The Snarky Jr. (a.k.a. Goony Shark) was kit bash #6 in what was to become a long list of Baby Bertha's that I converted into various Goony Birds and such. The inspiration for this one of course came from my DynaStar's - Snarky and the fact that I wanted to be able to fly it in the smaller "B" fields near me.
As stated this is a kit bash so the first thing to do was buy a Baby Bertha kit from Hobby Lobby as the heart and soul of this build. For the bottom scoop rather than cutting up another BT-60 tube I opted for a paper towel roll as it's almost the same size and if I cut it wrong it would be easy to replace and do over. For the initial build I will be using the stock NC for the Goony look but will swap it out later for a PNC-60AH (Prowler or Patriot) for the final version to give it the Snarky Jr. look. The stock 12" parachute will be saved for replacement on a smaller weight rocket and I will be replacing it with a larger 16" plastic one that I made from a K-Mart shopping bag as estimated final weight of this rocket will be about 2.5 oz.. All fins will be cut and modified from balsa provided in the Baby Bertha kit.
Construction began as with most Estes rockets with the motor mount being put together and then glued into the tube. Bottom centering ring was glued flush with one end of BT instead of recessed as the Baby Bertha calls for. This was done to make it resemble the Snarky mounting. BT was then marked for wings, tail, stabilizers, scoop and scoop support. Now is when the real fun began. I took the original scoop pattern from my Snarky to work and ran it through the copier at 50% reduction to get a rough pattern to use for the Goony version. Next up was re-configuring the balsa and fins to make the wings, stabilizers, tail, and scoop support. I took the stock fins of the Baby Bertha and modified them to resemble the wings of the Snarky. The same was done with the tail and stabilizers. Scoop support was cut from left over scrap. Here's a copy of the patterns that I used.
Next, all balsa parts were glued together in their proper arrangements and then all wood was covered with white printer paper for a no grain finish and for added strength. The next step was critical in making sure that the wings were properly aligned when attaching them in order for the scoop to fit properly. After the wings were glued on, the rear stabs and scoop support were attached. The tail was left off at this point in order to make attaching the scoop easier. OK, here is the fun part. Taking a paper towel roll, I traced the scoop pattern on the roll and cut it to size. I next applied two coats of primmer to the inside of the tube and put it aside for a short time to dry. Here is the only CON. Again, extra care was taken for the scoop attachment. The original Dyna-Star Snarky had a nice jig to help with alignment but I misplaced it so just had to eye-ball this one making it a bit of a challenge. Once the scoop was properly in place though I let it dry and then glued on the tail. The launch lug was then glued inside the right side of the scoop out of sight and centered with the wing. Spirals in scoop were then filled with Hobbico's Hobby-Lite filler and sanded smooth.
After construction was finished all seams were gone over with white glue and then after drying any left-over holes were filled with Hobby-Lite. Base of rocket then got two coats of Rust-Oleum 2x White Primmer with the usual drying and sanding between coats. Nose cone was then placed back on and entire rocket got two coats of KRYLON FUSION FOR PLASTIC white paint. Rocket was then set aside to dry over night and I turned my attention to the decals for this bird. I looked for the appropriate size markings on the web and copied them but had a little trouble finding a P-40 Flying Tiger mouth that I liked and would fit on the scoop. The eyes for the NC were another. After findings ones I liked and fine tuning them in Windows Paint, I printed them out on standard printer paper and then applied a couple of light coats of clear paint to them and set them aside to dry as well. The following day I took the NC and carefully masked off the back 1 3/4" in order to do the red tip. The wings and tail were like wise masked off for the red stripes. These were then sprayed with two light coats of Krylon Bright Red and NC placed on a wood dowel and given the same treatment. After allowing all to dry for an hour all tape was removed and rocket again set up to dry over night. Final day of finishing was started by taking the NC and doing a light wet sand with 1000 grit paper to smooth paint line between red and white paint. The wing tips and tail were done as well and then the rocket got a complete wipe down. I then proceeded to cut out the decals. These were then trimmed and attached using a glue stick. After waiting an hour for glue to dry all decals were double checked and entire rocket was given two coats of Krylon Clear Gloss.
Maiden flight was on a B6-4 and not as good a flight as I had hoped. Rocket didn't appear to be 100% stable in spite of having a 1/4oz. clay in NC and seemed to be a bit sluggish as it made its way to apogee. Parachute ejection was OK as was recovery. Decided to start work ASAP on new NC. Following flights with new NC have been far better. Rocket really slices through the air now.
Snarky Jr. with new NC
First flight with new NC
On all B6-4 flights parachute ejection has been slightly after apogee as rocket starts to make its dive just like big brother. All landings have been in grass with do damage.
This rocket has proven to be an outstanding gem of a flyer and the pride of my Goonybird fleet.