As I was rummaging thru the garage for something else,
I bumped into a bunch of unused caulk tube nozzles and
that proverbial lightbulb went on on top of my head
" Lasercannons !!! "
All I had to do was to cut out the flange and dremel a
groove on one side, then epoxy them on the wing
mounts. Again, I tacked them on with 5min epoxy, then
laid on 30min epoxy for sturdiness. Yes, I do overbuild
most of the time....
On the right she got her 'Kiltz' undies on, cockpit dry
mounted on top for looks...
|Above are pictures of her all done, she's got her stripes and decals that I upscaled from the excellent scan
Leo of Germany posted on TRF, A Special Thanks to you, Leo !
I used some chrome metal foil tape from Western Auto to do all those rings around her nose and turbo
intakes, I also simulated canopy windows with the same stuff... Canopy is made by upscaling and printing the
original on gloss card stock, then creasing and folding it over a 1/4" basswood cockpit support bracket,
coating the whole mess inside with 5 min epoxy and then filling it up with PML foam...
Motor retention is by a 1 1/4" kitchen sink tailpipe cut to fit and JBWelded on the MMT. A chrome ring and
1" e-clip from Homer Teapot finish it off for about $4.- parts total... The other three mounts are fakes with 1"
long foil lined BT-50 tubes from 'Totally Tubular' to cover up my sloppy epoxy work inside turbos...
|And she ripped off the pad, almost straight up in 15-20mph
gusty winds, kept on roaring to over 2000' where right at the
apogee she popped open like clockwork... After a few scary
seconds the chute billowed up and she sailed back to earth
under a full canopy of a PML 30" chute...
Check out the crappy videoclip on 'Videos' page...
This was by far my most challenging build up to date, but
seeing her fly very successfully made
it also the most rewarding one...
Thanks to Secret Squirrel, Vanel, Justin,
Sandman, BrianC, Leo and all the guys of The Rocketry
Forum, as well as Verna's Vipers and Jason Ware's website
for excellent pix, reference and support.
Without you this couldn't have been done.
Thank You all for Your help !!!
2x upscale from 'Battlestar Galactica'
|Recently I bumped on some excellent Colonial Vipers
on the net, 'The Red Squadron' of Verna's Vipers,
Justin's awesome Viper on TRF, and Jason Ware's 4x
and 8x upscales. Since I'm a huge Battlestar Galactica
fan to start with, I got bitten by a bad case of 'Viper
Fever' and just couldn't let it go.
Here's the aftermath...
On top is the first mock-up I cobbled together, still with card
stock wings and tail to get an idea of the looks. I found out that I
had just enough AT 1.88" tubing plus an old nosecone handy to
go for a ~193% upscale. Based on the Estes OOP kit, her body
should have been about 18.25" long. Considering the extreme
tail weight, I decided to stretch it just a bit to 18.5" I also
stretched the turbo tubes that same 1/4" to 7.75". The nose
cone should have been about 4.3" on top and 3.3" on the
bottom (its just a regular ogive cone hacked in an angle) but I
went for 5" and 4" respectively thus sneaking in an extra inch of
|On the top she got her real wings and tail, they were cut out of 1/8" 5-ply
aircraft plywood (templates upscaled from original Estes instructions,
thanks to Secret Squirrel of TRF) , then wings were beveled on leading
and trailing edges, tail only on leading edge to keep the tip of the tail just a
bit stronger in case of a *thunk* landing since it sticks out a bit more than
others... All three fins also got a 3" full length tang to reach all the way
across those turbo tubes (pic on left) for a six fillet mount and rock solid
construction. They were tacked on first very lightly with 5min epoxy, then all
the fillets (also between tubes) were laid with 30min epoxy...
|On the left, she's on my
table at NEFAR
04-08-2006 loaded with
for her 1st flight
On the right, she's on
pad #4 all wired for
eager to leap
to the sky !
For her size, she is
extremely solid at
30ounces w/o motor.
(6 oz nose weight)
|The LSO's first comment :
'You flying that with WHAT???'
'...On the pad #4 we got a Colonial Viper
MkII 2x upscale
flying on H128, this should be interesting,
the rocket ain't much bigger than the
I need your attention please, this is a
Going up, 3...2...1...Whoa!!!'
Thanks to BrianC of TRF
for a perfect lift-off shot !