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Old 02-10-2015, 05:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The RED COMET rocket Express

Thought I would share my entry this year’ into the Large Scale Central Mik’s Challenge to build something out of whatever you have on hand at the start of the contest and not to spend more than $30 total. This year’s challenge was to build a whimsical project based on a provided unassembled wood flatcar kit. I had a cheeser battery powered Christmas train I bought on clearance for $9.99 and an idea based on two of my favorite whimsical characters Wallace and Gromit, so here was the official napkin drawing to state my goals with the cheeser chassis:



This will be a collection of my entries in the building log, so here we go:

Sifting through the back of the junk heap I pulled out an old Pringles can that is about the right length for the rocket body (savings of $1.50). The battery xmas loco chassis has a clear plastic tube for a smoke generator (not sure where that's going to end up) as well as three very bright lights I want to redirect to the rear rocket tubes. I am also planning to use as much of the scrapped bits from the battery loco as possible. Also begun reading up on how to cut cardstock into nose cones. Need to track down which car Wallace and Grommit are currently living on. So far the only expenditure was the $10 for the 50% off Xmas train set back on Dec 26, no projected new costs.

Introducing the brains behind this years challenge entry, I rehired my Crack Science Ninja team:



Wallace will be in charge of the engineering, Gromit is the fabrication specialist and crack problem troubleshooter. Wallace and Gromit have a long history with the Borracho Locomotive Works dating back to one of the very first BLW builds, the Silver Bullet from over a decade ago:



There was some consternation inside the ranks of the BLW as chief foreman Homer was very upset that he wasn't assigned the job, but it was hard to argue that W&G have a much better track record with building rockets.




So Homer was instead told to go out and inspect the line to make sure the line was up to snuff. To assure he did this happily he was given as much pizza and donuts as he wanted and took off in one of the inspection gooses and hasn't been seen since.



This should allow W&G to proceed unimpeded.
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Old 02-10-2015, 05:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The Crack Science Ninja Team at work:


and by far the best thing is that I can pay them in cheese!



Dave's kit arrived today, thanks Dave for all your hard work putting the kits together and mailing them…But I got a slight problem with the kit....

It's wide, I mean W I D E, ...the card/masonite piece alone is about 5/8" wider than the Lil Big Hauler cars, and much wider than the HLW cars I'm currently using on the pizza. Add the sides and it's going to end up 3/4" to over an inch wider than anything else. The trouble is that clearances on the pizza tunnels are the often measured in small fractions of an inch, some stuff rubs anyways. Given one of the criteria is that this has to work on our layout and the pizza is my only current layout. Looks like I might have to put the kit on a slight diet to trim it a tad so it won't get wedged in the tunnel.

My crack Science Ninja team has gotten bored, Wallace decided to experiment with a double barrelled cheese launcher that fires both Cheddar and Wensleydale.



Unfortunately he forgot that the US uses 120v not 240V



Now I have to get the lab roof fixed. Wallace's little electrical error causes a high voltage arc inside the loading chamber triggering a flash vaporization of the Cheddar resulting in a gas explosion, but the hole in the roof is the least of the problem, its the cheddar all over the walls that’s the real mess. I have since decided to leave the electricals to those who are experts in their trade:



Meanwhile Wallace has been promised a fully paid vacation if his endevour leads to fame and fortune

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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OK gave my Crack Science Ninja Team the go ahead this AM, they started cutting as soon as they were up.



Argh! progress is slow! My Science Ninja team does most of the work in the early AM before I go into work, the biggest problem using cardstock is gluing then waiting, even using CA as a spot weld is no guarantee. So the early stages are slooow. I also have to consider a few functional issues. the loco chassis has a very weak smoke generator that I hope to repurpose but that means finding a section of plastic hose to extend the outlet and my planned tailcone section is not working out the way I would hope. I planned to just reuse the Pringles lid to mount my rockets but the **** plastic is feckless, warps, and almost nothing adheres to it. So something will have to done about that. Also my endless box of parts came up short, or at least I cannot find the bag of flower pots I know I had and was going to use as rocket nozzles, if they dont turn up in the garage looks like I'll have to make a trip to Michael’s this weekend. Meanwhile my Science Ninja Team seems to be spending most of day eating cheese and crackers waiting for the Elmers to dry.



OK pics uploaded, here we go, this gives you some idea of the donor chassis:



a whopping $10. Nothing is going to work if I can't make some simple geometric shapes, so first up was shaping the nosecone, which is cardstock, then reinforced with a second layer of card inside:



I used an online geometry site to help get them right, the lower cone actually took 2 tries to get.



on to the main body, which I found sitting behind my workbench, this was going to be part of a tank farm but...



next up the chassis build up starts

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Once Dave's kit arrived I started looking at it almost immediately I realized I couldn't use it in its original form, so remembering rule 1 .....



My Crack Science Ninja team survey the cutting of the tube



test fitting, Wallace supervises



Debate on the fitting of the nosecone.



The attaching of the nose cone commences

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My Crack Science ninja team also verify that their cockpits will be satisfactory, next work on the tailcone commences, we came up with the idea of a balsa baseplate using screws instead of trying to use glue.



