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    1. Kit: , by (VIP/Sponsor) xken is offline
      Builder Last Online: May 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/8 Rating:  Thanks: 0
      Started: 05-02-19 Build Revisions: Never  
      Supported Scratch Built

      Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb00-jpg Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-4motorbodyoff-jpg

      I built this model as a young lad with my father's help at times and have been intrigued by it ever since and always wanted to scratch build Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale it. Building four engines from scratch just seemed a task that I was not ready to tackle. Recently I have been extremely busy building, designing and developing model ship kits fro M.E. and have been looking for a personal project to keep me from going KNOTS. Anyway I came across a site offering a 1/8 scale Buick Nailhead cast resin Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale engine and after a little discussion reached a fair deal to purchase four engines knowing that some parts would require significant modifications.

      In doing research, I discovered that the Showboat itself underwent changes as it evolved to its final configuration as seen above along with an image of it in its earlier days with no body. Could very well be test runs. I also discovered on the H.A.M.B. site photos posted by the original builder and the replica builder which will be my reference resource. The Revel kit while in its day a good model but has a few major discrepancies the greatest being the oil pan configurations. I have also seen the die-cast model as well which is also creative in some details. Working from photos only and my own research I may also have to get creative with some small details.

      The initial build challenges I for see are the alignment of the four engines and the centerline of the 14 exhaust pipes; two point down on the left bank of engines. Hopefully, Mr. Geometry and Mr. Physics will help me along the way.

      First will be the clean up, drilling and milling of the cast parts. Since I have not done any extensive work with resin Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale I will now have a new learning experience and this will be a mixed media build. If anyone out there has any information or detailed personal pictures please share I will need all the help I can get on information.
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  1. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Here is one of the basic engines with parts carpet taped to the block to check part fits.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-02-jpg

    All the mating surfaces were sanded smooth to match, first the four blocks were sanded smooth and milled flat top and bottom. The parts appear to be hand cast so the open surfaces of the mold that the resin Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale was pored into was a little high for most of the parts or had capillary edges that were quite sharp.

    The ends were then milled square and the flywheel area milled out and smooth. Location holes were milled for the crankshaft locations.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-03-jpg

    All bolt hole locations were drilled and tapped for 00-90 Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale threads. Then parts bolted in place. The most serious fit issue is with the oil pan which is 1/16" wider than it should be and not able to be bolted in place. All the holes had to be drilled by hand due to too much friction with such a small a drill bit in drill press tended to melt the resin Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale and gum up the bit. A 1/4" brass tube will be used to match the engine front to rear.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-04-jpg

    Here is the worst case fill issue with the casting Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale , must have come up short on resin Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale when pouring the cast. Just filled with putty Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale and milled smooth, I had enough side wall in the casting Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale for reference. Here you can also see a void that surfaced when milling.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-05-jpg

    Here is a good side view that shows the original oil pan that will require extensive rework along with the front cam cover. But the first modification was reorienting the oil filter to horizontal rather than vertical. Just drilled then pinned with a 1/32" rod down through the bracket to the filter.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-01-jpg

    Next I will address the oil pans. The bottom square well will have to be sawed off.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    Last edited by xken; 05-02-19 at 07:24 PM.
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    First I had to saw off the square well on the original pan design. I set up and used my Sherline mill to do the cuts. I will save the cut offs to make additional parts needed.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-06-jpg

    Next I set up the pans and milled the saw cut smooth and the cut the recess for the new reconfigured wells. The pencil lines were added for reference to file the crown at the rear of the pan.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-07-jpg

    Once all the pans were filed and milled I cut them down the center to the proper width needed and glued the halves together. Now the pan can be drilled and the block tapped to receive the bolts. Next I cut and shaped the new well shape using blocks of basswood. Note the two forward pans have a round protrusion that I guess was a way to increase the oil capacity. The two rear pans do not have them.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-08-jpg

    The wood wells were glued in place and putty Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale applied and sanded for a smooth surface.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-09-jpg

    Here are the primed and painted oil pans ready for installation. Waiting for bolt order to arrive.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-09a-jpg

    Here is a picture compliments of the H.A.M.B. site provided by Kent the original builder that I am using for reference. The left one is the new configuration while the one on the right is a original Buick pan before being reworked.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-100_0493-jpg


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    The next major part rework was the front cover with the water pump which can be seen in the first photo posted above at the beginning of this thread. I machined off the water pump and trimmed the front cover to a blank smooth surface then marked and drilled all bolt hole locations and crankshaft hole locations on all four parts. Once marked up the next step was to mill the cooling fins. I used a cone router bit that had a round tip, then squared up the recesses with the end of a hobby blade that was trimmed square.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-11-jpg

    Here is a picture showing the parts in various stages.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-12-jpg

    Here is the test fit on the block with the rest of the parts so far including the valve covers. I decided to paint the block red on one engine leaving the other three primed. The other parts are sprayed with a Chrome paint for now. Here you can also see the angle of the oil pan.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-13-jpg

