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African Queen Plans

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Old 02-19-2004, 08:23 PM
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Gremlin Castle
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Default African Queen Plans

Has anyone here ever seen or heard of any plans for the African Queen save the Billings kit?
I am looking for enough information to build a 72" model.
Fifty years experience as a model plane builder lead me to think that over the years several peopls would have built operating models but apparently that isn't so or else they aren't coming up on Google and other search engine efforts.
Any leads would be appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2004, 04:28 AM
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Umi_Ryuzuki
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

We had a person build and sail one, steam powered, at our first regatta two years ago.
But I am pretty sure it was the Billings Kit.

Perhaps you could contact Billings and purchase a plan set directly from them.
Then rescale them for the larger project.[8D]
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Old 02-20-2004, 12:38 PM
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Gremlin Castle
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

The Billings plans don't cover any hull details since the furnish a molded hull in their kit.
I did get to touch the real African Queen this past Fall.
It is located in Key Largo Florida and is owned by the local Holiday Inn owner James Hendricks. The boiler that you see in the movie is sitting in the lobby of the Holiday Inn. (www.africanqueen.net)
Hendricks is not a modeler and didn't seem to know what if anything had been done as far as model plans.
The boat is currently under some restoration and rebuild so that it will pass the Coast Guard requirements for tours and rides in the bay.
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Old 02-20-2004, 05:04 PM
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

Oooh, bad timing... I saw a model of it less than a month ago. I'm not sure whether it was scratch bui8lt or not, but if it was from a molded hull, the builder did a fine job of finishing it with wood inside and out. The Queen was among a bunch of R/C scale boats on a temporary indoor pond at the York (PA) county fairgrounds -- live steam powered, too.

I saw it at a twice a year event -- next one's in August. Meanwhile, I'll see whether anything I have points to a club or something where I can ask about it.

What you might try (something the guys there pointed me to) would be to see what they have at the Mystic Seaport museum -- they collect plans for significant boats -- and I think the African Queen would qualify!
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Old 02-21-2004, 05:54 PM
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

Thanks for the lead on the Mystic Seaport Museum.
I hope that someday I will cross paths with someone that is familiar with the German company that made these steam launches.
Apparently there was more than one that was used/consumed during the making of the African Queen.
Any other thoughts or leads would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2004, 07:29 AM
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

seen a few Africa Queens sailing ,generally steam powered, in UK. suggest you go to www.modelboats.co.uk enter forum and ask there for plans
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Old 03-03-2004, 08:55 PM
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

Thanks for that tip also.
I have to believe that someone at some time has done something larger than the Billings kit.
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Old 04-15-2004, 11:48 AM
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Default RE: African Queen Plans

Well I still haven't found a source for plans for the African Queen. This thing seems to be a rather elusive project in that everyone has seen or heard of somebody doing one but no one with direct experience has come forth.
I may try to contact Billings and see if they would share information as to where they got the information for the hull dimensions and shape.
As always any leads would be appreciated.
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Old 01-26-2014, 06:45 AM
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African Queen: There was an articale of a scratchbuilt model of the Africa Queen in th October issue of Scale Ship Modeler magazine 1986. It can be found online at times an if you can track down the publisher, it is availible on cd-rom. This article shows graet details as the boat appeard in the movie, nothing like the Billings kit. The modeler gives measurements also. I have seen a fiberglass hull of the African Queen made in England by Kingston Mouldings which is 1:10 scale = 36" x 101/2".

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Old 10-28-2014, 02:41 PM
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Kingston Mouldings of England makes a large hull of the African Queen. See my photos for details of the boat and boiler as seen in the movie. The Original Queen has been restores and has tours im Key Largo Florida at the Holiday Inn. It does not resemble the movie boat as it has had many renovations over the years.

The historic African Queen was brought to Key Largo by the late Mr. Jim Hendricks.

I spoke with the people who restored the Queen and who run the tours, and she said the hull is actually 28 feet 11 inchs long. Remember the 30 foot mentioned in the book was before Forrester purchased the boat.

The riverboat was built in Lytham Shipyards in St Anne's, Lancashire, England in 1912 and named Steam Launch Livingston or S. L. Livingston. For years, it carried freight and passengers on Lake Alberta in Uganda in the service of the British East Coast Railway.

In 1951, Director John Huston found the Steam Launch and renamed it African Queen for his film. The African Queen.

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Old 10-28-2014, 06:44 PM
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Here is a link to a PDF of the Billings African Queen Plans. It is not accurate and shows how to build it as it looks today. The boiler is all wrong. I would build it with electric motor with a dummy boiler like in the movie, perhaps with sound effects and a smoke genrator like model train engines. Look at my Gallery and read the details for info to transform the Billings model.
http://www.billingboats.com/instruct...nstruction.pdf
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:11 PM
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The boiler at the Holiday Inn, looks nothing like the one in the movie. It may be the original one that was in the Queen at the time Jim bought it, so the brass plate may be misleading. The boiler in the film was fake, just a shell. At times the dummy boiler was removed for closeups of Rose & Charlie. The boat was powered by a diesel engine hidden under the green box near the benches. (The exhaust may have been diverted into the engine to make the cylinder move and eventualy piped into the chimney and vented out.)
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Old 02-07-2019, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Gremlin Castle View Post
Has anyone here ever seen or heard of any plans for the African Queen save the Billings kit?
I am looking for enough information to build a 72" model.
Fifty years experience as a model plane builder lead me to think that over the years several peopls would have built operating models but apparently that isn't so or else they aren't coming up on Google and other search engine efforts.
Any leads would be appreciated.
The Billings is way out of scale. The Kingston Mouldings has a hull with plans but he is retired so you need to purchase second hand. The original model used for rapid scenes in the film is at Pusser's Bar & Grille in Indianapolis MD.
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