For my 60th birthday, I asked my wife for the Occre Ulises model kit, paints, motor and battery so I could build a sizeable radio-controlled boat.
I love RC gear, planes, trains, vehicles, and anything a transmitter can control, so when I saw the Occre Ulises and found it could be enhanced with a motor, receiver and battery, I knew this would be my next project.
The comprehensive kit has great plans, plenty of wood and loads of miscellaneous parts to enhance the finished vessel.
I started with the hull by building the ribs and adding the runners to make up the hull and keel. This is not something that I have ever done, but I felt I improved as I moved along.
Once the hull was complete, I needed to sand n’ seal it, get the motor and prop shaft in place and then paint the hull.
Of course, once the hull was sealed and painted, the rest of the build could continue. This involved building the deck area with planks and adding a seal and thin black line on the joints to make them stand out.
I learnt a lot whilst building this boat, as it was my first, such as soaking the wood in warm water to bend pieces into impossible positions without splitting or breaking the wood.
I also discovered the importance of particular attention to shaping the front supports where the bow reaches a point.
Once I had all the decking and internals sorted, the kit provided many cast metal parts to paint and add to the boat to add character and finishing touches.
The detail in this kit is marvellous, right down to string that looks like rope or metal rings that, once painted, look like tyres.
The next step involved building up the cockpit covers and funnel.
I do admire the detail that the designers put into creating this kit. Many wooden parts are printed CNC that you cut out before assembly. You do need to follow plans and steps, but that’s all part of the challenge.
The big surprise of this model came right towards the end when I struggled to build the lifeboats! OMG, there has to be an easier way to make these .. Getting the wood to bend around the small joints is really difficult, so whilst the boat is finished, I still have these little lifeboats to complete… and I will!
I’ve not taken it out yet on water, but I am looking forward to it with my Grandchildren.
If you’re considering getting this kit, I can’t recommend Occre enough for the quality and instructions. Check them out here.
And if you’re interested, check out the Lisbon Tram project I also completed by Occre.