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A PT 109 RC PT Boat project a€“ how to scratch build a semi scale radio controlled model PT boat from plans. Every project needs goals set in the beginning, so here are the goals for this project:Quick construction a€“ Like many people, Ia€™m busy and have a family and a day job.
Hull - Balsa: It is inexpensive, is relatively easy to cut and glues like a dream with CA glue.
Without going into too much detail, the plans had to be reworked for simpler and speedier construction.
I made the mistake of printing out some of the longer items on small pieces of paper and taping them back together. After printing out the bulkhead, false keel, chine and shear templates they were attached to the balsa sheets. Here is a trick I was told by a model airplane builder many years ago:When making two identical parts the old fashion way was to use pins to hold one balsa sheet on top of the other. I want to finish this model in a matter of weeks spending evenings mostly.Semi scale a€“ should look accurate to most people familiar with the PT 109 at 3m (10ft).
I felt it was important to maintain the shear of the fore deck a€“ a characteristic feature of the Elco's.This makes construction a little trickier, since the common practice is to build the hull upside down and set the bulkheads flat on the table.


They would inevitably shift and the parts would come out trashed.Instead, put CA glue down in a few spots (six to eight places on a 4 x 36 inch (100 x 1000mm) sheet). To work around this issue, I instead flattened out the knuckle line using a balsa sheet as a chine stringer.With this approach the number of bulkheads can be reduced without jeopardizing the integrity of the hull as its being built.
It is near impossible to piece it back right, and get them onto the balsa without getting distorted.
For long and spindly parts, like the false keel and shear templates, leave more (a lot more even, if possible). Make the spots as tiny as you can make them a€“ a droplet is way too much a€“ just a touch is enough.Also, if you pay attention when laying out the parts to be cut on the wood, try and place the dots so they hold the parts together after they have been cut out.
I typically end up getting blisters on my index finger, so I cut the pieces out over several nights to let my poor finger recover. For curved cuts I typically cut straight cuts first and clean-up with a small model plane - one of those that take razor blades.If you have access to either a band saw or scroll saw, you'll finish this step in no-time.
Also, a straight chine profile is nowhere near as noticeable as a flat deck would have been.Some curve can be worked back into the chine by careful sanding once the hull is planked.
If they are too narrow, no matter how careful, the templates will not maintain their shape.I use an adhesive in a spray can that essentially turn the template into one large sticky-note.


This can be a challenge, but well worth the effort.After cutting the parts out, you can carefully separate the two identical pieces by carefully prying or by cutting using a razor blade. For instance, the sweep of the front third of the deck as seen in profile has to be there.Inexpensive to build a€“ The target is to be well under what Ia€™d have to pay for a Lindberg PT 109 kit a€“ about US$100. If all else fail, the spray strip can be attached to give the desired illusion of a bent chine.
I happen to have the Krylon brand "Easy-Tack", but 3M's adhesive #75 is the original (3M is more money though). I'd say it's still worth it 99% of the time.On this model the two chine and shear templates were cut out this way.



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