LOC Precision Mega Magg build – Session One – Dec 2018

Last night wound up being a productive night.

I got a ping from one of our colleagues on Facebook Messenger.  He had some questions on the LOC Mega Magg which was on sale from AMW for a ridiculous price.  Anyone who has ordered large kit from a LOC dealer has probably seen that LOC drop ships these rockets to YOU directly.  In this case, LOC did exactly that.  Here is a LOC Precision Mega Magg in dry fit mode!

LOC Precision Mega Magg dry fit!

I got my kit a couple of weeks ago.  I usually post something on Instagram when I get them because I’m a grown child and need to tell everyone.

In helping out our friend, I started sorting through the parts and finally got to the point where I wanted to “dry fit” the kit, which all of us have done with large rockets.  Basically putting it together without glue to see how it all fits, etc… Well in this case, I had to do some sanding and even some cutting.

12/122/18 - LOC Mega Magg build
12/122/18 – LOC Mega Magg build

One of the first things I like to do is set out all the goods and make sure I have the proper inventory.  In this case, I have MORE than the normal inventory.

This kit has the new Loc-N-Fin system.  It ALSO, includes the MMAS system.  It ALSO has the RNWS.  I totally was expecting the previous version without all the new bells and whistles.

Let’s talk about this.

First the Loc-N-Fin system is a new way that Dave and Jason, the current owners of LOC, are doing the motor mounts to the fins assembly.  Basically, they slot the Centering Rings (such as North Coast Rocketry and Estes have done in the past) so that the fin fits INTO it.  Why is this important, well, if assembled correctly, your fins will ALWAYS be straight.  I like to think of it as having a build in fin jig.  In order to fly straight and true, you need to have the fins perfectly straight.  I personally don’t use a fin jig.  Mainly as I don’t want to spend the time to make one or pay for one.

LOC-N-Fin system for 5.5" Motor Mount Assembly

The packaged includes the forward ring, middle and after ring.  The four holes on the forward ring allow for your U-bolt connections for your recovery.  The middle ring only has three slots on it, for the three fins that will sandwich between itself and the aft centering ring.  The aft ring has the three slots/tabs as well as the holes that the motor mount Z-clips will attach to.  Those are help in place with the T-nuts, which i’ll talk about later.

Directly related to this system is the main Motor Mount Tube that will be used for this build. The pictures below show what I’m talking about.

Pic on the left, shows the large 5.5″ main motor tube.  Now… no actual motor fits in this.  Its a “housing” for the various modular MMAS (Motor Mount Adapter System) motors to fit, including 98mm, 75mm, and the kits included 54mm assemblies.  The 98mm and 75mm are available separately from LOC, however, more advanced building for those would be required to make those work adequately without shredding in flight.  Picture number 2 shows the aft end of the dry fit, showing how the fins fit in the tabs.  Picture number 3 on the right shows the Centering Rings compared to the forward ring.  Its upside down, but hopefully you “get” the picture.

MMAS LOC Step 1 Instructions
MMAS LOC Step 1 Instructions

For these purposes, this “motor tube housing” to be able to adhere the fins to instead of using the old LOC way which had tabs that get epoxied to the internal main body tube wall holding the fins in place.  This newer method adds weight to the rocket, but eliminates the need for a HUGE fin tab.  To be frank, this way seems better simply as you can build epoxy walls between the Centering Rings to do the mount. See the example below from the LOC Goblin provided from Jason at LOC.

I’ve been using this picture for explanation purposes on other social media sites as well as my last blog post to show HOW this would mount to the motor tube assembly.  As you can see, if you flood the two fins together with epoxy, those fins are going nowhere.  Anyway… moving on…

So what the hell is the MMAS.  Well, like I sort of described earlier, it stands for modular Motor Mount Adapter System.  Its exactly that.  More than just a motor mount adapter, it allows ONE rocket to fit several types of motor mounts.  You’ll see this commonly on a 4″ LOC Goblin.  Here is some more information on the MMAS system.

5.5" Thick Motor Wall tube for LOC kits.

Along the same lines for the main motor tube assembly, you can see that I started to SAND the tube.  Why? Well, this removed the Glassine from the tube, allowing epoxy (or your favorite glue) to the paper of the tube instead of the outer stuff used for ease of paint, etc.  If you look at the instructions from LOC (below), Step 2 tells you to tear off the glassine.

MMAS LOC Step 2 Instructions

I usually like to adhere to instructions as much as possible, but for these purposes, I just sanded down the tube, as when I tried to peel it (from my LOC VII) I peeled WAY too much and now I’m going to need to order a new 5.5″ tube or repair it as I ruined the original integrity of the tube.  I’ll talk about that in my LOC VII post.

