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American Scout by kruginmi - Sterling Models

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An oldie but goodie.  Originally designed for R/C but I intent to build it as a static display (at least for now).  With my other builds on the dock this is currently a mental exercise to recreate those pieces that have gone awol - but maybe I get ahead of myself.




As with a lot of my current kits, they were 'gifts' from associates that knew I dabbled in these things.  Usually started with the best of intentions, they were cast adrift for one reason or another and finally donated to me instead of thrown away (thank goodness for that).  In this case this beautiful ship was started by someone's grandfather who passed away.  Unfortunately a good chunk of the work he had done had gone missing.  Fortunately, he had just started so this primarily consisted of the internal hull bulkhead components.  This is not a standard size ship, and the bulkheads are not standard as I have previously known them.  I have the baseplate shown below, just missing the outside pieces.




In previous years I had been in dialogue with another kit owner (though non-builder) who kindly offered to trace their pieces.  This was accomplished but was definitely 'in the rough' and not builder ready.  So my current activity is to define a legitimate definition of these bulkhead pieces that could be used to build the kit.  Below right is the traced components, below left is my current efforts.




From the plans I have the top dimensions (though I have found contrary to drawn dtails, they include the addition of plank widths), and the bottom dimensions from the base plate.  My first quandry is the size of the pieces traced and provided to me essentially lead me to believe the false deck will need to be shaved, over a 1/4 inch in some places.  I am currently inclined to believe the false deck(s) and modify the tracings so they gracefully go from the base plate to the deck.  My plans do not include body lines.




Anybody out there have any experience with this kit?  My wife somewhat recoiled in horror at it's size, but it is different.  The wood has not aged well and most of it will be replaced with basswood going forward.



There is an accessories kit for all the winches and stuff but it goes for BIG $$'s on ebay when they show up so those items will be scratch built.  I may look at what the differences are between this and a liberty ship (like the Jeremiah O'Brian) and maybe go in that direction.  I don't know, at the start the sky is the limit.


Like I said at the start, currently working at the drafting to define the missing pieces.



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Hi Mark,


This is how I became a scratch builder.  I had to make so many parts and replace so much wood that I decided, what was the use of buying a kit in the first place.



Every build is a learning experience.


Current build:  SS_ Mariefred


Completed builds:  US Coast Guard Pequot   Friendship-sloop,  Schooner Lettie-G.-Howard,   Spray,   Grand-Banks-dory

                                                a gaff rigged yawl,  HOGA (YT-146),  Int'l Dragon Class II,   Two Edwardian Launches 


In the Gallery:   Catboat,   International-Dragon-Class,   Spray

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Thanks Bob and John,


I agree with the scratch comment, but when handed a free kit of a subject I don't think I would have ever have considered (don't see too many 1940+ cargo vessels in MSW) you have to stop and scratch your head for the possibility.  Lots of bashing currently going on in my workshop.


The Scout is a nice looking ship, nothing against that, I just always liked the look of the armed liberty ship and what they were able to do in WWII.  On basic looks they look close.


I did spend quite a few hours today but I believe have managed to create a set of plans for the missing pieces that should be real close to the original profiles.  Only way to prove it is to cut some wood, but that will be on hold for a little time.



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  • 5 months later...

Hola Mark:

I think you are going to spend many, many, many hours having fun with this ship, but seems a very nice project.  


Your comment about your wife remembers mine:  where are you going to put your ships? is the question she ask almost every week.   :D  :D  B)  B)


Saludos, Karl

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  • 2 years later...

Hi Mark,


interesting project this ship, when was the actual ship built ? and at what scale will the model be ?

In your second pic of post # 1 the plan view looks like a waterline model (overview of the hull with flat bottom)


Wishing you much fun with this build....




Current builds

Steamship Ergenstrasse


"Mississippi Lady"  sternwheel steamer 1:30 kit build fun boat as Xmas present

"Zeesboot"  heritage wooden fishing small craft around 1870, POB  clinker scratch build scale 1:24

Pilot Schooner # 5 ELBE

Chebec "Eagle of Algier" 1753--scale 1:48-POB-(scratchbuild) 

"SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse" four stacker passenger liner of 1897, 1:144 (scratchbuild)
"HMS Pegasus" , 16 gun sloop, Swan-Class 1776-1777 scale 1:64 from Amati plan  (scratch build)Pilot schooner #5 Elbe

"Pamir" 4-mast barque, P-liner, 1:96  (scratchbuild)

"Gorch Fock 2" German Navy cadet training 3-mast barque, 1:95 (scratchbuild) 

"Heinrich Kayser" heritage Merchant Steamship, 1:96 (scratchbuild) 

"Bohuslän" , heritage ,live Swedish museum passenger steamer (Billings kit), 1:50 

"Lorbas", river tug, steam driven for RC, fictive design (scratchbuild), scale appr. 1:32

under restoration / restoration finished 

"Hjejlen" steam paddlewheeler, 1861, Billings Boats rare old kit, scale 1:50

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I have the hull of one of those sitting on my shelf in the shop. I think the kit is spot on for a Victory ship. I began the model in 1967 while still in the Navy. I fiberglassed the hull and that is probably why it has survived all these years. I was gonna rebuild the superstructure in Styrene for a more metallic look. I actually operated my hull on the water but it was saltwater and the stuffing box froze up. I also havae the fittings kit but its kinda crude so a scratch build would probably be wise. In addition I have the Sterling Battleship Missouri still in kit form from those days. So many models so little time. I'm going to follow your build.   

Bill, in Idaho

Completed Mamoli Halifax and Billings Viking ship in 2015

Next  Model Shipways Syren

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Well this has come back from a time gone by......


The kit still waits in the stack.  I have been pulled away from the hobby the better part of this year (still a lurker).


Nils - it is not a waterline kit.  There are some pretty thick hunks of of balsa under this plate for use on the bottom curve, however, it is however still pretty flat on the keel.


I have purchased a plastic model of the Jeremiah O'Brian for pondering the changes required for a build as a liberty ship but I need life to settle down a bit (still 4 of 6 kids at home, two of which are teens).  Also have the Druid Cross Section, the Lady Anne Baltimore Clipper Ship in process.  Some day, some day.


Not too much out there on the build of this ship.  I really appreciate the look and comments.


Stay Building My Friends,  - Mark

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hi mark,

I restored this ship for an investment bank about 6 years or so ago. she is a big beautiful ship. if you are interested you can see before and after pix on the rc groups website.



Current Build - Caldercraft Victory


Completed - Artesiana Latina Swift, Harvey, MGS Prince de Neufchatel, Imai USS Susquehanna, Mamoli Constitution, Rattlesnake per Hunt Practium, Caldercraft Snake, Diana, Kammerlander Duke William 


Waiting to be Launched -  Bluejacket Constitution



Proud member of The New Jersey Ship Model Society

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  • 2 years later...

Check with the Smithsonian museum of American history They have plans of MARAD ships including the C2 design



Member: Hampton Roads Ship Model Society

Current Builds: Tugboat Dorothy  Newport News Shipbuilding Hull #1 (complete)

                            Iron Clad Monitor (complete) 

                            Sardine Carrier which I will Name Mary Ann (complete)

                            Pilot Boat John H. Estill Newport News Shipbuilding Hull #12 (my avatar)

                    Harbor tug Susan Moran

                    Coast Guard 100' patrol boat

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