Building RC Higgins 78 foot PT in 1:16 scale

This blog will follow the construction of an electric powered, RC controlled, scratch built model of a Higgins 78 foot PT boat.  I have built several other similar boats in smaller scale, the largest a 1:20 model of a 77 foot ELCO.  But having returned to New Orleans, living near City Park and Bayou St. John, where the Higgins PTs were built and initially launched, I wanted to build a boat to operate on the Bayou.  The Bayou is a tidal estuary and the waters can be rough in windy weather.  In addition, there are commonly floating hazards, from bottles and bags to driftwood and turtles.  And the occasional gator.  So I wanted a boat large enough and strong enough to operate safely.  The smaller, 1:32 scale boats, would be fine on calm days in the inner part of the Bayou, but probably not able to function in rougher waters.  I also wanted performance to at least appear to match the prototype with a boat that would plane and show a small rooster tail at speed.  And a finished boat that would appear, at least from a modest distance to be realistically armed and have animated functions that would make it fun.  These latter desired characteristics led to my exploration of computer chip controlled LED lighting and sound.   The posts will be in reverse chronologic order and updated monthly.