1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

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    slingshot392
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    1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:50 am



    The Pink Lady

    The Hawaii Kai III was owned by Edgar Kaiser, a successful industrialist and the son of Henry Kaiser who was successful building the Liberty ships during World War II, turning out a ship every 45 days as well as having one of his crews build a Liberty ship in a little over four days, a record that will probably never be beat. He was successful in a number of enterprises, including building his own cars which were known for their safety features. The Hawaii Kai III was one of the finest race boats of the 1950s.

    The Hawaii Kai III used the relatively new revolutionary design by Ted Jones which made the boats faster, easier to drive, and safer than their predecessors. These boats still remained dangerous to drive until the early 80s when the drivers were encapsulated, using canopies for F-16s that were rejected by the Air Force. Even though these boats were 30 feet long and 12 feet wide, they theoretically only touched the water on the rear part of each sponson about the size of a man's handkerchief and the propeller, they were able to get their great speed of roughly 185 mph on the straightaways from the boat resting on a cushion of air between the sponsons. Here are some stats from two of its more successful years:

    1956:
    Owner - Edgar Kaiser (Oakland)
    Designer - Ted Jones
    Builder - Les Staudacher
    Length - 30ft
    Beam - 12ft 3in
    Hull - 3 pointer
    Colours - coral pink & cream [also described as "tropical rose and coral mist"], no trim on tail fin
    Detail - metal clad plywood
    Weight - 6,600
    Power - V12 Allison
    Drivers - Howard Gidovlenko & Jack Regas

    Winner of Sahara Cup & Rogers Memorial Trophy

    1957:
    Detail - Mobil horse on tail; plus Hula Girl, trim on tail fin
    Power - V12 Rolls-Royce Merlin
    Driver - Jack Regas

    Winner of Silver Cup; Roger's Memorial; Sahara Cup; & Madison Cup
    Won the Nat'l Championship
    Set the World's (kilometer) Record - 195.32 mph.

    Between 1956 and 1960, the Hawaii Kai III won 10 races and set numerous speed and endurance records that stood for years. She is fondly remembered for her sentimental victory in the APBA (American Power Boat Association) Gold Cup race in 1958. For boat racing, winning the Gold Cup is similar to a racer winning the Indy 500 or the Monaco Grand Prix.

    Why pink? Edgar had the boat painted in that color in honor of his father as it was his father's favorite color.



    Model:

    I have always loved these boats, unfortunately, models of them are very rare, I have seen one styrene model in 1/25 and there are some 1/48 boats made by CraftMasters from resin and white metal. The only option left for some static models is to scratch build them. I found some very nice free radio control plans here (http://www.astecmodels.co.uk/plans.htm) which I reduced down to 1/24 scale.

    I have a small forest of balsa wood, but most of it is fairly hard. I bought some contest grade wood from SIG (http://www.sigmfg.com/). I have bought supplies from them since the early 80s and I still think they have some of the best balsa wood. The contest grade wood is a little more expensive per sheet, but I found it's well worth it for the ease of cutting the parts out and bending the wood over the top of the boat. I bought some 1/16 and 1/32 thick sheets 3 inches wide which was just slightly too narrow for the bottom, four inch-wide sheets would have been better.



    [img][/img]

    I cut out the bottom of the boat and ended up having to glue on roughly a 1/8 inch strip of wood so it was wide enough. I pinned the bottom of the boat down so it would stay flat while the four rear bulkheads were drying. When gluing the front four bulkheads in position on the sides, I kept measuring over and over again on all four corners and crosswise like an X to make sure it stayed completely square, if you don't, your boat will be twisted.

    I mostly use Elmer's glue (white glue), it is really cheap and easy to clean up with water, the only downside is it does add a lot of building time since it takes a while to completely dry. With superglue, you could probably build up the entire boat in one or two sessions, I have some bad reactions to that glue unfortunately.







    The plans show 1/8 inch wide stringers for the top, I used 1/16 inch square stringers, it worked, but next time I think I will use two side-by-side. I cut the middle former for the nose like the plans, next time I will make the part between the second and third bulkhead larger, I didn't need to cut it that way since I am not putting any radio gear in this. I ended up breaking it and then glued in a large rectangular piece of wood.





