(Launch day, 25 May 2018) *EDIT* This starts with the FRAG 0 stem-to-stern, originally conducted on 9/29/18. The FRAG 1 refit pics will be posted below just before Valentine's day 2019. The Boat has received about a 60% rebuild. Details, and assessments will be attached following trials. *END EDIT* 9/29/18: Here's the Texas I've Managed to slap together from one of Mark Jenk's lasercut kits. She has 5.5 units, which I have distributed in the conventional fashion with dual sterns in E turret, a 1.5 unit port sidemount in D Turret, and a 1 unit starboard sidemount in B turret with a 1 unit Strike pump spun by a Johnson 550 motor. She can take a fair amount of punishment, but the current configuration remains untested, as Port Polar Bear's latest attempts to put her under were conducted mainly by a NC and several cruisers, resulting in several hundred aboves, but very few below the belt. Here's what she looks like today, flying her home colors at Fort Couch. The cotter pin on the bow sidemount was shot off in her last sortie, but it's usually fixed to the deck with that steel ring next to the gun Her main superstructure is the rescue float, constructed of 1/4" Balsa and basswood sticks with a center keel to which the rescue line is affixed. Two Neodymium magnets hold the superstructure in place, along with the B turret Barbette and the two L-hangers I use to pull up the deck on the back. Once I was finished constructing the superstructure, I tapped 1/4" holes into the voids and filled each chamber with spray foam. After that, I glassed it over on the areas I determined would be receiving fire, and it has managed to hold up to at least half a dozen direct hits with minimal damage. it has never failed to deploy, and only jostled slightly out of place when shot four or five times in rapid succession last week. Note the reflective tape on the underside of the superstructure and the top of the deck. There are also two strips of reflective tape on the bottom of the hull. The Bow's mostly been taken up by the 5 Oz BC Tank and BC regulator. it has more than enough hose to facilitate complete removal from the hull for recharge. Note it is canted off to starboard due to the bow sidemount. I compensated for the weight shift by adding more ballast to the port side, which I will show later. Underneath the removable padding I use to maintain the CO2 regulator in an upright position, I have several ballast blocks made of 150 grain .308 bullets. A total of twenty are needed to maintain trim in the bow. The B turret sidemount (Tubing armor removed from the magazine to enhance visibility). Note that I have removed the solder joints from the sidemounts on these Strike guns and replaced them with compression fittings. this allows for better seating and maintenance. there are neodymium magnets on the breaches of all of my guns. The boat is powered by two 3.2V 20 Ah LiFePO cells in series, which are retained using a removable battery mount and velcro straps. When the rescue float is in place, there is about 1/2" clearance between the top of the batteries and the bottom of the coil box. the coil is connected to the steel rings to which the velcro straps are fastened, and is capable of hauling the boat up from 16 feet; a capability I hope to never need. Wiring from the batteries to the board is 12 Gauge noodle with deans connectors and an XT to connect to the BC board. From the board, I have a Hobbywing Quicrun 60 Amp ESC (key point: battery failsafe setting switched to "NiMH") and a Taranis X8 receiver. all wiring from the board and ESC to the solenoids and motors is 16 Gauge noodle wire, with deans connectors. Waterproofing of electronics was done using E6000. The view into the midships from the stern. As you can see, the deckplate layout offers quite a challenge to work around, yet simultaneously provides excellent mounting options for wiring and pneumatic lines. Removing the 550 Johnson motors from the BC GB500 gearboxes (2.5:1 gear ratio) necessitates removing the Pump, ballast blocks, and the Strike Solenoids, but the setup generally works without difficulty. Port side Ballast block consists of ten more bullets than the starboard, and this compensates for the offset CO2 Tank. The boat's trim will shift depending on her weapon load, but the change is minimal, and by the time it has happened, she is on Five. Wiring is run behind her Lexan armor in order to clean up the jumbled mess of wires and prevent handling damage when changing batteries, which had been a problem. While this may leave them vulnerable to strikes, I intend to add a small second layer of lexan to sandwich them once the season is over and I've re-sheeted. The integral ballast consists of Kenai glacier sand, covered over with self-leveling cement sealant. this will not be repeated in future models as the sealant is difficult to secure things to without causing some sort of fussy mess. Pneumatic line on left is secured out of the way by that single piece of 1/8" plywood. Neatness has been the goal for wiring and lines, as the electronics are all located under B turret and the majority of systems are in the stern under C turret. The cannons are protected below deck with plastic tubing and all lines are deliberately long to facilitate reloads while eliminating the need to disconnect them from the solenoids. A view of the stern sidemount. Of note, the 2 inch PVC pipe used to make the Barbettes (ABS was NOT available in reasonable quantity in Alaska) was coated with segments of 1/4" balsa, and glassed over to generate a shock-absorbing laminate armor to prevent the PVC from cracking under fire. This system has produced excellent results so far, and will be implemented elsewhere as needed. I've snatched a turret mounting technique from @Kevin P. and it has produced mixed results due to poor materials and BB intervention. The most successful location being the dual sterns. Turrets are retained using 550 cord guts. it's not fantastic, but it works. Shrink wrap was secured to the barrels in order to keep the tubing armor from slipping off easily while still allowing for removal, tweaking, and other such tasks. The stern compartment is the least cluttered of them all. the Solenoid for the stern sidemount is placed along the centerline, and the stern solenoids are the outboard. The rudder servo is a waterproof HiTec HS-646 WP. This servo has less travel than the 625 MG and is slightly slower off the mark, but it is reliable, effective, and has just the right amount of throw for what I need. Impact to Maneuver is minimal, and the boat's combat radius is slightly tighter than the Texas' 620 yard combat radius in 1:1 scale. As with the rest of the wiring, all is run behind the Lexan armor for cleanliness. Due to the stern rudder tray, armor in the stern is frame-to frame, using an old Jellybean container. due to small gaps in the armor plates under the rudder tray, the white armor segment was added as a secondary internal layer with channels cut to allow water flow out of the stern. the boat is propelled by BC 1.75 40 pitch props. they cavitate like crazy, and I occasionally switch out to BC 1.5 15 pitch props to resolve the issue. But if I go to 1.5 props on a permanent basis, I will change the gear ratio in the gearbox to something around 2:1, and trim the shafts by about 3/4" to bring them closer to the hull and allow for more rudder actuation. The rudder is a prototype I fabricated after the original rudder proved to be entirely ineffective. width is 3/4" at the widest, well within tolerance of the IRCWCC rule set. the dark marks on the rudder are due to some shaft vibration. Funny story-- if you don't trim the throttle down, the 60 amp ESC will drive the props so fast that the unbalanced props will shake like leaves. same as if you drive over 20 mph on unbalanced tires. I suggest not testing this. The gears in the port side gearbox shook themselves apart when I hit some pond weeds at "Ludicrous speed" this morning. The Bow and stern hardpoints were filled in using Balsa, and glassed over. this is NOT BB-proof. But it will produce some comical BB damage, as best seen on the starboard side about an inch below her name. Overall, it's not a bad first boat. I have a laundry list of things that I intend to do in future endeavors, and a laundry list of don'ts. My intent is to make her as rugged and reliable as possible, so that she'll be as annoying as possible to the Axis in next year's NATS. I'd imagine with a good captain on the stick that she'd acquit herself well against similarly configured boats, but her lack of maneuver, as with many single rudder battleships, has been a sore spot. This can be partially mitigated by "toeing in" the shafts instead of using the kit's provided shaft slots, but there's only so much you can do. As of now, I fight her on the edges of the battle, and make opportunistic attacks. In this role, she'll do pretty well.