Welcome to (formerly Essence's Model Rocket Reviews or EMRR). is the home of almost 5000 reviews of rocketry kits and products. Written by visitors to like you, the reviews cover everything from low-power model rocket kits to high-power rocket motors.

The site's Flight Log allows you to record and share your rockets and their flights.  The Builds feature helps you document your rocketry projects. 

At, you'll also find a large collection of rocketry resources such as a list of rocketry clubs, a calendar of rocketry events, and large libraries of OpenRocket design files and Rocksim design files. A number of rocketry tools and calculators are available to help you design, build, and fly your rockets.

As you explore, you'll also find a number of fun things such as a huge library of rocketry videos and a collection of photo albums.


The mobile site makes it easy to add flights to your Flight log using a smart phone or tablet. Visit:

The mobile site allows you to view and enter flights in your Flight Log and to view and add rockets to your Rocket Gallery using simple controls designed for smartphones and tablets. You must have an existing account which the mobile site will ask you to log into.

See Also:

Today's Featured Review

Descon Simply Charmin


Contributed by David S Chen


This is my first entry in any Descon. In keeping with the theme, I designed "Simply Charmin" with the primary goal of making its components and construction as simple as possible. "Simply" refers to its simple construction and "Charmin" relates to its origin from toilet tissue rolls. 

For materials, you will need several cardboard tubes from toilet tissue and paper towels and one medium sized generic plastic easter egg (I got a dozen at ToysRUs for 18 cents). You will also need some scrap balsa wood, a short length of BT-20 tubing, parachute and shock cord material.

The body tube is constructed from two paper towel tubes coupled together. The nosecone is constructed from the easter egg. You can use just the half with the inner lip or construct a more streamlined and heavier version by cementing the two halves together (explained in the assembly instructions). The tube fins are toilet tissue rolls. The most complicated aspect of this project is assembling the engine mount.

Not all cardboard tubes are suitable however. I have found some that are just the perfect diameter for mating with the easter egg ("Coronet" brand paper towels and "Quilted Northern" brand toilet tissue). These have a diameter of approximately 1.75 inches. Some tubes are just a bit smaller at 1.70 inches but these are good for use as couplers ("Charmin" brand). I'm sure there are other brands that are suitable. There is also a difference in quality. The "Coronet" and "Northern Quilted" tubes are constructed quite well and are much thicker and more substantial than those from say "Charmin", this rocket's namesake.

click to enlarge


Height: 24.75 inches
Diameter: 1.75 inches
Weight: 4.9 ounces
Engine: C5-3 only
Altitude: 250 feet


Components and Aft View of Assembled Rocket


2 - cardboard tubes from "Coronet" brand paper towels (or other 1.75" dm tube).
7 - cardboard tubes from "Quilted Northern" brand toilet tissue (or other 1.75" tube).
1 - medium sized generic plastic easter egg (mine was purchased from TRU).
1 - 2.75" BT-20 engine mount tube (I had a spare from a kitbashed Estes kit).
1 - Engine thrust ring (Estes BT-5 to BT-20 heavy duty centering ring).
1 - 3.50" small diameter plastic straw (for the launch lug).
1 - Estes plastic 18" parachute (with optional snap swivel).
some cereal box cardboard (for centering rings)
some scrap 1/16" balsa sheet (to mount the engine tube)
some scrap styrene plastic sprue (to construct an eyelet for the shock
some ? inch elastic (for the shock cord)
some modeling putty.


1) Construct the body tube by coupling two paper towel tubes together end-to-end using a portion of one of the toilet paper rolls as a coupler. You can smear a thin coat of white glue over the interior and exterior of the tube ends to add strength and to remove rough and fraying edges (same for the toilet paper rolls).
2) Glue six toilet paper rolls around the base of the body tube for tube fins (make sure they project one inch below the base of the body tube).
3) Glue the engine thrust ring inside one end of the engine mount tube.
4) Precisely measure and cut out three 2.75" x 0.45" pieces of 1/16" balsa sheetwood and glue them longitudinally onto the sides of the engine mount
tube at one third intervals.
5) Trace and cut out a centering ring utilizing cereal box cardboard and glue it to the end of the engine mount tube facing the interior of the rocket
(optional - trace and cut out a second centering ring to be glued to the aft end of the engine mount). This purpose of this centering ring is to seal off the aft end of the body compartment and not to support the engine mount.