    Next will be linking the engine blocks and mounts to a working frame rails.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Next I pondered the joining of the engines to the frame rails and realized that in order to determine some relationships in space I needed to make the two scatter shields since they are basically round. So first I traced sawed and drilled two 1/32" mating parts. Then annealed 1/8" strips and formed the perimeter that slipped over the edge of the block. This shows the cuts of solder around the inside perimeter after flux was applied first to the brass.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-14-jpg

    This shows the solder joint after heat from the 120 watt iron was applied around the outside perimeter. The wood was watered down first to minimize the burn and setting off the smoke alarm which upsets the boss (wife).
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-15-jpg

    This shows one of two adapter parts fitted to the block. These will have the shields soldered to them.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-16-jpg

    Here the left front shield is added as well as the driveshaft flange and 1/4" brass tube that will align both engines.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-17-jpg

    This shows the two configurations and the right rear I know will have to be cut once I get to the engine mounts.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-18-jpg


    After a great deal of studying photos , measuring and tracing enlarged photos on computer screen, cutting and shaving and fussing I finally got a temporary engine stand holding the engines at the correct angle and rail distance apart based upon photo relationships. The time spent will be well worth it when making the engine mounts to the rails and to the engines themselves; as well as, aligning the 14 exhaust stacks down the center.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine19-jpg

    Finally all four engines coming together. Going to be a good size model.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine20-jpg

    Next I can now add the engine mounts. There will be mounts to the rails as well as mounts or braces to marry the engines to each other to form a strong unit.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  5. RAT23's Avatar Active Member
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    TOM
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    Looking good ken, what other material did you use for the scatter shield, tin?
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  6. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Rat23, Not tin, .032” brass sheet and the edge .032” x .125” brass strip. If interested in working with brass check out my Model T Boardtrack Racer build on this site.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  7. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    With a great deal of fussing and a little cussing I managed to get all the engine to rail mounts and bar bracing from the ends of the heads to all index onto the rails. There are two different mount designs and one side had to mirror the other with bracing triangles facing to the rear.

    This shows the parts breakdown for one of the engine mount designs.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-21-jpg

    Here they are fitted to the block using 00-90 Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale bolts.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-22-jpg

    This shows the other engine mount deign that mounts at the rear of the engine rather than use the existing side mounts. This design will require cutting and fitting the right rear engine shield.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-23-jpg

    Here is the test fit of the bracing bars that required milling holes in the ends of the heads for 1/16" tubes to index into for strength.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-24-jpg

    Challenge was to get all 8 of the half rounds to mate to the rail; this required the great deal of fussing.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-25-jpg

    Next will be the real challenge of fitting the 4 inner engine to engine braces. These will add the real strength and once bolted in place should allow removal of all 4 engines as a unit from the rails.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    Last edited by xken; 05-09-19 at 01:52 PM.
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  8. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Again more fussing to get a good tight fit for the center braces to make sure the engines align front to rear and side to side as they are suppose to. I did the forward brace first then the rear and once they were in place came the middle braces which are end to end only. Once all were in place the entire unit could be lifted form the rails with no flexing. This now allows the adding of the exhaust stacks.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-26-jpg

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-27-jpg

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-28-jpg

    Next came the milling of the exhaust ports in the heads for the exhaust stacks. I set up my angle table for the mill and using a 3/16" end mill cut all the holes in the eight heads.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-29-jpg

    Next came the the fun part bending the exhaust stacks. I will share my process for small tube bending that works for me. First I cut 4" lengths of 3/16" tubes; then annealed only the lower half at the end to be bent. Annealing is heating the tube to almost red and then quenching in water. This softens the half hard tube which can be done with any non-ferrous metal. Quenching steel is a hardening process. I then applied flux to the inside of the annealed end using a soaked Q-tip with some of the cotton removed to fit into the tube. This is the critical part. I then press fitted the annealed end into holes drilled into a piece of wood block, fit must be tight or solder will leak out the bottom when heated. I then inserted longer lengths of 1/8" 50/50 solder into each tube.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-30-jpg

    I then used a propane torch on a very low flame and and heated from the bottom up slowly so as to allow the air to escape. When the solder is heated the solder strip will sink into the liquid puddle inside the tube. This is a critical step to avoid air pockets inside the tube that will collapse when bending. It is a bit messy and I used tweezers to keep the solder strip in place as it sank into the tube. The excess will pop off since no flux was used. The goal is to have a solid core of solder adhered to the inside of the tube.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-31-jpg

    Next came the bending. I drilled two holes 3/16" apart and used two 1/4" round lathe tool bits. Here is where the annealing step comes into play; carefully and slowly bend the tube to 110 degrees and if no air pockets a perfect round bend. The upper not annealed half will stay straight since it is still half hard and will help as bend is developed.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-32-jpg

    The tubes were then marked for saw cuts and cut with a jeweler's saw clamped in a vise with the solid core helping in the vise. Once sawed the solder core was melted out by heating with the torch starting at the bent end a slowly work up the tube. Using the bent end will give you a very clean end at the top. Once the solder is melted out the tube was dropped into a container of water to maintain the annealing.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-33-jpg

