Hans "Chris" Michielssen's Page
Estes Star Speeder #1366 Build, Background
Blog This should be a fun build. The early 1980s were a creative time for Estes. This model came out the same year as the Starship Nova. The model was produced from 1981 - 1985. It should be a good sister ship to the Galactic Taxi in size and detail. The design feature is an lower offset main BT-20 tube inside the larger BT-55 at the engine end. The cardstock canopy fits in the open larger side of ... [More]
My Mother and Model Rocketry
Blog My Mother passed away Friday morning, November 17. Why bring her up on a rocketry blog? She played a very important part in my hobby. In 1969, at the peak of the Space Race, I started building rockets. Not flying rockets, just building them. Back then, California fireworks regulations were very strict. You could order and buy kits, but no engines could be mailed or purchased without a special ... [More]
Odd'l Rockets F-104 Starfighter Finished
Blog This one looks much better in the Rusto Silver Metallic. I wouldn't use chrome paint. Chrome paints never dry and fingerprints will show. Prototypes have flown very stable with A8-3, B6-4 and C6-5 engines. This kit should be released as soon as I take care of family matters in California after the first week of December. [More]
Odd'l Rockets F-104 Starfighter Build, Part 18, Canopy Gluing
Blog Squeeze out a few drops of thin CA glue onto some scrap cardboard. Dip a toothpick tip into the glue puddle and let dry. Center the canopy over the decal. Dip the dried tip into the CA puddle again. Run the glued toothpick tip around the edge of the canopy. Be sure there is a bead of glue all the way around the canopy. Some of the first kits might have grey "Canopy Trim Decal" lines on the decal ... [More]
Odd'l Rockets F-104 Starfighter Build, Part 17, Decals!
Blog The canopy decal is set on the nose cone 1/8" from the rear of the shoulder. The decals are a bit elastic and can be formed around the nose cone curve by rolling a damp Q-tip over the surface. The long black triangle decal goes in front of this and centers down the nose cone. View from the front to check the alignment. Here's the back end decal placement. At the intake area are more decals. [More]
Back to California . . .
Blog Once again I'm heading back to my hometown of Watsonville, California to take care of family matters. I'll be gone for two weeks. Bear with me on daily blog posts. My Mother's home doesn't have Internet and I don't know when I'll be able to get away for free Wi-Fi. I should be gone for a minimum of two weeks. [More]
John Boren Facebook Tease?
Blog John Boren (Estes Designer) posted this on the NAR Facebook page. Is this a tease for a new Pershing 1A? Mr. Boren has posted on the forums before saying that the Maxi-Brute Pershing probably won't come back into production. Apparently too much nose weight was needed for the larger, heavier engines required. [More]
Odd'l Rockets F-104 Starfighter Build, Part 16, Silver Paint
Blog I ended up using Rustoleum Silver Metallic on the model. The only masking was at the rear end to cover the chrome Monokote ring on the engine tube extending out the back. I still did some light sanding between coats of the silver metallic. On the first build of the F-104 I used aluminum paint. This Rustoleum Metallic Silver is much brighter. The model would look best with a chrome finish but ... [More]
Odd'l Rockets F-104 Starfighter Build, Part 15, Canopy Forming
Blog On the left is the shaped canopy bottom. Notice the right and left sides curve up slightly. On the right is the front view. You may have to make the front curve a little deeper (see last post) to fit the front end of the nose cone. Here's a good fit of the canopy on the nose cone. All edges are making good contact with the nose cone. Don't glue the nose cone on yet, the cockpit detail decal goes ... [More]
N.E.F.A.R. Launch, November 11, 2017
Blog This weekend is the two day Bunnell Blast. On the drive up we saw overcast skies and light rain. Winds were low but were increasing throughout the morning. I got in three launches before the wind got strong. Recovery walks were long. Still plenty of flights and big crowds. Today I launched the Estes CURVLINEAR with a Quest B6-4. The .16 oz. of nose weight was enough to compensate for the heavier ... [More]