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Trawler Elena
Trawler Elena - finished May 19, 2013

     The Artesania Latina "Hellen" kit - now named the "Elena" was completed on May 19, 2013.  A number of details were added to the photos to show the boat and crew at work.  After reviewing actual photos of like sized British trawlers, I noticed that many were kept quite neat and clean, hence the model is also neat and clean with no "weathering."

Initial construction

As purchased     The trawler "Elena" is built from an Artesania Latina "Hellen" kit . The kit was purchased from the original owner in July 2012.   I "de-constructed" the partially built model as I did not like the work that was done.  I had to cut the deck open to remove the dead battery that was too big to fit the the opening.  I then decided to strip the inside and rebuild everything except the hull frame, molded hull, and main deck.

     Photo, right, shows the model as purchased.  It was quite a mess!.  The deck between the openings was removed to gain access to the inside of the hull.  The battery, radio, servos, speaker, motor, speed controller, and sound module were all removed.  The hull had to be smoothed, filled, and sanded.

     So far, the hull has been re-worked and new bulwarks are being added.  New mounting plates for the radio, motor, and batteries have been made.  The large fish hatch, forward skylight, winch, and forward deck access has been completed.  The wheelhouse is about 70% complete.  The wheelhouse will have an operating door and completely detailed inside.  I expect to have operational lighting.

     In the photo at the left, you can see winch is mounted on the removable section between the two previous deck openings.  This gives a larger, single opening for access to the inside of the hull.  Another item is the false ladder (steps) to the engine room.  This goes down two steps and the lower part is painted black to simulate darkness blackening out the lower level.

Lights on
New construction begins

     As I like to build my models in modules (for ease of making modifications and repairs), I completed several items.  The most complicated module is that of the wheel house.  I made a completely detailed interior, including maps, 1950's era radio, dials, etc.  Of course, I added the "captain" at the wheel.

     The wheel house is lit inside by two overhead lamps and outside there are the functioning navigation lights, and a spotlight (added).  The swivel-out side lights (for night fishing) are also functional.

     The life raft module has marking on it as well as hold down straps.  The port (left) side opens and closes manually, giving a view of the detailed interior.  The boat's captain is at the wheel, with a full set of gauges and a short wave radio nearby.  Plenty of charts are under the dash console.  The wheelhouse was finished on October 24, 2012.

Meet the crew     The crew was made being made using the 1/20 Tamiya pit crew.  Three of the seven figures in the kit were used, one in the wheel house and two handling the net.  One had to be modified to have long pants.  Like many figures, they have to be extensively modified, in this case to be fishermen.  Finding decent figures in this scale is very difficult.

As of 4-17-2013

     The photo below shows the installation of the mast rigging, diverting considerable from the kit's instructions.  Cast metal blocks (pulleys) were used extensively on the model.

     The aft sail was shown in place as many of the original photos had this sail up, probably to help keep the trawler on a fixed course.

     Photos of British trawlers of the same size and period were used as a reference.  The model stage at the right is nearing basic completion which will be followed by the additional details. 

Finished Photos

     The model was finished on May 19, 2013 and has sailed twice as of this posting.  The first time in the water the Dumas motor died and locked, probably a bushing broke.  The motor was replaced with a monster truck motor of the same case size which allowed the same mouting plate to be used.  It turned out that the new motor was considerable too fast so after the Mtroniks ESC was programmed, the "servo" adjustment was brought down to where the high speed is an emergency speed.  About two-thirds throttle is about right for the normal top speed.
Crew fastening down the netWheel house and winchMain mast (note marker-floats)Aft deckTop of the wheel house (note marking on life raft container)Running lights (all lights work)Main hatch
Third voyage