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Sea Flea Hydroplane by grsjax - Osborn Models - 1:12 scale

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The seaflea is a 10 foot class A hydroplane.  Osborn Models, mostly known for model trains, used to produce a line of static and RC model boat kitss of which this is one.  I also have their 1:24 scale Miss Canada III and Mirror Dingy models which I hope to do build logs on in the future.  Derek at Osborn Models has been a real help and tells me they have a few of their kits still in stock so if you are interested contact him at dosborn1210@rogers.com.  I think he should start up production again but that is just my selfish desire to build more of these interesting boats.


The kit is overall is excellent.  There are few things that could be improved but in general I think this is one the best small kits I have seen.  The laser cutting is very good and the innovative use of laser cut parts including some profile carving using a laser cutter to produce the outboard motor is excellent.


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Posted (edited)

The kit consists of 5 sheets of laser cut wood, 2 of mahogany veneer, 2 of 1.5mm plywood and 1 of 3mm basswood (I think it is basswood).  There is a 19 page booklet of instructions with numerous photographs.  This is one area where I think there could be an improvement by adding some detail drawings.  Not a big problem but it would make a few things a bit clearer.  There is also a display stand of laser cut 3mm ply and a small bag of additional small parts and decals.


Edited by grsjax
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Time to get down to building this model.  First step is to build up the basic ladder frame that is the foundation for everything else.


These are the parts of the frame.  The transom and frames attach to the side rails.  The assembly is almost self aligning but care has to be taken that everything is straight before gluing things up.


First step is to glue the transom (6) to the transom frame (5) and frames 2 and 3 together.  Next the frames are attached to the rails.  The notches in the frames are cut so that a minimum of sanding is needed to get things to go together smoothly.


The addition of the 3 bottom battens and a couple of stringers and the basic frame is complete.  I did make a mistake here.  Although the notches all fit perfectly it is necessary to make sure that each frame is fully seated in the rails when you glue them.  I failed to check this so had to go back and unglue a couple of frames and reset them.  This is one reason I prefer PVA glue to CA.  Much easier to correct these mistakes.


One thing I think would have been a small improvement is beveling the aft end of the rails.  They fit fine as is but they actually join the transom frame at a slight angle and a bit of beveling would have made a better joint.

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Finished putting the frame togetherseaflea10.thumb.jpg.dd70be88746de153cdda9b51e1726b14.jpgseaflea12.thumb.jpg.edccc6fd4d824dcd6266e3a407e3742b.jpg

The process of building the frame was pretty straight forward.  Clamping was a challenge for some of the stringers as there is very little room to get a clamp in.  Ended up using mini bulldog clamps and pieces of scrap to get everything set.

Only ran into one issue and that was with the sponson rail (part 12)  it is a two piece part that meets in the middle at the bow.  It wanted to flex slightly into a shallow peak instead of making a smooth curve.  This is a problem that can be solved by placing a short piece of stringer on top of the battens at the bow and gluing the top batten to it.  The below picture shows the fix.


Next up is sanding all of the mating surfaces smooth and some initial paint work on the side rails and cockpit.

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  • 4 months later...
29 minutes ago, grsjax said:

Sorry about the long delay getting back to my build log.  Had problems with my back and ended up in the hospital.  Recovery from the surgery took longer than expected.  Almost back to normal now and will start posting some pics soon.

Hope your on then mend and out of pain,  you have a nice interesting build  going on.



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Posted (edited)

Thank you all for the good wishes.  The surgery went well and I am almost pain free now.


Got the first panel on the underside of the boat in place.  The instructions say to very carefully line everything up to avoid twisting the frame.  I was very careful but when I finished gluing the veneer to the frame sure enough the frame was slightly twisted.  Looking at that very thin veneer and the very delicate frame stringers I was thinking that it was going to be impossible to get that panel unglued.  I came up with a solution that actually worked and didn't destroy the boat.  Lucky I used PVA glue to attach the veneer.  Instead of trying to remove it I ran isopropyl alcohol along the glue line, let it sit for a few minutes and then put the boat upright on a flat surface and weighted it down all around and crossed my fingers.  I seems the alcohol softened the glue enough that the parts could shift a little bit under pressure.  After a full day I removed the weights and checked the alinement and everything was good. 


Edited by grsjax
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