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Author Topic: Italeri Elco 80' Torpedo Boat PT-596 1:35 - My Build  (Read 9276 times)

zanussi

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Italeri Elco 80' Torpedo Boat PT-596 1:35 - My Build
« on: August 20, 2007, 05:29:00 pm »

Well, sigh, here I am selling out. I had been determined my next model would be scratch built, and I would stick to post Washington Treaty British ships for a few years.

Well then Itiliari brought out the ELCO and I just could not help myself. Well it is based on the British Fairmile MTB I suppose, (ducks as the Yanks throw heavy objects) and it is post Washington Treaty, but it is no way scratch built.

As it happens though I had some radio kit kicking around waiting for a stalled project so I decided to have a go at powering the thing up.

The kit is pretty awesome, detail is great and there are some really nice touches in a basic PE set, metal barrels for some of the guns, rigging and netting and so on. Size wise it is the biggest kit I have attempted since Snowberry, which died horribly in the shed when son number one threw a tantrum with the lawn mower, but as he is now off driving tanks around Salisbury Plain I figured it might be safe to try something on this scale again.

Topic name changed..... Admin.

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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2007, 05:33:49 pm »

I had two 11" shafts, I did want to power the boat up with two motors, but a quick bath test showed I had little margin in weight so I decided on a single shaft and oversized rudder to compensate for the lack of motor assisted turning.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2007, 05:35:10 pm »

An attack with a small pipe cutter and I shortened one shaft and pinched the collets of the other to use in the "P" frames, the Elco does not use A frames.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2007, 05:36:59 pm »

I soldered one of the collets onto the shortened shaft sleeve, the idea being to leave an exposed length of the inner shaft below the waterline, I had no chance of making the power shaft to scale with the others, but I could at least make the effort!
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2007, 05:39:40 pm »

I had a rudder to hand, but no sleeve for it, I found a bic pen barrel worked just fine.

The centre shaft exit was expanded brutally and the sleeve fitted and sealed into place with car filler. The rudder servo and loose end of the shaft held in place with hardwood dowel from B&Q araldited to the hull.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2007, 05:42:28 pm »

I chopped the trailing edge of the rudder away, this follows the pattern of the real rudder and gave me clearence for the propellor. the remaining collets I glued onto the model P frames, these may not be tough enough and if so I will replace them with brass sheet, but for now they will do, the rudder may also be cut back more, but not yet, need to see how it handles first.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2007, 05:45:17 pm »

A touch of filler to smooth things along a bit.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2007, 05:48:14 pm »

And add the model shafts and props and very small rudders.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #8 on: August 20, 2007, 05:52:06 pm »

Looking good!  O0
Don't forget to check the propshaft of leaks before your maiden voyage! 
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2007, 05:53:54 pm »

A piece of scrap brass from an old clock locked down the shaft, I find old clocks a very useful source for cogs and brass bits and so on. I then found I had mis measured the shafts, had more extending in the boat than I wanted. The obvious answer was to cut down the inner shaft and re-tap, but I seem to have misplaced my tap and die set, it meant the motor had to be mounted higher than I planned, but on the plus side it was forward more, there is little freeboard available at the stern so the more weight forward the better.

Starboard side is the receiver and port the speed controller, rudder linkage is a bit of bent wire, I will probably replace that with a proper linkage the next time I go to the model shop.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2007, 05:58:13 pm »

You got it Admiral! I already sank it on the bath test, water came up the model rudder holes!

Next bit is to secure the receiver power pack down, using double sided tape, the same as the receiver and speed controller, this allows me to resite them later if needed, the switch and recharger cable I am just leaving loose, I hope to merge them with the cockpit controls somehow.

I have no power pack suitable for the small space, so after browsing the internet I have ordered a couple of power packs for paint guns that should fit either side of the motor and allow me enough movement to trim up. Note here the holes in the hull, the model deck screws down which is another really nice touch for the would be power upper!
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2007, 06:04:30 pm »

I pre-painted the deck a drab green and screwed it home, then started to fit the base of the cockpit, or bridge, or whatever it is on a small craft! I mentioned nice touches, another is a photo book showing actual ELCO's in history, a photo tour of a preserved boat and plenty of information, I like to know as much as possible about the models I build and this was such a pleasent surprise to get.

I have no intention of trying to match colours and so on, this is duck pond charger, just a bit of fun to take camping with us.

At this point I was ordered to clear the dining table, so that is all for now.

Happy modelling all.
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J.beazley

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 06:23:03 pm »

I saw one of these at basingstoke lake last weekend running on M2 shafts with a pair of motors from a scalectrix car all run off a ACTion ESC.
She went along very nicely on 8.4 volts and could almost keep up with my Schutze on 6 volts.

looks like your doing very well with your build keep it up.

Jay
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1:48th scale for my ships. Large enough to show gratuitous detail, small enough to stay married.

Ian Robins

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2007, 09:45:54 pm »

Hi,
Not picking fault as the model looks brilliant, but the reciever looks like a 35mhz one.
Continue with the build and maybe you will be at the Mayhem weekend next year if Martin has one
ro88o
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2007, 03:45:19 pm »

I saw one of these at basingstoke lake last weekend running on M2 shafts with a pair of motors from a scalectrix car all run off a ACTion ESC.
She went along very nicely on 8.4 volts and could almost keep up with my Schutze on 6 volts.

looks like your doing very well with your build keep it up.

Jay

I am using a Combi Drill motor rated 6-9 volt and the battery packs I have ordered are 8.4V, if she can take the weight I will run two in parallel. 2mm shafts and smaller motors would have been neater, but I was constrained by what I had to hand, the wife was less than amused at what I had already spent on the kit!

