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    Phantom build
    by ChrisB ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    9 Posts 28 Comments 0 Photos 64 Likes
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 8
    11 days ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Hi all, hope all are keeping well. Its been a while since I've been able to make any progress, working away over the last few weeks and have had little time to get back in the shed as a result.
    However some progress, particularly the cockpit and seating arrangements. Going through the kit fittings I opted to make my own cockpit surround, dash, steering wheel, including a throttle, a simple shifter for the floor, and my own bollards. The kit supplied bollards were undersized in my opinion, so I've used them (and the short brass rod supplied) as a handrail for the rear seat.
    I'm pondering making up a false glove box cover for the left side of the dashboard - the wood has a light coloring showing through that I'm not altogether happy with and I was considering a glovebox anyhow so it might work out well. Maybe a few other details - one or two false lights under the gauges might also fill out the space without being overly complex.
    The mast and flag are fitted, I had a spare US flag luckily as the kit supplied version is only colored on one side - it's transparent but looks rubbish to be honest so its in the toolbox and out of my sight for now. ๐Ÿค”
    This weekend I hope to fabricate a new window frame, again the kit plastic pieces are fairly lame so I'm going to replace these also - I can't decide whether to use a wooden frame or make one from brass angle and paint it chrome.
    I need to also make up 2 air inlets which will sit in front of the hatch, then go back to touch ups particularly inside and under the hatch, and inside the hull at the cockpit opening.

    Still haven't found a seal solution as yet that I'm happy with for the hatch or cockpit, it might be a case of taking a test cruise first and see how much of an issue this is in my case as I haven't used the plastic covers / surrounds from the kit. Hopefully I've got a better seal than I think....๐Ÿคž

    Last job-if all goes well-is to give her a name. I'm fortunate to have a label cutting machine at home to make my own decal- Just got to decide on a name.
    I'll reveal that in the next post.

    Stay safe and well everyone.

    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 8
    11 days ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Very nice work Chris.
    Looking forward to seeing her on the water.

    Martin555.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 8
    11 days ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Very nice Chris, great looking boat!
    JB
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 8
    10 days ago by Newby7 ( Commander)
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    Nice job she looks good.
    Rick
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Hi all, some progress since my last update - running gear fitted and tested, false deck on and veneer over the top completed. I used the left over 0.7mm x 25mm hull veneer as an edge planking and found some 0.8 x 8mm strip mahogany to use for the insert pieces.
    Fabricated some home made hinges and made a working hatch in the deck in lieu of the kit provided "plastic tarp" cover design for the engine bay. I've made a trim up from brass plate to sit over the gap between the hatch and the deck, painted chrome and just needs a rub down and second coat before fitting. Have to solve the sealing aspect of the hatch yet, a few blogs (on other sites) I'd read previously when researching the Phantom indicated this was an issue with the kits plastic deck pieces - whilst I'm not using these trims I recognize I'm still going to have some splash and ingress - I have some left over foam tape from my aircraft build years ago - hopefully this will be thin enough to fit around the hatch without impeding operation.
    Rub rails painted and fitted, steep installed and a thin chrome (painted) strip at the transom to hide the false deck line installed.
    Varnishing of the deck is nearly completed, one more sand and a final coat tomorrow and she's pretty well ready for final hull touch ups and fittings to be fabricated and installed - mast / bollards / cleats etc.
    Next major task is to customize the cockpit replacing the plastic dash and surround piece provided in the kit. Making this up will be good fun and I hope rewarding - be nice to move on to something else other than the hull ๐Ÿ˜Š
    Apologies if my pictures are out of order - I can't quite seem to get that right!

