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Lil' Green Man rocket kit by Oddl Rockets
#1
Well, I bought myself this kit as a late birthday present, but sat on it for two months for various reasons.  I broke out the kit and started t his week, in anticipation of this Saturday's club launch.

All parts are present and the instructions are very clear.

Huh I do have two questions though:  First, why is this kit described as Skill Level Three?  It doesn't seem all that challenging to me. Yes, I know it's a humorous rocket, designed more for setting on the mantlepiece than for aerodynamic flight, but still I wonder.

Second, the fins and additional balsa wood trim is very thin. Sad  The laser cut pieces virtually fall out of their shell, but they tend to splinter easily. I have already snapped TWO of the balsa pieces, and the bird hasn't even flown yet.  I would strongly recommend strengthening the fins with glue, CA or maybe even papering... just to toughen them up!

Confused A word to the wise.  

PS: I bought this from Jon Rockets and was very satisfied with their shipping, service and operation. It's the third item I've ordered from them. Always pleased. Heart
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#2
I just answered an email and questions from Kirk G.
Here's what I sent:

Hi Kirk,

Thanks for picking up the Little Green Man kit.
I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Regarding Skill Level 3 -
I'm a little old school regarding skill levels. I compare the kits to what the skill levels used to be.
Because of the cardstock details and water slide decals I went with the higher level. Maybe it should be 2 1/2?
Probably not, that would just confuse some people.

The balsa isn't thin, 3/32" thick is pretty much standard now for most sport models.
You may have gotten a bad piece of balsa. There's really no way to know unless you cut into it.
I've gotten balsa I didn't use in a few kits over the years.
I can send you another sheet if you'd like. Let me know.
One thing to remember, some of the Estes balsa is probably Chinese Tung wood.
It's very hard and stiff. My kits are old school and contain balsa.

The fin legs will be stronger when the foot is glued on. The arms won't contact or bump into anything once they are glued on.
You could CA the fins, but do it after filling the grain. CWF won't stick if the fins are sealed with CA.
Papering would be very tough to do and might add too much weight to the back end.

Let me know if you'd like another balsa sheet. I can send it right out.

Thanks again for writing, let me know if I can be of help.
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
Old/New NAR # 19086 SR
www.modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com

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#3
Thanks for all your help and support, Chris. (I hadn't realized that I've been chatting with him on and off for the last couple of years on another forum!) He was very helpful and answered my questions. I look forward to completing the kit in time to fly this weekend.

Maybe I can post a few photos or a post-flight summary for you all!
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#4
(06-12-2015, 11:31 PM)Kirk G Wrote: Thanks for all your help and support, Chris. (I hadn't realized that I've been chatting with him on and off for the last couple of years on another forum!)   He was very helpful and answered my questions.   I look forward to completing the kit in time to fly this weekend.

Maybe I can post a few photos or a post-flight summary for you all!

Two massive thunderstorms swept the launch site minutes before I arrived.
While everyone scrambled for cover, they got the launch gear in and the vendor broke down his stuff. 
Everyone got soaked, but the gear and supplies remain dry.
I helped them breakdown their tent between the two supercells during the five minute break, and then we adjourned to Bob Evans to eat and dry off.
It was pretty much decided that the field was soaked and to call it a day, so I did not get to launch ANYTHING.  An hour drive there, and hour drive back.

It may have been to my benefit not to have attempted to launch.  I never got the decals out nor applied...and discovered I had attached the wrong size parachute.
I missed the line in the instructions talking about making a 12 inch chute (and so cut it extra large), but attached an 18 incher, thinking that was a lot of chute for such a small rocket.
I decided to save the 18" and start over with a spare chute from Jon Rockets after I got home.  After about 15 minutes worth of work while watching SNL, I had my 12 inch attached and ready... only 12  hours too late! LOL

But I'll be ready for next month.  Decals go on tonight!
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#5
Hi Kirk,
I just launched my Little Green Man yesterday with a B6-4. Great flight and no repairs.
Well, it did land in the only water on the field. I had to pour the water out of the tube!
It's drying now, no signs of swelling or delamination.

The LGM is definitely a 12" parachute model. I don't know how your got the 18" size in there!

Practice the decal transfers with some of the smaller extras in the kit.
Then move up to the large mouth decal.

Hope your next launch day is drier. Let me know how it turns out.
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
Old/New NAR # 19086 SR
www.modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com

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#6
There was a Little Green Man on display at NYPower last month. If it flew I missed it. Fun looking thing!
Rich Holmes
Camillus, NY
Secretary / newsletter editor
Syracuse Rocket Club

http://richsrockets.wordpress.com
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#7
(06-14-2015, 06:39 PM)hcmbanjo Wrote: Hi Kirk,
I just launched my Little Green Man yesterday with a B6-4. Great flight and no repairs.
Well, it did land in the only water on the field. I had to pour the water out of the tube!
It's drying now, no signs of swelling or delamination.

The LGM is definitely a 12" parachute model. I don't know how your got the 18" size in there!

Practice the decal transfers with some of the smaller extras in the kit.
Then move up to the large mouth decal.

Hope your next launch day is drier. Let me know how it turns out.

Thanks, Chris.  I was going to start with the toe nails or fingernails and work up to the mouth.

When I mistakenly cut the 18" chute, I rolled it up loosely, and realized it was too much for the tube. I never gave it the final pack for flight, but caught my mistake cause it didn't seem right. My bad!  the 12 is now installed, rolled, powdered and packed. Still need recovery wadding to be packed or installed before the first flight.
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#8
Hey Chris,

After a two month delay, I did finally finish the Lil Green Man, and showed it around July 18th before launching it on a B6-4. It went up and deploy the chute nicely. Touchtown and recovery was just fine!

So I have retired him to my trophy shelf....a successful experience all around!

Thanks for such a cute kit! I enjoyed it!
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#9
(07-26-2015, 11:31 PM)Kirk G Wrote: Hey Chris,

After a two month delay, I did finally finish the Lil Green Man, and showed it around July 18th before launching it on a B6-4.   It went up and deploy the chute nicely.  Touchtown and recovery was just fine!

So I have retired him to my trophy shelf....a successful experience all around!

Thanks for such a cute kit!   I enjoyed it!

Hi Kirk,
Glad you liked the Little Green Man!
Only one flight and then retired? I've done that with a few.
My little Green Man prototype is retired but the third one is still flying.
Hans "Chris" Michielssen
Old/New NAR # 19086 SR
www.modelrocketbuilding.blogspot.com

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#10
Should I ask what happened to the "second one"? <Gulp?!>
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