1/20 scale Aluminum WW2 ELCO PT Boat - RC Groups
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Oct 15, 2010, 08:39 PM
PT Boat's Avatar
Build Log

1/20 scale Aluminum WW2 ELCO PT Boat

Hi Guys,

I thought it was time I posted a few pictures of my scratch-built aluminum PT Boat that I started building back in 2003. Having a keen interest in learning the craft of metalshaping at the time, I went looking for an aluminum project that would provide a serious challenge for me at the same time. Then one day I saw an old B&W picture of a US Navy PT Boat underway, and I knew I had found my project.

I ended up meeting that challenge in the end, I just needed 6 years or so to learn the metalshaping techniques required to pull it off! The hull got riveted up in the fall of 2009, and she went for her maiden voyage last weekend at a local pond.

The boat performed nicely, but I need to find a lighter battery setup to get her sitting a little higher in the water. I have SLA's in there right now, but they proved to have limited run time and they're just too heavy.

I decided that her official designation is going to be PT 814, named as a token tribute to the only four real aluminum PT Boats ever built by the US Navy. Prior to the end of WW2, all PT Boats had been made of wood, until the late forties when the US Navy built four experimental PT Boats out of aluminum, numbered PT 809 through PT 812. The next available number was PT 813, which would likely sink immediately when placed in water, so I settled on the number PT 814. I took a few liberties with historical accuracy to accomodate the metal and r/c aspects of the boat, but it ought to look something like a real PT boat when she's done.

I've posted some pics of the hull below that were taken just after the rivet job last fall, and here's a link to the Youtube video from last weekend:

PT 814 Sea Trials.mpg (7 min 51 sec)

Last edited by PT Boat; Oct 18, 2010 at 09:08 PM.
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Oct 15, 2010, 09:03 PM
Registered User
She looks great! Really admire your skills.

In the photos she doesn't look like she's made of aluminum, more like stainless steel.
Oct 15, 2010, 09:20 PM
Registered User
Very nice!
Oct 15, 2010, 09:29 PM
PT Boat's Avatar

Early pictures

Here's a few more pictures taken during the hull construction. The hull was built in the assembly jig below to ensure that it came out straight and true.

Last edited by PT Boat; Oct 17, 2010 at 05:07 PM.
Oct 15, 2010, 09:56 PM
Registered User
Again, very nice. I built a 24" work boat hull out of 16 gauge sheet metal, but I just cut out the hull plates and shaped them over my knee then welded them together with no internal framing.
Oct 15, 2010, 11:25 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Wow Wow Wow!!!!

That is too friggin' awesome for words!!!
Oct 15, 2010, 11:28 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Since you do not need so much ballast, try using either 6-cell NiMh packs or even lighter LiPo battery packs.
Oct 15, 2010, 11:44 PM
Registered User
Fantastic sheetmetal work!
Oct 16, 2010, 12:07 AM
Registered User

Pinhead's boat
Oct 16, 2010, 12:15 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Cool build.
Oct 16, 2010, 01:21 AM
Registered User
chesguy's Avatar

Nice stuff

Hey Ken, beautiful metal work. As my father would say,(worked on a/c sheetmetal thru WW II)"nice tin bashing"
I'm in Smithville are you a member of Confederation Marine Modellers?
BTW, FYI the Lanc will be flying around noon today (weather permitting)
Oct 16, 2010, 06:29 AM
Registered User
Predreadnut's Avatar
Now there's something you dont see everyday! Thats just pretty darn cool! As said before, to save weight use stick batteries, try here they have good batteries at great prices. www.all-battery.com
Last edited by Predreadnut; Oct 16, 2010 at 06:46 AM.
Oct 16, 2010, 09:14 AM
"Damn The Torpedoes...."
PT-333's Avatar
Really nice work, outstanding, I would love to see what you could do with a PT-8 in metal!
Oct 16, 2010, 09:40 AM
Registered User

pt boat

hey that looks great ,i build a wood 5' and had to move a lot to the rear to get the bow out of the water more here a shot and a movie good luck ,rye


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