Hans "Chris" Michielssen's Page


Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 5, Fin Gold Trim


The body tube and nose cone were shot with primer/filler first and sanded. White coats followed with sanding in between coats. The fin can won't be painted, this shows a dry fit after the first sanded white coat. The model will be black and white with gold Trim Monokote for the third color trim. I traced around the fin onto some card stock. I always like the simple fin decor of the Estes Omega. ... [More]

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 6, Upper Body Gold Trim


The rocket needed something else at the top. I decided on a roll pattern. I made a paper wrap and folded it into four sections. The roll pattern vertical bars will center above the fins. After a few measurements I decided on eight 1/4" wide lines. A wrap of tape will align the tops of the trim bars. The aluminum angle was set on the body tube and lines drawn onto the masking tape wrap. The gold ... [More]


Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 4, Launch Lug and Standoff


The rear engine locking ring is wider than the BT-55 above it. The 3/16" launch lug will require a standoff so the launch rod will clear it. This rocket can use 24mm engines so I used the larger 3/16" lug. I used a small dowel for the standoff. It reminds me of the old Estes C-Rail standoffs. (The old-timers will know what I mean.) The bottom of the dowel was sanded flat for a little more gluing ... [More]

Seam Filling Article in Apogee Peak Of Flight


I have a new article in the current Apogee Peak of Flight newsletter. This time it's about Seam Filling on body tubes, launch lugs and plastic nose cones. On the forums, builders have written about multiple applications of filler on body tube seams. My method is one pass with Carpenter's Wood Filler and sanding then one coat of primer/filler and sanding. Photos show a different way to direct the ... [More]


Clean Up Those Lug Ends - TIP


Paint and glue can hang your rocket up on the launch rod. It takes very little to clean up the ends. Here's how the lug end looks after the first coat of white paint. There's paint and a small blob of glue on this end. Set a pencil or sharpened dowel in the end and turn it. I also sanded the end flat with some 400 grit. After the last white undercoat you can see how clean the lug is now. Little ... [More]

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 3, Nose Cone Seam Filling


The nose cone is a new item from Apogee so the molds are new. There was very little molding seam to fill. I got out my Dollar Tree store bottle of Super Glue. They are usually 2 for $1.00. It's medium thickness. On the left you can see the slight seam left after sanding. On the right is the raised bead of Super Glue. Apply enough so the bead of glue will end up a little higher than the surface ... [More]


Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 2, Removing the Staging Funnel


This was the trickiest part of the build. The funnel might be fine at ejection but the bulk of the charge would be compressed into a 1/4" hole. I got out my ancient Dremel tool and attached a sanding drum. Most of the funnel was ground out. On the left is the funnel after grinding. Most all of it was melted and easily cut out with a knife. When is was removed I could see the glue on the side ... [More]

Starship Nova Tube Spotted


On the National Association of Rocketry Face book page, Eric Specht posted this: "I got this thin walled tube without glassine in my new Starship Nova kit. It has a wall thickness of .010 and creases with normal handling. Somebody tell me this was a mistake and there will be a recall." To see the post and responses, CLICK HERE In the first run of kits, the BT-50 tube won't have a glassine wrap. ... [More]


Estes Apollo Little Joe II Finished!


On the left is the removable for flight engine nozzle plate. Here's another one I can cross off my list! I wanted this kit when Centuri produced it the first time around. The wrap decals are thin and tricky. A very impressive model when finished. Thanks to Estes for bringing this one back! [More]

Booster 55 Rocket Build, Part 1, Parts


This should be an easier one but still interesting. I'll be adapting the plastic 55 Booster to a 55 tube. It's a very inexpensive build made from clearance kit parts, leftovers and a free nose cone from Apogee. The parts: A BT-55 stolen from an Estes clearance Monarch kit. The nose cone is a new 55 size from Apogee. The 3/16" launch lug will need a standoff, there's a small dowel next to it. An ... [More]

Hans "Chris" Michielssen

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