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Author Topic: Converting plastic kits to RC- my philosophy  (Read 2036 times)


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Converting plastic kits to RC- my philosophy
« on: March 18, 2008, 02:54:54 am »

When I do conversions of small plastic models to RC, I generally consider the models to be "semi-disposable".

I find that plastic models have a limited life, as a rule-- sooner or later, they get banged up, pieces get broken, etc.  So I don't build them like I would a larger model.  Of course, some last longer than others of course-- I've got a Lindberg tug that I've run for about 15 years. 

My opinion is that radios and batteries are so cheap these days, that I just build them into the model-- I don't worry about providing access to the interior for regular maintenance-- it just isn't worth the trouble.

On my Lindberg tug, for example, I installed and thoroughly tested the running gear and control system, taping the deck in place until I was sure all was working reliably.  Then, I glued the deck to the hull with clear caulking, which gave me a nice watertight bond, but one that can be cut away if needed.   I then made a small access hatch in the superstructure to give access to the radio on/off sitch and the charging jack.   

In the last 15 years, I've had to remove the deck exactly twice.  Once, to replace a worn our universal, and the other time to replace the original nicads, which eventually wore out and wouldn't hold much of charge.

Just a thought......


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Re: Converting plastic kits to RC- my philosophy
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2008, 11:20:16 am »

With the smaller models like the Revell trawler, fair enough.  The really important thing is a watertight hull as the situation changes from sailing to survival much earlier than with the larger Lindbergs.
My Lindberg conversions have been done with servicing in mind.  My Lindberg trawler had its 21st birthday last year.  Some bits have suffered and been replaced, but then again, I suspect any real trawlers would have had a few repairs done in that time.
"With the right tool, you can break anything" - Garfield


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Re: Converting plastic kits to RC- my philosophy
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2008, 12:22:48 am »

That is a great point--   I'm with you on the seaworthiness requirement-- especially in small models.   Most of the Lindberg tugs I've seen were build with removeable cabins.  Mine is built with the cabin glued permanently tothe deck, and the deck glued to the hull with the caulking.  My model can roll over 110 degrees before any water can get in the hull. 

While I don't generally sail in gales, you never know when your little model may get hit by a behemoth with an inattentive skipper!

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