Project Unsinkable!

Jeffrey Zweizig Jeff Zweizig Jeffrey Zweizig Jeff Zweizig

Building an RC Titanic Model

Introducing another of my rc projects. My goal here is to scrap the guts out of this old Tyco rc boat...

...and incorporate them into this Minicraft 1/350 RMS Titanic static kit. Don't expect anything too fancy here. The Tyco boat is an old worn out piece of junk and the Titanic is just a cheap plastic model kit. This is strictly a low-budget project.

If you're really interested in Titanic modeling (including a few rc examples), check out the Titanic Research & Modeling Association.

Here's a little background on the Tyco boat. I bought the boat about 15 years ago. I recently got the itch to dig it out of the closet after about five years of disuse. This boat was always abused, used hard and never maintained. For the first time in its life I decided to do some maintenance. The motors were rusted hulks, but I hit them with some motor spray and lube. After a few moments of smoke and fireworks. they settled down and appeared to run normal. Only one of my battery packs is still functional. The boat takes one 9.6 volt 8-cell AA pack. The boat had a wing and some fake jet pods, but I decided to strip them off and save a few ounces of weight. The top pic shows a dent in the side of the boat from when I left it in the car and it melted. The next pic is a shot from the rear.

Here's a shot of the electronics and motors without the hull and transmissions. These parts have spent a lot of time underwater. The motors are in pretty bad shape, but the electronics box is quite waterproof.

After I cleaned up the boat I took it out for some sea trials and was less than impressed. The problem is that there are many places for the water to leak in on the upper hull and there's not much freeboard. So if the boat isn't going fast, it's sinking. Well, it's old and worn and doesn't go very fast.

Here's an action shot of the boat at full speed. Notice the impressive rooster tail.

Here's another action shot of the boat doing what it does best!

Although the innards are unable to move the craft at speed boat speeds, I figured they'd be more than adequate to drive a ship at scale speeds.

You have to love the irony of this project. I lost interest in the boat because it sinks too much. So I'm reincarnating it as a ship that sank in real life.

Update: Titanic's Shattered Hull Rests on the Bottom

Well I started making some mental notes about how I would proceed with this project, but then we decided to sell our old home and build a new one. Most of my rc stuff, including Titanic, was packed up and put into storage.

Then history repeated itself with devastating effect. I visited my self-store unit to discover that an eight foot stack of boxes had collapsed under its own weight. My Titanic model kit, formally on the top of the pile, found itself at the bottom, underneath everything else. The box and hull were crushed. Ironically, the hull was smashed into two main sections. Could this be the most ill fated rc project in the history of rc? At least the real Titanic got half of a maiden voyage. I fully intent to buy another Titanic kit and forge ahead with this project. But for now it's pretty far down on my "to do" list. Stay tuned.

Final Update

Screw it. Everything went on to that great dumpster in the sky.

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