Blast from the past. - RC Groups
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:09 AM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar

Blast from the past.

In an attempt to recapture my youth I picked up an old collectable steam launch a few years back.
I had wanted one of these since I first saw one when I was a wee lad in the early 1960's at a local hobby shop.
They were made by Atwood and was a copy of the Jungle boat that ran at DisneyLand.
This one was complete with box manual and all the parts.
Lets just say I don't like to remember how much I had to pay for the trip back in time.
I ended up having to rebuild the boiler but I got her to run.
She moves along at a nice clip.
Just thought you may like to see the old girl. Dave.
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Dec 23, 2009, 11:13 AM
no wings any more, just dust!
Ghost 2501's Avatar
bet she's worth a bob or two now
Dec 23, 2009, 01:40 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
That is really neat!
Dec 23, 2009, 02:40 PM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Atta BOY!! That is very cool.

They just do not make toys like that anymore! Such a shame.
Last edited by craig_c; Dec 23, 2009 at 03:28 PM.
Dec 23, 2009, 03:24 PM
Restful User
Jacques Flambeau's Avatar
Ooh ooh ooh! That is the very same that was my first boat. Late 1950s, '56-'57. Vacu-formed hull and canopy. The boiler has actually an empty soup can with a soldered-on filler cap and steam outlet. Fired by "solid alcohol" tablets. The steam engine was a single cylinder oscillating engine with about a 3/8" bore. Nifty old boat-- I may do a repro some day.

Of note, it was manufactured by Bill Atwood, a prolific model airplane enthusiast (connected with the WenMac 049 and the Cox TD 010). I think his bio is at the AMA website.

Ah, nostalgia.

Dec 23, 2009, 05:26 PM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar
Very interesting Bill.
You are correct about the boiler. I tried a few times to fix the original but it kept leaking. I ended up looking for a replacement and found a tomato paste can was the exact size. I transferred the filler and output to the new boiler (can) and it works good now. The outside of the boiler is just a schroud.
Very cool old sfuff. O the memories!!
Dec 23, 2009, 11:36 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
I had one too, never could make enough steam for more than a few seconds of movement on the water (ditch behind our house). Probably because the tin can boiler had a small leak, that I never discovered until years later :-). Oh that useless black plastic funnel, it took Forever to fill the boiler with it :-).

Very neat boat, my introduction to steam, thanks for posting (I was actually thinking about that boat this morning :-).
Last edited by Brooks; Dec 23, 2009 at 11:51 PM.
Dec 24, 2009, 10:11 AM
Registered User
steamboatmodel's Avatar
I have seen them on EBay a couple of times, but they always went above my budget. I didn't realize they only had a tin can for a boiler. Any chance of getting some close up shots of the boiler and engine?
Dec 24, 2009, 01:08 PM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar
I can do that. I will get some more inside photos.
Yea, The price for any of these collectables can be a killer.
I really don't want to say what I payed but it was in the $$$ bracket.
Dec 24, 2009, 01:25 PM
Retired for now
Has anybody made the Pillar into a steam boat? It was a Spanish gunboat powered by steam but the model goes with an electric motor. Be neat to make it go with steam. Pete
Dec 24, 2009, 01:36 PM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar
Here are a few more photos. These were taken before I worked on the engine and boiler. The engine I just cleaned up and detailed, but the boiler needed a bit more restoration. Dave.
Dec 26, 2009, 12:50 PM
Semi-Official Tinkerer
Subdave's Avatar
There was mention of the USE steam engines in a past post so I took a photo of mine today.
USE is Unit Steam Engine. They were a kit made in the UK many years back.
Not sure if they are still made.
I have two of them. One is still unbuilt and the other built but not lapped or tested.
I don't know much else about them except they were very cheap to buy at the time. Dave.

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