Rocketeer Cirrus X-3 Rocket Pack Build

QCWolf

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Ever since the summer of 1991, I always wanted a Rocketeer Rocket Pack. It had beautiful lines and sleek styling with a heavy art deco motif. Over the past year I have been cobbling together various bits and pieces in order to create my own prop. I felt like it was beyond my reach until I read the build thread by @Valor and his scratch built pack. His build inspired me to begin construction and when he offered castings of some of his parts, it made things seem less daunting.

I recently got lucky and won an auction for two original Rocketjet buckles from an ejection seat safety harness.

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The buckles were great but without the D-rings to go with them, useless. I found a guy selling his MA-2 Vietnam era torso harness with D-rings still attached. I felt stupid buying a whole harness just for the D-rings, but the cost was the same as if I had purchased the 3D printed rings from Shapeways.

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QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

I know the MIM kit has a fairly accurate build-up of the engine guts but since very little is seen on screen, I figured I'd have a little fun with my engines. One trip to the hardware store plumbing isle combined with some random greeblies from my bench and I'm on my way to having a couple of decent looking engines. However, I'm not entirely pleased with the brass tubing so I think I'll redo that part.

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Valor

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Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

Nicely greeblied rockets! Hit it all with black primer. You'll be surprised how it all blends together.
 
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QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

Nicely greeblied rockets! Hit it all with black primer. You'll be surprised how it all blends together.
Thank you! I plan on doing just that. Paint is gonna happen this weekend I hope.
 

Udermeister

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

This is rad! I've always wanted a Rocketeer setup, jetpack and helmet. Good job so far, mate!
 

QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

I made some progress last night. I got one of those 1/8" brass tube bender things for a couple bucks and made new tubing for both engines. I like how this looks much better than my first attempt.

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I added a few more greeblies also.

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I also started working on the braided cable lines. I'm using 1/4" brake lines here. I got some 5/16" brass compression sleeves and some aluminum spacers for the "cable plugs" along with some pop rivets and CA glue to hold it all together. I used a pop rivet gun to slightly tighten the rivet inside the cable without fulling popping it to squeeze the cable against the ring. This first one is an unpainted test. I plan on doing the blue and purple heat stress paint effect.

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joberg

Master Member
Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

Great build so far; love the way you're tackling those engines:cool Would be nice if someone, someday, would build an exploded view of the pack: showing the engines in all of their glory as well as other "details"(artistic interpretation of course).
 

QCWolf

Sr Member
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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

Great build so far; love the way you're tackling those engines:cool Would be nice if someone, someday, would build an exploded view of the pack: showing the engines in all of their glory as well as other "details"(artistic interpretation of course).
Thanks! I agree, it would be nice to have a "real world" look inside this thing.
 

QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

A small update from last night:
I secured the upper tank using some PVC plumbing parts, CA glue and J.B. Weld. Nice and solid.

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QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

There was also a SNAFU. I won an auction for a pair of reproduction WWI aviation pants. They were supposed to be a size 36. What arrived was a little too big. Needless to say, I'm sending them back.

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QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

I made some progress this past weekend. I sprayed the engines flat black and started scuffing them up with some steel wool.

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Then I began weathering them with some watered down acrylic burnt umber. I spritzed them first with some alcohol then dabbed on the paint and wiped it off. I like the way they turned out. I still need to add some dry brushing here and there but overall, I'm pleased.

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QCWolf

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Re: Let's Get Cirrus: X-3 Rocket Pack Build

Question: What's a good way to weather the plastic tubes? Or make them look like fuel has passed through?
 

QCWolf

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I made a little progress this weekend. I wanted to make the vinyl tubes look like some kind of fuel-type fluid had passed through them. I read a bunch of stuff on-line about how to dye this kind of tubing. I read everything from boiling them in salty water with RIT dye to using yellow food coloring. I actually tried the food coloring idea and it didn't work. I ended up dunking the tubes in some wood stain and them running a pipe cleaner through to wipe out the excess. I like the way they turned out.

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QCWolf

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As I did research for this project, I found many other builds that have painted the braided fuel lines with the heat stress discoloration palette. I attempted to do the same using "hot metal blue" and "hot metal violet". I failed miserably. I couldn't get the paint to stick to the metal and it just seeped straight through the braids. I tried hitting it with primer first but that made the colors look weird. Finally, I stripped off everything and went with what I know by just making them look very used. I dipped the brass and aluminum tips in some Aluminum Black to age them and sprayed a light misting of flat black around the ends. I am disappointed that I couldn't get the heat stressed look, but I'm actually pretty happy with this result. Since I took these pics, I've hit the brass with a little sand paper so the tips are not as dark. I like the way the brass looks so I might revisit the brass tubing on the sides of the engine with the same treatment.

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QCWolf

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I finished the engines today. I think. Every time I look at them I think they need something else. I'll work on a different part of the pack for awhile and come back to them later.

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joberg

Master Member
Looks very good from where I'm standing:cool Sometimes I experiment with markers and, depending on the material you want to transform/abuse, some of the ink have a bluish tint to it (like it was heated by the high-heat flame)...you should look into it;)
 
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