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Model Rocket Building Blog

Carded Red Max Build, Part 1, Parts
I've seen a few pictures of "Rocket Families" on the forums. The Red Max is a favorite with the Estes Mini Max (BT-50 based), standard Red Max (BT-60 based) and Mega Red Max. Well, how about a smaller BT-5 version for 13mm engines? This one is tiny at just 5 1/4" tall! It performs like a BT-5 ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 2, Fin Core Prep
My early art layout page had a LOT of extras. The body tube wraps are printed on 20 lb. paper, the fin overlays are printed on 110 lb. stock. Lightly spray the print side with clear acrylic. The model will get a final coat of clear after it is assembled. The center core of the fins is cereal box ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 3, Fin Skin Folding
To emboss the leading edge fold line sometimes I use the back side of a single edge razor blade. The sharp side is taped over with layers of masking tape. Any rough burrs are sanded off before embossing. You might find it easier to use the tip of a dull butter knife to emboss the leading edge fold ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 4, Fin Skin Gluing
Don't use liquid white glue to attach the skins! Use a glue stick. TIP: Glue sticks don't over saturate the paper or card stock. They also allow re-positioning before the glue dries. I use the colored (purple) glue stick so I can see if I have good coverage. Be sure to apply enough down the center ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 5, Fin Skin Gluing
The upper picture shows the three layers viewed from the root edge. Use your burnisher to round off the cut side edges. This won't be a full round like the folded leading edge. The burnishing just takes the squared edges down a bit. Don't burnish over the root edge, leave that square and sharp! ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 6, Tube Wrap
The final BT-5 length is 2 13/16" long. You might find it easier to use a piece of tube about 5" long and trim it to the size of the wrap after it is glued on. Without using any glue check the fit of the tube wrap. The inset picture shows the black border line being trimmed off before gluing. Draw ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 8, Glued Assembly
The black fin position lines were lightly scraped for better glue adhesion. At the paper seam joint on the launch lug, the seam was sanded. The fin lines were also scraped and the fins glued on. On a printed, carded rocket it's important to use white glue on the outside surfaces. Wood glue would ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Part 7, Ends & Edges
A small notch was cut into an engine block and some 65 lb. Kevlar tied on with a square knot. A 13mm engine casing was marked at 1/8". Normally an engine could extend 1/4" out the back but that would set the engine lower than the tips of the fins. A great thing about a pre-printed carded rocket, ...
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Carded Red Max Build, Finished
Here's the cliche picture you'd take to show how small it really is - Only 5 3/16" tall and weighs .33 oz. Much of the weight is the clay in the nose cone. The nose end picture shows a mistake! Can you see what it is? I had to go back, fix the art, print and build again. Everybody that requested ...
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