The Rufus B II--sternwheeler!!! - RC Groups
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Aug 18, 2006, 02:59 PM
Registered User
Rufus B II's Avatar

The Rufus B II--sternwheeler!!!

This is the first scratch model I have ever done so I'm learning a boat-load of stuff here. But, my dad is a good friend of the guy who currently owns this little piece of history and it is docked right down the street from me. This is good because I can go down and take measurements and pics whenever I want.

Here is a pic of the boat as it now is:

It has gone through many changes since its construction in 1929 and here is a link to a pretty good blurb about the boat:

In any case, I came up with the idea of doing a working scale model of the boat a couple years back and I finally decided to pull the trigger. Here are some shots of the model along the way:

I still have a long way to go but I'm enjoying every minute of it!
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Aug 18, 2006, 03:13 PM
Registered User
olympic class's Avatar
Wow, great detailing. I've thought about going a paddlewheel ship, mostly bacause I dont have any propellors/shafts right now! Those are fun to ride.
Aug 18, 2006, 03:45 PM
River Rat
towboatjoe's Avatar
I take it you must live in St. Albans. I've seen Rufus B II many times. Here's another shot i got of her from the other side.

I used to ride the Lady Lois years ago when Boggs owned her. Every now and then I'll run down to Charleston and visit with Nelson Jones at Madison Coal and Supply. They have three sternwheelers that I know of that still work pushing crane flats.
Aug 18, 2006, 07:30 PM
aka redneck paddler
racing redneck's Avatar
beautiful boat your building,nice to see more paddlers out there.we got ta stick together!

I dont know if you have seen this site but I learned alot from it
Aug 19, 2006, 08:02 AM
Registered User
wingnut163's Avatar


could you make the pictures a bit bigger, they are hard to see.
Aug 19, 2006, 08:57 AM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Nice! I come from New Martinsville myself, graduated Magnolia High in '78 & have family in Charleston so it was nice seeing another West Virginian on the forum.

Having grown up a river rat on the Ohio, I have always loved seeing the Delta Queen & later, American Queen, come up the river from Cinncinatti, as well as the sternwheelers on the Kanawha while in the area visiting family.

Once you get this project completed, I want to see you start on the Delta Queen, but first you have to promise to include a working calliope!
Aug 24, 2006, 01:04 PM
Registered User
Rufus B II's Avatar
I always love seeing the Delta Queen when she comes up the Kanawha going to Regatta. I can hear her coming from my house because I live just about 200 yards from the river. When my little girl was about two I picked her up and ran up to the S.A./Nitro bridge to see the boat as it went under the bridge. She asked where that music was coming from. I told her it was a calliope. For a long time after that she would ask when that boat with the "lie-pee" would be back.

I did not know that there were any paddlers out there still in service. I'll bet it's cool to watch though.

Thanks for the link to the paddle ducks. That will be helpful.
Aug 24, 2006, 08:00 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Originally Posted by herrmill
Nice! I come from New Martinsville myself,
Shanghai is a long way from Martinsville. How did you come to be there?
Aug 25, 2006, 03:12 AM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar

That's NEW Martinsville

Originally Posted by Kmot
Shanghai is a long way from Martinsville. How did you come to be there?
That's NEW Martinsville... that other city you mentioned is a bit farther to the southeast down in what used to be our home state before us hillbillies got rebellious 143 years ago & defected from Virginia.

It all started 16 years ago when I first visited China while working for a large plumbing/HVAC distributor that got me involved in offshore procurement. I now have my own business & have been living here since 2003.

It's been quite a fascinating ride on this modern day dragon as China continues to change in ways that were quite unimmaginable when I first ventured off the plane.
Last edited by herrmill; Aug 25, 2006 at 03:18 AM.
Sep 03, 2006, 01:41 AM
Registered User

Rufus B

hello , how are you. i'm very much pleased to see someone is doing this, that is to the Rufus B, I wanted to do the same since I frist saw the boat. But like everything else just not enough time. This boat holds alot of memories for me. When you finish I would love to see it. Good luck with this project. The next time you see Lou tell him larry still trying to make it back.
Sep 30, 2006, 06:44 AM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Rufus, how's your progress coming long?

I've got the bug now to build a sternwheeler after seeing Saito's Delta Queen kit but will be saving up some coins before I place an order for her.
Oct 01, 2006, 11:50 PM
Registered User
Rufus B II's Avatar


Sorry I've been gone for a while. The guy who was going to machine the paddlewheel for me had some family troubles and so he's out of the game and I decided to go ahead and make it myself out of polystyrene stock from the hobby shop. I don't mind admitting I'm darned proud of my work on this. I carved all this out by hand with an xacto knife. Obviously I have some painting and detail work to do but, as my Aikido instructor says "slow is smooth...smooth is fast".

I've also built some more of the superstructure and I aquired a digital-proportional Hummer from Radio Shack for about $60, which I have cannibalized for the motor, servos, and radio. I have yet to hook them up, I'm not ready for that yet. But when I am I'll need some pulleys and belts and so forth and I have yet to work out exactly how I'm going to do all the drivetrain and steering stuff, but the hardware fits inside the superstructure rather neatly so it shouldn't be too tough.
Oct 02, 2006, 03:08 AM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar

Nice Work!

Good to see you back, Rufus. That paddlewheel is a work of art!!!
Oct 04, 2006, 12:47 PM
Registered User
Rufus B II's Avatar
Just painted the wheel:
Oct 04, 2006, 02:26 PM
Registered User
Rufus B II's Avatar
Another shot of my superstructure progress with the painted wheel "in place"-- mock-up style.

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