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Folks,

 

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This is a model that is not seen too frequently on this side of the pond: the famous and legendary Calypso of Jacques Cousteau. The model was produced by Billing Boats in the early 1980's and was offered with an ABS molded hull, lots of injected plastic parts, brass and some wood for the construction of the cabins and decks. The model was offered with all the parts and details (which was not the norm in the 80's) and could be radio-controlled. The model at a scale of 1/45 was close to 95 cm long, 33 cm high and 19 cm wide.

 

I purchased the Billing Boats model in 1985, spending my first monthly pay on the kit and two Mabushi motors. I was working for IBM on the French Riviera at that time. This was my first big kit and I was (and still are) in love with that vessel and its legend. The pictures you are seeing below show the model after 30 years of almost no activity. The model would have to be seriously cleaned up and re-painted. I have removed a lot of parts (the crane for instance) as well as all the radio control gears (battery, receiver, servos, motors, switches and speed controller).

 

That model, like his big sister, has sailed in a few places in the world: the Harbor of Cagnes Sur Mer (salt water) in the Alpes Maritimes in France, some lakes in the South of France near Toulouse, a couple of lakes in Massachusetts near Boston and Lake Lynn in Raleigh, NC. I built a sturdy box that was used to transport it and move it from Europe to the USA.

 

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As some of you may know, the Calypso was sunk in the Chinese harbor of Singapore, following a collision with a barge early 1986. One year later she was lifted from the bottom of the harbor and stored in a shipyard. Sadly, Jacques-Yves Cousteau died the same year.

 

Calypso_naufrage.gif

 

In 2006, the wreck was given to the Cousteau Society and after many years of transaction (French administration is heavy and slow), the restoration of the ship started recently.

 

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Calypso is considered as part of the French Patrimoine (like the castle of Versailles) and as such will receive governmental funding for its restoration and the assurance of a long and cared for life (hopefully...).

 

Yves

 

 

 

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Popeye,

 

Yes, I agree with you that the outside of the hull looked like metal. But it was made of wood and that probably explain why it sank so quickly when it was hit by that Chinese barge in the harbor of Singapore.

Before being an exploration vessel, the ship was a mine-sweeper. There is a lot of information on the WEB about that famous vessel.

 

Yves

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There is probably nothing to follow, as I have no time to restore it, nor the desire to do that yet.

 

I managed to find a small chopper at the scale of 1/48th which i believe will be more detailed than the one provided by Billing Boats.

The ship would need to be thoroughly cleaned, sanded in some places, re-painted and lots of detail could be added.

This was done with 30 years ago technology and paints and details are much better today than they used to be in the early 80's.

 

If the urge to fix it sparks in my heart, then I will have a place to report the progress.

 

Thank you for your interest.

Yves

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

There is probably nothing to follow, as I have no time to restore it, nor the desire to do that yet.

 

I managed to find a small chopper at the scale of 1/48th which i believe will be more detailed than the one provided by Billing Boats.

The ship would need to be thoroughly cleaned, sanded in some places, re-painted and lots of detail could be added.

This was done with 30 years ago technology and paints and details are much better today than they used to be in the early 80's.

 

If the urge to fix it sparks in my heart, then I will have a place to report the progress.

 

Thank you for your interest.

Yves

Yves

 

What is the make and model of the helicopter you found to replace the kit helicopter? The only thing close I have found is the 1:48 Academy Hughes 500. Similar in size, but the Hughes 500 is much more modern than the one on board the Calypso. I may be able to use parts from both the Calypso kit and the Academy kit to recreate a more detailed rendering but it won't be exact.

 

One other thing is the kit hull. Being ABS plastic, I wonder if anyone else has ever tried apply planking veneer to simulate the wooden hull on the 1:1 ship? I am going to experiment a bit to see if it is realistic to do. I have some scrap ABS plastic that I will experiment with. I think some type of contact cement would work but I need to make sure it doesn't melt the plastic. Possibly there are some 3M products that will be suitable as an adhesive for the wood veneer planks on ABS. 

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Yves

 

What is the make and model of the helicopter you found to replace the kit helicopter? The only thing close I have found is the 1:48 Academy Hughes 500. Similar in size, but the Hughes 500 is much more modern than the one on board the Calypso. I may be able to use parts from both the Calypso kit and the Academy kit to recreate a more detailed rendering but it won't be exact.

Well, I found this kit:

 

http://www.squadron.com/v/vspfiles/photos/IT0857-2.jpg

 

I agree that it is bigger than the original mini-copter that they used. I am not sure that it will fit.

 

It is a good idea to try some planking to simulate the wood.

 

Yves

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Well, I found this kit:

 

http://www.squadron.com/v/vspfiles/photos/IT0857-2.jpg

 

I agree that it is bigger than the original mini-copter that they used. I am not sure that it will fit.

 

It is a good idea to try some planking to simulate the wood.

 

Yves

Thanks Yves.

I will kit bash and scratch build a reasonable facsimile of the helicopter using the parts I have from both kits. 

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  • 3 years later...
  • 6 months later...
On 6/16/2016 at 6:11 AM, yvesvidal said:

Well, I found this kit:

 

http://www.squadron.com/v/vspfiles/photos/IT0857-2.jpg

 

I agree that it is bigger than the original mini-copter that they used. I am not sure that it will fit.

 

It is a good idea to try some planking to simulate the wood.

 

Yves

I did a bit of research and found specifications for what used to be the Hughes 300C helicopter.

 

I'm thinking about scratch building new main and tail rotors using the excess ABS cut away from the hull to scale based on the attached specifications.

 

Fuji

Hughes 300C.pdf

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