Introduction: Mercury Joe: Preparing the Capsule for Flight Part 1

Picture of Mercury Joe: Preparing the Capsule for Flight Part 1
This quick little tutorial will guide you through dissembling a GI Joe capsule in preparation of making it flight worthy.

For more information visit Mercury Joe

Pictured here is the classic GI Joe 9" capsule easily found via eBay auction.

Step 1: Remove the Retro Pack

Picture of Remove the Retro Pack

Start with cutting off the Retro Pack, a razor saw along the joining edge works.

Step 2: Remove the Heat Shield

Picture of Remove the Heat Shield

Just under the heat shield are 6 studs to cut, razor saw them in half.

Then use a razor knife to break the glue along the seam between the capsule shell and the heat shield.

Step 3: Remove the Capsule Floor

Picture of Remove the Capsule Floor

Use a razor knife to break the glue along the seam, once done the floor plate will lift right out.

Step 4: Removing Other Parts

Picture of Removing Other Parts

You can now lift the plastic sliding window out.

With a 3 1/8" hole saw, cut a hole in the nose of the capsule in preparation for building a parachute chamber.

Step 5: Remove the Instrument Panel

Picture of Remove the Instrument Panel

With the razor knife break the glue for the panel

That ends part one of the process. You should now have a nice collection of capsule parts, ready to work with.


lance.plater1 (author)2011-07-11

5:44 very lucky the parachute warked

JamieClay (author)lance.plater12011-07-12

Yes, it was amazing there was no serious damaged. The pilot chute's deployment bag had broken free from the capsule and kept it from opening. Thankfully it it eventually came off and the pilot chute opened, pulling out the main.

I'll post the video to the Mercury Joe Youtube channel this morning.

Dragonluvr_05 (author)2007-12-06

And ruined a valuable piece of G.I. Joe history.

JamieClay (author)Dragonluvr_052007-12-06

Did you see my comment below? These capsules are not that hard to find, or that expensive when well used. (those are the ones I fly) One might argue that by modifying it so it can fly it makes them more valuable as now they're 'more real'. I know Hasbro digs it, they invited Mercury Joe to the GI Joe convention a couple times now.

Denger (author)JamieClay2009-09-07

I'm afraid I must agree with Dragonluvr_05. It would take a more convincing argument to convince me to tear down an original Hasbro Mercury capsule for parts, when said parts could fairly easily replicated from PVC, styrene, acetate, thin plywood or other strong yet lightweight materials for but a fraction of the cost -- and still leave the GI Joe accessory on the market for a collector or someone's child to enjoy. Was this project ever completed or integrated into a successful high-power model rocket? If so, it might (possibly) be worth the expense, time and effort. Otherwise, I'd forget it.

JamieClay (author)Denger2009-09-07

First off - the only reason to do this is to prepare it for actual flight, the ultimate adult toy. Second - a suitable capsule is in abundant supply on Ebay - most of the capsules I've purchased I got for $30 or less and were not what collectors would seek. Only the FAO Scwartz one was over $50.00 and in plentiful supply when I bought it for flight conversion. If you don't believe me, do an Ebay search for GI Joe capsule - the results have been consistent for the 6 years I've been doing this project. Yes there are ones worthy of a collector's treasure trove but MANY that aren't. If anything, by converting the funky ones into flying capsules it's taking the crap off the market and increasing the value of the true collector worthy ones.

Denger (author)JamieClay2010-07-06

I stand properly corrected! Mercury Joe was certainly a worthwhile effort!

JamieClay (author)Dragonluvr_052007-12-06

Today's Ebay Search for GI Joe capsules.

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-01-14

Ha Ha. My brother and I once (in flagrant violation of the model rocketry code) taped a rocket motor to a kit model of the Pan-Am shuttle from "2001". It flew about 20 feet up, did a couple crazy circles, and drove straight down into the snow. It fizzled for a few seconds and then the chute eject charge blew it to pieces. I constantly wish we had had equipment to video the dang thing...

GorillazMiko (author)2007-12-04

looks cool! :-)

I still have mine from when I was a kid. Actually I hardly played with it. But over all it is a cool project none the less.

budsiskos (author)2007-12-05

nice video

dbarak (author)2007-12-04

I had one of those as a kid. One of my favorite toys. Even for a cool project, I hate to see 'em hacked up though. : ) Actually, in good condition, those are probably pretty valuable as collectors' items. I wish I still had mine. When is part two due?

JamieClay (author)dbarak2007-12-04

Actually the capsules are not all that valuable dollar wise. Hasbro and FAO Schwartz reissued them and there are a lot of them on eBay usually going for less than $50. Now a mint one in the box is probably worth some serious coin, I go for the less prestine ones. Cheapest I picked one up for was $10. I had one as a kid too, that's what moved me to want to fly it. Anyway, I'll try to get part two up shortly. Glad you liked it.

dbarak (author)JamieClay2007-12-04

Oh, I had no idea they were reissued. I'm not a collector, but that's one I think I d buy just for old time's sake.

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