This kit is a really nice sized V-2, for D-12-5 and E-15-7 engines, and possibly lower thrust 24mm F engines.
The kit came nicely bagged, and had a fairly thorough two page instruction sheet, with a third page of drawings. The construction is of Estes' type 2.6" body tube, Estes' type nose cones (bottom cone cut off to the proper dimensions), LOC type 1/4" launch lug, and a nice nylon parachute.
The centering rings were 1/16" plywood, and the motor tube was Estes' type 24mm. The fins are hand cut balsa that surface mount to the tail cone. 3/8" elastic was provided for recovery, as well as a screw eye, and a length of stranded wire for the shock cord mount.
The tube and cones were in good shape, although needing the normal light trimming and sanding. I reinforced the body tube with CA for strength. The engine mount doesn't come with a thrust ring, or motor clip, which is really needed, since the motor tube is glued flush with the end of the tail cone, so there isn't a reliable way to secure the motor casing with tape after friction fitting. I substituted a length of LOC motor tube, since it is a bit tougher, and sanded the rings till they fit it. I also added a thrust ring, and a surplus Estes' motor clip, after trimming the forward end of the clip to clear my 24/40 case.
The instructions have you epoxy the bottom centering ring onto the motor tube, and inside the tail cone at the same time, and while the epoxy is curing, epoxy the top ring on to ensure the motor tube is straight. I didn't think this would be very easy and provide glue joints on all sides of the centering rings, so I marked the tube where the bottom ring fit, with the motor tube flush with the tail cone, removed it and glued it on. I then glued the motor tube in the tail cone, and epoxied the top ring in place, and filleted.
You are supposed to glue a hardwood block to the top ring, to reinforce the screw eye. The stranded wire was supposed to be tied in a knot onto the screw eye to provide a fireproof shock cord mount, but it looked like it might work harden and break. The screw eye is right next to the motor tube, so it is hard to access, and is right next to the ejection charge, so I chose to go with an external, or loc type mount.
The rear centering ring is marked with fin alignment marks, and the forward ring is marked with one line. Nothing was mentioned of how to align these, or how to mark the body tube, and align the bottom marks so that the fins would be straight. I finally marked the tube, and aligned the markings on the rear ring (which I put so the marks were visible) when I glued the tail cone on, and aligned them by eye. It is hard to align these marks with a rounded tail cone.
The fins were not very well cut out, and there was a 1/8" gap at the bottom root . They looked like they were cut out by hand, but not very carefully. I substituted Basswood for the fins, and made a template out of cardboard, so the fin root would match the tail cone a bit better. Basswood isn't much heavier, and is a lot more durable. For the amount of fin root, and the fact that the fins don't stick out much, surface mounting is probably adequate.
The instructions say to add 1oz of nose weight in the nose, but it isn't provided.
The elastic provided was a bit short in my opinion, so I used a longer piece.
Assembly time was only a few hours, if that. The yellow and black color scheme is shown in the diagram, and in the picture in the package. I chose to go with the same splinter camouflage pattern I used on my LOC V-2. I can't wait to build the 4" version, and I'll have a whole family!
The finished model is very light for it's size, and should fly really well on E-15's and D-12's. Even considering the changes I made, It is a pretty good value, at around $20 for the kit, considering the two cones, plywood rings, and nice nylon chute. It is big enough to see well, and the V-2 just looks like a rocket should!
Relinquished by Scott Johnson @
There are several good things about this kit, and only one bad thing. First the bad, there is no motor clip or thrust ring included. I happen to have some spares and just slipped them into the construction. I plan to use a 24/40 reload case and do not want to lose it. (editors note: the lack of a thrust block allows for flexibility in the choice of single use motors.) The good points are nylon parachute, plastic nose and tail cones, plywood centering rings, steel shock cord leader and screw eye, and precut balsa fins.
When I looked at the motor mount construction I had some concerns about the two centering rings of the motor mount being glued only to the plastic tail cone. I found a slightly longer motor tube and glued in a third centering ring which fit flush with the rim of the tail cone. This would allow one ring to be epoxied directly onto the body tube. I then glued the screw eye block to centering ring. I had to drill a small hole through the ring and block and then epoxy the screw eye in the hole. I also roughed up the inside of the tail cone with 80 grit sand paper to give the epoxy something extra to grab on. Be sure to follow the instructions and wash the tail cone to remove any manufacturing oils.
The fins are about what one would expect for pre-cut fins, but it was easy to sand them to the proper shape. I just placed a sheet of 220 grip paper over the tail cone and then used the tail cone as a mold to sand the fin to the exact shape. I marked the tube and tail cone for fin alignment. Be sure to use the mold joint of the tail cone as a start for the fin location. This way the mold mark will be hidden by the fins. A portion of the fin rests on the body tube. I roughed up the outside of the tail cone and sanded the gloss off the body tube along the fin location marks. I used epoxy and in retrospect, I would have used some small epoxy rivets, but at the time, I thought I would just use blackjack 'E's and 'F's for more realistic flights. It may very well handle a F39T.
I painted it with Krylon epoxy paints. Yellow first and then after two days of curing I used Scotch tape to mask off the area to be painted black. I don't know if my tape is getting old or the epoxy paint reacted with the tape, but I had a bad time getting it off. But off it came and it looks great.
I added 1 oz of weight to the nose cone to make sure that it would be stable since I added tail weight with the longer motor tube and third centering ring and I plan to use 'F' motors.
All in all, a good kit. Better than some I have built, but this is a good kit at a good price.
Relinquished by Scott Johnson @