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REV 2.4 - Tue Aug 17 09:26:22 2010

Vaughn Brothers
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SPECS: 16.5" x 2.6" - 4.5 oz
ROCKSIM FILE: Right Click to Download
SpaceCAD FILE: MISSING - please submit here
REC'D MOTORS: C6-3, C6-5, D21-7, E25-7

[Picture] (06/10/98) The things people say are not always nice. One might be called a fat boy, while another is called BlobboÔ. Vaughn Brothers went for the latter with their 2.6" short-body kit. The BlobboÔ is powered by 18mm motors and is 16.5" tall and weighs about 4.5 ounces. See my 2.6" Stubby Rocket Comparison Page

The kit comes with an 8.25" single body tube and a 8.25" plastic nose cone. It’s 18mm motor mount comes with 1/32" laser-cut plywood centering rings and a motor retention clip. It uses pre—cut fiberglass fins with through-the-wall mounting. It comes with an 18" bright-yellow rip-stop nylon parachute, a 36" elastic shock cord (1/4" flat) which attaches to a thin metal shock cord mount. It also includes a single launch lug and there are no decals. [Picture]


There are only three pages of instructions and one of those pages is nothing more than an illustration of the side and bottom view of the rocket with an alignment guide. This kit is not for the new modeler due to its lack of instructions. In all fairness, the instructions are in a logical order and good enough to get an experienced modeler through the kit assembly. There are a couple of challenging steps that I'll touch on below. The kit does not have a rated skill level (as far as I know), however, I think it falls at about a 3.

When building the motor mount, the instructions say to cut a "slot in the motor tube 0. 20 inches from one end for the motor hook". How many modelers keep a ruler using divisions in tenths around? I don't. I don't. By reviewing the drawing, the appropriate distance can be determined by adding a 0.25" centering ring spacing to the 2.25" spacing between centering rings. The motor hook is supposed to be 2.5" from one end.

The motor hook was held in place with a "Motor Hook Strap". This seemed to me to be a piece of tack cloth that gets saturated with glue to hold in place. It did the trick.

The remaining assembly of the motor mount requires notching one centering ring to allow clearance for the motor hook and notching the other to allow for clearance of the shock cord mount. The shock cord mount attachment is very interesting. First off, the shock cord mount looks like a fishing leader with a crimped-loop at each end. To attach this, the larger loop is placed over the motor tube and the top centering ring is positioned to hold it in place. This is somewhat challenging since the loop is to be on one side of the ring and the crimp is to be on the other. Once together, it puts the three-fold paper mount to same!

The next step also was somewhat challenging in the fact that accuracy was required. This was cutting the slots in the airframe to allow each fin tab to slide in. This cut requires a good and sharp hobby knife to give clean cuts. Might be time to change the blade in yours.

The instructions are good in the fact that they tell you to rough up the fins where the fillets are applied and that the fins can be attached using CA, however epoxy fillets are recommend for strength.

Now that everything is assembled, glued, fillets applied and recovery system attached, its time to prepare for finishing. Again the instructions say to lightly sand the body tube and fins and to prepare the nose cone by removing any molding flashing and lightly sanding.

Using Plasti-Kote primer, I filled in the body tube grooves and cleaned up the small pits in the plastic nose cone left by the molding process. I must say that I really enjoyed prepping the fiberglass fins. Very easy, compared to the tasks required to get balsa fins to finish smoothly.

Used another can of $0. 98 Walmart enamel. This time a deep green. Since the kit didn't come with any decals, I felt it looked a bit plain so I added a yellow pattern to the fins and then covered the entire kit with Walmart's Clear enamel.

Just a comment on the pro's and con's of this $0. 98/car Walmart spray enamel: The pro's are the cost and durability, which seems every bit as good as other brands I've used. The con's are color selection, however for $1. 39/can you can improve your color selection and still not pay the standard $2. 49+ for other popular brands. Another con is according to instructions, additional coats must be done within 4 hours or after 1 week. So in the case of my BlobboÔ, I have to wait a week before I completed the fin pattern with a second color. But, after the second color and within 4 hours, I hit the whole rocket with clear. If you're not in a hurry, I think, the pro's outweigh the con's with this paint.

