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Jun 17, 2006, 02:01 AM
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greenseaships's Avatar

QUEEN MARY- birth of a cardboard titan.

Now that I have joined this board specifically to reply to a single thread, I thought I might bring everyone up to speed on my newest cardboard (yes, I said cardboard) creation, the 8-foot, six-inch long R.C.S. (Radio Controlled Ship) QUEEN MARY!

Actually, I am happy to find this board and eager to share each of my 11 cardboard vessles with everyone. My ships are all cardboard, covered with fiberglass to protect them from the elements. They are all radio-controlled, though some are only single-channeled. They can only control rudder.

My QUEEN MARY was built just this spring, making her maiden voyage on May 27, 2006. She sails the civic lakes of Arizona and for this reason I am especially eager to find anyone in the Phoenix area who might like to join her on the water!

She is equipped with a CD player and 4 speakers. She sounds nice out on the water serenading with the likes of Glenn Miller.

I would be happy to go into more detail, but I must sign off for now. For now, I am only posting the earliest pictures of her construction. I thought I'd start there. Give everyone an idea just how she is made. I would like to post many more pics of her construction and finally the finished product in the next few days. Please look forward to it!

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Jun 17, 2006, 02:56 AM
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Construction pics

More pre-fiberglass pics
Jun 17, 2006, 06:45 AM
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algiecrook's Avatar
Hi very interesting build method ,I like the way you have the curves will follow your progress with great interest good luck..............Regards....Alan
Jun 17, 2006, 09:24 AM
Registered User
Welcome to the board. Interesting method of construction and I think that we all look forward to your pictures. I was just at the QM all last weekend doing a show (trains) and wandered all over the ship. I like the photo of the bridge that I took. And, then, footy had to sail too
Jun 17, 2006, 11:22 AM
Sea Dragon-Lover
Umi_Ryuzuki's Avatar
Your ships look great.
The fact that they are cardboard construction is a great kicker.
The boats I built used foamcore frames, and 1mm thick "chip" board(50 cents a sheet).

I think it would be nice to walk all of us through the constuction right on to lauch day.
Jun 17, 2006, 12:52 PM
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Construction pics

Here are more pics of the early going. I built the hull itself on Jan. 29 2006. Yeah, one day. I didn't touch it again until March because of another build (my 43-inch Arleigh Burke destroyer). Total, she took about 2 months of work! That's WITH my full-time job. Normally, an 8-foot boat takes about 1 month, but I stepped up the detail on the Mary. She's the best one I've got right now.

After the cardboard hull is assembled (bottom and sides) I have to seal up all corrugation (you know where you can see the ribs on the edge of the cardboard sheet. If you don't close that up, the fiberglass will just pour in there to no end, and you'll never keep water from dripping in there. Cardboard hates water of course.

The fiberglass resin is mixed with the hardener in a paper bucket and painted on with a brush. If you used enough hardener, it should dry in 30 minutes to 1 hour. On a boat this big, you have to fiberglass one side at a time. When the sides and bottom are dry, you do it again. And again. I reccommend at least 3 complete coats on a job this big. It'll add weight, but you don't want to sand completely through the fiberglass, and you don't want an uneven sanding either.

People often reccommend me to fiberglass the inside of the hull, but I prefer to keep it dry precisely BECAUSE if there is a leak, I want to know about it quickly. If both sides are fiberglassed and water is leaking into the corrugation, I can't see the telltale dark spots. It'll all be the same color.

The hull from construction to fiberglassing can be done in one weekend. Maybe 4 days for a big job like the Mary. Corrugated cardboard allows you to cover huge areas of the hull very quickly. You may also notice that there are no bulkheads. The cardboard with the decks put in maintains its shape very easily, even on something 8-feet long.

A WARNING- fiberglass hates masking tape, or paint or any other type of plastic-y material. It will just gumm up and not want to dry. You must use acid-free tape and paint AFTER the fiberglassing.

For sanding, I can't imagine using anything but an automatic orbital sander. You can buy them at the local hardware store. I can't imagine how long it would take to MANUALLY sand all that fiberglass!!

Makes me dizzy just thinking about it....

Jun 17, 2006, 08:09 PM
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Construction pics

Here are the pics of the hull when she was freshly painted. To avoid damaging the paint during construction I waited until the night before the maiden voyage before I painted the black. I dumped more paint on her than anything I have built before.
Jun 17, 2006, 08:54 PM
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olympic class's Avatar
Is that a Titanic I see peeking out in the latest pictures? I think I might build a 1940, 50s or 60s liner using your method, maybe the S.S. United States. I finished painting my Titanic tonight. It is ready for launch tomorrow. I am going to sculpt little 1/100 scale people to put on the decks later on. I can't wait to take some awesome night photos with lifeboats, some half lowered, some in the water, and a big foam iceburg in the background. Thanks a lot for sharing you ships, and how to build them with us.

Jun 17, 2006, 09:30 PM
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To Olympic

Yeah, that's my 1998 Titanic static model in the background. Same scale as QM. Don't have digital pics of her yet. As a non-r/c model, she's been left behind these days.

I have very important advice for you when you build your s.s. United States. Make it a WATERLINE model!

I hate when people tell me what I am doing wrong or what I should do right, and I don't want to be like that for you. But, I suspect (especially since it's your first R/C model) that you may be shocked by 2 things;

1) How much weight is required to bring the draft up to the waterline

2) How much power is required to push that much weight.

If you've already thought of these things and are prepared, you're a smarter kid than I was when I first started. I learned the hard way. I don't know your Titanic well enough, so I won't judge, but if you need advice about powerplant or things, please email or post me.

People are often amazed when I tell them that my ships are only powered by a single motor and prop. This is so easy because they just skim across the surface of the water, with very little of their bulks underwater. This of course, increases the chances of capsizing, but it's not that bad, and the savings in weight and power are tremendous.

Jun 17, 2006, 09:49 PM
"Old 8140"
Old 8140's Avatar
Hey Brett,

I knew you would be a boon to this forum. Glad I sent the link to you. You will meet some great people here!!

Jun 17, 2006, 10:21 PM
Registered User
olympic class's Avatar
I will definatly make it a waterline model, whichever ship I choose to build. This Titanic is mostly for display in my bedroom, and taking static pictures inwater. If it goes it goes, if not, oh well. The boat I got the electronics out of was fairly large, about 2'6" long and a foot wide, and went much faster than I want the Titanic to go, so it should travel at a reasonable speed. Atleast I hope she will.

Jun 18, 2006, 01:07 AM
sensitive artsy type
Treetop's Avatar
Please look forward to it!
You got my attention.
Jun 18, 2006, 04:16 AM
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Construction pics

Here is a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig old batch of construction pictures for you all. Next I will update with pictures from the MOTOR TRIALS! Her first voyage!

Jun 18, 2006, 12:10 PM
Registered User
olympic class's Avatar
Where do you get sheets of cardboard that big?
Jun 18, 2006, 01:01 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
This is awesome! Cardboard? Who would have thought?

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