Mega Magg 54mm Motor Adapter for MMAS
Mega Magg 54mm Motor Adapter for MMAS

The next thing I want to talk about is the Motor Mount Adapter.  This particular one is a 54mm mount, which is great for I and J motors.  The original Mega Magg came with this as the main motor tube.  If you note the bottom main ring, attaches to the MMAS bottom centering ring with T-nuts and #8 screws.

Here is an example from the same link for the LOC MMAS page:

LOC Precision MMAS

This gives a better idea of HOW this should mount in your assembly.

The LAST thing I want to talk about is the RNWS (Removable Nose Weight System)

12/122/18 - LOC Mega Magg build
12/122/18 – LOC Mega Magg build

Top left of the picture, you’ll see the nose cone with a ton of other stuff around it.  This contains a cartridge that you build and epoxy into the nose cone which allows you to make a weighted tube which will move your CG to a preferred stable path for the forward end of the rocket.  Here is more information for this from LOC.

So… here is the kick for this kit.  LOC sells it on their website for only $225 plus shipping at the time of this writing.  This nose cone is almost half that alone, along with the Loc-N-Fin, MMAS, and RNWS, this becomes a GREAT value.  I feel its priced accordingly and you should buy one! Who doesn’t love a short huge fat rocket?

https://locprecision.com/product/mega-magg/

Click the link above to do so!

So in helping a friend who bought one around the same time I did, as well as going through the parts and feeling overwhelmed at how much this rocket contained, I’m super excited to carry on.

I pulled out my Drill Master palm sander from Harbor Freight (approx $18) and went to town on the 3/16″ 7 layered ply fins that were router cut for this beast.  Also a great value if you ask me.  The wood is supplied from a local provider for LOC and is a high grade quality.  It requires light filling and is pretty easy to handle.  I rounded the leading edge on all three fins.

For the bottom of the fins, I also just slightly rounded the trailing and aft edge.  They look good.

Everything is sanded to fit, and is ready to get epoxy applied!

LOC Mega Magg build - Session 1
LOC Mega Magg build – Session One

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @modelrocketguy to see where I end up with this.

Please feel free to message, email, comment, whatever.  I welcome both any feedback, both positive or negative.  It’s how we learn!

 

 

Loc Precision rebuilt LOC IV – Resurrection Day Launch – 4/1/18 Easter Sunday

Flight video of my Resurrected Loc Precision LOC IV! Launched on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018 – Resurrection day! Launched at our local club, Colorado C.R.A.S.H. (Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyist) group NAR #482. This flight was with an Aerotech G64 RMS motor with a 6 second delay.

Here is some of the back story. Back in early February, I used an old 90s Aerotech G80 Blue Thunder in the kit and didn’t check the BP on the top. After some time, most of these single use composite motors will lose or not have enough BP to deploy the recovery. Lesson learned for sure. Either way, after a few weeks of getting new parts, repairing the fin can and the nose cone, she flies again. Not only was she glorious in flight this day, but her current build and overall clean paint job are still 100% in tact.

During this flight I was also able to include onboard 808 keychain camera footage! Enjoy the video!

Thanks to Matt, Joe, Russel, Tim, Brian, Steve, Dave and everyone at CRASH for all the work put into these launches. The CRASH group launches at Bear Creek Lake twice a month in Lakewood, CO against the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains! Non-members may fly with the group and all are invited to attend. You may learn more and visit the groups website at http://www.crashonline.org. The site shows when launches are avail with their online calendar!

Also, if you’re into Rocketry, please join the Facebook group “Model Rocketry Fanatics”. Members, new and old will give advise, show projects and talk about the sport of rocketry from all perspectives. It’s a great learning tool!

Follow me directly on Twitter and Instagram @modelrocketguy

My website, http://www.modelrocketguy.com is up and has some of my projects and repairs of rocketry. Feel free to follow me and ask any questions!

Thanks for watching!

Launch: Estes D-Region Tomahawk 01/07/18 – CRASH Group #482

Flight video of my Estes D-Region Tomahawk on Sunday January 07, 2018 at the Colorado C.R.A.S.H. (Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyist) group NAR #482. This was with an Estes E9-4 Black Powder 24mm motor.

This was a fantastic day to launch. Weather was 51 degrees for the high in January! Wind was an average of 5mph and it was a sunny clear blue day! That could also mean we will have a summer with tons of canceled launches due to the heat and fire bans! Either way we took advantage of the day and put some birds up. The HobGoblin stole the show this day, but this launch was awesome also.

