Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar_border
Published: 2016-02-19
Manufacturer: The Launch Pad
Style: Scale


My first model rocket kit build in 30 odd years!

I built it following the instructions with the exception of papering the balsa fins and putting small external fillets on them.

  • Model: LP-K017
  • Manufactured by: Launch Pad
  • Length: 16.75 inches
  • Diameter: 1.6 inches
  • Recommended Motors: D12-5, D12-7
  • Skill Level: 3


  • 8FNC!
  • Body Tube
  • Motor Mount
  • Recovery Hardware


Complete kit with good instructions. Just build, paint and fly!

Followed the instructions to the letter. Good illustrations to accompany the paragraphs of build instructions. You actually have to read the instructions unlike an Estes kit which most can assemble by the excellent illustrations alone.

As with other TLP kits, my clay was dried out. I rehydrated it in water, used it all, and still needed to add 1 ounce of weight (BBs) to get a good CG, right in front of the fins.



I papered the fins using regular printer paper and Elmers white glue lightly thinned with water. This added good rigidity to the balsa fins and left a good surface for painting. Several coats of gloss white, then the decals, then a gloss clear. I'm really happy with the finish!

No decals are included. My decals are a copy of the Madcow 4" Phoenix decals scaled down and printed on Testers decal paper. Still note that a single decal sheet isn't sufficient. I printed 3-4 sets.

Construction Score: 4


Maiden flight on a D12-5. Flew perfectly, no spin, no weathercocking. And no ejection charge ...


I knew it was in trouble after it nosed over and picked up speed. Closer and closer it came and you could start to hear it whistle. Thud, 20 yards away it lawn darted. Turns out the ejection failed to fire and Estes has promised to compensate me.

Fortunately the fin can is perfect and it will be easy to chop off the nose and rebuild her (already got a BT60 tube)!

Flight Rating: 4


This little kit is to serve as a style guide for me for the 4" Madcow Phoenix I'm building for my L1/2 cert flights. It, in turn, will serve as a build guide for my planned 1/2 scale Phoenix.

Overall Rating: 4

Other Reviews
  • The Launch Pad - Phoenix AIM-54C {Kit} (K017) By Bob Bernatchez (June 23, 2014)

    This is a BT-60 sized semi scale version of the Phoenix missile from The Launch Pad. Components This kit comes with a variety of Estes type parts. A BT-60 main body tube. A BT-50 engine mount tube. A plastic nose cone that seems identical to the one in the Estes Patriot. Balsa fin stock. Fiber centering rings. Nose weight. Launch Lug, mylar parachute, ...


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