    Hope all are keeping safe and well.
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Excellent job so far Chris, great varnish job, really makes it!
    JB
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by Newby7 ( Commander)
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    She looks sleek nice job on the finishing.
    Rick
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by Rogerdotcom ( Petty Officer 2nd Class)
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    What a lovely looking boat and your skills are evident. Nice finish ๐Ÿ˜Š
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks for your kind words JB. Patience whilst watching the "varnish dry" has been testing! Think I've got a few more coats on the deck to go - its very close to how I'd like her to look but the weather (and work) aren't cooperating at the moment!!
    Cheers,

    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks Rick, I'm trying to overcome my impatience in finishing models. I tend to rush towards the end - I'm a slow learner but hope to make a good job of this one. All that wood (and my rookie errors) are on display in this one I'm afraid - but she is a rewarding and learning build. Most enjoyable.
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 7
    2 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thank you sir, really appreciate the feedback. Whilst the exposed timber is at times a curse of sorts, the reward is the boat is starting to resemble the beautiful crafts I've seen of that era. I hope to get the deck up to a similar level of finish and customize the cockpit to the same standard or better. Thanks again for your kind words, greatly appreciated.
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 6
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Hi all, finished varnishing and for the most part happy with the result. Getting enough coats on and sanding lightly in between has filled between the joins of each plank quite well and given a quite even surface finish. Despite what I thought was a thorough sanding before I started the first coat, it has been somewhat time consuming and I still have a couple of fix ups to do that refused to cooperate under the water line but after 8 further coats since my last update I had to call enough. I think it's turned out pretty even overall and I can't see or feel too much deviation along the sides. Phew!
    She now has 4 coats of enamel on the underside and today I added the water line striping. I'm glad I opted for the red, I think white was going to look a bit plain against the veneer.
    So she's nearly ready for the running gear and a bench test which I hope I can get at this week, then progress with the deck install, planking, hatches and cockpit build. I have enough veneer to cover the deck, however I'm trying to source alternative mahogany and lighter color veneer decking planks (of the same thickness) to make sanding the top sides hopefully simpler and ultimately to have only one level across the deck. I think this will look much better and be consistent with other craft of the era.

    Hope all are well,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 6
    3 months ago by jbkiwi ( Vice Admiral)
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    Looking fantastic!
    JB
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 5
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Hi all, has been a few days since I finally finished the veneer step and varnishing has now commenced - 2 coats down. In between I've been adjusting the steep to get a better fit with the veneer in place and forward planning the deck finish, specifically what to do with the exposed un-planked deck areas. I have enough left over veneer so I'm going use this over the deck rather than staining or painting the exposed areas. I'll lay it on an angled pattern same as the sides for consistency - its going to be a long process but I think worth it in the end.
    The deck fitting is going to be a close call - the supplied 1mm deck is barely wide enough at the transom with the veneer now in place. I'll savor fitting this piece (got a feeling its gonna be a trip to the hobby shop to make a replacement โ˜น๏ธ).

    Also carried on some further research into colours and I've decided on Symphony Red for the underside with a simple white waterline above. I also note many boats of this style and era have a spray rail (what I call it) that extends approximately 1/4 of the way along the sides from the transom forward. Not sure of the purpose of these - spray diffusion? Speed/ handling? Aesthetic? I think I'll be adding these anyhow.
    I must say I've enjoyed the research into the era, there are some truly beautiful images of craft from this time to be found online and it is has been a joy to view them and to appreciate the craftsmanship. Its a hobby now as I watch the glue and varnish/paints dry with a cuppa ๐Ÿ˜Š.
    Next steps are to finish the marine varnishing, final sand the underside and painting, then let it rest for a few days to harden off with this cold weather. Then its running gear install and testing time.

    Stay safe and healthy folks.
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 5
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Beautiful job Chris ๐Ÿ‘
    Lovely sheer lines.
    Hope the veneering didn't give you too much agro๐Ÿคž
    Maybe you could solve the deck fitting problem by fitting a rubbing strake / foot rail (3mm or 1/8") at the deck edge? Just a 'thunk'!
    Cheers, Doug ๐Ÿ˜Ž
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 5
    3 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    She is looking really nice Chris.
    A job well done.
    Keep it up.

