Monday, August 6, 2012

Vintage rocket: MPC Nike Patriot

Time to put some Rockets into this blog, to go with the Robots and Dinosaurs!

This came in a week or so ago via eBay for about $7 + shipping, which was an excellent deal. This is the Nike Patriot from the defunct MPC model kit company, released from about 1971 until about 1978.   MPC typically made plastic model kits, but ventured into rocketry on the strength of their excellent overall product development and their ability to create lots of high-quality injection molded plastic parts for their kits, bridging the gap between typical model rocketry building and plastic kit building.  These kits have been out of production for over 30 years, but can still be found warehouse-new.  This one came from the archives of a significant rocketry collector and historian, who passed away a while ago.

The "Nike Patriot" is a fictional design, and predates the actual Patriot missile system utilized by the US military by about a decade.

I've been looking forward to building one of MPC's rocket kits since I learned of them a couple of years ago when I got back into model rocketry.  I didn't hesitate to open the kit's plastic wrap and delve into the contents.

Two sizable and wonderfully well-made body tubes, plastic fin-can & motor mount, plastic transition and nose cone.  The only real issues were that the sticky tabs for attaching the parachute lines needed replaced, and the decals had yellowed a bit.

The opportunity to start building it emerged rather unexpectedly this past weekend, and I managed to get most of the work done Friday evening and Saturday.  Decals and clear-coating will have to wait until later in the week.  Look for more photos soon!


It took me a couple of weeks, with the addition of some time masking, painting - and then trimming up - one of the fins yellow.  She's a big bird!  Not sure when I'll get to fly it, but this rocket has a reputation for durability and solid flights.

Even has a great parachute with the MPC logo on it:

If you're interested in seeing more of my rocketry stuff, please check my profile page at !

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