1955 37' Scratch CC Corvette - RC Groups
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Nov 22, 2010, 03:31 PM

1955 37' Scratch CC Corvette

Currently building two 1955 Chris~Craft 37’ Corvettes from scratch. Work began on 3/21/10 and I now have 225 hours into construction. One I will keep and make RC to play with; the other will be sold to recoup some of the cost. Scale is 1”=1’. Building from original CC plans from the CC museum. Ten of these boats were originally built by CC.
Only the decks are fixed in place at present. The cabins and tops are not assembled. I am thinking of making a “canvas” convertible top and any suggestions on this would be appreciated as I have not done this before.
I buy approximately 20board ft. of mahogany at a time which makes approximately 4 boats. This is then resawn, and planned down to the thickness needed. Generally I use 3/32”-1/8” for cabin sides and 1/16” for all planking.
Does anyone know the owner of the real boat located in Virginia? I really would love pictures of that boat. My assistance so far is from an owner of a 1954 36’ Corvette but many details are different for the 1955.
Unlike previous models I have built, this one will NOT include completed interiors. I will use tinted glass, and venetian blinds to obstruct views of the interior.
It takes me approximately 40 hours to complete each hull which includes drawing the frames from the line drawings. Usually it takes me one year to complete a model and this one does not appear to be any different except the total hours will be greater. (I estimate 150 hours per boat or total 300 hours.) Obviously a long way to go yet!
I use ¼” exterior BC ply (three layers) at a nominal thickness of 3/16” for the frames. One full sheet will make four boats. NEVER use veneer.
Keels are made from ¼” thick 1x 4 or 1x6 poplars from Lowes but care in selection is important as many are warped or bowed. I use a homemade generic jig to set my frames correctly and keep my keel straight. I also use an adjustable water line jig to obtain correct waterlines.
The stern and bow were shaped from solid balsa, the hull glassed then the stern planked with 1/16” mahogony. Finish will be semi gloss Min Wax Polyurethane on the sides and decks, and gloss on the stern on top of Chris~Craft mahogany filler stain. I “plank” the bottom and sides with 1/32” aircraft ply along the straight parts. Balsa planking in the curves and solid balsa in the stern and bow. Tops are balsa. (Only way to get the correct curves.)
Decks are 1/16” aircraft ply w/1/16” mahogany planking.
I use Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty available from any auto store or Walmart to help shape and fill low spots and holes on the ply and on the entire boats AFTER glassing or several coats of prime. (Prior to glassing, I work the balsa with Hobbico Hobbylite but this MUST be sealed good and no water ever allowed to get into it.)
Trying to keep the cost down, the stuffing box’s are easily made from brass tubing and easily obtained 3/16” flanged oillite bearings.
Shafts-3/16” stainless from Dumas
Glue- I use only BSI ca extra thick for EVERYTHING. Usually takes three 2 oz bottles per boat plus Instaset.
Motors- Johnson 3-6VDC 12,000rpm@6v 1.2amps or Mabuchi RS-550pc 9,000RPM@1.3amps. All available from places like All Electronics for around $3.50-$5.00 (www.allelectronics.com)
Rudders- from Lowell Briggs Hobbies in Nova Scotia as they are plastic on brass shafts and can be shaped as needed and are very realistic looking.
Props- I like Riva props also from Lowell Briggs as they are polished, and easily screwed onto the Dumas shafts. Available in left and right.
Fabric flags- from Loyalhanna Dockyaard and is a BECC product.
Glass- I have seen many discussions on here about glassing and I use my own system which I neither brag about nor complain about. But I do use 1 ½ oz cloth. (I don’t glass the static boat I sell)
Prime- I use Duplicolor high build sandable primer FP 102 red primer (only after glassing) and Duplicolor sandable 1694 Red primer available only from Napa.
Insides- are sealed with several coats of Min Wax Sand and Sealer.
Battery’s- I use either 12v 2.3ah 2.07# rechargeable sealed lead-calcium or 6v 1.43ah 1.43# for smaller boats. My run times using said batteries and motors are between 20-45 minutes based on previous models. This is running at a nice cruising speed, NOT racing since all of my models are Cruisers and said system will not generate a lot of speed. All available from All Electronics for between $5.00-$12.00
Struts- Are Dumas (3314) 3/16” struts. (Some boats require home made struts)
Water pump- for exhaust is purchased from the Walters catalog. Much quieter then the old automotive 12v windshield water pumps.
Electronic speed controls- I use some small ones available at most hobby stores not exceeding $45.00.
Sound system- Available many places.
Cleats- available again from Lowell Thomas and match original CC cleats very closely. (#449) These do seem to be in short supply now.
CC decals- I have made locally. VERY expensive for the first run but I get maybe 20-30 of them for the one price. Cost is in the initial setup.
Bitts- Dumas 28-124
Vents- Home made, plastic shaped and “clam shells” are shaped poplar wood remnants. .
Miscellaneous tool cost- By all my estimates I spend approximately $27.00 per boat for wear on bench sander, vibrating sander, mouse sander, rotary tools, scroll saw, drill press, drills, sand papers, sand paper disc, mouse paper, razor blades, mineral spirits, acetone, sanding drums, fiberglass cloth, polyurethanes, brushes, electricity, etc.
Bow lights- For these models I am using modified Dumas parts from their Commander kit.
Running lights- plastic, scratch built and set on a mahogany side board.
Chrome trim- I use shiny duct tape over wood tightly pressed to obtain the trim. Works very well with a little practice and experience!
Control of rudders- I use a simple homemade system utilizing 4 micro switches. When the rudders are turned ½ way, the inside motor shuts off, when the rudders are turned further, the inside motor turns in reverse. This allows the boat to turn on its axis.