During this flight I was also able to include onboard 808 keychain camera footage! Enjoy the video!

Thanks to Matt, Joe, Russel, Tim and everyone at CRASH for all the work put into these launches. The CRASH group launches at Bear Creek Lake twice a month in Lakewood, CO against the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains! Non-members may fly with the group and all are invited to attend. You may learn more and visit the groups website at http://www.crashonline.org. The site shows when launches are avail with an online calendar!

Also, if you’re into Rocketry, please join the Facebook group “Model Rocketry Fanatics”. Members, new and old will give advise, show projects and talk about the sport of rocketry from all perspectives. It’s a great learning tool!

Follow me directly on Twitter and Instagram @modelrocketguy

My website, http://www.modelrocketguy.com will be launching in Early 2018 with projects builds, tips and advice.

Thanks for watching!

Launch: North Coast Rocketry HobGoblin 01/07/18 – CRASH Group #482

Flight video of the North Coast Rocketry HobGoblin on Sunday January 07, 2018 at the Colorado C.R.A.S.H. (Colorado Rocketry Association of Space Hobbyist) group NAR #482. This was with an Estes G40-7W Composite PS2 engine / White Lightning.

This was a fantastic day to launch. Weather was 51 degrees for the high in January! Wind was an average of 5mph and it was a sunny clear blue day! That could also mean we will have a summer with tons of canceled launches due to the heat and fire bans! Either way we took advantage of the day and put some birds up. The HobGoblin stole the show this day! Special thanks to Thomas Trans, Jeff Heward and George Barnes for the pics and videos that accompany this footage. Enjoy the video!

Thanks to Matt, Joe, Russel, Tim and everyone at CRASH for all the work put into these launches. The CRASH group launches at Bear Creek Lake twice a month in Lakewood, CO against the foothills of the beautiful Rocky Mountains! Non-members may fly with the group and all are invited to attend. You may learn more and visit the groups website at http://www.crashonline.org. The site shows when launches are avail with an online calendar!

Also, if you’re into Rocketry, please join the Facebook group “Model Rocketry Fanatics”. Members, new and old will give advise, show projects and talk about the sport of rocketry from all perspectives. It’s a great learning tool!

Follow me directly on Twitter and Instagram @modelrocketguy

My website, http://www.modelrocketguy.com will be launching in Early 2018 with projects builds, tips and advice.

Thanks for watching!

Build: Estes D-Region Tomahawk

Hey all.  Today I wanted to mention some steps done for my Estes D-Region Tomahawk and its build which started in January 2017.  This has been my favorite fleet flier and I would like to share its life up till now!

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#2037 Estes D-Region Tomahawk.  Out of Production, but available on Amazon HERE!

The parts laid out below show the plastic and paper parts used to assemble this kit.  I like this kit, because as a model car builder (hence my original moniker being “comodelbuiler”), I used to LOVE to build plastic kits.  This makes a transition to model rocketry pretty easy.  This kit is also rated a Skill Level 2 by Estes.  Anyone having any experience with builds can create this as a masterpiece!

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Parts laid out from the bag.  Simple and sweet!

One of the things I did not do during this build was detail the construction of the plastic components with the cardboard.  I apologize for this.  During those steps I used a combination of white Elmer’s Craft Glue and Testor’s Model Cement.  The stinky one!!

You’ll see that some of the first details as pictured above are relative to the flash card.  Body Tube was painted Rust-Oleum American Accents Ultra Cover WHITE primer.  Yes… White Primer.  I think it gives the model a good flat finish.  I would also recommend making any type of military or sounding rocket a flat finish for the aesthetic, however, its a model and build it how you want it.  The following other colors with links to them are below:

Of course, get paint where you can.  The Chrome can be purchased at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s if that’s available to you.  The other colors can be purchased at WalMart.

Here is more detail of the nose cone.  This is done before the color in on the rivets

D-Region Tomahawk Nose Cone - Pre Detail
D-Region Tomahawk Nose Cone – Pre Detail

I’m pretty proud of the lining up of the paint.  This can be done with painters masking tape for all intents and purposes.  I like to use Tamiya #87031 10mm Masking Tape.  Tamiya tape is a little thinner than normal size tape.  Think of a size mix of masking tape vs Scotch Tape.  You can get this in a various amount of sizes however, I use this size specifically.  Give it a shot and let me know what you think! You can also usually purchase this at your local Hobby Lobby or HobbyTown stores.

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Next part of this build was the detail for the “rivets”.  This became important because of the small details and potential chance to get paint everywhere.  I used the following products to create the silver painted attributes.

