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Top 6 Model Rocket Kits!

Updated on May 26, 2013

Sharing a Model Rocket Build With My Children Is An Awesome Experience.

I remember when I was young, one of my favorite things to do was build a model rocket. But the most fun was connecting the electrodes to the charge and watch as it ignites the rocket fuel, blasting it into the air. There was so much satisfaction from that experience, from building it, to seeing it fly and come down all in one piece.

And I remember being excited about going to the Hobby Store (Gunning's Hobbies in San Anselmo - which is no longer there), and buying the rocket engines. The engines haven't changed all that much, and the rockets are very similar to what there were back in the 1970's. But the model rocket kits are better, bigger, and even more fun! The launch pads are much better now.

Now I get to share all the wonders, excitement, and educate my kids all at the same time with model rockets. Here's my favorite ones so far:

The SpaceX Falcon 9 Model Rocket
The SpaceX Falcon 9 Model Rocket

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Model Rocket Kit:

The SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Model Rocket Kit allow you to build a rocket that has a close resemblance to the real thing. It has a nose cone, which in this case contains the Dragon Capsule, and this has a separate parachute inside of it.

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is the first commercially built and launched rocket that flew into space (orbit), and actually retrieved another ship (The Dragon) and was able to bring it back to earth!

This model rocket kit is exceptional because not only is it fun to make, but there is science and history to learn from it as well...

The main rocket still has its own chute, which simulates a real life rocket with two chutes. As for the assembly, it is very simple. The rocket doesn't require any painting because the outside has large decals that you can just wrap around it. There are some additional accessories you will need that are not included. You will need a model rocket engine for starters. Make sure you use either a C6-5 or a B6-4. An A8-3 engine will fail to launch.

You'll also need engine igniters and a launch system. When in flight, the clear fins make the rocket look like it is realistically flying vertically like a rocket. Make sure you don't fly it when there are high winds or the parachute might not hold. Overall, a fairly decent kit for any rocket enthusiast.

Falcon 9 Model Rocket on Amazon:

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Flying Model Rocket Kit
SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon Flying Model Rocket Kit

This is one of my favorites because it combines both rocketry and history in one build. It's tall and launches really well.

 

Falcon 9 Model Rocket Launch With Camera:

This video is cool because the first launch shows how the rocket takes off as normal, and how it comes down. No big deal. But the second video shows how it looks from the rockets point of view, with a camera placed on it looking down. You really should watch it.

Solar Flare Model Rocket
Solar Flare Model Rocket

Estes Solar Flare Model Rocket Kit:

When you complete the the Estes Solar Flare Model Rocket Kit you'll have a very tall rocket that is over 28 inches tall. This is also a two stage rocket and the upper stage can even be flown with just an A10 mini engine.

You don't even need a booster, but other things like engines and launch supplies are sold separately. This rocket requires some assembly that isn't suitable for beginners and you need to have your own building tools.

You will need to deal with putting together the balsa fins, body tubes, and nose cone. Not only that, but the instruction manual isn't very accurate with the directions either. Something simple like aligning the fins onto the rocket proved to be rather difficult.

So, if you have experience with building these toy rockets then it should be easy for you. If not, then you will probably take awhile to get the hang of it. However, once you manage to get through the construction you will have yourself a quality rocket. It flies straight, looks realistic and is extremely durable. It is possible to get this up to 850 feet in the air.

Lowest Price Anywhere For The Solar Flare Rocket Kit:

Estes 2401 Solar Flare Flying Model Rocket Kit
Estes 2401 Solar Flare Flying Model Rocket Kit

Many retailers are charging $81 for this cool looking solar flare rocket. You can get it for a ridiculously lower price here.

 
Maxi Alpha 3 Rocket Launch Set
Maxi Alpha 3 Rocket Launch Set

Estes Maxi Alpha 3 Launch Set:

The Estes Maxi Alpha 3 is an advanced rocket kit at a pretty reasonable price. It will require an entire afternoon to assemble and set up, but the end result will be something to remember. The construction supplies that you'll need include red paint, plastic cement and glue.