Wiring and alot more work still to do. but that's the work to date. BTW had to make my first post start purchase, scale flower pots re: booster rockets $1.99

I am being told to slow down and have some tea...,otherwise this will be done by MLK day. Besides the number of available useful bits has dwindled and a round of box diving in the garage may be necessary. I put a primer coat of paint on as the acrylic I hoped to use didn't didn't stick the way I hoped.



OOPS! Took the vehicle out to the pizza for a test run and ...well ...it crashed, or more accurately it JAMBED. It's just a tad too long ...Xacto where art thou.

Cut the nose back an inch, that should do it. Think I'm going to need 3 or 4 coats of paint guess I'll get that'd done next. I have to paint the underside before continuing. Trouble is the Liquitex acrylic I was planning to use doesn't work, so that means switching to Tamiya, which may necessitate a trip was the LHS as myself current supply of one bottle is low.

HUZZAH! it works on the pizza! well....sort of....in one direction, the other? not as such...

But it wouldnt be the first consist on the roster to have a one directional mind on the pizza layout. In other news I found enough red paint to not require buying extra, adding the tail-fins tonight, which will need primer and painting as well, been turning out all sorts of bits and pieces to add, paint and details remain but cricky...I think all the major construction is done, time for a rest lads:

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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primer paint:



Tale-piece mounted



After the test run disaster, an emergency nosecone-ectomy to trim an inch was performed, Wallace is pleased but Gromit thinks its lovely proportions have been marred, oh well lad have some tea.



Bits going on, these came off the donor so it seams proper to put them right back on:

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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PAINT! Took 3 tries, once the primer was down I tried Liquitex acrylic again, nope, transparent...badly, next Tamaya red, that was flat and while it covered the whole body looked horrible, I found an bottle of Testors red, that went over the Tamaya great! so here is

The Red Comet

I hope Char Aznoble doesn't mind me pinching his name... I think Wallace likes it!!!





Still lots of detail work to consider, the cockpits are bare, and the atomic powerplant needs detailing, I think Gromit is concerned about that, oh well, to quote Jeremy Clarkson "How Hard Can It Be?"

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Old 02-10-2015, 05:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My Crack Science Ninja team keeps bugging me "This competitions finished when? We want to take this out for a spin now!"



I keep telling them its another 2 whole weeks and to go double check the atomic reactor thruster output so they dont accidentally go airborne like their competition Professor Fate did.

Cockpits are finished, our intrepid team inspects them:



Co-Pilot Gromit is a little concerned over the lack of ejector seats, but is a bit more concerned at being about a foot away from the main power core:

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Old 02-10-2015, 06:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Be afraid, very afraid!



All the other issues aside, I added the final warning decals and a clear coat, its finished! Time for track testing, so I order the lads to go over it based on their finest quality control standards, they pulled this out of the desk: Who knew?

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Old 02-10-2015, 06:09 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Well I THOUGHT I was done…took pics and even a video, but I am adding one more little tidbit that negates all the pics I took…more on that later.

As of today, my Crack Science Ninja Team are charging ahead to the finish line:



Atomic transmogrifying generator powering up, an amazing device of Wallaces invention, it converts the odor particles of particularly strong cheese via atomic fusion into particles when ignited produce a tremendous amount of thrust per Mg of stinkyness, so the smellier the cheese the greater the power. Wallace has chosen a particularly aromatic slice of Limburger Cheese that was then layered with a slice of Stinking Bishop cheese, both were then left to ferment in a shed out back since the competition began.



If there is a problem there is a kill switch that will eject the cheese from the core but Wallace highly advised to never use it as it would coat the entire county in radioaromaticative cheese particles that could render the county uninhabitable due to the shear stinkyness. The emergency don’t-pull-this-unless-you-really-mean-it kill switch perches precariously over Gromits head:



Gromit does seem to overly preoccupied by the kill switch:



As you can see the Harumphilator particle ram scope and radar seeking Anti-Fink detector are active,





Gromit was especially concern over possible sabotage attempts by our chief rival Prof. Fate, so he insisted on adding a very sensitive anti-fink detector that can spot a rat fink at 1000 yards, but Fate’s whereabouts remain unknown after rumors of a tragic event occurring in New Mexico, exact outcome of Fate’s fate still remain unclear, some say it was the Professors own plan for the Red Comet backfired on him, or that his man servant had finally “had enough” and did him in, other say he’s just hiding in the shadows waiting to reveal himself and his latest invention in his own time, we shall see.

The Harumphfilator collects and dissipates negative thought energy waves, it’s a unique theory of Wallace’s and one that the pair have always included in some small degree on every invention, Wallace claims it why they are always so successful. Wallace believes negative thoughts create negative energy waves, those energy waves then effect the object those negative waves were focused on, creating numerous problems such as equipment failures. these problems were once attributed to ‘gremlins’ or ‘bad luck’ or other such causes, but Wallace firmly believes its why our chief rival Prof. Fate’s inventions always end in smoke and tears. Think about it, Fate’s attempt at an aerial flying record ended crashing in a pig sty, his attempt at a land speed record also ended crashing in a pig sty, although he did set a American air altitude record on that attempt that stood for many years. Whenever Fate attempts a record or invents something, his stated goals are usually greeted by the public with doubt and press with outright derision, all those negative thought waves? It might have even had an effect of this year’s invention, we shall see.



So there we are to date, heading for the final countdown, one last little detail for today, it was really Gromit’s idea:



I tell you, he has some strange preoccupations for a dog.
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