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Estes Baby Bertha (1261)

By Steve Lindeman

Estes - Baby Bertha {Kit} (1261) [2002-]


This is mostly after the fact because I wasn't planing on this build and didn't think it to worthy of writing up as so many people have built this kit. But as I received this kit for Christmas I thought why not go ahead and build it stock as I haven't done that yet. My prior 18 kits wound up as an assortment of various Goonybirds (Go to: to see photos) so I'm just waiting for warmer weather now to paint this bird. I followed the plans as written except for the fins which got the paper covering for a flawless finish (I do this on all my builds now as I hated all that filling and priming and sanding in hopes of getting a smooth finish).

                                                                                                 Baby Bertha primed and ready for final paint

Rocket primed and ready for main paint job

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Masking & Painting (2013-01-21 12:23:37)

Today I masked off the four sides of the fins that will remain white with Frog Tape (that's the yellow tape in photos) and shot the rest of the rocket with Krylon Gloss Black. Huston we have a problemSurprised. Looks like the White ColorPlace spray paint I used on the fins and Krylon Gloss Black are not to compatible. Major crinkeling along all fin seamsYell. Will wait a couple days for paint to dry then re-sand and try again. So much for hassle free finishFrown. On a side note: This is twice I've had a problem with ColorPlace paint. Was the cheapest paint at Wal-Mart. Will have to quit using it on rockets.

 White masked off

Fins taped off with Frog tape

Black Applied

Gloss Black applied


Major crinkling at fin joints

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Finishing (2013-01-28 13:26:36)

Yesterday I did he final sanding and repainting. All looks good now and today I stuck the one decal on and aside from giving it a clear coat it is ready to fly. Just need some warm weather now (we got hit with an ice storm last night. Bur-r-r-r-r-r.)

Finished Baby Bertha

Clear coated

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Glamour Shot (2013-02-01 14:22:32)

Finished this build today by spraying a couple of light coats of Dupli-Color Clear EFFEX paint on the rocket to give it that glittery rainbow effectCool. Rocket is now ready for maiden flight.

                                                                                       Baby Bertha Glamour Shot

Glamour Shot 1

Glamour Shot 2

Glamour Shot 2

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Maiden Flight (2013-05-10 13:57:58)

Yesterday I managed to make it to the park again to finish launching the rest of my builds from the past two winters. The Baby Bertha was one of them. The rocket looked beautiful in the sunlight on the pad but looked even better once the launch botton was pressed. Rocket shot straight up with parachute just past apogee. Nice slow decent with rocket landing over 300' from pad. Nice walk across the field to retrieve. No damage found on recovery.


Maiden flight in 5...4...3...

Baby Bertha Under Chute

Hard to spot just below the darker cloud at top-middle


Baby Bertha About To Land

Just about to land 287 steps away (I counted them)

If my math is right, that comes out to a little over 526 feet


Baby Bertha Recovery

Perfect Landing

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