Bravo Estes

Greg Heilers wrote:


The market for scale models of this stuff is very small, and seems to be getting smaller all the time. For example, one of the ABSOLUTE BEST sources of (non-flying) scale models like this is at:
http://www.realspacemodels.com
But, there is such a limited market that this is a small, side-business for the owner.
There are occasionally new things that come out, or new companies that come on the market, but again, it's usually because of a love of the hobby more than the ability to actually make any money. Again, in the scale model market (non-flying), a new one is at:
http://www.customreplicas.com/index.htm
(with an upcoming lunar module at:) http://www.customreplicas.com/LM.htm
I do my best to get kids in our Civil Air Patrol squadron interested in this, but frankly, I doubt if any of them (out of the many dozens I've been involved with) have actually ever gotten involved in building one. There's far too many attention grabbers available these days.
I remember as a (small) kid complaining to my mom that there was 'nothing to do' on some rainy days. In those days, while there were certainly things 'to do', it wasn't far off the mark on a really rainy day with no friends available -- so if I had a model or something, that was a big deal. We didn't have such a thing as video games, we only got a couple of channels on our small black and white TV, and I wasn't allowed to touch my dad's stereo system or LPs. These days, every kid has a CD player or MP3 player, a wealth of video games, and 247 channels of TV -- not to mention all of the 'scheduled activities' that they're thrown into.
BTW, I'm not associated with either of the above two companies other than as a VERY satisfied customer, and hopefully those who are into flying scale rockets might be interested in some of these non-flying ones.
David Erbas-White
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Greg Heilers wrote:

While RTF and E2X cater to the "must have it NOW" crowd, we can't blame the manufacturers. They are responding to demand, not dictating it. The blame rests with the parents who don't have or won't take the time to sit down and build a kit with their kid(s). That's how kids learn, that's how I learned.
But keep in mind, when I was a kid (and dinosaurs roamed the earth) there were parents who didn't have or wouldn't take the time to do it then either. And there were parents back then who didn't know an exacto knife from a straight razor just like today.
As for being driven by "K-Mart/Target/Walmart", in business, it's grow or die. And those retailers are key to growth. Consider this perspective: If Estes and Quest aren't selling thru these big retailers, then they aren't selling anywhere else, and you not only can't get crappy RTF stuff, you can't get their good stuff either.
For a historical perspective, the E2X and/or RTF stuff has been there since the beginning. Go look in the early Estes catalogs on ninfinger.org and you'll see they had plastic fin cans and plastic nosecones from day 1, and E2X kits and E2X starter kits very early on. What varies is the mix of Skill Level kits/starter set versus E2X/RTF kits/starter sets. Lately, it looks to me like Estes has backed off the E2X/RTF stuff a bit. But the key point is that there has always been a mix of challenging and not-so-challenging rockets.
Frankly, the universal trend is toward larger systems and away from individual elements. For example, hot rodders used to build engines, now they buy them but build the car. Electronics hobbyists used to build circuits, now they integrate boards and boxes to build systems. Things are done on a different scale. I can't begrudge folks a little RTF, not in that light. In fact, what's kind of surprising is that there's no E2X/RTF HPR (until you realize the HPR rules pretty much prevent it).
I'm just grateful for all the great rocketry stuff I can buy.
Doug
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Doug Sams wrote:

Yo! Adjust your word wrap...lol.
I was not "slamming" Estes; but just pointing out what you just stated. They are a big company (as far a our hobby is concerned) and have to cater to the clientele of the "big box retailers" in order to survive. It is similar to the big scale modeling companies. Hasegawa and Tamiya may *wish* they could spend all their capital catering to the wants of serious, adult scale modelers...but they really have to meet the wishes of a gazillion kids in Japan!
:o)
And I don't think Estes really had RTF amd E2X kits (in their present incarnation) "from day 1". I remember when the plastic-finned Alpha III was first released. And I still have an Alpha with a balsa nose cone. Even in the mid-to-late 1980's..."traditional" kits were the norm; and "quick-build", or the even rarer RTF were the small minority. Now, it is the opposite.
--

Greg Heilers
Registered Linux user #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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Shred:
I've seen so many positive posts from you regarding Estes that I'm led to believe you either sell Estes or work for them. What is it or rather what is your connection?...there is one definitely.
thank you,
Kevin K.
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snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com wrote:

With all due respect.
Estes is simply a good company with good customer service (above the call of duty) and good industry support behind the scenes (generally).
Exceptions exist. I have enlightened them.
Estes as a rule simply rocks.
Jerry

You're welcome.
"The vision of Vern Estes was to DIFFERENTIATE rocketry from firearms and fireworks. Until the most recent spate of TRA/NAR/Quest/Estes/AT leaders, it was working too. Most states had "aeromodel" exemptions. ATF had a wide exemption. Federal Firearms regs allowed recreational use of BP. CPSC only wanted to protect children. FAA increased their exempt limits "the exact amount asked". ALL new restrictions have been added by NAR/TRA/Quest/Estes/AT." - Jerry Irvine
"The Estes website is a hideous, terrible, crappy place to go." - J.A. Michel
"For your information, an article in a 1982 issue of space modeler featuring yourself with a rocket I believe was called the (mini) Mongrel got me started on high power rocketry. I was bored with estes, even after clustering 6 d's and I had given up on the hobby. Your interesting clustered rocket got me interested again. I took a few years off in the 90's but I am back." - Rod Reimer
--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA
Opinion, the whole thing. <mail to: snipped-for-privacy@gte.net>
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I should have done a quick search on Fred before I posted.
http://www.geocities.com/fredeshecter/index.html
Go for it!
KK
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Jerry Irvine wrote:

Yep, ask Bob Kaplow about the superior customer service he was provided.. :-(
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snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com wrote:

I'm not Shread, but I think I've known him long enough to comment:
They've simply been an all-around good company in support of rocketry. Whenever there have been problems, such as CATO'ing engines or kits with problems (such as the SS1 stability), he's been able to simply call them up, discuss the problem with them, and they've been responsive (what a concept!).
And to the best of my knowledge, he has no 'in' with them, he's simply worked around rocketry (with both kids and adults) for so many years that he has the voice of experience to speak about it.
David Erbas-White
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DEW wrote:

That would be worthy...however, see my previous post. Always follow the money...even if its 10 cents.
KK
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What exactly are you saying. Please be specific.
I see nothing on my website that indicates that I have a financial relationship with Estes. I have a list of my own products that I make (which would "compete" against Estes) as well as a list of motors from Quest and Estes that I have for local club members only (notice how it says they cannot be shipped?).
I have no connection to Estes beyond my work with a local NAR Section. We use their products, but we use WAY more Quest products in our classes. We also use a lot of my own kits that I make. We also work hobby shows, and some shows are sponsored by Estes and some by Quest.
Have you done a websearch for the postings about all the rpoblems with Estes kits and motors over the years that I have reported or warned about?
You will also see positive posts when they actually respond to the problems and fix them. The warnings about the problem products will remain. Did you read our club Safety Advisory? How positive did that read to you?
-Fred "signs my real name" Shecter NAR 20117
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Not a peep for a response.
About what I expected.
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