Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bring out yer dead!

Hi, remember me?  Yeah, this year didn't have anything approaching a winter flight season.  Plenty of days in December that would have qualified, but mild temps have a tendency to bring breezes, and we had plenty of that.  January, February and March were the usual nightmare, and B6-4 Field has only recently emerged from the icy, underwater grave that has held it hostage since last year.  The eternal optimist in me has his eye on Saturday as a potential 2016 opener.  Fingers crossed

That said, I've been the busy little beav of late.  Something called to me mid-February and the call was traced to my storage room, sadly neglected since 2015.  I had a bunch of projects languishing in a half built state, and another bunch that needed to be started.  (Like we ever have any shortage of those.)  What it all boils down to is a preview of my 2016 victims  Opening Day roster.  (Apologies to any who have already seen these on either YORF or Facebook.)

I had this flyable last year, but I wanted to fly it with the decals complete and hadn't gotten around to printing off a set yet.  To be honest, my HP inkjet didn't do such a great job on decals, and my Epson printer was having emotional issues, so I was kinda leaning towards buying a new printer and trying my luck.  Then I spent a nasty Saturday getting the Epson back online and actually got it working.  This put some wind in my sails and I started anew with the neglected decal projects.  The original Maverick was a BT-50 bird, and I actually have a decal for that one, but I also had an excess of PNC-55BB nose cones laying around.  Because of this I opted for the mild upscale to BT-55.  It will be D-powered, so it should be entertaining.  The green is a bit on the dark side, but it should look okay on a sunny day on a big field.

I finished the Semroc Cherokee C at the end of last flying season, but recently had the idea to try to do a Cherokee in each of the Estes body tube sizes.  As it works out, the BT-5 version gets to be the Cherokee A.  Actually it might be the Cherokee 1/4A at B6-4 Field.  I'd like to keep it in sight and out of the trees.  Decals by Epson, and I came pretty close to getting them scaled perfectly.  (Nothing is an exact science with me.)

The BT-20 Cherokee B will be an A8 bird.  I guess I could go B6-6 on a very calm day, but I'm thinking it would be an ornament.  I'd like to avoid decorating the trees as much as possible for 2016.  Again, decals by Epson.  I didn't come close to getting the scale right, but the only place you can tell is on the big wrap, and I won't tell if you don't.

I believe this Estes Baby Bertha kit was one of the first ones I ever bought, and it hung around the shop without even a primer coat for years.  A couple of weeks ago it occurred to me that I'd never painted one as intended, and got reinterested in the project.  I don't like sticker decals, but even I had to admit that it did turn out looking decent.

I found the Estes Kadet one night while looking through an old Estes catalog at the Ninfinger site.  It just so happened that I had the fin can and nose cone sitting on the desk in front of me at the time, and the body tube on the floor waiting to be put into the game.  The fin can was a CATO refugee from a dead Estes No. 2 Sky Writer kit that I lost a couple of years back.  The nose cone was a part of a bulk buy during my Mini Max phase.  (Still ongoing.)  The body tube was from another No. 2 Sky Writer kit that had been savaged in the name of cloning.  All I needed was an engine mount, and 30 minutes later I had the build complete.  Decals by Epson, and I came pretty close to scaling them correctly.  (Again, the only tell-tale is the wrap decal.) 

The Estes Payloader II had languished unfinished for several years after I misplaced the decals.  Last Saturday I found them while looking for another decal, so I found the rocket, dusted it off, and got it looking catalog pretty.

I had the Estes Taser Twin sitting around unpainted for a couple of years before getting interested in painting it recently.  Luckily when the painting bug bit I had the catalog colors sitting around ready for action.  Aside from the stripe decal on the sustainer being WAY small, it turned out great.  Thinking B6-0/A8-5 for the first flight, so that gold will look nice as it waves to me from one of the trees around the field for the rest of the year.

Another one that came about because the parts were in reaching distance.  This was the first Estes Vagabond that has since been eclipsed by another, larger Estes Vagabond because Estes can't be bothered to continue to come up with original kit names.  Rant over.  This one came in a starter kit a generation ago and is seldom seen at any pads.  Like never.  Decals by Epson, and again, close enough for my taste.

The Estes Vampire was an early RTF rocket that I cloned using an Estes Jinx.  Mini-engine powered, so it should be perfect for B6-4 Field.  Decals by Sandman.

The last of my MRC kits, the Firefighter languished unfinished because I lost the lousy sticker decal and the only scan available was a bad one that I did early in my scanning career.  I cleaned that up as best I could, resized it and printed it off.  It turned out very nicely, just like the other two.  Far better than would have been possible with the stickers.

The Quest Sprint has flown previously, and like many of the other rockets here, came with sticker decals that couldn't be bothered to stick.  I scanned the sticker and did the waterslide.  Couldn't be happier.

Another Quest kit, the oddly named The Flash.  This one has been previously flown, and actually spent time in a tree before any painting happened.  I can't make any claim to know what the sticker status was because I lost it, so I found another stylized "The Flash" and printed it off.  Would you be able to tell the difference?

Last one for this update is the Quest Tracer.  I had one of these back when Quest was still sold at Hobby Lobby.  The original came in a clearance starter set and was bought for pennies on the dollar along with a Fun Rockets Tangent.  Both ironically wound up in trees, and both were eventually replaced at a greater cost.  The good news is that with the Tracer I got another Quest launch controller.  Another sticker decal victim that was rescued by my Epson.