    Martin555.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 5
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks Doug.
    The veneer wasn't too bad, your glue tip worked really well thank you again. Only had one rub through on sanding - which I nearly missed prior to varnish. This was a devil to cut and fit but it has blended in well and can't be seen.

    The pre-veneer sanding was painstaking, and even then I know I could have done better. My skills are basic but I'm learning that with patience and practice it will pay off. I am enjoying this build though for sure.

    Re- the deck - there are rubbing strakes which I'm hoping will bridge the divide as long as I can make the transom to the deck joint clean and seamless it should work. It's just very very tight - especially when all around the rest of the hull its got a bit of meat to sand off. We'll see how she goes sir.

    Cheers
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 4
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Veneering underway and so far happy with the progress. Apart from the odd issue of planks lifting as they dry - I guess as they become moist with the resin and depending how a piece is clamped - mostly its been a quite steady and clean process. Any lifting mainly occurs on the inverse bends where planks butt together, so it is just a time and patience approach - one plank at a time.
    Adjusted the bow and keel to accept the steep before I gave this a coat of primer ready for chrome painting. Added a locating pin to the inside of this and corresponding hole into the bow so I can be confident of its alignment (and a more robust fixing point when I reach that stage).
    I hope to finish the first side this evening, then I'll sand back the edges flush to the deck and lower hull before I move onto the next side. I have deliberately left off the last veneer strip on the side and the transom in the event I have any veneer strip splitting as the supplied materials are a limited quantity.
    Yet to complete the final sanding and paint on the bottom skins as I am considering a colour change to a deep red with a white water line. I've nearly convinced myself I'd prefer a different colour ๐Ÿ˜€
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 3
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    A much more sedate few days, not much to report I'm afraid - literally watching the paint dry. However I have been thinking of the next steps (thanks Doug for the Aliphatic glue advice) and preparing for the veneering in particular by measuring out and getting a feel for the bends / angles and just how to clamp or tape particular sections which will be problematic. The bow being probably the more testing around frame 2 and 3 and the transom at frame 9.
    Inside is now white and was no trouble, simply 2 coats of enamel over the resin coating.
    Given my ability to somehow always get paint on myself I decided to undercoat and then put a coat of white enamel over the lower hull early. Whilst this will need finishing to the water line on the sides eventually, I feel much more comfortable that my clumsy mits have less chance of leaving a white thumb print on fresh veneer if I get too carried away! I can now also see the deeper grain and sanding marks that I've missed, so over the next few days I can eradicate these with some fill and a light sand prior to one more coat. Then its on to the veneer step ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Thinking further ahead I'm pondering the plastic molds supplied with the kit for the rear (engine bay) and cockpit surround. I must declare I'm not convinced I like them - they look a bit tardy to me and find myself at conflict with respecting the era and styling. I was pondering replacing the cockpit surround and dash with a wooden surround and dash board and the Tarpaulin cover maybe with a hinged hatch that is flush with deck level. I've struggled to find images of 1920's tenders/ speed boats like this but plenty from the 30's onwards - Chris Craft and the like. I don't see tarps or such wide awkward cockpit surrounds. I guess it's modellers choice ultimately but I want to respect history first (and prefer to honour that) in lieu of my own bias. Close up of the box image included with this post if anyone has a view or experience I'd appreciate hearing from you.
    Many thanks,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 3
    3 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Chris,
    I don't know if this will give you any ideas.
    Some really beautiful boats starting from page one.

    https://yotlot.com/tag/chris-craft/page/2/

    Martin555.
    https://yotlot.com/tag/chris-craft/page/2/
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 3
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks for the link, some interesting ideas to ponder(and beautiful boats).
    Much appreciated.
    Chris.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 3
    3 months ago by Nerys ( Rear Admiral)
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    Beautiful speedboat, superb finish. Reminds me of a visit to Geneva a few years ago when there was an event for 'Rivas' taking place, a 'Concours d'elegance' for speedboats. They were fantastic.

