The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions > Working Vessels

Billing Boats Zwarte Zee Build

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Hi, This is my first RC boat build. I'm about eight weeks in so far, I haven't got around to posting my progress but I've been taking pictures as I go along.

This the ABS hulled 1:90 scale Zwarte Zee from billing boats. I think the kit was made around 14 years guessing from what I think is a date stamp on the returns slip that came with the kit.
The kit itself consists of an abs hull (I thought this would be easier than building a GRP hull, I think I was wrong) and lots of sheets 2mm ply that has been badly die-cut (i.e. the die hasn't gone more than 0.5 mm through the plywood) and as a result I ended up buying a scroll saw and cutting everything out. If you buy this kit, do yourself a favour and make sure it's laser cut. It comes with a quantity of brass and plastic fittings which are ok. Also included are a number of sprues which look to a made in the kind of mold which you pour plastic into, the details are on one side only, anyone who has made any plastic kits will be disappointed. The instructions are pretty poor and simply a series a diagrams with little accompanying text.

Ok, off we go...

I started off with the frame inside the hull.

And added the RC gear. No provision is made in the kit for the positioning of the servo and motor so I made my own base. The rudder tube was reinforced with a bit wood and epoxy.
I made the mistake of using the supplied rudder linkage which is a waste of time. I have since replaced this with an aftermarket 3mm tiller arm.
The insides have been throughly coated in sanding sealer.

Rudder and 4 bladed prop from prop shop. Lots of filler required here!

I had lots of nerve racking fun drilling loads of portholes out!

One side went ok, the other required a but more plastic filler  {:-{

The rear deck and bulkwarks went on ok and of course more filler required. I painted sanding sealer on both side of the deck.

I couldn't resist building the upper superstructure while fettling the hull.

The temptation is to stick all the detail on at this stage. This would be a mistake. A quick coat of citadel white primer shows me that the grain is pretty prominent on this ply.
I want a flat surface which looks like steel. I intend to airbrush the superstructure once done.

Hey, it's looking like a ship! The bilge keels are super-glued on, it's a narrow ship and will require them. They are not in exactly the same place on the plan but they fit the curve of the hull in this position.

More photos to follow...


Carefully positioning the rubbing strips.

Yesterday's work - a couple of coats of halfords filler primer and a good sand gets rid of the grain and now I have a flat surface to paint.

Some more work on the upper deck and middle deck. The forward deck is not glued to the hull yet. Tomorrow I intend to add the anchor holes and hopefully put on a few coats of red oxide primer on the hull! After that I've got to paint the black above the waterline and then there's a small matter of glazing 50 portholes and sorting the anchor tubes (insert correct technical term here  ok2 ) , then and only then can I epoxy the forward deck on.

Mad Scientist:
'Anchor tubes' = hawsepipes.  :-))

Your build is looking great - with the white hull, the ship looks like a big yacht.



Very nice, this one been around for a long time now, sometimes I wonder why Billing didnīt release the Smit Rotterdam with a Abs hull, last year I finished Robbes Happy Hunter and now working with the Aziz from MS, comparing these two kits the Aziz is far more complex to build, especially the hull that requiring more sanding and work than the Abs Hull from Robbe.
Would be nice if Billing had done the Zwarte Zee and Rotterdam in the scale of 1:50.

Keep up the good work.. :-)


Looks great, thanks for sharing! This is a beautiful ship that I also would like to build someday, keep the pictures coming please!


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