LOC/Precision - Minie-Magg {Kit} (PK-5) [1985-]

Contributed by Bryan M. Chuck

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Manufacturer: LOC/Precision

Rocket PicBrief:
LOC's Minie-Magg is a single-staged HP rocket popular with many fliers. Its stubby profile combined with a basic build make it a fun flier for larger motors, as well as smaller H motors for a lesser field.

Construction:
The parts were contained in a durable plastic bag. The inventory of parts are as follows:

  • 1 nosecone, plastic
  • 1 kraft paper airframe 5.54" diameter (fin slots pre-cut)
  • 1 kraft paper 38mm motor tube
  • 2 birch ply centering rings
  • 3 birch ply fins
  • 1 elastic shock cord
  • 1 braided nylon shock cord mount
  • 1 nylon parachute (mine is bright orange)
  • 1 launch lug (1/2" diameter)

I felt the components to be a fine quality, and found no warping of the fins.

Outside of the Minie Magg's size, it is a basic build. I used 15 minute epoxy for the assembly and 30 minute on fillets. The instructions are simple to follow and are included on the back-side of the info/picture card. I would speculate that a person should have no problems assembling this rocket from the instructions LOC supplies.

Nose ConeAll the parts fit together well and required minimal, if any sanding. I decided to deviate slightly from the instructions, though, in order to add a few things to improve the longevity of my Minie-Magg. The supplied shock cord mount is epoxied on the inside side of the airframe, and uses elastic for shock cord material. I did not feel confident using this arrangement, so I put an eyebolt in the forward centering ring to anchor the shock cord. I also opted to use 20' of tubular nylon in lieu of the elastic. Attaching the cord to the eyebolt was done via quick link. I also felt the plastic eyelet on the nosecone would prove weak on this larger rocket. To remedy this, I drilled a 1/2 hole in the base of the nosecone, passed my shockcord through it, and passed it back through the hole pre-existing at the bottom center of the nosecone. Thus far, it has held up well.

Another minor "CON" to this rocket is the fins do not go all the way to the motor tube. To make amends, I decided to keep the aft centering ring off until after I put the fins on. On the inside of the airframe where the fin tabs came barely through, I put 2 inch wide fiberglass bandaids the length of the fin root.

Lastly, I added t-nut & brass strip Kaplow-style motor retention before adding the aft centering ring.

As for building, here are my thoughts: PROS 1. Quality of airframe, wood components, and nosecone. 2. Exceptional fitting of parts. 3. Simplicity of build/instructions, even if built "stock."

CONS 1. Shock cord attachment and shock cord material. 2. Fins are not to the motor tube. 3. Lack of motor retention, which is fairly common in mid-power and HP rockets.

Finishing:
To finish off my Minie-Magg, I filled the tube spirals with 3M Spot Putty. On the fins, I used a couple coats of SIG sanding sealer from the local R/C plane store. After sanding things smooth, I employed two light coats of white Krylon primer, sanding between coats. For my color coat, I chose Glossy Krylon Grape. I chose this color in honor of my friends' daughter, whose name is Violet and likes rockets.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Rocket PicFlight:
Flight prep for this rocket is easy. It's wide enough to fit all recovery items with no hassle. Instead of the large amount of wadding the Minie Magg would require, a 18"x18" piece of Top Flight Nomex was used. I also added one of their Nomex sleeves for good measure. The LOC catalog notes that one could fly this rocket with a G80 SU motor.

The maiden flight of my Minie-Magg was at Black Rock XII in Nevada. I chose an I161 medium for the ice breaker. It was a good choice and recovery happened without a hitch. At this point, I've gone as large as an I211. All flights have been arrow straight, and exceptional "rock & roll" motors for this rocket seem to be the I300, I357, and of course, the I211. For good measure, my breakdown of motors used in the Minie-Magg are thus:

  • H123
  • H242
  • I161
  • I300
  • I357
  • I211

I've had only one incident when the fin popped loose. In light of that, I would rate the Minie-Magg's flying and prep at a top notch 5.

Recovery:
No cons regarding flight recovery after swapping out the shock cord and using a different anchoring system. Pros: Stock 'chute seems adequate.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
I'm quite pleased with this rocket. In my opinion, it only needs a couple of things added to improve it: Shock cord and shock cord attachment. Also fin root strengthening is probably a good idea. Even if built stock, the parts are outstanding in their fit and quality, and the build is straightforward. Overall, it's a fun flier. I'm constantly amazed at how many Minie-Magg's I see at launches. I believe it's a fine L1 rocket on the H123, also.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

Comments:

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D.G. (August 1, 2001)
I like to fly my Minie Magg on Quick burning motors. So far I have flown it on an H220-10T, and a H242-10T. I choose the medium delay because I have an magnetic apogee sensor in the nose cone to deploy the parachute. Next time I fly it, I think I'll use an H210-10 Redline motor. I also plan to try it with an I357 in the near future.
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J.T. (September 19, 2001)
I have built and launched my Minie Magg on H180,H210R,H242,and the I218R. All with med. delays all perfect flights. Changes made to kit are as follows: shock cord 9/16 tube nylon, I-bolts in top center ring + in nose cone{20 ft. shock cord),pulled out rear centering ring and ran 30 min. epoxy down fin root to body tube on inside, let motor tube stick out 1/2" and installed slimline motor retainer. the I218 Redline is a killer looking rock and roll motor for this rocket, use a med. delay.
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J.J. (January 1, 2002)
I thought that this kit was of great quality and was very easy to build. One con is that I did not care for the way that LOC said to attach the shock cord to the airframe. To solve this problem I drilled a hole in the forward centering ring and put a screw eye through it. I then added a 15' section of nylon strapping to act as the shock cord. A second MAJOR con was the fact that the fins did not go all the way to the motor mount tube (I think that all manufactures of how power rockets should take a good look at how much people hate this and fix the fins so they will go all the way to the MMT tube). I decided to do the same thing as the first reviewer and add a small strip of fiberglass cloth to the inside of the tube to help secure the fins. Next, I covered the tube and fins with wood glue to fill in the grooves and cover the fins (check out my tip about filling in spirals with wood glue on the "TIPS" page). Finally, the last thing that I did was cut the launch lug in half and angle the forward end of each. I do not have any flight logged with this rocket yet but I hope to use a PRO38 engine at my next local launch. In all this is a fairly good kit except for the fact that the fins do not go all the way to the motor mount tube.
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S.M. (February 15, 2002)
A nice stout kit for the money with a couple things to improve upon. I ended up peeling off the entire "glassine" coating, which seems to be some type of plastic film which sands poorly and refuses to really bond with any type of adhesive. I also made new fins which go through to a 54mm motor mount, with internal and external fillets as well as generous fillets of high temp epoxy (like PC-7) on the MM tube. I learned my lesson on a Graduator by trying to strengthen the stock fin system, which added weight, and is it still developing cracks in the fillets as I fly it more. This time, the rocket feels bulletproof, with fins you can bend significantly with no danger of cracking or failure. This rocket will be extended with another length of body tube and hopefully will be my L2 cert unit this spring. In short, peel the plastic, use sandable primer or 'glass to seal the tube, make new fins that reach the MM tube, and replace the elastic with Nylon or Kevlar, and it's a 1st class rocket that will live through many flights with no damage. Hope this helps someone!
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M.L. (February 7, 2007)
The Minie Mag kit I purchased in 2007 has a different fin mounting system than the models mentioned here. The fin tabs have a slot cut through them and once placed inside the body tube there is plank piece that slides into the slot on the fin. The plank touches the body on each side of the fin. It was a very snug and secure fit. Whish all my kits came with this method.

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