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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 "American Viking" 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 Eccentric Pilot".

hull-layout1.jpg (47478 bytes) I start off marking and cutting out my hull side profiles on 1/8"x 4"x36" basswood.


hull-frame2.jpg (86143 bytes) 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.


hull-frame3.jpg (47519 bytes) In this side profile you can see the cutout for the port engine and gearbox coolers.


AV-build07.jpg (91113 bytes) 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.


AV-build03.jpg (106814 bytes) Here I'm up to the Texas deck. This is where the guestrooms are located that is getting detail.


AV-build01.jpg (55479 bytes) Basic lay-up is done. Now to detail the guestrooms, glue the cabin to the deck, and prepare to paint.


AV-build14.jpg (94216 bytes) 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.


AV-build11.jpg (88248 bytes)


Main deck interior painted showing the doghouse open doorway, battery compartment, and motors in lower engine room.



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Here's a view of the engine room and rudder room decks.


guestrooms2.jpg (81244 bytes) Here a view of the guestrooms including a guest, switches, receptacles, clocks, beds, chairs, and dressers. Guestrooms will be lighted at night.


PHfrontview.jpg (135522 bytes) PHrearview.jpg (155657 bytes) PHportview.jpg (129316 bytes) PHstbdview.jpg (144364 bytes) PHceiling1.jpg (100329 bytes)

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 windshield.

doghouse.jpg (65720 bytes) 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 fire extinguisher.

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 too.


Here are some photos I took of the pilot house at night.

lighting-phfnt.jpg (63773 bytes) lighting-phprt1.jpg (86738 bytes) lighting-phprt.jpg (105178 bytes) lighting-phaft.jpg (90647 bytes) lighting-phstb.jpg (60867 bytes) lighting-phstb1.jpg (48646 bytes)


radar-mech.jpg (51157 bytes) 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.



AV-build22.jpg (64221 bytes) 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 yellow.



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portlights.jpg (43127 bytes) 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 page.


rudders.jpg (102643 bytes) Here's one of the four backing (flanking) rudders and one of two steering rudders.

I made the rudders with thick styrene plastic and brass tubing. I slotted the tubing and epoxied the rudders into place.


rudder-links.jpg (154332 bytes) Here's how I linked my rudders together.


stern-ruds2.jpg (54577 bytes) View of stern and 45mm five fluke wheels. Clockwise rotation on port and counter clockwise on starboard.


coolers3.jpg (70661 bytes) 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.

stbd-ruds-coolers.jpg (54157 bytes) 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.


deck-acc1.jpg (77530 bytes) 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.


AV-build24.jpg (90867 bytes) AV-build26.jpg (135420 bytes) AV-build27.jpg (70624 bytes) Here are the items painted and placed on the model.

windshield-wiper2.jpg (95776 bytes) Here I've added the windshield wiper made from three strips of plastic.

The two wires below the windshield are the antennae for the wireless intercom system used out on the head of the tow.


knees2.jpg (101512 bytes) knees4.jpg (56101 bytes) Tow knees are finally built along with a couple of ratchets and pennant flags.

trash-bin.jpg (82057 bytes) Here's the trash bin and hand deck winch on the stern.

DSC00096.jpg (69673 bytes) Making rigging using a dowel rod.

DSC00102.jpg (181951 bytes) Racks are full of rigging and ready to go.