Sparkle Motion was assembled and technically ready for paint but I was feeling a bit uneasy. Had lunch with G (my rocket therapist) to have him look it over. This was the my first rocket with four fins. I fould that to be tough. The first pair were perfectly straight, the instructions advise the builder to install the fins in pairs so check the 180 degree angle. Tape, tape and more tape helped me get the first pair just right. I let that set overnight, and started the second pair the next morning. Something must have gone wonky with my taping because the second pair of fins were *not* straight. I was worried that it would adversely affect the flight with unintended spin. Of course I did such a stellar job with the epoxy that I could not remove them. LOL! Apparently a bit of curve is okay, however he thought that in the future I should attach one fin at a time. Duly noted.
The Nike Smoke design also merges the nose cone and payload section into one piece. This was new to me, so installing the bulk head ring felt off. G suggested I use some fiberglass cloth to reinforce around the ring and up the inside of cone. The comical thing about trying to mount the bulk head ring and later the cloth is that it is a long part and my arms are not. I was up to my shoulder in rocket part and ended up with epoxy all over my arm. We later laughed that the rocket kit should come with those shoulder length latex gloves used on a cow dairy.
Okay so back to the finishing techniques. The rocket has a cloth wrap over the cardboard body tube for reinforcement. I did not like the texture of the cloth. I have found that every imperfection on the rocket surface looks worse with paint. G skooled me about using a SuperFil to even out the lumps and bumps, and then a UV Smooth Prime for finish. Of course this stuff is not sold in regular stores, and needs to be ordered from some aircraft place Aircraft Spruce in Corona CA. Keep in mind that this launch is taking place on a Thursday, and I am targeting to fly that Saturday.
This obviously would not come together in time to have a pretty rocket to fly. It would have to fly naked, and get dressed up later.