    I glued on the rear lower sides of the body and also the bottom of the sponsons. Some of these parts work better if you cut them slightly oversized and then sand down to the correct size, that's a lot easier than cutting them slightly small and starting over. The front corner of the sponsons seemed pretty delicate, I ended up gluing in a few layers of scrap balsa and then trimming and sanding them to shape. That will give more area for the front sides and tops of the sponsons to glue on to.





    I ended up gluing a couple layers all the way across the front and sanding them down to give more area for the top decking to glue on to, it will also make that area solid for the final sanding to shape.





    I glued the back half of the top decking into place and pinned everything. I should have stopped there, but everything was going along so nicely, I tried to glue the front half down. Big mistake. It took a lot of work to get the front down while keeping the back down, ended up using some clamps in the front.



    Here I have the top decking on both sides and the middle front glued in place.



    There's a lot more information on the net on these early boats than just a few years ago, but it's still very hard finding detail photos. I have only found a couple photos of a instrument panel and the top part of the seat of some restored boats, so with some of the details, I will just have to apply some artistic license.

    I built two three sided boxes using the cockpit opening to determine the size, I then glued them in place on each side of the bulkhead. After the glue dried, I cut away the bulkhead between the boxes and then scraped with a dull #10 blade to smooth it out. I then applied one layer of black pantyhose with Elmer's glue thinned around 50/50 with water. I put a couple coats on a few minutes apart on the wood first so it would soak in, then I laid a piece on the front and back of the box, in the middle I tried using one large piece but it would've been better using three pieces.

    The pantyhose and glue can be used like fiberglass cloth and epoxy, not as strong, but a whole lot easier to use without the smell of epoxy and without the tiny little glass fibers from the fiberglass cloth getting into everything. That's what I will use to cover the entire boat, probably with two layers to give it a nice smooth finish and a hard shell to protect the soft balsa wood.



    Elmer's glue dries clear and since I didn't put more coats of glue on to fill the fabric, the texture ends up reflecting just enough light to be interesting. I should have put at least another layer of glue around the top edges which would have made it easier to cut off, the fabric kept getting caught on the knife.



    I found out it was a lot easier to use masking tape to hold the parts down while they dried instead of all of the pins.



    Here you can see the opening for the cockpit and engine. This boat will have a cowling over the engine which wasn't used very often in the 60s, and also over the cockpit which they all had.

    I glued the rear sides of both sponsons on, the wood didn't want to bend around the front very well, I ended up breaking the front of one side and both fronts didn't stay tight while the glue was drying. An easy problem to fix. It would've been a lot easier if I would have wet the wood down first and taped it into position while it dried which would've helped form it around the front and taken some of the stresses out of the sheeting.

    bcauchi
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  bcauchi on Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:15 am

    Lovely scratch work Brad, thanks for sharing that with us. You will not see many (if any at all) wooden models. I am very curious to see how you will finish it to obtain a smooth finish over the wood grain, that is something that always put me off working with wood.

    Ray
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  Ray on Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:32 am

    Great work so far Brad.

    in nannu pec
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  in nannu pec on Fri Aug 27, 2010 8:54 am

    Great work Brad and like Brian it will be nice to see the end result....keep on building friend.....
    in nannu pec What a Face

    alexbb
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  alexbb on Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:28 am

    sleek fast and curvy
    everymans dream
    keep posting

    slingshot392
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 5:22 am

    bcauchi wrote:Lovely scratch work Brad, thanks for sharing that with us. You will not see many (if any at all) wooden models. I am very curious to see how you will finish it to obtain a smooth finish over the wood grain, that is something that always put me off working with wood.

    Thanks guys!

    When I did radio control a long time ago, you could buy some sanding sealer, but most would just use some clear dope and then put some talcum powder in it and then put a couple coats of that on and sand it down, it was great for filling the grains and giving you a really smooth surface for covering.

    I don't use any of that modeling dope anymore because of the smell, I really don't want to use that stuff inside. I am going to try mixing some baby powder with some Future and tested out on some scrap balsa to see if that works. If it doesn't work, then I will just keep sanding with finer grits before I cover it.

    Right now I've just got a lot of sanding to do, I applied two patches at the back of the right sponson to help fill in some areas that were a little low.

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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:29 am



    I kept cracking and breaking the thin parts behind the sponsons, I glued down one layer of pantyhose on each side which really helped strengthen the area. The black pantyhose is a much heavier fabric, I was hoping it would give a little added strength to the larger curved area behind the top of the sponsons.

