Eye-catching metallic finish and glitter body tubes make these very attractive rockets, and good values as well.
Beefed up shock cord.
These are your basic E2X series, though they're getting much easier to build. The fin cans are single piece, and even the launch lug is pre-molded to fit right into the tube. What really impressed me about these components, though, is the finish quality. The glitter tubes (similar to the Blue Ninja) and metallic finish on the cones and fins are beautiful. They were also very carefully protected with a plastic sleeve. It took me longer to unpack these than build them. As is customary with Estes, the shock cord is a flimsy and undersized 1/8" elastic. Normally I substitute my own 1/4", and did so on these kits.
I've had problems with the fit & finish of E2X series in the past, but these kits were absolutely no problem. Just use a little plastic cement to bond the fin can to the body tube, tie the shock cord to the launch lug assembly, bond the launch lug to the tube, apply the decal and you're done. As much as I hate making 'chutes, I was glad to see that these kits include pre-assembled 12" chutes.
The finish on these kits is the best I've ever seen (without having to paint them myself). I'm especially fond of the red/gold combination. All the parts fit very well, resulting in a total build time of about 10 minutes per kit.
Construction Rating: 4 out of 5
I went with a B6-6 motor, longer delay than the recommended B6-4. Sure enough, it arced over and deployed on the way down, but not too late. The recommended 4 second delay is definitely a better motor. The flight was straight up, with a slight weathercock into 10mph winds. Recovery was soft, landing in a snug blanket of Ohio snow. I've also flown on a C6-5 with perfect deployment, though the chute melted a bit, and full recovery without damage has me praying for better weather to fly again.
Standard Estes shock cord is only good for about 5 flights, my 1/4" cord will fare longer. I'll also wind up switching to a more durable Mylar chute.
Flight Rating: 5 out of 5
I was very disappointed with the 2001/2002 Estes line, but based on what I've seen so far in 2003, they are back on track. These kits are great looking, easy to build, and can be found for $6-8 each.
Overall Rating: 4 out of 5