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BMS Astron Drifter

By Manny Trotta

Balsa Machining Service - Astron Drifter {Kit} (K14)

This project is a build of the BMS - Astron Drifter, a clone of the Estes Drifter. I got the BMS kit for Christmas. I really liked the Drifter as a kid so I ordered some additional parts from Semroc so that I could build 2 Drifters at the same time. Below is a shot of the Astron Drifter from one of the old Estes catalog.

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The BMS kit includes everything you need to recreate this great rocket except the decals so I ordered 2 sets from Excelsior Rocketry.Below is the BMS kit along with the extra parts I ordered from Semroc.

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Engine mount and shroud (2013-05-21 16:45:30)



For the shroud I am using 100 lb. Bristol board. 100 lb. weight may be a little on the thick side but if I get it to roll without creasing the shrouds will be nice and sturdy. I cut the strips that serve as the glue tab and glued them on the inner side of the shroud so that the seems will be flush.

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The 2 shrouds are done and test fit pretty well into the body tubes.

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Shrouds attached to body tubes (2013-06-04 11:21:38)

The shrouds have been attached to the body tubes.

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Here is a shot showing the seams. I will glue one of the fins on the seam so it will not show on the finished rocket.

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Fins (2013-06-04 11:22:40)

For the fins I am using 1/16" basswood instead of balsa. One of the BMS clone die cut balsa fins is shown with the sheet of basswood below.

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Here is a shot of the 6 fins. The BMS fin template did not fit my shroud-body tube joint as well as I wanted so I made my own on a piece of the bristol board. I used this new template as a guide to cut out the fins.

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The fins seem to fit the body tube and shroud fairly well. I still need to sand the fins.

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Fins attached and epoxy fillets (2013-06-24 21:23:58)

The fins are glued on and ready for epoxy fillets..

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Fins being masked in preparation for the epoxy.

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Priming and painting (2013-08-20 10:20:54)



Both rockets were primed with filler primer

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Painting the rockets. The fins still need to be painted the same blue as the nose cones.

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Here is a closeup

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Masking off the white in preparation for spray painting the fins

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Both rockets are painted and I am ready to apply the decals. The decals I ordered from Excelsior Rocketry arrived a while back. They do a great job making the decals and they will be the perfect finishing touch for my Drifters.

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Decals (2013-09-24 19:23:20)



The decals are on and the Drifters look great.

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