Estes - Star Rider {Kit} (2010) [1989-1992]

Contributed by Kevin Johnson

Manufacturer: Estes
(Contributed - by Kevin Johnson)

Estes Star Rider Brief:
Ring finned fantasy sport flyer.

All the parts, with the exception of the ring fins and fin stock can be found in the new Nemesis kit.

1 BT-50
1 PNC50? plastic nose cone
1 18mm motor mount
1 12" plastic chute
1 BT-80 2" long
1/8" balsa sheet for fins
clay nose weight

I bought the new Estes Nemesis kit with the intention of building it stock, then realized that I'd seen the funky nose cone before. A quick look through some of the old Estes catalogs at showed that the Star Rider was one of the old kits that used it. It took me about 3 seconds to decide to clone it using plans from JimZ.

To start with, I tossed the die cut fins into the parts bin and cut out the Star Rider fins using the patterns in the plans and some 1/8" balsa sheet. That done, I built the airframe and motor mount using the standard Estes construction. No big changes in the instructions for this part in the last 10 years.

You need to make sure that the inner fins are aligned straight and equidistant around the body tube. An alignment jig is key. You also need to make sure they are all the same size since they will be holding the ring fins. While the glue was drying, I cut the 2" section of BT-80 in half to make the 2 ring fins. I marked these with 4 alignment lines for the outer balsa fins, then glued them onto the airframe lining up the edges with the trailing and leading edges of the fins. The next step was to glue on the outer fins and make fillets.

No special tools were needed, just a hobby knife, sandpaper, and glue.

I painted the rocket with 3 coats of gloss white, and realized that I should have painted the airframe before attaching the ring fins. It was hard to get the paint on the inner fins without runs. I used the decal file provided by JimZ to print a set of decals with the Vitachrome VitaCal waterslide decal kit. The decals came out great! They are bright and easy to work with and stood up to launching.

Construction Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

The recommended motors are A8-3, B4-4, B6-4, B8-5 and C6-5. For my test flights I used B6-4's and had straight boosts even with some gusty winds around 10 mph. Flight prep was typical Estes, insert igniter, plug and motor, hook up the clips and GO! The standard Estes motor hook kept everything in place for the flights.

The shock cord was standard Estes 1/8" flat elastic with a paper anchor. Recovery was downrange due to the wind but close enough so I had time to get under it and catch the model on the 1st flight. No excessive wear was observed in any of the recovery components.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

The Star Rider is an interesting looking rocket that is fun and easy to build. With most of the parts readily available in the Nemesis, you can recreate this OOP kit with no great strain.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5


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