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A1 - 1996 Smokin' Joe's883 viewsThis is a real nice shot of the 1996 Smokin' Joe's that I will be duplicating. While the Joe's has always been my favorite Unlimited, the 1996 hull is the one I like the best. I actually had started on this version in mid '99 but that boat became the 1997 Close Call (which won Best of Show Competition Boat at the 2000 Toledo R/C Expo) when a good friend & racing buddy talked me into it so he could redo his 1993 Winston Eagle as the 1994 Smokin' Joe's, his only other option. Don Ferrette
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G3 - Showtime!754 viewsOnly thing better than finally getting the boat to it's first race is getting a pic of it with 3 Hooter's girls. Don Ferrette
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A2 - Thunderboat Reproductions hull1254 viewsI ordered this special built with 80% carbon fiber in areas I specified, some places like the sponson decks have two layers of carbon for added strength. This hull also features a new deck seam design that Dick Caspari came up with after we talked about needing a more durable method of attaching the deck. If you look closely at both sides of deck aft of the sponsons you can see how the seam is on top, the non trip wraps up & over, should be much stronger.Don Ferrette
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A3 - modifying the nose695 viewsNothing new here as I prefer the stainless pin method for front cowl mount. The tip of the cowl gets cut off & 'glassed to the hull while also extending the tip of the nose past the canards like the real boat did. Hardwood ply is added to the cowl front & reinforced with carbon fiber from behind. Then it is drilled from the front for the pin & the area under the part cut from cowl is resin filled to make it solid & lock in the pin. Also 12 oz. of lead chips were added in with the resin filler for help balancing the hull later.Don Ferrette
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D2 - adding support lip for cockpit liner690 viewsUsing a piece of cardboard tightly wrapped in wax paper I begin adding strips of 2oz. cloth to form the supporting lip on each side & the front to secure the cockpit liner. The cardboard is is the same size & thickness as the 3/32" birch ply base I just cut which will get the Phil Thomas driver figure epoxied to it then custom cut & shaped for the MAC carb to have plenty of room to breathe. Don Ferrette
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A4 - motor mount pads736 viewsTwo hardwood blocks are 'glassed in with 1/2 oz. cloth. The block allow raising the motor up enough for the belt to fit under flywheel & also to have enough material to countersink mounting screws from the underside of the hull.Don Ferrette
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D3 - completed cockpit liner support791 viewsAfter 3 layers of 2oz. cloth are used to give sufficient thickness, the edges are trimmed to final shape. I actually do this while the wax paper lined cardboard is still in place as it gives more control to the Dremel cutting wheel and protects the windshield areas from a potential oops with said cutting wheel if it grabs and digs. Next to the cowling you can see the beginning of the cockpit liner with the dashboard & driver body cut out earlier from the Phil Thomas epoxy cockpit. With this set up you simply slide the cockpit liner in from the back until it's fully seated & anchor it with a couple dabs of clear silicone on the back corners. Don Ferrette
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A5 - motor mount & motor installation792 viewsAgain no surprises as to my choice in motors, the MAC67. The custom motor mount uses Speedmaster drop rails to sink the motor as low as possible in the hull leaving just enough room to get the belt on the flywheel.Don Ferrette
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A6 - radio box part 1755 viewsIn this pic you can see all the individual pieces are cut out & get test fitted before the gluing together begins. I spend alot of time laying all the pieces out & making a detailed drawing of where everything needs to go. If you look closely you can see the side panels are not square, the box also tapers down as it narrows. This is definitely one place where the old saying measure twice, cut once comes into play.Don Ferrette
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A7 - radio box part 2707 viewsHere the box gets built from the motor side forwards fitting the individual pieces as I go. The lay down servo tray for steering servo & the pedestals for throttle & 3rd channel are each made to keep things compact but serviceable. Even though things are very close together any one component will be able to be removed at any time.Don Ferrette
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