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Robert E Lee by Jaydee37 - FINISHED - Lindberg - 1/163 scale - PLASTIC - Mississippi Steamboat

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This is my first build log. I am retired, living in Florida and here is a photo of my work space.

I received the kit on Thursday, August 21, from Advantage Hobby in Champaign IL.
The first thing I did was cut two 9’ lengths of the rigging thread to soak in water overnight.

On Friday, August 22, I hung the rigging threads with weights at the bottom to stretch the thread. I separated each part and identified its number with a green Sharpie on the “back side” or on the adjacent tab so that they would be easier to identify.



Most pieces were in fairly good condition. There was quite a bit of flash evident which will require lots of cleanup. One piece - the Jackstaff - had a curve in it.



I used boiling water to reshape the part - a technique recommended by Doreltomin on the Forum.


One small piece remains unidentified. It was loose in a plastic bag and cannot be found anywhere in the directions. It is 9mm from top to bottom.



On Saturday, August 23, I arranged each piece in numerical order to facilitate locating them.


I started to paint the names on the two Paddle Wheel Walls. Apparently, I never learned how to color within the lines! I need a much smaller brush than I used. Not a great start. I don’t know how so many of you achieve such amazing fine detail in your painting. What size brush do you use?


The printed instructions are not very detailed - this could be a real challenge for me, but I’m looking forward to it.



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This should prove interesting.  I have done a plastic Lee many years ago.  Different maker though.  I will enjoy your build.

David B

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Now that's one boat(can I call it a boat :rolleyes:)'well maybe steamboat'.


As I was saying, I have  all ways  wanted to build one of these, so will be taking an interest.

I have many western dvds with these steamboats plying along. So the interest.


Retired to jaydee.


Will be watching this build. :)


foxy :piratebo5:

Edited by foxy
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Today was spent in the "Paint Shop". I started painting parts that can be done more easily pre-construction. Flat Black was the "flavor" of the day.




I found it helpful to use a push pin to hold small objects like the Pot Belly Stove and Capstan for painting




I also glued together the two parts that make up the Boiler. They are also painted Flat Black.




I have ordered some paints that I did not have and a set of small brushes that will be needed for the detail work.

Edited by Jaydee37
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  • 2 weeks later...

I ordered smaller brushes that allowed me to continue with painting pieces before installing them. An example is this photo of the Running Lights that will be attached to the Smoke Stacks.




The Paddle Boards were painted and attached to the Paddle Wheels. I then painted those parts of the Wheels that would be visible below the Paddle Wheel Walls. I liked the way the red showed up on a completed model posted by Brian Osterhout on modelshipgallery.com. The instructions for my model did not call for the Wheels to be painted.




The biggest challenge so far was the water line to be painted on the Hull. The instructions call for a 1/16" red tape to be applied to the Hull. After reading various posts on our forum, I decided painting might be a better alternative. There are no markings on the Hull to show where the line should appear, so I made my best estimate. I placed dots on the Hull with a fine point Sharpie to designate the top edge by placing the Sharpie on a firm object that I could slide around the stabilized Hull. I used Tamiya masking tape (based on forum comments) along that dotted line that represented the top of the water line. I then estimated the width as I applied another strip of tape for the bottom edge of the water line. I should have measured the width and marked the line as I did for the upper edge. The result was better than I expected it to be, athough there are variations in the line's width. After taping I painted the line with a flat white to seal the edges of the tape and then painted the red line. When I removed the tape, I had a nice sharp edge on the red line.




Decks and roofs were painted a flat grey.




Because the Hull has a top edge that slopes down from both ends to the center I used a 3 lb dumbbell to hold down the Main Deck as the glue set. The clamps that I usually use are fairly small for the size and configuration of this model. I will need to improvise when I start applying parts to the deck.



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  • 2 weeks later...

With the Main Deck glued to the Hull, construction got more interesting as I was able to add more parts: the Engine Room Walls A, the Steam Pipes B, the Boiler Assembly C, and two of the four Wood Piles D.




