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Simultaneous build o' t' Estes Cobra and Ranger

By Manny Trotta

Estes Cobra and Ranger

This project is a simultaneous build o' two Estes 3-Engine cluster kits as they appeared in t' 1971 Estes catalog.


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I ordered t' parts for both t' Cobra and t' Ranger from Semroc. Aye aye! Semroc has parts lists for all t' old kits on thier website and they have most o' t' parts available. Semroc ships very smartly and t' parts arrived very well packaged.


http://www.semroc.com/


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I downloaded plans for each kit from t' JimZ site. Startin' with t' engine tubes, I have stuffed t' tail end o' t' body tubes with a tissue glue putty. Once this sets I will even it off with a layer o' epoxy.

http://www.spacemodeling.org/jimz/index.htm



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Here are t' tubes with some o' t' 60 minute Loctite epoxy. I like t' 60 minute set time because you have plenty o' time t' work before t' epoxy starts t' go off.



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Just startin' t' attach t' fins.
 



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Fins all attached. I really need t' get a good fin alignment jig. There is always somethin' I don't like about t' fins after they set. Begad! I have already broke off and reset one o' t' Cobra fins and I 'm nay sure its' any better. Avast, me proud beauty! Thought about doin' t' same t' t' Ranger but decided t' leave them as they are. Next will be t' attach t' launchin' lugs and then make epoxy fin fillets. Begad!


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T' epoxy fin fillets are done but no pics o' that step. Arrr! Next I am gettin' t' rockets ready for t' primer coats. Arrr! T' fill t' grain in t' wood and t' tube spirals I am usin' watered down Elmers Fill N' Finish. I like this better than sandin' sealer, shiver me timbers, thar are no fumes and it is really easy t' clean up. Blimey! When its dry I will sand it all off and repeat this a couple times.



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All t' parts have been primed with several coats o' duplicolor filler primer. I lightly sanded with 400 grit betwixt coats. After touchin' up a few outstandin' imperfections I think I will be ready t' start painting.




 
 
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Closeup o' t' Ranger with t' filler primer.



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Closeup o' t' Cobra with t' filler primer.



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I am usin' Createx Auto Air paints for t' fist time. These are water based paints so they have very little fumes are super easy t' work with. I am pretty happy with t' results. Begad!


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Here is a closeup o' t' tail section o' t' Cobra. I have also applied a coat o' t' Createx clear gloss.

 
 



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Here are both t' Cobra and t' Ranger in t' paint area. Aye aye! This is a small section o' me work bench that I sectioned off with a plastic drop cloth. It keeps t' paint confined t' this one area pretty well and cuts down on t' amount o' mess I can make. Ya scallywag! It also keeps some o' t' airborne dust off t' rockets while t' paint is drying.




 
 
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T' Cobra is just about done. I am only missin' one decal at t' top o' t' main body tube. Since I destroyed t' one on t' Cobra decal sheet I bought from Excelsior Rocketry I will need t' print that one onto that clear waterslide decal paper.


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I printed t' missin' decal on Testors waterslide decal paper. Blimey! Works very well.


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Here be t' top o' t' Ranger with t' roll pattern applied. This is another Excelsior Rocketry decal sheet I ruined. T' roll pattern in t' picture is made out o' black contact paper.


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Nay sure why but I always have problems with decals. Arrr! Look at this mess.


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I ended up printin' t' pattern on paper and then cuttin' it out o' Black contact paper. Begad!


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T' contact paper works fine. Blimey! T' verticle stripes on t' Cobra are actually contact paper too. Well, blow me down! That was another one where I managed t' mess up t' decal.


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T' Ranger finally gettin' t' last o' t' paint and gloss coat


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T' Ranger and Cobra both ready t' fly!


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