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Old Mar 21, 2009, 12:45 PM
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Build Log
Sterling American Scout C-2 Cargo

I thought I would post a few pictures from the construction of the American Scout. As I previously stated in another thread, this is at least the third one of these Sterling Scout models I have made over the years.

I bought this from someone who's dad collected kits, the price was fair according to what they go for on Ebay and the box was never opened. Unfortunately it was perhaps one of the last of the Sterling American Scout kits that were made after they were sold to Estes, they must have wanted to get a few more kits in circulation. Every piece of balsa in the kit were different thickness, for example one bulkhead was 3/16" and the corresponding one was 3/32", more important none of the pieces were identified, guess they ran out of ink. This was no task for someone who hasen't built this kit at least several times before to be able to identify at least 95% of the parts from past experience.

What I decided to do is make every piece of the cabin and deck booms out of plastic, I wanted that perfect finish and didn't want to spend days on trying to match balsa pieces deck by deck that were of varying thickness, not to mentioned many were just so poorly punched from the sheets. Also the theory was I could make each deck to attached to the next by corner plates and screws from inside so that each deck could be painted without having to tape the cabin walls.

As most everyone does I keep placing the parts on the hull so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor along the way. I'll keep posting a few pictures during various stages of the construction but first need to install a lock on the downstairs of my celler for a little peace and quiet time.

I wanted to state how much I hated building some of these Sterling kits in the 50's because even when new the quality control and many of the parts never punched out of the sheets without damage of one sort or another, but how we love them today even at Ebay prices.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 12:57 PM
"day ain't over yet-"
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Western N.Y. winemaking country
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That was one heck of a kit for its day, and too bad it is no longer available, except occasionally on Flea Bay.

Guess if a want a C-2 tanker/freighter, I'll have to get some plans and start some heavy-duty scratchbuilding---.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Ed, you must dearly love the American Scout for some reason, or maybe you are just a masochist to want to keep building these old Sterling kits.

Your plastic construction sure does look good. I was thinking the same thing that you posted in one of your pics, that you have a hobby shop collection of Evergreen!
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 01:37 PM
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the [QUOTE=Kmot]Ed, you must dearly love the American Scout for some reason, or maybe you are just a masochist to want to keep building these old Sterling kits.

Hi Knot, Actually built the first one when I was perhaps 13, the second around 35 and this one at 61. I guess I just get tired of them after a while and want to make the next one even better. Building another 42' Sterling Corvette at the same time as well a Model Slipways Loyal Class Fleet
Tender.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 02:15 PM
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Ed, knowing what you actually get in the Missouri kit, your craftsmanship is outstanding! That is also evidenced by your current progress on the American Scout.

It was always too much of a high dollar kit for me, even at its original prices, that I have only drooled at the pictures in the catalogs. Saw the real ship many years ago when we escorted her during the evacuation of South Vietnam.

Pete G.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 11:06 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by der kapitan
That was one heck of a kit for its day, and too bad it is no longer available, except occasionally on Flea Bay.

Guess if a want a C-2 tanker/freighter, I'll have to get some plans and start some heavy-duty scratchbuilding---.
Loyalhanna has a mold for the Scout hulls now(ex Steffen/Hartman). You only have to scratch everything else.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 07:53 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
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Yeah Willem, but that's the "easy" part, isn't it---?
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 08:09 AM
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
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great details!
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Use of plastic and Hull Weight

Does the use of the plastic card add significant weight to topsides? Knowing that the lower Hull is built with balsa block material and that the upper portion of hull is balsa airplane type construction will the added weight of the plastic card cause ballast and trim problems.

I have a Scout which I plan to start next year. I will do it with a friend who has one started and one in the box. He also has the MO in the box. Our kits are from older runs of the kit and thankfully the balsa materials are a uniform thicknesses.(I think in earlier post you said yours were not) I know that making wood look like steel is difficult, especially open grained balsa, but the ship must swim after project is complete.

Like you I will really strive for detail. My goal is to have friends and family question my sanity when I put it in the lake behind my house.

Ship looks great. I will watch your progress with great interest.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 10:25 AM
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edmigley51146 Really nice job. The Scout is such a great looking model. We have two in our club. WSBA Member Bob D won Peoples Choice at the Midwest Model contest in May of 06. He was worried about running it after he broke a boom so we convinced him to build a cargo ship just for running. He got a fiberglass Scout hull and built himself a generic ship to play with.

The other is by member Chuck L in Manitowoc has one too. She looks fantastic on the water cruising along.

roach101761 I don't know what the other builders but I found that the fiberglass hull required considerable ballast to get her down. I used styrene to construct the superstructure, my lifeboats were solid wood, the crane pedestals were recycled Lindberg PT torpedo tubes, and the cranes were HO railroad cranes. There was allot of topside weight. I used two of the big old window sash weights to ballast her.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 11:25 AM
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Use of Plastic and Hull Weight

The reason why I wanted to make all the cabin structures, booms, if fact, anything else I could out of plastic I knew I could get much more detail in the end results. Go back a few photos and take a close look at the USS Missouri I posted. Everything including the 16" guns was made from plastic, now compare this to the Sterling kit's method and building materials.

With plastic cabins I can do all the electrical boxes, power cables, trim, portholes (illuminated) doors both open and closed but in the long run it's so much more easy, stronger, and will finish better than balsa. Our boats spend more time on shelves being admired than actually in the water.

I do not disagree that you can do the same detail with wood but plastic is forever that's precisely why we fiberglass the hulls to make them stronger and give us a more enduring painting surface. As far as ballast, this model will require a lot of ballast anyway to get it down to just below the waterline.

Lot's of nice posts and pictures coming forth in this thread. Liberty Ships and C-2's were the way it was for most of us remaining builders and admires of all things classic.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 06:21 PM
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I learned a valuable lesson with the Dumas USS Crockett kit and high weight. The twin 50 cals were way oversized and made of white metal. They weighed a ton. I liberated some 50's from a Lindberg PT. Not the nicest examples of machine guns but the model behaved sooooo much better.
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Old Mar 22, 2009, 10:02 PM
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Even though plastic is denser than balsa (even light plywood) you can use very thin stock plus you can skip the heavy filler to remove the grain. The finished construction should be lighter. Plywood is still a great choice for structural beams.
I would think that on a large displacement ship like the freighter, you could almost build the upper works out of anything and still need ballast in the hull.
Just my two cents.

Dave
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Old Mar 25, 2009, 10:27 AM
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Build Log Continued

Had a few more minutes last night so I decided to take some creative license in adding some detail to the stack. Also I laminated two sheets of plastic together and have started to cut out the platforms both fore and aft of each of the towers. Again this replaces the balsa that comes with the kit.
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