Do I scratch build a 30's Aussie cruiser? - RC Groups
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May 30, 2008, 06:48 AM
windward's Avatar

Do I scratch build a 30's Aussie cruiser?

Hi from Oz I'm in a state of confusion and need your help. How much harder is it to scratch build a model? I love my 63' Chris craft motor yacht (see pic) and would love to build something similar. In Australia we had a builder of fine boats of the 30's, Halvorsen. (see pics) I can get plans in 1/12th scale which would make the model about 48". Is 1/12th scale a good scale ? Can you get good fittings for this scale and type of model? You guys are experts when it comes to model boats and I value your imput. I guess my other option is to get a Dumas Chris Craft runabout model kit. But I realy like the idea of creating something that is Aussie!! What would you do??????? your thoughts please Ray
Last edited by windward; May 30, 2008 at 07:12 AM.
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May 30, 2008, 07:15 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
You'd be in good company-- here's "Ulysses", scratch built by Aussie Jack Emmerig and shown in a 1992 "Scale Ship Modeler" magazine.

First, you'll need her lines to develop the hull... unless you can scale off an existing kit's frames, and then custom build the topsides.

Pat M
May 30, 2008, 07:27 AM
windward's Avatar
Wow what a great model!!!! Ray
May 30, 2008, 08:12 AM
Maltese sparrow
andrewhalst's Avatar
G'day Windward, indeed you do!

The key to success seems (to me) to be wanting to - enough.

If you have the desire and the plans, there is nothing that needs to stand in your way. 1/12 sound impressive, as she will be wide and deeeeep too.

Hull could be any method you are comfortable with, at this size, (but may be not ideal for papie mache - yes it would {make a rough former, apply papie mache in several layers to about 2mm thick, apply a layer of 2mm PVC foam, then another layer of PM, and allow to dry slowly}).

I think that I would go for foam formers plank with two layers of 1/8 balsa
cut away formers, cover inside with resin to seal, cover outside with glass finishing cloth then fill and sand to fair surface.

Lovely boat, go for your dream!
May 30, 2008, 08:43 AM
Retired for now
Back in the old days of model building the parts were printed on balsa wood and you cut them out of the sheet with a razor blade. Building from scratch is the same thing except you draw the lines first instead of the parts being already drawn out for you. It takes longer to build from scratch but the results are way more satisfying. It will hone your present skills and develope other's that you never knew you had.
If you can find a hull kit that looks like the boat you want to build then that would save a lot of time as the hull is probably the most difficult part to get right. Otherwise there are several threads here that show the proceedure for building a hull from scratch that should help you a lot.
Go ahead and do it one time and see how you like it. You'll never know till you try it. If you have the plans then that's half the work right there. Pete
May 30, 2008, 11:11 AM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
The fittings and detail parts are usually the tough problems. Study the photos and plans carefully and make a list of what you need. One off parts which never would be commercially available (i.e. like the Ford stack emblem on Patmat's Dearborn tug) would have to be fabricated by you. Standard parts like cleats, bitts, and chocks are commercially available but you will need to build in a scale consistent with availability.

As Norgale aptly pointed out the hull framing can be cut from stock material easy enough if you have the plans. Just carefully lay them out on the stock.
May 30, 2008, 11:32 AM
Registered User
I totally agree with the above comments! based on your work on the C*C, I'd say go for it! the Halvorsen's look like a nice boats!
May 30, 2008, 12:40 PM
Boats on the brain!!
green-boat's Avatar
I'd say go for it. If you can build a CC and have it come out that good then you should have no problem. The only thing is that the pieces you will have to cut out yourself. Finding acceptable fittings will be tough , you may want to look into casting resin ones.
May 30, 2008, 02:54 PM
RELAX. You'll live longer
785boats's Avatar
Hi Ray. From a fellow Aussie. I agree with everyone else here. Give it a go..You'll get an answer here to any question you ask. I know I have.

You'd be in good company-- here's "Ulysses", scratch built by Aussie Jack Emmerig and shown in a 1992 "Scale Ship Modeler" magazine.
We are lucky to have Jack Emmerig as a member of our club (Tripple S Model Boat Group) here in Brisbane. Treasurer, no less. A skillfull & generous man. A true scratch builder, in that he makes everything, including all the deck fittings right down to the ships bell. Here's a couple of shots of his latest offering the Rosa May. I can't remember what it's a model of. I'll find out today if we don't get rained out.
For any fitting you need try Float a Boat right here in Aussie land. Here's their range. They also have a huge plans service too.
Last edited by 785boats; May 30, 2008 at 03:05 PM.
May 30, 2008, 03:47 PM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
How cool and small world too.

Hey, der Kapitan- so there's another SSM'er located!

785- Tell Jack he should keep writing- There are Other Magazines, you know!
May 30, 2008, 07:20 PM
Old wreck in Milwaukee
Prins Willem's Avatar
After I posted earlier I got to thinking about some fittings I saw at the St. Louis Admiral's event last year. The company is called Wet Goose and the fittings were outstanding looking.
May 30, 2008, 09:09 PM
windward's Avatar

I'm getting excited!!

Thanks guys for the great response. Looks like a scratch build is the way to go. I have spoken to Float a Boat and they were unable to supply plans for a Halvorsen but they put me onto someone who hopefuly can. You're right they have a great range of fittings and are nice people as well. I will look into joining the club in Brisbane. Its about one hours drive from the Gold Coast. (I would like to meet Jack as well) Anyway thanks again and we will no doubt talk some more when I have the plans and need your help Ray
Last edited by windward; May 30, 2008 at 09:33 PM.
May 31, 2008, 05:15 AM
RELAX. You'll live longer
785boats's Avatar
785- Tell Jack he should keep writing- There are Other Magazines, you know!
Will do Pat. I did'nt know he was an author too.
Unfortunately he was'nt there today to ask him about the Rosa May.
You would be welcome to sail with us anytime. Here's our website for a bit of info. You'll see in the events section that next Saturday is Logan City Marine Modellers open day at Tygum Lagoon. A few of us will be heading down for that. Jack included I would think.
See you by the water.
May 31, 2008, 06:18 PM
Registered User
Gravman's Avatar

Please say hello to Jack when you see him. My wife and I sent the information about ULYSSES to SSM on his behalf way back then. I was made a member of the Tripple S club and the only member to be located here in the USA. Jack is really a great builder and a fine fellow.

Jun 01, 2008, 02:52 PM
RELAX. You'll live longer
785boats's Avatar
Hi Grav.
I'll certainly say hello for you. As Pat said "it's a small world", and getting smaller every day. Pretty soon it will be so small it'll turn itself inside out & we'll all be standing there face to face.
I'll see if I can get him to join the forum so you guys can strike up a 'real time' conversation.
I can see the sparkle in his eye now, when I mention these names from the past to him.
It's a shame, being a member of our club and all, that you can't get to sail with us. But if you ever plan a holiday in the land down under bring a boat Of course that's an open invitation to everyone.

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