Nike Hercules Rocket Builders Kit 1/14th Scale
- The Boyce Aerospace Hobbies Nike Hercules "Builders Kit" is every bit as impressive as the original
- Modeled in a 1/14th scale; this replica is BIG
- Available as a single stage (no electronics needed) 4 engine 24mm cluster or a standard two stage model (staging electronics required) with a four-engine 24mm cluster in the booster and a single 24 mm upper stage
- Revised design features staging electronics in the top of the booster
- Uses PerfectFlight microTimer2 or miniTimer4 (not included)
- Upper stage can now be flown separately with included sustainer rail guides or launch lugs
- Upper stage includes screw-on motor retainer
- Larger parachute compartment in the upper stage (parachutes not included)
- Guaranteed better fit of the sustainer fins slots and root edge
- More room within nose cone for adding ballast
- All parts printed individually for maximum accuracy and quality
- Decals included
- Includes step-by-step instructions
- The booster is sized around four 29mm tubes (not included) and the upper stage main body is a BT-70 (not included)
- Total Length 32.75" - with the booster measuring 11.89" and the sustainer measuring 22.18"
- Fin Span for Booster is 9.66"
- Fin Span for the Upper Stage is 5.95"
- Weighs approximately 16oz before motors
The Boyce Aerospace Hobbies Nike Hercules "Builders Kit" is the perfect addition to your model rockets. This model is a 1/14th replica and boasts several enhancements to our initial Nike Hercules release in 2018. The revised design is sold as a single or two stage kit. The upper stage can now be flown separately with included sustainer rail guides or launch lugs. The kit stands 32.75" tall and weighs 16oz (before motors). This kit is 3D printed in bright white ABS plastic and all parts are printed individually to ensure the highest quality parts; tubes are not included. Boyce Aerospace Hobbies Nike Hercules “Builders Kit” includes decals and assembly instructions.
Boyce Aerospace Hobbies recommends hobbyists under the age of 13 be supervised by an adult at all times.
PART TWO: Flying it!
I posted my build review earlier and was finally able to fly my Nike Hercules after a few months delay so here is my add-on flight report. During those intervening months I made a couple more modifications to my first flight configuration. Mainly I was still not happy with my battery choice (due to the tight fit). I changed over to the small Sparkfun 110 mAh 1S 3.7V battery. Note that the Altus Metrum guys do not recommend using this battery without first removing the built-in current limiting chip; but I have had no problems firing single low current e-matches with these stock batteries. But, as always, ground test with your setup first! I used two of these batteries connected in series to give a hacked 2S 7.4 V equivalent. This battery pair fits easily in the provided bay. Clipping off the JST-PH plug from the batteries and rewiring the leads with a few DuPont pin / plug connectors and shrink tube it is now possible to disconnect the pair and charge each battery individually with the standard Sparkfun Lipo charger then reconnect the pair for flight. I also changed the timer and ended up flying with the Perfectflite Minitimer 4 with which I had more experience and full trust in its reliability. For the maiden flight first stage I chose the recommended four Estes D12-3 motors which have proven very reliable for me over the years. I cannot say the same about the Estes E12 motors for the second stage so I opted to substitute my CTI 24mm single grain case along with an E22 Smoky Sam reload adjusted for a 6 second delay. For booster ignition I used four MJG Technologies Firewire e-matches designed specifically for black powder motors wired in parallel. For the sustainer I used the CTI e-match igniter provided with the load. This e-match based ignition feature of Cesaroni motors makes them especially attractive for flights requiring air starts. This first flight was beautiful with all four booster motors hitting at once providing an impressive liftoff with lots of white smoke. I had the timer set for launch detect plus 1.5 seconds to start the CTI which appeared to fire right at separation so all that worked well. The Cesaroni came to life with contrasting thick black smoke characteristic of the Smoky Sam propellant lifting the second stage to just a bit under 1,000 feet. Deployment functioned adequately to bring everything back safely and intact however one of the two booster chutes hung up in the tube and did not deploy. Also the 30” sustainer chute I used brought the upper stage down slowly. Since the fields I now fly from are soft farm soils (and not the hard dry lake beds I had been used to for decades) I plan to drop the chute sizes to 18” for the two booster chutes and maybe go as small as a 24” for the sustainer chute. This should ease some of the tight packing needed for flight assembly of this model. Bottom line, I love this rocket!! Great 3D parts craftsmanship from Boyce Aerospace, a fun build, an interesting project to configure the staging and deployment electronics and a very impressive flier!!!
