Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stalled projects, Things, epoxy casting, and another birdhouse

This post will be a hodgepodge status update on the projects in the dungeon - stalled, active, and new.

Yes, my 8" MLAS and BT-101 projects are still stalled.  The MLAS will likely stay that way until I stumble upon the clear tubing I want.  Buying the stuff is still an option, but it just doesn't seem right to do so since I cobbled it together thus far from stuff I had laying around.  The BT-101 is not exciting me but I'll try to cut some rings later in the month at Warthog's building session.

Since I wasn't building anything and continued to lament the issue, Ken from ZZakk's Lab took pity and sent me the plans for a lifting body glider called the Thing.  Seemed like a good project to keep me off the streets and to build in front of the TV.

Not having the specified 1/32" balsa, I built one out of 1/16" basswood just to see how it went together.  Well, I mucked it up.  However, after sectioning pieces, overlaying paper, bending down and tacking side body pieces and adding winglets (whew!), it now seems to glide decently.  Upside down, but decent. This is the top one in the photo.

I tried another with 1/64" plywood instead of the 1/32" balsa (the bottom one).  This went together well although the plywood took some effort to form properly.  A little steam helped.  I added clay nose weight until it glided.  I then added the stabilizers.  After tossing it off my deck I now find I need less nose weight. Why it seems to nose dive after I added weight in the back, I don't understand.

Next, I picked up some cheap casing resin and am going to try molding an epoxy Toypedo rocket. This material is probably not optimal but the resin was cheap (50% off at Michaels).  I built a core out of BT-60 and BT-50 tubing.  It will form a void where I can add similar tubes on the real build.  My latest thought is to see if I can buy/steal/trade some microballoons from Warthog to make the casting lighter.

Today, I was in the area so I decided to scrounge through Michaels to see if there was any Halloween props that looked rocket worthy.  There were plenty but none that I had to have.  As I wandered by the aisle with wooden doohickies, I spotted the following birdhouse!

I couldn't resist.  In fact, they were on sale so I couldn't resist three of them.  They are about 10" high, 4.5" in diameter that the widest point, and the base is about 3.125".  I think I'll make one into a retro spaceship and maybe one into the cone for a 'goony' 3" HoJo.  Random thoughts: when I get home I need to weigh them and see if 24mm is enough motor; with care, I should be able to remove the top cap; the bottom plate will be drilled in situ and a suffer assembly will be slid in from the top; the hole will be covered in clear plastic; I may add clear fins; or I may add find like those on the Raygun Gothic Rocketship; maybe both, eventually.  Hmm, the Raygun Gothic Birdhouse? Raygun Gothic Birdship?

P.S.  - I've had experience with this type of birdhouse construction before :)  Version #1 - Version #2

P.P.S. - I still want Quest's MLAS.