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Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:20 PM
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Mini-Review

Dumas "City of Buffalo"


The City of Buffalo was designed by Capt. J. W. Pierce, built in Jamestown NY, and launched in 1890. Designed for passenger traffic on Chautauqua Lake, the 125 foot steamer could carry up to 1,000 passengers. The City of Buffalo was one of 13 sister ships that were built entirely of wood and sheathed in steel. Unfortunately, like so many other boats of this type she was lost to fire in 1929.

The model is done in 1:48 scale. LOA is 33" with a bream of 7 3/4". Construction is primarily of wood and plastic with a "plank on frame" hull. As with most Dumas kits, the first goal is an easy to build, good running model, so some licence has been taken to simplify the build. The hull has also been deepened a bit to insure the inherently top heavy design would be stable on the water.

The kit contains everything needed to build the model, and requires only a 2 ch. radio, ESC, and motor along with the available running hardware package to set it up. And if the model is built to run, I would recommend fiber glassing the hull to eliminate the possibility of water intrusion.

As with any new project, and especially one of this type, before construction begins, take the time to familiarize yourself with the instructions and detail drawings so you'll understand the assembly sequence before construction begins. Then as as you progress through the build, always read a few steps ahead so you'll know what's coming. Believe me, that will save a lot of head scratching along the way.

Recommended power is a 6 volt 05 motor, but I plan to power the model with a 370 Outrunner on 2 cells, which should provide more then adequate power for a model of this type. So with that said, let's get started.
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Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:28 PM
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Building the Hull Frames and Keel


Construction begins with building the keel and hull frames. The frames and keel are assembled over full size drawings from the laser cut ply parts and standard size strip wood. The instructions walk you through each assembly in sequence.

Take note on Frame 1; The notch is too tall and required filling to fit the keel properly. A piece of 1/8 x 1/4 bass wood was used to re-size the notch and was glued in before the frame was assembled onto the keel.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:33 PM
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Assembling the Mail Hull Frame


Once all of the hull parts are assembled, the frames are placed on the keel and the frames hot glued to the building board. With the frames aligned with the keel all of the frames are glued in place and the sheer strips are added. At this point, the basic frame is ready to plank.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:47 PM
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Planking the Hull


The planking sequence is laid out step-by-step in the written instructions along with a diagram showing the sequence in the detail drawing sheets. The sequence worked perfectly, with the only deviation being that I laid the sixth plank along the keel first, then followed the sequence to the letter from there on.

The hull is planked using 1/8 x 3/8 balsa. The wood density varies a bit withing the wood provided, so use the softer wood where the compound bends are required and the harder wood for the straighter runs. Where the wood resisted bending I used water to soften the plank making it easier to conform to the required shape.

When you get started, have plenty of clamps handy to hold the planks in place while the glue dries. I used Zap medium Cya to tack the wood to the frames, and thick between the planks. A couple years ago I would have used carpenters glue between the planks, but somewhere along the way the formula for "instant glue" changed and for whatever reason it's no longer instant, so using the slow stuff there is plenty of time to get the planks properly aligned before the glue kicks.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Fitting the Filler Blocks


Balsa blocks are used to shape the bow and stern. The blocks are cut from 1/2" balsa sheet and glued in place. The blocks are carved to rough shape and sanded to final contour. Once that's done, the entire hull was block sanded to rough shape.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 12:55 PM
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Filling and Final Shaping


Drywall mud was mixed up and a thin coat squeegeed onto the entire hull. When dry, the surface was block sanded to shape, then hand sanded to the final contour. Any rough spots were re-filled and detail sanded to prep the surface for fiber glass.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Fiber Glassing the Hull


The hull was sheathed with 2 oz. fiber glass cloth using West Systems epoxy resin thinned with Denatured Alcohol. The cloth actually went on in one big piece with slit made to accommodate the keel and at the bow. The resin was brushed on and allowed to cure overnight.

The inside of the hull was then "hardened" using thinned West Systems resin. When fully cured, the outside was wet sanded and then the external keel was fitted and glued in place.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 01:05 PM
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Fitting the Sub-Deck and Building the Rudder


The Sub-Deck is aligned and glued in place on the hull. A little care needs to be taken to insure proper alignment since the deck forms a lip all the way around the hull. The rudder bearing tube is glued into the hull next, and the rudder built up using the kit provided parts.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 01:13 PM
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Prepping the Hull for Paint


To prep the fiber glass surface for paint, a good stand-up mix of West Systems epoxy and micro balloons was made up and a small fillet was made around the deck edge and the external keel. The fillet was shaped and allowed to cure. Doing it this way requires little or no sanding once the resin has cured.

Once the fillet had cured, the entire hull was squeegeed with a thin coat of red spot glazing putty. When dry, the entire surface was wet sanded and the last of the stubborn spots refilled and sanded. At this point, the hull is ready to prime, but with the weather turning nasty for the next few days, painting is not in the near forecast
Old Nov 05, 2015, 01:17 PM
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Pepping the Decks


There are 3 deck levels top deal with, and all are supported on vertical stanchions, so the holes in the decks have to align properly or it won't work. That being the case, all 3 decks are taped together and the top railings used to drill the holes insuring proper alignment. It took awhile to get this step done, but a little extra care now will save a good bit of aggravation later.
Old Nov 05, 2015, 01:19 PM
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Getting Started on the Deck Houses


The deck houses are simple structures built up from wood and plastic. The window and door details are called out using vinyl decals, so there's no real challenge here, though do take care to build the assemblies square and true.

From here it's on to the last of the deck house assembly, and then it'll be time to start the paint work and fit the decks.

PAT
Old Dec 15, 2015, 12:10 PM
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Prepping the Hull for Paint


With all of the fiberglass work done the putty was sanded and the last of the flaws fixed, and with that the hull for prime and paint. And since the hull was pretty well done it needed the stand so it was built up as well.
Old Dec 15, 2015, 12:14 PM
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Finishing Up the Deck Houses


The deck houses are very simple structures mad up from an internal frame and plastic skin. Once the basic assemblies were finished the gaps at the corners were puttied up and sanded to prep for prime and paint.
Old Dec 15, 2015, 12:18 PM
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Building the Pilot House


The pilot house goes together like a gazebo with the internal structure and plywood skins. All of the parts fit together beautifully, so what looks tricky is really very easy to build. The edges of all the skin sections were beveled with a sanding block with only very minor trimming required when the last section went on. The external details were added along with the vac-formed roof to complete the assembly.
Old Dec 15, 2015, 12:23 PM
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Installing the Running Gear


The rudder servo was mounted on blocks and the blocks glued in place. The rudder assembly was soldered up and fitted into the bearing tube.

The boat will be powered with a Suppo 2212 920KV Outrunner motor with a forward only ESC. The mount was fabricated from 1/8 birch ply and epoxied in place on the original mount beams in the hull, so no modification to the hull was needed.


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