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Member postings for Dodgy Geezer

Here is a list of all the postings Dodgy Geezer has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: "EeZeBilt 50+" Sea Princess build
25/03/2015 14:13:40

I think we need to agree to disagree on this... wink

I'm not sure we are disagreeing - I also think that these boats are for sailing, and I am very happy that expert modellers such as yourself find them worth making. There are few boat ranges that lend themselves to modification so easily - your 'double depth' Otter is a classic example. The web site has examples of all kinds, including EeZebilts made in card and Depron. There are even solid models...


They can be made to exhibition standard or slapped together without much care and still perform (I shall forbear from providing illustrations from the net!). I'm not so unhappy about 'cutting corners' - I remember my own feeble attempts at starting to build model boats 50 years ago before I understood anything about painting (I haven't improved much over the years), and note that the key point about your first model boat is that YOU have made it - well or badly, it's still YOUR BOAT sailing across the lake... That said, I stand in awe at some of the superb results that you and others have achieved, and have no difficulty with the use of modern materials and techniques to achieve them. I'd just like to ensure that a decent model can be made at a low cost, suitable for entry-level persons.

The bulk of the cost for me is the brushless motors and ESC, even when getting them from China it's still the biggest money-drain. I think the combination costs me around 30 quid per boat, give or take.

Hmm... motors depend on boat size, of course. For small boats I suggest a small brushed motor and esc on the web site. These are currently advertised at

  • Motor 50p (Euro 0.68 )
  • Esc - 1.30 GBP (Euro 1.76)



For the larger faster Eezebilts, a small brushless and a 40mm prop seem to work fine. I find the EMAX CF2822 is easy to buy at around GBP12-13 INCLUDING an ESC - here is a UK EBay page of them:

The Sea Princess may need something a bit bigger, but I would not be surprised to find this motor getting it up on the plane with 10-12v. I run at 7.2v myself....

24/03/2015 23:36:06

You CAN R/C the original small EeZeBilts, but it is an expert job given the amount of space you have to play with. But an EeZeBilt SHOULD be small - for most of its life it will sit proudly on a childs shelf in their bedroom as a display item, and mothers won't put up with something bigger than 18"!

An EeZeBilt also should be cheap, and the basic costs are - even if two cans of spray paint and a half-litre of sanding sealer alone is 15GBP... and motors cost a lot...

I cheat a bit by buying cheapish brass tube in bulk, then making up my own propshafts and connectors on a lathe. But I expect to make most of the boat fittings out of copper wire and tin cut from food cans, both of which can be found in a skip. For example, here are a few shots of the prototype PT-boat (still needs detail painting), which probably counts as big at 20". Running from back to front:

  • The smoke generator is balsa turned in a drill with a nut attached.
  • The cleats are tinplate soldered to a bit of copper wire
  • The twin oerlikon is brass sheet (could have been tin!) with some brass tubes and copper wire on a biro tube
  • The torpedoes are turned balsa with brass sheet (could have been tin), held in styrene sheet mounts (the base of an old toy).
  • The ventilators are bought - from my bits box...
  • The machine guns are brass tube and a bit of brass square section (ok - I needed to buy that...)
  • The figure is a 1:48 bought one...but the ship's wheel is soldered copper wire
  • The life-raft is silicone tube with copper wire inside
  • The 37mm is a bit more of the square section, with some brass tube. The flat magazine sides are beaten copper wire, and the mount is a felt-tip top.
  • OK, the numbers are vinyl. But I did use stencils on my Fire Tender... and there's some piano wire in there as well.

Approximate costs in GBP

  • wood - 6
  • glue - 2
  • fittings - 8 (brass cost - lots left!)
  • Motor and ESC - 12
  • Shaft, prop and connector - 4
  • Paint - 12







Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 23:38:14

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 23:45:53

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 23:46:21

24/03/2015 20:13:38

My experience is that you need to copy photos to the gallery first, then write your piece and select 'input from gallery' when putting in pictures. I always make mine into 640x480 thumbnails.

I never ever gave hitting something on the water a second thought, is it possible and practical to put a glass skin over the completed hull to overcome this potential hazard...

Quite possible and practical - just not cheap, and the whole point of the 'eezebilt' range was to produce cheap, simple small models for beginners. I had hoped that experienced modellers would cut out the shapes, provide them to their grandchildren with a tube of glue, and introduce another entrant to the hobby. What seems to be happening is that older modellers are reliving their childhood, and newer ones are saying - "Nice boat - shame it isn't bigger.."! The boats are made of balsa because that's easier for children to cut, glue and pin than ply, which would be the obvious other choice.

Mind you, skinning in 1/16" ply would sort the problem equally well...