Motor Mount

6) Glue the finished engine mount assembly into the base of the body tube.
7) Glue the plastic straw between two of the toilet paper tolls and the body tube to serve as a launch lug.
8) Construct the nose cone by cementing the more convex half of the plastic easter egg to the less convex half.
9) Apply putty (I used Squadron Green Putty) around the gap between the two egg halves, sand smooth when dried.

Nosecone Fabrication (click image to enlarge)

10) Bend plastic sprue into a U-shape, cut and cement inside the easter egg nosecone (optional - use scrap plastic Estes E2X launch lugs).
11) Cut a 3 foot length of ? " elastic (optional - use ? " elastic or kevlar) for the shock cord; mount inside body tube using method of your own choice. Tie the other end to the easter egg nosecone.
12) Tie parachute (or use a snap swivel) to the easter egg nosecone.
13) Optional step: prime and paint the rocket.
14) Optional step: to reduce the "Krushnic" effect on the engine thrust, use scissors to cut away the interior sections of the tube fins protruding beneath the base of the body tube.

Charmin' before painting


"Simply Charmin" weighs a hefty 4.9 ounces without the engine (this is largely due to the numerous coats of primer and paint that I applied) so the only engine that can be used safely is a C5-3. If you left this rocket unpainted and used a simpler easter egg nosecone, a ounce or more could be shaved off its weight and it might then be eligible for a C6-3. I preferred to give it a smooth and glossy finish and the appearance of a commercial satellite launch vehicle. The additional primer and paint also significantly strengthened the tubes. There is no need to add nose weight as the CG falls more than one body tube diameter ahead of the CP (calculated using VCP and confirmed by the flight test).

(click to enlarge image)

"Simply Charmin" flew for the first time on May 5, 2001 on a breezy day with wind gusts up to 25 mph. Not ideal flying weather but I had to test its flightworthiness before the current Descon deadline. Between gusts of wind and despite it, "Simply Charmin" flew straight up with no weathercocking at all. By eye, it looked like it reached about 250 feet, maybe a bit higher. The ejection charge went off right at apogee and because of the wind, she drifted about 300ft down range on its 18 inch parachute. She was recovered in perfect condition and sent up a second time because I failed to capture a good picture of the first launch with my video camera. Again, there was a straight flight and perfect recovery. There is something inherently superior to tube fins over straight fins and I am going to start experimenting with them in my future rocket designs.

Browse our database of about 4,200 reviews of rocketry kits and other products.

Today's Featured Flyer

Robert Barkley

AKA: Stogey

Location: Colorado Springs

Certification Level: L2 - NAR

Club Memberships: NAR, COSROCS

Visit Robert Barkley's

Visit the Who's Who directory.

Today's Featured Photo

ROCK Launches

June 2013 Launch


Photo by Roger Smith

Rocketry Deals

Product NameList PriceSale PriceDiscountStore
Estes Jetliner$13.99$8.0842.24%
Badger Air-Brush Company Minitaire Color Paint Set with Color Coat/Paint Retarder$271.40$169.2237.65%

Click a column header (Product Name ...) to sort the table by the selected column. Click the column header again to sort in the other direction.

Visit the Rocketry Deals Finder to discover more specials.

