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 $29.99  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

"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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  • 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

  • How To Build a Model Rocket
  • Sandpaper
  • Model Rocket Glue (TES3501) or Cement (HLC107)
  • Hobby Knife
  • Masking Tape (PACMT104)
  • Sanding Sealer for fins
  • How to Paint a Model Rocket
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
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"The Bigger The Bertha, The Better!"
As a teacher of Electronics and Aerospace Technologies at a Technology Center I am always looking for exciting ways to get my students involved in activities that will challenge them but, at the same time provide them with a rewarding sense of accomplishment, increased self esteem and most importantly an opportunity to have some fun while learning. The Estes Big Bertha is one of the rockets I really like to use as an entry level kit within my curriculum. It provides an esay build for the students, has awesome and reliable flight characteristics and make a great looking rocket a student can be proud of!! I highly recommend the Big Bertha to anyone looking for an entry level rocket that certainly doesn't look like an entry level rocket and gives excellent performance. The materials of construction will allow for many flights and the straight forward assembly instructions make the Estes Big Bertha a definate win,win! Clear Skies!

"Good Rocket, Good Price"
Hobbylinc has great prices on Estes model rocket kits. Big Bertha is a fine Estes model kit with clear instructions, though I'm not fond of the rubber band shock cord or the way Estes mounts it. I like to see the shock cord attached to the motor mount with Kevlar string. Previous comments referred to the double glue bond fin attachment technique. I use the technique but take it one step further by using my hobby knife to drill small holes along the fun guide lines. This makes tiny glue rivets when the glue dries, giving a little more strength to the fin attachment.

"Everyone should have one"
This is a great flying rocket and should be in every Fleet. A staple to most Flyers. It is easy to build(good first rocket)and looks great. But I enjoy flying as much as any other low power rocket I have. Also, if you go through old Estes catalogs you can find many different paint schemes that look great.

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