve seen pictures of card stock centering rings made with one and have wondered if it could cut fins from balsa sheets?
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  #54  
Old 02-11-2021, 06:05 PM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_650

Try and post some pictures of your CriCut made decals, itís an interesting machine. Iíve seen pictures of card stock centering rings made with one and have wondered if it could cut fins from balsa sheets?


The Cricut Maker will cut balsa and basswood with the optional knife tool (about a $40 accessory, but cheaper online). If you only want to cut vinyl and material like paper and cardstock, the Explore Air 2 machine is a cheaper solution.

I have mostly cut name decals. I have cut images like the Enerjet decals. These required a high-res scan and some cleanup in the Cricut design software. I have also imported images like the Goblin decal sheet. The Deuces Wild rocket has a name decal plus a simple roll pattern I did. Cricut Design Space has rudimentary drawing and editing tools. I have played a little with Inkscape to create designs and export to Cricut. Lots of YouTube videos are available to learn from.

Here are a few of my rockets sporting Cricut vinyl decals.
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  #55  
Old 03-01-2021, 05:16 AM
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5x7 5x7 is offline
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I asked Tango Papa what a set of just the missing decals (Water slide) would cost and the lowest he could do is $20 plus shipping, because he has to use one sheet of decal paper. For comparison, The almost full set from Stickershock is 30, I say almost because I think you have to paint the black band under the wrap around skulls at the top of the tube.

These are on the original Kit decal sheet but missing from the Der Big Red Max:

1 large fin cross
1 Der Red Max (word) on the missing fin decal, the ĎDerí above the Red Max is on the left
1 White X882 nosecone decal
1 white foot Nicht Stompen
1 white hand Mit Grabben
1 small skull in helmet
1 Top Secret

Tom added some extras to fill the sheet, I mentioned the X882 was thick, but he said he would need to charge more to redraw it, so Iíll probably thin the X882 With an exacto. I attached two pics of the one sheet so you can see how nice it is.
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Last edited by 5x7 : 03-01-2021 at 04:54 PM.
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