Thus you have my entire procedures and I hope maybe it will help others or others can help me with better ways to do things. I am ALWAYS open to suggestions and new ideas.

Bob Memory

(Disclaimer--- I only show my web site to show off my models NOT to sell them. It is a freaking hobby, definitely not a money maker
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Nov 22, 2010, 03:47 PM
[QUOTE]Control of rudders- I use a simple homemade system utilizing 4 micro switches. When the rudders are turned ½ way, the inside motor shuts off, when the rudders are turned further, the inside motor turns in reverse. This allows the boat to turn on its axis./QUOTE]

sounds very innovative
any video of this manuovering on water?

Nov 23, 2010, 02:02 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Could you give us more information on the water pump that you use?
Nov 23, 2010, 09:52 AM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Very nice Bob! Glad to see you posting again.
Nov 23, 2010, 12:45 PM
Registered User
P_J_Glor's Avatar
She is quite lovely. Did you base your model drawings on the Chris Craft drawings from the library at the Newport News Mariners Museum?

Pete G.
Nov 23, 2010, 03:06 PM
[QUOTE=Melih PEKOL;16620338]
Control of rudders- I use a simple homemade system utilizing 4 micro switches. When the rudders are turned ½ way, the inside motor shuts off, when the rudders are turned further, the inside motor turns in reverse. This allows the boat to turn on its axis./QUOTE]

sounds very innovative
any video of this manuovering on water?

No, but I assure you it will turn on its own axis.
Nov 23, 2010, 03:06 PM
Originally Posted by P_J_Glor
She is quite lovely. Did you base your model drawings on the Chris Craft drawings from the library at the Newport News Mariners Museum?

Pete G.
I buy all my plans from the CC museum. Start with line drawings and shop drawings
Nov 23, 2010, 03:07 PM
Originally Posted by MILLERTIME
Could you give us more information on the water pump that you use?
Available from Walters catalog. Mainly used in model train ponds.. I hope they still sell them as I haven't looked for awhile. Quite expensive though
Nov 23, 2010, 03:10 PM
Originally Posted by Melih PEKOL
No, but I assure you it will turn on its own axis.
I used to have a drawing of the hookup but not sure I still have it. Can install the entire set up on a small block of wood, then install the unit as one piece
Nov 23, 2010, 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by Kmot
Very nice Bob! Glad to see you posting again.
Painting the bottoms now, then finish varnishing the stern, then paint the sides
Dec 01, 2010, 01:42 PM

Paint Problems....

Any paint experts out there? I have always used Duplicolor auto primer, then Krylon white on my hulls, then krylon acrylic clear. First hull worked fine..
But the second, using a new can of Krylon bunched up much as laquer over enamel would do. I notice the new can has a new label and also contains acetone and has a lead warning!! Apparently Krylon changed formulas on me. I thought lead couldn't be used in the US.
I guess I have to go to the air brush and hobby laquers....
Can someone tell me what is going on?
Dec 01, 2010, 09:41 PM
i see this problem has been addressed before... sigh..
Dec 03, 2010, 04:34 AM
Spreckels Lake, GGP, SF, CA
craig_c's Avatar
Ahh, you found the "krylon-bad" article... good.

Here's some info based on what I used to do and so other things that I and others dug up a while back when I had to go looking for some epoxy finishes compatible with what I had already but was aging and to answer a couple of paint questions here on RC/G.

