Model Boats - The Hard Way!
By Martin Davis - Peterborough, UK



Hello,
my name is Martin Davis. Iím 40something and build model boats just for fun and as you can see I have built one or two!!

I'm married with two kids and building lots of model boats can take quite a bit of money. So what you need to know is that the price of a model boat is  ....

1. The price you actually paid
2. The price you tell your wife you paid.
3. The price she gets you to admit you paid!
4. The price you pay when she finds out what you REALLY paid!

                                                               

Put the term "MODEL" in front of anything and manufactures automatically up the price by 200%!


 

Me and model boats.
 
I   havenít   been building boats for decades like some modellers seem to have been, I can only claim a few years modelling, therefore Iím aiming  this  series of articles towards  new  comers  and younger modellers.  Over a series of web pages, I will review lots of boat kits, how they  went together,  how they ran,  what modifications are possible  & / or necessary and most importantly how to make them go faster without breaking the bank.

  Everybody  has their own idea of what a Ďrealí  model boat is,  be it   an   exact   working scale  galleon from the 16th century or a  three   engined   out-rigger  hydroplane   capable of speeds over 100 m.p.h.  I for my  part like  off-shore  racing  power and sports boats  because of  their  clean, sleek lines,  terrifying power and  awesome  speed.  Fortunately there are now  quite a few off-shore boat type kits on the market which are sold  in the hundreds but these are often dismissed as ďjust toysĒ.  When you first get  into  model boats you will find,  like me,  asking yourself  lots  of questions but finding few sensible answers,  so now that Iíve built a boat or  two Iíd like to help anyone else in that situation.  Hopefully you can use these pages as a kit review, additional  instructions but mainly to incite you to experiment. Some of the articles may seem to state the  obvious  and/or may go into too much detail but bear with me  as  the obvious is not always evident when your new at it.

  I  apologize   straight   away for the   gross   generalities,   lack   of technical  calculations  and hydrodynamic theory as most of my building is by general rule of thumb and dead  reckoning, Iím a life paid up member of the  institute  of ĎSuck it and see.í  This  process of non-design   means getting  the boat running properly may take a long time but I have lots of fun  during  the process.   Clearly I  donít know  everything about  model boats,  some people reckon I donít know nothing but  donít listen to them, Iím well edumicated I is!
 

THE KITS SO FAR

 Most  of my boats are based on real boat and are assembled from kits  were the  major components are ready made,  this facilities a fast box to water time,  i.e. days of construction instead of months.  Most boats Iíve built  are  still   available in your  local  model  shop although some kits  may need a little tracking down.   As I bought all  theses  kits  for  my  own  use,   none have been  doctored  by  the  manufactures  to  make sure of a   good  review.   What I buy is what you  buy.   When something is good,   I  give  it  all the credit it deserves,   conversely  Iíll tell you  of  the reverse too! 

 

My Boats ( and Mayhem Builds)  in chronological order.
( Click on a boat for construction article. )
 

Name:  PIRANHA 
Maker:  MFA
Type:    Mono
Type,   GRP
Power:
 Electric 12 cell.

Name: Shadow 
Maker: SHG
Type:   Mono
Type,  GRP
Power:
IC 3.5cc / .19

Name:   Laser 
Maker:  SHG
Type:    Multi racer, GRP
Power: 
IC 6cc. / .40

Name:  Hydrospeed
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Mono
Power: 
Electric 12cell

Name:  Predator 
Maker:  Hydrafibe
Type:    Deep Vee, GRP
Power: 
IC 6cc / .40

Name:    Arrow
Maker:   Graupner   
Type:     Deep Vee  
Power: 
 IC 4cc  / .25

Name:    ?
Maker:    ?
Type:      3 Point Hydro   
Power:  
 3.5cc / .20

Name:   Avanti
Maker:  Krick 
Type:    Race boat   
Power:  
Various

Name:   Atlantor 
Maker:  Hydrafibe
Type:    Deep Vee  
Power: 
IC 10cc / .60

Name:   Ontario 
Maker:   Aqua  
Type:    Semi scale tug  
Power: 
Electric 6v

Name:   Condor 
Maker:  Racing Models  
Type:    Multi racer 
Power: 
IC 6cc / .40

Name:   PT-50 
Maker:   Sanko  
Type:    Hydrofoil  
Power: 
Electric 7.2v

Name:   Chris Craft
Maker:  AMPS  
Type     Offshore Cat  
Power:  IC 7.5cc / .46 
 

Name:   Systems 
Maker:   Graupner  
Type:    Offshore Cat    
Power: 
Electric 12cell 

Name:  Cesa 
Maker   ABC Hobby  
Type:    Deep Vee  
Power:
 Various

Name:   Scarab
Maker:   Robbe
Type:    Deep Vee
Power: 
Electric 12cell 

Name:    Key west
Maker:   Graupner
Type:     Offshore Cat  
Power:  
Electric 12cell 

Name:    Airboat
Maker:    Lesro
Type:      Swamp boat  
Power:   
IC 6cc / .40

Name:    Unlimited
Maker:    Robbe
Type:      Hydroplane 
Power:   
Various

Name:    Sea wolf
Maker:    Robbe
Type:      Dynamic Sub  
Power:   
Electric 6v

Name:    HMS Snowberry
Maker:   Revell / Matchbox -
Type:     Scale
Corvette
Power:   Electric 6v 

Name:    Taifun
Maker:    Graupner
Type:      Hydroplane  
Power:  
 Electric 12 cell

Name:    Firebird
Maker:    Bluebird
Type:      Deep Vee  
Power:  
 Electric !2 cell