    Each tube was then cleaned up with sanding Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale and filing as necessary to clean the burrs on the ends for a snug fit into the heads. I started down the centerline and rough fitted the tubes into position. The annealing enables slight bending need to adjust for alignment. The angle is determined by the tubes touching each other when starting at the front.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-34-jpg

    Next will be adding the flared ends to the tubes.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  9. RAT23's Avatar Active Member
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    TOM
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    Quote Originally Posted by xken View Post
    rat23, not tin, .032” brass sheet and the edge .032” x .125” brass strip. If interested in working with brass check out my model t boardtrack racer build on this site.
    thanks ken, i'll check it out.
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  10. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Once all the exhaust stacks were formed; cut and cleaned next was to add the flanges. At first I experimented with annealing and hammering a flange only to find that the tubes are seamed and the seam split when hammered using a dead center cone as a forming tool. Plan B then became using fine dynamite wire and form rings to be soldered on the ends. A counter sink was then used turning by hand to cut the inner surface to a flange. The end result turned out much better than I expected.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-35-jpg


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-36-jpg


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-37-jpg


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-38-jpg


    ​Next I will tackle the distributors; two of which have adapters to drive the fuel pumps for the mechanical fuel injectors.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  11. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I turned the four distributors which was just pretty straight forward out of aluminum. I then turned the body of the fuel pumps and milled half rounds on the sides to receive the 1/16" tubes for the fuel lines. Next was the riser which had a 1/8" counter bore to receive the 1/8" locating peg on the bottom of the distributor and also have a locating peg to index into the block.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-39-jpg

    Next was soldering the two risers to the fuel pump bodies using clamps to hold the tubes in place while soldering and centering the riser on an incline using gravity to hold while low flame was applied.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-40-jpg

    I then added the distributor clamping bracket to the top of the riser, the second one was turned right in with the riser. Holes were tapped 00-90 Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale for the retaining bolts.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-41-jpg

    This show the distributor clamps bolted in place on the risers and block.
    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-42-jpg


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #12

  12. JunkGTZ's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Larry
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    I came across this video of Tommy's Wagon Master which according to the announcer is the 2nd incarnation of the car you are building. Fun to watch it run and apparently this was its last run with Tommy at the wheel. Enjoy!

    QUOTE QUOTE #13

  13. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Thanks for posting and yes it was basically a rebody of the original. There is now a replica of the original that is non functional built by the builder of the first one. A 1:1 Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale model if you will. There are several videos posted showing it in action. In researching I found out that only the front tires smoked and that the center row of exhaust stacks were angled back to help disperse the smoke for better visibility going down the strip.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #14

  14. xken's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    Kenneth
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    Here is a view of the mechanical fuel injection units on the real car. These will take some time to fabricate to get all the details. Looks very complicated but when broken down to individual parts is rather simple.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-43-jpg

    Moving on to an "in progress" of the mechanical fuel injection units. There are a left and right unit with the left having the support bracket attached to the base for the fuel manifold. Below are the patterns with the bolt hole locations drilled to match the block intake manifolds. The blue marker is applied to better see the lines when sawing out the tube locations.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-43-jpg

    This shows the hole locations sawed out for the left sides for two engines. I hammered a chisel strike at the bend mark for easier bending and when bent into place the joint will be soldered when adding the reinforcing brace. This is what will hold the fuel manifold with the fuel lines to the individual units.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-44-jpg

    The injection units were cold formed with a transition from round at the top to square at the base. I used the handle end of a round file with the tang taper inserted into the 9/32" brass tube held in a lathe and hammered the file tang in to the size needed. I then cut off the length needed while in the lathe. I then made a fixture to index the tubes to cross drill for the linkage tube. To keep the linkage rod straight the tube was inserted through all the milled holes the the square ends pressed into holes and soldered. Then the holes were milled for the fuel line connections at the base end and 1/16" tube soldered into the holes.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-45-jpg

    Here the linkage tubes were cut and the 1/32" rods test fitted. Then short 1/4" tubes were inserted to function as a indexing shoulder for the ring with the screw holes in them.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-46-jpg

    Here the chisel strike is bent up ready for the brace since it will no longer interfere in fabrication. The rings carrying the .020" screw holes were sawed out and file fitted to the inner rings and then soldered in place and then filed smooth to match. Just time consuming fussy work.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-47-jpg

    Next the braces were cut and soldered in place on the bent bracket. I then made the eight velocity stacks using 1/4" aluminum tubing held in the lathe and the end hammered using a dead center tool and hammering gently while hand turning the lathe jaw; once the edge was rolled over I then gently hammered the end flat. I next polished the tube using Mother's Aluminum Wheel polish and cut off to length. This was a surprisingly fast operation with each stack taking less than 5 minutes start to finish with great results.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-48-jpg

    Here the four bases are test fitted to the block.

    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale-sb-engine-49-jpg

    Now back to making the next four before moving onto the fuel lines.


    Tommy Ivo's Showboat 1/8 Scale
    "In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is strength. In water there is bacteria."
    Ken

    QUOTE QUOTE #15

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