Well, I'm at it again. This time I'm doing my own thing based on a
DRAVO Viking class 140' x 42' towboat. I
decided to build to model in 1:48 scale for a model of 35 inches. It
will be radio controlled with separate motor control and separate
steering and backing rudder control. Since I've taken a few trips on
this class of vessel I have a lot of detail photos so I have decided to
detail the pilot house, guestrooms, doghouse, and some basic detailing
of upper engine room.
Here's the color scheme I designed for my vessel. I named her
after the American colors and it being a Viking
class boat. I decided to use a modified AEP logo, not because of the
company that granted me the trips on the boats, but because I'm "Another
I start off marking and cutting out my hull side profiles on 1/8"x
After I cut my sides, I cut out my cross frames.
I cut the frames one scale foot short
to allow for the thickness of the of the hull sides.
In this photo I have already sheeted the bow down to the flat part
of the hull bottom.
You can see here how I cut the cross frames
for the tunnel area of the stern.
Before I sheet the deck, I add 1/2" blocks in the corners so I
wood to round off the corners.
In this side profile you can see the cutout for the
port engine and
Here the hull is laid up with stuffing tubes
and rudder struts in place.
The blocking in the front is where the 12
volt battery will go.
I've also got the main cabin laid up and in
place. I make sure it's glued good to the deck to keep water from
getting in the hull.
Here I'm up to the Texas deck. This is
where the guestrooms are located that is getting detail.
Basic lay-up is done. Now to detail the guestrooms, glue the cabin to
the deck, and prepare to paint.
Cabins painted, masking tape off the main and cabin deck cabins. Now
to get it off the Texas cabin and pilot house. Exposure is a little
dark. paint is white not almond. I masked off the doorways to the engine
room and doghouse cause I wanted to model the doors open.
Main deck interior painted showing the doghouse open doorway,
battery compartment, and motors in lower engine room.
Here's a view of the engine room and rudder room decks.
Here a view of the guestrooms including a guest, switches,
receptacles, clocks, beds, chairs, and dressers. Guestrooms will be
lighted at night.
Here's overhead views of the pilot house before I put
the ceiling on. Standard details are
console with switches and gauges, two 2-way radios, two radars, CEACT
computer, boat's computer, pilot seat, roll top cabinet with toilet ,
water fountain, GPS unit, swing meter, CD player, spot light controls,
refrigerator, and lazy bench. Little Extras
are coffee maker, coffee cup on console, stack of
filters and non-dairy creamer near coffee maker, book on fridge, river
chart, mouse pads, log book, notebooks in cabinet, two clipboards and
one notebook lying on roll top cabinet.
Pilot house ceiling
has a horn lanyard, boat's intercom station, engine room warning lights
console, two 2x2 lay-in type fluorescent lights.
Extras was the hook
that was used to hang center windshield when it was pulled up and a
table fan mounted upside down used as a defroster fan for the
Here's the Doghouse. I'm not going to
put much detailing in it since all that will be seen is what can be vied
from the open doors onto the bow deck. View from top (starboard side) to
bottom (port side) is the stall for the toilet, greasy lavatory,
electrical relay panels for the winches and capstans, deckhand ( who
looks like he had a rough time in the toilet?, and next to the door a
On the other side is a deckhand looking out the
doorway, an end table with water cooler, couch, overhead cabinets, next
to couch is a locker, and against port wall is a work bench. I might add
a first aid kit on the stall wall next to the lavatory, but that will
probably be it since I have a lot of other things to do.
If you plan a project like this and want to super
detail your doghouse, here's what to add. Hangars along the wall where
the deckhand is looking out the doorway. On those hangars are slickers,
jackets, and work vests (life jackets). On the workbench are various
hand tools for repairing tow lights and bilge pumps. Under the bench a
couple of bilge pumps. On the shelves above the bench various battery
powered tow lights, red, green, and amber. You could throw in a jam box
Here are some photos I took of the pilot house at
Here's the mechanism I came up with for making the radars work. The
aluminum sheave is on a shaft that goes down through the manual spot
light control arm with a sprocket on the other end below the guestroom
cabins. I used a drive belt from a VCR to drive two sheaves that will
turn the radars. A fourth sheave was needed to create tension on the
belt and to route it around the pilot house light.
I now have the non-skid paint on the decks with yellow safety line.
The deck color is Gloss Sail Blue. Non-skid color is
Flat Sea Blue. Yellow line is 1/16" trim tape.
I also painted the front edge of the stair treads
Finally got the navigation lights and spot lights on the roof.
Spot lights are made with ultra bright LED's. See
how-to on Lighting
Here's one of the four backing (flanking) rudders and one of two
I made the rudders with thick styrene plastic and
brass tubing. I slotted the tubing and epoxied the rudders into place.
Here's how I linked my rudders together.
View of stern and 45mm five fluke wheels. Clockwise rotation on port
and counter clockwise on starboard.
Here are the starboard coolers. Auxiliary generator coolers, gearbox
cooler, and engine cooler. These are basically radiators mounted in a
recess in the hull. I made them by placing three vertical .040 x .100
strip styrene on the inside plate and .040 x .060 strip styrene glued on
the vertical strips with narrow side facing out. With 1/8" hull
thickness it is almost flush with outside hull.
There are no coolers for the generators on the port
side. Both are mounted in a hull recess on starboard side.
Here's a view of the starboard rudders and coolers. Notice the skids
I put on the bottom of the hull to keep from wearing the paint off when
scooting boat around on tables.
Here are some of the items I scratch build that goes on the second
deck. I use dowel rods, balsa blocks, plastic tubing, and brass tubing
to make various things.
Here are the items painted and placed on the model.
Here I've added the windshield wiper made from three strips of
The two wires below the windshield are the antennae
for the wireless intercom system used out on the head of the tow.
Tow knees are finally built along with a couple of ratchets and
Here's the trash bin and hand deck winch on the stern.
Making rigging using a dowel rod.
Racks are full of rigging and ready to go.