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Riverboat--Stern or Side-Wheeler, have you built one?

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Riverboat--Stern or Side-Wheeler, have you built one?
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 4:55 PM

Just thinking!

       I think in my Seventy Years of building just about everybody's large ship and boat releases, that under the different names I have built, modified and totally reconstructed at least ten of either the Robt.E.Lee and the Natchez. Sometimes scratch building a Stern wheeler from the hulls and cabin parts I could use.

      I recently started gathering parts for another. This time, Just the Natchez. But! with a twist. I have cut out all the molded on/in windows and replaced them with  model RailRoad parts from Tichy Train Group. Why them specificially? Well, can you say Quality? And high attention to the detail. When you take a double hung sash, It is molded to represent that type even the smaller ones. Doors too.

       This is so much better than trying to clean up the very poorly molded on windows that just stick out way to far from the Bulkheads. Plus with P.V.C. Piping for the stacks, then you can use those Nice Brass crowns from Miniature Hurricane Lamps ( The little crown that holds the Glass Chimney in place.) They look better anyway. The P.V.C. pipes give you the option of using Model Sailing ships eyes for the support cables on them.

       The deck has an edge that would be used for support as well as a stop to keep anything from Sliding overboard, because these are so tall I am replacing them with Plastic stripping, you can use skivved wood of your choice for decking. I am going to use some Card Thin Teak on mine. Nothing fancy on deck except the Crown Plank. That's the one that's three planks wide ,Dead Center of the deck!! One of the things the models lack(Both of Them) is proper deck support from the hull to the deck edge. Tichy can help here too. All you have to do is look for their Cast Iron Light Supports.

          NOTE:

 If you build one in any scale above 1/87 you better be able to do a lot of interior detail.The Wheel-Houses on those were pretty open for visual work by the crew. Had to watch out for snags( Floating Trees(Or Stuck Ones) that could rip a hole in the hull, and sink your vessel.

 

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, August 18, 2022 8:31 AM

I have built both.  Built the North River of Clarmount, a sidewheeler, scratchbuilt the USS Cairo (I'd call it a sternwheeler) and am building the Western Rivers, the sternwheeler that took the Custer survivors and non-combatants back to the fort.

 

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Thursday, August 18, 2022 9:01 AM

I have the Lee slightly started, just the wood hull.  I have to get back to that old Scientific kit again.

I also have a limited rum of the Wolverine carrier from the Great Lakes fleet.  You should see the side paddle wheeler they used for the conversion, it was a almost complete rebuild.

They only made 500 and the quality is quite good.  My problem is that I would like a 1/350th scale kit, but there are none made.  Most likely I'm just going to have to sell it off because it's just too small for me to build

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, August 18, 2022 10:05 AM

Ikar01;

       Yeah, I know the feeling. I am going to sell off All my 1/72 scale Aircraft, and my 1/72 scale Armor. The sad part is some of them don,t come in other scales and they are Old!

  • Member since
    July 2012
  • From: Douglas AZ
Posted by littletimmy on Monday, August 22, 2022 9:22 PM

I built the Natchez ( the first release from Piro, the kit is older than me )

I also used many model railroad parts to make it at least believable.

The grand staircase was the most unforgivable, out of scale, architecturaly inaccurate piece of modeling I have EVER seen !  I ended up building my own out of stripwood.

I also built my own railings out of Brass wire and locomotive stations.

The ship now rests in a wood chest somewhere in my workshop.

I took some pictures of it 6 or 7 years ago... that's the last time I actually knew where it was in my mess.

( I can provide pictures if requested, but it has sustained quite a bit of damage over the years... )

 

 Dont worry about the thumbprint, paint it Rust , and call it "Battle Damage"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 8:42 AM

Hi Ikar 01!

