This is a very easy to build "quick kit" that lives up to the promise of ready to launch in 15-45 minutes. It's a decent looking design with fin can and transition to a payload bay and even comes with a plastic display stand. This particular kit was given to me as a prize at NARAM-47 and was packaged in a nice plastic box to prevent tube dents.
The kit includes:
The 7 steps of instructions on 2 pages were easy to follow with decent instructions, clear illustrations, and no typos. I would rate this a skill level 1 kit and anyone with even a little prior experience should have no trouble having this built in less than 30 minutes. If using plastic cement though, avoid the temptation to fly right away, as the glue will need time to cure. This was not noted anywhere in the instructions and could be a problem for eager youngsters expecting to fly right away.
The fin can gets an 18mm motor tube stashed between two plastic halves. The 4 fins are then tacked onto the can, completing that end of the assembly. Forward retention is via a plastic tab (we'll see how long it holds up) and aft retention is via a plastic lock ring.
As with all Quest kits, the shock cord consists of Kevlar® anchored to the motor mount and elastic tied to the Kevlar® just beyond the lower tube. This is a great touch for mass-market kits and I'm surprised Estes still hasn't made the change.
The payload section is built by gluing in a plastic transition to the aft end and friction fitting a nose cone to the top. My cone was a bit loose and took a couple layers of masking tape for a good fit.
The kit in theory does not need paint and can go straight to decal application. I was a bit disappointed though, after seeing the cool red/white color scheme on the header card to discover that the actual parts are a very light orange. I decided to blow the 15-minute budget for this and paint the body tubes and nose cone gloss white and the transition and fin can gloss red. This added about 30 minutes of work and delayed completion by a day, but I think it is a much better appearance.
The peel and stick decals were fairly easy to work with and added nice trim. There were only enough fin trim decals though, to cover half the fins. I think it would have looked nicer to have the trim on all 8 surfaces.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
For the first flight, I went with a B6-4. It flew straight as an arrow, although the delay kicked very early (more like 2 seconds) and the chute came out while it was still coasting pretty fast.
The plastic chute with adhesive reinforcements over the holes did not hold up very well to the early deploy. 2 of the 6 lines broke loose. I think tape disk/knots might be a little better method of anchoring shroud lines to plastic chutes, but I definitely blame this rip on the Estes delay, not the Quest chute/lines.
The model came down fine in tall soft grass and is fine to fly again without even a scratch.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
For a quick kit/E2X, this is a nice looking rocket (if you paint it) and can even be used for simple payloads. It's definitely worth the 15-30 minutes of build time and flies fine.
The only con I would offer up would be the ugly orange plastic stock. This really looks better with red (maybe even the same clear red they use for the display stand).
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5