The Soviet N1 Moon Rocket  

A Beautiful 1:122 or 1:100 Scale Flying Model Rocket 

The Cold War

During the Cold War, the top secret N1 Moon Rocket was the Soviet Union’s response to the United State’s Saturn V—a super heavy-lift launch vehicle designed to get the first man to the moon.

The design incorporated thirty NK-15 engines that used differential throttling to control the pitch and yaw. Considering the primitive computers of the 1960’s, this was an ambitious and audacious plan!!

The N1 holds the record for the most powerful first stage ever created, producing an astounding 45,400 kN of thrust. In comparison, the mighty Saturn V produced 33,700 kN of thrust.

LK-3 Soviet Lunar Lander

Troubles Ahead

Unfortunately, the N1 project was plagued by at least four major challenges…

First, development of the N1 was rushed. Starting four years after the Saturn V, the Soviet leadership felt tremendous pressure to catch up with the Americans.

Second, the entire project was significantly underfunded.

Third, crucial static ground testing was skipped!

And Fourth, the death of Sergei Korolev, the Soviet Union’s lead rocket engineer, dealt a major blow.

Kaboom!!

All four N1 launch attempts ended with catastrophic explosions. The second launch on July 3, 1969 produced one of the largest non-nuclear, man-made explosion! In 1974, the program was scrubbed, and the entire project was hidden in deep secrecy…

Until now…

FREE SHIPPING in the U.S.A.

(Please contact us for shipping quotes outside of the US)

34″ N1 Moon Rocket

$165.00

3 in stock

  • 1/122 Scale, 34" Height
  • Level 4 Difficulty.
  • Over 90+ high quality, 3D printed parts that took over 78 HOURS to print!
  • Amaze your friends with the attention to small details.
  • Clear Step-by-step instructions to provide a display quality finish!
  • Flies on 29mm composite engines (free engine retainer INCLUDED).
  • Flies to about 383 feet with Aerotech F67-4W engine.
  • Approximately 711 grams launch weight (with engine and parachute).
  • NOTE: a nylon parachute is NOT included.

41″ N1 Moon Rocket

$245.00

4 in stock

  • 1/100 scale.
  • At over 41" tall, sometimes size DOES matter!
  • Level 4 Difficulty.
  • Over 90+ high quality 3D printed parts that took over 103 HOURS to print!
  • A perfect fit for all your 1:100 scale models.
  • Flies on 29mm composite engines.
  • Flies to about 251 feet with Aerotech F67-4W engine.
  • Approximately 986 grams launch weight (with engine).
  • NOTE: a nylon parachute is NOT included.
A Very Unique Rocket!

I love model rocketry, and I simply want to share with you some very unique and non-traditional designs—like the N1! The cost of this model is definitely higher than the typical paper and balsa kit. The majority of these parts had to be painstakenly 3D-printed one miniscule 0.15mm layer at a time. Depending on the size of the N1, each model takes anywhere from 78 to 103 hours to print! And that is only the printing time. This is not a mass-produced operation! If you purchase this kit, you will definitely own something very special!

30 Day Money Back Guarantee!

No questions asked! Just return the unused and unbuilt kit back within 30 days and I will refund your purchase price (shipping cost will be up to you). I want you to be 100% happy with your purchase. This will give you a chance to inspect the parts and see for yourself if this isn’t one of the BEST 3D printed model that you have ever seen!

INCLUDED

OPTIONAL

29 mm Rocket Stand

$12.00

5 in stock

  • Provides extra stability for rockets with 29mm engine mount.
  • Perfect fit for the 34" and 41" Soviet N1 Moon Rocket.
  • High quality, 3D printed rocket stand that is sturdy and light weight.
  • The vertical stand screws into the base for a secure fit.

N1 Commemorative Plaque

$10.00

5 in stock

  • A classy, 3D-printed plaque to commemorate the Soviet N1 Moon Rocket.
  • Lettering and borders are 3D-embossed!
  • Has a built in foot in back to keeps it upright at the perfect angle.
  • 4.75" width, 2.75" height, 0,75" depth

Detailed LES Tower for 34″ N1

$7.00

9 in stock

  • A spare replacement LES for your nose cone.
  • This part is very strong because it's 3D-printed horizontally.
  • However, this introduces some artifacts and loss of detail.

Detailed LES Tower for 41″ N1

$7.00

6 in stock

  • Much more detailed than the stock 3D printed LES.
  • SLA printed using quality resin, then UV cured.
  • Would reserve this part for display only (use the stock LES for launch).

