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1954 Chris Craft Commander Express by mtdoramike - Dumas - 36"


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Here is the Dumas 1954 Chris Craft Commander Express 36" model kit that I received. My first impressions were the size of the box was quite larger than I expected and weighs close to 15 pounds. It has the typical woods. I didn't get too much into it since this will be stored away until I finish my current Montane's build. But one thing I did take note of was the fittings weren't crome or shiny, but looked like either lead or pot metal fittings and will need some type of finishing on them. But here are a few pics as to what it looks like at this point.

 

This will be my first attempt at R/C building. I had thought about building this for my grand baby and son in law, but I think it might be a bit to large for them, so I might decide to sell it once completed to re-coop what I have invested in it. I'm mainly building it just to get a change from cannons and rigging and to try my hand at something else.

 

 

mike

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Edited by mtdoramike
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Thanks for the info Grant, I was thinking of gold leafing some of the parts to try and mimic shiny brass plating. Here is a link to the kits that Grant is referring to: http://www.caswellplating.com/electroplating-anodizing/brush-plating-products/plug-n-plate-kits/plug-n-plate-copy-chrome-kit.html  this will a good affordable option.

 

 

mike

Edited by mtdoramike
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I can't really say this is my first attempt at R/C, because I have built several R/C planes from the ground up and outfitted them with all the required equipment and either flew them or sold them. But I eventually got out of R/C planes a few years back. So I have some working knowledge of R/C that I will have to translate into radio control boats.   

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I'm reserving a front row seat for this build once you start it Mike. :)

 

On the question of fittings, I have read where some guys have done there own copy chrome plating. The DIY plating kits are relatively inexpensive - look for Caswell plating kits.

Plating kits have been around for a long time, but have never taken an opportunity to try them out for myself. Also owning a Dumas boat kit or two, have pondered what to do with the fittings and perhaps home plating is the answer. Thanks for posting this.

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Really looking forward to your build of the kit, Mike. This type of boat brings back a lot of good memories for me, having grown up in a family who owned boats almost just like this one and have spent many weekends out in the Gulf of Mexico in them. 200 miles off shore in the middle grounds.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have not started the build of the Commander as yet, I'm still working on my current project and probably will not be finished with that until March. But I am how ever buying all the needed Radio control gear when I can pick it up at a good deal. I have the transmitter with two receives, just picked up a battery charger and a couple of servos.

 

Here is a list of needed equipment:

 

Transmitter & receiver (got them)

Battery charger (got them)

Two servos  (got them)

Battery (lipo)

Two motors

running hardware kit

Reversing speed control (preferring electronic over manual)

 

Now if all of this equipment was purchased normally, it would run about $600.00. Running hardware kit is about $80.00, not to mention the motors, which about $120.00 for brushed, if brushless then the price goes up, the reversing speed controller is another $50.00. I figure all total I will have close to a Thousand dollars invested in her, which I think I will name her the MONEY PIT! I starting to believe in the old adage "The two best days in a mans life is when he buys a boat and when he sells it."

 

mike

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I located and purchased the running hardware for the Chris Craft Commander. I hope to have everything I need before beginning on the build in March. The cost of the running hardware alone was $70.00 shipped from Omni Models.

 

Now, I'm trying to decide whether or not to use nicd/nimh batteries or opt for lipos. I really like the lipo batteries in the RC planes I flew, but this is for my son in law and my grand son. Lipos give longer run times, more power and longer storage charge, but nimh batteries are less volatile, less worry with storage. I will be running twin 550 can brushed motors in it. So I'm on the fence on the battery setup.

 

mike 

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Hi Mike

 

Have you given any thought as to how you will treat the metal fittings that come with the kit? 

For my Dumas kit fittings, I have considered buying a Nickel plating kit off Ebay to try and give them a chrome look. With mine, they will require some serious cleaning up and polishing prior to any attempt to either plate them or even to paint them with a chrome paint.

 

PS:

 

Oh, never mind. I read from the top and now remember we already discussed this subject somewhat. It's hell getting old and forgetful.  :(

Edited by daddyrabbit1954
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Well, I have decided to sell the Chris Craft Commander once it is completed. It will come ready to run with all equipment from battery/charger, radio and ready to go. So if any interest in this model, pm me. It's not something I'm really interested in and my son in law feels it's a might more than he would be interested in as well.

 

 

mike

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  • 2 weeks later...

I found a battery that will work for my application and a Electronic speed control. I lucked up on the battery on ebay and was the only bidder and got it for $20.00 and normally it sells new for $70.00. The ESC I got for $25.00 on a pre Black Friday sale. It will handle two canned brushed 500-700 motors with forward and reverse.

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Edited by mtdoramike
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I'm glad you asked this question, This particular ESC comes with a small fan that attaches to the heat sink on the top of the ESC to keep it cool. I'm not too concerned with heat build up because I will include some air intake vents in the top portion of the boat, which should help with air circulation inside the deck. Plus with canned brushed motors it won't run as hot as brushless motors. Now, if I find that the motors are running too hot, which is what I would be more concerned with, I can get cooling tubes that slip over the cans and run water lines to cool them but usually this is only needed for racing setups or running for long periods at one time, which this will not be doing unless the owner who ever it is decides other wise and if that is the case, they can set it up any which way they want. Or if they put a bid in to buy the boat before I'm finished with it, I will try and make any changes they want.

 

mike   

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That seems like a good plan, Mike.

You probably know, but Hobbywing has a reputation for manufacturing some of the best ESC's in the industry. You made a great choice there IMHO.

And i don't have any doubts that a brushless motor runs hotter than a brushed motor based on my own experience with them.

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It was just pointed out to me that unless the buyer wants to go swimming to retrieve his boat that shut down in the middle of a lake or pond due to low battery voltage, I best get a Low Voltage Meter buzzer that will buzz when power starts to wain a little. So I was able to snag one of these off of ebay:  Lipos unlike Nihms or Nicds, which gradually run down, Lipos run like a cat with it's tail on fire and then just quit when voltage gets too low.

 

 

mike

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Edited by mtdoramike
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I received a standard size servo, the rare earth magnets ( I will use these to attach the cabin or hatchway to the hull, to give access to the electronics), I also received the Low Volt buzzer. These will go into my collection of stuff readying for the build.

 

 

mike

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  • 1 month later...

I received the two motors today for the Commander. They are a bit bigger than I thought they would be. But these motors should get this boat up onto plane pretty quickly. I had to order these from England since finding any decent brushed motors around the US is difficult.

 

 

mike 

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  • 4 weeks later...

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