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REVIEW (& build): Mitsuwa 1/18 Yamaha STR-23CCR Cabin Cruiser

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  • Member since
    November 2013
REVIEW (& build): Mitsuwa 1/18 Yamaha STR-23CCR Cabin Cruiser
Posted by FocusOne on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:36 AM

I was browsing on the internet the other day and I found this:

I've seen model ships, modern yachts, sailboats, and wooden row boat or lobster boats, but I've never seen a model of this:  a 70s-80s cabin cruiser:  the kind you saw in 80's films or music videos; the kind you see rotting away in some dock or field.  I routinely search the online auction website and local buy'n'sell with specific keywords and I've never come across this.  This kit cost a pretty penny, but felt I simply had to have it!

**Mitsuwa (the little I know of it)**

If you search 'Mitsuwa' you'll mostly find 'chibi'style pull-back car models, 'chibi'-style motorized boats, motorized outboard motors. ww2 plane models, some motorized car models, etc...mostly motorized in some way.  Those are some of the things that interest me.  Things that move.  Most of these models were produced in the late 70s through the 80s.  Actually, I don't recall seeing a date but that's the impression I got.  Sadly, they don't seem to be around anymore.  Once again, this info is what I observe, I haven't heard anything official about their history.

**Online References**

As for this kit, I'm never satisfied with following the kit painting instructions and always need to source actual examples as paint guides - this kit especially since, aside form the box sides, there are no colour call outs!  Online, when you search "Yamaha STR-23CCR" you'll mostly see images of the Nakamura 1/20 kit (which I recently acquired locally) as well as the ARII re-release kit, but mostly auction sites and no info on the kit or build itself.  I started to doubt this boat was actually ever produced.  Removing the "CCR" I was able to find photos of boats closely resembling this on Russian selling sites.  I was also able to find reference photos of the actual boat on a site with scans of the Yamaha brochure:

http://marine-osaka.fan.coocan.jp/meitei/meiteistr/str23ccrscrht/str23ccr1.htm

As there's practically zero info on this kit online I've decided to upload as many photos of this kit.  Some things to note:

- Stern drives are motorized and steerable

- features interior details with lit lamp

- mostly molded in their proper colours (which explains the lack of colour callouts)

I've looked over the parts and manual and I have yet to find the date of issue/mfg for thsi kit...

Enough reading!

 

photo

Photos of parts to follow in the next post...

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 12:45 AM

Parts photos:

More to come...

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:05 AM

Bags open...

I plan to build this and, hopefully, run this in the pond...soon...

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:13 AM

I'm a part of a few hobby groups in my area (Burnaby BC, Canada), including the Burnaby Association of Marine Modellers (BAMM).  As stated above, I plan to RC this boat.  I'm hoping to get this boat finished soon and run it at the local pond.  It would look silly to have this running around without a crew, so I got this at last week's IPMS show:

Hopefully 1/20 is close enough to 1/18.

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:37 AM

The build commences with the most interesting part: stern drives:

I'm guessing Mitsuwa chose plastic gears for self-lubrication as well as corrosion-resistance.  Let's hope they did their strength analysis Tongue Tied

All greased up (Horizon Dynamite Marine Grease) The long brass rod serves as the transfer gear axis as well as the stern drive pivot axis to alloy steering without affecting drive.

Both stern drives built.  Below, parts that were shaded-out as 'not used' laid out.  These are parts to mount the RC gear.  Only the 3 UM2/C battery holder is called out in the manual.

I plan to have it run on 4 NiMH AA batteries.  This is enough to run the receiver and servo, while the 4.8V wouldn't be far off from the 4.5V from the 3 alkaline batteries originally called out in the instructions.

Next step would be to spray paint the upper, lower, and interior before proceeding with detail assembly and painting.

Aside from adding figures, I'll also be adding details to the "head" since it can be seen through the window with adequate exterior light.  Curtains will eventually be added as the upper hull can be removed via screws to access the batteries.

Stay tooned!  Unlike the Honda or the Mustang, I plan to finish this!

 

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: Wyoming Michigan
Posted by ejhammer on Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:25 AM
Great kit and a great start on the build. I really like odd stuff and this surly qualifies. I'll be following. EJ

Completed - 1/525 Round Two Lindberg repop of T2A tanker done as USS MATTAPONI, USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa Dec 1942, USS Yorktown 1/700 Trumpeter 1943. In The Yards - USS ESSEX 1/700 Hasegawa 1945, USS ESSEX 1/700 Dragon 1944, USS ESSEX 1/700 Trumpeter 1945, USS ESSEX 1/540 Revell (vintage) 1962, USS ESSEX 1/350 Trumpeter 1942, USS ESSEX LHD-2 as commissioned, converted from USS Wasp kit Gallery Models. Plus 35 other plastic and wood ship kits.

