Let's Make Robots!

Icebreaker Lenin

I started this project this summer. It's a model of the Russian Nuclear Icebreaker Lenin. Originally I was going to use cupper as the skin but I had difficulty fixing it to the rib so I decided to take the easy way out and use fiberglass. The ship will be a robot in the sense that it will have DP 2nd class. What this means is that it will be radio controlled with the ability to hold position and move to specified co-ordinates while holding the desired heading just like a real ship would. The position will be held using a compass, GPS, and either a laser or sonar. I might take it one more step and also set up a taut wire.





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"What this means is that it will be radio controlled with the ability to hold position and move to specified co-ordinates while holding the desired heading just like a real ship would."

Some serious stuff! I already want to try and move it, and see it getting back on track by itself!

Brilliant for smuggling, did you think about that? Or what about assisting people living on remote islands? Could bring the paper and some fresh milk over! And return!

Cool! What will drive it?

I used to fly RC Gliders... I see your workbench there and all I can see is 1/2 of a 3 meter wing being built. All those ribs in neat-little order, waiting for some CA.

Good stuff.

Hello and thanks.


The ship will be made to spec so it will have 3 props and one rudder. I believe the real one had bow thrusters but my plans don't show that so I do have some searching around to do. Also I'm not 100% sure if the Lenin had DP but that is a feature that all the vessels that I work on have and it's a really cool one so I decided to put it on the Icebreaker.


As for the ribs in neat little order. There is a 5 foot long wing just above the picture from a piper cub which maybe one day can be turned into a drone.


What motor(s) will drive it?

The ship has two screws on the sides and one directly in front of the ruder. So there will be three motors driving it. I am using 3 cheep motors that are 6VDC. I pulled these motors from my previous model that was too big for me to bring along. The model was a 8.25' long French battleship. I might eventually replace the motors with something more powerful.



I just put on the first layer of skin. I will add 2-3 more after this dries completely and the rudder assembly is added on the back. I put just one layer on so that I will be able to clean up any problem spots and make sure there is no mistakes.


Your hull looks great. I’m building a plug for a fiberglass mould that seems to be about the same size (120cm). I need two hulls since I am building a catamaran  version of the Whirligig http://letsmakerobots.com/node/16995.

Maybe I should have used your approach and covered the bulkheads with fiberglass instead of filling the void with foam.  Too late to change that now. I’ll get there anyway J



This looks good!

My initial idea was to have the whole thing made out to metal. I was going to have the ribs cut from steel or cupper with a water jet cutter and cover it with the same material. I then change to having the ribs out of plywood and just cover with cupper but when I was securing the cupper to the ribs it was splitting the ribs even though everything was predrilled. So in the end I decided to just stick to fiberglass. If I went the fiberglass root from the beginning I would have taken your approach and made a negative then a positive impression. You don't have to compete with ribs and any imperfections would be eliminated in the negative stage.
That ship has got an odd hull shape. Very Russian. i like soviet and Russian machines because of their style and shape. 

It did start its service in 1959 and finished in 1989.

I wanted to build this ship since I got the plans 13 years ago.