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Contributed by Jason Orosco
The Mini Max is a single stage 13mm rocket with a streamer used for recovery. It's the baby brother to the Der Red Max.
Basic Estes Instructions well written and the fin marking guide and shock chord mount are included in the instructions you need to cut out.
I started with laser cut fins sanding both sides of the sheet and cutting them out, sanding the leading edge. The fins are nice a sturdy. The engine mount was the next process. It is a nice sturdy engine mount tube and not one of those flimsy blue tubes.
The nice sturdy laser cut center rings not the flimsy ones that in passing look like they have been hit with a punch. The next process was cutting out the tube marking guide from the instructions, wrapping it around the body tube and then marking the lines on the tube. I used wood glue to attach the fins to the body tube. While that was drying, I cut out the shock chord mount and assembled that. That was glued in after the fins had dried. Next was the launch lug, which was glued to the body tube with white glue.
The next step was a dry test fit of the engine mount into the body. It was a nice fit without having to sand the center rings. I put a bead of white glue inside the body and engine was inserted and left to dry. Next was the screw eye which was centered into the nose cone after being sanded smooth.
I added a drop of glue in the hole to keep the screw eye from pulling out during ejection charge. The base of the nose cone needed a little sanding to get a nice snug fit. The last phase was apply a fillet of glue to the fins and launch lug and attach the streamer to the shock cord with masking tape .
Finishing the Mini Max was easy. I applied 2 coats of sanding sealer to the fins and nose cone, letting the coats dry between. I then applied a 3rd coat and let it dry with a final sanding of the fins and nose cone. After wiping down with a tact cloth, I applied a coat of Rustoleum White primer and let it dry, sanding between coats. After wiping with tact cloth, I applied a coat of Valspar Gloss Black paint, again letting it dry between the two coats. For the body tube and fins, they were painted using Valspar Gloss Red Paint and letting dry between the two coats. After drying for two days, I applied the decals letting them dry overnight. I then applied a light coat of Future floor finish to protect the decals. This provided a nice glossy finish and the decals were easy to apply.
Construction Rating: 5 out of 5
The first 2 flights were on Estes 1/2A3-2T motors. Both were nice low flights and easy to track. The last two flights of the day were on Estes A10-3 motors and nice high flights, but easy to track.
All flights were good and streamer fully deployed fine. On one of A10-3 flights I didn't add enough wadding and scorched the nose cone. I just need to sand and reapply a coat of paint.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
This is a great rocket. It seems Estes is moving in the right direction going with the sturdy laser cut fins and center rings. Also, it's nice to have a sturdy engine mount tube instead of the flimsy blue tube, Nice hard wood BNC that holds up well.
Overall Rating: 5 out of 5
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