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    Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    by nickcouldry πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ ( Master Seaman)
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    πŸ“ She floats!!!
    18 days ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    Electrics arriving in dribs and drabs - the two 6v NiMh batteries sit nicely either side of where the engine will be installed so I made 'compartments' for them which they fit snugly and there'll be no risk of them falling out - seemed neater and more secure than using velcro and they're easy to extract.

    The twin Vickers turret and Carley float arrived from Battlecraft and they really look the thing - had fun painting them and completing the engine hatch which they'll be attached to.

    Did a rough positioning of the gizzards (I bottled making the engine mount and ordered one on fleabay but it'll take a while to arrive so I'll have to wait awhile to seat and seal the prop shaft.

    Fitted the portholes (unglazed - I'll glaze them after the hull is painted) and decided to see if she'd float and see how much ballast I'll need.

    I remembered to seal the prop shaft aperture with duct tape, filled her with the engine, batteries etc and gingerly lowered her into the churning maelstrom of our bathtub. Phew! I had a nasty moment when I saw a glittering on one side at the bottom, but fortunately only the bathroom light reflecting off some wood glue. She was floating about half an inch below the waterline so I used whatever was to hand as ballast. I'll need 450g near the bow and another 600g just astern of the engine compartment. Once the ballast's in I can get the deck down.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: She floats!!!
    18 days ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Coming along really well Nick,-like your battery boxes,-very tidyπŸ‘ Hatch and wheelhouse are looking great also.

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: She floats!!!
    18 days ago by Newby7 ( Rear Admiral)
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    She floats is a good thing Nick.Good update well done.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: She floats!!!
    18 days ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nick,
    One step closer and a big sigh of relief.
    Keep it up.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ“ Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    So I've got the hull all done, cut the apertures for the portholes and got the foredeck down. I can't really do any more until I have the gizzards. So ignoring the things that will actually make this vessel GO, I've concentrated on the fluff that will make it look nice πŸ˜‚

    I made a list of everything that will go on the deck with the links to various suppliers. But looking at it in the cold light of day I realised it would add up to an awful lot of moolah so I banished all thoughts of ESCs, water cooling, servos and inflammatory LiPo battery packs and got scratch building, using plastic card and the odd plastic lid. I won't do it all (Battlecraft's twin vickers turret and torpedo tubes are too beautiful to ignore - and you can see their ship's wheel and lifebelt in the pics) but had a go at some lockers and hatches. I've used a couple of portholes on the porthole hatches, applying a drop of PVA glue over the glazing which should provide a decent mask that I can remove once it's all painted.

    Here's how it's looking currently, with wheelhouse and some bits of foredeck litter placed on the deck just to see how it looks - come on, we all do it don't we?😜

    I've made a hinge for the mast so it can fold down in transit and held in place when erect by wires hooking onto the 'stick thing' at the front (you can tell I'm new to this can't you?)

    So regarding the gizzards: I'm going to stick to the original plan of one engine/prop (i'd hate to think what horrors would ensure if I tried to convert it to 2 props at this late stage - doable I know, but I want to keep things as simple as I am...)

    After various nocturnal saunters through Googleland, I've come up with a tentative plan:

    Motor: Fusion 3535/05 Brushless Motor 1500kv 35mm Outrunner

    ESC: Hobbywing Seaking-30A-V3 Speed Control (with a water-cooling setup)

    8" prop shaft with a 30mm prop, keeping it as close to the hull as possible without slicing a hole through it - to minimise any torque roll (you see - i'm learning!) Regarding the prop - RH or LH as there's only the one? And is brass worth the extra cost over plastic?

    Batteries: I like the idea of Nimh batteries as apparently I can use 2 battery packs which would help with weight distribution - but what packs - and how would I link them - any ideas?

    I think I know what I'm going to do with the rudders but I'll obviously need a servo. I've seen some rc packages that contain transmitter, receiver and servo - any advice on a half decent one that doesn't cost the earth?

    does all that make sense?
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    thanks rick!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by Newby7 ( Rear Admiral)
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    I like Nick. Keep up the good work.
    Rick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    Thanks Martin!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    thanks JB!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    I agree with JB,
    She is taking shape nicely.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Thornycroft Update
    26 days ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Looking good so far NickπŸ‘

    JB
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    πŸ“ Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    I love making plastic model kits but I've always fancied making an RC model boat ever since I saw a Leander class frigate being made by Bob Symes on TV in 'Model World' back in the 70s. Having had no model boat building experience and no knowledge of electronics I considered myself more than qualified to 'throw one together'... πŸ˜‚

    After half an hour on Google I found myself buying a set of Vic Smeed plans for a 1/24 scale Thornycroft MTB and a Belair kit for it. It was when they turned up that I realised what I'd let myself in for.

