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rvchima

Arno XI Ferrari hydroplane by rvchima - FINISHED- Amati - 1:8

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Back from Vacation and Back to Work

 

My wife and I spent a wonderful month in Sanibel, Florida. The weather was perfect. We walked on the beach and I swam in the pool almost every day. We went on a lot of bird walks and saw hundreds of egrets, herons, anhingas, and ospreys, plus kingfishers, roseate spoonbills, and a pileated woodpecker. My sons and I built sand sculptures of a sea serpent and Han Solo encased in carbonite. I took supplies to build a stained glass glass lamp and finished 2 of 5 segments of a Tiffany peacock lamp.

 

We returned to the Ohio winter on March 2, so I have been working on my hydroplane since then. I sanded the mahogany planking, hammered several hundred headless brass nails, and finished it with two coats of Watco natural oil and a whole can of clear lacquer.

 

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Here's a look at the finished hull,

 

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and here's a closeup of the brass nails. I put a nail in every plank along every bulkhead, then filled in every other space in each direction. Every nail hole was pre-drilled, the nails were hammered in almost flush, then filed and sanded.

 

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The bottom and sides of the sponsons have aluminum reinforcement plates attached with a lot more headed brass nails.

 

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Here's a closeup of the aluminum plates.

 

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The back of the sponsons have some drain plugs, access ports, and exhaust manifolds made from photo etched aluminum and cast metal. Here are the port and starboard sides respectively.

 

 

 

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Does Anyone Else Hate Vacuum Formed Parts as Much as I Do?

day 57, 101 hours

 

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I jumped a little ahead and started to build the fore and aft cowlings, The parts are made from vacuum formed polystyrene plastic. I always cringe when I open a kit and see vacuumed formed parts, for the following reasons:

1. They tend to be flimsy.

2. The mold lines are indistinct and hard to cut to.

3. The edges are thin so there's not much glue surface.

4. Static causes plastic dust and shavings to stick to everything.

5. If you screw up, you're screwed.

 

That said, the cowling parts were fairly heavy and well formed. You can see some photos of the molded parts on the first page of this blog. I cut the parts very carefully with an X-acto blade, sanded them, and glued them with CA for plastic. The long joints have thin reinforcement strips on the inside. I cut additional holes for the air intake and exhaust headers. There are several more holes to cut, panel lines to incise, and a few cast resin parts to add before I can paint the cowlings.

 

But it's sure starting to look cool!

Edited by rvchima

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Hi

 

I have been following your build. It looks great. I also have the Amati kit and was able to also buy the engine kit. I did not start to build because I was unable at the time to find detailed photos of the engine and boat. That was about four years ago.

 

That was before the real boat went up for sale,and then there were quite a lot of photos to work from. I am still looking to find details on the inner structure of the engine compartment and cockpit. Do you know of any?

 

As for the cast metal engine kit,its nice,but doesn't hsave the Ferrari  lettering on the valve covers due to copyright issues. It is vastly overpriced for the quality of the castings and the lack of piping details not included for the engine. But its the only game in town if you mwant to add the engine without making your own without any engine prints to go by,as far as I know.

 

Again,if anyone out there has any drawings or other detailed info about either the boat or engine,PLEASE contact me and list for others who have this project to build.

 

Great work,hope you are able to find an engine for it. I see that Armati in their Deluxe kit has plated parts for the rudder and other parts, does anyone know if they are avaliable  for sale seperatly from the Delux kit?

 

As for the vac plastic cowels,I plan to build the first version of the Arno without the tail fin and the simple rounded front out of brass or aluminum.

 

Hope to hear from other Arno nuts!

 

Keith Glueck 

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Ferrari V12 Engine Kit Information

 

Keith, I regret that I don't have any scale information about the Arno besides the drawings included with the kit. That is probably enough for my purposes but please let me know if you come across anything else.

 

On the first page of this blog Shamrock posted a photo of the 1/8 scale engine kit of the Ferrari V12 Engine and a link to company that sells it:

http://shop.autographmodel.com/L-P-1-8-motor-kit-Arno-Hydroplane-Ferrari-Engine

 

The engine kit is priced out of my league at 900 €, and is currently unavailable. It seems to be incredibly detailed. Check out the photos on the site and download the 28 page instruction manual (in Italian.) The engine kit is not made by Amati nor designed to work with the Amati hull, it just happens to be the right scale.

 

Here is a thread on the Hydroplane & Raceboat museum web site with four photos of a completed Amati kit with the engine installed:

http://thunderboats.ning.com/forum/topics/construction-methods-and

 

The model is magnificent, but the builder, Pete Groves, commented that he would not do it again and that it might have been easier to built a real boat.