I've got all the body tubes rounded up and ready to go now. I'm really impressed with the quality of the 3D printing! It's about as close to a molding as you could get. Perfect texture for finishing though! I look forward to getting another model
Just finished it and it turned out great. Had the good fortune to see a real Nike Hercules in Huntsville Space Center a few weeks ago. The detail on the model is very good. All that is realy missing are the bolts bolting the fin halfs together. Wonderful model.
Two Stage 1/14th Nike Hercules Builders Kit
I like all facets of model through high power rocketry, but I especially like multi-stage rockets and also scale models especially of early U.S. rockets. Therefore it was a no-brainer when I saw the Boyce Aerospace offering of their 1/14th scale Nike Hercules two stage version...I had to have it!!! As others have mentioned the parts are superbly 3D printed in ABS and match the quality of their other kits of which I own a V2 and a Nike Ajax. I received the kit in late May and have spent the last month building it devoting one or two hours a day to the project. The instructions are very clear and well done for the most part but could use some improvement in the implementation of the staging electronics. My first problem came when I attempted to source the lipo battery. I owned a couple that I thought would fit but they were either just 1S or were tightly fitting 2S so I noticed the instructions pictured a very specific battery (Electifly Competition 300 7.4 V) so I ordered one. The shipping of the battery turned out to be an ordeal which is certainly not related to kit construction but when the battery finally did arrive it was way too large for the battery bay; so back to the drawing board and I chose to use a Fly Venom 300 7.4V battery. The fit was tight and I was forced to clip off one of the two charging leads attached to this particular battery, a practice I am not thrilled to do. I carefully cut the leads one at a time and cut one about 1/4" longer than the other so they could not inadvertently touch. I then taped the snipped leads to the side of the battery. While the battery could now fit into the screw-on bay I had to drill out and enlarge a small space in the interstage coupler to allow for the remaining charger lead and the JS2 connector to pass. For the timer I chose an Altus Metrum Easy Timer as my Perfectflite MiniTimer 4s were dedicated to other staging projects and the Easy Timer was in stock and easy to order. All of this was the most difficult part of the build. In addition to the timer I decided to add in redundant altimeter deployment capability in the upper stage. This was very straightforward to do by drilling a hole through the nose cone coupler/bulkhead and cementing in a wire tube. I then attached the nose cone to the coupler/bulkhead with two sheet metal screws and drilled two tiny vent holes. I can now access the nose cone space to trim the nose mass if needed or to install a backup deployment altimeter. I do have some experience with electronically staged rockets and the problem with housing the electronics in the booster is there must be no chance for drag separation of the stages to occur, thus yanking out the igniter from the upper stage motor (hence my logic for the use of a redundant deployment device). The instructions recommend setting the timer to 1 1/2 seconds. This makes sense as the typical burn time of a D12 motor is about 1.6 seconds. This should insure that staging happens before drag separation can occur but you still could have some booster burn occurring. Another way is to set the timer to detect burn-out rather than ignition and then fire at 0 seconds delay which should take into account variable motor burn times. Also when you set up for launch you should add some tape tabs to both the interstage coupler adapters at the parachute tubes of the booster and to the motor tube extension on the sustainer for a light friction fit to insure that drag separation will not occur. I would not recommend this kit for your first two stage build as it is tight on space and is a clustered booster to boot!, rather find a less expensive kit and practice on it. At the very least spend time sizing the battery, timer and wiring before starting the build. Also conduct as many computer simulations as possible to determine stage CGs and how much nose weight to add. I found a Rocksim file for a much smaller and lighter Nike Hercules created by Tim Van Milligan. With some tweaking I was able to upscale his design and then add various parts and "correction masses" to match the Boyce version booster and upper stage weight distributions to match my build. This is a very useful exercise to determine appropriate nose weight. Overall this is a great kit and a mostly fun build. I look forward to flying it this fall sometime and I will try to report back on the flights!
This is where engineering and art come together.
I can't express how impressed I am with my Boyce rocket kits. The level of detail and thought to strength vrs weight is unparalleled. Even though much of the kits are pre-fabricated, there is still just the right amount or building for a rocketeer to feel proud. I love these kits and won't be happy until I own them all!