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Building the Hawks Hobby Super Mark

Hawks Hobby's Super Mark is an upscale of the Estes Astron Mark. Designed by G. Harry Stine, the Mark represents one of the earliest model rocket designs.

Assembled, the Super Mark is 1.640 inches in diameter and 20 inches long. This makes it about 2.24 times the size of the original Astron Mark.

The kit's instructions are easy to understand and detailed. Hawks describes it as a "Skill Level 1" kit which is appropriate.

Assembly begins with the motor mount. The motor mount tube has a small slot already cut in it for the engine clip. The centering rings are laser-cut from 1/8" plywood.

A coupler is used to space and position the centering rings which makes the assembly easy. The rings only required a slight sanding to fit easily into the body tube.

A fin guide is included to help mark the positions of the fins. After marking the body tube, I glued the motor mount into the body tube. I used yellow wood glue and the motor mount almost got stuck part of the way in. But I was able to force it the rest of the way. (Note to self: When gluing in a motor mount, you should use white glue instead of wood glue to avoid this problem.)

Next, I removed the pre-cut fins from the sheet of heavy balsa. The fins are easily removed and clean up with a little sanding. I rounded the leading and trailing edges of the fins a little.

I attached the fins one at a time using wood glue.

The kit comes with a nice, pre-assembled nylon parachute and balsa nose cone. The shock cord is made up of a length of Kevlar thread tied to a length of rubber elastic.

The launch lug is cut at an angle and glued next to a fin.

I painted the rocket "Apple Red" then added black stripes using the enclosed strip of Monokote.

The kit's quality components and proven design combine to produce a smart-looking rocket that should survive many flights.

I launched the Super Mark on a C11 motor at the July, 2007, R.O.C.K. launch. It turned in a nice flight.

[Posted: 2007-07-06 | Updated: 2007-07-06]

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