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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Background
Well, I thought it might work! I bought two Estes STM-012 kits on Ebay with the hopes of kit-bashing one of them into an AMRAAM. It never even occurred to me that the STM-012 model would have three through-the-wall fins. The AMRAAM has two sets of four fins. I would have to buy a couple new ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 1, Parts
The STM-012 parts were all high quality and a good value for what I paid on Ebay. The STM-012 is a tall rocket made up from two 18" lengths of BT-60. The "Spike" will be shorter. The parts of interest: That 8 3/8" LONG nose cone The black engine hook holder (coupler) The 4" long red body tube ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 2, Fins
To get a rough idea of the fin to body tube size ratio I copied a picture from the Madcow website. I wasn't trying for an exact copied fin profile. I did like the fin size and placement in relation to the body tube size. The picture was sized to the width of a BT-60 at 1.637" wide. That gave me a ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 3, Tubes
I had to get rid of the slotted tubing, the slots wouldn't fit the new fins anyway. The Madcow Pike is 28.9" tall. With the STM-012 nose cone at 8.4" long I figured I'd need about 20 1/2" of BT-60. This length would be pieced from the two 18" long STM-012 kit tubes. The lower tube ended up at 14 ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 4, Coupler Bulkhead
There will have to be a bulkhead plate in the coupler between the two body segments. I'm cutting this from my frame matting stock. Two disks will be made and laminated together for a strong thickness. Trace around the red coupler with a sharp pencil. These disks will be trimmed afterwards to the ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 5, Coupler Bulkhead
The bulkhead plate will be glued to the top of the coupler so when the ejection charge fires the shock cord will be pulling down. There will be no chance of it pulling off if the glued bulkhead is is on the top. Apply a good bead of glue to the top edge. Press on the disk and turn to form an even ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 6, Fin Filling
Here's the before and after using Elmer's Carpenter's Wood Filler. On the forums I've read where first time builders question how grainy the filler is. Too many try to use it full strength the first time. Here's a good starter mix ratio of CWF and water: CLICK HERE The inset picture shows the same ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 7, In Line Fin Gluing
The body tube was marked and the primer/filler scraped off the root edge and fillet areas. The rear fins were glued on first; The trailing edges were set down farther back than the Madcow Pike. Thin tape lines were rolled around the tube to align the tailing edges of the other two fins. Craft ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 8, Decals
I looked online at a few missiles to get some ideas for decals. I ended up making some markings similar to the decals in the Estes Bullpup 12d kit. The black segments and long strips are in two different sizes. Sometimes when you print decals you wish you had them in a slightly different size. All ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 9, Paint and Trim
The low end fins were sprayed with Rusto 2X Aluminum. This metallic paint dries very quickly and decals adhere to it well. As usual, I stuffed a rolled paper towel in the rear engine mount recess to keep paint out. The upper payload section was also masked and sprayed with aluminum paint. The main ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 10, Decals and Trim
The fins got a different decal treatment. I used a marked spacer strip to be sure all three bars were consistently spaced. The home print decals stuck and wrapped around the outside edge very well. The payload section also got something different. On the left was the initial aluminum paint and ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Part 11, Nose Cone Paint
Damn paint! Painted plastic nose cones take forever to dry! Sure, the can says "Recoat within one hour or after 24 hours." I waited a few days after the white undercoat. That seemed to take forever to dry. The red coat wrinkled! This slowed down the finish of this build. This picture shows the ...
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Estes STM-012 Kitbash to the B32-M Spike, Finished
This one turned out very well, except for the nose cone paint. The picture on the right was taken before the wrinkled red paint was sanded smooth. My favorites are now two foot tall, BT-60 based rockets that could easily fly with a C6-3 through E engines. The BT-60 is still a fairly strong body ...
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