Estes - Mini Max {Kit} (002445) [?-?]

Contributed by John Bergsmith

Construction Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Flight Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Overall Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Published: 2010-04-06
Diameter: 0.98 inches
Length: 9.75 inches
Manufacturer: Estes
Skill Level: 1
Style: Sport

Brief:
Estes Mini MaxThe Estes Mini Max is a smaller version based on the BT-50 of the Estes classic Der Red Max. The Mini Max is designed with a 13mm motor mount making it powered by Estes mini engines, and can reach altitudes in excess of 300 feet. As designed, recovery is accomplished with the included streamer.

The new Mini Max has all the great looks of the classic version, right down to the really cool skull and crossbones decals. Like many of our new and classic kits, the Mini features a balsa nose cone, laser cut balsa fins and waterslide decals.

Construction:
A very nice Balsa Nose Cone, Laser cut Balsa Fins, card stock centering rings, engine hook, BT-50 body tube, and Waterslide Decals

The instructions that Estes provides in the kit are excellent and include illustrations. This combined with the fact the Mini Max is very easy to construct resulted in no issues during the build.

The motor mount is constructed using typical methods. The only thing I changed was to add a Kevlar shock cord that ties around the motor tube between the upper and lower centering ring. I used a small amount of wood glue inside the body tube and the motor mount was inserted into the BT. The next step was to I fill the spirals. After sanding the BT, the tube was marked for the fin locations and the launch lug. The laser-cut fins are made from 3/32 hard balsa. The fins were shaped and glued onto the BT using a very small amount of 5 minute epoxy. The launch lug was attached to the bt using epoxy as well. Once the fins were attached and allowed to dry, small epoxy micro balloon fillets were created around the fins and launch lug to add some strength and to clean up the joints.

Finishing:
I sealed the balsa fins and nose cone with two coats of Minwax Polyurethane. Once dry they were sanded smooth and coated using thinned spackle that was brushed on to fill the wood grain. The filler was sanded off and the rocket was primed with two coats of Dupli-Color® High Fill primer sanding between coats. The nose cone was painted black using two coats of old formula Krylon spray. The body was painted red using two coats of old formula Krylon spray. Once the body was allowed to completely dry the classic Red Max decals were installed. I know in the recent past there have been problems with the waterslide decals that Estes has provided. No such issues were experienced with the Mini Max decals. The completed Mini Max looks fantastic.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5

Flight:
The Mini Max is designed to fly on the following motors, 1/2A3-2T, 1/2A3-4T, A3-4T, A10-3T. I decided to use the A10-3T for the first flight. The first flight was nice and straight with no stability issues. The A10-3T turned out to be perfect with ejection occurring close to apogee. The altitude achieved is tough to estimate, but it was over 300 feet easy.

Recovery:
I chose to use a small 8" chute instead of the streamer. The small chute worked great, and I'm sure the streamer that is included in the kit would be sufficient as well for a safe recovery.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
The Estes Mini Max is a great addition to the available kits on the market today. This is a very easy to build model that with the included instructions can be successfully assembled by the novice builder. Estes has done a terrific job at providing a very high quality kit. The rocket flies great as designed and is durable. I've said it before, but the Der Red Max is a classic design that flies great in every size. Plus, you can't find a cooler set of decals on a rocket anywhere.

Build one and enjoy!

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

Other Reviews
  • Estes - Mini Max {Kit} (002445) [?-?] By Duane Boldt (July 31, 2010)

    Brief: Smaller version of Estes' classic Der Red Max kit. It has a balsa nose cone, waterslide decals, streamer recover and is powereed by Estes 13mm Mini Motors. The model was built and the review submitted as part of the 2010 EMRR Challenge for the "Hit List" component. Construction: 1 - 13mm Engine Mount Tube 1 - Estes Engine Hook 1 - Mylar Hook Retainer ...

  • Estes - Mini Max {Kit} (002445) [?-?] By Jason Orosco (March 28, 2010)

    Brief: The Mini Max is a single stage 13mm rocket with a streamer used for recovery. It's the baby brother to the Der Red Max. Construction: 1 Engine Mount Tube BT-5 1.75" 1 Mini Engine Hook 1 Mylar Hook Retainer HR-5 1 EB-5 1 CR-520 Split Ring 1 CR-520 Ring 3 Laser Cut Fins 1 Launch Lug 1.5" 1 Screw Eye 1 BNC-50AH 1 Shock cord ...

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