Build a model boat propeller shaft from scratch using relatively common tools and materials for converting a plastic kit to RC.
This is a home made model boat propeller shaft for the Lindberg Trawler plastic kit that I'm modifying to RC. The hull is only 17 inches (about 430mm) long and the propeller is barely an inch in diameter.
Doing a little research online, it seems quite a few enthusiasts have converted plastic kits to RC.
To the left is the propeller that comes with the Lindberg Trawler and to the right a propeller from a Tamiya Submarine Motor. Here are the main components for the model boat propeller shaft and a pencil for size comparison.
Here is an external view of the Lindberg Trawler with the newly made model boat propeller shaft dry-fitted.
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This item will be shipped through the Global Shipping Program and includes international tracking. Will usually ship within 2 business days of receiving cleared payment - opens in a new window or tab. Please choose carefully as any items fitted or misused may not be covered.Recommeded that fuses are used on any electrical items. By submitting your bid, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder. By clicking Confirm, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder. By clicking Confirm, you are committing to buy this item from the seller if you are the winning bidder and have read and agree to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. I still getting to grips with just how many bits of plastic I need to glue together to finish this kit. Just a quick update on my progress.I have now built all the plastic kit bits and added the brass stanchions.
Thanks to Richard's (DickyD) keen eyes I have repainted the waterline of my HMS Bluebell. Hi Johnny!Your article has stirred up memories of my own building of the Matchbox corvette, back in 1979, which I built as HMS Bluebell.
This is clearly outside the standard sizes I normally would deal with, but I'm starting to like it because component and material cost is way down. The submarine Motor is a bit of a misnomer, it has nothing to do with submarines.It's really an appendix-motor that can turn a toy boat or plastic model into a simple motorized toy for the bathtub or pool.
The motor shaft is 2mm, and the wire I found is 0.0781 inches which is plenty close enough. Most model boat builders use Vaseline because it's relatively light grease and the easiest to come by.If you're looking for alternatives, be aware there are types of grease that don't work well in contact with water.
Contact the seller- opens in a new window or tab and request a shipping method to your location. You have read and agree to the Global Shipping Program terms and conditions - opens in a new window or tab. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. I am spending a lot of time sanding mold lines and joins, but hopefully it will all be worth it when it comes time to painting.
To strengthen the hull joints on my corvette I used plasterers dry wall scrim covered with a thin layer of fibre glass resin, the hull did get warm when it cured but dos'nt seem to have come to any harmcheers Les.


I have nearly finished building all the plastic bits for the boat and the only thing missing is brass stanchions to go around parts of the boat.
The stanchions are not really to scale but they will be a lot stronger then the plastic ones. On almost every build i have seen of the corvette one of the things that comes up time and again is the importance of ballasting this model correctly, so getting the waterline correct is a good starting point! It was once motorised, changed hands for a few years, and eventually found its way back to me! With strides made in lightweight RC gear and increased power density in modern batteries, it is not as challenging as it used to be. As you probably know, polystyrene doesn't have very many good qualities as an engineering material. I had plenty of plumber's flux from a home improvement project a while back, so that's what I used.I used an alligator clip to prevent the tube from rolling off the table. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable.
The Revell kit is a re-release of the earlier Matchbox kit and has parts to build three different ships: The HMCS Snowberry, USS Saucy and the model I am building, the HMS Bluebell. As this is my first kit, I am going to just use all the plastic parts included in the kit, the exception being i have ordered some brass stanchions to replace all the plastic ones. I also got the pictures you sent me and from what I can see your quite a bit further along with your build then mine! Once these arrive and are in place I can then undercoat everything and think about painting and final assembly.
I did use the kit plastic stanchions and railings behind the bridge and it was incredibly tricky and time consuming, and quite hard to keep straight.
I also have a second one of these ready to go as I am having so much fun building this one!
I am following the HMS Bluebell (matchbox version) paint scheme but have also taken a bit of artistic licence with some elements of the painting. I needed to work out how much ballast I would need to get the boat to sit right in the water. It's mostly used in plastic kits because it's cheap.In addition, there is no hole drilled in the hub of the propeller that comes with the kit and I can't see myself lucky enough to drill straight enough to get a propeller that doesn't wobble.
I then threaded the first bushing, the outer tube, and second busting on the shaft and pushed the bushings into the tube from either end.It may be tempting to just assemble the tube and bushings. I filed from the middle of the tube and out towards the ends until all excess solder was gone off the surface of the brass.
The earlier Matchbox kit instructions are for the HMS Bluebell but the Revell instructions are for the HMCS Snowberry and doesn't actually show any instructions to build the Bluebell, but all the bits are still included in the kit. I have also had a chance to spry the hull with red below the water line and brushed a few test colours onto the hull. The second one will have all the Sirmar fittings and hopefully more advanced electrics including sounds and smoke! My general plan is to paint the main parts (roughly) then go back and paint the finer details. Add to that, the appearance of this prop is not the best.I wasn't too thrilled with any of the other solutions either, so I decided to focus on solving the prop issue and work the whole model boat propeller shaft issue from that end. All tubing were cut to size with an X-acto razor saw.A rule of thumb when it comes to the length of plain bushings is to make it one to two times the shaft diameter. Luckily I managed to track down a copy of the original Matchbox instructions to help me with my Bluebell project.
Unfortunately I don't think the water line is correct, I think it is a bit too low, not by much but I think it is about 10mm.
More than likely, the other brands will work too.The propeller is pressed on directly onto the motor shaft.
If filled to the rim, friction will increase unnecessarily and cause more drag on the motor.


