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Creating Steam-Bertha August 15, 2016

Posted by rluhman in Rocketry.
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001When I received the March/April issue of Sport Rocketry I noticed the headline on the cover, “Steampunk Rocketry Designs and Techniques”.  That sounded interesting so I opened the magazine to the story and immediately saw some amazing looking rockets.  I dove into the article and each paragraph started my mind swirling off into different directions thinking how I could make something that might look as interesting as those in the article.

Rather than start working on a new rocket to create my first steampunk example, I looked at my fleet of tired rockets that I seldom fly anymore.  I was drawn to my Big Bertha that I had built many years earlier with a three engine cluster.  It was sitting there with a rather ugly plain blue finish.  No markings or anything else, just solid plain blue.  Yes, this should work, I’ll convert my Big Bertha into Steam-Bertha!

Using the article as inspiration and a guide to begin sourcing the parts I would need, I started getting my materials together.  First I got a couple of manila file folders for the heavy paper that I’d need for the straps that the “rivets” would go on.  Now for the “rivets”.  I went to Michael’s and picked up a sheet of half-round pearls with sticky backing.  I’m not sure what other crafters use these for, but for me they were going to become my rivet heads.  I also found a few cards of pre-punched cardboard centering rings in my Estes rocket parts stash.  Those could be used as portholes.  Also in the stash, were some extra launch lugs that I could turn into external piping to disguise the actual launch lug that was already on the rocket. (more…)

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