COOL FEATURES

High Quality 3D Printed Parts

The centering rings are printed using PETG for heat resistance. The stages were printed using quality PLA for fine detail. There are 14 main 3D-printed parts. Including Interstage and other smaller parts, there are over 90 separate 3D-printed parts!

Nose Cone Features

The nose cone has a removable LES (tip). This allow for easy replacement or use of a “decorative LES” or a more durable “launch LES” (included).

29mm Engine Retainer

This prevents the engine from falling out during ejection. A cap securely screws-on holding the engine in place. Usually this is not included with most kits.

Excellent Instruction Manual

The instruction manual is detailed and clear and will walk you step-by-step through the construction and finishing of the N1.

High Quality Paper Tubes

High quality paper tubes, cardboard centering rings, and plywood centering rings are used throughout the kit.

Tongue and Groove Constuction

The top and bottom of Stage 1 fits together with twelve tongue and groove bisquits which makes a very strong and nearly seamless fit.

No Complex Masking!

Seams are placed on the paint lines. So no complex masking is needed!

Ready to Ship!

All the items are carefully packed and ready to ship to you!

Removable Twist-and-Lock Plate

The decorative bottom Stage 1 exhaust plate is removable—thereby reducing launch weight. The central hole allows a display stand.

Beautiful First Interstage

The First Interstage adds tremendous realism and detail to the model. And they are relatively easy to install.

Detailed Second Interstage

The upper interstage angles out slightly just like the real N1!

Kevlar Line and Swivel

The kit also includes Kevlar line and swivel to keep a nylon parachute (not included) from tangling.

Q & A

Question

Is the 41″ N1 really that much bigger than the 34″ N1? What are the other differences besides size?

Answer

Yes! The 41″ (1:100 scale) N1 is significantly larger—and not only in height! In the photo below, if you look at the lowest stage, the volume of the rocket is much larger. Now, don’t get me wrong, even the “smaller” 34″ N1 is already quite impressive. But that larger 41″ model is just… BIG!

So what are some other “advantages” and “disadvantages” of a larger rocket?

Let’s start with the “disadvantages”? Both rockets use the same 29mm composite motors. Because the larger rocket obviously weighs more, it’s not going to get the same altitude as the smaller one. So assuming an AeroTech F67-4W engine is mounted, the “launch weight” (this includes nose weights, parachutes, wadding, and engine) for the larger N1 is about 986 grams which, according to Rocksim, should reach an altitude of about 251 feet. The launch weight for the smaller 1:122 scale N1 is around 711 grams and should reach an altitude of approximately 383 feet.

So, besides size, what are the “advantages?” There are several… First, if you are building a fleet of 1:100 scale rockets, then the 41″ N1 is the one to get! Second, because everything is larger, the engine mount could be recessed further into Stage I making balancing the model a little easier. Third, a larger BT-70 tubes could be used for Stage III and Stage IV. This means that there’s more room for a larger parachute.

The larger N1 was not simply “scaled up” in a CAD program. The basic structure had to be completely redesigned and retested from scratch.

Question

Do I need to purchase the optional 29mm rocket stand? Will the N1 stand up on its own?

Answer

You do NOT need to purchase the optional 29mm stand. Especially if you remove the decorative Stage 1 bottom plate, the rocket will be very stable. Even with the the Stage 1 bottom plate attached, the rocket can stand up on its own, but I wouldn’t put it in an area where people can bump into it. The 29mm stand will give the N1 more stability with the decorative plate attached.

Question

Is the optional detailed LES worth purchasing?

Answer

I’ll leave that up to you. Although the regular LES included with the kit has some imperfections and distortions (because it had to be 3D-printed horizontally for strength), I find the final results acceptable. The optional detailed LES is definitely visually better looking (because it printed using an SLA printer). To keep this part pristine, make sure to replace it with the stock LES before launching.

Question

What supplies are needed to complete the N1 Model Rocket?

Answer

  • Thick cyanoacrylate glue (Superglue)
  • 5-minute epoxy
  • Contact Adhesive (i.e. Gorilla Clear Grip)
  • Yellow wood glue
  • Hobby knife
  • 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper
  • 12 inch ruler
  • Sharp scissors
  • Needle nosed pliers
  • Dark Gray Spray paint
  • White spray paint
  • Matte Clear Coat
  • Masking Tape
  • Tweezers for small parts
  • Nitrile gloves (for epoxy)
  • Eye protection

Question

I see that the main parts are already printed in white and gray! Do I really need to sand, prime, and spray paint this model?