    Firstly I did a 'dry run' with the Belair Kit. All seemed reasonably straightforward so I got down to chamfering the keel pieces. Then I started glueing all the bits together, leaving a 1/4" gap for the propeller shaft. I didn't have a set square, so used some lego stolen from my son to make one.

    When my timber turned up I started to fit the chines and gunwale. I noticed my first gunwale strip had made the stem/bow/front bit too sharp. It needed a bit more curve, so I added a couple of 'spacers' to the inner strip so the outer strip would give a broader curve and ensured the inner strip wouldn't be pushed inwards by adding a strut from the stem reinforcement. I then started to apply the skin (1/16" ply), moving from stern to bow.

    Of course it started really easily, but as I approached the curvy bits towards the front I started to use cardboard to make patterns for the pieces of ply I'd be cutting. Some of these I'd soak in hot water for a couple of hours so I could get a decent bend to them. I used PVA glue with superglue for when I couldn't use clamps and needed an instant strong bond.

    On the hull pieces I decided to cut the apertures for the portholes, but wait until I'd varnished it all before fitting the nice shiny portholes I'd ordered from Amati.

    So as you can see, the bow looked a right state - I didn't have any clamps capable of bringing the skin together neatly at the front. I knew that whatever I used to fill it would have to be very tough to withstand the knocks I knew it would get in this landlubber's hands. So I used milliput, an epoxy putty that sets rock hard, won't crumble and is waterproof.

    I filled with wood filler, then gave it all a good sanding starting with coarse sandpaper, working down to a fine one. So here's where I'm up to - quite pleased as it looks the part and more or less symmetrical.

    Now I need to think about what I'll be putting inside it to make it go so I can fit and seal the prop shaft, varnish and then see if she floats
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    thanks JB - yes, got that image and 2 others - interesting history! thanks for explaining torque roll - i was going to keep the prop as close to the hull as possible - maybe a 25 - 30mm one
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Gathering a spot of dust Martin, probably needs the decks swabbing😁, mind you, if you've ever seen pics of the full sized ones in the war, mine looks brand new compared to some😁. Don't think they had much time to look after them, just basic maintenance, a cuppa and out again.

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nick, to minimise possible torque roll (quite often caused by too steep a shaft angle, causing the boat to roll on the bow,) try and keep the prop as close to the hull as possible (that's one of the reasons racing boats use parallel cable drives and stinger drives for better thrust line and control). Also, too big a diameter prop with too powerful a motor will cause roll as shown. Try and get a small prop going fast, it will lessen the roll, ( the shafts in mine spin at about 12,000 RPM). Not sure if you have this pic of the original subject. A bit of history as well. Apparently no 49 was a 75 footer, (according to records)

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    Thanks Rowen - ok, was originally going to stick to one engine for simplicity, but everyone seems to be saying two will be better (gulp) - gonna ponder this and i may be in touch regarding the specs for your RTTL...

    cheers, nick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    great stuff - thanks so much JB! looks a cracking model and those images and technical details have given me a lot of food for thought - i've been struggling to find references for all the deck 'clutter' as i've only found a couple of long shot visual references for the original vessel. i think i'm going to stick with the one motor for the time being and discover what 'torque roll' is on her maiden voyage...🀣

    best, Nick
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    She is showing her age now Jb,

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Rowen, the original plan was for a single Albon Marine Javelin diesel (50s) which would have been fun to start in a scale type boat (I had Davis Charlton diesels and they were cows to start at times, not to mention messy!) I had a DC Spitfire in the 60s which I contemplated fitting in mine, but the thought of the starting cord ripping the scale bits off made me use electrics.

    You are right with the twin set-up (you would struggle to fit a triple set-up in these due to a lack of room and access to the internal spaces) which I've used in mine which runs and turns nicely. I think a lowish powered single would be ok, but they are quite narrow (8"), although the bottom is almost flat at the transom, which might help stability. I kept my props as close as possible to the bottom to prevent any lift. The bow is quite fine, so you don't want it digging in on turns.

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by RHBaker ( Lieutenant Commander)
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    Imagine the scale layout is for triple screws.
    Did this with my Brave Borderer, for which there is a blog. Would not recommend that though for a new modeller.
    A single screw will work, but brings sensitive handling issues. Not insurmountable, but it is the simplest installation.
    Am finishing off a 34" long R.A.F RTTL withe twin screws. Powered by two brushless 37 kv motors and 35mm brass screws.
    A test run recently showed great, stable performance. A more complex layout, but worth the trouble. Particulary as your earlier steps look so good.
    Drop me a personal note and will dig out the specs if you decide to do that.
    Rowen
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by jbkiwi ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nick, started this one from the Vic Smeed plan (which I bought around 1966) about 45yrs ago and finished it around 25yrs ago, thought some pics might be of help. It is best to fit your your rudder set -up (especially the scale type) at this stage, and make sure it all works and the servo placed so you can get at it easily, as you will most likely not be able to get to it later.