EeZeBilts are actually built, using their egg-box construction, with similar internal divisions to battleships. Ripping the floor out will not sink one, because there's a sub-deck just above the keel. There will always be a watertight bulkhead an inch behind the bow. Depending on the design, there could be several keel-to-deck other transverse bulkheads. But something big in thin balsa will always be delicate compared to carbon fibre...










Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 20:14:20

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 20:15:30

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 20:15:51

24/03/2015 00:45:17


....I have started the Sea Princess at 1.5 times the original plan size!...

Hmm... and I thought that 2ft was getting to be the biggest size that was sensible for this kind of structure...

I presume that you are doing this as an A4->A3 enlargement? In which case the boat will be a little over 32"..

The first point to make is that, although these are intended to be simple 'starter' kits, modifying and expanding them probably needs a modeller with some experience. In particular, there are likely to be unsupported balsa runs which are just too long, and which need extra reinforcement.

Material thicknesses may need to change, too. 1/16" sheet is pretty thin, and 1/8" balsa can get floppy in big bits. You may want to go up to 3/16" in some places. The keel, in particular, will benefit from being ply, as would the superstructure sides. Certainly balsa should be hard...

I think a standard 4mm shaft should be fine. 4mm steel is pretty strong and rigid, and there is a good cheap choice of 4mm props. I don't know how fast you are thinking of running it, but remember that the construction is light, you will probably want to beef up the motor mount and battery supports, and if you hit anything at speed this construction will behave like a full size, not a model. In other words, where a fibreglass boat would bounce off the side, light balsa construction will simply cave in! It seems to me that an SK3 3548 might be a bit on the powerful side - these things can be very light and you want it to stay on the water!

Here is a link to a similar sized 'eezebilt' - a 34" Triton. (We would love to have photos of your 'magnum opus' when complete!) Note the extra bulkheads used to support the 16" skin. Remember that the skin may look flat when being built, but after a season or so of use you may start to see ripples down the side if the support is poor...


Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 00:46:05

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 24/03/2015 01:20:24

Thread: Miniature Tamar class lifeboat
14/03/2015 21:41:17

Try the following link it just worked for me - a little bit slow to load but will take you to all the plans including the Tamar.

I was luck enough to be able to build several of the eezebilt range as a lad - it's what got me interested in model boats.

Sorry - the site was a casualty of DynDNS pulling their free domain name service which they had said would be kept going indefinitely angry - so the name had to be changed to **LINK**

The original idea of the free EeZeBilt plans/cutting lines was for experienced modellers to cut out the 2 dozen or so balsa pieces, which can be given to the grandkids with a tube of glue. They won't need much help to make their very own first boat....

But I find that a lot of adults are enjoying the rapid egg-box assembly and ease of use of a little eezebilt - and, of course, they cost peanuts...


Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 14/03/2015 21:41:46

Thread: Propellor shaft lubrication
13/03/2015 09:25:10

A cheap seal can be made out of suitable diameter silicone tube - there is an illustration at the bottom of this page, if you scroll down...


Thread: Absolute beginner
10/03/2015 02:06:00

"..And if you want to spend another £39 you can buy the wood pack for making all the major parts..."


The EeZeBilt site **LINK** provides free plans specifically designed for beginners. And the latest one is a 20" ELCO PT-Boat - plans here: **LINK**

Total wood cost - around £6. Total extra cost for the fittings you see, around £2 for the two cowl ventilators you see. All the rest is made up from household scraps (though I cheated a little and used about a foot of brass tube for the gun barrels and a bit of brass sheet... of course, the motor and radio is extra...

Here is a picture of two of them on the stocks waiting for a bit more paint and some numbers. Oh, and did I say that they are also designed to be built with minimal tools on a bit of wood in your bedroom...?


Thread: New EeZeBilt PT Boat - free plans...
17/01/2015 01:28:13

I'll bet it will be the most popular for quite a time.

It's the 50+ equivalent of the Terrier - that is a pretty popular boat. Ideal for a young lad...


How long until someone makes a 40" version?

I'm pretty sure it will need a bit of internal re-design at 40"!

At 20" the boat is 1:48 scale, and there is an Eduard set of US Naval Personnel at just this scale. You can see one on the boat. Usually, EeZeBilts are intended to be cheap and use household items for fittings where possible (you can see felt-tip tops as cannon mountings) but that Eduard set is cheap enough to include as a justifiable extra...

Interestingly, if you print out the plans on A3, as a lot of people do, you get a boat 1.4x the design size, at 28". This turns out to be at 1:35 scale, which is another standard size, and Italeri do a PT 109 Personnel set at that scale, as well as a 'weapons and trim' set. But here we are rather losing the 'cheap beginner' ethos... smiley




Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 17/01/2015 01:29:01

Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 17/01/2015 01:31:40

16/01/2015 21:50:09

Probably worth mentioning here that the latest EeZeBilt 50+ is now out - a 20" Elco PT Boat.

