James Duffy – Scale Modeling, FAI, and more!

James Duffy at NARCON (Source: Sport Rocketry magazine)

In this episode, we chat with James Duffy, an accomplished scale modeler and competitor in FAI international model rocketry competitions.

James’ main specialties in scale modeling are the Bumper WAC – an early American two-stage sounding rocket consisting of a captured German V-2 first stage with a WAC Corporal cobbled on top as a second stage…

Bumper 8 lifting off from Cape Canaveral
James Duffy’s scale Bumper WAC

…and the Little Joe test vehicle, which NASA used during Project Mercury to test the launch escape system (the Little Joe II was later used for the same purposes for Project Apollo) and heat shield.

One impressive model James has flown in international competitions is his 1/12 scale Little Joe.

We discuss scale modeling and get his advice, and James tells us about FAI international model rocketry competitions. The American team has made a bid to hold the World Championships here in the United States in 2023. This would be the first time the international fly-offs will have been held in the U.S. since 1992.

Also, check out Spacemonkey Models (CLICK HERE), James’ company selling the most detailed scale model V-2 available anywhere. It’s a static model (which means it doesn’t fly), but it can be converted to a flying model rocket with a conversion kit sold by Apogee Components (CLICK HERE to get it). You can also buy the Spacemonkey V-2 itself from Apogee.

I have one of the Spacemonkey kits, and it’s a gorgeous thing. James has a thorough video tutorial series for building the V-2 on his YouTube channel. CLICK HERE to go to the playlist.

The kit comes with four different decal sets, so you have what you need to build one of four different iterations of the V-2, and the decals fit almost perfectly to the Estes V-2, so with a Spacemonkey kit you have the decals to build three more flying models!

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