2008 Space Derby

Anything related to Space Derby racing and event coordination.
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ah8tk
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2008 Space Derby

Post by ah8tk » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:59 am

For this years “other” derby our pack had Space Derby.

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When we learned we would be running a Space Derby I wanted to make it more fun than the last Space Derby we attended (when he was a Tiger). The other Space Derby was not very organized and there was no actual racing. This means that the scouts went through a lot of work for 5 minutes of playing with the rockets on the line. We decided to use the Gran Prix Race Manager and race for points. I also decided I needed to build a winder that could wind 4 rockets, with a counter so all rockets racing would be wound the same number of times (to keep everything even).

Noah told me he had decided to make his rocket into a Star Wars - X-Wing Fighter (I was thinking something like an SR-71) but since Noah, and his mother are huge Star wars geeks we built an X-Wing Fighter. As usual we start with a drawing for the plan…

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Noah came up with a very sleek looking X-Wing,

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I showed him the drawing I had done of a blank space derby block showing the inside hollow area for the rubber band motors, and how we needed to make the rocket bigger to fit around the cavity. In the plans we tried to leave 1/8” around the cavity.

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Once the basic plan was completed he sketched out the rocket on the block and I trimmed it using the band saw.

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Then he used a potato peeler to shape the rocket more.

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And then he sanded the rocket smooth.

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We added the fins in a different way. They are also angled up to help with lift (not sure if this really helps). Then we had to find the perfect lightweight items for the thrust engines and the laser cannons (it is amazing how much a person can learn about Star Wars vehicles, surfing the internet). I stopped at many convenience stores, on my way home from work, to measure straws and coffee stirrers, until I found the perfect straws and stirrers (Icee straws are almost 5/16”). We trimmed, sanded (so paint would stick) and attached the thrust engines and laser cannons. After we determined where the hanger should be placed (by balancing the rocket with all the parts attached on a pencil), we determined the R2D2 was not going to be split in half and attached to either side of the hanger. Noah set out to make and detail the R2 unit. We found a small scrap of balsa and cut it round and then it was sanded into shape and painted.

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Then we were ready for paint. I, as a casual observer, I thought the X-Wings were white, but I was informed they were light grey. As I have not seen much in light grey model paint I asked if light grey primer was an appropriate color. Noah, after seeing the spray paint top, thought it would be perfect.

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After the paint dried overnight Noah set out to paint some details on the X-Wing. We taped off the lines on the canopy and he painted the windows of the canopy black. We mixed some custom gray paint to paint the back section and the sensor window on the front. Noah wanted to make some of the panels (lines) on the sides of the rocket. We used masking tape (to keep the lines straight) and an extra fine Sharpie. He then painted the red and orange on the top and sides, and the red on the top of the wings. We attached the R2D2 and gave the whole thing a coat of matte clear.

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The night before the race I had planned to setup some fishing line out in the shop to test out the rocket, but I had to finish up the rocket winder and make a rack to hold the rockets, so that never happened. The morning of the races I was informed, by Noah that the X-Wing would not work in the new rack. When I inquired as to why it would not work he proceeded to show me. The wings stick up almost as far as the hanger so to hang the rocket you needed to flex them down. He was correct, I left work early to make an adapter for the X-Wing that would hold it a little lower (using a spare hanger and some wood). You can see it hanging in the rack with some of the other rockets.

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The chain driven 4-rocket winder, with counter, worked flawlessly. Everyone wanted to know where we had gotten it from.

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Noah’s rocket was the only rocket to make it to the end of the 40’ track 4 times - smack the end and fall off. Every time it raced the line judges would try to catch it.

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Last edited by ah8tk on Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by Darin McGrew » Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:54 pm

That is so cool! Thanks for sharing the photos!



dna1990
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by dna1990 » Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:33 pm

It was like I was there...thanks for the time to post.


Do you have any more photos of the winder?! Esp the 'idler' or whatever you used to put some down pressue on the chain? And also what did you use where the dowels rods hook into?

I have a winder about 1/2 way built, built using timing belts. I am hoping to give it a dedicated motor with a PIC-based controller. I think I have all the individual components working, but it is another thing to put it all together in a working package. I do plan to have a drill-adapter made into it, in case any of that should fail.

I need to get busy, and seeing your post was a great shot in the arm.



BlackLotus
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by BlackLotus » Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:44 pm

Awesome ship, great photos, wonderfully entertaining post. Thanks for sharing.



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GravityRacer
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by GravityRacer » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:14 pm

Awesome engineering on the winder! And a mighty fine rocket, after all those trials.

I would like to caution you, though, on posting pix of your son. Maybe I'm off base here, and a mod is invited to delete this post if that is the case...but these days, the predators are everywhere. I was in Scouting long enough to see some pretty bad stuff...rare, but true.

[/cop]



spunky2069
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by spunky2069 » Thu Apr 03, 2008 12:12 pm

How did you construct that automatic winder? This is our first year trying the space derby and I am in need of all the help i can get. Thanks!

Amanda
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Zephyrhills, FL



TOU
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by TOU » Thu May 03, 2012 1:18 pm

NICE! I guess I missed it, but what were the thrust motors made of?

Thx!

TOU



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ah8tk
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by ah8tk » Fri May 04, 2012 4:07 am

ah8tk wrote:Then we had to find the perfect lightweight items for the thrust engines and the laser cannons (it is amazing how much a person can learn about Star Wars vehicles, surfing the internet). I stopped at many convenience stores, on my way home from work, to measure straws and coffee stirrers, until I found the perfect straws and stirrers (Icee straws are almost 5/16”). We trimmed, sanded (so paint would stick) and attached the thrust engines and laser cannons.
Here it is...

Andy



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whodathunkit
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Re: 2008 Space Derby

Post by whodathunkit » Fri May 04, 2012 7:52 pm

Andy & Noah,

That Space Derby Star Wars-X Wing Fighter is so cool guys!

I dont know any thing about the Space Derby.. I've never made one or seen them race.
So thank you guys for shareing it with all of us on DT.

Speaking of shareing.. I have some old vintage Space Derby kits as well as the Regatta boat kits.
Hopefuly you and your son wont mind if i share a few photos of them.

Here thay are guys:
Space derby kit , Guessing the year 1957 as to price seen as $2.95
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The Regatta kit:
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Do you all remember this photo and what I said about it?
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And how it was seen in Boy Scout Supply Stores!
Well Guys Here is that little Discovery I just Ran Across just a little while ago thanks to your post.
Look for the price seen on the next just like it.
From the Regatta kit plans pack.. check this out!!!

1st photo.Image
2nd photo.Image
3rd and last photo look for the price seen on the photo.
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I had these kits and never looked inside them intell today!

Mark.


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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