Then I added the V-Shaped Stanchions A and the two Boiler Guards B and either side of the Boiler Assembly.




Next I installed the two remaining Wood Piles A and the two Catwalks B. The Cabin Floor C is seen upside down with the U-shaped Supports attached.




This next photo shows the Cabin Floor installed over the Wood Piles and the four Cabin Walls attached to the Floor.




The movable Rudder A was installed prior to cementing the Main Deck to the Hull. The movable Paddle Wheels B, the two Cabin Walls C, the Rear Wall D, and the Upper Wall E were then added.




Currently I am painting the names on the sides of the Paddle Wheel Walls - a very slow process that I am trying not to rush!





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I have built this model and filmed it and posted it on to U-Tube. Here is the link to it if anyone would like to watch it--




I built it and lit it up with 2 circuits of lights using LED's and Fiber Optic cables.


Your model is looking good and i hope maybe you will also film it and put it on U-Tube for us to look at.


All the best,



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Looking good so far Jaydee!  Re: that unidentified part, unless it's just some of the plastic tree, it could be an anchor.




Current: Sergal Sovereign of the Seas

Previous builds:  AL Swift, AL King of the Mississippi, Mamoli Roter Lowe, Amati Chinese Junk, Caesar, Mamoli USS Constitution, Mantua HMS Victory, Panart San Felipe, Mantua Sergal Soleil Royal

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Clyde Puffer - Very nice job on lighting your model. I will plan to video mine once it is complete.


Testazyk and Foxy - That small part I had wondered about turned out to be the Rear Smoke Stack that is installed on a cabin roof. It was very hard to find in the instructions which are not very detailed. I forgot I had posed that question. 


Thanks to the three of you for your encouraging words!

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Painting the name on the Paddle Wheel Walls was a real challenge for me. I wasn't sure I had the patience to do it right. However, I limited myself to only a few letters a day and that helped to avoid rushing the process. Also, a good small brush and a magnifier lamp made the difference.




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  • 2 weeks later...

I installed the Paddle Wheel Walls that are displayed in my last post. Next were the six Deck Braces A.


The front Engine Room Walls A, the Kitchen Deck Railings B, and Ladders from the Main Deck to the Kitchen Deck C, the Rear Main Deck Railings D, and the Paddle Wheel Housings E were added.


The walls of the Rear Boiler Deck Cabin A were attached to the Rear Boiler Deck B which was then cemented to the aft portion of the model.


The Forward Boiler Deck A was attached and then the Boiler Deck Cabin Walls were added B.


The Main Stairway A between the decks and the Railings B at the top of the stairway were installed. The plans called for braces to be cemented to the underside of the stairway before installing the stairway. I found that impossible to do given the amount of space between the two decks. I don’t think they will be missed. Then the Deck Brace C and the Side Braces D were installed.


Now I’m in trouble. Earlier, while waiting for glue or paint to dry, I got impatient and decided I could jump ahead and construct the cabins that are on the Front and Rear Deck sections as seen in the photo below.




When I began to attach these pieces to the Top Deck, I found that they did not line up properly. The cabins should be added after the decks are cemented together. I was able to disassemble the parts without any damage and that’s where I am currently. I need this poster over my work desk:

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Very cool. It's nice to see that this kit included the boilers as well. I have become super interested in this steamer. Looks very nice so far. 




Current buildSovereign of the Seas 1/78 Sergal

Under the table:

Golden Hind - C Mamoli    Oseberg - Billings 720 - Drakkar - Amati


Santa Maria-Mantua --

Vasa-Corel -

Santisima Trinidad cross section OcCre 1/90th

Gallery :    Santa Maria - Vasa





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Hello John, Your model is coming along nicely but as you say this is a model that you have to take your time with. Usually when a kit of a ship is built you construct it from the keel up. Gluing the two hulls together then gradually adding the decks as you go and finishing up with the top decks with funnels etc.When i built my own model of the "Lee" i decided to light it up as i do with all my models.That meant i had to build it in blocks starting from the top down and drilling out the portholes and adding the Fiber Optic cables and LED's as i went. This made the kit more difficult to construct as everything had to be thought out before hand and the fiber optic cable and led's had to be glued in place and the wiring taken down to the hull and hidden. It was worth the effort though to see the model finished with all the lighting in place. You are making a really good job of your kit and it is nice to see it evolve. Keep up the good work and i look forward to seeing the finished model.

