Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, United States

As you can see from my sites, I am heavily into radio controlled boats. I am married to a Japanese woman (whose name is Maiko), and I love to travel! I welcome comments and questions from all corners of the world!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The British Yamato

Text by Mark Wilkes.

This example of the Nichimo 1/200th scale kit was built by Roger Walker, formerly of the Blackpool model boat club and appeared in the Blackpool show at Blackpool tower.

Until late July / early August 2006, this example of the Yamato had been sitting on a shelf in Roger’s living room. However a requirement to free up space In his house meant that an opportunity to buy an almost ready to run model of a famous battleship arose, and it was not an opportunity to ignore, so I brought her, paying £110 for her. Which is considerably lower than the asking price of the Nichimo kit.

At the time of Purchase, the model was in need of some attention, her crane was badly damaged and some of the other fittings were damaged. On the whole, she was in an acceptable condition, though her crane had been damaged when the model was knocked its display stand at the Blackpool show; her aircraft were also damaged, as was the main tripod mast

After reballasting her, Yamato was slid into the water for the first time since 1999 on a late July afternoon, in less than perfect weather. This short voyage revealed a shortcoming of the model. The old 545 motor and gearbox were generating a lot of RF interference, causing the front guns to violently shudder when power was applied; she also sounded like a tortured cat!

After Navy day 2006, an annual regatta held by the Potteries MBC, Yamato was hauled into the dry dock to undergo a refit. Her old motor and gearbox were removed, replaced by four MFA385 motors, and her crane was repaired. Her 6v battery remains, though now it feeds power to two Viper 15 speed controllers, which control the motor speed, though I have chosen to run them as inboard/outboard, rather than port/starboard.

The option to run them inboard / outboard may seem a bit strange, however it means the model can cruise for most of the time on 2 motors, rather than all 4. It also means that should fishing line or bird feathers foul one set, the model can be brought home on the outboard motors.

Another change on the model was the rigging; originally her rigging was just around the superstructure. Working from the book entitled “The battleship Yamato”, by Janus Skulski, I re-rigged the model, taking lines from a replacement jackstaff. The jackstaff, now a two-piece removable unit enables the rigging and superstructure to be removed, making things easier when gaining access to the inside to change the battery and turn the model on or off.

Located under the superstructure, linked to the front two gun turrets is a Futaba S3003 servo, though under no2 turret is a second servo, this is the original servo, though when it broke off the linkage due to adhesive failure, it was easier to install a new servo. Located under the stern turret is another Futaba servo, its top is hard mounted to the turret base. Digifleet made the original radio equipment, though now it is all Futaba, apart from the ESC’s.

Eventually the range finder will be powered up and so be able to rotate, just like the real one! Another job to be done is to install a 3v-power source for the 4 searchlights, which I have checked, and they do work!

Since August, at the time of writing, My second hand Yamato has sailed at two regattas, though one of them was a mere 10 minutes free sailing during a break. The other was at St. Helens MBC at Taylor Park. She has also appeared at the Ellesmere Port model boat show at the EPIC centre.

Owned by: Mark Wilkes
Built: 1996. Bought by Wilkes in 2006.
Length: 4 feet, 3 inches.
Width: 7 inches
Home Waters: Around River Trent, U.K.

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