    When it comes to trimming the pantyhose after the glue has dried, a sharp knife is a must, when I started, mine was kind of dull and it was a nightmare trimming it away, a new blade had it gone in no time.







    I cut out the bottom part of the cowling/rear deck area and taped it down since there is a slight curve to the boat from the front of the engine to the transom.

    The plans show that area built up out of thick pieces of balsa, which is always an option. I used the cross-section drawing for the pattern to cut the formers out and then used the side drawing to get the correct height for each former. After gluing those in place, I then glued in some vertical and horizontal pieces to help give more strength and rigidity to the area so it helps keep its shape when I remove it from the boat for further work, also to give more gluing area for the sheeting.

    bcauchi
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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  bcauchi on Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:12 pm

    The boat is really looking good now Brad, you are really good with the wood. It is a medium which scares me! I would never think of using wood in my builds.

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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:28 pm

    Thanks Brian! I have loved balsa since I was a kid, and I am really loving and now that I finally sprung for some of the contest grade wood. The boat is slow going, I keep putting it aside when things aren't going right, but I did spend a lot of time sanding the body down smooth. So far, there's already a good amount of sanding shaping the cowling formers, besides spending a bunch of time on a previous one that didn't work out.

    Besides some other boats, both hydroplanes and classic wooden boats that I want to do out of balsa, there are also some older land speed record cars(LSR's)that ran at Bonneville and the Mojave Desert I want to do, they will just be curbside, curbside cars are no engine and a number of times, not even an interior, a good number of years ago that became a class at some model shows, it was a way to quickly slam a kit together and then really go whole hog on the exterior and paint job. One reason I will do the LSR's like that is finding any information on what's under the bodywork is most often scant and quite often impossible.

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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:35 am



    I had my boat sitting on the back of my desk, my cat was investigating something new I had put back there, was backing up and thought she was on something solid, unfortunately, the top decking didn't take it! There is a small hole in front of the engine area and a larger one on top of the right sponson, she sure had a surprised look on her face and thought she was in trouble, my fault for putting it there. Shouldn't be too hard to fix. I was working on cleaning an area ou and then I was going to put the covering material over the top and bottom to make it a lot stronger to give it more protection, figures!


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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  bcauchi on Fri Apr 29, 2011 8:46 pm

    That is too bad Brad but with your skill at working with balsa i am sure you will manage to fix that damage but it is always a setback and a waste of time. You could have used the time to do more stuff but well, these things do happen. At least it is fixable!

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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:12 pm

    Thanks Brian, it was a setback, but I should've known better than to leave it there, normally I had it up where she couldn't step on it. Shouldn't be too hard to fix, even if I just have to build up the entire area with some scrap balsa and carve and sand it.

    Getting back into it, mostly focusing on three models right now, the boat, my Romulan Bird of Prey which is almost to the painting stage, and my P-40N, some of that is being painted while the rest of it is in construction. Pretty much everything else I have now set aside as I have become uncommonly focused on just those three, hopefully it stays that way! Smile

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    Re: 1/24 1956-U-8 Hawaii Kai III

    Post  slingshot392 on Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:00 pm

    I'm no longer working on this boat. I was using some generic radio control drawings which is all I could find at that time, I have found some better drawings that showed just how off the model boat drawings were. Here's a drawing that shows the differences, the outlines in blue are the radio control drawings, the red outline is a drawing I did of the boat drawings because it was just too hard to see with the model plans in transparency over it.



    You can see the top of the boat is very different in the red outline, the basic hull is much deeper which can be seen at the front, the cockpit opening is smaller, the cowling is longer, the turtledeck behind the cockpit is shaped differently, and the fin is different. This will make for a much different looking boat.

    The drawings are in 1/48 scale and that is what I will be doing the new boat and subsequent boats in. There are a number of reasons for the change in scale, the two major ones are I now have a couple sheets of decals in 1/48 that will allow me to do possibly a dozen boats or a little more, and there are resin engines available in a decent price in 1/48 scale. The smaller scale will also allow me to be able to make a simple diorama on some of the boats on an inexpensive 8 x 10 frame.

    I'm now working on the drawings to reflect all of the changes and when the boat has some good progress, I will start a new thread. The new model will be in the same markings.


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