The next stage for me though is to get some balsa wood to finally secure all the internal electrics so I can start gluing stuff in place.
For any first time builders of this kit I highly recommend making sure all parts are well and truly sealed. This gun is probably the worst one in the kit I think.Hi there,I actually have all of the Sirmar resin fittings but I intend to use them on my other corvette. Clear plastic and glue are always a tricky thing as plastic cement tends to ruin clear plastic if your not careful. The motor supplied is a very low voltage Mabuchi motor, as it needs to be able to run on a single AA battery.The propeller is pressed directly onto the motor shaft, so I started hunting for suitable stainless steel wire.
I kept an eye on it and tried to watch for the solder being "sucked" into the joint by capillary forces. My Father taught me to do this when I was just a wee nipper as he said that sometimes there can be traces of the releasing agent on the sprue's and by washing them in some luke warm water and a bit of washing up liquid this would be cleaned off which would result in a neater paint finish.
The 4" gun comes with both a square and rounded forward gun shield so I decided to use one on my first corvette.
The wire needed has to be straightened and to the correct diameter, which turned out to be a challenge to find.
The stainless shaft is best cut with pliers.The last piece I had to get for the assembly was a wheel collar as used for RC airplanes.
Once that happened, I applied another glob, just to make sure the joint wasn't starved.There are now lead-free products that work quite well.
So armed with a boat with no holes in it I set about working out my ballast weights.Now a lot of people who have already built this model have all mentioned that in is crucial to get the ballasting correct on this conversion. I just happen to have a large spool of the old stuff I'm getting through.The solder iron or station doesn't have to anything fancy. It comes with the the barrel and shroud all moulded together and the remains of the kit are resin and white metal. Once they are glued together they are definitely going to need to be sealed on the inside somehow.As this is my first working model I have decided to keep it as simple as possible. I also used the 5 minute epoxy to glass in my brass rudder to the modified plastic one before fixing both halves together. Mine did not come with a brass barrel.As for the pom pom it is pretty bad, but I have a few ideas to try and improve it a bit, but for me this first kit is just about getting a boat on the water. I then cut some strips of lead and added them to the boat until it sat at the correct level.
It does need a bit of filling but i figured this had to be the strongest way to build a rudder.I am also using some scrap balsa wood to make templates for my engine mounting shelf, servo shelf and a box to hold the battery.
However there are still lots of little things I am going to do to improve the kit to the best of my abilities.
I really want to get the radio gear in place ans sorted so I can start to finish putting the rest of the boat together.BUT! This took quite a long time and in hindsight I would scrape all the decks with a sharp chisel instead.The next thing i decided to do was build the plastic kits in several sections which I will undercoat and paint then I will glue in all together later leaving access points for the radio gear. It takes a while to put together because I have been spending quite a bit of time removing mold lines and sanding joint sections, a must in my opinion as it really enhances the look of any plastic kit once it is painted. For the most part most pieces fit together without too much cleaning which is always nice.What it looks like with all the separate bits placed together. But still much more to assemble and add yet though!As this is going to be a working model it is going to need some radio equipment.
I will take some more pictures of my progress tomorrow and that's when i will start asking some of the questions I already have!!



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