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  #1  
Old 07-18-2015, 05:01 PM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Default ESTES ROCKS! #7240 Honest John Build

Went to Chili Blaster today. It's an annual event hosted by the Southern Colorado Rocketry Enthusiasts (SCORE) section, and it's also where my company, United Launch Alliance, conducts their annual intern rocket launch. Estes was there with some new products, including the new Honest John (#7240) kit. To my chagrin, they said it was a pre-production kit, and the "real" kits wouldn't be available until September. Still, it gave me the chance to admire the new tooling. The nose cone is beautiful, with the spin thruster housings molded in (unlike the Maxi-Brute version, where you had to cut them out and attach them to the cone). The boattail looks fantastic too. They said they will make minor tweaks to the pre-production kits, so the production version is "perfect!" I can't wait!

As you can guess by the name of this thread, things got AWESOME at the end of the day. Michael Fritz, the Estes Marketing Director, called me over, handed me the kit and said, "Build it, and let me know what you think!" Twist my arm, right? So, with a huge THANK YOU to Estes, I'm going to attempt my first build thread (please be patient). The kit photo is attached. Will open her up later tonight, photograph the pieces, and start the build.
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  #2  
Old 07-18-2015, 05:39 PM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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Very Cool.
I always liked their original 'grean header' Skill level 4/BT-50 based kit; that one was a real 'builders' kit.
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  #3  
Old 07-18-2015, 05:46 PM
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LeeR LeeR is offline
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Anxiously awaiting pictures! Its the only way us "regular" folks can admire the new kit. Otherwise we will have to wait until September to see one ...

Re: Mike Fritz

Estes support is really fantastic. I've been pulling out old kits from boxes that have been stashed away for a several years. I have a 2-stage Renegade (2109), and the updated version that is just single stage. I had opened up the 2-stage kit when I first got it, but I had misplaced my instructions. I went to the Estes website to download a copy. The PDF only had a couple pages. I contacted Estes, and Mike went to R&D and sent me the full PDF file a day later.

They always make it a high priority to answer customer questions and help resolve issues quickly.
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  #4  
Old 07-18-2015, 06:20 PM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
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Default Parts

OK - here are the parts. I had to split this photo in half because of the limitation on attachment size. There are four identical sheets of balsa. Next to the balsa is a band that wraps around the center of the body tube. It is laser-cut, as are the holes in it. The holes are off-center, which might be one of the fixes coming in the final kit (this part was symmetric in the Maxi-Brute kit, but you had to cut the holes yourself!). Also of note is the twist-on/twist-off motor retainer, as Estes has been using in their 29mm kits. Nice to see one available in 24mm now! Finally, a close-up of the nose cone spin nozzles and boattail.

I don't anticipate painting in the "test article" scheme on the package. Hopefully somebody (are you reading this, Gordy?) will produce the "operational" type decals like the Maxi-Brute version had.....
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  #5  
Old 07-18-2015, 06:23 PM
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BEC BEC is offline
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Cool! I'll be watching.

The SLV has the 24mm screw-on motor retainer as well. Works a treat.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2015, 07:25 PM
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sandman sandman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frognbuff
OK - here are the parts. I had to split this photo in half because of the limitation on attachment size. There are four identical sheets of balsa. Next to the balsa is a band that wraps around the center of the body tube. It is laser-cut, as are the holes in it. The holes are off-center, which might be one of the fixes coming in the final kit (this part was symmetric in the Maxi-Brute kit, but you had to cut the holes yourself!). Also of note is the twist-on/twist-off motor retainer, as Estes has been using in their 29mm kits. Nice to see one available in 24mm now! Finally, a close-up of the nose cone spin nozzles and boattail.

I don't anticipate painting in the "test article" scheme on the package. Hopefully somebody (are you reading this, Gordy?) will produce the "operational" type decals like the Maxi-Brute version had.....


OK, I did a test print, sorry that's what I have to do it now.
It came out great!

Here it is;

http://www.excelsiorrocketry.com/pr...?id_product=813

You guys just have to ask.

I can do the old black test round too if anybody asks.
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Last edited by sandman : 07-18-2015 at 07:41 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:01 PM
Brent Brent is online now
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Now I want two. LOL
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:42 PM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
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Default Step 1

Step 1 involves removing the blisters on the boattail where the fins will attach, then sawing off the ends of the boattail. The plastic is pretty soft, so be careful. I sanded off the mold seam too. The soft plastic only needed 320-grit sandpaper to come clean. I think the light sanding should help paint adhesion later on as well. After this photo, I smoothed it out even more with 400-grit sandpaper.
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  #9  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:52 PM
frognbuff frognbuff is offline
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Default Step 2

Step 2 entails building up the fins. I hoped the fins would be wood cores with built-up cardstock to give the beveled shape (much like the Pro-Series Patriot or Astrobee 1500 by Saturn Press). Alas, the fins are just two pieces of 1/16" balsa glued flat to the 1/16" balsa core. The bevel must be sanded. NOT MY FORTE! I'm open to suggestions on how to achieve a clean bevel.

Anyway, I'm building up one side at a time, then letting the glue dry under the weight of bean-bag style scuba weights. (The weights pretty much cover the fins). This is enough for tonight. Jeffy Jeep would stop now for an IPA and a Scotch. I'll settle for a nice Pale Ale!
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  #10  
Old 07-18-2015, 09:02 PM
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mwtoelle mwtoelle is offline
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I would use a razor plane to get a rough airfoil, then use sanding block to obtain the final shape.
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