The Return of the Rocket and a Trip to Hollywood

Photo Nov 19, 21 27 55

For a photo recap of the process

Photo Nov 19, 20 46 57

We successfully built our heating box which at the time was being warmed up by two space heaters.

Photo Nov 19, 21 57 03

Even with the heaters on full blast for over fifteen minutes we were only able to warp a small piece of plastic.  We needed more power! We also needed to relocate since David had a term paper to finish up.

Photo Nov 22, 12 17 52

We moved our vacuum former unit to Neil’s garage and continued rocket tests.

Photo Nov 22, 11 30 05

We upgraded to propane with a dual head unit (we called him BURN-E)

Photo Nov 22, 11 53 56

We determined that we had more than enough power after we obliterated the test plastic after a few minutes on the heat.

Photo Nov 22, 13 14 50

After a few unsuccessful pulls we were able to make a near perfect pull from a thin sheet of styrene.

Photo Nov 25, 14 45 17

Since we wanted to have a clear rocket (so we could paint from the inside and adjust just how opaque it would be) we picked up some clear Vivak.

Photo Nov 25, 15 05 17

However we underestimated how complicated it would be to perform a pull with a completely different material.
Photo Nov 25, 16 16 23

After receiving some recommendation from Industrial Plastic Supply we returned to the garage with a sheet of Acrylic
Photo Nov 25, 18 22 27

Although it was rigid (with just enough give) it did not form properly with our homemade methods.Photo Nov 30, 15 25 53

We ended up using an ever so slightly thicker sheet of styrene.  Although it would be too thick to illuminate it would be a perfect base for future casting.Photo Nov 30, 19 00 34 Photo Nov 30, 20 04 08

A fresh coat of paint for the fins.

Photo Nov 30, 20 32 35

During the painting of the fins we inadvertently made a piece of Lightning McQueenPhoto Nov 30, 21 09 07

The old tow light setup from the previous rocket was secured and after a quick test drive on the hood we were ready to go.
Photo Nov 30, 22 22 35A size comparison between our new rocket and one of the earliest versions of the rooftop rocket.

Photo Dec 01, 11 19 47

After a quick stop at Johnny Cupcakes we headed to Hollywood and Highland.


Where we found an appropriate parking spot as we waited to participate in the Hollywood Christmas Parade with Nate Truman’s Star Cars Central


We were soon joined by quite the mix of pop culture vehicles.IMG_0211

Pee Wee Herman’s Bike!IMG_0219

Doc Brown giving the Batmobile some directions on where to park.IMG_0224 IMG_0251 IMG_0253 IMG_0255 IMG_0264 IMG_0265 IMG_0277

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Van needed a bit of assistance backing into place.IMG_0295 Photo Dec 01, 17 44 05


Photo Nov 15, 21 59 20

A special thanks goes out to David, who has helped us out with the wiring on our previous rooftop rocket and many other odd jobs, and Neil, who worked day and night to ensure the rocket was ready for the parade.  Be sure to check out more of his work at Lost Boy Cosplay.

Thanks again Nate for letting us take part in this awesome event!


We’ve got a few more plans for the remainder of 2013.

Stay tuned…

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