Paint:
Silver Testors Enamel Plastic Model Paint

Swab Applicator:
Testors Micro Sponge Set #287993

The small blue sponges make it easy to dab in the silver Testor’s paint and twirl the paint on the rivet location.  In this next pic is the detail of my nose cone!

0008

I know there is a regular Q-tip in the picture.  Thing about this is, you can use some paint thinner to quickly clean off your paint mistakes as long as the base spray paint is clean.  A trick I’ve adapted in a ton of builds.

Next thing on the list is the TIP of the nose cone.  For whatever reason, this is a solo triangular piece that has to be put on this nose cone mold with Model Cement.

0009

The easiest way to go about this, in order to NOT paint any of the areas where glue needed to be applied, was to attach it to some double stick tape.  In this case, just rolled-over blue tape, which stuck to a piece of paper, allowed me to spray paint it with the same brown I used on the Nose Cone.

This was glued with the stinky Testors Model Glue that I had mentioned before.  This rocket has been launched over 8 times since the date of this posting, and this part has NOT come off.

One of the final steps that I do is mount the shock cord after the model is painted.

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You can see on the inside of the tube, where the Estes Tri-Fold Shock Cord Mount is attached, there is a glossy glue.  This is better known to everyone as 30 minute BSI Epoxy.  I like to coat the tri-fold tab with this as now it won’t tear off with normal glue as its “sealed” around the edges.  This CAN be removed if pried off, but not as it currently sits. If a motor’s ejection charge would be strong enough to rip that off, I’d be surprised, however, I can bet the rubber elastic would have issues first.  Using a tri-fold with some Kevlar sounds like a pretty good plan! Maybe next time!

As we near the end of the build, I have a few things to say about his kit… In Review.

  • The kit is a model builder’s easy transition into Model Rocketry, which is exactly why I chose to build it as one of my first kits back into the hobby.
  • The kit is now Out of Production, so only a few vendors have it.  Search your local Hobby Shop, Amazon, eBay or even your local clubs as persons still have these for sale!
  • The quality of the parts is unmatched.  Estes outdid themselves with the detail of the plastic parts, the normal pieces and the decals.  Even for as small as they are, they are super detailed.
  • Do yourself a favor and reinforce the fin joints with a good setting epoxy.  The normal model cement will eventually break down as well as CA (super glue) and won’t hold into a few launches.  I have reinforces three of the four fins with epoxy, and on the last launch, the damn last fin I didn’t reinforce broke off.

The final result.  This was completed on February 13th, 2017.  

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This unit has been launched a number of times.
Enjoy the videos below of this same rocket in action!

The first launch was done 3 days after it was built on 2/16/17.  I first tried to launch it with a C11-7 which resulted badly.  It simply wasn’t enough power.  I then put a D12-3 in which gave it some go in the Cherry Knolls Park in Centennial CO where I usually launch smaller birds!

On August 11, 2017, I met a friend from the Facebook Model Rocket Fanatics page.  Rick Needham and I met in Thornton CO for the first “Mile High Air Assault” meet, with just him and I because we are cool like that.  This was the first time that I used an Mate 808 keychain cam on one of my rockets.  Rick was kind enough to let me use his to record the following UNCUT video.  Its long, so hopefully you have some time!  Rick’s son in law was nice enough to grab the fin that popped off on this video.  You’ll see that this happens alot in other vids posted.

The following launch was at the Local C.R.A.S.H. group’s launch at Bear Creek Park in Lakewood CO on 11/05/17.  This kit gets fantastic performance from an E9 series Estes Black Powder motor.  If you have the space, don’t be afraid to launch this with a E30 composite motor!

The latest launch was in January of 2018.  The following footage has normal view and another Mate 808 keychain view in the same video.  This one was done by me as I have purchased a camera to use on my launches.

 

Thanks everyone for checking out my post for my Estes D-Region Tomahawk.  Please feel free to leave comments or suggestions.  If you have any questions, please feel free to message me through the site or follow me on social media @modelrocketguy

— You must build them to fly them, so have fun doing so! —

Intro: Model Rocket Builds

Hi everyone. This is a blog I decided to write so I can archive the projects I’ve been working on. As most projects progress and get more elaborate, so do the learning steps!

I am by no means am experts or looking for critical acclaim, however I do feel that I’ll be able to share techniques I’ve learned.

After looking through tons and tons of photos on my phone, computers and multiple camera memory cards, the blog seemed like the best way to make this work.

Thanks very much for looking and I’m happy that you decided to stay!  Bookmark the address and also add me to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @modelrocketguy.  I am also avail on Google+ and YouTube by my old name “comodelbuilder”.  Enjoy!