Quick, Easy Stuffing Tube Construction

One of the early problems I had to solve when I built my first ship was the construction of stuffing tubes for the propeller shafts.  Stuffing tubes (or stuffing boxes) are needed to allow the rotating shafts to exit through the hull, while keeping water outside where it belongs.  They also serve to stabilize the prop. shafts and position them solidly where they belong.

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Radio Basics

It’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of how Radio Control (R/C) systems work. One doesn’t need to be an Electrical Engineer (EE) or Radio Frequency (RF) guru to make off-the-shelf R/C systems work. Fortunately, most of the heavy lifting has been done for us. Still, most R/C systems need to be adapted in some ways so that they can be used to operate a fighting combat ship.

Most R/C systems with enough channels for model warship combat are designed to be used with aircraft or helicopters. This is just a simple fact of life in the R/C business – that’s what the greatest demand is for, so that’s what gets built. Limited angular motions are used to control ailerons, rudders, flaps, elevators, and throttles, while landing gear is always in 1 of 2 positions. That’s really all that a R/C system does, is to convert a range of motion on an input into a range of motion on a remote device (usually a control surface in aircraft). Almost all radio systems available today are 2.4ghz, which offers many more available frequencies (allowing for more RC vehicles to operate simultaneously). The challenge is to adapt this system to a use for which it was not designed, and is not necessarily optimum.

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February 2015 After Action Report

All Hands:
Six members attended a battle at the Star Brand Ranch on Saturday. We had a fun time sailing, shooting, BS’ing, planning, and checking out Hank Mill’s Yamato battleship and Michel’s new Go lo transport.

The weather started out tolerable and ended up beautiful, sunny and calm. It was overall a pleasant afternoon. The pond was very useable. The breeze made for rough seas, but it calmed down to almost glassy. The weeds had been blown off to one side and caused no problems. The dock needed only minor adjustment. More on the dock later. The john boat was available but was not made ready.

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So you want to build a warship – Part 6

Part 6 – Skinning the Hull; Decks, and Superstructure
There’s a lot of good material out there about how to skin a ship’s hull, so we won’t go into all the details of how to do it.  Instead, in keeping with the themes of this series, we’ll discuss what actually happened, including some false starts and mistakes.

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So you want to build a warship – Part 5

Part 5 – Fitting Out
So far, everything seems to be coming together quite nicely.  We’ve clearly got the outline of a fine looking ship.  But looks can be deceiving, and we’re about to expose some problems caused by early design and construction decisions.  The choice of ship, while being a sleek and handsome design, presents its own problems when it comes to installing equipment to make her a fighter.

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So you want to build a warship – Part 4

Part 4 – Framing The Hull
As noted in prior installments, I believe in preparation.  I also like cutting, bending, sanding, filing, and in general making the dust fly!  All the preliminaries up until now have been about getting ready to actually build something, but even the best planning and preparation won’t settle everything – there are going to have to be decisions made while the actual work is in progress.  Things that you think will work won’t, or you’ll figure out a better way of doing something, while you’re in the process of doing it the way you originally planned.  This is normal, and is part of the process.  Knowing this, you can take things in fairly small, logical steps, so as not to over commit yourself to a particular direction and allowing yourself the luxury of being able to change your mind later.

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So you want to build a warship – Part 3

Part 3 – Tools
I figure I’m probably pretty typical, in the sense that I’ve accumulated a variety of hand and power tools over the years.  Warship combat is a “guy thing”, and so is collecting tools, so it’s likely that anybody who considers building their own model R/C combat warship already has a fair selection of tools, and is reasonably handy when it comes to using them.  However, many of us aren’t that experienced at scratch-building models – and there are some differences between building a full-scale house, gun cabinet, or even bird feeder and building a model warship.

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So you want to build a warship – Part 1

Part 1 – Getting Started

Big Gun R/C Warship Combat has got to be just about the ultimate big-boys’ toy.  As a kid, my friends and I watched Combat and Rat Patrol on TV and played soldier, blasting imaginary “Japs” and “Jerries” while reliving the great battles of the Second World War.  When I was about 10-12, I had this idea to build radio-controlled model ships, complete with guns that could fire.  At the time, I didn’t have the resources to pursue such a dream, but somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain, it stayed alive.

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