how to make a rc battleship that shoots

How To Make A RC Battleship That Shoots In 10 Steps


Constructing a battleship is a hobby with great risk. Because it’s expensive and there aren’t any windows to make mistakes. That’s why planning and good foresight matter a lot in this project. 

So, how to make a rc battleship that shoots?

Start by choosing a ship and acquiring a 1/144th scale blueprint. Then you’ve to improvise and create some more patterns for the hull and ribs. Make the hull and install stuffing tubes. When done, install cannons, rudders, and props. Then, install drive motors, batteries, and plumbing systems. Lastly, paint the ship and do a stability test. 

Anyways, that was only a brief of this vast process. Keep reading if you want to know more about warships and their building process. 

Let’s not wait around any longer and head right in- 

Making A RC Battleship With Cannons: Step By Step

This task takes about 2 months to be completed. But relax! We’ve simplified it to make it more comprehensible. Just go through the steps one by one-

Step 1: Choose a Ship & Get 1/144th Scale Blueprints

Building a good RC aircraft or warship is impossible without planning. But before that, you’ve to choose a warship first. 

When you’ve decided, find a 1/144th scale blueprint online. Some of them can be found online for free. Others may cost you around 30 to 150$. 

Step 2: Create a Pattern Set 

The plans may not have everything written or drawn. So, be ready to adapt and improvise. 

For example, ribs may not be shown correctly. In that case, draw the hull and choose ribs spacing by yourself. A pro tip is to use 2” spacing between each rib. 

Step 3: Construct the Hull

For the hull, you can either choose plywood or PVC. You’ll also need a strong glue for this. 

First, build a cap rail and glue the ribs afterward. Check for any wraps when you’re done. After that, strengthen the hull by installing hardwood strips. 

Be sure to apply fiberglass cloth at the bottom for protection against abrasives.  

Step 4: Install the Prop Stuffing Tubes 

You’ll need multiple 12 inches long 7/32” brass tubes to use as stuffing tubes. On top of that, you’ll need 3/16” and ¼” brass tubes.

Now, choose the motor locations first. Then create some holes in the hull. Insert the shafting tubes right after. Then fill the oversized holes with epoxy putty. 

Step 5: Install the Cannons and the Rudder 

Start by assembling the cannons. Install the actuator and CO2 fittings. Then install the barrel, rotation, and elevation system respectively.

Make a paper pattern for the cannon baseplates. Place it on the hull and find the optimal spot. Then cut the hull and place the baseplates. 

Attach the cannons with a drilling machine now. Install the rotating servo right after.  

For rudder, choose a location and follow the same procedure. Use a thin brass sheet to cut a rudder out. This part can be difficult to execute with bare hands. So, make sure to wear gloves. You can use the same gloves that can be used while making RC boat trailer.

Step 6: Install the Props & Shafts

Get the brass tubes and insert them into the prop stuffing tubes. Adjust them if necessary.

Now, choose a proper set screw spot for the prop. Once done, attach the prop with set screws. 

Select another set screw spot for the drive hardware. Cut a spot, attach the shaft, and put the drive hardware. Then fill up the stuffing box with grease. 

Step 7: Install Drive Motors

Warships don’t require a hefty amount of power. That’s why it’s best not to use airplane or car motors. 

You’ll need a 6V-12V motor with at least 5000 RPM. These are more than enough for your ship. 

For batteries, NiMH batteries are recommended. Because the discharge rate of LiPo is steady but you can’t fully discharge them.  

Step 8: Install the CO2 Tank & Pump

It’s time to arm the cannons. But there’s a rule regarding your cannon diameter. Here, have a look- 

Cannon Diameter CO2 Tank Capacity
3 Inch 2 Oz
4 Inch 4 Oz
5 Inch 6 Oz

The CO2 tank must be installed at the center. Otherwise, the ship won’t be balanced. 

As for the pump, it has to be at the rear of the ship. You can use a mesh net to prevent it from being clogged. 

Step 9: Install the Wiring & Plumbing System

For wiring, you’ll need power buses and the switch. Place the power buses around the batteries. When done, install the switch under the deck. 

Now, it’s time to set up the plumbing system. Start by installing the firing valves. Then get the servo motors and mount them as high as possible. 

This step may seem a bit messy but don’t worry! You can use a good toolkit for RC to reduce time and effort. 

Step 10: Finishing Up

With wiring and plumbing complete, we’re at the end. There are a couple of things to do, still. 

First, you’ve to install the hull sheet and paint them. Use a separate sheet for bow and stern. For paint, use a silk span before painting the hull. 

Speaking of paint, here are our recommendations-

Paint 1
Paint 2

You can now pick whichever you prefer more and get started! 

When done, mount the RC gears on the ship and install a recovery line. Then take the boat for a stability test. 

If the boat floats successfully, good job. If not, alter the placements till you get it right. 


Question: How to install a recovery line in an RC battleship? 

Answer: Find an open spot that hasn’t been used. Preferably in the bow or stern area. Tie the recovery line tightly and keep the length of 5 inches. 

Question: Should I cover the RC battleship with a silk span? 

Answer: A silk span helps hide wood grain and adds a smooth finish. Besides, it also increases the strength of the wood and prevents cracks and damages. 

Question: Should I use a water-tight box in an RC Battleship? 

Answer: Yes, you should. If you can fit a water-resistant box, try to keep the servos in it. It’s a great protection method for servos and other electronic devices. 

Take Away

That was all we could gather and explain how to make a rc battleship that shoots. The process itself is huge but we hope we were able to give you a surface idea. 

Finally, good luck and happy sailing!

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