Answer

You don’t have to, but I would. Sanding and priming will help remove the subtle layer lines, and spray painting will definitely make the rocket completely opaque which will significantly add to the realism. The plastic (especially the white PLA) has a minor translucent quality to it that does not look realistic. Trust me, the N1 looks AMAZING properly finished! That said, the Stage 1 and Stage 2 exhaust plates are printed using silver PLA which looks really good unpainted.

Question

What parachute do you recommend for this kit?

SOURCE: Spherachutes. Used by permission.

Answer

Do NOT use a cheap plastic parachute! A plastic one will shred almost instantaneously. This mid-power rocket require a strong nylon fabric chute. For the 34″ N1 Moon Rocket, I recommend a 36″ or larger parachute. For the 41″ N1, I recommend a 42″ or larger chute. However, the size of the parachute depends on many factors such as field size, wind speed, and ground conditions. Here are some links to parachutes that may work (note that I have not tested all of them—you will have to make your own judgement base on the above factors):

  • For less expensive options made from quality thin-milled nylon, look at Top Flight Recovery.
  • Also look at this affordable 48″ Printed Nylon Parachute from Apogee Components.
  • For the ultimate lightweight, custom, 8-panel, hemispherical parachutes, take a look at these ULTRA Light Spherachutes made from .66 oz. membrane 10 taffeta nylon fabric. More expensive but gorgeous! I have the 42″ ULTRA Light Spherachute for my 1:122 N1 and boy is it beautiful!

Question

Listen… I just dropped over $200 on a model rocket! I do NOT want an “affordable chute”—I want BADASSERY! What do you recommend?

Answer

Easy! You want a custom chute made by Steve Riegel. Below is a custom-made, 42 inch, 36 gore parachute that Steve made for my 1:100 N1. It was made from 1.1 oz thin mil Ripstop nylon and 200 lb Dacron lines with rolled hems and flat felled seams. It is truly a work of art!

If you are purchasing the N1 as a special gift for a model rocket fanatic, I can’t think of a better compliment than a chute made by Steve. But, get your order in ahead of time. Each chute is custom made for you.

SOURCE: Photo by Steve Riegel. Used by permission.

Question

How is the N1 launched? I can’t see a launch lug! 

Answer

An internal, 3D-printed “launch lug” transects Stage 1. You can see the lower portion of the lug in the photo below. The launch rod will enter from the base of the rocket and then exit through a slit on the side of Stage 1. This is designed to accommodate a 1/4 inch diameter launch rod. For safety reasons, do NOT use a smaller diameter rod. They lack the rigidity to safely launch larger rockets.

    Question

    Why is this a Level 4 kit? Is this model hard to make?

    Answer

    In terms of difficulty, this is around a Level 3 kit (intermediate difficulty), It should take most people less than a week to leisurely finish this model. The use of epoxy and CA glue make this a Level 4 kit since more safety precautions are needed when working with these glues. Also, because this require powerful composite engines, previous rocketry experience is required for launch. Otherwise, if just building this kit for a static display, this really is not a difficult project if you already have some modeling experience. Just take your time and enjoy the process! The instruction manual (see next question) is very detailed and will walk you step-by-step through the whole process.

      Question

      How are the instructions?

      Answer

      Excellent! A very detailed, full-colored instruction manual with high-quality photos is provided. Each step is clearly illustrated. I really want you to be successful in building a model that you will be proud of! Click this link to see a sample of the N1 Instruction Manual.

        Question

        That fancy “fencing” between the stages look complicated! How hard are they to assemble?

        Answer

        Surprisingly, the Interstages are relatively easy to assemble! The instruction manual provides great photos and clear instructions. Just make sure to get some contact adhesive like the Gorilla Clear Grip Contact Adhesive. It will make assembly MUCH easier. And if you mess up, you can rub it off and start over. And any leftover glue can be used for your home improvement/repair projects!

        Question

        How is the “scale detail” of this model?

        Answer

        The markings are mostly based on the first launch (N1-L3) on February 21, 1969. If I had to estimate, I would say that the scale details are about 90 percent accurate. Unfortunately, the available references are not all consistent. Ralph Currell’s free cardstock model (which he based on drawings from Alex Shliadinsky) was an extremely helpful source of information. Check out his paper model of the N1. It’s quite extraordinary!

          Question

          What model rocket engines do you recommend for launch?

