(by Nick Hills)
This is a single stage, Out-of-Production (OOP) mid and high power kit. This
rocket is great for E-H motors.
There are two (2) nicely finished 2.25" body tubes, same thickness as
LOC's, a nicely turned solid balsa nose cone, four (4) 1/8" plywood fins,
elastic for the shock cord (12 feet), a coupler, bulkhead, motor tube and two
(2) centering rings along with a 1/4" launch lug.
In my kit I got, there were no instructions, other then a header card, this
kit is OOP, so I figured that it must have gotten lost or something along the
way. But the kit is simple enough for anyone to figure out. All parts fit well,
I had to make my own slots in the body tube for the fins, which is not hard.
All the centering rings, bulkheads, coupler, and fins fit well and went
together well. I had to put some filler in a few minor dents in the nose cone
from handling over the years. I then put four coats of sanding sealer on it and
primed it. The kit comes with nose weight and have a pre-drilled hole in the
cone for the weight, which is much easier then making your own hole in it. The
shock cord attaches to the top centering ring with a steel cable and then
attaches to the bulkhead screw-eye. The over all finished kit seems pretty
Finishing was easy, I filled the seams with Elmers Fill'n Finish, then sanded
down and primed. I then used Testors Gloss Cherry Red and Testors Gloss Black
to finish it off. It looks great. The kit came with no decals, and looks just
fine without them.
out of 5
There is a whole list of recommended Kosdon and Aerotech motors. For the first
flight I choose a Aerotech E23-5 Blue Thunder motor. A great, straight boost to
about 600 feet with a very nice parachute recovery.
I have flown this rocket 8 times, with Aerotech F40-7's, an Aerotech G104-M,
a Kosdon G40-10, an Aerotech G64-7, a Vulcan G200-10 (my favorite flight so far
on this rocket) and an Aerotech F101-10. All flights have went well other than
the shock cord breaking on one, but all was recovered with only a broken fin.
The model does require wadding, it was easy to prep. For motor retention I
used tee-nuts with washers to keep the motor in place. Has not failed.
For recovery, you can either use a 18" or 24" chute, if you are not
going to put it all that high, use the 24" chute, or if your flying area
has a hard landing surface, use the 24" chute, but if you want to minimize
the walk to get it, go for the 18".
out of 5
This rocket is great. The kit is high quality and easy to put together. Only
bad side I saw to the kit is it came with no instructions. There are no other
cons to this kit at all. If you ever can find one of these, make sure to pick
it up. Great kit!
out of 5
(Contributed - by John Lee - 06/14/09)
Not too long ago, I won several kits from West Coast Rocketry on eBay. Not long after, I built my II,
affectionately known as John Deer. Since my John Deere yellow and green paint cans have about one rocket left in them
and I need the shelf space, I decided to build the Screamer which will be called the Jane Doe and painted with the
contrasting paint scheme of the other one.
The Screamer is a basic with a 29mm motor mount and a payload bay. The instructions are even more minimalist
than those for the Screamer II and are printed in such fine print that reading them does not seem to be worth the
Construction began by marking the motor tube at 1/8" from one end and 3/4" from the other. The two
centering rings were then epoxied in place. Both needed quite a bit of sanding to fit around the tube.
As I waited for the epoxy on the motor mount to set up, I turned my attention to the nosecone. It had a 3/4"
diameter hole drilled to a depth of about 2". Into that hole, I was instructed to mount a lead fishing weight that
came with the kit. I mixed some more epoxy, poured some in the hole, set the weight and then poured the remainder over
The fin lines were marked on the BT with a butt template. They were then extended with an angle and 5" slots
were cut out with a X-Acto knife.
With the fin slots cut, I test fitted the motor mount to find that it was going to need substantial sanding to
fit either ring into the BT. The sanding was done and the mount was epoxied into place with the motor tube being flush
with the aft end of the rocket. Epoxy was then used to fill space between the centering ring and the end of the BT.
After a long hiatus, I managed to put a little more work in on the Screamer. Using 5 minute epoxy, I glued one
pair of fins in place. I filleted them with more epoxy using a gloved finger dipped into alcohol to smooth the fillets.
These were allowed to set up overnight.
The payload bay is joined to the lower part of the rocket with a tube coupler. The kit comes with a plywood
bulkhead to go on one end of the coupler and that is probably my biggest gripe about the kit. The bulkhead is a surface
mount. I would much rather have had one that fits in the coupler. Be that as it may, I epoxied the bulkhead in place
and tried to ensure that it was even with the edges.
With the epoxy on the bulkhead coupler dry, I used some sandpaper to trim down
the edges where they protruded past the coupler. When it fit easily into the body tube, I called it finished. I then
took the screw eye and screwed it into the pre-drilled hole in the coupler. It seemed like a strong connection but I
doused the pointed end with some glue to make sure.
The coupler tube was marked at its halfway point and then a ring of glue was slathered into the base of the
payload section. The coupler was then inserted to the mark and set aside to dry.
The balsa NC and plywood fins were sealed with Elmer's Wood Filler. It was sanded down smooth, dusted off, and the
Screamer was put in the spray booth. There it was primed with Kilz.
After the priming, the rocket sat for a couple of months before I could give it any more attention. I then sanded
down the primer and began painting with John Deere Yellow. My target was the BT. The fins and NC would be covered up
For the John Deere green, I decided to do the nose cone, a ring just below the
nose cone, the fins and a narrow strip around the fins. The rocket was masked accordingly and sprayed. When the masking
came off, I decided that I rather liked the result.
While assembling the rocket after painting, I realized that I had overlooked the recovery system. I would have
like to have attached directly to the motor mount but that was a moot point now. I fashioned a LOC style mount with a
loop of heavy nylon cord and some masking tape. It was taped down below the level of the NC shoulder and epoxy was
slathered on to keep it in place. I then tied some heavy Kevlar
to the loop and attached a length of 3/8" sewing elastic.
One thing I did save intentionally for after painting was the installation of a linear rail lug. I put it is
place and started the hole for the upper screw only to realize that I had placed it too high. It interfered with the
payload bay coupler. I moved it down about an inch and found the same problem! I finally got it placed right and tapped
the holes. The lug was then epoxied on and the screws inserted. The backs of the screws took up the remaining epoxy and
the Jane Doe was ready to go.
Construction Rating: 3 ½ out of 5
Flight and Recovery:
The first flight of this rocket took place long after construction had been completed. It was set up with an F25-4
and the Copperhead igniter that came with it. The Copperhead failed to ignite the motor and was replaced with a First
Fire. That did the trick and the rocket took off with as nice a flight profile as I have ever seen.
A video of the flight can be seen here.
Ejection and deployment were all textbook. I expected to fly the rocket again
but was mystified to see that it had suffered some buckling in the airframe. I can fix it but wonder what caused it
since the thrust was not all that heavy.
Flight Rating: 4 out of 5
This was a very basic kit with a minimal approach to instructions, small print and illustrations that added little.
That said, it went together fine and flew very well.
Overall Rating: 3 ½ out of 5