My husband’s hobby is model rocketry. He enjoys building model rockets from kits as well as designing them then launching them. There are actually certification levels that you can attain in order to build and launch the larger high power model rockets with the larger engines (you can’t purchase the high power engines without having the proper certification). He is part of an organization called the National Association of Rocketry (NAR). He recently received his NAR magazine (Sport Rocketry) for March/April 2016 and one of the features was on steampunk rocketry. This caught my attention.
What is steampunk? In general, steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates retro/futuristic Jules Verne type devices. Put rocketry together with steampunk and you get rockets that look like the above fascinating Steampunk Fliskits ACME Spitfire model rocket (18.1″ long x 2.217″ diameter, fin span: 8″, weight: 2.87 oz.); and yes, you can launch it and it really flies (recommended engines: C 11-3 and D 12-3, no certification required). Even if you had no desire to launch it, you could build it with your kids as a display piece for your home which would surely be a conversation starter when you have guests visiting!
Interested in building this rocket? Well, you’ll need to start with the Fliskits ACME Spitfire model rocket kit which is available from Fliskits for $21.95. Once you have built the rocket from the basic kit you can follow these general directions to modify the rocket provided by avid model rocket fan Jeff Taylor on The Rocketry Forum. His modifications involved cutting shapes out of manilla file folders and gluing them to the rocket; using dots of glue, scraps of balsa, and round stickers to create the look of the rivets; using launch lugs to create the look of vent pipes along the sides of the rocket; and using metallic paint to create the final look. Kudos, Jeff for your ingenuity!