Hi y’all. After my last couple of builds I was looking for something interesting and different to add to my fleet. My buddy Fred (BLKFT1) and I both like unusual subjects. We discussed the Russian monitor Popov, a Siebel Ferrry, and several odd working boats. I looked up the Siebel Ferry, and in my research came across a boat class, the Kriegsfischkutter. This was a class of fishing boats that were converted and built from the keel up as patrol boats for the Kreigsmarin in WWII. This hull had good seakeeping qualities, and many of the boats that survived were sold back to be used as fishing boats. I think some survive to this day. Apparently this was a fairly common practice, the Royal Navy used a trawler hull known as the Admiralty Trawler which was used for minesweeping and ASW duties. The US tended to use specially built warships, but early in WWII we used tuna boats as picket, patrol and errand boats, the venerable Tuna Fleet.
I was about to convert a Graupner Krabbe Ton kit, but the Elke came up for sale on RCGroups, and since it’s the same hull the Germans used for the Fischkutter, I bought it and prepared to get started.
Before I go on, let me add that this is an OLD kit, looking at the radio install plans dates it from the late 60s to the early 70s. I know I’m modifying a bona file unbuilt kit, but in my defense the kit wasn’t perfect, so my conscience is somewhat clear😀
Anyway, the first thing I had to do was trim the hull, and then I had to cut a slot at the stern where the stuffing box and aft support keels slid into.I tacked everything in place, then I made up my motor mount/bulkhead and once everything lined up to my expectations I epoxied everything down solid. I then turned my attention to the rudder. I was going to use a Robbe non scale rudder for ease of building, but the Robbe unit has some of the leading edge of the rudder ahead of the rudder shaft, while the stock rudder rotates right at the leading edge. Since the prop is captured between the keel pieces top and bottom, I would have had to really carve up the Robbe unit to make it work. I decided to use the kit rudder.
The rudder is assembled from 2 abs halves, trimmed, sanded and glued together. The rudder shaft and tiller arm were missing from the kit, so I had to do it my way. I filled the insides of both rudder halves with sheet balsa. Once sanded to a good fit I made up a 3 mm shaft with a 45ish degree bend at one end. I then cut a slot to fit the shaft into the rudder halves. The bend will guarantee that, if for some reason my glue joints fail, the rudder will not just rotate about the shaft. Once done I jigged up and bonded the rudder tube in place, and added the tiller.
The motor I’m using is an old AYK 480 mated to a planetary 3/1 gearbox, which on 2 lipos or a 6 cell nimh should give adequate power and a good run time.
I’m building the deck now, it sits nicely in a molded in slot in the hull which alleviates the need for a separate bulwarks. However, I need to cut the bulwark down just aft of the cabin down flush with the deck so I can have a place to mount the depth charges. I am also trying to decide whether to purchase the guns or make my own.
That’s where I’m at now. Some of the kit superstructure will be used, but I have to scratch build the gun decks, depth charges and such. This is going to be fun!!