Got a little more done tonight. Attached Kevlar to the engine mount with CA, per my usual procedure. I know replaceable Kevlar is the "in" thing now, but I couldn't work out a good way to do it with this rocket, and as it's going to be an infrequent flier I decided to stick to the tried-and-true method.
When the CA was dry I mixed up some epoxy and installed the engine mount; half an hour later, I marked the tube and drew the lines. The wrap printed a hair small, so I marked the tube both ways to get an even distribution. Radial symmetry is not critical with this rocket, i.e. it will never show.
Switched to yellow glue to attach the lower fin and pylons, using the usual double glue method. I worked on a couple of other rockets tonight, and had trouble getting a good grab on all of them, but persistence won out. The Atlantis airframe is now busily drying in the other room as I type this.
If there's one thing I stink at in the rocket-building arena, it's balsa butt joints. So last night I set out to put the decorative pieces of balsa together... five pieces of balsa connected by butt joints. I quickly determined I was not going to be able to get them together without significant loss of sanity by following the directions.
So I papered them. I glued each piece down to a sheet of paper, diagonally, cut around it, then turned it over and glued it to another sheet of paper and trimmed that as well. To avoid warping, I placed the assembled deck piece in a folded sheet of waxed paper and pressed it under a copy of the Handbook of Model Rocketry and a pile of cast iron cookware belonging to my wife.
While I was at it, I also papered the fins (the single swept fin and the two pylons). I didn't paper the other partial circle deck pieces, as I'll have to do a bunch of filling on them anyway to match them to the dowels they get glued to.
The deck assembly didn't fit the paper perfectly; a little bit of the narrow end stuck out, necessitating a patch at the end. I only patched the upper side, since the lower side won't show, though I may yet change my mind and patch it as well.
Unfortunately, after I removed the dry pieces from the waxed paper, they dried a bit more, giving the long deck piece a longitudinal twist. It's not really visible in the picture, but it's definitely visible in person. A few years ago when I built my Ultimatum, I had warping problems with its fins, which I had papered for strength. I thought I'd have to make a whole new set, but before I went to that extreme I put the fins under a stack of books for a few weeks, and they came out fine. So that's what I did with the Atlantis deck piece... it's under a pile of books right now. I'll have to check it every so often to see if the warp has come out of it, of course, but I have every confidence it will work out.
Back in December 2012 I posted the following on YORF:
Semroc came through for me, as always. Carl McLawhorn (may he rest in peace) even threw in the special Atlantis rings and details, laser-cut from fibreboard. I got the necessary decals from Sandman at Excelsior Rocketry.
Real life then intervened. By the time I was free to work on the rocket, I had honestly forgotten it. But last month was the anniversary of my friend's passing, and that was all the reminder I needed.
So I've started working on it. Here's a photo of (most of) the parts. The parachute and shock cord aren't in the pile; I'm awaiting a shipment of Kevlar which is delaying me slightly. No, I'm not building the rocket entirely original... why use a folded-paper shock cord mount when you know better? As far as the parachute goes, I'll just use a standard Estes unit with a snap swivel on it from my range box, so there's no point including one here.
I'm thinking strongly that I will review this rocket build for rocketreviews.com.