Thanks for the input.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2007, 05:07:54 pm »

Hi,
Not picking fault as the model looks brilliant, but the reciever looks like a 35mhz one.
Continue with the build and maybe you will be at the Mayhem weekend next year if Martin has one
ro88o

It is 40Mhz, but showing my ignorance would 35Mhz be a problem? I admit the last time I bought a radio control unit before this it was 27Mhz and you had to watch out for peskie CBers with illegal US rigs. I would like to make next year, was working this time, and with any luck I will have ELCOs big British Brother ready by then too, a Fairmile D scratch built in 1/24, still working on the hull at the moment.
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Ian Robins

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2007, 05:31:15 pm »

Hi,
Just asking re the reciever as all my 40mhz recievers have black ariel wires and 35mhz have orange ariel wires.
As for the frequency 27mhz and 40mhz is for ground based models and 35mhz is for airbourne based models. If you have insurance and you use the wrong freqency then you could have problems if you needed to claim.

ro88o
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Colin Bishop

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2007, 06:03:48 pm »

It's a bit more than just insurance! Use of 35mhz in boats or surface models is illegal as it is reserved for model aircraft only. As you can imagine, use of the aircraft frequencies has to be organised carefully as the consequences of a crash caused by somebody else broadcasting on the same frequency can be very serious. There have been fatalities and injuries caused by crashing model planes in the past. At best you will not be permitted to run your model at any organised model boating event with a 35mhz setup and at worst you could cause a nasty accident and leave yourself personally liable to damages.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2007, 10:16:38 pm »

Thanks, I did not know that, I will pull the radio model and check it but the shop I bought it from told me it was 40Mhz and suitable for boats, but never mentioned there was a legal requirement! Well well, we live and sometimes learn! Handy things these forums. I am guessing then I am looking at some impressive expense to correct it? Not just a Xtal swap. Sigh.

Well, wrong radio gear aside I fitted the skylights and photo etch covers, I left them brass as I think it looks pretty cool, in defence I was reading in "Roll on the Rodney" how one of the first actions on RN ships post war was to clean all the paint off the brass work, I will break some other paint rules later, like the mufflers (silencers to us Brits) are shown nicely painted, but in practise I reckon the heat would burn off the paint and leave them as galvanised steel, (stainless not likely is it?).

Other work is starting on the cockpit, some nice detail including decal controls with transparent covers, but first a light grey coat, I have served briefly on a couple of US destroyers in NATO and recall the light flat grey which abounded all interior areas, I don't suppose the coastal craft would have been much different. If it moves, salute it, if it does not, paint it grey.

Quick warning to anyone planning on building this: just because the holes are cut for the skylights does not mean they will be used! I ended up short on glazing and had to slice up some of my own from the waste transparency after glazing holes that will be covered by guns later. Morale: RTFM! Each skylight is held with a spot of superglue, enough sqeezed up from the edge of the "glass" so that the photo etch applied at once was secured in place using the waste in all but one case which resulted in a good old carpet hunt, assisted by the dog.
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Colin Bishop

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2007, 10:46:38 pm »

If the shop you bought it from told you it was 40mhz and it isn't they should have known better and you are entitled to get it changed or a refund. Take it back! Not your fault you didn't know the rules - they should have told you.  Anyway, you know them now! :)
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madrob

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2007, 11:41:43 pm »

Great to see your build zanussi, hope to pop over and see it in the flesh one day
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2007, 01:15:59 pm »

Hey Rob, welcome anytime! you could always assist me in clearing the shed of all the cheap wine and beer we brought back from France, and you could cast your experienced eye over Lynn's new pride and joy, could use some advice on the doors (don't worry, will not hijack you from your own restorations!)

Been working late this week every night, but I reckon I can get the ELCO into water this weekend for engine trials, so thinking caps on again, don't want to risk that pond they built over the old pit head down by Sash, read too many Stephen King books, no telling what is lurking in the deep shafts below!! Need a nice friendly bit of water so I can wade or swim out if it gets into trouble without some slimey creepy grabbing me!
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2007, 04:08:56 pm »

Ok, cool busy weekend but got some work done that mattered as well as the domestic stuff. Nice to see you again Rob!

Okay, the battery packs for the paint guns took me by surprise, a lot smaller than I expected, it remains to see if they give me the required endurance. Lacking a switch to isolate them I jury rigged breakers with spade connectors for bath trials, seen here.
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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2007, 04:12:11 pm »

With the deck in place I led out the cable that will need to be within reach, stern first they are: receiver charger, receiver isolator switch, main battery charger and two pairs that are the battery isolaters, the risk of shorting worried me so after this shot I made one of the isolators and insulated it, leaving only a single wire isolator for now.

BTW, I checked the specs, my transmitter is good for a huge range of frequencies, up to 75 MHZ, but the reciever is indeed locked to the 35 MHZ range, I will have to change it.

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zanussi

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Re: ELCO sell out
« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2007, 04:17:00 pm »

Bath trial, not easy to see I know, but on the whole I was pleased, the stern rode high and the bow not bad at all, I did decide to trim the batteries further aft but she seemed to ride at the required waterline pretty well. I powered her up and there was a comfortable "shove" from the props and a very handsome wake churned up, she will not win races, but she will chase ducks nicely. A couple of problems showed though: a leak at speed, could not see where, and reverse was catastrophic, the motor went to full power at once and dis-assembled the prop and shaft, yike, not sure what is up there, I am guessing the speed controller.

Repeating the test with the deck off showed the leak was from the holes for the model shafts were not being plugged properly by the shaft ends, soon sorted, my own drive shaft, lubricated with vaseline, shed not a drop.
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