          Answer

          At this time, the only recommended engine is an Aerotech F67-4W for both the 34″ and 42″ N1 (other more powerful engines are being tested). This engine probably provides the safest and most reliable flight for the N1. Rocksim estimates a height of 251 feet for the 42″ N1 and 383 feet for the 34″ N1. Sure, these aren’t “stratospheric” altitudes. But, it will provide a fun and relatively inexpensive flight. And your chances of recovering an intact rocket are good.

          Other Motors?

          Right now, I am in the process of testing out various G engines and here is what I can tell you: I have not had any success with Single Use Loadable Engines (like the Aerotech G79 White Lightning). I had THREE engine failures with these motors. Call it stubbornness  but I probably should have moved on to a different engine after the first two engine failures. In all three cases, the propellant had a hard time igniting (it just sat on the launch pad sputtering for a while before launch) and by the time the rocket lifted off, most of the delay grain had burned away causing the ejection charge to go off prematurely.

          For one rocket, this caused the parachute to eject way before apogee (but at least this N1 was recovered intact). For two other launches, this caused an early ejection and complete CATO from a “forward bulkhead rupture” (basically, thrust from the main propellant was also coming out the forward end because the delay grain burned through). It wasn’t pretty, but it was historically accurate!

          The engine failures were likely from motors that were poorly stored (or stored for too long) so the propellant had a difficult time igniting. So if you want to try the Single Use Loadable Motor, make sure your vendor has “fresh” ones. Anyway… I’m moving on to a different engine (probably a reloadable engine or a prebuilt one). I’m done with Single Use Loadable Motors for now since I have a feeling they sit on the shelf for a while before being sold.

          I’ll update this section as I gain more experience with different G motors.

          Question

          Is there a Rocksim or Open Rocket file that I can download?

          Answer

          Yes! For the 34″ model (1:122 scale), the file is available for both Rocksim and Open Rocket. For the 40″ model (1:100 scale), the file is available for Rocksim only. Please note that these simulators were only used to estimate the center of pressure. The final “launch ready” center of gravity and weight needs to be physically measured and entered manually (using the “manual override” feature) into either Rocksim or Open Rocket for an accurate estimate of flight stability. See the instruction manual for Rocksim and Open Rocket for more detail.

          Question

          Are there plans on making a version that launches with cluster engines?  

          Answer

          Not at this time. Here’s why…

          Six “D” engines would add 248 gram of weight to the rear of the rocket (and provides 101 newton-seconds of total impluse). For comparison, a single composite “G” motor weighs in at a petite 124 grams (and provides about 108 newton-seconds of total impulse). Basically, you get slightly more power with only half the weight.

          But it gets better!

          Because the single composite motor can be recessed inside Stage 1, the center of gravity is moved forward. Also, unlike with cluster engines, with a single recessed composite engine, centering rings and engine tubes at the base can be removed. All this translates to less rear weight and therefore less nose weight needed to balance out the rocket.

          Finally, the chance of launch failure is significantly reduced when lighting one engine versus six simultaneously. All in all, your launch success and your ability to recover an intact rocket should go up significantly!

          But, I’ll fully admit… there is something insanely epic about launching the N1 on a cluster of six engines—even if it does follow the footsteps of the original! Check out Matthew Johnson’s kit on the Apogee website if you are up to the challenge of building a cluster engine version of the N1. It is ambitious, audacious, and extremely challenging!

          Question

          In the photo below, it looks like the engine nozzle is poking out the bottom of the rocket and that the engine plate is attached. But my N1 has the engine recessed into Stage 1. Is that right?

          Answer

          That photo was the first test launch of the N1. The rocket has since been redesigned. Now the engine mount is recessed into Stage I. Also, the bottom engine plate is now only decorative and must be removed for launch. These changes help to reduce the weight of the rocket.

          Question

          Can you ship internationally?

          Answer

          Yes! We love our international customers and have sent orders to multiple countries including Canada and Australia. Please contact me and I’ll provide a quote on the shipping and total price. If the quote is acceptable to you, then I’ll email you a PayPal invoice.

          Question

          Are the STL files available for download so that I can 3D print the N1 at home?

          Answer

          Sorry, not at this time. 3D printing these files would definitely push the limits of skill/patience of most modeler. I have a “graveyard” of failed prints as I worked out the proper settings and filaments. And trying to find all the correct tubes, paper centering rings, and wood centering rings would definitely be a chore (especially since the tolerances are very precise). But who knows, a bit down the line, if I ever get tired of making these kits, this may become an option.

          Question

          Will the Russian government lock me up in a Siberian gulag if I build this?

          Answer

          Maybe. Proceed at your own risk. 😉

          Maiden flight at the SRA (Spaceport Rocketry Association) Launch on September 19, 2020.