1/35 Italeri PT boat build

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Postby capt midnight » Sun Jul 21, 2019 12:48 am

Many years back I had one of the old Lindbergh PT boat kits that I had converted to radio control, and had started thinking about doing another one. As I was looking for a kit I came across the Italeri boat model. It is about 2 inches shorter than the Lindbergh, but a lot more detailed. It is offered in early and late war versions. I decided on the later version and dropped the cash. I also ordered a brass running gear set from a vendor on ebay.

Here's the eye candy...

First, the unboxing.

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The parts are packed really well. Included are clear parts, rigging and ropes, a photo etched fret, and metal barrels for the 40mm Bofors and the forward 20mm. The one piece hull is a big advantage for the r/c version. The deck is one piece and attaches with screws. You have to kind of flex the hull to attach the deck, but this does give the slight bowed curvature to the deck.

More to come!

Bill
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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:30 pm

Looking forward to this one Bill. Big fan of the PT boats

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Postby capt midnight » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:18 pm

Thanks, Carl. I've always been a fan of the mosquito boats too. The Elco's were always my personal favorite. The Higgins boats just didn't strike me as much as the 80 foot Elco's did.

Here's a few shots of the running gear being installed...

The motors and stuffing tubes from inside the hull. The stuffing tubes have bearings installed where the shafts enter, as well as the oiling tubes already installed.
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Here's the underside.
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And a different angle.
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The deck is temporarily installed to check the positions for the rest of the electronics.
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Just a quick note on the running gear kit. All the pieces are really well made and assembled. All the machined surfaces are smooth and the fit on everything was just fantastic. It did arrive missing the stuffing tubes and control arms for the rudders, but after a couple of quick emails, the seller had replacement parts on their to me.

I also ordered a flexible push rod and some connectors for the rubbers, so I had a bit of a wait for these. I started on the deck fixtures, doing these up as sub assemblies.

Here's a picture of some of these stacked up, just to get an idea of the overall look.
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I ordered a couple of the Mk XIV torpedoes just to give it a different look. I had came across a couple of pictures of boats with these torpedoes and liked the look. One of the picture captions said that the crew had done some swapping with a passing submarine for the torps.

Here's the interior layout I came up with.
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Postby c.rainford73 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 2:15 am

Wow Bill the hardware looks fantastic really well made and clean. I see you have made a great bit of progress already! That one piece hull really makes a great difference.

Should be a spectacular runner

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Postby capt midnight » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:12 am

Yeah, the running gear was extremely well made. I really had no complaints with it, other than it would have been nice to have a two armed control arm to make it easier to hook up the three rudders and the push rod. The props are held on with small grub screws as well as the control arms and motor couplings. I still have to file a flat on the shafts to make a better grab spot for the screws. I'm using thread lock on all the screws to hopefully avoid losing something.

The one piece hull is definitely a plus when doing the r/c conversion. Makes it SO much easier. I've been working on it for several days now, but just getting around to posting some pictures. It's not really going as fast as it looks!

I have tried the hull and engines in the tub a couple of times while I was waiting for the rudders. It really moves some water! Looks like it'll move along pretty good ones it gets loose on some big water. Right now I'm doing some more painting on the deck fixtures, and getting ready to paint the hull. It looks like it's going to cool off a bit this coming week, so I should be able to get out to a local lake and give the hull some proper sea trials.

More updates on the way!

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Postby capt midnight » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:25 am

I'm kind of compressing these post to get caught up to current.

Got the rudder parts in, as well as the flex push rods. Here's the interior with the rudders installed.
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Rudders installed


The flex push rods just did not work out, so I had to go with plan B. Here's what I came up with. Seems to work pretty smooth, and as a plus, I managed to get full throw on the servo with no binding.
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Final steering set up


Here's the full interior.
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Final overall layout


And a closeup of the motors and wiring.
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Close up of motors


And started some painting...
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crew


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torps


And this brings us up to date. Further post will be a bit farther apart. :D

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Postby lmcq11 » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:38 am

Excellent. There is also a lot of potential for a crew in action display.
Making the Bofors mount rotate, elevate and fire with flash and sound would be amazing. There is likely a way to mount a tank control board to operate the boat and the bofors.

