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Estes Expedition (7249)

By Steve Lindeman

Estes - Expedition (7249)

Expedition

Expedition (7249)

I can hardly believe that I finally got this kit. This is one of three rockets that I got for Christmas. This is going to be such a great build, only draw back is that I have all winter to build it. OK parts check. All present and accounted for.

Expedition parts layout

Parts check

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Engine Shroud & Engine Mount (2019-12-31 16:37:10)

As is typical with Estes kits the engine mount is first part of the rocket build. So after completing the the engine mount, the shroud was next. There are four steps in the shroud assembly.  I did the first three and a half steps but before gluing part "K" into place I took a magic marker and colored the inside of the shroud.

Engine Shroud

Engine shroud assembly

Engine Shroud Colored

Shroud colored

For the rest of the engine mount there are 12 steps which I completed per instructions.

Motor mount

Completed motor mount

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Upper Body Shroud (2019-12-31 17:07:09)

Next up is the Upper Body Shroud. This is another quick four step process which I did as per instructions.

Upper body shroud

Upper body shroud

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Marking Tubes & Cutting Out Farings (2020-01-11 11:15:02)

The next part of the build is thirteen steps. The first four are marking the center line for each of the farings. I then cut out the template and taped it on the tube which took care of steps five through seven.

Tubes marked

Tubes marked

After that I took and exacto knife with a new blade and cut out the farings. I decided to go ahead and cut four just in case I had a problem with one of them.

Fairings cut

Farings cut out

The last three steps involve gluing the end caps on each tube.

End caps glued on

End caps glued on

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Prepare Fins & Attaching (2020-01-11 11:44:48)

Next up was fin prep which is one of two slight alterations that I made to this build. All I did was to paper coat the fins after I cut them out and sanded them.

Fins paper coated

Fins paper coated

After allowing the fins to set over night the next thing I did was to mark the main body tube and glue the fins on.

Fins  glued on

Fins glued on

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Attaching Farings (2020-01-11 11:58:54)

There are only three steps to this part of the build but this is where I encountered my first issue with the build. I tried gluing the first faring on with wood glue. What a mess I made. Will have to do a lot of sanding and priming to get a smooth finish here. Glued the other two farings on with white glue with better success but will still have some clean up work to do. Over all, I not to happy with my work on this part.

Farings glued on

Farings glued on

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Install Engine Mount, Upper Shroud, & Launch Lugs (2020-01-11 12:23:00)

This is where I made the second alteration to this build. Pryor to doing step one of the instructions, I drilled a 1/16" hole in the top "O" ring and attached eight feet of Kevlar cord. I then glued tube "X" to the motor mount.

Kevlar attached

8' of Kevlar attached

MM ready to install

MM ready to install

Once all that was dry I then installed the motor mount followed by the "Q" ring and then the upper collar. This was then set aside for the day to dry. Once they were dry I glued on the small strips marked "Y" in the instructions. After that I glued on the launch lugs.

	MM & upper shroud installed

MM, upper shroud, & launch lugs installed

All that's left now is to prepare the nosecone and this rocket is ready for sand and prime which won't happen till spring weather permits.

Ready for sand & prime

Ready for sand & prime

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Primmer time (2020-02-23 21:40:37)

Well weather finally got up to 53 degrees today so I decided to try and do some primer painting. I have four other rockets beside the Expedition that need primmer so will see how they turn out. 

Expedition primed

Expedition primed

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Coronavirus time (2020-03-28 12:21:20)

Well I need to get to the store and get some red paint for this build but with everything shutting down due to the virus don't know when that will be. Michigan is basically under a lock down now so no travel except for necessities and I don't think I can convince them how necessary paint is. They say it could be mid July before things get better. I pray for the world.

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Painting & Masking (2020-04-06 20:37:33)

Well I managed to rummage around out in the garage and found some red paint. A can of Dupli-Color Metalcast Anodized Surface Color System. But instead of applying it over a chrome surface I used it over white primer. In other words, it doesn't quite have the metallic red look. I think it looks more Candy Red. As you can see in the photo I also painted the Estes Puma the same color and finished building it ahead of the Expedition. Actually these were two of five builds that I had going on. The other three were the Estes Red Max (which also got painted with the same red paint), the Estes Lynx, and the Estes Goblin all of which were finish ahead of the Expedition (I've managed to keep busy during this down time.)

Red painted

Red paint applied

I then gave the rocket a day to dry and then masked it off again in prep for the blue paint. This I did with Rust-Oleum 2X Gloss Deep Blue. Rocket was then given another day to air dry. After that I again masked off the blue sections and shot remainder of rocket with white primer followed by a coat of Gloss White. Sorry but I forgot to get a photo here. Body was given another day to air dry and  then all tape was removed. Need to do some touch up to the red and blue with a small brush and then it will be time for decals.

Blue paint applied

Blue paint applied

Just needs some touch up

Just needs some touch up

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Touch-up and Decals (2020-04-18 21:26:07)

Made a trip to Wal-Mart the other day and picked up some detail brushes so I could touch up the paint on this build.  I first touched up all the blue, then the red, followed by the white. Satisfied with touch up work I gave rocket a couple hours out in the sun to dry. After that I cut out all decals in preparation for applying. Normally I don't have much trouble with decals but these were thin and hard to work with, especially the red arches over the blue side tubes. All total, I managed to tear the decals in three places but pieced them back together good enough that they are hard to see. All that is left now is to install the recovery system and clear coat it.

Touch-up paint finished

Touch-up paint finished

Decals applied

Decals applied

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