Building the ASP V-2 (part 1)

Back in 2013 I bought a Semroc V-2 kit. This was one of their “X Kits”: a bag of parts intended to replicate as closely as possible a classic kit, in this case the Estes K-22 V-2, with no instructions. Instead they told you how to find the instructions for the original kit online. (I’m guessing this had to do with the fact that an instruction sheet can be copyrighted, but a bag of parts can’t.) I started building it but I was sloppy, made mistakes and did a poor job on details, and eventually decided to abandon the build rather than continue with something I knew I wasn’t going to like. But I still wanted to build a V-2, especially since I’d bought decals for it from Excelsior (later Sandman Decals). At the time Semroc was up for sale and the V-2 kit was no longer available, but I had hopes Semroc and the V-2 would come back soon. If not, I could get an ASP V-2 kit in the same scale. I kind of was holding out for Semroc, though, I guess because that was what I’d wanted to build in the first place. Eventually eRockets owner Randy Boadway bought Semroc and started re-issuing their kits. I kept looking for the V-2 and not seeing it.

Then at NARCON in Dayton, Ohio last February, I heard Boadway say the X Kits were not coming back:

Ah well, thought I, looks like I’ll be buying an ASP V-2 one of these days.

About twelve hours later I was at the eRockets warehouse and noticed some ASP kits on display:IMG_8186asp wm including, on closer examination, the 18 mm V-2:IMG_8186aspv2 wmApparently one of these days is today, says I to myself, and I bought it along with two other kits and some parts.


And of course, into the build pile they all went, them and the two New Way kits I’d gotten the day before, and they stayed there while I worked on higher priority stuff. Higher priority stuff now is done, except painting the NORAD which may not happen until next May. That’s the last of the pre-2016 build pile. So which of this year’s kits to work on first?

The V-2. As I keep proving to myself, I’m way too capable of talking myself into rushing a build and regretting it, and the V-2 likely would be more unsuited to rushed work than some other kits. But the next club launch isn’t for another six months. If I start on the V-2 now I’ll have no reason not to take my time and do it, well, more right than I would if I started it next Easter.

All I’ve done so far is to open up the bag and take a look at the contents. I’m rather impressed.

img_1879The fins are basswood, and unlike the Semroc kit you don’t get a choice: it’s scale fins only. (Though I think I still have the balsa semi-scale fins from the Semroc kit in my stash…) Scale and basswood are an, mm, interesting combination. Smaller fin area and higher fin weight. But take a look at the nose cone:img_1882Drilled deep for nose weight. And among the contents of the small parts bag is a lump of lead.
img_1885Also a Kevlar leader and elastic shock cord. Laser cut pieces for fin details. The basswood stick is to be cut and sanded into pull-out plugs and turbine exhausts. This is in contrast to the ones made out of launch lug tubing in the Semroc kit. Looks like there’s enough basswood for multiple attempts, and I may need it.

As for the instructions, you know how Estes instructions tend to be, well, terse? (For the Mosquito kit included with the Mega Mosquito, there was basically a drawing and the words “Sand both sides of balsa. Glue all parts together. Check fin alignment. Let dry.”) ASP does things… differently.img_1888Five sheets, double sided printing. Diagrams, photographs, and a whole lot of text. Looks like they put a lot of effort into those instructions and at first glance it appears they did a great job.

I packed the parts up again. I’ll start the actual build soon, I think.



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