This is my custom
painted radio controlled boat named after our pet turtle, Shelby. There's
a nice lake nearby where I like to run sometimes, or spend time with the fiance
either walking our dog or feeding the resident turtles. I never had a
radio controlled boat before, so I thought it might be nice to have one to bring
to the lake sometimes. But let me tell you more about its namesake.
My girlfriend at the
time (now fiance) was a preschool teacher. It was suggested by the
preschool director that every class have a classroom pet. Her class
decided upon a turtle, so she and I went out to the local pet store and picked
at a red ear slider for her class. The preschool paid for the turtle,
tank, basking lamp, food, filter and other basic supplies, and I volunteered my
time to build a makeshift island for it. The class took a vote and named
the turtle, Shelby.
The first island I
built was made out of wire and plastic. The plastic was stacked in two
layers, with faux stone paint on top to replicate a sandy beach. A fake
plant bought in the arts and craft section represented a small tree, and the
wires were used to prop the island at a reasonable level. I would come
into the classroom every now and then to help clean the tank or make sure the
island was still ok.
After a few months,
a parent complained about a pet in another classroom, so the director wanted all
of the pets to be moved elsewhere. Shelby was taken home to us, and I
started work on a new island.
images below to see larger images
I found an acrylic
stand at work that was about to be thrown away and brought it home. An
acrylic box was attached to the stand, so I glued wooden popsicle sticks around
the surface to create a "shack." I painted the shack with craft
paint and attached some craft palm trees to the side. Inside, I placed a
small table with a personalized craft surfboard (I've seen Shelby sleep on it
Part of the acrylic
stand was heated to soften the material and to create a dip for the new island
to dip into the water. The island was again painted with faux stone paint
to replicate a sandy beach. To complete the beach scene, I added a plastic
Jack Sparrow figure (she liked to sleep next to it as well) and a wooden sign
out front that said "Shelby's Shack." The island was suspended
over the water using suction cups attaching the acrylic to the aquarium sides.
As you can tell with
the pictures, Shelby was a cute turtle who enjoyed swimming, basking, and
chasing after her food container (she would follow it all the time). She
loved Jack Sparrow, her island, and a plastic plant she would hang onto and
sleep on. Unfortunately, last February (2009), Shelby passed away.
We miss her still, and continue to feed her distant cousins at the lake.
I finished the RC
boat before she passed, but I wanted to give some background information on its
namesake. The RC boat is one I found online for around ~$35. I
bought it because it was reasonably priced, had good reviews and looked like a
warship. The gray plastic and markings were boring and too toylike for my
tastes. I was considering repainting it in camouflage or some other gray
pattern, but I eventually settled on a high viz Coast Guard scheme.
process is pretty straightforward involving a lot of masking tape and some
custom decals. I wish I had taken more pictures before I took it to the
lake for the first few times, since some of the decals smeared after a while.
On the front of the superstructure, I made a decal for its launch date, and on
the stern I added the ship's name.
Just recently, I
finished a stand for it and too more pictures. The stand was made from
wood bought at Hobby Lobby, which was then stained and given a polyurethane
coating. The letters were also from a craft store and spray painted gold.
Hope you guys enjoy
it. Every time I take the USCGC Shelby out to the lake I think of our late
pet turtle and how any miniature drug runners had better beware.
images below to see larger images