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Old 10-06-2019, 03:10 PM
erik442's Avatar
erik442 erik442 is offline
The Alpha Kid
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: central PA
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Default Challenger 1 Upscale

I noticed that my fleet is short on D powered birds so I've decided to add an upscale of my Challenger 1. Decades of use have taken their toll on my first rocket. Although still a great flier, it's becoming so brittle that I'm going to have to retire it to desk duty on the workbench.
The new one will be based on a BT-60. It will use an 18" tube and a Semroc 60YP nosecone.

My math shows that the tube is only about 3/8" too long and the nose 1/4" longer than exact scale, so I will leave them as they are. I made a pattern and cut the fins from 1/8" basswood.
They will be sanded to a diamond airfoil as per original. I have some plywood rings but will need to make a motor hook. I am also considering installing a baffle. I'll have to locate some decals and scale them up as well.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2019, 03:31 PM
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ghrocketman ghrocketman is offline
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You do know Estes offered an upscale, right ?
The Challenger 2.
That one is BT56 based with a yellow molded cone and Black version of the Enerjet fin can.
It was 24mm powered and was the recommended 24mm booster for the Astrocam 110.
I have 2
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:36 PM
stefanj stefanj is offline
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My brother found me a Challenger 1 that looked a lot like yours.

Someone here found me a new decal; I swapped out the mount and body tube. Gave it a polished finish and it looks pretty sweet.

I like the idea of an upscale.

Have you though about using one of the new screw-on retainers?
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Old 10-06-2019, 03:57 PM
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erik442 erik442 is offline
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Yes, I remember that one. Mostly because it had an Enerjet fin can.
I think I still have a few AstroCams out in the garage.
I'd like to have some of those cans printed to use on an unopened Phoenix Bird kit that I scored on clearance a few years back.
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Old 10-06-2019, 04:05 PM
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erik442 erik442 is offline
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I hadn't considered a screw on retainer. I use them on all my composite powered models, but I've had them melt or bubble on BP motors because the nozzle doesn't extend past the retainer.
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Old 10-20-2019, 05:22 PM
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erik442 erik442 is offline
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I spent several evenings trying to get the fin's diamond shape just right. They seemed flimsy when done, so I reinforced them with kraft paper and thinned Titebond Blue. I used this technique on the balsa fins of my Super Big Bertha and it produced a very strong, lightweight fin that has held up well.
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Old 10-28-2019, 08:30 PM
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I made a hook and finished the motor mount. The nose cone has been plugged with a short length of 1/2" dowel to attach a screw eye, and I stopped by the auto parts store today for a fresh can of Hemi Orange. The fins now have a coat of filler. As soon as I get them sanded I will assemble everything.
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Old 11-11-2019, 06:45 PM
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erik442 erik442 is offline
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The fins have been sanded again. I made a jig and attached it to the back of the motor mount, then glued on the fins. Everything looks straight so I will fit the tube and begin painting. The nose has also been filled and sanded. Now I just have to make some decals.
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