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Hello again John,---if you wish to place "passengers" on your model as i did with my own model of the Robert-E-Lee, the kit itself is in 1/163 scale and the nearest i could find in the way of people is to use model railroad figures which are in the scale of 1/150 which is about as near as you can get. After all people come in all shapes and sizes so for me they are near enough. Here is a link to a page from E-Bay which you can look through---


Hope this is of help to you.



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Now that I have installed the Upper Deck A, I can begin to redo the sections I messed up on earlier. The first thing was to attach 6 ladders from the Boiler Deck to the Upper Deck B and 6 Guy Wire Rings to the Upper Deck C. The Engine Room Skylights D were glued to the Upper Deck on the inside of the Paddle Wheel Housings and 2 Guy Wire Rings E were added to each Skylight.


The Forward Deck Section F and the Rear Deck Section G were then glued to the Upper Deck. The Front and Rear Cabin Walls and Roofs H were assembled and attached. The Ship’s Bell J, Rear Smoke Stack K, 5 Ladders L, and 4 Guy Wire Rings M were added.

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As i have joined this model site recently here is a bit about myself. I am a retired Electronic and Electrical Engineer. I had to take early retirement due to ill health. I build models of ships in all sizes and in plastic resin or wood. I have a collection of ships to build including the QE2, Queen Mary, Revell AIDA, Artesania  Endevour, Artisania model of the Titanic Lifeboat and others too numerous to mention. I usually illuminate them with Led's and Fiber Optic cables.

At the moment i am finishing off a build of the Cunard QE2 with approx 400 or so lights controlled from a remote control box and divided up in to 18 circuits so i can have many lights on at a time or simply one light if i wish to. The Queen Mary is one i am building in tandem with the QE2 and will also be illuminated with Led's and Fiber Optic cables. Hope this gives you a bit of an in-site to myself.

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The Steam Escape Pipes were painted black and installed on the Engine Room Skylights on each side of the ship.

The Pot Belly Stove and the Pilot Wheel were glued to the floor of the Pilot House.

The walls and roof of the Pilot House were added with the Whistle attached to the Roof. Somewhere along the way I lost the Chimney for the Pot Belly Stove, so I fashioned a replacement out of a wooden toothpick that was just the right diameter. After the Pilot House was installed a ladder was added for access to the Pilot House.





The Front and Rear Deck Railings were added.

When the Front Railings were installed there were large spaces on the corners remaining that would suggest I did something wrong. However, the perimeter of the deck is a fixed measurement and the railings are only one size, so I’m not sure what happened. To  correct this I added some spare plastic pieces to fill in the gaps.
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  • 2 weeks later...

The Smoke Stacks were assembled and painted earlier, as were the Port and Starboard Running Lights. The Braces that are placed between the Stacks posed a question of how best to attach the threads that run across the outer tips of the Braces from A to E. I posed this question on the Forum and the responses suggested I might create the attachments by stretching sprue to make thin pieces of plastic. In the end, I decided to stick with thread and it came out pretty well.


The Hog Chain Braces (3 on each side) and the rigging was added.


Next the Lifeboats and Flag Poles were installed.

Guy Wire Rings and Cargo Posts were installed on each side of the forward Deck.

The Front Deck parts were added:

7 Cleats


2 Chocks

3 Guy Wire Rings

2 Derrick Boom and Mast Assemblies

2 Gang Planks

2 Anchor Assemblies


It’s now time for the Rigging. I will substitute the black thread that came with the model with a heavier thread that I found in the jewelry-making section of a craft store. The same thread I used on the Hog Chain Braces. I used the lighter thread on the Smoke Stack Braces.



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