Tuesday, January 29, 2008
"Mean Yankee" Rocket Completed
Brenda standing next to the "Mean Yankee"
After the gray primer was applied and sanded down, a gloss white paint was applied to the whole rocket. After this white paint had dried for a day, we wrapped the upper 3/4 of the rocket with a high quality painter's tape. Use this instead of regular masking tape so that it comes off easily without messing up your paint job.
This masking spiral was done so we could next spray on the gloss red spiraling stripe shown next.
The red gloss paint was sprayed on after covering the lower section and fins with a plastic trash bag taped to the last part of the purple painter's tape.
Only let the paint dry for a couple minutes before unwrapping the painter's tape. You want it to just start setting just a little, and the paint we use dries very fast. If you let it dry too long you can end up ripping off part of the paint when you remove the tape.
After a couple tries and a few rockets, you will get the hang of it. Or maybe you will be perfect from the git go... :-)
Alan next to the lower section before applying the stars...
We used foil stars bought at Michael's craft shop and stuck them on the lower white section for "masking" where we wanted our stars. Here it is even more critical than with the painter's tape to work quickly because the paint dries so fast.
Painter's tape is made for this... Foil stars are not... so you must work even faster.
I sprayed a quick first coat of gloss blue over the stars. I let it just dry for 30 seconds or so and sprayed the second coat to get it dark and even. Then I waited just 30 seconds more before using a pen knife and tweezers to remove the stars. I would use the pen knife to raise a corner of the start and the tweezers to quickly pull it off.
It actually turned out pretty good with only a few taking off more blue paint than desired, but you can't really see those unless you are real close. No one should be that close anyway at launch... right?...
Overall, it turned out pretty good. Above you see the finished paint job drying.
The finished "Mean Yankee" standing tall at 6 feet 7 inches.
The name comes from the fact that it was made from an Estes "Mean machine" model rocket and of course the US Flag paint job. I guess we will be flying this one the Fourth of July.
It was also a play on the irony of our country coming to the aid of other countries with money, resources and even our soldiers' lives and still being considered by some to be "Mean Yankees."
I served proudly in many countries and helped people wherever I went. I always tried to learn as much of the language and culture that I could. I showed great respect for the countries that I was a guest in.
I was no "Mean Yankee," but this rocket is...