         Haven't talked for a while. I saw that kit for sale at the Spring Train Show. Some Lionel guy wanted to sell it because it was to small for him! I looked at it and decided it was too small for me too! Neat subject though!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 6:18 AM

I love those river paddle boats. I am doing research now because I want to build a large scale version of the Delta Queen as a rc project. But I also want to power it using a stean power source like the real one. I have alot more research to do so figureing I might get that project started in a couple years from now. I am also wanting to have an actual working coliape on it . thats going to be the hardest part.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 6:47 AM

Hi Lurch!

       You'll find the best engine and steam plant for your project by Cheddar out of England. There's two ways to do the wheel, An Articulated one or Fixed Paddle-Boards. The Articulated allows the Paddle-Boards to be 90 degrees to the water upon the rotation. It was used on Thames "Penny" Steamers.

      I think there's a company in Germany that makes miniature Calliopes. They ain't cheap AND they're only able to play one song repetitively! They specifically make them for the model Circus Fans! I hope this gets you turned down the right road. Question? Have you ever worked in Plexi?

     I have found for Watertightness that a Plexiglass Hull allows W/T compartments that after you install the thinner Plexi. Base Deck, gives you the opportunity to create sealed,  W/T compartments from the Bow to the Engine Room Bulkhead. You create the plexi Base deck out of 1/16 plexi sheet and overlay it with wood Fastened with a thin slurry of Epoxy, Like installing a Kitchen Floor!

       If you need more info Leave me a message and we can talk on the phone. There's a lot of info you need. If you don't have the books I can Verbally give you what info I have learned in building electric R.C.Boats over the years!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 6:55 AM

Hi Missileman!

      Say, did that boat have the four paired rudders? That's an interesting system!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 2:26 PM

Thanks TB I realy appreciate that. I want to use an actual steem engine but still looking at all the specifics. You have provided me with some great info. I will most likely message you at a later date wiht questions.If that is alright with you.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 4:29 PM

Coitanly! Ask Away Thats wut I'se heah foah!

   Hey Lurch! You have to remember there's a lot of protection you have to build in when you run steam! Lagging for the boilers and under the Platform it sits on, along with heat shields in the engine room. But, That's what all those Guinness cans are for!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Wednesday, August 24, 2022 10:04 PM

Oh thats what they are for. Thanks for letting me know. Was wondering what to do with them. HAHAHALOL

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:13 AM

TB, which one? North River, Cairo, or Far West?

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:26 AM

Hi!

 I have always been fascinated by the CAIRO. Because she's so large compared to, say the Monitor. In Many ways the "Moniter" was a CheeseBox on a raft, No disrespect to the crews! The Cairo might not have been rigged like that. It was found mostly on the Standard Sternwheelers. because a result of steering input was needed ahead of the Wheel and Behind it! I would have to see the Cairo, I don't think her system was like that, not sure. Of course we all know ALL the Ironclads had various steering and venting problems as well!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Thursday, August 25, 2022 11:54 PM

That was one thing aboiut being stationed at Little Rock A.F.B.  When I would drive to town and cross the Arkansas river I could see river boats docked or moving along the river.  Before that I didn't even know they were still being used.  I never got the chance to take a river boat cruise at least through Arkansas, never had the time.

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Friday, August 26, 2022 8:22 PM

Hi TB!

Last year I built the old Pyro Robt. E. Lee. The only pic I have is of the start of the build. The deck was so warped that I couldn't get it straightened out no matter how hard I tried. I just threw it in the trash and made replacement wooden decks. First, I had to make supports for the deck. It's now sitting in the meeting room of our Retirement village. When we switch it out with another build, I will try to take some pics of it. They had my Kearsarge on the mantle for the last couple months.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/vnnAQPKcYJDQ4RNf6

Also have the Authentic Miniatures version of the same kit but haven't built it yet.

Jim Captain

Stay Safe.

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

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

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, August 27, 2022 9:25 AM

Tanker-Builder

Hi!

 I have always been fascinated by the CAIRO. Because she's so large compared to, say the Monitor. In Many ways the "Moniter" was a CheeseBox on a raft, No disrespect to the crews! The Cairo might not have been rigged like that. It was found mostly on the Standard Sternwheelers. because a result of steering input was needed ahead of the Wheel and Behind it! I would have to see the Cairo, I don't think her system was like that, not sure. Of course we all know ALL the Ironclads had various steering and venting problems as well!

