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.
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!
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!
The instructions are clear and easy to follow. The quality of the parts are outstanding. I opted for the single stage this time. I hope to purchase the 2 stage someday soon. I flew it on 6/27/2020 on 4 x D12-5 motors. The flight was beautiful. The only complaint is that the plastic motor retainer ring must have softened from the motor heat and upon ejection all 4 motors came out. It did manage to deploy the chute so it did land safely. I will be replacing the plastic retainer with one made from metal.
As with all of the kits from Boyce the instructions were clear and easy to understand. The parts were all of great quality and assembled without any issues. Great job Boyce, keep up the good work.