Overall, for CONSTRUCTION I would rate this kit 4 points. Again if you have some rocket building experience, the instructions can get you through without much problem, but I see this kit as being an entry level kit and to reach the beginner modelers improved instructions could go a long way. Lastly, the kit needs a decal.


[Picture]Whether you call it a "fat boy" or as the more appropriate BlobboÔ, there is one thing you can say about anything with excessive girth . . . it's going to be a slow starter. And indeed, the BlobboÔ, loaded with its "first flight" recommended motor, a C6-3 had a slow start. But like the turtle and the hare, a slow start (lift off) is not always a bad thing. In this case the BlobboÔ gave us a great race, snapping across the finish line and ejecting right at apogee. The slow lift off allowed more time to see it and enjoy it.

I'm not very good at guessing altitudes, but Apogee's RockSimÔ indicates it should have gone about 235 feet. This is a good height for the wind we had on launch day (10-15 mph gusts). It did weather-cock quite a bit, which is probably due to the short, fat body and larger fins. Regardless, the BlobboÔ delivered a successful flight and recovery.

Upon inspection, the piece of Rogue Aerospace's Perma-WaddingÔ held up well, however, I think I need a larger piece for this diameter of rocket. In all fairness, the size I'm using is recommended for a 1. 3" body tube and the BlobboÔ is double that size.

The parachute, shroud lines and shock cord system all demonstrated performance and showed no sign of wear or damage. The metal leader and 1/4" elastic system seems to be strong and sturdy and should be durable for many, many flights.

Well, Vaughn Brothers only gave two recommended motors to fly the BlobboÔ on; the C6-3 and a D21-7. The D21-7 is a Single-Use Aerotech motor. I decided to try the new Apogee D10-7. Knowing that my delay was too long, based on RockSimÔ, I decided to load it up anyway.

Everyone was excited to hear the flight coordinator announce that this would be the Apogee D10, however, we got an unexpected surprise. 3, 2, 1 - BOOM! The rocket shot up about 75 feet and nose dived into the ground. The casing had exploded! The propellant was still mostly there, with a larger (rounded) groove. The case blew out the motor mount and cracked the bottom centering ring. The upper part of the motor was still stuck in the rocket and the ejection charge still intact. BlobboÔ took a hit worse than name calling!

Things that make you go hmmmmm? and a MESS form was filled out.

Well, BlobboÔ has been repaired and is ready for it's next launch. I'm out of D10's but will try that one again later. Hey, you can't condemn a motor for one CATO. If that was the case, how many would still be flying Estes' D motors? Those things have ate my Estes BroadswordÔ and blew apart the top of one of my launch pads.

The next day I tried to get a launch picture on Estes C6-3's. I had two more successful flights with the nice slow lift offs. The second flight really weathercocked and flew parallel to the ground most of the way. Some minor damage on bottom of body tube due to it hitting the concrete roadway.

For FLIGHT/RECOVERY, I would rate this kit 5 points.

Overall, this kit is easy to build if you have some experience under your belt. It's fun to fly too, with slow take offs. And it can take a 75 foot nose dive with little affect (don't purposely try this). I give the kit an OVERALL rating of 4 points.

[Submit your Opinion]

"Based on the reviewer's flight log, this rocket should fly nicely on the C5-3." (A.C.D.)

[Enter Rocket Specific Tip]

"" (x.x.)

