By Danny Almond


This is a Heavy Duty build of the vintage MPC Nike Patriot,,, planned to be flown across the U S 

Back in the 80s, a guy in the NAR Magazine did a thing called the "All American Alpha".  He built an Alpha and sent it to be flown by a rocketeer in all 50 states. I was the NC guy, but managed to miss out on that event, due to circumstances I couldn't control. I thought it was a great idea, and is the primary inspiration for this project.

Anyway, I decided that this Patriot Kit was perfect for a project like this,,  Build it tough and let all of my rocket buddies fly it, and see where it ends up (barring a rocket eating tree, etc.).  I will call it the " Brotherhood  Patriot Act" or something......   ha. I like it. Let's get started.

Here's a nice tip for you, right from the onset of this project. Look at the picture above this paragraph. The Quest Big Rage is the same as both the MPC Nike Patriot, less the top, and the MPC Nike Smoke, With Nose Cone ! O well, wanted the real deal for more fun. Still may build the Nike Smoke from the kit.  There's 2 BTs, plus the Long top one ( enough for 2 more),,,,  so maybe I can screw in the tube instead of glue ??!,, ( hey---the Real one had it !!),,,,,   and have replacement tubing.  Top is same also, to cut for more !  Another good Share kit project ??   " The Right Way to Smoke " project ?   Or, Up in Smoke ?   ha.   hmmmm.
On to the current project for now. Time to build a tough bird that will take lots of flights.
In the photo above you can see that I added a modified stuffer tube for the Nike Patriot, so the heat will stay away from the plastic.  It will also get the parachute out of there fast. The chute will be at the top instead of way down near the gases. Plus the inside of the bottom tube won't burn up fast.. I will also reinforce the stuffer tube on the outside for same purpose .  You can't see, but I also Double walked the Engine Holder Tube with another tube, slit & glued over the original one. That will strengthen it and dispel heat. Plus the glue will add to its overall strength.  One tuff engine component.  I've done this on many kits over the years.  The Patriot tube on top of the rr  iron shows how high up inside the tube the stuffer will be. Yes, I added the engine hook. There will be More modifications as I go to make this One Tuff Bird.   Looking forward to all flying this kit...  My only other concern is adding two chutes, one for each section. In the old K 41 Mercury Redstone, a string was tied to the 2 sections so they will drift back down together. Only foot or two is fine. It worked, I did it on every Merc. flight I ever did.  Just wrap it around ur finger and put on top of loaded chutes, it won't tangle up w the others. Good experience for you, too.  I don't like the idea of the payload bouncing back and beating on the main tube. There really needs to be two chutes.
I also add an ample supply of  glue on both sides of engine rings, use a brush.  Even wraps of masking tape around engine tube will supplement having to glue on another tube ! Usually a double layer.  This is even better than gluing on those engine hooks, which I don't use.   I do this too.  Also plenty of glue to glue mount Into the rocket.   Sometimes use brush to coat inside of lower BT w glue for strength. Over time, You will see the difference !  Btw, use glue over tape,, works great !  ANYTHING to re-enforce !
I know, based on decades of experience, rockets with many flights just burn up the engine tubes.  I added an extra engine tube over the engine mount and a stuffer tube to shoot the gases out of the rocket! It will make a difference....  Have you ever seen the inside of a Mean Machine, etc. after 10 flights? There's no place for the gases to go, but to heat the bottom insides..... Shortening the life of the rocket. The extra weight is only a fraction of an ounce. An engine tube, split in half and some glue. The payload section will move the C/G VERY Forward.  This Nike Patriot is designed to fly with EXTRA weight .
Some may be concerned about adding extra weight at the bottom of the rocket. This is a legitimate concern, and I considered this before I started this build. I've done this a million times---it's a Great innovation! It's gonna be flown a Lot, I hope. This is why I feel this modification was necessary. 
BTW---the forward weight of suffer tube/ring  moves the difference forward. Extra rear weight concern turns out to be a non issue.
Here's the parts weighed above. 0.02 of an oz.  ,,,, less than a quarter oz.  A NCW weighs more than that. 
Anyway... Onward and upward. I know you're giving me the business. I can hear you talking under your breath. Pay attention. I'm trying to teach you something here. Sheesh!
I never use Engine Hooks, I'm old School. But this bird will be shared, so I will be installing and engine hook.
Here it is after first sanding the Body Tubes & 2 coats of Primer. Also, Always Sand any Plastics to be Painted.
Okay, here is another area where I will put my own spin on this build in hopes of making this rocket easy to repair in the event that the rocket's lower body tube becomes damaged. I will use a strip of Body Tube glued around bottom of the main body tube to reinforce the area where screws will penetrate through the lower Body Tube wall and will hold the fin unit in place.
With this modification in place, if the lower tube is damaged, it can be replaced with a few screws. No glue will be used to attach the fin unit.  There will be little stress on this area, so much so, that the screws will suffice.  After the BT strip dries in place, I will four drill holes through it and paint it, then add fin unit. 
Here is an inside view of 2 of the 4 screws that will hold the fin unit in place. Used a pin vise to drill holes, nuts will be cemented to inside of shoulder.  Just something different, functional, and a bit Fun ! 
With all the screws and nuts in place, it's time to glue the nuts to the inside of the fin can.
Nuts are cemented into place. Will hold in place if a Body Tube change is needed. If not, you still can use new ones, due to the location, you have easy access.
In the 80's I wrote Estes about their tape discs not holding. They wrote back w/ explanation & said use masking Tape. I've used it every since, and  I have Never had one let go yet.  Oh, the Older the tape, the better. So save that Old Masking tape you have for shroud lines !  Press it on good & around the edges with hard object, like your knife end, fingernail, etc.     Good olde tip.
As per suggested to me any Estes back in the 80s, Masking Tape is my standard for shroud line tape.  The Older the Tape, the better.  Put line in loop for more surface area and holding power.
I have decided to paint this rocket to look like it does on the box.
I will return when painting and decals are finished.
--- I am DannyMrMissile !