Saturday, March 28, 2015


Some quick projects in pre-season.  Lately I've gotten the urge to clone something from Canaroc, a company I've for some reason ignored in the past.  Well, not ignored exactly since I have built the Sunward Gravity Rider and Galactic Wave, but those were an upscale and downscale of previously available Canaroc kits, the Starship Antares and Starfighter Scorpion respectively.  Still ironing those two out, but my next projects should fall more into my skill set.

First up was the Canaroc FK-3, picked mostly because I have difficulty with metric conversions.  ("You'd better get to know this because the USA will be converting to the metric system in the next few years." Mrs. Becker - middle school math teacher in 1975.  Is 30 a few, Mrs. B?)  Okay, so the metric system really didn't play into this as much as my ADD did.  I had initially planned to build the Canaroc Orion first, and picked out a section of BT-50 to cut down on my lunch break.  For some reason I checked before I cut and realized that .752 translates (more closely) to a BT-20 than a BT-50.  Not to worry, because on the next page was the FK-3, whose .98 diameter is the rounded up equivalent to a BT-50s .976.  Confused?  Apparently I was, but it all worked out.  Fins were cut from 3/32" basswood, both because it was on hand and because it finishes so nicely.  The nose cone is our old friend the Estes PNC-50Y, a cone I seem to have in bulk in my shop.

Based on the catalog pic at Ninfinger and the scan at YORS, the decals look like they'll be inkjet friendly, which is cool because I recently laid in a new supply of paper.  The FK-3 will be 18mm powered, perfect for the friendly confines of B6-4 Field.

The second rocket was actually the first I had planned on, the Canaroc Orion.

The BT-20 based Orion was as simple a build as the FK-3.  The fins were done in 3/32" basswood, again for the sake of finishing ease and because I had the sheet handy.  The nose cone has an interesting history.  It's a foundling.  It turned up several years ago when I was tramping through the woods at B6-4 Field in search of one of my own lost rockets.  The cone has an orange base and was painted blue.  I never owned such a cone, so that means that B6-4 Field was used by another rocketeer, quite a long time ago from the looks of it.  In any case, it will get a second chance on the Orion.  I'll need to make a base for it, but that's not a problem.  The Orion will also be 18mm powered and probably subsist on a steady diet of A8-3s.

  Gordon at Excelsior has this one on his site already, and the white lettering means that I'll need to order from him, so it's on my list for my next purchase.

The third and final project for today is one that not many are likely familiar with.

In fact, it's so unfamiliar that it doesn't really have a name.  Back in 1977 I asked for the Science Fair Aeronautical Lab for Christmas.  It came with two rockets, one that was to be launched by a rubber-band catapult, the other launched in the traditional way with a motor.  I built the catapult rocket and wasn't impressed.  It worked.  Kinda.  I built the other one but never flew it.  We moved a couple of years ago I found the book that came with my set and started looking on Ebay for one to replace the one I'd never managed to fly.  Found one.  Incomplete, but cheap.  The only problem was that the nose cone base was missing and the parachutes were gone.  I built it, called it the Logix Explorer, and flew it once.  Then a couple of weeks back I found another one, also incomplete, but also cheap.  This one had the complete nose cone AND the parachutes.  I'm pumped.  I have the decals scanned because they were stickers and I hate stickers, so with a little luck I should have this one ready to go in Logix livery the next time I get a chance to fly.

One cool thing I noticed.  The parachutes have a space to write your phone number.  Can trees read telephone numbers?  That would explain all the odd calls I've gotten.


  1. As my friend from my pizza days used to say "Bing, bang, boom!" Apparently that was supposed to be his version of a rimshot. :-D