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Friday, October 18, 2019 12:15 PM

Got the hull painted.  I messed up on the masking as you can see some of the blue krept through the masking and got on to the white lower hull.  I've whiped off the blue with some paint thinner but I'll have to re-mask and repaint the lower hull.  not difficult, but annoying.  If you look closely at the first photo below you'll see some tiny white spots near the bow.  not sure how those got there as there aren't any scrape marks in the paint.  Must've receded from the plastic (I washed this kit before I painted it).  I'll probably do sone more coat over this side of the hull only.

Some paint krept into the tape as well.  scraped off the blue paint and will have to touch up with a brush later.

As of posting this I've installed the stern drive and did some dry testing.  I'll post pics of it once I've done the repainting, tested in water, and installed the electronics.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, October 18, 2019 1:32 PM

Oh My !!

     Why couldn't I find that? I did Motorize and R.C. the large Lindberg Chris Craft Constellation. They gave you instructions to build the cabins for static display. I was able to do it and still have an operable model.

    I sur would like to have one of those though ! T.B. 

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Friday, October 18, 2019 2:26 PM

Tanker-Builder

Oh My !!

     Why couldn't I find that? I did Motorize and R.C. the large Lindberg Chris Craft Constellation. They gave you instructions to build the cabins for static display. I was able to do it and still have an operable model.

    I sur would like to have one of those though ! T.B. 

 
 Oh yeah, I was stoked to find this!  It was pricey but after browsing through the photos I snapped it up quick. I bought this at the end of September, less than a month ago.
My only complaints so far are the gears are noisy and seem fragile.  This boat isn't meant to go fast but I hope it can go fast enough to look right.  At 427mm (16 13/16") it's also quite small, but not too bad on the pond.  And the stern drives are significantly oversized (maybe better for 1/12 scale?) to fit the gears.  It is in scale with some of my other boats and figures aren't TOO hard to find.
Stay tuned!
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, October 20, 2019 8:37 AM

Hi, FocusOne!

     I will say this, the drives almost look like derivatives of Mercruiser Stern-Drives. My River Queen was driven by A Swedish Type. Again, Twins pushed by Chrysler 318s. The boat was forty-five foot long at the Waterline.

 As far as models I was able to reconstruct mine in miniature especially the out-drives. Interesting doing this from scratch. The out-drives worked great! It's to late for you to do it now. A teensy bit of foam would've reduced some of the noise.

 Also there was a chance for you to put a flat " O " ring in the unit between the hull and the housing.This would've shielded the hull from harmonics as the drives operated. I have found this to be a problem in models of any kind of boat.

     I don't know for sure in your case. Check the clearance between the cavitation Plate and the prop blade. The molded flat finger above the screw. If you have enough space you could run a slightly larger prop with better pitch angle.     T.B.

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Monday, October 21, 2019 1:20 PM

Tanker-Builder

Hi, FocusOne!

     I will say this, the drives almost look like derivatives of Mercruiser Stern-Drives. My River Queen was driven by A Swedish Type. Again, Twins pushed by Chrysler 318s. The boat was forty-five foot long at the Waterline.

 As far as models I was able to reconstruct mine in miniature especially the out-drives. Interesting doing this from scratch. The out-drives worked great! It's to late for you to do it now. A teensy bit of foam would've reduced some of the noise.

 Also there was a chance for you to put a flat " O " ring in the unit between the hull and the housing.This would've shielded the hull from harmonics as the drives operated. I have found this to be a problem in models of any kind of boat.

     I don't know for sure in your case. Check the clearance between the cavitation Plate and the prop blade. The molded flat finger above the screw. If you have enough space you could run a slightly larger prop with better pitch angle.     T.B.

 

Thanks for the advice.  I'm keeping it mostly stock with this one. 

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Monday, October 21, 2019 1:25 PM

Paint issues fixed, drive system installed. The're quite big, they seem to be better suited for 1/16 or 1/12 scale.  Oh well...

On to the uper hull!  I've painted the inside black to prevent light from bleeding through the plastic and illuminating the ceiling.  It'll be painted flat white/buff later on.

  • Member since
    December 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Monday, October 21, 2019 1:26 PM

Interesting build.

