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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 07:33:09 2010

Estes Industries
Renegade (1271)
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SPECS: 33.8" x 1.637" - 4.6 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: MISSING - please submit here
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: D12-5, D12-7

(Contributed - by Bill Eichelberger [Who's Who Page] - 07/15/04)


Until they soiled the once proud name by using it on a supposedly computer generated white elephant in 2004, the Renegade name belonged to a large D-powered rocket that was a staple of the Estes catalogs of my younger years. Produced from 1975 to 1980, the Renegade was one of the "big" rockets that I always wanted to build as a kid, but didn't for economic reasons. (As I believe I've noted before, those D engines were EXPENSIVE for someone whose allowance was $4 a week.) As usually happens in this case, this caused the Renegade to show up on my "gottabuild" list some 25 years later.


The parts list is as follows:-

  • BT-60 (18")
  • BT-60HE (8.5")
  • BT-50KE (15")
  • AR-2050 engine block
  • AR-5055 centering ring as engine hook hold-down
  • BT-60 tube connector
  • New Estes "E" engine hook
  • 3 - 5060 centering rings
  • Nose cone from currently available Screaming Mimi
  • 36" Kevlar shock cord
  • 36" sewing elastic 1/8"
  • 1/8" basswood fin stock
  • LL-2AM launch lug (2)
  • JT-60C tube coupler
  • Excelsior Rocketry decal set:
  • Instructions:

The Renegade was a rocket that had long been on my list to clone, but it wasn't until I won an auction for a decal set from Excelsior Rocketry that the project really kicked into high gear. While I had already downloaded the scans for the project, I was pleased to find that the decals from Excelsior also included detailed instructions and templates for the fins and body tube. (Nice touch.) The only places that I wavered from the original instructions was in upgrading the original engine mount to make it E capable and in using Kevlar for the shock cord and a Nomex sheet for Perma-Wadding. Other than that the rocket was built exactly as laid out in the instructions, and if I were you, I'd resist the temptation to build the Renegade with one solid 26.5" length of BT-60 like I was tempted to do. This will save you much headache and aggravation when the time comes to paint. (The paint scheme isn't particularly difficult, but do you really enjoy masking all that much?) The rest of the construction was a fairly typical 3FNC build with nothing approaching a gotcha.


As long as you haven't jumped the gun and glued the upper and lower body sections together, painting couldn't be easier. I used a spare piece of BT-60 as a paint stand by gluing a connector in one end and leaving the other end empty. I used the empty end to cover the engine tube and connector and sprayed everything with Valspar Gloss Black. When this was finished I reversed the tube and used the end with the connector to hold the upper section and nose cone while I sprayed everything with Valspar Cherry Red Satin. This allowed me to wind up with a perfectly masked rocket without resorting to the tedium of masking tape and newspaper. The best part is, the holder tube I used for the project is reusable for my next BT-60 based rocket's paint job.

The decals caused me some problems, or rather I caused the decals some problems. Before applying the decals I sprayed them with a newly purchased can of Valspar Acrylic Clear and within seconds they began to wrinkle and pucker before my eyes. All I could do was let them dry and try them out (although Fred offered to send me a replacement set.) I chalked it up to a learning experience and applied them anyway. To my great surprise they applied flawlessly and look great unless you insist on inspecting the rocket with a jeweler's loupe. The lesson learned? As much as I like regular Valspar paint, I'd be much better served by finding another, less aggressive clearcoat.

Construction Rating: 5 out of 5


I've only managed one flight so far, but that has been because I've been doing a lot more small field flying than I'd normally like of late. (One thing this bird isn't is small field capable.) The flight was on a breezy, late March day when everything that flew encountered heavy-duty drift problems. I countered the drift somewhat by flying into the breeze, but still wound up with a sizable walk. Flying on an Estes E9-6, the first flight was about as I expected. Aiming it slightly into the breeze and it's natural tendency to weathercock somewhat made for a slow, angular flight path that took it several hundred feet south of the pads. Ejection occurred a tad early, but close enough that most of the speed had been scrubbed off already. I like the E-9 on a rocket of this type. It's flight was much like a Big Bertha on a C6, leaving you feeling that you'd seen the whole flight without any undue snapping of the neck. Recovery was likewise slow on an 18" checkered chute that I had recently bought from an Ebay vendor. It crossed over the flightline and drifted several hundred feet into the early spring brambles, an easy recovery considering the conditions.

Flight Rating: 5 out of 5


While kits like the Screaming Mimi don't do much for me from an aesthetic standpoint, their one advantage is that they use the same parts that some of the classics used. Screaming Mimi's are versatile in that they can be used as parts donors for a Red Max, Omega, or a Patriot, as well as several others.


  • Not designed by a computer.
  • Classy red, black and white paint and decal scheme for a classic.
  • Uncluttered look.


  • The name has been resurrected with less than stellar results.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5

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[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
11-11-2008 John Bergsmith Est SU D12-5 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - First flight on the cloned Renegade. Boost was arrow straight, and very fast with no stability issues. Ejection was nose up with chute being deployed perfectly. Recovered with no damage. Great flight.
11-11-2008 John Bergsmith Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Second flight was using a E9-6. Straight boost that lasted forever. Altitude easily exceeded 1400 feet. Outstanding flight, this is a great rocket for the Estes E9 motors.
03-07-2010 John Bergsmith Est SU D12-5 Apogee - Perfect 5-10 mph winds Event: Field Q
- Recovered with no damage. Great flight.
07-10-2005 Joe Cacciatore Est SU C11-5 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Good boost but chute gets tangled and lands on blacktop, make a fin loose and smashing end of body tube a little.
07-10-2005 Joe Cacciatore Est SU C11-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - A little super glue and the rocket flies again, just missing swamp area. C11 engine is good for this old, classic rocket.
07-01-2007 Joe Cacciatore Est SU C11-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight on a C11-3, lands close.
07-01-2007 Joe Cacciatore Est SU C11-3 None - Parachute Fail 0-5 mph winds - Even though I used enough wadding I thought, the chute partially melted and the rocket hit hard, small lawn dart. First inch of tube smashed in a little.
03-28-2004 Bill Eichelberger Est SU E9-6 Just Before 5-10 mph winds - Impressive flight. Huge drift on recovery, but so did everything else on this day.
07-25-2004 Bill Eichelberger Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 10+ mph winds Event: QUARK Launch
- Awesome flight but a HUGE drift on recovery. I'd given up on finding it but a fellow Quarker saw it in an enclosure on the south edge of the VOA field. Broke a fin on landing, but it will be easy to repair.
09-12-2004 Bill Eichelberger Est SU E9-6 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds Event: Quark section launch
- Beautiful flight. Great rocket for calm conditions.
05-27-2006 Bill Eichelberger Est SU E9-6 Just Before 0-5 mph winds Event: Bi-monthly launch
- A real neck snapper. At first it looked like a sep, but it was just the extra shock cord. Very cool.
06-25-2006 Bill Eichelberger Est SU E9-6 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: Fly Jay's Tau Zero Launch
- Great flight and not a terrible recovery walk. Flight #4 in the 1977 Estes catalog page 22-23 event.

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