Making A “Bottle Rocket”

I realize I haven’t been keeping up my blog at all, but–to be honest–I haven’t spent that much time at the workbench. And what time I have spent there hasn’t been particularly motivated or interesting. I am, however, moving forward on a little something that’s begun to take interesting shape. At least, its components are. I’ll talk about one of them today: The yogurt bottle engine.
My daughter (not quite 2 yet) loves these little "Danimals" yogurt drinks. I’d noticed a number of months ago that the opening on the plastic bottles have a nice, large engine bell shape. So… I set a few of them aside till I came up with an idea for one. And recently, I did exactly that. It was time to turn a yogurt bottle into a rocket engine.
The first step was to make it a little more solid. This was soft plastic. So… I jammed as many broken popsicle sticks as I could fit in there, and then filled it with resin. I filled it just about to the top of the more spherical (or middle) section of the bottle. With that filled, I capped it off with some round brake or rotor or something from a 1/12 Tamiya motorcycle. I then cut off the very top of the opening, as there was a small "lip" there. Now, after some sanding, there’s a nice edge for the engine bell. And then it was time to add exterior details to the engine.
I used a few different things here–with more to come. There’s pieces cut from another bottle, and there’s bits of metal tape. These essentially create "greeblies" (or "greebles"–depending on who you talk to). This is just raised surface areas to give it some depth. There’s also bits of metal wire in various places. I’ll be adding more of this once I find my spool of soldering wire. And there’s various kit pieces. Again, I hit the 1/12 motorcycle, as well as pieces from 1/35 and 1/72 kits in there. My main inspiration/reference for this thing is the Maschinen Krieger "Falke" engine, which has all sorts of wonderful bits and pieces added to a Japanese drink bottle to make its distinctive form. While I’m sure I won’t approach that level of ingenuity, I hope to have something that looks more like an engine and less like a childrens’ yogurt drink when all is said and done. So far, so good.

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