Three rockets currently under construction!
I began construction last night on 3 rockets. I was so anxious to get going, I forgot to get any pics. I'll try to remember to get some as the builds go along. The pic above is a terrible, iPhone-shot picture taken this morning before I left for work. At least it shows some rockets under construction! ;)
The first, and most important, is the PML Callisto, which will serve as my Level 1 Certification rocket (assuming I don't screw up the build). Luckily, construction on this thing is very straightforward. It's not a fast build, because you use 30 minute epoxy for everything when working with high power rockets. So in between many steps, you're waiting at least 30 minutes.
As with most rockets, you start with the motor mount. Epoxy on the top centering ring, wait for that to cure, then epoxy in the piston strap. PML rockets use a piston system for parachute deployment, so you don't need to worry about using wadding or anything. Then, once that's set, you epoxy the motor mount into the airframe tube and set that aside to fully cure.
Then I started on 2 Estes kits: the Der Red Max and the Stormcaster. I learned a couple of things...
1. Estes' idea of "laser cutting" is a joke. Sure it has nice burn marks like real laser cutting. But, honestly, it's WORSE than the die cutting I remember from Estes kits of 20 years ago! It goes about 1/2 to maybe 3/4 of the way through the balsa sheet. Anyway. Got the fins all cut out for both kits.
2. Hobbylite filler warps balsa rocket fins! I had planned to fill the fins of both these rockets, so I can get a nice smooth, awesome-looking paint finish. Started with the Red Max fins, as it's my favorite of the kits. Yeah... they started warping! So I put them between 2 large books and put 100 pounds of weight plates on top. An hour later I had perfect fins again. I'll need to find another technique or another product to use to fill balsa fins in the future. Heh.
Then I moved on the motor mounts for both these rockets. Standard straightforward low-power motor mount construction; nothing exciting there. Set them aside to dry. Came back 4 hours later, and glued the motor mount into the Red Max airframe tube and glued it's fins on. Stormcaster will be taken care of later on.
I still also have an Estes Super Neon kit to start, as well as a Pem-Tech Screamin' Green Meanie. The SGM I want to leave for last, as I want to make sure I'm well-versed in rocket construction again before I do it, as that's a really, really cool model and I want it to come out perfect. :D
Rocket building is one "building hobby" I did always like, and I'm having fun being back into it. I'll keep updated with how it goes - and hopefully remember to get pics of future steps!
In other hobby news, it's likely the Omega will fly somewhat soon. Lots of setup work to be done on it, but I think I can get it at least basically flying soon enough. I also, in a trade, got a Gaui 200 micro helicopter. This is a full-blown "real" CCPM heli, in a very small size. I'll have pics/details on that bird soon.
We're still terrorizing Norrath in rat form! She's been leveling fast: she's nearly 46 now, after being only 23 when we started playing again. We're not "power leveling"; we're just doing some old content, having fun, working on harvesting skills, doing some Heritage Quests for cool items, and such. We duoed a dungeon the other night. It was pretty tough - but it definitely cemented that the Inquisitor + Brigand duo is a very good combination.
I have built dozens of ‘Stormcasters’ and I believe them to be real stars for the beginer. The design is very forgiving and they are a reliable build. They fly very well on a D-5/7 motor. I won’t have a bad word said against them!
I’m sure it’s a nice rocket - mine just came with really, really bad laser cutting. I’m sure it happens sometimes. I’ll cut new fins from fresh stock or something. Heh.