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  #1  
Old 05-02-2020, 01:46 AM
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Default No glue but some assembly required - Estes Ghost Chaser

Estes has recently released two or three BT-50-sized models that use revised versions of the BT-50 ARF fin can parts and some interesting little design touches. These design features make it possible to build one of these models with no glues (plastic cement or otherwise). All you really need is some good-quality clear tape (such as Scotch MultiTask ).

The three models are the 7284 Starship Octavius, the 7300 Ghost Chaser (both currently available) and the 7299 Illusion (instructions on estesrockets.com, but no mention of the model). They use a version of the 3-fin ARF fin can that has long enough joining pins/sockets that you can press the halves together with no glue, two integral launch lug loops and features on the portion that slides into the body tube that will snap into mating slots.

I'm always a sucker for another little payload model, so the Ghost Chaser, with it's long PST-20 payload section, caught my eye. That the nose cone, BT-50 to BT-20 transition, fin can parts and fins are molded in blue translucent plastic also was interesting. So I added one to a recent order for another Flight Sketch Mini altimeter.

I put it together yesterday evening and took a few pictures as I went, so I thought I'd share the easy build with the folks here. I know that E2X/beginner level models aren't the real interest for many, but some of you may find this amusing at least.

First - two views of the box, and the obligatory parts spread view.

Then, the fin can, assembled. You can clearly see the integral launch lug loops and the tabs that will snap into the slots in the body tube.

Next, a closeup showing how a tab on the top of the fin can engages a slot cut in the body tube. There are two of these and the fit of the fin can in the tube is actually quite firm.

Following that, a look inside the body at the top, showing the retaining clip holding the little "hood" through which the shock cord is threaded. If you've ever built a Dark Zero or Air Walker, this will look familiar, only this time you actually use the retaining clip, rather than just gluing the external part in. I'm sure these parts were used in other models in the past...I just don't know what they might be, thanks to the 30-year gap between my first rocketry period and my being BAR'd.

We'll look at the payload section in detail in the next post. This is mainly where the clear tape comes in....
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Last edited by BEC : 05-02-2020 at 02:36 AM.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:05 AM
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Default Ghost Chaser payload section

The fit of the nose cone (which has no base), 20-50 transition and the payload tube (which is ~BT-20 diameter and 5 inches long) is pretty loose. The fit into the BT-50 is also kind of loose. This reminds me of the parts fit for the payload pieces on Green Eggs and Olympus.

The instructions suggest wrapping clear tape to tighten things up. For years my favorite clear tape has been Scotch MultiTask - crystal clear with a tenacious adhesive. I have a couple of small RC models that are pushing 20 years old that have control surfaces hinged with the stuff that are just fine.

The first picture is the payload section parts just dry fit. Next is a similar view with all the tape applied. It took nearly three turns of MultiTask tape to make the transition-to-payload tube fit tight enough that I might trust to fly something in here...and and I might yet glue the payload tube to the transition with Foam-Tac or Fabri-Tac as I have done on Green Eggs and Olympus. I used blue Scotch mastking tape (just short of one turn) to snug up the transition-to-body joint.

The next two pictures show a small modification I made: I like to seal the base of payload sections from ejection charge gases to make things easier on altimeters. For this one I decided to cut the upper attach loop off the transition and then put another piece of MultiTask tape over the hole. This piece overlaps the sides a bit and helps snug this joint up a bit more.

I have also used a large T-pin (supplied for this purpose in an ASP Eggstravaganza kit) to poke three static port holes in the payload tube about half an inch above the top of the transition.

The next picture shows three altimeters inside the payload tube—a Flight Sketch Mini, a PerfectFlite FireFly and an Altus-Metrum MicroPeak. I'd never fly them loose like this—no padding—but this shows they fit in the tube just fine. Actually, even a PerfectFlite Pnut (with a short power jumper) can be gotten in here.
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Last edited by BEC : 05-02-2020 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 05-02-2020, 02:12 AM
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Default All done

Finally a picture of the completed model, which weighs 1.91 ounces as shown. I used the stock shock cord (about 2 1/2 feet long) and the supplied 'chute, attached to the transition with a coast-lock snap swivel.

