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help - 1/250 scale Yamato

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john hutchinson 122/11/2020 11:23:21
7 forum posts
5 photos

Having built plastic kits for nearly 50 years I have after a couple of years reading Model Boats Magazine decided to put one on the water.

I have a part built Doyusha 1/250 scale IJN "Yamato", and my question is can I just stick an RE280 motor on the end of the gear box and use the kit supplied gearbox and props? If so what voltage motor should I use and how do I the RC control the whole thing?

Also can I use the supplied plastic rudder with a servo and tiller arm to steer it?

Any information to help this beginner gladly appreciated.


Colin Bishop22/11/2020 15:23:09
4708 forum posts
6077 photos
402 articles

I'm not familiar with the kit although there is quite a bit on line about it which suggests that there used to be running gear available which used four 280 type motors.

You say you have a gearbox on yours which presumably operates all four shafts?

As the model is around 42 inches long I think you would need something rather more powerful than a single 280. My thought would be to fit a small brushless type which would fit in easily whilst still giving sufficient power. No doubt one of our members could suggest something suitable. If you want to stick with a conventional brushed setup then I'd think you would need a low drain 540 type.

Without seeing it I don't think we could comment on the rudder but if it is very old then theplastic could be a bit brittle, it might be better to fit a small commercial metal rudder instead. If the existing rudder is to scale then I suspect you might need something a bit oversize anyway as with a single motor you won't be able to use the propellers to help turn the model.


ashley needham23/11/2020 08:27:35
6833 forum posts
200 photos

I would use 4 motors as the gearbox is likely to be noisy. MFA 385’s would be my choice. It is a big boat with room to fit the components easily (from looking at you tube!)

What access will you have to get to these components when finished?


Ray Wood 223/11/2020 09:02:51
2164 forum posts
755 photos

Hi All,

I would never disagree with Ashley on principle as he has done more floating than most but you would be in danger of having an offshore power boat rather than a battleship, scale speed only needs to creep along in relative terms ! 280's X 4nr ??

Regards Ray

Colin Bishop23/11/2020 09:14:44
4708 forum posts
6077 photos
402 articles

Another, halfway house, option would be two 385 motors, each driving one shaft and with a pulley drive to the adjacent shaft.

I would agree with Ray that if you have four motors then 280s should be adequate.



Malcolm Frary23/11/2020 09:58:37
918 forum posts

I would go for 4 of 385 motors, but it is well to remember that you can run them on a lower voltage than the max stated on the label. 4 brushless motors will probably mean 4 ESCs, with brushed motors you have the choice of how many ESCs you fit. One driving them all, 2, each driving a pair, one per motor. You also get plenty of choice of how much individual control you get. 15 volt motors on 6 volts should be about right.

Gearboxes supplied in plastic kits have a reputation for being noisy. A large plastic hull tends to act as a loudspeaker cabinet, so eliminating a dodgy gearbox with direct drives tends to be a lot quieter.

Not familiar with the details of this kit and its rudder area, but if it can be arranged with a good enough rudder shaft tube, yes.  If not, a rudder is one of the simpler things to knock up out of brass rod, sheet and tube.

Edited By Malcolm Frary on 23/11/2020 10:06:09

Dave Cooper 623/11/2020 10:44:30
201 forum posts
18 photos

Just a few thoughts :

For a beginner to RC boats (like me), it may be best to keep things simple eg single motor /ESC /single commercial rudder.

I don't know how you're planning to operate the model, but at 'harbour' speeds the rudder(s) may not be all that effective - so, going "multi-motor" gives extra steering assistance.

Build a simple balsa kit boat first to gain RC experience before going scale ???

Most importantly, have fun !

Dave C

ps For suitable kits, I'm sure the experts on the forum can advise you better then me

Charles Oates23/11/2020 12:42:23
593 forum posts
50 photos

I too would fit 4x385 motors, I'm basing that on running 2 similar ships with those motors. Plenty of advantages, inexpensive, plenty of torque, huge speed range depending on the voltage used and very simple to set up. Simplest installation can use one speed controller, then add another to get added steering assistance later, when knowledge and experience has grown. Four motors doesn't mean four times faster, but it does mean the model can accelerate quickly, and more importantly, stop in a shorter distance when a collision is impending.

The only thing to bear in mind, is access, we would like some idea of how good it is so we can advise on placement of all the gubbins. Some pictures would help.


john hutchinson 123/11/2020 15:00:09
7 forum posts
5 photos


john hutchinson 123/11/2020 15:04:28
7 forum posts
5 photos

Firstly thank you for the replies! Photos of the hull and the instructions. The "one in/4 out" gear box is shown with the props as supplied, and sits on the 4 mounting points to the left of the motor base plate. I assume the second gearbox [6 on the plan] is to drive the radar as a long square rod is slotted into it.

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