Model Rocket Skill Level

To help in the selection of model rockets, most model rocket kits are classified by a skill level. The skill level typically refers to how complex the construction of the model rocket kit is so a rockets can be found to match with the model builder's experience.

SKILL LEVEL Modeling Experience
Almost Ready To Fly None required
Skill Level 1 Some experience helpful
Skill Level 2 Average modeling experience
Skill Level 3 Advanced modeling experience
Skill Level 4 Expert

A skill level can range from 1 (the easiest) to 4 (the hardest). Even easier than the Skill Level 1 rockets, are those that are almost ready to fly.

Almost Ready To Fly

Catalog Listings
Rocket Kits

The easiest model rockets to build and fly. With extremely simple construction and little or no painting required, these model rockets are perfect to show the excitement of model rocketry without complex rocket construction.

Features of an Almost Ready To Fly Model Rocket are typically:

  • Single stage rockets powered by a single engine no more powerful than a C-Class
  • Easy assembly - no modeling experience required
  • Pre-aligned, molded plastic fin units or Through-the-Tube plastic fins
  • Some measuring
  • Simple gluing
  • No painting or limited painting, depending on the kit
  • Pressure sensitive decals

For even easier model rockets, choose a ready to fly model rocket which is already built.

Skill Level 1

Catalog Listings
Rocket Kits

Very easy to build and fly. Great for the model rocket beginner. Perfect for Boy Scout projects, school field days, or other activities introducing model rocketry to children. These model rocket kits require little assembly and simple decorations (sometimes just the application of decals), making them the perfect choice for Boy Scouts or school projects when only a very limited amount of time is available to build the rocket.

Most Skill Level 1 rockets can often be built and launched in the same day. The key is to use a glue that will set quickly enough to allow this (e.g. white glue will not set quick enough, but plastic cement should). See the Model Rocket Glue guide for more information.

Features of a Skill Level 1 Model Rocket are typically:

  • Single stage rockets powered by a single engine no more powerful than a D-Class
  • Some modeling experience helpful
  • Fin alignment attachment necessary
  • Moderate measuring and cutting
  • Gluing, sanding and sealing required
  • Easy painting patterns
  • Pressure sensitive or water applicable decals

Skill Level 2

Catalog Listings
Rocket Kits

Some experience in model building, especially model rockets helpful. This is a great choice for a second model rocket kit. These kits may have a more complex motor mount kit, have a complex fin design, be 2-stage model rocket, or simply have more pieces and a more challenging assembly. These kits are a good choice for an experienced middle-school rocketeer, or as a first rocket for a high-school student.

Features of a Skill Level 2 Model Rocket are typically:

  • Single stage or multi-stage rockets powered by engines no more powerful than a D-Class
  • Average to above average modeling experience required
  • Fin construction and alignment may be complex
  • Detailed measuring, cutting and gluing
  • Sanding, sealing and varied painting schemes
  • Unique design configurations

Skill Level 3

Catalog Listings
Rocket Kits

For the advanced modeller. Rocketry experience is highly suggested.

The skill level 3 model rockets range from boost gliders, to 2-stage model rockets and 3-stage model rockets, to rockets with D-class or E-class model rocket engines. These would be a great selection for high-school students who have prior model rocketry experience.

Features of a Skill Level 3 Model Rocket are typically:

  • Single stage or multi-stage rockets powered by engines no more powerful than a D-Class
  • Challenges the modeler's skills
  • Advanced wood, paper and plastic construction
  • Precision measuring and cutting
  • Uses several types of adhesives
  • Sanding, sealing and complex painting schemes
  • May have advanced payloads, i.e., electronic or other
  • May be radio-controlled

Skill Level 4

Catalog Listings
Rocket Kits

For expert rocketeers only. Very advanced in both construction and flight.

Typically only for adults, or children 16 years of age with strict supervision.

Features of a Skill Level 4 Model Rocket are typically:

  • Master modeling skills are a must - recommended only for those 16 years of age and older
  • Construction is extremely complex
  • Unlimited propulsion options