I remember back in the 70's the LHS had a shelf full of these kits. I dreamed of having one but could never afford it.

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Monday, October 21, 2019 6:08 PM
I swear I was born in the wrong decade...
  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 5:23 PM

Update:

the "mattress" in the stern is removeable to access screws.  The deck behind the cabin is matt white.  I haven't decided whether or not to leave the interior walls and floors matt white or gloss white...

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Sunday, October 27, 2019 2:16 AM

Apologies, I only post when I'm on my computer and, outside of work, it's rare.

Here are some photos of my progressso far:

Stripes painted!  for the lower stripe I masked the upper edge and free-handed the lower edge.  The upper stripe was fully masked.  Both stripes were hand-painted Tamiya Royal Blue acrylic (with retarder for a smoother finish).  I attached the, uh, upper windshield afterwards.

The rails in the stern was quite a struggle.  When installing the stern rail would be about 2mm higher than the sides.  I ended up bending the stern rail posts forward and downwards shifting the side rails forward.  had to do a bit of surgery.  Fit's not perfect but looks decent from a short distance.

Bow rails installed, instructions calls out using the included metal tube to join the rails.  If you look at the box art there should be an antenna at the bow tip of the rails.  There's a part in the chrome tree that joins bow tip and includes the antenna, but the instructions never call for it nor is it marked as 'not used'.  So while the metal tube is more durable for motorization or RC there's a scale option included in the kit.

My pitiful attempt at painting wood pattern.  Base brown colour is also too dark.  I'll have to strip these and re-paint them.

It's coming together!

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Sunday, October 27, 2019 2:45 PM

Looking gooood!!!!

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 70% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, October 27, 2019 7:53 PM

Hi, 

Surprise That looks great 

1st Group Build

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: new Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Monday, October 28, 2019 9:11 AM

Hi;

   When and if you re-do that door.Finish it up with a High Gloss finish! T.B.

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Monday, October 28, 2019 12:23 PM

Tanker-Builder

Hi;

   When and if you re-do that door.Finish it up with a High Gloss finish! T.B.

 

Yeah, definitely re-painting the wood surfaces.  Don't think I'll give it a high-gloss finish; the wood surfaces don't look like they were very glossy in the brochure photos.

  • Member since
    March 2019
  • From: Post Falls, Idaho
Posted by Sigep Ziggy on Monday, October 28, 2019 12:39 PM

Awsome, I'm looking forward to this build.

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Boise ID area
Posted by modelcrazy on Monday, October 28, 2019 2:06 PM

I missed this one. Looking good! Great looking paint job Yes

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Monday, October 28, 2019 3:07 PM

That is really cool!  Looking for one now :)

 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:24 AM

I googled Mitsuwa today and got a place that seems to be a grocery store or supermarket.  How did you obtain the kit?

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 9:26 AM

I tried to google Mitsuwa and got a shopping center or supermarket.  How do you obtain a kit.?

 

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Tuesday, October 29, 2019 10:24 AM

Don Stauffer

I tried to google Mitsuwa and got a shopping center or supermarket.  How do you obtain a kit.?

 

The model company, Mitsuwa, is long out of business, from what I can tell.  This kit was purchased on an online auction site.  you'll need to search for "Mitsuwa model" or search "Mitsuwa" in the toys/hobbies/games category on auction sites

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Friday, November 1, 2019 10:27 PM

FocusOne
you'll need to search for "Mitsuwa model" or search "Mitsuwa" in the toys/hobbies/games category on auction sites

I found a larger slection than I thought I would, and at some reasonable (ish) rates

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2060353.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XMitsuwa+model.TRS0&_nkw=Mitsuwa+model&_sacat=0

  • Member since
    November 2013
Posted by FocusOne on Friday, November 15, 2019 10:56 AM

CapnMac82

 

 
FocusOne
you'll need to search for "Mitsuwa model" or search "Mitsuwa" in the toys/hobbies/games category on auction sites

 

I found a larger slection than I thought I would, and at some reasonable (ish) rates

https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2060353.m570.l1313.TR1.TRC0.A0.H0.XMitsuwa+model.TRS0&_nkw=Mitsuwa+model&_sacat=0

 

 

The "reasonable (ish)" priced items are more like assembly toys.  But you can easily see that as most of the listings show content.   They're nothing like the boat I'm working on.

I also bought an STR-17 boat, same series as I mentioned above,  hoping it would work well alongside the 23 but judging by the seat size it looks to be closer to 1/24.  These cheaper kits didn't have a scale listed on the box.  Likely box-scale.

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