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  #1  
Old 06-04-2012, 04:48 PM
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AcroRay AcroRay is offline
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Default Custom Tri-Star finally...

Since my BAR status, I had been wanting to build Custom's sleek little TRISTAR. I finally got one last summer, and tried to get it completed by the close of our local flying season, but to no avail. I had a decal disaster, then a paint-matching disaster that required a new nosecone. But I finally got it together for last month's local Tripoli club launch.



It flew quite nicely. I decided on a streamer rather than a chute, though, because the one I built for my oldest daughter a couple of seasons before utterly disappeared in the upper crosswinds typical of our flying area - even on a 10" with a spillhole.



The thing came straight down and landed engine-down, cracking one of the finely-finished fins and buckling the paint around the fin root right through the primer to the BT surface. Sigh.



It's going to be a challenging cosmetic repair job.
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Last edited by AcroRay : 08-09-2012 at 11:34 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:07 PM
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tbzep tbzep is offline
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Ouch. I hate that on such a nicely finished rocket. What size was the streamer?
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2012, 05:31 PM
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A Fish Named Wallyum A Fish Named Wallyum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroRay
Since my BAR status, I'd been wanting to build Custom's sleek little TRISTAR. In finally got one last summer, and tried to get it completed by the close of our local flying season, but to no avail. I had a decal disaster, then a paint-matching disaster that required a new nosecone. But In finally got it together for last month's local Tripoli club launch.



It flew quite nicely. I decided on a streamer rather than a chute, though, because the one I built for my oldest daughter a couple of seasons before utterly disappeared in the upper crosswinds typical of our flying area - even on a 10" with a spillhole.



The thing came straight down and landed engine-down, cracking one of the finely-finished fins and buckling the paint around the fin root. Sigh.



It's going to be a challenging cosmetic repair job.


Bummed for you. That was a good looking bird. I always went with a small chute with mine because of the way those fins caught the brunt of a landing. Might be worth thinking about horizontal recovery like the Super Kits. Even on a streamer that would help redirect some of the landing shock. Plus it would look cool.
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  #4  
Old 06-05-2012, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbzep
Ouch. I hate that on such a nicely finished rocket. What size was the streamer?


About 5X the length of the rocket, at least. I used a textured mylar party streamer. But I think the problem was it was either too heavy to begin with due to excessive length, or just didn't get to unfurl completely on the first-flight A8-3's altitude.



I do plan a repair job. Chris Michielssen's blog is should be helpful and inspirational in that regard.
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  #5  
Old 06-05-2012, 08:25 PM
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Tau Zero Tau Zero is offline
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Unhappy Streamer blues

Quote:
Originally Posted by AcroRay
About 5X the length of the rocket, at least. I used a textured mylar party streamer. But I think the problem was it was either too heavy to begin with due to excessive length, or just didn't get to unfurl completely on the first-flight A8-3's altitude.

I do plan a repair job. Chris Michielssen's blog is should be helpful and inspirational in that regard.
AcroRay,

I had similar problems with my first Tau Zero prototype. The 36" crepe paper streamer did its job *too* well by causing too much drag. The rocket came down tail first and broke a fin off.

I'm afraid this is one time when a small parachute is actually more preferable than a big streamer. (That's my 20 cents' worth. )


Cheers,
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  #6  
Old 06-05-2012, 11:23 PM
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Tau Zero Tau Zero is offline
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Default Custom Tristar with original paint scheme

Sometimes my TV reporter's brain doesn't let me rest until I nail down the answer I'm looking for.


I went looking for the Custom Tristar, and all I could come up with at the company's website:

http://www.customrocketcompany.com/store/


...were the kits re-decaled as the Galaxy Patrol/Rescue/Taxi (see below).



Then I stumbled across the original Tristar still available from JonRocket:

http://www.jonrocket.com/index.php?...&products_id=47


So the original Tristar is officially OOP? (I know, I just don't get out enough.)


Now it remains to be seen if I can scrape up the necessary cash (heavy sigh).


Cheers,
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“Centuri fret buzz in an updated form.”
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03 Sept 2014
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  #7  
Old 06-06-2012, 09:16 AM
chrism chrism is offline
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The original decor is OOP. But as you can see the rocket still lives on! However Custom uses stickers these days. Maybe Gordy can come up with water-slides in the Tri-Star decor?
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  #8  
Old 06-13-2012, 11:21 PM
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AcroRay AcroRay is offline
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Yeah, I'm not all that impressed with the new deco for the new versions of the TriStar. The original Tristar decals that run the length of the bird are much more appealing to my eye.

It's a nice rocket no matter what, though. It looks nice enough in just white, with nothing on it!
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2012, 07:13 PM
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Default Repairs underway

It's been a bit of a busy summer, and after May's launch I had to leave rocketry on the back of the workbench. But I've got another kit underway now (to be covered elsewhere), and I spent a little time over the last couple of evenings repairing my Tristar's damage.

I thinned out some white glue and carefully fit the broken part of the damaged fin back into place. The thinned glue offered less resistant pressure in the meeting surfaces in cavities of the break, and allowed the parts to fit together better. Glue carefully massaged into the ragged meeting points secured any loose elements of the original finished surfaces. Tiny gaps were filled with Elmer's putty and sanded. The fillets on the inner parts of the broken fin were still in good shape, and took glue & putty nicely.

The root edge of the larger portion of the fin at the body tube had some cracking along the fillets, so I worked some white glue into them, then put on additional glue fillets. (They'll go transparent when I eventually re-clearcoat the area, so the decals will look unblemished again.) I braced the fin elements and let them dry overnight with strong results.

The shock of the impact flexed the tube and buckled the finish at the leading end of the fin root right down to the BT surface. I carefully broke free some of the more-loose edges of the primer & paint layer, and massaged white glue into the rough edges. Then I filled the remaining shallow cavities with Elmer's putty, let dry & sanded smooth.

It's certainly flightworthy now, but I want to restore the deco. The next step will be to carefully mask off the blemished areas and spray them white again. The challenge will be masking off the decals without accidentally pulling them up. I found - much to my dismay when I tried to mask over some decals and touch up some other areas on the build earlier - that the Krylon clear coat isn't really durable enough to protect them from lifting even with the most delicate of masking tapes. In fact, while sanding the repaired areas, the Krylon coat started flaking off like dead skin...
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2012, 07:03 AM
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My repair or color never matches up right.
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