Building the Estes Ventris (part 3)

I’m putting rail buttons on this thing.

But the nose cone is wide. Estes provides balsa standoffs for the launch lugs, but I’ll need something different for the rail buttons. So.

Square 3/8″ hardwood dowel. Cut off at 45° and marked for another cut.IMG_2701 I drilled a 9/64″ hole through the center, and a couple of shallow blind 5/64″ holes on the sides.IMG_2702 Then I cut the piece off. Imperfectly. I blame my tools, of course.IMG_2703 And I did the same again. They’re a bit sloppy, but, dirty little secret: You should have seen my first attempt. But you won’t. IMG_2704 Then I chucked a sanding drum in my Dremel and sanded a slight concavity in the bottom surface, to better fit the body tube.IMG_2706 I marked a line on the airframe and located the positions of the standoffs. I sanded the tube lightly, then drew in the standoff outlines.IMG_2707 Then I drilled some 5/64″ holes in the body tube. I applied glue to the airframe and the standoffs, pushing some into the 5/64″ holes for glue rivets, and put the standoffs in place.IMG_2708Here they are.IMG_2709

I applied Rusto plastic primer on the nose cone and transition before gluing them to the connecting tube. I thought of just taping the nose cone in place, or drilling for a self tapping screw, to enable using the tube as a payload section, but the shoulders on the transition and nose cone are so long there’s surprisingly little room left between them, so glue it is. The transition was a little loose in the tube, so I glued a cardstock shim inside the tube first.
IMG_2710

That turned out to be too thick and I had a hard time getting the transition in, but it’s there. The instructions show wood glue used to attach these pieces, but I decided to use plastic glue.

The Ventris is now in primer. I’d like to launch this Saturday if I can, but time’s getting short. There’s the question of paint scheme. The face card scheme includes a roll pattern for which decals are not included; the instructions say you can buy them at extra cost from Estes, but that turns out not to be true. You can get them from Excelsior, but by the time you include shipping it’s approaching the price I paid for the kit! I’m thinking I’ll skip the roll pattern, paint the main body dark grey instead of white (just because, I don’t know, I guess because the Mustang will be partly white, and I have a can of dark grey I’m not planning on doing very much else with), keep the red fin can and black nose section, and add a red band at the top of the airframe just for interest. I considered a red band and a black band, and I considered a couple or four narrow stripes from the fin can to the front, but time’s short and simple is good.

 

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