 Name:    Nitro Viper
Maker:    Kyosho
Type:      Sports Boat  
Power:  
 2cc / .15

Name:    Cobra
Maker:    Graupner
Type:      Deep Vee  
Power:  
 2cc / .15

Name:    VooDoo
Maker:    Flitecraft
Type:      Air/swamp boat  
Power:  
 6cc / .40

Name:    Little Devil
Maker:    Robbe
Type:      Deep Vee  
Power:  
 Electric 7.2v

Name:    Lynx
Maker:    Gunton Models
Type:    Off-shore Cat  
Power:  
 3.5cc / .20

Name:    Osprey
Maker:    Hydroflight
Type:      Hovercraft  
Power:  
 10cc / .95

Name:    Imara
Maker:    Caldercraft
Type:      Steamer Tug  
Power:  
 Electric 6v or 12v

Name:   British U -class
Maker:  Darnell
Type:    Fully working Sub  
Power: 
Electric

Name:   Dickie
Maker:  Dickie?
Type:    RTR Tug
Power: 
Electric

Name:   Carlton
Maker:  Ripmax?
Type:    RTR Tug
Power: 
Electric

Name:   Twilight
Maker:  Scratch-build
Type:    Clyde Puffer
Power: 
Electric

Name:   S130
Maker:  Robbe
Type:    Torpedo boat
Power: 
3 x Electric!

north.jpg

Name:   Highlander
Maker:  Mountfleet
Type:    Clyde Puffer
Power: 
Electric!

Name:   Fiat Uno
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Offshore Racer
Power: 
3 x Electric!


Name:  Bismarck
Maker:  Hatchette P
Type:    Battleship
Power: 
Electric!?

Name:  Victoria
Maker:  Thunder Tiger
Type:    Yacht
Power: 
Electric
 

Name:  Springer
Maker:  scratchbuilt
Type:    Fun Tug
Power: 
Electric
 
       
       
       
 

My New Projects & Status.

Name:   Javelin
Maker:  Lesro
Type:    Off shore racer
Power:  6cc IC
Status:
Sold un-built
Name:   Portafino
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Sports boat
Power: 
2 xElectric
Status:   Sold on Un-built

Name:    Tornado
Maker:    Graupner
Type:      Hydroplane  
Power:  
 Electric 12 cell
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:    Mambo
Maker:   Graupner   
Type:     Deep Vee  
Power: 
 Electric
Status:   Sold  part built
Name:   Comtesse
Maker:  Robbe
Type:    Yacht
Power:  Wind !
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:    Brake
Maker:   Graupner   
Type:     Small Tug  
Power: 
 Electric
Status:   Un-started

Name:   Al Kubar
Maker:  Model Slipway
Type:    Tug
Power: 2 x
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built

Name:   Pollux
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Small Tug
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Unstarted
Name:  Glasgow
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Paddle Tug
Power:  Steam !
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:   Neptune
Maker:  Robbe
Type:    Tug
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:   Neptun
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Merchant man
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   Aziz
Maker:  Model Slipway
Type:    Offshore support
Power: 
2 x Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   U47
Maker:  Robbe
Type:    Dynamic dive Sub  
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:   Civitavecchia
Maker:  Richard Webb
Type:    Flat-pack Styrene   
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   Mastiv
Maker:  Dean's Marine
Type:    GRP / Styrene  
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:   Puffer
Maker:  Model Slipway
Type:    Styrene   
Power: 
Electric ( tiny )
Status:   Un-started
Name:   PT-15
Maker:  Robbe
Type:    MTB
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   Sentinel
Maker:  Model Slipway
Type:    Patrol vessel
Power: 
2 x Electric
Status:   Un-started

Name:   Smit Nederland
Maker:  Billing
Type:    Tug
Power: 2 x
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   Fairwind
Maker:  Kyosho
Type:    Yacht
Power:  Wind !
Status:   Un-started 
Name:   Crash Tender 
Maker:  Deans Marine
Type:    RAF Launch
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:  Mega DragStar
Maker:  Graupner
Type:    Power Boat
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:   PT-109
Maker:  Lindberg
Type:    US MTB
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:   Snoberry
Maker:  Matchbox / Revell
Type:    Corvette
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Un-started
Name:  Yorkshireman
Maker:  Model Slipway
Type:    Tug
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Sold un-built
Name:  Supply Ship
Maker:  Lego
Type:    Tug
Power:  Manual

Status:   Completed - Sold
Name:  Modern
Maker:  LEE
Type:    Motor Yacht
Power: 
Electric
Status:   ARTF 

Name:  Southampton
Maker:  Hobby Engine
Type:    Harbour Tug
Power: 
Electric
Status:   ARTF 

Name:   Aluka
Maker:  Sheerline
Type:    Sub   marine
Power: 
Electric
Status:   Half done 


I don't have the skills or patients to scratch-build so all the boats are from kits. If you that recognize some of  the models, you  will immediately see that some kits have been drastically  modified usually to increased speed,  sometimes for the sake of experimentation and sometimes just for artistic sake but mostly because I'm a cheapskate and a terrible model builder!

As   I   said at the outset I hope to  help you  avoid  making the same mistakes that I made.   Apart from the boat reviews there  will be a few additional articles, starting in model boats, electric  power   and  IC  (internal combustion) engine  boats.   So  lets start  by building  a  model  boat  and we can talk about the other  stuff as  we  come   to  it.  My  first boat,  a MFA PIRANHA,  a mono  hull  for electric power.

Well that's it for this page.... But what the hell do I know!

 

                 

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