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Ron's Recreations

If you have been fortunate enough to enjoy the hobby of model rocketry for 60 years or so, as I have, you have had an opportunity to see many changes.  Companies have come and gone and great innovation has occurred.

One unfortunate trend which has seemed to evole is the need for instant gratification.  Gone are many of the old kits which required a little more time and skill to build.  They have been replaced by ready-to-fly kits that come preassembled or low skill level kits with a variety of plastic parts that can be assembled in a matter of minutes.  To be sure these kits offer a good introductory opportunity for the newcomers to the sport.  However, from my standpoint, they leave sort of an empty, unfulfilled feeling.

However, there is no need to despair.  Through the able assistance of sources such as:  Aerospace Specialty Products, Balsa Machining Service, Estes Industries Rocket Plans, JimZ Plans, Kurt's Decal Page, Mike Schmidt's Moldin' OldiesSemroc Astronautics, Stickershock23 and Tango Papa Decals the past has been brought back to life.  It is now possible to print plans, obtain parts and have decals made that allow anyone, with a little skill and patience, to literally recreate many of the great old discontinued kits from companies such as Centuri and Estes.  With a little innovation perhaps you can even improve upon the original design (like replacing the plastic parachute with a ripstop nylon parachute to insure that your masterful creation is returned safely to earth for another flight in the near future).

So far I have recreated 25 of these kits and plan to recreate many more as time allows.  There is literally no limit to what can be done.

(click images below for rocket data)

(From left to right:  Arcas, Astron Avenger, Astron Bandit, Astron Cobra,
  Astron Farside, Astron Sprint, Blue Bird Zero, Bullet, Cherokee-D, Defender

(From left to right:  Delta Star, Der Red Max, Goblin, Long John Silver, Maruder, Maxi-Icarus, Nike-X, Patriot, Renegade, Sizzler, Sky-Hi, Sky Raider)

(From left to right:  Thunder Bird, Thunder Roc, Vigilante)

(From left to right:  BMS/Estes Arcas Series, Estes Astron Sprint Series. AAA/Estes/Semroc Cherokee Series, Centuri/SemrocThunder Series)

It is also possible to build upscaled and downscaled versions of the orginal kits.   Above are pictures of my Arcas Scale kits.  The smaller kit was purchased from Balsa Machining Service.  The larger version was made from an OOP kit given to me by my brother in law Larry Bendena.  Decals for the kits were obtained from Ecxcelsior Rocketry.  Above are pictures of Astron Sprint Series.  The XL version was built from an Estes kit.  The smaller version was recreated with parts and decals obtained from Excelsion Rocketry.  Above are pictures of my Cherokee kits.  The Cherokee-C is a downscaled version of the orginal Estes kit that was purchased from Semroc Astronautics.  The Cherokee-G is an upscaled version of the orginal Estes kit that was purchased from AAA Model Aviation (no longer in business).  With the assistance of the JimZ Plans, Tango Papa Decals and the local Rider's Hobby Shop in Ann Arbor, Mi.  I also was able to create a replica of the original Estes Cherokee-D kit.  Above are pictures of my Thunder Series kits that were created with parts and kits from Semroc Astronautics, plans from JimZ Plans and decals from Excelsior Rocketry.

So don't despair if companies like Estes appear to care more about making a profit than creating innovative, challenging products.  Wall Street and all of the investors be damned.  If you haven't done so already take a step back in time.  You won't regret it!

This company makes custom machined parts:  Roachwerks

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