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Old Mar 30, 2004, 10:03 PM
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Dumas 19' Racing Runabout

Now I'm EXCITED The new Dumas 19' Racing Runabout arived today. I've built several of these Mahogany boats over the years, and have been anxiousely waiting for this kit to come out since I did the small display model a few years ago.
The good news, is that I will be doing a kit review for RC Boat Modeler magazine once it's complete, so that means I have to get on it right away--sometimes life is tough!!
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Old Mar 30, 2004, 10:12 PM
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The kit

The first inspection of the kit contents I found it to be very similar to Dumas' earlier releases. The plans, unlike their previeouse kits are CAD drawn, and are limited to one full size layout drawing along with several 11X 17 detail drawing sheets and a written instruction book with references to the detailed assembly drawings.
The parts are a combination of dye cut, laser cut, and raw sheet stock and a bag of metal parts and running hardware, with patterns provided for the 1/2" balsa parts. The seats are cut from the 1/2" balsa stock and shaped by the builder rather than the vac formed plastic types as in the earlier kits.
The next step will be to sit down with the written material and study things a bit to get familiar with the build before the gluing starts. Stay tuned, I'll drop assembly photos as soon as things get underway.
PAT
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Old Apr 01, 2004, 10:16 AM
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Construction is underway

Construction of the Racer is coming along nicely. The first step was to build up the forward keel deck sheer assembly and hull frames. The instructions are really clear as to the location of all the components via diagrams on the suplimental instruction sheets.
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Old Apr 01, 2004, 10:21 AM
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Main Hull Frame Assy.

The Hull main frame assembly is done by pinning the Deck sheer to the building board and gluing all the frames in place. A kit provided jig is used to set the proper angle of all the frames, and the keel is then glued in place. The laminated chines will go on next--stay tuned
PAT
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Old Apr 01, 2004, 10:35 PM
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Hull Construction

The basic hull frame is together now, and the bottom skin is in place. In the earlier Chris Craft kits, the hull inner planking was either 1/16" ply laid in on the bias, or balsa strip planks laid the long way, followed by the mahogany planking over that.
On this one, the inner skin is an ABS plastic, which glues well with gap filling Cya, and conforms to the compound curves of the hull beautifully. What's even better, is that the mahogany planking is applied only to the sides--not the bottom. Since the bottom is painted, thre's no need to plank it anyway, and the plastic won't require any water proofing.
The good news is that with this new method of construction, building time up to this point is about half of what I had anticipated, before I found out about the plastic skins.
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Old Apr 01, 2004, 10:42 PM
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From the Top

The hull has been removed from the board and sanded, and is ready for the side skins. This method of building the basic hull frame absolutely guarentees the hull will be straight when it comes off the board. As an added bonus, it's building very light, and as I see it, light is good, you can always add ballast, but a heavy boat stays heavy forever!
PAT
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Old Apr 03, 2004, 04:56 PM
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More Progress

The hull is completely framed and skinned now, and the planking is shaping up nicely. The method of skinning the hull in plastic is in my opinion, a GREAT IDEA! The time to prep the hull for the mahogany planking is just a fraction of the previouse Runabouts I've done.
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Old Apr 03, 2004, 05:02 PM
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Subdeck structure

Once the sides and bottom are skinned, the subdeck structure is added. A few formers and a center stringer are just about all there is to it. The cockpit floors and side walls are glued in and stained, and the hatch assembly framed inside the opening, guarenteeing a perfect fit. Finally, the subdeck skin, which is of course, plastic, is glued in place. After sanding the whole assembly to shape, all the seams were filled and blended with Bondo.
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Old Apr 03, 2004, 05:07 PM
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Hull Planking

With all the skins in place, the mahogany planking is glued to the hull sides and blended into the bottom with Bondo. There is no mahogany planking on the bottom since it will be painted anyway--another inovative feature of this kit, and a real time saver. Planking the bottom of these hulls was truely the hardest part of the project.
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Old Apr 03, 2004, 05:11 PM
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Deck Planking

Now that the sides and transom are planked, it's back to the top side. The dyecut sideboards are added to the subdeck and blended to the sides. At this point I went ahed and puttied up the edges and a couple of small gaps in the side planks. Once all the deck planking is in place, I'll break out the sander and start making some seriouse dust.
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Old Apr 03, 2004, 05:15 PM
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Deck planking

The deck planks and caulk lines are going in now. This is a bit of a slow tediouse process being sure all the joints fit nicely or it will produce a pretty sloppy looking finished model. I hope to finish up the deck planks tomorrow and get started grinding.
PAT
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Old Apr 04, 2004, 01:12 AM
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I was looking forward to reading this over a month
You make it sound soooo easy.
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Old Apr 04, 2004, 10:49 AM
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Easy or No

Martin, I'm glad you like the details on the Chris Craft so far. I think the level of "difficulty" is really a relative thing. The older Dumas Chris Craft kits were, in fact, a lot more difficult to build then this one. The plastic skins not only simplified the sub-planking process, but the internal structure has also been simplified some.
Now, with that being said, gluing the large skins in place requires a bit of attension, but if done as described in the instructions, really isn't all that bad. Laying the planks isn't a big deal eiithr, as the sides are realaitvely flat, and by using the natural warps in the planks in your favor, will go well also.
So far, I would have to say though, that the instructions and detail drawings are the high point of the kit. Since this is a "kit review", I'm building the model, step-by-step, and in the exact order recomended by Dumas. So far so good.
Something else I did was to sit down for over an hour and study the written instructions and drawings to become familiar with the "design". Doing that will actually eliminate alot of confusion once you get started.
Now, all that being said, to me, a build like this is fun and challenging, but I would hate to be a rank beginer trying to figure out how to work with unfamiliar materials and building techniques, all the while learning how to handle unfamiliar adhesives and figuring out sanding and finishing techniques all at the same time. That, could be overwhelming. As good as this kit is, I still wouldn't recomend it to a rank beginner unless they have an experienced modeler in reach to coach them through the project. But, anyone who has build a Dumas kit or two should be able to handle it with little difficulty. Experienced modellers who are into mahogany Runabouts are going to love it!!!
PAT
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Old Apr 04, 2004, 02:34 PM
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Finishing the Hull

All the planks are on and the filling process is complete. This is an area where you'll want to spend the time and be sure all the flaws in the raw wood finish are filled and sanded properly. This is also an area where your fingers will "see" results better then your eyes can. When it's right, you should be able to gently rub your fingers across the surface and not "feel" any bumps, dips or ridges in the surface. I used a palm sander with 150 grit paper to reach that point. Finally, hand sand the whole surface with 320 grit paper to remove any scratches from the detail sanding process.
Plastic Wood "Red Mahogany" filler was used to fill the gaps and flaws in the planking. By the time the prep is finished, the hull sides should look more like they're "sheeted" than "planked". But not to worry, when the stain goes on, the grain will jump back out and start looking "planked" again.
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Old Apr 04, 2004, 02:40 PM
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Staining

This is the only area where I'll deviate from the instructions. To create a little contrast I decided to use the Kit provided water base stain only on the deck planks, then, to get the desired contrast, I used Minwax "Red Oak" stain on the hull sides and deck side boards.
Now, when the Dumas stain dries, dont panic, that nasty orange color will warm into a beautiful orange brown glow when the fiberglass is applied, and the stark contrast between the top and sides will fall right into place. Once the stain has dried, lightly sand the whole surface to remove any fuzz that has grown up from the staining process. Finally, wipe down the whole surface with a damp cloth to remove all the dust.
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