Revell VllC U-boat RC conversion - RC Groups
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Oct 20, 2004, 02:16 AM
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Revell VllC U-boat RC conversion

Well after getting all my RC jets finished and flown I decided to take a break and build a sub. This is my first. always wanted to build one and I plan a larger scratch built sub next after I learn a few things from this one.

I wanted to keep things simple and use some of the airplane RC gear I have around here in excess.

I started by building a simple WTC using balsa and water proofing it inside and out with epoxy. Made a hardwood lid for it and used wax paper between it some silicone and the box to make a seal. Once that was done I used 3/32 brass for the prop shafts and silicone fuel tubing to seal it into the WTC. I used a little motor oil to lubricate the silicone fuel tubing and things slide very nice. I used this same system for the push rods for the dive planes and rudder servos. Last I will silicone seal again over the outsides of the shafts to further reduce water getting in.

The white foam you see was used to make a bed for the WTC to be siliconed too and add some floatation. I still have to hook up the rudders using a bell crank system since the U-Boat has two. So far so good. I've run the motors and they are nice and smooth. I plan to use a 6 cell nimh pack I have here that will sit on top of the WTC. Although it will be wet the pack will be sealed. This way I don't have to open up the WTC each time I want to charge or chance the batteries.

the red tubing is retract airline used for the landing gear on my airplanes and jets. You can get this at any RC hobby shop. After trying a lot of different ways to connect the motors to the shafts this turned out to be dead easy and reliable.

This is fun and I have a nice big pool in my back yard to test in. I'll be sure to get video. Once all the gear is installed tomorrow I can move on to finishing the boat. I plan to scale it out as much as possible.

Here's some pictures that I hope will help others who'd like to take the plunge!

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Oct 20, 2004, 02:17 AM
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here's some more.
Oct 21, 2004, 06:20 PM
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Well I got the rudders hooked up. I still have to replace the the plastic part that pivots the rudders on the bottom with brass as the plastic ones will never hold up. That's next.

All I did is place 3/23 brass tubing into the rudders and locked them off with a nylon bearing and a wheel collar. Then I took some small servo arms and glued them to the brass, hooked a wire between them and another servo are on one rudder shaft that hooks to the steering arm and they work.

Sorry the pictures aren't more clear but this short video should help. I'm just moving them by hand as I haven't hooked up the radio just yet. More soon.

Oct 23, 2004, 09:36 PM
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OhioMike's Avatar
Looks great!!!! Just bought this kit for a future conversion. That is as soon as CG Bob teaches me everything i need to know about RC subs........
Oct 23, 2004, 11:27 PM
CG Bob's Avatar
Mike - everything you need to know about R/C subs can be summed up in two words: snorkel gear; or scuba gear. Sooner or later, you will have to into the water to retreive the sub. I've had to go after the SKIPJACK 4 times - twice by boat, and twice by diving into the water. I've had to go after the BARB once, luckily it was at the Carmel reflecting pool and near the edge.
Oct 23, 2004, 11:38 PM
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OhioMike's Avatar
I knew you were still wet behind the ears!!! lol!!!!! I have a 15yo boy who calls me dad....even after i send him in after my sub!! lol!!! Why do you think i bring him to most of the boat outings?? I bought the 1/72 type Revell kit the other day at the Strongsville Hobbytown. Paid 51.00....compared to tower hobbies who wanted basically 40.00 and their 8.00 s&h fee. I figure i broke even without haveing to worry about those professional postal workers!!! Its for a future build. Figured i would buy it now and put it in the closet cause you know the price is going to go up on them eventually. Thanks for bringing the subtech gear to the meeting...i learned a lot from the brief time i had to see how it was made. Talk to you later.
Oct 24, 2004, 12:34 AM
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Thanks it's my first departure from radio controlled jets and not the last. Ya it won't crash but they do sink. Going to have to get that suba gear!

Well I added a brass sleeve inside the fuel tubing as the silicone would bind if it sits around. I replaced the prop shafts with solid wire as the brass tubing bent to easy and made a racket at higher throttle settings.

I also so crudely built the rudder supports out of brass and will clean it all up before painting.

Seems all the radio gear works. Now to check and see if I have any leaks. So far so good.

Here's some pics of the rudder supports and a short video of the gear in action. The props are making noise as they aren't glued on yet. They are just pushed on and loose.

Oct 28, 2004, 04:27 AM
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Iíve started painting the boat. This goes slower than the building of the RC set up.

Started with the airbrush and painted the light gray and dark gray and now by hand to the small details. Just started today so it will be awhile before I finish.

Originally I wanted a clean boat right off launch but it just lacked scale somehow so out came the rust and water marks. I think I got a little too heavy handed but I can always soften the look.

Havenít tested her in the water yet. Iím going to change the lid on my WTC to clear plex so I can see if water is getting in without opening the box each time, which has several screws. Still have to get some silicone grease as well.

Iíll use rare earth magnets to hold the deck down. The fit is real good and the deck snaps into place well but it would be my luck if it came off in a dive and disappears.

I use these magnets all the time on my RC jets to hold the canopy down which is the access point to the batteries.

More as I go. Hope to get here in my pool later next week and Iíll shoot some video.

Oct 28, 2004, 06:26 AM
go fly! no crashes!
Synwpn's Avatar
man! you build fast! least this one won't crash out of the air to pieces.
Oct 28, 2004, 08:42 AM
Registered User
Boy you have got my interest I now have to buy one. I have a Dumas Bluefish
and a Smallworlds Blueback but I have always wanted to build my own WTC.
The boat looks great!! I cant believe how fast the project is going. One question how did you paint the rust on the boat ?
Keep the pictures coming !!

Oct 28, 2004, 05:06 PM
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Thanks JB I appeciate that!


Boy your right there. Makes it kind of nice.

Oct 28, 2004, 05:09 PM
go fly! no crashes!
Synwpn's Avatar
are you going to change the sub's numbered designation?
Oct 28, 2004, 05:13 PM
Registered User
Any idea's??? LOL!! U-812
Oct 28, 2004, 05:38 PM
go fly! no crashes!
Synwpn's Avatar
thats about what i figured. now, we need a PBY or M to drop depthcharges on it! heheheh.
Oct 28, 2004, 08:19 PM
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lowpass's Avatar

I have been eye'n this model and I think you pushed me over the edge, almost. The Sub looks GREAT!! Please keep us posted on the first shake down cruise.


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