Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Oh, Noes!

My brakes went out when I was leaving for work this morning. I recently got my car worked on after letting it sit for about ten months, and it was so nice to be able to drive places again.

The reason I mention this here is that one of the first things I thought was Dammit! I was going to go launch rockets today!

My first couple of rocket launches with Chad were back when I was walking everywhere.  I live on the east side of Bloomington, and we launch in a huge park on the west side. Maybe it seems silly, but once I had my car back, the most satisfying part was that I could drive myself to launches, and to the huge hardware store and Michael's Crafts across town to buy building supplies.

And the weather has been so great this week! Today would have been my first time launching in weather that wasn't sweltering and humid.

I hate hot weather, especially humid weather. September and October are the perfect months for me in the Midwest. This indicates how awesome launching rockets is - I'm willing to slather on sunscreen and stand out in humid, 90-degree weather just to watch them go up.

I've gotten used to walking everywhere over the last year - I didn't even mind the polar vortex, because I bundled up tight, popped in the earbuds, and listened to podcasts during the 40-minute, 4:30 a.m. walk to work five days a week.

But this... This is a bummer.

I'm nearly finished painting and building my two most recent rockets - the Estes Cosmic Explorer and Estes Hi Flier.

Cosmic Explorer - a sleek-looking rocket that stands two feet tall

Hi Flier - 12 inch rocket which goes up to 1,500 feet

I just need to do some sanding on the paint job of the Hi Flier to knock down some tape dams - raised areas of paint caused by masking tape - and do topcoats and decals for the Cosmic Explorer, and I'm done. I've been working on these rockets for three weeks now, carefully trying to get details right, fill wood grain properly, and fixing a few things I messed up. I'm still working on the details of making a rocket look as good as it can.

But this workday - and the walk home - were so long, I might have to lie down before doing any sanding or painting. I want to get right to work on these, but I think I get sloppy when I'm too tired. I'm working on being patient to get the best results.

Just a couple previews:

I've opted for my own color scheme for the Hi Flier - blue and gold. Chad has one in the traditional color scheme (actually, had. He lost that one.), and as I've said before, when he already has a rocket, if I get the same one, I like to make mine look different. I thought of the Blue Angels when I was coming up with ideas:

But I'll probably skip the sticker. I am not a huge fan of self-adhesive stickers, and I usually get them on crooked, and there they stay.

And I've managed to put a pretty decent airfoil on the fins of the Cosmic Explorer:

This would have been easier to see if I'd taken a closeup later, after priming
the rocket. I'll post pictures of the whole thing when I'm done.
OK. Time to nap, sand, and paint...

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