 

Don't remember.  Built it about a quarter century ago, and donated it to a National Parks Museum in St. Paul (I think it was called the Great River museum or something like that- about the Missisippi River)  I got a little miffed at them- after just a few years on display it ended up on a supervisor's desk.  I did not keep any of my photos, but I do have one that was submitted for a build article in FSM.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Sunday, August 28, 2022 8:34 AM

Thats a great looking boat Don.

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Sunday, August 28, 2022 8:51 AM

Don, that Ironclad is stunning work.  I wish that there were more pictures of it.  Excellent work my friend.

tjs

TJS

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Sunday, August 28, 2022 9:00 AM

Fox,

I also have the Robert E. Lee in my stash.  My boxing is under the Lindberg brand.  I also have the much smaller Revell Robert E. Lee too.  I'd love to see more photos of your build when it's possible.  There are two gentlemen on you tube who have built the Lindberg version over the last several years and they have noted the "challenges" of this kit.  I do have to say that when it's completed by an experienced builder, it does look very impressive.  I do have a couple of Lindberg model ship kits under my belt, the stern paddlewheeler "Southern Belle", their WWII Japanese I-53 submarine,and their big Fletcher class destroyer "Blue Devil" so I know a little about what to expect from their kits.  Do you have any experience with the Revell kit?  Thanks and take care.

tjs

 

TJS

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, August 28, 2022 12:14 PM

Hi Tom!

      Yes! I built the REVELL version of the Robt.E.Lee right after it came out! The Little Paddle boat, The "Southern Belle" is an odd little boat.I think it came actually in three sizes originally. Remember the little Sailing Ships Pyro had? They had her there too!

    I think she was then all of three inches long. Then the Medium sized one came out in the twin Kits! Then the larger one. Then she was motorized(Lindberg) then NOT(Pyro) Again! Then she was back nder LindbergAnd for a while as a Life-Like Model. I like that little boat,

    There's so much detail you can do to the large one. The Steam Engine and Drive gear in the engine room. The Quarters up on deck within the cabins and then the Wheelhouse, I did one like that,I think my second one and my neighbor who was a Towboat Captain(Diesel) bugged me till I sold it to him. So now I don't have one!

    NOTE:

  I took the Blue Devil(U.S.S.MELVIN-A real Fletcher!) And converted her to a F.R.A.M. Gearing! Took Best in Ships 1977,1978  in two different shows. She disappeared on Dec.03,1982 in the Tornado! I have wanted to recreate that, But, life got in the way! To Me, This is what PYRO, LIFE-LIKE and LINDBERG models are for. Modifying the daylights out of. BECAUSE they are definitely Cheaper! to do this to, than Modifying a Tamiya1/350 Iowa, at what they cost!! That's why for instance, I started my "Seniors Model Car Building Class" In North Little Rock Community Center, with MONOGRAM'S 57 Chevy-Bel-Air. If you tried, you really couldn't build a bad model with it! Some of those old folks taught me a thing or two!!

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, August 28, 2022 3:16 PM

I was looking fo r a model of th Cairo, there weren't too many of the city class ships built.  They found the Cairo and brought it out of the river and were restoring it.

  • Member since
    July 2015
Posted by MR TOM SCHRY on Sunday, August 28, 2022 3:55 PM

Tanker-Builder,

Thanks for your comments and I agree about Lindberg/Pyro/Life-Like kits being great for the builder to experiment with modifications.  I was not aware of the different sizes of the Southern Belle.  Do you know if the little Pyro Bohomme Richard kit ever came with ratlines?  I was "gifted" an opened kit and there were no ratlines in the kit.  I am so sorry that your "Blue Devil" was lost in a tornado.  Thank goodness that you came through it. If shipping wasn't so expensive or if we lived closer I'd gladly give you my built up version. Take care & stay safe.

tjs

TJS

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