Rating
(Contributed - by Chris Taylor Jr.)

Rocket PicBrief:
This is a Micro Maxx powered Scale model of a Sandia Sandhawk by ASP.

Construction:
The kit includes: two (2) body tubes, two (2) couplers, a nose cone, a Kevlar® thread, a decal sheet, a styrene sheet for fin stock, and other miscellaneous styrene tools.

The larger fins on this model made it much easier to assemble. One extreme Con to assembly is the motor-block Kevlar® mount tube. Getting it in there is a breeze, but getting GLUE in there is a total nightmare!

I ended up using a small plastic rod with a dribble of glue 1.5 inches long on it. I would carefully get it in there without touching the side and then I hit the coupler I wiggled it IN the coupler and start scraping the edges of the coupler with the tube which took the glue off the tube and put it where I want it. I also inserted an engine FIRST to guarantee I would not get glue too far in there and prevent the installation of an engine (ruined rocket). Even if you get glue on the engines don't worry because once it is dry you simply "twist" and it snaps free (glue does not stick to MMaxx engine casings well).

I replaced the lug with something a little skinnier. Not by much, mind you, maybe 20 percent thinner with the same ID but smaller OD.

Otherwise assembly was a breeze with no catches or gotcha's at all.

Finishing:
Finishing this model was easy but a little more involved. What is NOT pointed out in the instructions is painting near the bottom. I think ASP intended to rid this problem by having you paint the whole fin-can area white but I wanted more of a scale look which required the red/orange to be painted in-between the fins. There is a catch. The kit comes with some very nice decals of the rivets etc.. that go in-between each fins. The decal is clear yet in scale it is white so using the decal as a measure I scratched the tube between each fin where the orange should stop and the white should start and painted accordingly. The instruction said fluorescent red but Peter Always says Orange-red so I got both. Testor's has model master paint that is 28913 Fluorescent Red-Orange (SG) and it was perfect choice. The top half of the BT (the rocket has a body tube break point) is white and one fin is red. It also has that Gray-Green-Gray band as a decal which is a very nice touch.

With a good paint job and proper placement of decals this is a very pretty model. Easy as pretty and just as cool looking as the Mini Maxx RP-3.

One note: you will without question need the decal set! These are some tiny curves to go around the tube and up the fins partially and the decal does NOT want to do it but the decal solvent takes care of that instantly. Also have a bowl of water near you because you need to wet the decal once you place it so you can use the tip of a knife to push and shove it around. Be careful on the end of the "between the fin" decals, they tend to want to curl on you. I slid off 3 mm of backing, pressed into place with finger and then slide paper back out from under the decal and then knife pushed into place and then solvent.

Construction Rating: 4 out of 5

Flight:
This model with without question should haul as it is very light and skinny (7mm). It is also bright so I do not anticipate any problems. Again since I opted not to use the streamer no wadding was needed.

The Sandhawk flew great! It took off a wee-bit fast but still watchable. No damage upon recovery. It landed within 100 feet of the pad.

Recovery:
As usual with MMAxx if you don't see it land you are in trouble. This model should not be a problem finding on the ground as long as it does not go UNDER something since it is bright orange. This proved true as it was the easiest to watch (of the other ASP kits I reviewed). Its larger size (longer) and brighter colors made it very easy.

The RP-3 uses Kevlar® for the shock cord and since I opted out of using the streamer (pain to prep) no wadding is needed.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5

Summary:
This rocket looks great and being a bit larger is easier to handle. The decals are very good except that I would make the upper tube wrap smaller since it overlaps and the translucency of the decal makes the overlap "visible". The bottom decals need a white backing. You can not see the panel or rivet outlines over the black fin and for proper scale you will have to paint the space between the tubes white first or it will show orange through the clear decal.

I also would like to have seen the "double wall" tube all the way to the top on this model. I am very impressed with how well this increases strength and I think I am going to start using it on my own models. It will make motor block and shock cord installation a total breeze while drastically increasing the strength of the rocket. This also adds weight but on the scale models mass is no problem and they still easily bust 150 feet altitudes.

A wonderful scale model that with a good finish I would not hesitate to turn in for Sport Scale events.

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5

Flights

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