Hi y’all. Don’t know how many of you kept up with the “Night Watch” thread last year, but those of you who did know that the Texas Navy had its hands full...shoot, we lost our admittedly woefully obsolete flagship, the San Jacinto, and the heroic actions of my second in command, LT J.G. Errol T Cat (feline division). You may also know that we gained a new flagship in the form of a Robbe PT15, which is still undergoing sea trials before her final acceptance inspection. What you did not know is that Errol has been chomping at the bit for his own command. He wanted the PT, but I said no, you’re a cat!!! A few weeks later, someone made a purchase on my EBay account and the Deans Marine kit ended up on my doorstep several days later. Think I need to change my password...
All kidding aside, I had been wanting another fast warship in my fleet, and since the PBR is a smallish boat, it will fit in my car and on the shelf nicely. Also, since I have a partially started Deans Wacht am Rhein kit in my stash, I figured this smaller and supposedly less complicated kit would help me get used to the way the Deans kits go together....I mean, how hard can it be?🤣
I won’t bore you with step by step details, I’ll just go over a few things I changed and some interesting building points. Now, this is an older PBR kit, apparently they’ve updated the instruction manual and possibly a few other things. This kit has a decently molded abs hull, cast fittings, full size plan and printed sheet plastic parts. Some people don’t like anything that’s not pre cut, but the printed parts don’t bother me at all, as I’ve built model planes from print wood kits. Only 2 things made me a little uncomfortable. The manual is..well, a little hard to read. There’s pictures, but they are a little grainy, and some of the building sequences seem to jump around, or in one case was duplicated on 2 pages several pages apart. The other thing was the white metal rudder. Not a fan. We’ll get to that in a bit.
The sequence of assembly is pretty straightforward once you figure it out. Cut trim the hull, add reinforcement strips to the upper inside, then add the stuffing box, rudder, well deck, battery hatch and radio hatch. Due to the way the decks are stepped, you end up with 3 different hatches-one to access battery, and two to access the radio and motor. Only problem I ran into that wasn’t of my own making was that the starboard aft of the hull, just before the stern, had a very thin spot, which started to crack. I just added a scab patch inside and continued on. Also, I changed up the motor mount as I am using a brushless outrunner for power. That also necessitated shortening the shaft and stuffing box.
The rudder I used came from an Aquacraft Reef Racer that I had scrounged some parts from. The shaft was a bit too big, and the rudder is molded around it. I bend the original shaft so I could get the leverage I needed to work it free of the rudder without damage, I then installed a brass shaft that I nicked and inserted, then finished off with thin ca. It worked a treat!! I made some mods to accept the thicker tubing and shaft, and installed it.
So far so good. Although it’s not the easiest kit to figure out, once you get the aft well deck installed things seem to fall in place, and the construction goes fairly quickly from there, I’m at the point where my next steps are the hatches and superstructure.