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Old Jan 05, 2014, 12:53 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Jan 2013
50 Posts
Build Log
MODIFIED- Midwest Fantail II & Model VI Engine

I'm new here but have been involved with R/C cars (Tamiya, Kyosho 1/12, 1/10, 1/8) and helicopters (Vario .60 size) for 30 years, and more recently steam powered boats. Later this year I'll be converting a picket boat model of the boat that sank the Albemarle to live steam R/C, with hopefully a working torpedo and gun-powder firing gun.

Here's my build of the Midwest kit. I'm making the following mods to the standard kit:
Engine
- in-line lubricator (Roundhouse Eng in the UK)
- condensation tank (Clerendon Steam in the UK)
- whistle (minicastings, PM Research)
- T-fitting and valve (Steamfittings in the UK)
- various accessories (Always Hobbies, minicastings, blackgates)

Boat
- hidden servo for tiller
- R/C actuation for whistle, through the captain's arm
- epoxy hull rather than messy fiberglass
- Humbrol enamel paints
- teak deck planks
- mahogany cabin planks
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 12:56 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Jan 2013
50 Posts
Hidden tiller servo install

Ok, here's the first mod. I decided to not mount the rudder servo horn as instructed by Midwest, because it would be above the deck. Instead, I concealed it so that no servo arms or horns are visible outside the hull. Take a look:

Note: the last photo shows the stock setup. I had to cut into the rudder tube to allow for the servo horn to fit.
The servo is mounted to two strips of scrap basswood that came from another kit I will be building.
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 12:58 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Jan 2013
50 Posts
Coating the hull

Here's the next update:

I sealed the hull in WEST System epoxy. This is world class stuff, and is used for full-sized boat construction.

1st coat: System epoxy resin #105, hardener #205, mixed in 5:1 ratio. This creates a nice almost watery texture that will be absorbed into the balsa wood.
2nd coat: do it right after the 1st coat, don't wait until it sets! Before you start, pre-mix into the resin #105 equal parts by volume the WEST System Colloidal Silica #406. This creates a pre-hardened mixture that will add strength to your hull. Note that the silica is hazardous and should not be inhaled. Wear suitable protection.
Wait 24-30 hours until it cures, it should be like in the attached photos.
Sand with 220 grit. Clean with tack cloth.
3rd coat: repeat 1st coat to get a nice smooth even and strong hull. Don't touch it and wait 24-30 hours for it to set.

This is WAY simpler, cleaner, and better, than messing with fiberglass tape. This is also the way to seal a planked hull. (With added interior fillers and carbon fiber tape, you don't even need space consuming interior bulkheads… but more on that when I convert the picket boat to steam power late this year…)

Next step: fitting the steam engine, with a lubricator, condensation tank, and working whistle!
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 01:01 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Jan 2013
50 Posts
Mechanics

Here's an overview of the engine and mechanics, and how I did the plumbing.
Some of the plumbing will be running under the deck.
I made a larger deck than the plans called for, and covered it with mahogany strips (see in background).
Not pictured: I'm using a universal joint and brass Prop Shop propeller. I think the U-joint is ESSENTIAL to get the most torque out of the engine!!
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 07:15 PM
"gamma"
sergio-italia's Avatar
Milano - Italy
Joined Dec 2007
240 Posts
I built a fantail launch some years ago and enjoied the building very much; yours is coming along very nicely and the piping is interesting...waiting for you next steps
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 07:20 PM
Steamy laser dude.
SenorNeekers's Avatar
Canada, BC, Victoria
Joined Oct 2011
250 Posts
Looking at the picture, does the steam exhaust into a condenser, and then exit at the spout above the little bucket, or is there a tube exiting at the top?

Can't quite make it out.
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Old Jan 05, 2014, 10:44 PM
Registered User
Canada, ON, Toronto
Joined Jan 2013
50 Posts
There's a tube exiting at the top of the condenser.
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