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Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club
Located in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, the Suncoast Scale Model Boat Club is a organization for those who have radio controlled operational scale model boats.  We welcome all experienced in this hobby as well as those new and in need of help getting started in scale model boat building.

Welcome to our Home Page!


What is "Scale?"

     Scale is divided into several categories, Scale, Semi-scale, Standoff Scale, and Not Scale.  It is important to know this especially when buying a kit.  Some manufacturers will say the kit is scale when in fact it most likely falls into the Semi-scale or Standoff Scale categories.  So, lets go into a brief discussion on them

How do you get a Scale Boat?

     There many ways to get a boat.  Could be a local hobby shop, the internet, paper ads, or the old "friend of a friend."  There are plenty of kit manufacturers out there as well as hull manufacturers so the biggest single item can be bought and the rest scratch built.  One can also scratch build a boat by getting plans from a variety of sources.  Below I will focus on where the finished boat originated.

1.  Scratch build - a boat built using raw materials and can include pre-made parts such as searchlights, ladders, etc.

2.  Kit-modified build - a boat that was built from a kit but modified significantly to improve it so as it is more to scale (realistic).

3.  Kit build - a boat that was built from a kit and may include additional details such as figures, cargo, etc.

4.  Ready to Run (RTR) - is a ready to run model.  (ARTR is an almost ready to run model that just needs a few detail or equipment installations.)

     Along with the different was a boat was built or purchased (above) there are different levels of detail and adherence to the real boats.  This can run from super detailed where a boat is maxed out with details, figures (crew), and even weathering techniques (rust, smoke soot, etc.) to something right out of the box.

Selling/Buying Used Scale Model Boats

     Let's face the truth, there is not much of a market for selling used scale model boats already built, even if the builder did a very good job.  Operating scale model boating is a relatively small hobby and has been around for quite a while.  In the Tampa Bay area we had a regatta back in the mid-1970's and there were plenty of scale model boats.  A large number have been built in the last 40+ years since and many others were brought down as people migrated or retired to Florida.

     I bought a barely started 1/20 scale (4 foot long) PT boat kit that included extra parts that totaled over $850 many years ago for $150.  They don't even make these kits any more.  This kit had been resold several times, maybe 5 or 6 owners, before I bought it and completed it.  I bought several other kits, one 25% complete and another still in the box, both for about 20% of the original price.

     Other I know bought previously built boats that were in pretty good condition for about 20-30% of the original kit price.  This seems to be about the average that you could use as a guide.

     Electronics can vary quite a bit.  Radio control units will vary depending on the age.  A relatively new unit, unused, might go for 75-80% of the dealer selling price.  Boxes of old items such as servos and batteries usually go for a small fraction of the original cost.  Batteries could loose their charge if not used for a number of years.

     Some items might bring in a good price for the seller, but that is usually where that particular model is what the buyer is looking for and it was built well.  Usually the price is what the original kit sold for despite how many hours were expended in building the model.

     There was a Dumas tugboat kit (the bit Carol Moran kit) on Craig's List for quite a while.  It was unbuilt and had some extra parts for RC operation (no radio gear).  It was an older kit that had he fiberglass hull, no the new vacuum formed one.  It was listed at slightly less than the new selling price.  I don't know if it sold, but it was listed for several months.

     So, where does one sell a kit or built model?  For a quick sale try a local scale model boat club by going to one of the meets.  Other options:  Hobby shop (probably will not get much from them).  Some hobby shops have bulletin boards where you can post the model.  EBay (might take a while).  Craig's List  (free, but probably not many modelers look there).  Search for model boat clubs around the country and email them the information (shipping might be expensive).


     Does one need to have floatation inside their boat?  Ans: That is a personal decision, but here is some help: FLOATATION

3D Printing

     3D printers seem to be the latest rage.  But, are they worth the price?  Better yet, will they make decent parts for scale model boaters?  If you are thinking about geting a 3D printer you might want to read this document by SSMBC member Lew.  (This also covers ways to make superb 3D parts without  going through the expense and probable dissapointment in buying an affordable 3D printer.)  Click here to see this document.

     Update on the 3D printing process based on personal experience.  If you are ready to try 3D modeling and ordering parts, this document will step you through the process using Shapeways.    Click here to see this document.