Estes - Der Red Max {Kit} (651) [2007-]

Contributed by Douglas Gardei

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 1.64 inches
Length: 16.25 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport
Estes Der Red Max

Brief:
Re-release o' a classic Estes rocket! Includes a cool pre-assembled pirate skull 18" parachute!

My first memory o' t' Der Red Max be a little over twenty years ago. Ahoy! Begad! I be betwixt t' age o' 6 and 8, ya bilge rat, and my grandfather had given me $20 for me birthday. Aye aye! My parents took me t' a mall and I was in Kay-Bee Toy and Hobbies. Well, blow me down! I was tryin' t' find somethin' t' spend me loot on, then I saw t' model rockets. Ahoy! Ya scallywag! I remember a few years prior t' that my parents bought some model rocket stuff, matey, flew some, shiver me timbers, matey, but then me twin brother got very sick. Avast, me proud beauty! Aye aye! Shortly after he recovered, my Dad changed jobs so we moved...and rockets were forgotten. Arrr! I saw t' Der Red Max and thought it looked cool. Aye aye! Ahoy! My dad, however suggested I get a different rocket because he felt that it was too small for t' motors he still had. Begad! Instead, I chose an Estes Marauder. Ahoy! That was me first o' many model rockets!

Construction:
T' kit itself is pretty much a standard three fins and a nose cone design. Blimey! Begad! You get a nice white wall body tube that is better quality than many other kits Estes offers. Avast, me proud beauty! Blimey! T' large fins are laser cut but you will still need t' use a knife t' loosen them. Avast, me proud beauty! You also get two nice lookin' waterslide decal sheets that have a paper sleeve t' protect them. Well, blow me down! I did nay like t' centerin' rings. Blimey! T' me, matey, they seemed t' be flimsy. Avast, me proud beauty! Also, t' rubber shock cord is way too short. Another interestin' note be t' kit comes with a jig t' help mark t' fins locations on t' body tube.

Construction o' t' Der Red Max is pretty simple. I found that t' fit o' t' centerin' rings on t' motor tube to be tight so some sandin' was required. Aye aye! I made sure I gave t' joints some extra fillets in case I decide t' stick a D13 in t' motor tube. Aye aye! Arrr!

Estes Der Red Max Once t' fins were loosened from t' balsa sheet, me bucko, ya bilge rat, I sanded t' leadin' and trailin' edges round. Blimey! I did nay bother with t' fin jig that came with t' kit t' attach t' fins. Instead I used me classic Estes Fin Alignment guide, me hearties, which did a great job keepin' t' fins straight. Begad! Ahoy! Once t' fins were dry, shiver me timbers, matey, I attached t' launch lugs (which were short) and applied all t' fillets. An additional step I had t' do was wrap tape around t' shoulder o' the nose cone because t' fit was very loose.

Finishing:
T' Red Max's finish be very simple. Arrr! First I coated t' fins with Bondo Spot putty. Blimey! Once that was dry and sanded, shiver me timbers, I applied several coats o' Rustoleum Light Gray automotive primer, sandin' betwixt coats. After a couple Bondo touch ups and more primer and sanding, t' Red Max is ready t' paint. Well, blow me down! It is an easy paint job. T' booster section be painted red and t' nose cone sprayed black.

When t' paint dried, me hearties, it be time for t' decals. Ahoy! Well, blow me down! Care had t' be taken when handlin' these waterslide decals. Avast, me proud beauty! The film be very thin and wanted t' bunch up. If t' film bunched up, matey, it creates a crease, and is impossible t' straighten out. Other than wantin' t' bunch, arrr, they went on without a hitch. Arrr! I love t' optional "Kills" decal and I made sure it made it on one o' t' fins o' me model. Once t' decals were dry, I finished me Red Max with Future Floor Polish. I am very impressed how t' finish came out as t' polish really makes her shine.

Construction Rating: 4 out o' 5

Flight:
So far I only flew me Der Max once with a B4-4. Begad! Very nice liftoff and got a good clip o' altitude.

Recovery:
T' parachute did nay deploy fully because it was cool enough for t' plastic t' stick, but thar was no damage.

Flight Rating: 5 out o' 5

Summary:
I think this is a great kit. Avast, me hearties, me proud beauty! Every collection should have one. Begad! Avast, me proud beauty! Take your time, shiver me timbers, arrr, sand where things are too tight, shiver me timbers, me bucko, wrap tape around things too loose, and be careful with those decals!

Overall Rating: 4 out o' 5

Other Reviews
  • Estes - Der Red Max {Kit} (651) [2007-] By Todd Mullin (March 25, 2008)

    Brief: Undt zo! Dis es das refew of der Estes Der Red Max rockutt kit! Undt now, you vill read itt und you vill find it ver-r-ry interesting! Yahvohl! Dat ist as order! Another classic kit recently re-released by Estes with some modernization. The Red Max retains its zany fun graphics and original flight characteristics while getting improvements like laser cut fins and a skull ...

Flights

Comments:

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D.R. (January 16, 2008)
I never had one of these back in the day, but now, as an adult, I suddenly appreciated the unique and colorful character this rocket has, so when Estes re-released it last year, I jumped and added it to the fleet. The building process is fairly unremarkable, your basic 3FNC sport model, but it's the decals and finish that make this baby. My only criticism is that the Estes supplied decals are WAY too thin and hard to work with. They also aren't true repros of the original decal set. I've flown mine once, on a conservative B6-4, and it flew like a dream, arrow straight, with no spinning or arcing, and came down within 50 feet of the pad. I'm looking forward to it's second flight, this time on a C. So I didn't have one as a kid like most other BARs did. But I'm proud to own one now, and I'm looking forward to passing it on to my own son when he's a little older!
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J.T.S. (May 11, 2009)
I had one of these back in the day and have to say it was the most reliable all around flier in my fleet. As an adult I built a clone right down to modifying the nose cone to a proper profile. I had just a few (awesome) flights on it when Estes reissued the kit. Just my luck. My clone was lost to a swamp landing and my new wife needed an intro to the hobby soooo.... The new kit builds and flies like the original, ROCK SOLID! The laser cut balsa fin sheet is a marked improvement over the old die-cut sheet. Assembly is quick as one would expect with 3FNC, and we had it ready to launch in one evening. Flight was just as I remembered with a B6-4. It currently has 9 flights without a single problem. The only complaint I can lodge is with the decals. In a word, THIN. Too thin. a coat of Krylon Crystal Clear fixed this. That and the omition of the 'X882' for the nose cone.

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