    Nerys
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 3
    3 months ago by Joe727 ( Commander)
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    Martin555,
    I've always loved these wood speedboats. I once lived near Lake Tahoe in the US, a large alpine lake, they had a number of these restored classics up there. Fun to watch!
    Joe
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Planking finished last night and I was able to give the hull a more thorough sanding and shaping finally this morning. Gave the tops of the keel frames a levelling sand prior to dry fitting the deck after I got the epoxy painted in and bedded fibreglass between the keel frames. On review of the rudder setup, I've decided to add a simple block over and encompassing the rudder tube inside as this has little support other than the keel frame.
    Last night I also made up a replacement "Steep" out of 25 thou brass plates, doing a final fit this morning. With some further shaping and adjustment I think the brass replacement might blend in better to the veneer rather than the plastic supplied in the kit fittings. Hopefully with a chrome paint this might look better too but I've never fitted one to a model before so a first for me. I'm thinking of adding some locating pins to the inside, simply soldering these in so I can drill and fix it to the keel post veneering.
    The next few days is letting the resin cure before applying a white colour to the inside, final sanding and begin the veneering. Billing recommend using a cyno or other superglue for the veneer step rather than wood glue to mitigate any chance of staining the raw wood and to also speed up the process. A first for me so hopefully I don't end up getting myself stuck to the boat in the process ๐Ÿ˜
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Chris,
    She is taking shape nicely.
    It will definitely pay off to take your time with the veneer work as this is what a lot of people will look at and judge your boat on.

    Good luck and don't get stuck.

    Martin555.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Looking very good Chris๐Ÿ‘
    A word of warning about veneering with CA glooper sue!
    CA won't give you any 'wiggle time', so if you start to place a piece wrong and it 'grabs' you'll be literally stuck!๐Ÿค” And CA might grab you!!๐Ÿ˜ฎ
    I would use an aliphatic resin wood glue.
    Comes out white, gives you lots of time (compared to CA) to spread the glue to a thin layer and get the part fitting right.
    Apply some pressure and it will grab and then dry crystal clear.๐Ÿ˜Š
    Touch dry ca 20 mins, fully hard about 8 hours.
    Takes any stain or varnish no problem and won't stick your fingers.
    This is the one I like, from Deluxe Materials.
    https://deluxematerials.co.uk/collections/wood/products/alip...
    Happy veneering๐Ÿคž
    Cheers, Doug ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    https://deluxematerials.co.uk/collections/wood/products/aliphatic-resin-112g
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Cheers Doug, appreciate the advice and recommendation.

    Iโ€™ll check to see if I can get some of this locally.

    Many thanks. ๐Ÿ˜Š
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
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    My pleasure Chris,
    Why should you have to learn the hard way as well as me!!๐Ÿค”
    There appear to be two Deluxe distributors in OZ, here's the info, in case you haven't already found it!
    https://deluxematerials.co.uk/collections/distributors#austr...

