Class 4 Battlecruiser with 4.5 Units
Built by Bob Hoernemann
I love sidemounts and the Kongo class has lots of them. Back in 2005 I brought this hull back from The
Fray at Brays for Ron Horbul as a payment for the plug from Steve Millholand. Ron put it on a shelf for
several years and I kept looking at it as I wanted to get one someday. In the winter of 2009 I traded Ron
for the hull and started working on it. The hull comes without the casement deck the wood work required
to make this was one of the reasons I was not sure if I wanted to build this ship. The wood work was
much easier than I thought; of course I had help from Tyler that made it easier. Yes I did paint it brown
for the 2011 Brouhaha, it looked better in the garage then it did in the sun light. I repainted it a standard
grey for the next battle. I am using 30 amps at 6 volts of NiMH batteries to power the ship. This makes
the ship very light and I need to add a lot of lead to get it to the correct waterline.
To make the casement deck I made the upper deck out of 1/4” and 1/8” plywood. I then sanded down
the open slots of the 3/8” assembly to 1/4” with a dremel to meet the rules. The casement deck I made
out of 1/8” plywood and the armor belt stringer out of 1/8” plywood. I tied all of the together with 1/4”
ribs, almost like building the ship out of wood. Some of the ribs I tied down into the water channeling.
In this photo you can see some of the lead I use to weight the ship down to 29lbs. I use almost 12 lbs of
lead. To make the water channeling I put in a ¼” strip of wood and glued in some foam behind it. Then
I pour a two part plastic over it. This makes a light weight and water proof systems.
You can see up into the bow of the ship where the water channeling steps up to be just below the bottom
of the window.
The casement level does collect bbs. You can see the bottle holder and the raised water channeling.
I got the ship ready to battle just in time to go down to the fall battle in Springfield. I thought I could
get the super structure done at night when I was at the battle. I managed to get most of the levels cut
out but having to put Zach to bed around 10pm left me with little assembly time so I battled without
superstructure. This is a photo the superstructure before I had it totally completed and painted. I also
used the old Warspite's turrets; they were close enough for its first battle. The major part of the superstructure
is made of ABS plastic. The smoke stacks are PVC pipe, the masts are brass tube, the barbets are ABS
I use 1 ¾” 4 blade kort nozzle props from the Prop Shop. I’ve also tried the Vintage Fine Scale Prop Shop
Props; they did not work as well. You can see how I kept them close to the rudders and hull, the typical
way a ship is built. The Kongo does not turn that well, but mine has turned with or better than the other
Kongos I have matched it up against.
Here you can see the rudders and props from the stern of the ship. The point sterns lets this ship back
up really fast, it also can cause very bad ram damage. I have hit a ship and got stuck inside the other
Once again I use deck slides to hold the deck in place. This section of deck slides under the bow section
and into the cross brace near the pump. I found that the deck would slide backwards when my bow
sidemount hit something. So I added the air plane catapult with a long bolt that goes into the stern deck.
The catapult pulls up and the deck slides back. You can also see how the gun bends around to put the fill
port into the turret. There is very little room for the gun to clear the pump motor. In hind sight I should
have moved the cross brace back another inch.
The bow deck slides into the very bow section and onto the cross brace. I put a 4th gun in the ship so I
could pick different guns to use. But I have never used the B turret gun in a battle. I’ve had a few people
think I have left a gun pinned before battle and remind me to unpin it. Once after sinking Mark Roe’s
VDT he came over and asked if I was using four guns on the ship.
As I typically do I used hinges to hold the turrets to the barbets. I used a piece of plastic to hold the barrel
in place. This has a hole drilled in it at 20 degrees for maximum down angle. I have the plastic threaded
and bolted threw the deck.
The stern section slides into the very stern of the ship and onto the cross brace. The rudder servo is in
my normal rudder box and turns a large gear that turns two smaller gears on the rudder post. The stern
sidemount is a 75 round gun and it runs all the way to the pump for its fill port.
A better view of the rudder servo and gears. The water channeling steps up just under the cross brace.
The motors and gear boxes. I should have moved this cross brace father aft. It would have made the
pump and gun fit easier and the motors would still be easy to work on. The stern has a lot of room in it,
an odd thing to have in a ship.
The bow of the ship with the bottle and bow gun solenoid.
The middle of the ship holds the batteries. It’s a very tight fit as the deck is a little too small for them
to fit straight down and the lead takes up space in the bulge. I need another 1/8” of space.
A close up of the radio box. It’s the same box I use in VDT and Warspite. The air system is the same too.
It makes the ship easier to build when you have these two major items done before you start. You can
see the receiver on the left packed in with the Team Delta switches. The pump and light servo and switches
are in the middle and the throttle servo and switches are on the right. The main, motor and pump wires
are all 14 gage. The test switches are set up for triples. I want to add the sidemount switches like I have
in my NC. Then I don’t have to haul my radio a round to test.
The pump and pump housing, my typical system. The middle sidemount gets tucked in next to the pump
housing. There is a piece of lead on the other side to offset the weight of the solenoid.
A close up of the pump housing and screen. You must keep the
junk away from your pump; this is the
way I have found does it the best.