Originally Posted by Craig_C
One finish system I haven't tried yet is KLASS KOTE, but my understanding is that it is a virtually identical chemical clone for the old Hobbypoxy/K&B Superpoxy systems that I used to use for boats all the time! The stuff was great, you just had to be sure not to oversand (too smooth) between coats as it used a physical bond between coats and that requires some "tooth" to the previous coat.

Originally Posted by Craig_C
You might want to check out these three threads referencing Klass Kote which is an apparently direct replacement for K&B SuperPoxy (not the UltraPoxy):

RC Painting

What Paint for finishing a wooden hull?

Klass Kote vs the others

They have replacements & alternatives.
OK, a quick proviso... I haven't used this stuff yet, but I am going to, probably in my next wood project. If, as advertised, this could be great.

Used to be I would only use K&B or HobbyPoxy in my building (if I wasn't using lacquer), but with the VOC regs and such, they were driven off the shelves.

However, recently I came across Klass Kote {US Mfg. Site} which is the same type of two part epoxy coating we were used to. In talking to them, I also found out that the hardener will kick, IIRC, the SuperPoxy as well.

This is off the Canadian distributer's website FAQ:

Klass Kote apparently has a new ones on their web site, including this one in BC.
Mr. Lester Koeneman
312 Broadway St. W
Nakusp BC v0g1r0
Phone: 888-475-5082
Email: lester@lestershobbies.com - Web: http://www.lestershobbies.com

Can I use KLASS KOTE components (epoxy, catalyst & reducer) with other epoxies?

Testing appears to indicate that KLASS KOTE and Hobbypoxy/K&B Superpoxy are freely interchangeable. That is to say, that any of the components of any of the three will work equally as well together as the "correct" brand.
The US Site added the caution:
However, we cannot recommend KLASS KOTE catalyst for use with K&B Ultrapoxy. When tested, Ultrapoxy would not cure properly and was never fuelproof, even when mixed with Superpoxy catalyst.
UPDATE: This link bad -Here is a PDF of their Product Data Sheet

UPDATE: This link bad - This is their PDF mix chart for FS, Luftwaffe, IJN and other colors as well as an HTML of the old Hobby Poxy mixing charts
UPDATE: NEW COLOR MIXING LIST and Instructions here!

Originally Posted by Craig_C
Now here's one that another modeler mentioned, and it's on my checkout list as well... if for no other reason then the VOC rules in California for pigments are going to really tighten next year according to the guy down at the auto paint shop I usually buy from... all pigments are to be water based.

Nelson Hobby Direct

Originally Posted by from NELSON Hobby Direct's website:
Our NELSON Hobby Paint™ is made for us by System Three Resins®, Inc. in Washington. System Three is the first company to manufacture full-scale aircraft quality polyurethane paints and a two part epoxy primer that can be thinned or reduced with water. Their products are used extensively in the Industrial, Aerospace, Marine, and Automotive industries for several years. The same quality paint and primer are exclusively offered to the hobbyist by NELSON Hobby Specialties The NELSON Hobby paint and primer are perhaps the safest painting products available for general purpose use by the hobbyist. Excellent results are obtained, even in a home workshop environment. . . .

<sizable clip>

. . . There is no concern about water coming in contact with the paint after the paint has dried. The paint isn't going to wash off when water comes in contact with it. Once the water has evaporated, additional water contact has no effect. This paint was marketed by System Three® Resins has been used for years on fiberglass boats that are constantly exposed to salt water, rain, ice, and direct sunlight. Also the paint is marketed to the home built full scale aircraft market.

NELSON Hobby paint with the addition of the recommended Cross Linker additive (only 8 drops per ounce of paint) allows the use of 40-50% nitro fuels. The paint can be used without the Cross Linker, on solid surfaces, when gasoline or low nitro glow fuel is used.
Latest blog entry: Ah, To be young again...
Dec 07, 2010, 02:11 PM
I followed all your links and find quite a discussion on finishes. Thanks.. I would also like to add in my 2 cents on that 3m body filler. I love it! I used that stuff back in the early 60's on my '56 Ford Crown Vic conv and still use it on my models now.
But in digging, I am not sure I found a solution to using Duplicolor primer since it is an enamel. Seems if I can find a primer and filler primer which is good for laquor I can still use the Krylon.. However I understand from others the new Krylon is very cantanerous. Obviously I am searching for 1) Cheap, 2) local.. Your thoughts?
Dec 08, 2010, 03:30 PM


Seems like I already posted ref this model much earlier. Sorry for messing anyone up.. Obviously my pc and mind skills are weak..


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