The Lindberg Tuna Clipper -- R/C Conversion - RC Groups
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Jul 30, 2006, 10:04 AM
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P. Tritle's Avatar

The Lindberg Tuna Clipper -- R/C Conversion

Well, when the Conversion Bug bite, it really bites! I've been looking at converting the Lindberg Tuna Clipper for some time now, and since the LCVP is pretty well wrapped up I figured it would be a good time to start.

The model is only 14" long with a 3 3/8" beam, but there's still plenty of room in the hull for all the necessary equipment.

The model will be set up for 2 ch. R/C using a sub-micro servo for the rudder and a 12mm brushed IPS replacement motor with a micro ESC for power. Since it's obvious that a good bit of ballast will be required, a 6 cell NiCD battery will be used to supply the power.
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Jul 30, 2006, 10:07 AM
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Joining the Hull

The hull comes in 2 halves with a large lip to make joining the halves easy. The seam was a bit nasty, but a couple passes with a file and a bit of coaxing with the sanding block cleaned it right up. On these plastic kits I use liquid weld cements in fairly large quantitires so that there's a good bit of "ooze" from the joint, which provides a good seal, and makes clean-up much easier.
Jul 30, 2006, 10:24 AM
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Setting Up the Drive System

The stuffing box was made up from brass tubes. The outer tube was bushed on both ends for the 1/16 wire prop shaft. The motor was set on a .040 styrene mount plate and secured with silicone. A Robart air hose coupler will be secured to the motor and prop shaft with Household Goop.
Jul 30, 2006, 10:29 AM
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Setting Up the Rudder

The .040 styrene rudder servo mount plate was glued into the hull with weld cement, and the servo glued to the plate with silicone. The cock-eyed servo angle was dictated by the lack of space at the back forcing the odd angle of the control horn. The push rod was bent from .032 wire with a "V" bend in the middle for fine tuning later if needed.
Jul 30, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Getting It All Hooked Up

The rudder control horn was cut from 1/32 ply and will be glued to the rudder shaft in the final set-up. The rudder was made from .015 brass with a 1/16 wire shaft. The prop is the stock kit prop, which I have discovered over time to work better then anything else I've tried.

From here, it's on to working in the decks and making access to the internal workings.

Jul 30, 2006, 02:36 PM

This is really nice.

Jul 31, 2006, 09:10 AM
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Getting the Decks Glued In

Th first step in the topside assembly process is getting the front and rear decks glued into the hull. The openings are perfect for access to the equipment later, it almost looks like they had R/C conversion in mind when the kit was designed.
Jul 31, 2006, 09:16 AM
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Working Up the Sub-Assemblies

The next step is to build up the deck house sub-assembies. Once the small parts were cleaned up and the pilot and bate house assemblies were framed it was off to the "paint shop" for color coating.
Jul 31, 2006, 09:20 AM
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Painting the Decks

Finally, the decks were decks were brushed with 2 coats of Poly Scale Middlestone for the base color. The next step will be to add washes in tans , browns, and grays to age the wood some before assembly goes much further.

Jul 31, 2006, 06:28 PM
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Great to see you back on the boat building saddle, Pat! this one looks like it's going to be a good one!

careful study of some of your airplane pictures reveal a Dumas boat package in the background... perhaps a Cobra?

Are you going to treat us to another great Chris Craft build in the near future?
Jul 31, 2006, 10:11 PM
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Aero, It's really good to be back. Been so busy on the airplane side that there just hasn't been time to get anything going. But as always, things cyle around, and not onlt was there the LCVP anf this one, but also started anotherr Orca. Will start up a thread on that one soon.

Jul 31, 2006, 11:29 PM
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Cool! I'll look for it!

I know what you mean about the cycle, back and fourth between planes and boats! Keeps time spent at the workbench fresh and interesting!

Keep up the great work on this one! Who knows, there may be one at the store with my name on it by the time you finish!
Aug 01, 2006, 07:18 AM
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Aero, Unfortunately the Tuna Clipper kit is out of production, and getting pretty hard to find. I bought 8 plastic boat kits from our neighboring vender at the E-Fest in Masa AZ last January, and this one was in the mix. I normally don't build out of production kits, though I'm definitely NOT a kit collector, but these were all bagged, and the parts had been cut from the sprue, so were of no value to a collector anyway. Just thought it would make a nice pool toy.

Aug 01, 2006, 09:36 AM
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Very nice!

Hi Pat. Ive had a few small plastic kits in storage for a few years, and only now with the advent of lipos and 5g servos am I beginning converting them for RC.
I started with the heller kit for the Smit Rotterdam around 15 years ago, using standard radio gear. I used a servo motor, and its amplifier board as an esc, with 4x AA nicads.
Im now building a revell Harbour tug thats 22cm long. Im using the same standard servo motor and amp board, a 2ch hitec gem micro rx that dates from 10 years ago, a 5g servo, and a 2s 430mah lipo for power. The rx and servo seem to operate fine on 2s power.
It has had a test sail in my garden pond, and with the 2s lipo it has more than enough power!
Im now finishing the painting and detail assembling.
Ive got my eye on yer build, but im sure it will look just spectacular!
Planes/boats/planes/boats- my building board has never been so confused!!
Happy building,
Aug 01, 2006, 12:56 PM
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What type of camera, make and lenses, lighting are you using


I have enjoyed many of your threads but what really makes them are the pictures. Since I am preparing to do a set of pictures of model kit I have to ask the question what type of camera are you using, the make of the camera, the lenses or doplers and if you are using any special lighting for tose great work bench shoots. By the way I like you use of black wet sand paper which really shows up great aganist the white hull and the other details.

Thanks for any input you can provide,

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