(by Dennis McClain-Furmanski - 09/09/04)
Single stage, 14" chute realistic scale-like easy to build kit
The kit includes:
- 3 tubes
- 4 plastic snap in fins
- 2 piece fin can
- 1 launch lug
- 1 chute kit with elastic shock cord
- 2 plastic transitions
- 1 plastic nose
While looking for an old MPC Nike Smoke, I was told that Quest had bought
the molds and re-released it. During my quest, I happened to run across the
Aries. I'm glad I did. Despite the fact that this is a beginner's kit with
plastic snap-together pieces, it is really designed remarkably well and is a
very good looker too.
The plastic fin can incorporates a thrust ring (tab) and the two pieces
snap together. The four molded plastic fins fit into slots in the can and slide
down to lock into place. For a $10 kit, this is some marvelous little
engineering--it's would be called a cool hack in computers. Except for this
very nice but unique fin can design, all the building was extremely easy and
the well done instructions wouldn't be necessary except for the complete
The transitions and nose are molded to look like a present day launch
vehicle, I suspect an Ariane (hence the name Aries). It comes with some extra
plastic parts (possibly surplus from other kits) that can be glued on as you
wish to dress it up, which I did. It just looks...neat.
For a beginner with only the most common tools and materials, this is a 1
hour build. I did it in 15 minutes.
The tubes come pre-coated with white paper. The only finishing involved is in
putting on the vinyl decals. Painting is possible, but I can't see how that'd
improve it much.
out of 5
B and C motors are recommended. The 14" chute is hard to pack properly, so
I used a 10" mylar and cellulose wadding. I flew twice on B6-4s and twice
on C5-3s. All flights were very good looking and flawless.
The motor retainer is another part of the exceptional design. A twist-in
ring has tabs that fit into two slots. You twist it 90 degrees to lock it. To
change motors you twist, pull the motor, put in another, and put the ring back
in. We're talking 15 seconds here and positive motor retention without masking
The plastic fins stand up well to landings. The shock cord is long enough that
"Estes dents" are unlikely. I've detected no ejection burning or
other damage after 4 flights.
out of 5
Clearly, if as a builder of larger and more complex models I had been getting
jaded, this model cured me. I remain very impressed with the thought that went
into the design of this little bird and still it comes out for less than $10. I
like its looks and enjoy flying it, even when those around me are flying
out of 5