High Power Saturn V


Finishing touches:

1. Cut 2 strips of balsa, 1" long x 1/4" wide x 1/8" thick.

2. Glue strips and launch lugs to 1st and 2nd stages. With all sections assembled, place rocket on side and glue one strip and 1 lug, half way between the wraps of 1st stage approximately 6" from bottom. Align 2nd stage lug with 1st stage lug and glue the other balsa strip and lug to the bt, just above the leading edge of inter stage wrap. I inserted a 3/16ths rod through both lugs while they dried, to make sure they were perfectly aligned.

3. Paint as desired and add decals.

Paint & Decals:

Part of building any great Saturn V is the paint job, roll pattern and decals, but since "BAD GIRL" is our proto-type 3 stage and we weren't sure how it would perform, we decided to skip all the tedious masking and keep the paint job simple, using 2 light coats of gloss white.

I have always admired the art work of the U.S. W.W. II aircraft, most of which had nose art that had some meaning to the crew. Some pilots had drawings of their girlfriends or wives painted on the nose of their planes or a drawing of a favorite pin up girl. Of course, doing this would mean having custom decals made and choosing a model or photo.

For the best decals or supplies anywhere you have to go to Tango Papa. After contacting Tom Baker at Tango Papa Decals for some great custom decal work, I chose to use Verna, as the roll pattern and for what I think is some great nose art. Tom's decals leave no visible leading edge, making the photo or art work look as though it were actually painted on. The best testimonial I ever heard was after the rocket was completed and the nose art decals were applied, my 24 year old son wanted to know how we had painted the picture on the rocket.

Building and flying this particular rocket has been a long time ambition of mine and neither Saturn V would have happened without Verna's help. Unlike some wives, instead of complaining about my spending countless hours working on rockets, reading rocket websites and scanning RMR endlessly, she has participated, supported it all, and in every way, including posing for the nose art, even though she is actually very shy. Not too many wives would have indulged their husbands to this degree, especially for a hobby rocket. What better way to show my appreciation for my "Rocket Babe" than to have her be the model for the nose art of both rockets.