[Enter Flight Log]
Date Name Motor Ejection/
Wind Notes
03-05-1998 EMRR Apo SU D10-5 at/after 5-10 mph winds - Glued fin. 3 attempts with apogee igniters, last attempt, sputter, sputter, pow! Straight and high. Used large spill hole in chute.
06-06-1998 EMRR Apo SU D10-7 n/a 15-20 mph winds - CATO - motor exploded sending rocket about 100 feet into the air and then nose dive into the ground. Damaged caused by CATO, cracked centering ring, destroyed motor mount.
06-06-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 at apogee 15-20 mph winds - Excellent flight, slow take off
06-07-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 at apogee 10-15 mph winds - After repairing previous damage with new motor mount and centering rings. Excellent flight and great recovery.
06-07-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 just past apogee 10-15 mph winds - Seemed to weathercock a lot, flying parallel to ground during entire delay period. Starting arcing toward ground when ejection occurred. Hit ground hard and chipped/damaged the bottom of body tube.
07-18-1998 EMRR Apo SU D10-3 just before 5-10 mph winds - Excellent, loud launch! Great flight, but carried a long way with chute. Need to reef or use a spill hole for these high of flights.
08-20-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 1-2 secs past apogee 0-5 mph winds - Nice flight in an arch due to angle on launch rod. Was testing a J&P 14 parachute and had good deployment and fairly direct descent rate.
09-07-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-4 2-3 secs past apogee no wind - As above, exactly.
09-07-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-4 2-3 secs past apogee no wind - Nice, straight, stable flight. Knew with motor that I would deploy after apogee. Need B6-2's. Was testing J&P parachute.
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - As above using standard 12 nylon chute for comparison
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - As above
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - As above
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - As above
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - As above
09-11-1998 EMRR Est SU B6-2 1 sec past apogee no wind - Launched at small angel (5 degrees). Nice flight. Testing J&P parachute
11-07-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 at apogee 5-10 mph winds - Straight up launch, a slight weathercock, ejection and good recovery.
11-07-1998 EMRR Est SU C6-3 nope 5-10 mph winds - Launched, weathercocked, went parallel and dove into the ground with no ejection on my C6-3. No damage except scratched nose cone paint.
03-02-1999 EMRR Apo SU D3-7 crash&burn 0-5 mph winds - One large arc while still under thrust into the ground, 7 seconds later ejection blew the body back from the embedded nose cone. Also fin pulled away from BT. Don't think the D3 has the needed thrust, will stick with D10's
03-02-1999 EMRR Est SU C6-3 at apogee 0-5 mph winds - Good flight, slight arc and nice recovery.
03-20-1999 EMRR Est SU C6-3 before apogee light winds - I don't know, guess this one is going to continue to fly nicely.
05-22-1999 EMRR AT SU D21-7 after apogee calm RIP - Popped off the pad. Excellent high flight! Ejection was late. Landed in a tree > greater than 20 feet up. I will wait for the next bit wind and go get it. (damaged from tree retrieval) Status: Tree/Roof
05-12-2001 Kevin Johnson AT SU D21-7 Just Before 0-5 mph winds - Spit the crapperhead on the 1st try. Second igniter lit and the Blobbo screamed off the pad.
05-12-2001 Kevin Johnson Est SU C6-3 Apogee - Perfect 0-5 mph winds - Titled rod with the wind, nice straight flight, but a long walk to recover.
05-12-2001 Kevin Johnson Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 0-5 mph winds - Wind started to pick up, lots of weather-cock.
05-12-2001 Kevin Johnson Est SU C6-5 Apogee - NC Up 0-5 mph winds - 1st flight, straight and true, chut had a little blow by, but was not damaged.
05-25-2002 MikeyR AT RMS D24-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Very nice flight.
05-25-2002 MikeyR Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Not vertical.
06-07-2002 MikeyR AT RMS D13-4 Apogee - Perfect Calm - Beautiful.
08-01-2002 MikeyR AT RMS D13-4 Just Before 0-5 mph winds -
08-01-2002 MikeyR Est SU C6-3 Apogee - NC Down 0-5 mph winds Event: NARAM-44
- Nice first flight at NARAM!
04-19-2003 MikeyR Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Tipped off a bit. Not a bad flight, though.
05-17-2003 MikeyR Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) 5-10 mph winds - Tipped quite a bit. Not a bad flight, though.
05-26-2003 MikeyR Est SU C6-3 Just Past (1-2sec) Calm - Still managed to tip.

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