Other Interesting eBay Items

Estes Alien Explorer Model Rocket Kit #1372
Lot Of Estes Model Rockets, engines, parts and launch pad
Missilworks RRC2+ Dual Deployment Altimeter, Brand New
1:144th Scale Rocket & Satelite model Kits #9111 and HL603/12 MINT tc gb
1:12th Scale MRC Project Mercury Capsule Kit #0062001 MINT tc gb
HUGE LOT of Estes Model Rocket Engines, Launchers, Launch Pads, Cones, Parts,
Missilworks RRC3 Dual Deployment Sport Altimeter, Multifunction, Brand New
Missilworks RRC3 Dual Deployment Sport Altimeter, Multifunction, Unflown

Featured Rocketry Blog Posts

Model Rocket Building: Estes Apollo Little Joe II, Background
Here's the Little Joe I remembered wanting. The BIG 1/45 Scale Little Joe II from the 1969 Centuri catalog. To see the catalog, CLICK HERE But $12.95? All I could afford was the smaller 1/100th scale Little Joe II. The fin fairings and some trim was vacuum formed. They were lightweight but fragile, much like the Centuri Saturn V fins and fairings incorporated into the Estes re-issue Saturn V kits. The "metalized" wrap was pre-installed at the factory. To see the original Centuri instructions: CLICK HERE The body and capsule came down separately on two 24" parachutes. A three engine cluster. ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Background
Well, I thought it might work! I bought two Estes STM-012 kits on Ebay with the hopes of kit-bashing one of them into an AMRAAM. It never even occurred to me that the STM-012 model would have three through-the-wall fins. The AMRAAM has two sets of four fins. I would have to buy a couple new lengths of BT-60 to do the conversion. That, and the STM-012 nose cone was long! So the kits sat for a few months with me wondering what to do with them. Then I remembered this design from Madcow: The AGM-33 Pike . I've always like the looks of this one, I did the instructions for their 1.6" diameter kit. ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Corner Chip Fill - TIP
Well, we've all been there - the balsa grain runs in such a way that the trailing edge tip can break off. If the tip break is small you can fill it. Sand off some balsa dust from some scrap balsa. Don't sneeze. Apply some yellow wood glue to the broken corner. Use wood glue for this, yellow glue can be easily sanded. Press the glued corner into the balsa dust pile from all sides. Let the balsa dust and glue dry. Note in the inset picture that the dust and glue is a little larger than the chip area. Here's the same filled corner after filling and sanding to surface. Not perfect, but ...
[Read More in This Series]

Rocket Dungeon: Mini Higgs build, part 1
I dug into the build at the very best place to start - at the very beginning, which in this case is the motor mount. This is not so different than any other LPR mount. It includes rings (squares in this case), a motor clip, motor block, etc. The mount also has two normal round rings to hold the clip securely in place. The Kevlar leader is attached behind the forward square centering ring. Unlike any kit I've had, it also includes a section of shrink tube to protect the lower several inches of the Kevlar. I pretty much built this stock. If I want to put a bigger motor in one, I will have to ...
[Read More in This Series]

Model Rocket Building: Carded Red Max Build, Part 1, Parts
I've seen a few pictures of "Rocket Families" on the forums. The Red Max is a favorite with the Estes Mini Max (BT-50 based), standard Red Max (BT-60 based) and Mega Red Max. Well, how about a smaller BT-5 version for 13mm engines? This one is tiny at just 5 1/4" tall! It performs like a BT-5 Mosquito. At one time I had a little carded Red Max model. It was a BT-5 diameter with a Micro Max engine mount. I lost it somewhere along the way and wanted to make another one. After a few searches I couldn't find it. I thought it might be at Wayne Hill's Rocketry Blog - CLICK HERE There are many ...
[Read More in This Series]

[View All Featured Posts]

Today's Featured Video

CTRA NARCON 2005 Invitational Rocket Launch Via Heli-Cam Sept-10 2004

View our collection of about 5,800 rocketry videos.

Latest Blog Posts

Visit the Blog for more rocketry news and information.

Latest Reviews

Latest Builds

Web Search

[Configure Your Home Page]

- Link to this Page -