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TAKE YOUR TIME!!!!

Let the glue dry completely (meaning a couple hours wait) Take the model one step at a time, don't rush things

When Painting

Bend a wire coathanger to fit in the body tube. This will let you spray paint the body more evenly. If painting multiple colors, paint the parts individually before gluing them together. Sand and stain the fins before painting, it prevents bubbles and ripples from appearing.

Decals

Take your time when removing the decal so you don't rip it in half. Cut out each individual decal, don't put the whole sheet in the water at once. Use slightly warmer than luke warm water, but not hot otherwise the decals will curl. Blot the decal with a very slightly moist sponge. This will soak up excess water, and even out air bubbles.

Recovery

Put some modeling clay in the tip of nose cone to speed up descent. If using a parachute, cut out the entire estes logo (about 2 inches diameter). This will prevent winds from carrying your rocket away. Do not cut a hole in the parachute smaller than 1.5 inches. A small hole will actually increase the lift the rocket gets during descent.
Miscellaneous
Reinforce fin joints at least once during construction. Use a wood glue that dries clear, not elmers glue. Never use a booster engine instead of a normal one! I know its goofy but I did that once by mistake...it wasn't pretty :) Reinforce engine mounts. If your rocket should hit the ground, hard, the reinforcing will prevent the engine mount from shooting into the front of the body tube.