I Build Rockets
Johnston Mark II Rocket- A Kickstarter Project
Monday, 22 September 2014 11:24

Kickstarter Logo

Over the last few months I've been checking out the campaigns on Kickstarter.

With many Kickstarter campaigns, the question is - what's in it for me? And, I guess that's a fair question as many of these campaigns are seeking funds to start a commercial business.

However, one campaign that I came across last week was the Johnston Mark II rocket.

The campaign is being run by Bryan Friestad, a Junior at Johnston Senior High School in Johnston, Iowa; he's hoping to use the funds to complete a school project.

Bryan has plans on building a nice big 10 feet tall and 3 inches in diameter blue-tube rocket with a 54mm motor mount.

Cesaroni is his motor hardware of choice. He's seeking to purchase a 54mm starter set along with a P54-3G White reload (It's a K350)

The Johnston Mark II rocket will be carrying a payload that includes an 808 Key chain camera, A Transolve BeepX sonic beacon for recovery and a Jolly Logic AltimeterTwo - giving this project some data back after the flight.

A full breakdown of the costs involved in the project is available on the Kickstarter page.

So, that question - What's in it for me? That's an easy one! I've got an opportunity to pay it forward, to give back to the rocket community in a positive way. Oh, and since I've selected the $50 "Official Sponsor" level, I get my website's name on the rocket, too! Both pretty neat!

Now it's your turn! Head on over to Bryan's campaign on Kickstarter and pledge a few dollars! The campaign is active now, through to October 23rd 2014 - Don't leave it to the last minute to get on board!

Semroc Red-Eye (Build)
Sunday, 18 August 2013 10:00

The Semroc Red-Eye was one of the last kits released by Semroc prior to the passing of Carl McLawhorn and I built this just after hearing the news.

The Red-Eye is part of Semroc's Retro-Repro range, originally being released by Centuri between 1981 and 1983.

Semroc Red-Eye Rocket Build (Finished)

The Red-Eye flies on a 13mm motor and employes streamer recovery for the motor and tumble recovery for the rest of the airframe.

Park Launch 22nd June 2013
Sunday, 23 June 2013 20:00

With perfect weather, Jase and his family joined us at the Dandenong Wetlands for a small launch. Jase had been working with his daughter Zoe on a school project and had built a fantastic looking rocket. This was the first opportunity to launch it on an Estes D12-3 motor.

(Zoe's Rocket on a D12-3)

I also launched "Twisted" - the Finless Rocket!!

So, how did it fly? Check out the video after the jump. You can also check out the full set of photos of the day here on Flickr.

Twisted - The Finless Rocket
Friday, 21 June 2013 22:01

Some time ago I had an idea for a spin-stabilised rocket. Instead of using fins, I thought if I could get a rocket to spin fast enough, it would travel straight much like a bullet does.  The idea bumped around inside my head until the other day - so I started building!

First thing was to construct a motor mount. This comprised of a cluster of three 13mm motors. I also created an internal launch lug.

Continued after the jump!

Rocketry Victoria 8th June 2013
Tuesday, 11 June 2013 21:30

Saturday June 8 was the first of a two day launch for Rocketry Victoria and the weather couldn't have been better!

I launched two rockets - My 10" Art Applewhite saucer on 3 D motors and my upscale Blue Bird Zero on a H128 - both great flights :)

More photos and videos after the jump or check out the full set of photos here on Flickr

Spool Rockets
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 15:58

With the announcement of Rocketfest XVIII, a theme was chosen - "Go Small". The guidelines for the competition was to build the smallest stable flying rocket that used an un-modified Estes motor.

Since the 13mm A3-4 and A10-3 motors are the smallest Estes motors currently in production, this is what I went with. My idea was to create a spool rocket.

I decided to create two - one using a single motor and the other, a cluster of thee motors.

How did they fly? Check out the videos after the jump!

Fliskits Tumble Weed (Build)
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 11:40

I like small rockets, so building the Fliskits Tumble Weed looked like a lot of fun!

The build is fairly straight-forward with only a handful of parts needed.

Continued after the jump...

Rocketry Victoria 5th May 2013
Thursday, 09 May 2013 15:09

May 5th marked the first launch for the year. It was a nice warm day with little wind - you couldn't have asked for better conditions.

The big launch of the day was Karl's 1/4 scale V2. Karl's working towards building a full 1:1 scale model. The flight was fantastic. Recovery was hampered only by the parachute catching on the guy-wires used to help keep the fins straight.

More photos after the jump

Art Applewhite 10" Saucer
Monday, 18 March 2013 13:05

Towards the end of 2012, I signed up for the Secret Santa on the Rocketry Forum. During the course of the event, names were swapped and everyone posted off a gift to someone else.
My secret santa arranged for one of Art Applewhite's 10" Clustered flying saucers to be delivered under my tree!

A little while ago I started work on the saucer. The kit comprised of a sheet of foam-core board, some bright green paper and a good selection of tubes. The build was straight-forward and the bulk of the build was completed in a couple of evenings. I didn't document the build.

Here's the final result -

I created custom decals for both the top and bottom of the saucer
Heyfield Fire 18 - 20th Jan, 2013
Monday, 21 January 2013 00:00

I was recently deployed with Strike team 0803 to Heyfield in Eastern Victoria to help fight the fires that had burnt through Heyfield, Seaton and Glenmaggie. I was on night shift on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th of Jan, 2013. These are some of the photos I took over those few days.



(Click to embiggen)

More photos on Flickr.

3D Rocketry's Nautilus III (Build)
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00

Back in November Bill from 3D Rocketry announced his new kit, the Nautilus III
I thought it looked like a super rocket so I contacted Bill and he was happy to post one off to Australia and it arrived within a couple of weeks.


First impressions is that this is a good solid kit. The 54mm body tube is solid and has a very tough nose cone. The centering rings are 4mm ply and the fins are 3mm ply. The instructions are straight forward and even describes how to do internal fillets - something that you'll want to do as externally, there's some strips of basswood that go between the body tube and the fins.  

I used an Estes 29mm motor retainer (for the price, these are great value). I swapped out the supplied launch lug for rail buttons and attached the shock cord to the forward centering ring with a screw-eye. 

The kit as it comes is designed to fly on a range of F's but with the quality of the parts supplied, there should be no reason why it won't perform just as well on G's (I'm looking forward to seeing it go up on a G64!!)

As for finishing the Nautilus III, I thought what a rocket would look like if Capt. Nemo had a rocket and looking at the Nautilus submarine, it seemed like it would be metal that was a bit old and rusted. I took some time, read through a bunch of tutorials and had a go at airbrushing the metal & rust effect. I'm happy with the end result :)

I had a lot of fun building this kit. View the full build thread on The Rocketry Forum and the photos on Flickr.

Visitors since Jan 1, 2010