FlisKits - Crayon {Kit} (MX007)

Contributed by Chan Stevens

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Diameter: 0.38 inches
Length: 5.23 inches
Manufacturer: FlisKits
Skill Level: 2
Style: Odd-Roc

FlisKits Crayon MMX

Brief:
Not to be confused with the numerous upscale flying crayons popular of late, this kit is a true scale crayon. It's one of the FlisKits hot new kits designed for MicroMaxx motors. It's a quick and fun build and really zips off the pad under that whopping 1/8A average thrust.

Construction:
The FlisKits Micro Series took its time to get to market, but the wait was definitely worth it as the quality of these components is superb. The body tubes were at least as good as the typical full-sized rocket kit, the nose cone was carefully turned from balsa, and the assorted rings were actually from teeny tiny laser-cut plywood.

Parts list includes:

  • Motor tube
  • Motor block (yes, I'm serious)
  • 0.375" OD body tube
  • 4 centering rings
  • Balsa nose cone
  • Clear plastic stock for fins
  • Launch lug
  • Kevlar shock cord/thread
  • Mylar streamer
  • Pre-printed body wrap

The instructions for the FlisKits micros are a bit downsized from the usual, with the entire construction fitting on one side of an 8.5" x 11" page listing 15 steps. Illustrations were decent. While this is generally an easy build, I would rate it a skill level 2 simply due to the small scale of the parts and challenge of working with so little room.

The motor tube assembly consists of a really small centering ring inserted in the motor tube as a block. The instructions suggest using a spent motor casing to push it in although I didn't have any laying around. I used a 3/16" launch lug just fine. Getting a bead of glue inside the tube is a pain, and I suggest using a toothpick to do it. After inserting the block, there are 4 centering rings spaced carefully along the outside of the tube. Pay attention to the dimensions on these, as they affect the fit of the body tubes later.

The body of this consists of two sections: a lower body and the main crayon. The lower body includes the 3 clear fins. The tube must be marked using a wraparound template and is then slid over two of the four centering rings on the body tube. Once in place, you can then cut out and attach the clear plastic fins. You'll want to use a good CA for this and be careful not to smear it on the fins or it will really detract from the appearance.

The launch lug is then attached to the lower body, overlapping the upper section by about half its length. I got one of the early release kits, which included a plastic drinking straw launch lug. These kits were later upgraded to really nice rolled paper lugs and early buyers could get replacements upon request. I waited for the paper lugs as the difference in appearance was really worth it.

The upper body tube is supposed to slide over the to remaining exposed centering rings on the motor mount and it pops off at ejection. The fit was a bit snug, so I had to lightly sand the centering rings.

The nose cone is attached by poking a hole in the base and gluing a knotted end of the Kevlar thread into the hole. The other end of the Kevlar threads down through the body tube and is then anchored around the centering rings.

Finishing:
Finishing is pretty simple thanks in large part to a paper wrap for the crayon effect. It's a good idea to paint the base body tube (I recommended black), which I did by hand rather than mess around trying to mask between the clear fins.

The nose cone and lower exposed portion of the upper body tube should be painted the color of the crayon (the kit comes in 3 available colors). All that's left is to cut out and glue the wrap in place. Use white glue because it doesn't shrink, wrinkles less than yellow glue, and also dries clear where it oozes out from under the wrap a bit.

When I was done, most spectators thought I was taking a real (modified) crayon out to the pad. It really does look cool.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
Most of the FlisKits micros won't fit on a standard Quest pad (the old UFO towers or the tripod pads) using the standard Quest igniters, so the back side of the instruction sheet includes helpful tips on how to rework the plug-in igniters for use on a regular low power style of pad. This is one of the few rocket that does fit on a standard Quest pad although I wound up using a neat little pad I picked up from Micro Classics online.

You're pretty limited on motor selection on these--if you're lucky enough to have a stash of older (brown) MMX-Is, which are about half the impulse of the modern MMX-IIs but have a longer delay, that's the best choice. I flew with the blue/gray MMX-II, and it almost instantly disappeared. As is common with Micromaxx rockets, it really zips off the pad.

Ejection was predictably early but not too bad. The nice thing about micros is you really don't need to worry about zippering...

The altitude really surprised me--I could barely see the puff of smoke at ejection and figure I got close to 100 feet.

Recovery:
The Mylar streamer got cooked, so I must not have put in enough wadding. (Stuffing the tiny tubes with wadding is a pain.) Still, even under tumble recovery, the rocket came back in great shape.

Flight Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:
Personally, I enjoy flying Micromaxx motors and am really excited to see such innovative designs coming out, especially using top quality materials.

PROs for this would be the cheap motors and ability to fly on a small field (even a backyard if the winds are not too bad). No chance of busting the waiver on these babies.

The only CON I can come up with, and it's very minor, is that the lower body section with the fins really detracts from the flying crayon appearance. It looks like a crayon stuck on a booster. I would really like to have seen this work as a single crayon (pop the nose cone) with clear fins attached to the crayon body.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

avatar
J.F.B. (February 9, 2009)
I feel this review to be accurate. The Crayon builds easily, but you do need to pay attention to the instructions. It performs perfectly, and the Crayon looks good on the booster. I was surprised by not only how fast it left the pad, but the high altitude it reached. Excellent kit, great flights, and looks great. Nice job FlisKits!

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