Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit

Over the decades this is the first big rocket for many modelers! Slow, realistic lift-offs from this true classic!

Big Bertha is an Estes original! Big, burly, black and beautiful perfectly describes this classic. She's an all around Estes favorite that has truly withstood the test of time. Over the decades, Big Bertha has been most modelers' first big build. While standing on its massive fins, this big black rocket checks in at an impressive 2 feet tall. If you've never flown a Bertha, get one and launch it. Once you've flown it, you'll take it to every launch!

The Big Bertha gives you a slow, realistic liftoff. What a thrill it is to watch! Propelled by powerful standard Estes engines, this beauty travels to 500 feet and comes back to earth with a decorated 18 inch parachute. Quality Estes body tubes, laser cut wood fins, molded plastic nose cone and easy to apply self-stick decals make for an afternoon of building enjoyment. In one afternoon your Bertha is ready for an exciting time at the launch field!

Estes Big Bertha Model Rocket Kit Skill Level 1 #1948
 Estes Rockets # est1948
Retail $26.99  SAVE 21% !
Estes Rockets Item # est1948
Specifications :
  • Length: 24" (61 cm)
  • Diameter: 1.64" (41.7 mm)
  • Weight: 2.2 oz (62 g)
  • Recovery: 18" (46 cm) parachute
  • Fins: Die cut balsa
  • Maximum Altitude: 500 ft (152 m)
  • Estes Product Number: 1948
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Spotlight Review

"The best vehicle for key-chain camera rocket videos!"
rbeard2 (Dayton, OH)
All that has been said about the Big Bertha in the other reviews is true - it is a classic, slow take-off, rugged beast that is fun to build and flies great. Easily modified to a 24mm motor mount (just purchase a motor mount tube and extra sheet of 3/32 balsa for reinforced centering rings). Also, if you have discovered the super cheap key-chain style HD cameras for sale online, this is the perfect rocket to strap them onto! Just attach your fully charged micro camera to the top of the body tube just under the nosecone shoulder with 5 or six tight wraps of electrical tape (doesn't pull off the finish like masking tape). The Big Bertha shrugs of any aerodynamic disturbances due to her overlarge fins and the extra weight of the camera appears not affect flight at all!

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  • Self-adhesive black and white decals.
  • Die-cut card fins.
  • Plain brown cardboard body tube.
  • One-piece white plastic nose cone.
  • Parachute recovery with shroud lines and shock cord.
  • Centering rings, engine hook and engine mount tube.
  • Skill level 1: quick and easy-to-build.
  • Estes' full 1 year warranty.
  • Detailed illustrated assembly and launch instructions.


  • Length: 24" (61 cm)
  • Diameter: 1.64" (41.7 mm)
  • Weight: 2.2 oz (62 g)
  • Recovery: 18" (46 cm) parachute
  • Fins: Die cut balsa
  • Maximum Altitude: 500 ft (152 m)
  • Estes Product Number: 1948


  • One model rocket kit
  • Decals
  • Detailed Instructions

Requirements & Suggestions

For How To Launch a Model Rocket

For How To Build a Model Rocket

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"Big Bertha is a Big Hit!"
steve s (chula vista, ca)
This is a great rocket kit for the novice or experienced rocket builder. It's a very easy build that took about 45-60 mins. to build(not including paint and decals). It flies great and it's size is really impressive on the launch pad. I've launched Big Bertha at least 10 times without any malfunctions. The C size engines are powerful enough that I've been able to attach a key ring video camera and get spectacular videos and pictures. Nothing is as satisfying as watching video from a successful launch and recovery taken from the rockets perspective! Bottom line, this is one of my favorite rockets to fly, always trouble free and beautiful to watch! I would recommend this Rocket Kit to anybody who wants a big rocket experience without a big price.

"Simple yet fun"
The Big Bertha has been around forever as I remember building them as a kid. Its a good size rocket and is easy to see in the sky. The pre-cut fins make it a snap to build. The suggested yellow-black paint scheme makes the decals a perfect compliment. No real skill needed as first time builders should have no problems with the Big Bertha. I have nothing negative to say. Get one, its fun to build and fly

"Excellent first rocket"
Tarasdad (Lancaster)
I received the Estes Big Bertha kit as a gift, my very first model rocket build. This is a very easy kit to assemble, with clear, easy to follow instructions. Parts are high quality which helps significantly with the build. I used Titebond II exclusively throughout the build with great results. The only area where I recommend extra care be taken is in sanding the fin edges. To ensure a good glue joint the root edges must have the burn (brown color) from the laser removed to expose clean balsa. Care is required to keep the edges square and flat. Using the recommended method of stacking the fins works well, although care must be taken to keep them properly aligned. Once the burn residue is gone and the leading and trailing edges have been rounded use the double glue technique in the instructions to glue the fins on. Done right you'll end up with a joint that is stronger than the materials being glued together! I chose not to use the kit paint scheme and supplied decals in order to make my Bertha unique. Red and white were used to create an old school look. Decals were a mix of US flags from a sheet of RC airplane decals and text decals created on my P-Touch printer. This rocket just asks to be customized, or you can peruse old Estes catalogs and reproduce one of the many wonderful paint schemes it has carried throughout its long life. To date I haven't been able to launch my Big Bertha (real life getting in the way, as happens) but hope to do so soon. I can heartily recommend this kit as your first model rocket build, and guarantee that once you've built one many more will follow. I already have plans for my second! And third, maybe fourth....

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