Markings are peel-n-stick as you'd expect for a beginner level kit, but they are nicely sticky.

Oh - one other application of MultiTask tape. The instructions suggest that you might want to wrap clear tape around the fin can-to-body tube joint, and I have done so.


One interesting feature, as I said, is the translucent parts. Finally, you can load a motor in a model and even if you forget what it was before you go to the RSO table or LCO table, you can remind yourself what it was without taking it out of the model . Two pics showing this....

The box suggests a C6-7 could take this model to 1100 feet. Hopefully Sixty Acres will open soon and I can find out. Based on flying the closely related ARF Solaris, which is a little lighter but a little higher drag, I expect ~900 feet on an Estes C and maybe 1200-1300 on a Q-Jet C12-6 or -8. I will find out as soon as park re-openings and weather will allow.


Based on looking at the instructions posted on the Estes site, the Starship Octavius and the Illusion (which is the same model, but slightly shorter and with different livery) go together exactly the same way, except for the assembly of the payload section, as those models have none.

And yes, I'm building a vintage Silver Comet...which I've modified to use an Estes screw-on 24mm motor retainer. I'm really liking them in all their sizes. I've even built an Alpha VI using the 18mm retainer....but that's for another thread, maybe.
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Last edited by BEC : 05-02-2020 at 04:34 PM. Reason: Added specific mass rather than “a little less than two ounces”
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:39 AM
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5x7 5x7 is offline
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Than ks for posting this! I found a bunch of kits like this on HL clearance last year and they are fun to throw together and fly at the park.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:29 AM
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Bernard,

Awhile back you mentioned Multi-Task tape. I had never heard of it, and so I ordered a two-pack from Amazon. Great stuff! It reminds me of package sealing tape, but just thinner and narrower.

I like the translucent blue parts on that Ghost Chaser.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeeR
Bernard,

Awhile back you mentioned Multi-Task tape. I had never heard of it, and so I ordered a two-pack from Amazon. Great stuff! It reminds me of package sealing tape, but just thinner and narrower.

I like the translucent blue parts on that Ghost Chaser.


Yeah, that's my impression as well - 3/4 inch wide thin packing tape. Whatever it is, it's great stuff.

I left the model on the desk next to my Mac last night and this morning the light coming in the blinds is shining through the translucent parts. It's really quite decorative...
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Old 05-02-2020, 01:34 PM
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That's a really neat looking model. I like the decals. They remind me of the Atari games graphics from 40 years ago.
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Old 05-05-2020, 10:08 AM
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The fin can and the shock cord anchor are all new parts. I of course used the basic design from years past for the shock cord anchor.


John Boren
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  #9  
Old 05-05-2020, 12:31 PM
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I knew the fin can was all new—several new features including the launch lug loops, the longer pins/sockets so you can press it together (and it will stay), and the tabs that lock the fin can into the slots in the body tube.

I wasn't sure about the shock cord anchor bits (and didn't look too closely at my re-release Air Walker to compare). But since it and the Dark Zero (and according to the instructions the just-released Terra GLM) have similar parts but one doesn't use the clip on the inside, I wondered if they were the same parts. I see the Terra GLM's part numbers are different for the shock cord mount bits. No big deal either way.

The net result is a nice looking model that requires no glue to assemble, yet does need to be put together beyond the usual ARF/RTF. I'm eager to see how it flies.

Now you need to do one with all the plastic parts in clear rather than translucent blue, to give the Ghost Chaser a Ghost to chase.... .
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Old 05-05-2020, 04:56 PM
s1lence s1lence is offline
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Thanks for posting. I actually think a lot of the E2X kits are pretty cool and they making one in the morning for an afternoon launch is pretty slick.
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