Composite Nike Fins

I asked for additional suggestions for how-to videos and one of the requested ones was laminating fins. So, I decided to make this a little more complex by showing several techniques at once in the process of making Nike style built-up fins with a realistic profile. The Nike is a perennial favorite for modeling, plus it has an unusual fin profile, so it makes a good subject.

This illustrates several techniques in composite construction, including two different types of vacuum bagging with the FoodSaver®.

Watch directly on YouTube.

Here are the highlights from the video:


Downscaling the Prototype

I decided to plan these fins for a 4" model of the prototype (based on a standard 3.9" airframe tube).

Above is a close-up of the drawing from Rockets of the World, p. 164, showing the dimensions for an actual Nike fin (from the Nike-Smoke drawings). To scale our fin to standard 3.9" I.D. tubing (4.03" O.D.), plus a through-the-wall tab to a 3" MMT:

And here is my drawing at model size.