View Full Version : My Steam powered rc boat build

05-21-2012, 07:50 PM
My buddy gave me this kit for helping him clean out his shop. we had a car trailer filled up with 900lbs. of junk to take to the dump (mostly old IKEA shelves) He got it at a garage sale for 15$ and forgot he even had it! I thought i got the short end of the stick for all the work i did, but after looking it up this kit sells for over 80 bucks. The nostalgia of a working steam rc got my attention right away. I have built boats from scratch before but never a working steam engine. I dont even have any experience with sweating cooper pipe (for the little boiler).Has anyone out there done this kit or somthing similar? any pointers or advice would be appreciated.7699376994:beerchug:

05-21-2012, 11:50 PM
I have looked at this setup closely at my LHS it looked very interesting to me. My grandfather has a working steam engine from when he was a kid and he has his dad's working steam engine as well. I cant wait to see how this goes together man!

05-22-2012, 01:26 AM
I started to work on the steam engine tonight and found some pin holes in the cast aluminum manifold. This realy sucks because this will have toget ca glued so the steam wont leak by. I was going to polish it all up and now ill have a hole right on top!77012

05-22-2012, 01:45 AM
Well nothing i can do about the bad casting now so ill just keep going. I sanded the cast aluminum frame/manifold and polised it up and went to work on the boiler 77013770147701577016
the sweat joints didnt turn out how i hoped but its air tite. i checked it with windex and blew air into the steam outlet tubing using a peace of fuel tubing. none of the joints leaked but the filler cap has a pinhole leak in it!!! for what this thing costs i would like to see better castings. i finnished the night off by polishing and assembling the flywheel and piston crank shaft. just some CA glue for these.77017

05-22-2012, 01:17 PM
Hazegry is working on the african queen, he wanted to do this kit too.
Nice work so far.

05-22-2012, 09:29 PM
Last night before bed i assembled the flywheel to the main frame and attached the piston crank7705677057

05-22-2012, 09:37 PM
I wasnt able to get alot done today, my 8 mounth old daughter didnt want to be put down but after my wife got home i went to work on the piston and cylinder. The little piston was not much fun to weld, the flux keeped pushing the rod out and took a few trys. then other end would desolder. 7705877059

05-22-2012, 09:43 PM
i then lapped the valve suraces on a machiened peace of billet aluminum starting at 400 grit then 600, and lastly 1000.7706077061

05-22-2012, 09:49 PM
After a good oiling i assembled the whole thing and she look good. i still have alot of sanding and polishing to do on the boiler but that will have to wait till tomarow. I did a test run to see if it works with low psi air and it works! It still needs to wear in but im real happy with it so far.7706277063:beerchug:

05-23-2012, 01:53 AM
I went to the inlaws for dinner and brought my model over to show my father inlaw my progress. After a few drinks he thought we should test it out so he went out to his camper to get the propane torch to fire up the boiler.we rigged it up in his shop and this is the video.:beerchug:

05-24-2012, 01:24 AM
Right on man looks like you are moving right along with this!

I am curious how all this will work out in the hull. I may have to make a trip down there to watch this thing run lol

05-24-2012, 03:55 PM
I worked on the boiler some more. sanding and polishing, ugh! my fingers are raw. then i stained the wood base and boiler tri, tomarow i will clear coat. i ran a peace of brass tubing up the side of the stack so it will look like the exhaust is coming out the main stack. i tried to make the exaust go though the main stack but its too hot and you dont get to see the steam. I also made a jokers hat for the top but not sure if i like it

05-24-2012, 04:16 PM
That is really cool, leave the hat it looks great.
Are these still avaible.

05-24-2012, 04:28 PM
These kits are still available and are very fun! All my freinds want me to fire this thing up when they come over. i wont be able to build the boat till next vacation though. Im a sailor and have to ship out soon. (look for my ship anchored in PA...the blue polar ships). I was wondering myself how it would work with a prop so i rigged this up(video link below) Its the stock prop for this model boat. this engine easly turns this prop but im getting a brass one with more pich. I want to load the engine more to get the chug chug sound, also more speed would be nice too.


05-24-2012, 06:15 PM
Sweet. how do you heat up the boiler when its in the boat?
also be safe in your jorney and take care, I can't get there in time to be a stow a way ha! ha!

05-24-2012, 07:31 PM
It runs on sterno in the boat! Open flame. ..Wooden boat...??? We'll see guess!

05-25-2012, 12:01 PM
I finnaly got the three coats of varnish done on boiler and mounting plate. Now some glamer shots! this think is cool and lots of fun to build and run. i would recomend this kit, or any kit from midwest models! you get very good instructions and even has how-to's for the soldering,that was very helpfull bing my first time doing it. when i build the boat she will get the same glossy treatment as this thing. its not realy "scale" but looks so good and makes the polished brass pop. I'll post a video of the completed engine running this weeked but the finnish needs to cure a bit longer. hope you enjoyed seeing this build... more to come.:beerchug:

05-29-2012, 02:54 AM
We went camping this last weekend for memorial day and i got out my finnished steam engine to run and it was a big hit everyone love it even the kids. I have to wait till next vacation to build the boat so stay tuned.