Jim Hodge's Page

AKA: Jim Hodge

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Estes Conquest


Nice long burn with a fairly straight boost this time. Parachute never truly inflated but the rocket was recovered without damage. - E9-4 - Hendersonville, NC [More]



Conquest - Launch

Build Entry

The maiden flight was launched with an Estes D12-3 per the recommendations. I equipped the rocket with an altimeter to check the altitude. The specs state that this rocket will weigh 5.5 ounces. Mine came in at 10.6 minus the engine but it had a baffle and 6' of shock cord as well as a crazy ... [More]


Conquest - Final thoughts.

Build Entry

This was a fun build I must admit even with all the snafus.  It was much different than the normal fare and a bit of a challenge in spots. It looks great on display as well as on the pad so it's definitely a "buy" if you're looking for a challenge and something different. ... [More]





Spiraled up with a camera on board(which may have caused the spin). I was expecting a little more altitude but was pleased with what I got. Recovery was quick on the 12" chute and rocket was undamaged. It's a real work horse. - G40-10 - Hendersonville, NC [More]


Estes Conquest


Maiden flight. She arced a bit but the short delay helped and recovery was perfect. - D12-3 - Hendersonville, NC [More]



Conquest - Missiles and Aft Skirt.

Build Entry

The missiles and aft skirt were CA'd on as the final touches are underway. I clear coated the missiles with Krylon satin as glossy missiles seemed inappropriate. The aft skirt was painted with Rustoleum chrome.      [More]


Conquest - Clear Coat.

Build Entry

I hit it with a few coats of clear lacquer and then wet sanded. A few more coats of clear were applied and wet sanded again. I then compounded, polished and applied a synthetic wax to the finish.            [More]



Conquest - Decals

Build Entry

The decals on this model are sparse and not very exciting apart from the teeth and beady eyes. If you follow the facecard dimensions the teeth would be placed over the seam between the nose cone and body tube. I placed mine behind the seam with a little wiggle room for repairs if needed in ... [More]



Conquest - Finishing.

Build Entry

If you look at the web photo of this rocket it appears that it is painted with a white/violet-blue paint job. Before I received this kit I went to my LHS to peruse paints and not seeing anything that matched was told that I should start mixing. Right! After getting my kit the facecard ... [More]



Conquest - Ready For Color!

Build Entry

Started with grey filler primer. Filled a lot of defects (minor ones on the air intakes mostly) with FNF between coats. I followed that up with a few coats of white sandable primer which should help the top coats pop. There are some very nice lines on this rocket and they are beginning to show. ... [More]



Conquest - Ready to Prime!

Build Entry

The Conquest is built except for the missiles and aft skirt which I will be finishing separately before final assembly. I've put some balsa into the missile pylon slots to protect the holes for gluing later.      [More]


Conquest - Baffle Assembly

Build Entry

I'm not a big fan of the Estes shock cord mount although they do work perfectly well in most circumstances. I opted to install a BT-60 baffle(not included) which is constructed with a BT-60 coupler and two plywood centering rings with holes drilled in a pattern that will allow pressure to ... [More]



Conquest - Install Engine Mount

Build Entry

I decided to attach the engine mount sooner than later. I did NOT use CA here as that could have been "game changing" for this procedure. I epoxied the mount in and had enough time to adjust it and test fit the aft skirt against the rear centering ring without it all seizing on me. I ... [More]



Conquest - Assemble Detail (Missiles)

Build Entry

The two missiles are assembled like any micro 3F2NC. I used some watered down Fill N Finish to fill the spirals and then rounded all the fin edges and CA'd them to the body tube. I sanded and sealed X3. In retrospect I think I would have preferred to use wood glue here as the joints would have ... [More]



Conquest - Attach air intakes and launch lugs.

Build Entry

The instructions declare that we switch to wood glue to attach the intake assemblies. I agree. On they went and positioning was stress free. I then CA'd the launch lugs on lickety split.      CORRECTION: After placing this on a rod I figured the stock launch lug ... [More]



Conquest - Attach wings and fins.

Build Entry

I jumped the gun a little here as I wanted to prime the BT-60 tube first and work out any defects before attaching the wing assembly, the rear fins and the intakes as it will become quite cluttered. I masked off the area where the wing assembly would attach so I could get a better bond between it ... [More]



Conquest - Wing assembly.

Build Entry

There are four parts to the wing each beveled 5 degrees to the downside. I taped the wing parts together with a small strip of masking tape and adjusted the angle with the alignment guide provided. I applied CA into the joints and held it steady until it was fast.   ... [More]



Conquest - Tail cone and vertical stab. Part 2

Build Entry

There are three long wood pieces that are to be glued together. This unit will hold the vertical stabilizer and wing against the fuselage. I stacked them and sanded all the laser nastiness off of them before applying the CA. I rounded off the front as per the instructions but I also ... [More]



Conquest - Tail cone and vertical stab.

Build Entry

After gluing the two halves of the vertical stabilizer fin together I glued the four pieces of the tail cone to the top. Since this wood is so tough I roughed out the shape with my Dremel. Hand sanding this step would have been very time consuming. I was able to get the shape I wanted in ... [More]





The Conquest is the new skill level 5 kit from Estes. It is a BT-60 sized winged rocket that stands 28.6" tall with a wingspan of 12.8". It's suggested engines are the D12-3, E9-4 and the E12-4 with a projected max altitude of 1100 ft. We'll see about that. I love winged rockets and this ... [More]


Conquest - Engine Mount

Build Entry

After you have recovered from gluing yourself to yourself it's time to assemble the E sized engine mount.  It includes an engine hook, thrust ring, 24mm engine mount tube, BT-60 centering rings and an engine hook sleeve all glued together per the diagrams with wood glue. ... [More]


Conquest - Intake assembly.

Build Entry

There are two intakes that need to be assembled from the 1/16" "wood" sheets. These are a bit fiddly and you will feel like you need one more hand to hold it together for gluing. The suggested glue is thin CA. Bad things happen with thin CA so don't even begin this step ... [More]


Conquest - Kit contents.

Build Entry

The Conquest kit includes the following items.                     8"  nosecone with aft skirt attached. 18" BT-60 body tube.        &nbs ... [More]



Blue Bird Zero


Straight awesome boost. I expected it to go out of sight but altitude was still good at 1344 and it was recovered in perfect condition - E30-7 - Hendersonville, NC [More]



Black Star Voyager - I'm so done.

Build Entry

The finish on this beast was originally an idea I had for a guitar project. I thought I would try it out on this rocket first. The finish looks very deep and it is almost impossible to photograph. The guitar will be a walk in the park now. The transition was seamless until I began wet sanding upon ... [More]


Black Star Voyager - Final coat. Finally.

Build Entry

Applied 6 coats of clear lacquer. I then sanded and polished most of it down to a nice glossy finish. I used an acrylic floor finish on the 27 cardboard fins which not only provided a good clear but strengthened their structure.          &nb ... [More]



Black Star Voyager - Decals

Build Entry

The decals are pretty tough. I had no real problems other than truly thinking this thing out. The finish is a bit flat awaiting the final clear coats. 9.65 oz. now.       [More]


Black Star Voyager - Mid coat

Build Entry

I decided to put a prism metallic mid coat clear on it because it was just begging for it. It's very subtle until the light hits it. 9.6 oz. right now            [More]



Black Star Voyager - Color.

Build Entry

Painted with black lacquer after the humidity finally dropped. I am going to attempt a mid-coat when the humidity drops again. 9.3 oz. right now.     [More]


Jim Hodge


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