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Old 03-09-2018, 08:32 PM
Andy Greene Andy Greene is offline
Intermediate Rocketeer
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 61
Default Empire Rockets ??

Saw a kit elsewhere that looked kinda cool- anyone have one or have insight on Empire ?
If you could reproduce the nc - it would be a cool upscale. The Sabot -
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Old 03-10-2018, 12:26 AM
BARGeezer BARGeezer is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 452

Don't know about Empire, but the kit looks a lot like the TLP Scimitar:

Maybe same designer? Even has dual 24mm clustered motors.
Reproducing the nose cone could be done by taking a standard long conical balsa nose cone and cutting out a segment , then gluing the tip back on.

Addendum: After reading a couple of reviews of Empire Rocket's kits ( the Bomarc and the Nike Ajax) at EMRR, and piecing together some similarities, I'm wondering if Empire might have been an earlier incarnation of The Launch Pad. Pure speculation on my part, maybe someone can weigh in with some verification. The opinions voiced at the end of the reviews concerning Empire's customer service were mostly negative. Missing recovery components, missing instructions, no response to e-mails, money sent in for kits that never arrived, etc.

Last edited by BARGeezer : 03-10-2018 at 01:43 AM.
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Old 03-10-2018, 05:41 AM
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mojo1986 mojo1986 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Kingston, CANADA
Posts: 1,822

I don't think there was any connection between Empire and The Launch Pad.
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Old 03-10-2018, 01:04 PM
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UMRS UMRS is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Plymouth, Michigan
Posts: 1,005

None at all, We used to sell Empire rockets on our site. I don't remember his name but he ran a small business out of NY state hence "Empire". Ran into some issues owing people kits/money and closed up shop.

The kits were solid if unspectacular . Similar to TLP in some ways.

Originally Posted by mojo1986
I don't think there was any connection between Empire and The Launch Pad.
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Old 03-10-2018, 02:09 PM
BARGeezer BARGeezer is offline
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Posts: 452

Thanks for the info. I stand corrected.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:18 AM
joltinjoecanada joltinjoecanada is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 21

If anyone is looking for a Nike Ajax kit, this seller produces them and sells them on eBay. Nice kit flown on 24 mm and can be converted to 29 mm if you like (your own conversion, not part of the kit). The seller is Vin Sauriol, and when I recently contacted him to ask about decals for a kit I bought from him a year or more in the past, he immediately sent me a set and refused to take any payment. So, a first class guy.

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Old 06-09-2020, 09:48 AM
joltinjoecanada joltinjoecanada is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 21

I just wanted to put in one more plug for Vin Sauriol as a thank you for sending me some free decals for my Nike Ajax kit. Here's another one on eBay that ends tonight.

Very nice kit, 41" long with a nice basswood nose cone. Truer to scale than the Estes kit, and with 24 mm power it will get off the launch pad the way it should to look like a scale launch.

Joe (mojo1986)

PS............I had some difficulty logging in to YORF a while back at the same time that other folks reported a problem, so I had to set up a new account here and now log in as joltinjoecanada. Same guy, new name.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:50 AM
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MarkB. MarkB. is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: El Paso
Posts: 997


Let's not go nuts.

Vin did right by me too, selling me just the basswood nose from this latest Nike Ajax kit and it is MILES better than the old one. I am very much looking forward to finishing it and flying it, hopefully often. And as a measure of success, that makes it a good rocket. I do recommend it.

But, there are two relatively large issues from a scale standpoint: The nose, while better than earlier releases of the kit, is still not even close to scale shape and the Nike body (not the fins) is substantially (20%) over-scale. What makes this puzzling is Vin turns the two critical pieces himself, the basswood nose cone and the balsa transition and could fix this relatively easily, taking the kit from scale-ish to scale, at least in my mind.

The Nike portion is easier to address: The BT-70 needs to be replaced with ST-18 which is perhaps more readily available than it was when Vin originally designed the kits. To correct this, Vin would simply need to turn down the transition piece shoulder to fit the smaller body tube. The advantage is less weight, less surface area (drag), slightly decreased cost to Vin for both balsa and tubing and better scale accuracy.

The nose is trickier. The present 6" nose needs to be thrown out. For purposes of this kit, the basswood nose needs to be 8" long with the first 1.5625" a simple ogive cone with a base diameter of .75 inches and the last 6.375" a straight taper back to the body tube. Both sets of forward "fins" would be on this longer nose cone. Several good things come of making this change: increased nose weight for a rocket that has a lot of forward fin area, it would reduce the length of BT-55 necessary to a more readily available 18" length and as noted, increase scale accuracy. Depending on the size of blanks he uses, I don't think there is saving on basswood to Vin but I don't think there is an increase, either.

As a complete aside, I wish the balsa sticks for conduit were replaced with 3/8" triangle stock to make these easier to simulate.

All of the foregoing is based on the premise of using the upper body tube, a BT-55 or 56 as the scale basis yielding a scale factor around 1:8.96. If Vin were to stick with the BT-70 for the Nike, then the Ajax portion would be very slightly oversize with a BT-60 at a scale factor of 1:7.5. He'd need a nose cone that is larger still in both length and diameter. He'd need bigger fins and longer body tubes and it all sounds a bit more expensive to go this direction. I like the changes I suggested above better as being fairly minimal.

So Vin, if you're out there, those are the tweaks I'd suggest for a "New and Improved" Nike-Ajax. I like the kit as it is and I do appreciate you being good to work with as customer service like you provided recently is a dying art.
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Awaiting First Launch: Aero-Dart; TLP Hellfire; Tomahawk 12, Tomahawk 9; Rescue Alpha
Finishing: Zooch Saturn V; Tomahawk 7; Paiute; Nike-Rams
Repair/Rescue: Centuri Stilleto; Estes Sandhawk; Empire Nike Ajax
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