 

One photo shows some interior framing of the model where Groves has added maybe three times as many formers as the Amati kit. This corresponds to the nail spacing show on the Amati box.  I assume that this is the scale spacing.

 

Another photo shows the nearly completed model sitting on a scale stand, like the one shown on page 2 of this blog and in the photo below.

 

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I love the look of the boat on the red stand and plan to build one by scaling it off of the photo above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks Rod. Over the past few days I have actually been researching engines because I want to make myself a replica of my Porsche engine. Yes, I know I can go to my garage, remove the thing, disassemble it, take measurements, but surely there must be an easier way ;) Along the way I found some resources for your Arno engine. I thought of you, but I did not think to bookmark it. Argh!

 

That PDF file of the engine is incredible, and far better than any resource I have found. If I were you, I would scratchbuild it and save 900 Euros. You only need the top of the engine to be on display ... :)

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Completed Model

3 months, 180 hours

 

I put in a lot of hours the last couple of weeks and finished my hydroplane model and stand. It took a total of 180 hours to build the model over three months, but one of those months I was on vacation and didn't work on the model. Here are the photos of the completed model.

 

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Framing and planking the hull was a lot of fun. The mahogany finished up beautifully and the headless brass nails shine like jewels.

 

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The vacuum formed plastic cowls were a pain to build. They are finished with Krylon products: several coats of white primer, many coats of gloss cherry red, and several coats of gloss clear.

 

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The silver trim strips around the cowls and on top of the rear cowl are soft white plastic painted with Testor's silver paint. The silver paint looks OK, but not as nice as the chrome plated parts. The trim strips would not stick to the painted cowls with CA so they are held with more brass nails.

 

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The rudder, prop, and exhaust manifolds are diecast and chromed.

 

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The aluminum piece on the nose is nailed through the plastic. I pre-drilled the all the nail holes with an undersized bit and an electric drill. When I was done I realized that each time I drilled a hole some plastic would melt and stick to the bit, so that each hole got progressively larger. I had to fill the holes with epoxy and start over.  Then I attached the aluminum piece with heavy duty double sided tape before nailing it down. There are probably 100 other nail holes drilled into the plastic cowl, and I had to scrape the drill bit clean with a razor blade after every one.

 

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There is a lot of nice detail in the cockpit. The steering wheel is another diecast piece with a painted rim. The floor and foot pedals are photo-etched aluminum.

 

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The dashboard has photo-etched holes surrounded by tiny rings. Behind the dash is a cardboard piece with printed gauges. The nine cowl hold-down clamps are made from three separate photo-etched pieces epoxied into tiny springs and nailed into place.

 

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I drew up the stand from some photos of the actual stand that I found on-line. It is built from 1/4 inch basswood and painted with the same Krylon primer and paint as the cowl, but I left off the gloss clear coat. The top is black craft foam attached with double sided tape. The lettering was done with a Brother label maker using white-on-clear tape. I added a couple of leftover decals for fun. The base is African ribbon mahogany that matches the look of the hull.

 

 

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Hi Rod

Wow! That is one seriously cool thing and beautifully made. Congratulations!

 

Cheers

Alistair

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She looks beautiful!

 

I have a suggestion, though. If you are not happy with the silver painted trim pieces, you can use Bare Metal Foil: http://www.bare-metal.com/

 

I have used their chrome foil when I used to build plastic models, and the result is absolutely convincing. You can apply this on top of your silver trim if you are still unhappy with it.

Edited by KeithW

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Rod,

 

this is a gorgeous and very unusual piece. I bet it must stands out in your home and be the source of many questions.

Thank you for sharing this experience with us.

 

Yves

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Thank you to everyone for their generous compliments about my model of the Arno XI Ferrari hydroplane. And thanks to KeithW for the information about Bare Metal Foil. I will remember that for the next model.

 

I fell in love with the Ferrari when I first saw an ad for the model. I was worried about the high cost of the Amati kit and couldn't find much information about it, but I took a chance anyway. The kit turned out to be very high quality, although the instructions were minimal - just drawings of each step of the build and a few pages of English text.The kit was a lot of fun to build and the finished model is beautiful. I highly recommend the model if anyone is interested. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

 

Rod Chima

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I just discovered that a lot of the images had disappeared from the first two pages of my log. I re-uploaded them and think they are all back to normal. Please let me know if I missed any.

 

Rod

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Hi Rod,

 

I started to build a Hydroplane Amati kit some weeks ago. I searched the net for webshops in Europe (I live in Holland), found one in Italy for 300 Euros (380 in Holland) and took the gamble. It took almost 3 weeks (by airmail.....) but there is was. 

I am very pleased with your photos and description. The Amati info is often a bit brief. The material in the kit is fine, but unfortunately Amati does not answer to emails.

