Just a quick report. I havn't had the pleasure of getting together with other model sub people for sometime, but nonetheless I've been managing to participate in the hobby quite a bit. I am putting together a Thor Sturgeon, and I am running my Small World Blueback.
First event of the season was repainting my Blueback. Last season I had been operating with a coat of black krylon. I had intended to apply a proper paint job, but once I got it in the water I put it off--I was having too much fun driving the boat. But in April/May of this year I decided to get serious. I bough an airbrush and compressor, and began playing around with floquil acrylic paints. I hit on an approx. 60% Grimy Black/40% Engine Balck mixture for the top of the hull. I used red/brown Krylon for the underside. The topcoat is Krylon flat clear. The mix is a true scale black, as far as I can tell. In the stand or out in the water, you would swear it is black, but when you place the boat before a black field, it becomes apparant that the color is actually gray. I applied dry transfer depth makes, but screwed up! (Don't apply dry transfers after a long day at work!) I removed the transfers, but mucked up the paint job, and so I had to paint the boat again. Frustrating, but I got on with it, and I was happy with the final results. Maybe I'll try the dry transfers again sometime, but I am in no hurry.
However, it wasn't time to leave drydock yet. I discovered that my Tower Hobbies 1700 mah battery was dead. I replaced it with a 2000 mah battery from Radio Shack. The performance is astounding. I'm getting run times over two hours.
Earlier in the summer I took Blueback to the model boat pond in Central Park. It is a good place to run subs, particularly early in the summer when the water is very clear. I took over a corner of the pond, occassionally launching a sortie into the middle of the pond to dodge around among the sailboats. Lots of spectators were pleased to see something in the pond other than a sailboat, and it brought a smile to my face to see people glance over at the sub, wonder momentarily what it was, and then suddenly realize it was a model sub. There was no shortage of people walking by with favorable comments, or who stopped to chat. There was a Japanese wedding party taking pictures, and the photographers moved the group over from the other side of the pond to video tape the couple with the sub cruising back and forth in the background. An elderly German couple paused to watch the sub, and the man seemed to enjoy briefing his wife in German about the sub. The trim was dead-on neutral that day, and after watching the boat go through some slow manuevering beneath our feet, he nodded to me and said "perfect," which I took as quite a compliment. Then there was a retired school teacher who stood with me for about thirty minutes. He began discussing his world travels. According to his investigations, the most beautiful women in the world are to be found in Iceland.
In between my own travels this summer, most of my running has taken place in a lake near my home in West Virginia. There has been a lot of rain here, which has clouded the water somewhat (last summer the lake was as clear as glass, the sort of clarity I associate with lakes I've seen in the deep South), but I can still make out the sub (when the wind is down) just beneath the surface when it is as far away as fifty yards. There is a boat dock and a fishing platform/deck which permits you to stand right over the sub and "fly" it around below the surface. Bleuback is highly manueverable--and fast, too, when I want some speed. And I'll close on that note--praise for the Blueback. It's a great model.
Hope you guys are having fun out there.