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Confessions of a Born Again Rocketeer


Vintage Model Rockets | Clones | GOONYBIRDS | Alphas | Scale Model Rockets | Kid's Rockets | The Graveyard | Mini T-birds | On the workbench | The Basement Lab | Launch Reports | Upscales | Links | Tips | Hobby Shops | Where to buy Model Rockets | TRADE/WANTED

Wouldn't it be neat to have a larger version of your favorite rocket? An upscale is the answer. This is not my idea, or even a new one. But it sure is fun!! Even if you cannot find a larger version of your favorite nosecone, Balsa Machine Services (see the links page, or the link below) will make one to your specs. I suggest downloading and printing a copy of the ESTES 1974 Custom Parts Catalog using the below link to Sven Knudson's website. (While you are there, stroll around and gaze in wonder at the old catalogs and data sheets!!) This will help you decide what size you want your upscale model to be, and will also provide the exact measurements needed for you to upscale the parts, and order a nose cone and centering rings from BMS. Then, download the plans from Jim Z's site (see the links page, or the link below), and enlarge the fin patterns using a photocopier and the below chart. NOTE: you may need to make some design changes to your upscale to ensure stability, structural concerns, or operational issues, (Such as a stuffer tube in a larger model in order to get the ejection charge to properly eject the recovery system, or the addition of a full recovery system to an upscale of a tumble or streamer recovered model.)

Upscale Conversions

BT-5 to BT-60: 303%

BT-5 to BT-80: 480%

BT-20 to BT-60: 222%

BT-20 to BT-80: 353%

BT-50 to BT-80: 266%

BT-55 to BT-80: 196%

BT-60 to BT-80: 158%

BT-70 to BT101 (4") 180%

04/15/03: 125% Blue Bird Zero decaled and painted. Will install recovery system and launch in a few weeks.
01/01/03: I have just picked up a couple of Estes FATBOY kits in order to upscale my GOONYBIRDS. These are BT60 to BT80 conversions so they will be 158% (160%) upscales. I will post pics as the building progresses.
01/17/03: The first of these upscaled GOONYs is the Star Snoop. The basic rocket is now finished, and you can click below for some pictures.
01/27/03: My first scratch upscale is the Super Ranger, a 160% BT-80 version of the Astron Ranger. You have to love 3 clustered D motors!!

Super Ranger


Spev 1f

125% upscale Blue Bird Zero

Balsa Machine Services

ESTES 1974 Custom Parts Catalog: Thanks Sven!!

Jim Z's rocket plans website