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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:20 pm

This is really really cool :thumbup:

Love the work you've done so far Bill :clap:

I've always had a thing for torpedo boats, had a couple in 72nd scale as a lad.
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Postby capt midnight » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:40 pm

The crew figures I have are manning the weapons, so they should liven up the boat a bit. I've got a 4 channel radio for it so I did think about some motion for the 40mm. I might still do it before I close up the hull, just not sure.

I managed to paint some of the smaller sub assemblies today, and here's the results.
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Not sure why, but the thumbnails are upside down, but when you click on them and enlarge them, they are right side up. :crazy:

This evening I might get some of the figures mounted to the guns.

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Postby capt midnight » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:07 pm

Been getting some of the painting done, slowly but surely. Here's some shots of the progress...

Here's the barre deck. This is the first time I've tried to replicate faded paint using two different colors. Didn't think it turned out too bad.
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Overall deck painted


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Close up of cabins.


And some with most of the deck fixtures temporarily attached.
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More to come!

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Postby capt midnight » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Here's some close ups of some of the detail items. Still some painting to do.

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Fwd .50 cal


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Aft .50 cal


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Radar mast


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Torpedos


Here's the start of the camo. The plan is to leave the deck in the pale green.
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Cabin camo


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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:30 pm

Wow Bill that's outstanding! Love the torpedoes
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Postby capt midnight » Sun Jul 28, 2019 5:32 pm

Here's the finished camo...

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We were invited to a friends campsite for the day Saturday, so it was a perfect time to perform some sea trials.

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And a short video..

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Very minimal leakage, and just some slight adjustments to be made to the rudder. It also appears that one of the drive shafts is binding slightly, so I'm thinking that when I get that worked out, the rudder trim will also be sorted out. I think correcting the binding will also give me a bit more top end speed, as well.

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Postby lost_wolf » Sun Jul 28, 2019 6:06 pm

Beautiful build capt.
Was great to see her on her maiden voyage. You sir are an amazing builder , thanks for sharing your passion for molding and RC, a fantastic combination for sure .
Looking forward to seeing more updates
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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Jul 28, 2019 8:22 pm

It really handles nicely :thumbup: such a cool piece
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Postby Son of a gun-ner » Sun Jul 28, 2019 9:09 pm

Awesome :clap: :clap:
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Postby capt midnight » Mon Jul 29, 2019 4:44 am

Thanks, guys!

I'm really pleased with how it's coming along. Hopefully I'll be able to get some headway made on it in a day or two. I've got a Famo I want to get finished up.

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Postby capt midnight » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:06 am

I got a chance today to spend some time with the boat again today. I started checking the shaft that seemed to be binding, but really couldn't find anything wrong. I did make a slight adjustment to the motor mount. I tried dry running it, but there still seemed to be something binding. I checked all three shafts, but all looked good. After running it at different speeds without the shafts connected, it looked like the motors were not running at the same time. One would start when the throttle was first advances, but the others would not kick in until almost full throttle was applied. I just could not get them to balance out.

On my previous PT boat I had used two 540 size closed end bell motors. After being dead in the water due to losing a prop, I re wired the motors from parallel to in series. Never had that problem again. On this boat I had wired all three motors in series to avoid that problem. At this point, the only thing I could think of was to try wiring them in parallel. I swapped a couple of jumpers around on the bus bars and gave it another try. Low and behold, all three motors kicked on at the same time in forward and reverse. I hooked the drive shafts back up and gave it another run. All ran smooth as silk. As an added bonus, it seems like the motors have a lot more top end speed than before. This might also correct the steering pull, too.

I'm going to try and hit the lake again tomorrow for another trial run. I'll get some video and post it up.

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Postby c.rainford73 » Sun Aug 04, 2019 3:15 am

Great news Bill
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Postby capt midnight » Mon Aug 05, 2019 4:46 pm

The re wiring on the motors really did the trick! :thumbup:

I centered up the rudders and the trim prior to this run and it didn't need any further adjustments. And as you can see in the video, the top end speed has really increased. The only thing I want to do before I close up the hull is move the antenna position up a bit higher. I think a small mount sticking up into the center cabin will work great.

phpBB [video]


Can't wait to get the final clear coat on and mount the rest of the goodies. Looking forward to giving her a proper run!

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