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Estes Photon Probe Build, Background
T' original Estes Photon Probe was only around for two years, from 1991-1993. Arrr! I have two kits, one original from t' 1990s and t' second from 2009 when Estes started their "Classic Series. T' older kit be #2043, shiver me timbers, t' reissue kit is #3026. Both kits will be built at t' same time, matey, I'll be ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 1, ya bilge rat, Parts
Here's t' parts from t' reissue kit from 2009. Blimey! When t' Classic Series started most o' t' kits had balsa nose cones. T' older kit had a blow molded plastic cone. Avast, me proud beauty! All t' parts were o' great quality. You can see t' balsa sheet be made up from two different pieces o' wood. Avast, me proud beauty! Here's a ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 2, me bucko, Fin Prepping
In a grumpy old man voice: "You kids don't know how good you've got it! In me day we had t' cut out our own fins! Then things got easier when they started die-cuttin' t' balsa." T' be honest, die-cut balsa was never that great. We used t' call it "die-crushing". Begad! If t' shop blades were old you'd ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 3, Engine Mount
T' older kit had thicker centerin' rings. Avast, me proud beauty! T' t' right be t' thinner rings from t' reissue kit. I did me standard relief punches so t' rings would slide easier over t' engine hook. T' inset picture shows t' slight curved punch over t' hook. T' instructions would have you glue t' upper ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 4, Nose Cone Prep
T' older plastic nose cone had a small nib at t' shoulder. This prevented t' nose cone from seatin' all t' way into t' tube. T' second picture shows t' fit after shavin' off t' nib. I never liked this small round shock cord attachment. Well, blow me down! It always seemed weak. It was cut off and a hole was ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 5, Wood Strips
I won't be usin' t' balsa strips from t' older kit. Begad! they'd be a little hard t' fill. Aye aye! New strips were cut from basswood. Aye aye! T' ends o' t' strips are cut t' a 45 degree angle. Ahoy! TIP: T' make sure all t' cuts were consistent, I drew up an angle guide on me cuttin' board. Begad! A single edge razor blade be ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, me hearties, Part 7, Fin Placement Differences
I don't understand why thar are inconsistencies in a reissue kit. Ya scallywag! It's nay a big deal, arrr, it's just curious. T' older kit has squared fin edges, matey, shown in t' upper part o' t' picture. Avast! T' reissue kit has rounded leadin' edges. T' forward "dorsal" fin positions aren't consistent. Well, blow me down! In t' original ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 6, arrr, Engine Mount Gluing
T' 150 lb. Ahoy! Keelhaul®©™ line rolled up and inside t' engine mount for gluin' into t' BT-55 main air frame tube. Avast, me proud beauty! On t' replaceable Keelhaul®©™ style mount t' Keelhaul®©™ is looped and tied under t' lower centerin' ring. Blimey! T' orange Q-tip tube allows you t' check t' condition o' t' line after a few flights ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 8, Tube Prepping
T' launch lug be glued on in line with t' engine hook side. A paintin' wand is slipped in t' back. Blimey! Rolled up paper towel is pressed into t' engine mount recess t' keep paint out o' t' inside. Primer coats followed. There is a light difference in t' nose cone shapes. T' original plastic ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 9, Dorsal Fin Gluing
T' strange thin' is - T' Dorsal Fins are centered on t' strips. T' strips aren't much wider than t' 3/32" thick fins. Avast! Blimey! these will be a chore t' fillet and get a smooth joint durin' finishing. T' dorsal strip fins are set directly above t' main low fins, 2 3/4" from t' end o' t' main tube. Blimey! Blimey! ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 10, Paint and Masking
Mentioned earlier, t' fins are centered on t' strips. T' strip isn't much wider than t' small fins. A very small fillet was applied t' t' upper fin sides. It took quite a bit o' fine sandin' t' get t' fillet areas smooth. This one required two base coats o' gloss white and sandin' in betwixt ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 12, Decals
T' older kit decals were actually in pretty good shape. They did require a long soak t' release from t' backin' paper. Avast! Blimey! After t' first fin decal be set down I sighted over t' outside edge o' t' fin t' line up t' next decal placement. T' body wrap decal centers over t' color mask with t' ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, Part 11, me hearties, Paint Choices
T' older kit face card had t' middle section painted pink. Ahoy! I do have pink spray paint but it's nay a dark enough shade for me. Ahoy! I decided t' go with orange like t' Photon Disruptor. Well, blow me down! Here's t' paint mask Scotch tape bein' pulled. T' line was very clean. Ya scallywag! While t' older Photon Probe was shown ...
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Estes Photon Probe #3026 Build, matey, Finished
I do like t' orange instead o' t' original pink center section. Well, blow me down! Gettin' t' smaller fin fillet areas smooth was a chore. A clean lookin' model with a different, clever decal treatment.
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