    BTW: I have no connection with Deluxe other than as a satisfied customer. Get my Deluxe 'stuff' through Krick here in Germany.
    DM also do a range of CA glues for various purposes so you may actually find one suitable for veneering - I wasn't prepared to take the risk a second time๐Ÿ˜‰
    Happy building,
    Cheers, Doug ๐Ÿ˜Ž
    https://deluxematerials.co.uk/collections/distributors#australia
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Chris,
    Ref aliphatic resin wood glue.
    I forgot to mention; any excess glue which gets squished out can be wiped off with a damp cloth or kitchen roll paper. Leaving no trace or discolouration. Try that with CA and most will go white instantly๐Ÿค”
    Even if you can't find the DM version I'm sure there must be an OZ equivalent down under.๐Ÿคž
    Doug ๐Ÿ˜Ž
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update 2
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks Doug, got some today from the local hobby shop so I'm good to go.
    Cheers.
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build update
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Progressed the side planking which for the most part has been well behaved and compliant with shaping and bending. The more difficult planks being the top 3 from the deck down, these have quite a bit of resistance even post multiple test fits to induce the required bends follwoed by more soaking. But they are nearly on. I found N Gauge track pins very helpful in the planking step, using pointed nose pliers to push them through the planks into the keel frames. They seem to bite really well during gluing and are very compliant when removing. Clamps or my trusty clothes pegs on this step have been quite cumbersome to use, purely I think due to the smaller size of the keel frames.
    I've decided to replace the propellor shaft strut supplied with a home made one - the supplied plastic pieces with a brass bush made me feel uneasy - might be overkill and I'd be keen to hear anyones experiences of using the Billing supplied strut assembly? The supplied brass bush was also very loose on the M4 shaft so I went ahead with trying to rectify that also as it had around 0.8 mm clearance. I had a billet of aluminium in the garage so have used this as my replacement, installing a plank across the keel to give a mounting plate so I can bolt on and if necessary remove for repair in the future.
    Next steps post final fit of the strut and the side planks is to coat the inside of the hull with epoxy resin and add some fibreglass between the frames. This I hope will give a little more strength to the boat and water proof it, with the added benfit of filling some of the planking gaps prior to painting the inside white. That will give me time to ponder the rudder and tiller arm setup as space (for any future maintenance) is very tight once the deck is installed๐Ÿค”
    Cheers,
    Chris
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build update
    3 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Nice work Chris.
    Keep it up.

    Martin555.
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    ๐Ÿ“ Phantom build
    4 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    It's been a while since I've engaged in a build, after performing an emergency restoration of my Dads fireboat last year the build bug wouldn't go away! Having stumbled across the Billing kit "Phantom" during the lockdown I thought I'd dust off the brain and have a go if I could get a kit or some plans. This time around I thought I'd try something different, as apart from my own fireboat I've typically built cabin cruiser style kits over the years and this offers a plank on frame build which has been a bit of fun so far. Photos attached of week 1 laying the keel out and locking it in to maintain straightness of the keel and planking of the bottom hull.
    I decided to also install the motor mount / stern tube and rudder tube early - these would be a nightmare I suspect to install post planking and as there is no meaningful guidance on motor installation I've kept it simple albeit a tad agricultural in design.
    Miserable weather in Adelaide this week so ideal for some build work.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build
    4 months ago by RNinMunich ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Nice subject Chris๐Ÿ‘
    Looks like she'll be pretty quick.
    Nice tidy job so far, keep it up ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I think you're dead right to install the motors and shaft ASAP.
    Can get very awkward later, as I've found out on various restorations๐Ÿค”
    Cheers, Doug๐Ÿ˜Ž
    PS If it's any consolation the weather here in Munich is also foul; 15ยฐC and raining all day๐ŸŒง๏ธ๐ŸŒง๏ธ. Looks like it's set in for the week as wellโ˜น๏ธ
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build
    3 months ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Looking good so far Chris,
    I will be following this build with great interest.

    'The dreaded Build Bug', i don't think there is a permanent cure for it, I have been suffering from it for many years. LOL!!

    Martin555.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thanks Doug.
    I'm realizing this is going to be a very "light weight" vessel and is rather tight in space for accessing the running gear - even tighter for the rudder and tiller arm. I may have to be a little careful on motor sizing given her empty weight (the hull comes in at about 300 grams ๐Ÿคž). I'm trying to stick to a standard across my boats, which all run different turn brushed motors but the same coupling and ESC's to keep things simple. My current "guess" to be close to scale speed is to run a 45-50 turn but only the first run will tell for sure.
    Cheers,
    Chris.
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    ๐Ÿ’ฌ Re: Phantom build
    3 months ago by ChrisB ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Thank you, I'll do my best to keep you all updated as this one progresses.
    I don't think there's a cure for the "bug" other than to keep building is there??
    Cheers,
    Chris
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