I obtained the Big Rage along with a batch of other Quest kits in an on-line auction. My original intention was to use these as gifts and give-aways. However, the Big Rage kit was damaged a bit in shipping -- the main body tube was crushed -- and I didn't feel right giving it as a gift! I decided to repair and build it. I tried to get a replacement tube for the kit, to no avail. Instead, Quest sent me an entire replacement kit! I put this in my fund raiser box and decided to fix the damaged tube.
The Big Rage has two body tube sections: main body, finished with a glossy blue wrapping, and the payload section tube, finished in glossy black. The nose cone and tail section were specially colored versions of the fin can and nose from the Quest Nike Smoke kit. The special color is . . . bright pink. Really nauseating bright pink. Ugh! The plastic was nice and sturdy, but in the case of the nose cone was poorly molded. I had to use several clamps and rubber bands to get the cone halves and tip to stay together during gluing. The internal parts, parachutes and the like were quite acceptable. As is usual for Quest kits, the shock cord is anchored with a Kevlar® cord. In the case of the Big Rage, the rather-short shock cord length wasn't a problem because the payload section and body tube were designed to come back on separate parachutes. I'll rate the components 4 out of 5.
The Big Rage's instructions were very nicely done. A beginner would have no problem following them. The partially crushed body tube made for a short detour. I happened to have some coupler stock for the T-35 body tube. I "blocked out" the crushed section with the coupler, forcing the crimp out of the tube, then wrapped the tube (after some sanding) with CA - soaked silkspan. . I have one minor complaint about the instructions. They suggest using plastic cement to glue the plastic launch lugs to the body tube. The slick surface of the tube and plastic wouldn't make for a very good bond. I took the step of sanding the glossy top layer off of the body tube at the point where the lug would be glued on. I also scored and sanded the lower surface of the launch lugs to increase the gluing surface. I also glued one of the lugs to the plastic "fin can." I believe these steps resulted in a much sturdier kit. All told (aside from the body tube repair, which is a task I took on myself) the Big Rage went together quite nicely. I'll rate it a 4 out of 5.
The Big Rage is intended to be a "paint free" kit. After assembly, you simply stick on the pressure-sensitive decals. I did do some wet-sanding and buffing to get rid of the mold lines on the plastic parts. I used very fine mylar-backed sanding material and a "Scotchbrite" pad for this purpose. I think it improved the look of the parts a lot. The decals include a kit name panel, a few wrappers, and black trim panels for the fins. They went on easily enough. I covered up the tube repair with some blue trim monokote. The color match wasn't perfect. I'll rate finishing a 2 out of 5. Why so low, given the fact that finishing was very easy? Because the Big Rage's default color scheme is UGLY. True blue, black, and BRIGHT PINK? Geee-yahhh! What were they THINKING?
Construction Rating: 2 out of 5
Prepping the Big Rage is fairly easy. It requires wadding, and a moderate amount of parachute packing. The engine clip, while a bit flimsy, did its job. I've flown the Big Rage several times, on B6-4 and C6-5 motors. Liftoffs were moderately slow. The flights were very straight and true.
The Big Rage was fairly easy to recover. The bright pink parts did make it fairly visible on the ground.
Flight Rating: 3 out of 5
The Big Rage is easy to build, very easy to finish, and easy to prep and fly. It would make a very good "step up" for rocketeers who started out with RTF kits. The model's size and visibility would also make it a good demo flyer. I'd rate the model higher, but I can't get around the sheer ugliness of the color choices and "Nike Smoke" cone.
Overall Rating: 3 out of 5