Contributed by Frank G. Whitby
The instructions were complete and simple to follow. The most intriguing feature of construction is the use of polyurethane glue in the construction of the motor mount. Paper card stock is used to make centering rings which contain the glue and align the motor tube but offer no structural support. The polyurethane glue, when expanded and dried forms a honeycomb-like matrix surrounding the motor tube, filling the void inside the airframe. I have used plenty of this type of glue for projects around the house and was well aware of the pitfalls of using too much--it keeps on foaming and expanding for an hour or so after application and can fill spaces unexpectedly. This happened to me in this case, as I went a bit overboard with the glue on the top end of the motor mount. I rammed a broom stick up through the motor tube every few minutes for a couple of hours to clear excess foaming glue from the front end of the motor tube. This was effective, if messy. Had I not been attentive and aware of the glue as it attempted to seal off the front end of the motor tube, flights would have require a bit extra black powder to effect deployment... In the end, I think this is a very good method of motor mount construction and I will probably use it in some of my other projects.
Naturally, I got way too much polyurethane glue on the aft end of the motor mount too, and I had to cut a bunch of this away later in order to tape my motor in place. I do seem to get carried away with the polyurethane glue, but there is something oddly satisfying about watching it foam up and expand.
The fins required a bit of sanding and shaping, which is tricky with the tiny front fins. The balsa was of good quality and worked well. I followed the instructions and mounted and filleted all fins with 5-minute epoxy. This worked well. The large aft fins feel very sturdy despite their size.
I installed the three-fold shock cord mount as suggested. This seems adequate and should not be difficult to replace when necessary.
I punched holes in the airframe for rail button mounting before finishing, but waited to glue the buttons in place until after finishing. There was no clear description of this process in the instructions but the requirements were obvious.
Overall, I built the kit as described. It required considerable time to deal with 12 fins and the unusual motor mount construction. I saw no defects in the kit or instructions except the omission of the point about rail button mounting and the boy tube crimp. The kit was satisfying to build and I plan to build the 3-motor fat rocket soon.
Photo courtesy of Cycline3
Overall, I like the missile-look paint scheme, and I added the four US flag decals that came with the kit. I epoxied the rail buttons on after the paint was mostly dry.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
What You Can Do