A Gentleman's Runabout at 10.6"!!!! - RC Groups
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Jan 02, 2006, 11:08 AM
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P. Tritle's Avatar

A Gentleman's Runabout at 10.6"!!!!

Well, since the Imex Bahrain project was completed -- and ran so much better than expected, an idea for the next pool toy was in order. The pool fleet now consists of a Freighter, a Fiireboat, a Tug and a Trawler, it's only natural that a Mahogany Runabout was in order to keep the variety alive.
It all started a few months ago when I picked up a 1/72 scale Revell PT-109 and a MAXX Products IPS replacement motor. I had every intension of building the PT Boat, but sometimes, things just don't work out as planned!
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Jan 02, 2006, 11:15 AM
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Looking for a Project

While rooting through the stack of kits, looking for a good next project I spotted the PT Boat and thought it might be fun to convert it to a "speed boat". It all goes something like this.

Upon first inspection, the hull looked large enough to add the small R/C gear, but was definately too long to make a well proportioned speed boat. To get the aspect ratio more in line, I simply cut 2 5/16" off the aft end of the hull and added a new transom. The transom was cut from .040" Evergreen Styrene and glued in place with Micro Weld liguid cement. I've been using this type of glue on plastics for years with excellent results, and have never had a leak where it was used.
Last edited by P. Tritle; Jan 02, 2006 at 11:33 AM.
Jan 02, 2006, 11:19 AM
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Fitting the Running Gear

At 10.6" the hull is realatively small, but there's still plenty of room for the radio and running gear.
The prop and rudder tubes were cut from 3/32" O. D. brass tube, then glued and faired into the hull with 5 minute epoxy. The shafts are made from 1/16" braze rod, with the prop and rudder made from .010 brass sheet.
Last edited by P. Tritle; Jan 02, 2006 at 11:34 AM.
Jan 02, 2006, 11:23 AM
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Fitting the Deck

The deck support structure was cut from .040 Styrene, located as needed to accommodate the hatch and cockpit openings and glued into the hull. A 1/8" crown was cut into the formers so that the deck would have a nice flowing curve, yet not be impossible to glue in in 1 piece.
Jan 02, 2006, 11:31 AM
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Gluing the Deck in Place

With all the sub-structure in place and the drive system in, it was time to glue the deck in place. The Deck was cut from .020 styrene, with all the openings cut in, before it was glued in place. Once glued in, the outer edge was sanded into the hull sides. Using the weld cement, there's usually enough "ooze out" to eliminate the need for filler putty. We'll know for sure once she's primed.
The next step will be to get the hatch combings and retension systems in place, then it will be time to paint -- which is the part I'm looking forward to most. The challenge will be to make this plastic hull actually look like wood! Stay tuned, it won't be long now!
Jan 02, 2006, 12:47 PM
Grumpa Tom
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You are just amazing!!
Jan 02, 2006, 02:21 PM
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You continue to astound and inspire me. Having the s to just go ahead and chop a perfectly good hull to get what you want........ well, it's just too darn cool!!

sitting, shaking my head,

Jan 02, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Thanks, Guys, You know I wondered how long it would take for someone to comment on taking the bandsaw to another "perfectly good hull". Since the Warden Johnston project turned out OK I've had this incredible urge to cut another one in two! Now that I KNOW its possible, it opens the door to some very cool projects. And don't forget, it can go the other way too -- take two short hulls and mak one long one!
Jan 02, 2006, 03:51 PM
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Jan 02, 2006, 09:35 PM
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Dressing out the Hatch Covers

The hatch openings in the deck were fitted with a combing on the front and rear edges to support the hatch and hold its curve when in place. The hatch itself has a lip on both ends to clip under the deck and keep it secure. To remove the hatch requires flexing it in the middle to un-hitch the keepers at both ends. The hatch covers, combings and clips were made from .020 styrene.
Jan 02, 2006, 09:43 PM
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The Paint Work Begins

With the hatches in place, the entire hull was given a final sanding with 600 grit paper, wet. The hull was then primed in the areas suspected of trouble were filled and sanded to remove the last of the boo-boo's.
Finally, the entire hull was sprayed with Model Master 36440 Light Gull Gray enamel. When dry, the prime was wet sanded with 600 grit and the green anti fowling paint sprayed on the bottom. I used Humbrol for the green, which is great paint, but is excruciatingly slow drying, so it looks like we're done for today. But not to worry, tomorrow is another day!
Jan 02, 2006, 10:42 PM
Boats on the brain!!
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You are just zippin along. A hull in one day.
Jan 02, 2006, 11:44 PM
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I've always heard that 5-minute epoxy isn't the most 'water proof' stuff around, is that really true? I understand that it'll be 'sealed'/covered too, does that take care of the 'water proof' thingy?
- 'Doc
Jan 03, 2006, 08:07 AM

Nice work! Can't wait to see the final. What are you using for a motor? I tried converting the Sterling Cobra kit, but couldn't get her up on step with the servo motor I was using. Hopefully you have a better scale speed solution?

Jan 03, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Green, I love these plastic kit hulls, they really go quick! The plastic market offers very little now days in the way of privately owned boats, but as long as the PT boat kits are around we should be in pretty good shape. And let's not forget about the old Miami Vice Scarab either!!!
Doc, I haven't heard that 5 minute epoxy was a problem. I use it in small areas like this because it's quick. And once the primer, color and clear coat goes on, the epoxy will probably never actually get wet anyway.
Eric, The motor is a MAXX Products replacement motor for their EPU gear drive units. It's a 7.2 volt unit that will handle up to 2 amps. Being a gear drive motor it turns high rpm, and with the small home made prop I should be able to tailor the pitch for best performance. It'll be fun to play with it to see how it actually works out. I used a servo motor in the Bahrain, and on 5 sells it will run at least 3 times what I would consider even close to scale speed using the same size and type prop.

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