Semroc Tau Zero

Semroc - Tau Zero {Kit} (KN-2)

Contributed by Dick Stafford

Published: 2010-03-28
Diameter: 0.76 inches
Length: 16.00 inches
Manufacturer: Semroc
Skill Level: 2
Style: Futuristic/Exotic
(Contributed - by Dick Stafford - 03/28/10)Mods Semroc Tau Zero

This is third and final kit that I received from the last 2009 Quarterly Rocket Give-Away so, once again, many thanks to Nick!

The Tau Zero, as you all know, is a futuristic rocket from Semroc that flies on 18mm motors and recovers via a streamer. As of this writing, there are no less than seven great reviews on this kit. As a result, I'm not going to cover the parts list, the basic instruction, etc. Rather, I'm going to state what stood out to me. You may also note that I flipped the fins over. I did that on purpose. At least, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

The only physical modification I made was flipping the fins so they are swept backward. I also used my own color scheme.

The parts are of the same excellent quality that you'd expect from Semroc. Laser cut fins and alignment guides, Kevlar® leader for recovery, and a pristine balsa cone. The cone is awesome, kind of a sleeker version of the Honest John.

Because the inner set of fins are supposed to be painted the same as the outer, but different from the ring fin, the instructions recommend that you paint the parts before assembly. Like the others, I did so.

Even though it is basically minimum diameter, a motor hook is provided. It is held in place with a telescoping outer tube, which is tucked neatly under the inner fins. I love laser cut parts :) Two fin guides are provided, one for each set of fins.

The quality of the cone was fabulous. The grain is fine and needs little filing. They recommend to drill a pilot hole for the over sized screw eye, and I heeded this advice. I also soaked the point tip in thin CA to toughen it up a bit.

I filled the balsa parts with fill'n'finish and Dupli-Color METALCAST paint system. This includes a silver base coat and a color coat. I used the base coat both as as a primer and as the silver coat for the majority of the rocket. The wing tip pods were painted with brush-on gold and the tips of the attached dowels were dipped in day-glo orange,

The decal set was great quality. However, the purple fins and nose section don't provide a good backdrop for some of them. I shuffled a few and left a few off.

I used a Quest 'long burn' C6-5 for the first flight. It really ripped on the C6. I lost sight of it but spotted the streamer at ejection. Then, I lost sight of it again. I thought it was lost but on the way home, I stopped on the high ground and grabbed the binoculars that I carry in my range box...and spotted it!

This is a slick looking rocket and a fun build. The parts are perfect and the instructions are great. However, I'm not a big fan of BT-20 body tubes. The fact that the Tau Zero recovers with a streamer mitigated this issue for me. It flies great and the streamer recovery is adequate for this sized rocket. Especially if you point the fins in the proper direction!

Other Reviews
  • Semroc Tau Zero By Peter Stanley (May 25, 2009)

    Brief: The Tau Zero is a Semroc original kit, which was designed by Jay Goemmer. It has an unusually shaped nosecone and forward swept fins that attach to a tube ring with additional fins underneath. It is designed for 18mm motors and uses streamer recovery. Construction: As with every Semroc kit I've built, the quality of components was excellent. The kit contained laser cut ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Tyler Jones (April 1, 2009)

    Brief: This rocket was designed by Jay Goemmer from Twin Falls, Idaho. I live in the same city (and know him) so I decided it would fun to try it out. The Tau Zero is of a really cool design and it has all the quality that Semroc is known for. Construction: The components that this kit came with are: 1 Rolled Balsa Nose Cone 1 Body tube ST-7100 (BT-20) 1 Body ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Jamie Martin (March 23, 2009)

    Brief: This is a futuristic kit with an unusually-shaped nose cone, forward-swept outer fins, and a ring fin. Construction: The kit contains: -Balsa nose cone -body tube -ring fin -laser cut fins -empty casing -thrust ring -engine hook -retaining ring -1/8" launch lug -launch lugs for ion cannons -wooden dowels for ion cannons ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Robert Gustin (March 22, 2009)

    Brief: SEMROC's Tau Zero is a futuristic looking, fighter styled, single stage model rocket. Designed by Jay Goemmer, it has a long, bulbous nose cone, a ring tail with 3 forward swept fins capped by laser guns. Construction: In the kit you get: Balsa nose cone Main body tube Ring fin body tube Laser cut fins (3 outer fins, 3 inner fins) Engine hook ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Chan Stevens (February 22, 2009)

    Semroc has released a futuristic kit by guest designer Jay "Centuri Guy" Goemmer. The design was inspired by the Paul Anderson novel of the same name. It features both fin and ring stability, sharp-looking details, and a set of decals in alien language. Parts are the usual excellent Semroc quality: Balsa nose cone ST-7100 body tube (basically a thick-walled 18mm ID tube) ST-1622 ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Howard Smart (January 31, 2009)

    Brief: This is a small Sci-Fi looking model with forward swept fins, a ring fin and a bulging nose cone. Construction: The kit contains: Balsa Nose Cone Body tube (also serves as 18mm motor mount) Ring fin (body tube material) Sheet of laser cut 3/32 in. balsa fins - 6 all together, 3 inside and 3 outside ring fin Empty motor casing (spacer) Thrust ring ...

  • Semroc Tau Zero By Jewel B. Butler Jr. (January 11, 2009)

    Brief: This is a single stage combo ring fin and forward swept fin design. You don't get a lot of altitude, but you get style and stability. Construction: Semroc Parts-basically a BT-20 body tube and a BT-60 ring-fin and three forward swept fins with dowels on the ends of the wings.There is an engine hook that is attached out side the body tube but it is hidden by the ring ...


comment Post a Comment