As usual, it's intended for beginners - ideally kids - and cheap to build from 4 sheets of balsa. Easy to make in a bedroom. Plans can be downloaded from **LINK** , where there are, of course, many others as well.  Here's a shot during the build...




Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 16/01/2015 21:56:46

Thread: PT BOATS
06/01/2015 23:09:22

I was never very sure whether it was an Aerokit or Keil Kraft model originally....

Keil Kraft designed and made most of their own aircraft, but also acted as distributors for a few other small companies, such as Contest.

For boats, it was the other way around. Keil Kraft made a small range of galleons, and their EeZeBilt starter boat kits, but they mainly distributed several other companies boats - MarineCraft, for instance. I think that they had a sole distributorship for Leslie Rowell's 'Aerokits' range for quite some time. So an Aerokits box would have the words:

"Aerokits, distributed by Keil Kraft"

written on it. Which, I suppose, gives both of the companies a claim to it...

Incidentally, the KK Terrier was 10 3/4" long - quite diminutive! Anyone who wants to reproduce one can download the plans from my EeZeBilt site for free - at **LINK** Where you will also find free half-size EeZeBilt 50+ plans for the PT Boat and the Sea Princess (a half-sized Sea Queen), at 20" and 23" respectively....

Thread: Taycol Electric Motors
03/11/2014 14:32:34

"...and you can see it here:"


Alas, you can't see it there any more - the free hosters withdrew their 'free' service

It's now at Have a look at the latest article on mending the brushgear... and don't forget the Keil Kraft site, now on ....


Edited By Dodgy Geezer on 03/11/2014 14:35:55

Thread: "EeZeBilt 50+" Sea Princess build
22/09/2014 20:56:24
Posted by Diede van Abs on 22/09/2014 08:35:58:

Of course, Amy Jane. There is a nice brushless outrunner in my stock, for this boat. I think power will be the least of my challenges ;-

If it is anything like the prototype (and I guess it must be..?) then it will be incredibly light. I'm not sure how it will behave on a windy day with a bit of power - I thought mine might blow over...

20/09/2014 19:11:49

Well, Diede, you are improving the Eezebilts yet again!

Your bollards (in fact, they are closer to the fitting the English call 'cleats' are very distinctive. And, sitting in the little cut-outs in your foot-rail, they make the line of the vessel much more 'business-like'. The picture taken from the bow could be a professional advert for the boat - it looks better than anything I have seen advertising the full-size 'Sea Queen'! I look forward to seeing it in its final paint job...

The original kits of 50 years ago were cheap and simple, and so thousands of children would be exercising their brains and constructing lights, masts and anchors from scrap wood and wire to make their boats look different. Indeed, that was where a lot of the fun came from.

19/05/2014 20:47:39

And I promote the EeZeBilts pretty actively here in the Netherlands...

Very kind!

Of course, one of the aims of the original kits was to get young kids making things. Your 'holiday build' idea is a very good one - perhaps modellers with children might like to cut out a set of the parts for a small eezebilt and give them to their kids with a tube of glue when they are at the seaside on a rainy day...


18/05/2014 20:07:16

"...Be aware that if you double the plans, all small errors in the plans are also doubled and some things (like the hull sheets...) don't fit as well anymore..."

Alas, the only guarantee these plans come with is that, if you find an error, I'll be happy to alter the plan accordingly. So any information on errors, omissions, etc will be gratefully received....

At the moment we have an RAF Pinnace being drawn up in a far more professional style than I could hope to achieve - created by a supporter in Germany and one in New Zealand working in tandem, while I am (very slowly) putting together a set of plans for the 'Marinecraft' range of starter kits marketed by Model Aerodrome in the 1960s. Something should be out by the autumn...

Thread: Can I connect a small motor to a servo lead?
05/05/2013 22:10:15

Have you seen the Beaver tugs on the site? 12" with a pulley-drive )though at least one builder has doubled the size and gone for gears).

Here's a picture of a few, with one modified stern to become an AHV...


04/05/2013 23:02:50

"...On the Terrier I used a cheap high torque servo with it,s original motor, built light and use a tiny 6 volt receiver supply. It doesn't quite plane but it's very nippy...."

I don't suppose you have a photo, or, better still, a video of an R/C Terrier running? The EeZeBilt site would be very interested...

26/04/2013 21:48:44

<i>"...Not sure about the "easy in"..converting plastic or small boats such as the KielKraft is tricky...."</i>

The big ones can take a radio, but the little ones are a bit fiddly.

Which is why we have the '50+' range of larger boats, still to the same 'EeZebilt' design, which are easier to install modern radio kit into....

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