Your Hydroplane is beatifull! Also a bit intimidating! I hope mine will look like yours when finished.

I started planking today, so it will take some time.

 

The hull looks like a problem; how did you make the incisions without ruining it? And getting the lines straight?

 

Regards, Peter

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Peter,

 

Thank you for your kind comments. I am happy to see someone else building the Amati hydroplane kit, and I do hope you will post a build log.

 

The hull was actually a lot of fun to build. I assembled almost the entire model using medium cyanoacrylate (CA) glue, so there was little need for pins or clamps - only fingers. The framing is trivial with the laser-cut parts. The plywood sheeting fit almost perfectly, but on the bottom I sanded through some ply layers. I ended up covering over the bottom sheeting with expensive self-adhesive mahogany veneer. The veneer looks better than any stain that I could have applied to the plywood, so it was a lucky mistake. I can send you a link to a US supplier of the veneer if you are interested.

 

Before you start planking the hull make a sample by planking, nailing, and finishing a small scrap of wood to get a feel for the process.

 

To plank the top I marked the center line, then laid out a line on each side touching the top cowling frames, and equally spaced from the center line fore and aft. I planked along those two lines first by cutting the strips a little long, soaking them in warm water for 5-10 minutes, then gluing them to the frames with CA. Glue three frames at a time. The CA dries very quickly when exposed to the damp planks, then you can bend the end up and glue the next 3 frames. Then add planks inwards and outwards from there. I ran slightly short of planks and had to buy a sheet of hobby mahogany the same thickness as the planks, and rip some strips on a band saw. You could do this with a razor knife if necessary. When everything was done I trimmed the ends with a razor saw. Oh, and don't forget to mark the frame locations on the tops of planks for nail lines every so often!

 

When the planking is done you will have to drill holes for all those nails. The mahogany will split otherwise. I started by drawing lines side-to-side along those frame location marks. Then I made a jig for marking the center of each plank. I used a short piece of plank with a V-shaped notch at the end in the center. I laid the jig along a plank with the V over a frame line, then marked the nail location with a pin mark. I found a drill bit a few thousandths of an inch smaller than the nails, and drilled the holes with a small electric drill similar to a Dremel. I tapped the nails in with a small hammer until they were nearly flush, then sanded the ends with a sanding block. They show up better if you sand them off rather than just tapping them in. If you bend a pin just pull it out and throw it away.

 

When the nails were all in I painted the entire surface with wood filler. I used a cherry-colored water-based filler diluted to the consistency of yogurt. That filed all the gaps between planks and around nails. Then I sanded and repeated until the surface was smooth.

 

I am not sure what you mean by "incisions." Please let me know if you still have a question about that. I am looking forward to following your build!

 

Rod

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Rod,

 

Thanks for your extensive answer. A lot of helpfull tips.

Regarding the incisions; I made a mistake (yes it's my English...), i ment the polystyrene bonnet.

On a Dutch forum a Hydroplane builder used thin plastic adhesive tape, but an incision looks better. Provided that you get the lines straight offcourse.

I'm curious how you managed that.

 

I'm not sure if I will post a build log. As opposed to you my build will take very long due to other pursuits. In 5 months I only finished the plywood sheeting.

Also this is only my second wooden model. Before that I was into Pocher cars etc. (Speaking about an expensive hobby), and comparable plastic kits.

But I would be gratefull if I can post you an occasional question.

 

Regards, Peter

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Peter,

 

Cutting and assembling the polystyrene cowls was the hardest part of this model. I cut the plastic by making several passes with a sharp razor knife against a heavy steel ruler. I often clamped a scrap of wood over the edge of my workbench to set the plastic on while I cut it. For the front intake and exhaust manifolds I drilled holes at the ends first, then cut out the rest with a razor. I sanded all the edges straight using wood sanding blocks. The plastic picks up static electricity and the dust sticks all over your clothes.

 

I glued the cowl halves together using CA glue made for plastic. The glue dries slowly on plastic so I used masking tape to hold it while it cured. The reinforcing strips on the inside of the cowl shown on the plans are important for strength. After the glue cured I sanded the joints flush, filled the cracks with putty for plastic models, and repeated the process several times. The rear cowl came out almost perfect but the joint is still visible on the forward cowl.

 

As I worked on the forward cowl I kept breaking the joint in the center of the open end, where the top of the dashboard ends up. Eventually I glued a reinforcement on the inside. That solved the breakage problem, but I later discovered that it interfered with the dashboard and I had to cut it off. That was not easy after the cowl was all painted.

 

Feel free to ask other questions. I will send my e-mail address by private message. Even if you don't post a build log maybe you can a photo of the model occasionally.

 

Rod

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