Model Rocketry fans?

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
Tom,

General stuff first:

Rocketry absolutely is a great family fun time as well as a great classroom tool from 5th grade through college level engineering. Our kids started going with us at age 5 and building their first simple kit at 6. Now their kids are starting to build and fly. Randy has been building and flying since July 1968. Some people love it for life.

There are 2 national organizations: Tripoli (TRA) and National Association of Rocketry (NAR) website http://www.nar.org/ The main difference is that TRA is dedicated to HPR ONLY. I won’t say anything here about HPR, that’s down the road for a beginner.

NAR covers low/midpower & HPR. To get started I always recommend NAR. If at some point you want to get into HPR or HPR EX and making your own engines then TRA. I like to watch TRA but I like my fingers, eyes, etc. so I don’t make my own engines. You can buy safe HPR engines but those engines like the rockets are expensive.

Do NOT try and make your own engines. Safe engines can be purchased at any hobby shop, Michael’s Hobby Lobby etc. Each engine pack has the safety code inside. Read and follow it like your life depends on it.

Since you have prior experience I’ll try to be brief and answer your questions.

First builds: Low & midpower kits skill level ranges level 1-5 with 1 being easiest. Ready To Fly kits (RTF) can be assembled in 5 minutes.

For an adult I’d start with a couple of level 2 kits, just a simple 3 fins and a cone. They’re cheap; require modest skills, any adult can build one. Build and fly a few times then move up. After you’ve done 1 or 2 you’ll know if you really like the hobby and want to do more and spend the money.

After a couple of kits and flights look for a level 3 or 4 kit that is really interesting to you. The main difference between levels is the number of parts, amount of sanding, trimming, alignment, etc. and of course dressing. (Paint,decals, etc.)

Once you’re comfortable with single engine skill level 3-4 kits it’s time to try something more challenging like staged, payload, clustered or my personal favorite, anything that’s clustered, staged and has a payload. Once you’re an accomplished builder you can move on to scratch building and maybe even building your own pads and equipment. Some people get very elaborate with their equipment and rockets. Name something and it’s probably been done. The sky really is the limit.

Once you’ve done some or most of that you will have a very good understanding of the basics and developed some real skills. You’ll understand functionality, adhesives, techniques, etc. I don’t recommend sinking a lot into any hobby until you’ve gotten your feet wet. Low & mid power is not very expensive averaging $4-$15 per flight after the equipment & rocket expense. You should be able to get a basic pad, kit and make your first flight for $45-$75 depending on what you get. After that the basic cost is just supplies like engines and wadding for more flights.

Hobby Lobby frequently has a 40% off coupon that can save you a ton of money getting started. For your first rocket look for a rocket that comes with a pad and controller.

The Do list: Start cheap until you know if you really want to get serious. Visit the NAR website and take some time looking at everything. It will take a few minutes. You’ll find a page that lists more than 100 club locations nation wide. Follow the Model rocket safety code to the LETTER. Take your time and enjoy things as you go. Use some common sense. Take your time.

Don’t list: Don’t attempt to make your own engines. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t buy anything off of EBay until you have some experience, you can spend a lot for almost nothing.

List of kits to consider: Any NASA rocket from the Jupiter missile to Saturn V and everything in-between are considered must haves for any serious rocketeer but there are many classic kits from the 60’s & 70’s that are re-released from time to time.

Clubs are great, if there is one near you that is fun to fly with. Like many forums I could name, clubs have good and bad points. They provide better equipment and a place to fly and… insurance if you join NAR. They can also be very political and a pain if the officers are all about themselves. You have to visit one to know.

You will need to check local fire codes once you're ready to fly. They vary from place to place and can carry some heavy fines if you violate the codes. However, finding a place to fly isn't that hard but requires a little research.

As a side bar, rocketry provides several natural segues into photography, video, electronics, astronomy, science and math if you want to also work those subjects into your experience. Personally, having been a math major, I enjoy the math and working with jr. high and high school students through rocketry but you don’t have to understand any of it to enjoy building and flying.

There are many rocketry websites selling everything you’ll ever need. We know most of the online suppliers personally from many years in the hobby and can recommend several great vendors.

Our website is www.vernarockets.com take a few minutes and click through the pages to get a good idea of what can be done and what’s required. The first 3 pages are about the book series but the rest is about rocketry with many photos and build articles. You get an idea of what low & mid power is about.

One last thing; rocketeers love making anything fly and I do mean anything. If you have enough thrust and a little guidance it can fly!

I hope this helps.
 

