I got a new toy in the mail today. Hobbylinc.com had the Patriot missile low power kit on sale this week for a bit over $10, which is as good as I’ve seen any kit recently (except the ones you buy in bulk packs for $125+, which don’t really count). Since I already own a mostly-to-scale (I had to be a bit flexible with the nose cone, and the paint job is quite custom), this will have to take the designation Patriot II, or Baby Patriot, in my fleet.
The kit itself is pretty nice, and will be a good platform on which to learn and practice rocketry techniques like foiling the fins (as in making an airfoil shape) and applying nice finishing paint jobs. (The decals only cover the stripes and branding.) The main air frame came in three separate pieces with two couplers. I’m not really sure why the air frame came split like that–it seems at the very least, the white tubes could come pre-joined. The yellow tube (it, too, will get a paint job, as it is not the right shade of yellow for the model…) I can see being converted into a payload bay (and I seriously thought about doing that before deciding not to do so for my own sanity) and also being a good delimiting point for applying paint and decals.
Upon breaking out the fins from their stencil, I found that one of the fins was about 1/16″-1/8″ shorter than the other three–slightly disappointing, but nothing that won’t be fixed by a bit of sanding. The centering rings are made of punched cardboard, which wouldn’t be my first choice of material, but should serve their purpose just fine.
The motor mount is a classic 18mm mount, which means a great multitude of B and C motors will power this rocket. Nevertheless, I now have a reason to buy a pack of AeroTech D21 or D24 motors (one for the Patriot II, one for the Falcon 9, and the last to finally lose the scrappy Accelerator). I’m really looking forward to this modeling turning out not only to be a piece of art, but also one of fine engineering.