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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:06 PM
Twin screw homebrew
stephavee's Avatar
Joined Nov 2011
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Build Log
My first steam boat "Midwest Fantail Launch"

A good friend of mine gave me this boat kit and a PT-40 plane kit when i was over helping him clean out his shop. SCORE!!! I dont know anything about planes but this little boat looks cool. So i had to buy the steam engine that was made for it.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:21 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
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I started working on the boiler. This was the first time i ever soldered pipe like this and had to redo some of the joints a few times. I found out it was easyer to bend the steam tube before you solder it into the boiler top
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:26 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Sad day! i was sanding the main frame to polish it up and found it was a bad casting! The pin hole goes right into the steam header.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:31 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Nothing i can do about it now so i will just glue it up and hope it holds...Kinda bumms me out though! That hole could have been somewhere less visable. Oh well...I got it all polished up and pressed in the main bushings.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:36 PM
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Joined Aug 2010
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nice, it polished up good, keep up the good work!
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:38 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
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My fingers were already black from my buffing wheel so i did some more polishing on the flywheel and assembled the crank. This was easy to do just some thin CA glue.
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 05:53 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
111 Posts
Thanks catchthis! I got to say i love Midwest products! great instructions and how-to's. the die cut wood for the boat kit looks real nice also...I herd they're going out of buisness? Is that right? If so i think i will build these kits as close to the one on the box as i can and pass it down to my kids....after lots of trips to the lake!
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 08:11 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
111 Posts
Flywheel and crank in the main frame. Its hard to keep my oily fingers off the polished parts and take a picture without a glare!
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 08:19 PM
Steamy laser dude.
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Canada, BC, Victoria
Joined Oct 2011
250 Posts
Great work so far. I am a huge fan of the fantail and the little engine. It's a shame, but from what I gather, they are stopping making boats. I also really enjoyed their clear instructions and overall high quality wood.

Enjoy building the engine and boiler. There are lots of things you can do to make it work better. I ended up adding a steam dome of sorts, adding a 'superheater', and routing exhaust up the stack.
I think the steam going upward looks more in line with my imagination of a steam boat.
If you want, you can see mine here.
Steam Launch Whippoorwill (2 min 34 sec)


It was the first boat I built on my own. (probably still my favourite)
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 09:53 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
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Realy cool!!! I've seen that video before...and wondered what that cylinder was on top of the boiler? also did you run a coil under the boiler for you supper heater? I gotta say this will be my slowest boat by a long shot but im hooked on steam already! Im already looking at more advanced engines for my next steamer. Im looking for FWD/REV action and maybe with a whistle but they are not cheep are they! Also do you think it would handle a brass 3blade prop with more pitch? I want alittle more ripple off the bow and a chug...chug sound. Cool helmsman where did you find him?
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 10:00 PM
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I'm staring at my Midwest fantail launch right now!
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:29 PM
Twin screw homebrew
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Joined Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underthetire View Post
I'm staring at my Midwest fantail launch right now!
Post it I'd like to see it go together! Im getting my engine together first...i can't wait to see if it will realy work! kinda seems too simple to work...but then again thats the beauty of it! good luck hope your frame casting is nicer than mine was!
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Old Jun 18, 2012, 11:49 PM
Steamy laser dude.
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Canada, BC, Victoria
Joined Oct 2011
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That little cylinder on top is just extra space for steam to build, just keeps the initial blast of steam a bit less wet. And yes, for the superheater it is just a coil of tubing in the firebox.
For my second steamer I went for a Wilesco D49 which had a nice boiler, with a whistle, and an engine which could reverse. I wouldn't really suggest it though; the engine was a let down. I would suggest something from Graham Industries. They are fairly affordable and well worth the money. As for a boiler, I don't really have any ideas. Most for sale are expensive, and even making one yourself will be a lot of money and time.
My midwest has a fairly small prop, a larger one will slow the engine, but may give the boat more thrust. I am far from an expert.
The figures are just some dollhouse figures I picked up. The midwest is 1:12 scale, which is pretty common for dollhouse makers. Lots of accessories to decorate with, and people to use.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 12:34 AM
Twin screw homebrew
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1:12 scale...good to know thanks! I think the stock prop for this kit is real close to the props that come on the proBoat pt-109 if that helps anyone. so im thinking about a 35mm brass prop with more pitch or wider blades...If it stalls her out then i will try again! had a hard time with the piston...as i put the heat to it the end poped out. after a few trys i solderd the piston head to the shaft and just CA glued the con-rod end in. I could only get one or the other to weld! the cylender was easy to do and now im ready to put it all together.
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Old Jun 19, 2012, 09:14 AM
made of fire and pop rocks
bgnome's Avatar
Richmond Virginia
Joined Oct 2009
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you are going to love that little boat! I have two of the Elliot bay steam launches and use the mk IV steam plant.

oh, and Midwest isn't going out of business, just getting out of the model business and concentrating on educational products, so they Fire sold a lot of back stock models. and the steam plants are getting harder and harder to find.

here's a vid of my operational Elliot Bay
Midwest Elliot Bay steam launch, "Hoffen" (1 min 47 sec)
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