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
As for Scout badges, there is one for Girl & Boy Scouts just for rocketry. Mainly it involves building and flying a rocket. We've done many build & fly events with scouts. The kids love it!
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Indeed Verna, its a great hobby for all ages! Just be safe out there, and stay away from dry fields, and keep a mini-fire extinguisher handy at all times, and follow the NAR rules when you enjoy your hobby.....
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Keeping the thread alive, lol, North Coast rocketry, some good rockets!
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
c16ccfeeb9ee224e81d4f16d4cc2e934.jpg Estes Models.JPG Signs that you are a rocketry lover, my advice take two freeze dried food packs, and drink some tang, watch the Right Stuff and call Dr. Bones McCoy in the morning!
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
73064.jpg estes_v2parts.jpg Nothing beats getting a new kit, laying it out, and prepping for the build. That v-2 camo proved to be a challenge, but I got mine looking the part, I had no images to go by, and no working printer, so I found the real pictures of it, 1 unique one that was rolled our, I drew it on note book paper, then labeled the colors, and the Vengance 2 replica was born. I'm still looking for the Estes ufo kit not built, they are pricy, but when I find it, I will name it Alien Soup#1....
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Oops, I should have painted the bottom camo a tan color, I used white, forest green, and camo green, I might be able to mask it off for the lower camo tan color, ooops! LOL!
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
0da73abab14c7f7bbe327aceb28f8c65.jpg Here you go Verna, one macho rocket idea you should consider building, if you do, I wanna' see photos of it being built, completed and flying. That would rule!:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::D
 

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
It really wouldn't be that hard. Basically what it reminds me of 2 things.

1. It looks like most of the 3rd stage of a Saturn V. The bottom would be the what is commonly called by modelers, the upper transition section followed by a short length of body tube that ends with another short transition cut off well below the capsule. I could quickly and easily cut a section like this from one of my full stack Saturn V's. Then all I'd need is to make a small area to hold the small amount of weight needed to provide for correct cp/cg relationship and it would be stable. Most likely I'd make it a 5 engine cluster. The only thing that would take any time would be finding all the little bits all over the skin.

2. It could also be a K or L motor casing with stuff stuck all over it. They aren't that stubby but for a static display it could work.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
It really wouldn't be that hard. Basically what it reminds me of 2 things.

1. It looks like most of the 3rd stage of a Saturn V. The bottom would be the what is commonly called by modelers, the upper transition section followed by a short length of body tube that ends with another short transition cut off well below the capsule. I could quickly and easily cut a section like this from one of my full stack Saturn V's. Then all I'd need is to make a small area to hold the small amount of weight needed to provide for correct cp/cg relationship and it would be stable. Most likely I'd make it a 5 engine cluster. The only thing that would take any time would be finding all the little bits all over the skin.

2. It could also be a K or L motor casing with stuff stuck all over it. They aren't that stubby but for a static display it could work.
Impressive, could you get those nozzles on it? They don't need to shoot smoke, but it would be a bonus. Can you get those details also? When I was a small lad I had the book of sci-fi vehicles, and it featured this painting. I thought that would be cool if it actually flew. It truly is a unusual craft, I think it was painted by an Aussie artist? I think he was a character also. I think it has a mini-dish on the air frame also. Cool Verna!:cool:
 

Verna

Rocket Babe
Writer
Joined
Jun 12, 2011
Location
Alabama
Sure, most of the skin features could be done with balsa. I'd have to look around to find a light weight source for the nozzles but with so many top and bottom they would serve as fins for passive guidance.

It might also be possible to print out a paper wrap to do the same for the skin.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
Sure, most of the skin features could be done with balsa. I'd have to look around to find a light weight source for the nozzles but with so many top and bottom they would serve as fins for passive guidance.

It might also be possible to print out a paper wrap to do the same for the skin.
Yeup, I thought the details could be printed with a wrap around for the skin. And little mini launch lug tubes for the nozzels? Man I bet Estes rockets would dig this, but then of course if you did it in a large scale, the big shots at high powered rockets would dig it as an unusual kit. I'm not sure what the vehicle is or what its used for, but the artist didn't dig model t fords, by the looks of its insane exhaust blast. It has no name, I might suggest the name "Attack Probe T" T for Tauris or APT? That would be a cool name.:cool:
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
3477804372_376408eafc_z.jpg This would make an interesting rocket kit also. A large cruiser launching little cruisers. Lots o' balsa for this one.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
I used to have a book with those exact images, I believe it was issued before star bores, so they are genuine. I reckon the artist is from Ausssie land, but I'm not sure. He is or was one awesome artist. I would have loved to piloted one of those beast!:cool:
 
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