The EeZeBILT range of boats was designed in the 1950s, in fact, they were released exactly 50 years ago last December (2008), and remained unaltered until they were withdrawn. So Christmas 2008 was their 50th birthday and they are 50 years old in 2009!
Other vintage modelling sites specialise in saving and displaying old models for nostalgia value. I do that too, of course, but I think that we should also look to the future. With that in mind, and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the range, I would like to announce a challenge. Can you do better than a designer from half a century ago?
What I have in mind is the creation of a new range of designs, similar in style to the old ones, but suitable for introducing modern children to boat building. So they might be a bit bigger than the 10 3/4" Small range, to allow for radio, but they should still be as easy to build. Any new designs made can be published here, under the title of "EeZeBILT 50+"
The aim of the 50+ range will be to emulate the style and feel of an original KK Eezebilt.The originals were boats:
- primarily made of 1/8-1/16 balsa
- of standardised construction, with a central flat plate on which formers were errected
- cheap and easy to assemble, suitable for children to build
- used a standard 5 3/4" propeller shaft and rudder unit
- distributed in a box with maximum dimensions 18"x3"x1.5"
- detailed with accessories made from common household items such as paperclips!
The above directions can be interpreted fairly loosely (particularly if the spirit is still maintained!), but more points will be awarded to designers who manage to produce boats which match the commercial requirements of cheapness and simplicity, as well as interesting design. And in this challenge, points mean...well, just points, really...
It would be nice to think that designs from this range could be passed to modern children for building. We seem to have standardised by presenting designs so that they can be printed onto A4 paper which can be pinned to balsa and then cut straight through - allowing a larger boat to be created by printing on A3...
At the beginning of 2015, the 50+ range is about 5 years old.
We have 7 boats in the range, just like the originals, and a small but dedicated following on several continents! The EeZeBilt concept has been covered by a couple of modelling magazines, and there already seems to be a 'Small' group of boats of 12" or so and a 'Large' group at around 20". Go and look for yourselves at the