You can use an E or D engine, which do not come with the rocket kit. You will have to buy them separately, but don't use an engine smaller than D12-5 or the shock cord will break while the parachute is deployed. If this happens it will cause damage to the rocket on landing, especially to the plastic fins and mounting system.

The rocket can get up to 700 feet and it can be launched with the Electron Beam Launch Controller that is included. Overall, it is a pretty decent rocket and a lot simpler to put together than other rockets. Even the recommended age is only 10 years and up. Most other rockets require you to be 14 years of age. So, if you have young kids then this is the perfect gift you can use together.

Maxi Alpha 3 Launch Set Under $40:

Estes Maxi Alpha 3 Launch Set
Estes Maxi Alpha 3 Launch Set

A rocket launch set of this caliber under $40 is something you should jump on in my opinion.

 

Maxi Alpha 3 Rocket Launch Video:

This camera view seems to be even better that the Falcon 9 video, with great sound as well.

Tandem X Model Rocket Set:
Tandem X Model Rocket Set:

Estes Tandem X Model Rocket Launch Set:

The Estes Tandem X Rocket features two high flying rockets in one package. One rocket is called the "Crossfire," which is smaller but can go up to 1200 feet in the air. Another rocket is called the "Amazon," which is the bigger of the two. It has tiger decals and goes up to 600 feet in the air. It even includes a launch system and two plastic parachutes that are normally sold separately. This set is perfect for beginners and experienced rocket users.

There is an Estes engine that is required and that you will have to buy separately. Once you have the engine then the assembly will be easy. It should take you less than an hour to put everything together by just gluing on the fins, installing the engine and attaching the parachute. You won't even have to paint anything or stick on decals because that is all pre-installed.

Best of all, this rocket set costs about the same as one rocket but you are getting two! Plus with the ease of an easy assembly, you can't go wrong with this rocket. This is definitely a good rocket to buy for a beginner or to teach your kids about rockets without the stress of having an all day construction job.

Tandem X Set Under $30!

Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set
Estes Tandem-X Flying Model Rocket Launch Set

For under $30 you can get this great little set which is fun to build and even more fun to set up and launch!

 
Estes Hi-Flier
Estes Hi-Flier

Estes 2178 Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit

The Estes Hi-Flier Kit is specifically made for high flying fun. It can go up to a whopping 1600 feet into the air with its streamline missile design and laser cut balsa fins. It is also a very small rocket with a height of only twelve inches, but rockets this small are meant to go up to higher altitudes.

Plus, any of the standard Estes engines will work with this, but an Estes A8-3 will work the best. You'll still need to buy that and the launch supplies separately. A unique thing about this rocket kit is that it has a fluorescent orange streamer instead of a regular parachute. This is so the parachute won't make the rocket drift far away because of the great height that it attains.

A streamer will help it sink more vertically towards the launch pad, so you won't have to go navigating the landscape just to find the rocket. One recommendation is to have a fin aligner when attaching the fins to the rocket. If the alignment is off you will easily lose the great altitude that it can go up to. Besides that, this rocket is awesome and will definitely be worth looking into for both beginners and experts.

Under $10 Hi-Flier Rocket Kit?

Estes Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit
Estes Hi-Flier Flying Model Rocket Kit

Check the price on this because I've seen this sell for $84 on other sites and in stores as well. The price I am seeing now is under $10 but that may be a misprint. If it is not get it right away!

 
Patriot Model Rocket Kit
Patriot Model Rocket Kit

Estes Army Patriot Rocket Kit

Estes U.S. Army Patriot Kit allows you to create the ultimate rocket that was used in Iraq by the U.S. Army. It represents the Army's Patriot M-104 surface to air missile that took care of a lot of bad guys. What's great about this kit is that it is made for beginners to use, so the assembly should be no problem. You just have to do some sanding, gluing, and painting.

Once you get it together it will fly up to 600 feet with a regular Estes engine and features a 12 inch parachute that is already pre-assembled. This kit is more for rocket enthusiasts that just want to have a nice rocket to add to their collection for visual appeal. It certainly isn't the highest flying rocket on the market nor is it the easiest to find while landing. But, it does have patriotic value and war buffs will want this for their collection.

Where Do You Want To Launch Your Rocket?

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