Inside the USS North Carolina
6 Battleship 6
Built by Charlie Stephens
I took these photos on Friday at NATS 2006. I was going to build an NC and wanted to copy some of the things Charlie did. Since my project got put off until the winter of 2007 I also copied a lot from Mike & Tom Melton, who had copied things from Tim Becket, Chris Preace & Charlie. See how this works, you just copy someone with a good ship of the same class and your will work fine. That’s why I’m typing these Inside a Warship articles; you can’t always stand next to someone’s ship. Anyhow, back to the article. Charlie had already taken the guts out of the ship but you can check out the internals on my NC for that. This is a wood hull he made to use as a plug for the fiberglass ship sold by Battler’s Connection. Charlie uses pop bottle armor and screws it into the ribs of his ship. I was measuring the distance from the bow to the cross brace. This one is in front of A turret. I put mine farther back, behind B turret. You can see the bottle holding bracket under the tape measure.
A full shot of the bow. At the left are the quick connections used to disconnect the regulator. I’m not a big fan of these as they are another point of failure. Note at the right the ribs are separated on the port and starboard sides. Some people put a ¼” piece of plywood down the middle of the ribs for interior armor. While this is OK to do sealing the ribs to this and drilling small holes in them so they are not “Water tight” is creating compartments in the ship and is not allowed.
The ribs on this ship need to be cut out to allow for a free flow of water out of the bow.
The solenoids for the bow sidemounts. Another cross brace with the date the ship was built. I thought that was a neat idea. Between the solenoids you can see the bracket that holds the back end of the bottle. I believe Charlie used a 9oz bottle, a 7oz will also work. To the left of the solenoids is the radio box location. Charlie has a Deans 3 pin Micro connector for the solenoids. In the radio box Charlie uses all Team Delta switches for the guns, pump and drive.
To the right of the pump is the battery location. I believe he uses a 36 amp hour battery. The pump is held in place with a wood bracket. He added some sub deck to hold the pump outlet in place. He also has a 90deg connector on the outlet. It was a fad at one time to do this, but it has died down a little.
His gear boxes where originally the old style BC ones that screwed into the motors. Charlie added some stuffing tube and installed his newer style. He uses Deans Ultra Connectors for motor and pump connections. He has his motors set up with on connector each so he can unplug a bad motor and plug in a prewired spare. There is a small piece of lead by one gear box for balancing the ship. On the stern solenoids you can see the quick connects for the guns and Deans Micro connectors.
I liked the way Charlie set up his accumulation tanks and did this in my ship. He has check valves in line with each tank to separate the air supply for each gun. The rudder box is simple push/pull arms with balloons keeping everything water tight.
An inside view of the pump. It is the large BC pump with a Stinger motor. He also had some fish filter under his pump but had pulled it out in this photo. Note that he keeps his pump off the bottom of the hull allowing water to flow better into the pump. I don’t know if this makes a big difference as I have not tested it. The water channeling is ¼” tall.
A look at the solenoids from over the motors. The guns fit right between the motors and solenoids.
The location of his rudders and props. He uses 3 blade 25 deg 1 ¾” props. He should have got them closer to the hull.
The back of his rudders were very fat. It was an experiment he tried to see if the helped his turning. I don’t know if they made a difference or not.