Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CHEETAH

Well, here is the refurbished Cheetah.  It is now about 6" longer than stock.  I painted the top gloss black with a light overcoat of Rustoleum Titanium Silver (ala Sascha Grant's LOC Weasel).  I wanted to keep the lower section as-is to retain the nice decals, didn't have the proper red, and wanted practice the over-spraying process. And, practice was needed.  As usual, I rushed the finishing and, while there was no bubbling or crazing, what started as a reasonably uniform layer of silvery speckes is not starting to get blotchy.  I assume that since the base coat wasn't fully set, the silver overcoat is reacting differently in different areas.  I tried to get a close up of one of the more pristine spots, but the only thing I suck at more than painting rockets is taking photos of them.  Now that I beat myself up, I'll say that I think it looks OK.

Just for future reference, here's what I did to fix it up.  I glued a 4" piece of telescoping 'coupler' stock into the end of the lower body so it abutted the top of the motor mount.  I then added a short piece of sectioned Blue Tube to toughen it up.  I cut a 1/4" slice of the outer coupler as a channel for the Kevlar shock cord.  A hole was drilled at the lower end of the coupler and the cord was pulled through, knotted, and tacked down with 5-minute Epoxy.  I made a plywood bulkhead that fit in the cone.  It sits on the inside rim and I had to deform the cone as it was inserted.  The other end of the Kevlar shock cord goes through the bulkhead and is also knotted and tacked with Epoxy.  I added an upper rail button and after two tries it's in the right spot.  The upper part of the existing rocket was a little knarly so I filled the gaps with Fill'n'Finish and added some black vinyl tape to make this area presentable.

I also made another 24mm-29mm adapter since my normal one doesn't fit in the 1.9" tubing.  The motor block on that one is a clamp-on aluminum retainer whose tangs are too wide.

Gotta go...will add stuff as required.