Sub Chaser Project

  • Posted on: 6 March 2015
  • By: Spencer Anderson

SCI Class Sub-Chaser Boat Kit 37-1/2" 1/35 Dumas


A total of nine members of the PSMS have taken on the challenge of building an RC model of a WW I Sub Chaser. The wooden model kit, manufactured by Dumas, is in 1:35 scale, and measures 38” long.


The Sub Chaser was a wooden boat, measuring 110 feet long. They were rushed into production to combat the U-Boat activity in the Atlantic, Europe, and along the U.S. coast. They were manufactured almost anywhere there was appropriate wood available to local boat builders, such as Wisconsin, Michigan, Maine, Virginia, and Philadelphia. France and England each purchased over one hundred of these narrow-beamed boats, with the U.S. retaining an equivalent number.


They were powered by three petrol engines, although the kit provides instructions for a single screw.  Most of the members building the model are modifying the construction to three propellers, some with a single motor and gears, some with three motors.  Others will add unpowered propellers, perhaps just for static display.


The balsa provided for planking the hull is ½ inch wide. More realistic results can be had by cutting the stock to 1/4 inch and letting the seams show. Similarly, instructions call for using 36 inch long, ½ inch wide basswood planking for the deck.  These result in planks that would have been nearly one hundred feet long, and between one and two feet wide… not exactly typical.  Narrower, shorter plank stock should improve the overall appearance of the model. Also, portholes are available through Harbour Models, which will improve the appearance when used instead of the provided decals.


Detailed plans and photographs are available for modelers wishing to detail the interior of the pilot house. A very good collection of resources is available on the web at


Spencer Anderson