    With the external scale rudders, you will need to make them removable to be able to get the shaft/s out for greasing etc (unless you fit oiler tubes). I used brass electrical connecters so that the top pin is the back of the steering arm and the lower screw holds the rudder shaft. The rudder shafts run in bushed brass tubes soldered to the brackets. The rudder tillers are linked with a rod and a clevis on both ends, with one side having a tiller and another connection for the servo (I have the servo under the front hatch, and a cable which runs to a bell-crank attached to the rear deck, which hooks to the tiller connection ,- you could set all this up easily at this stage) If you are using this twin set-up, you would need to sort out all the angles before soldering the tillers. The bell-crank is placed for ease of adjustment.

    You can also run all your wiring outside the inner frame at this point (add more for later extras,)- LEDs can be fitted also as there is nowhere for cabin lights to shine through due to the solid frame, - I had to try and do it later and it was not fun😐) I use speaker double wire as it usually has + and - marked . You can drill holes in the inner frame now, where you need the wires to enter/exit for particular items. this makes life a bit easier unless you have very small hands and arms. Your ESC and motor wires can be left out in the hull, for ease of fitting.

    Re - motors, I used 2 -12v high revving brushed 380 motors (very cheap to replace) with homemade brass shafts and 3 bladed 25mm props (mainly for a more scale look). The motors are cooled with clip on heat sinks and a large 12v computer fan mounted in the bulkhead of the engine compartment. They can get quite hot, but have been in there for years. They run it at a pretty scale speed and will run for hours on a 3s 3000Mah lipo. You can use the Hobbywing brushed ESCs which are very good, or the cheap car ESCs which I have changed it to recently, (they aren't perfect but they are cheap and work well).

    Brushed set-ups are far cheaper than brushless, but brushless are more powerful but can be quite expensive. You can of course just use a single motor and std rudder, but you might have issues with torque roll due to the narrow hull. I'd recommend twins with counter rotating props which cancel this out. A single brushed 540 motor of around 30T on a 2s LiPo and a 30mm prop should push it quite nicely if you want to make it less complicated. It's still a bit of trial and error, but you have to start somewhere. For reference, my MTB weighs 2.7kg with battery. There is a vid in the media gallery (under Thornycroft MTB,) if you want to check the performance with the twin 380s.

    Hope this gives you a few ideas.

    JB
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    i know - i was gobsmacked when i discovered there was still one in the country - and only 20 miles away from me!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Model Shop! what's that LOL!!!!
    I thought that was a thing of the past LOL!!

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    heh heh - i'm sure someone will be able to help - i've got a model boat shop not too far away in windsor so they may be able to offer advice!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Nick,
    I am sure you will get some answers from other members that will help.

    As I am the type of guy that will fit anything that i had lying around just to see what happens LOL!!
    So i don't feel qualified to give you a proper answer.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    hi martin - yes, but many of them have two props and i guess it will be dependent on size/weight etc - the original plans call for a what i guess is a 2 stroke engine - a marine javelin (i don't want to go up that creek just yet) - wondering what electric motor would suit to push about 2 kilos or so of wood and plastic through the water at a reasonable rate...
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Nick.
    Have you looked around the site at other MTB builds to see what is powering them ?

    Is there any recommendations in the kit instructions ?

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    hi fred - yes on the model boat mayhem facebok page - thanks for the compliment! dunno how i'm going to power her - i want to go electric to keep it simple (and to match my experience) 🀣

    as she only has the one prop and is quite large i imagine i'd need a reasonably beefy off the shelf motor to get to a decent scale speed (5-6 knots??) - anything you'd recommend?
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    thanks martin - really appreciate the kind words - i've learned a lot and i'm really enjoying the build. just hope she floats! πŸ€”
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Fred ( Midshipman)
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    Hi Nick

    That is looking great for a first timer, keep up the good work.

    Did you post on another forum that you were going to start this build?
    I only ask as I made this boat back in the early 90's from 1/8" ply and used a heater motor from a Ford Cortina as the power plant.

    Fred
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Martin555 ( Fleet Admiral)
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    Hi Nick,
    You have made a great start with your build log and as a first time RC Boat builder you have done a fantastic job so far.
    I am looking forward to seeing the next instalment.

    Martin555.
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by nickcouldry ( Master Seaman)
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    thank you!
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    πŸ’¬ Re: Newbie takes on Vic Smeed's Thornycroft 73' 9" MTB
    1 month ago by Seanympth ( Petty Officer 1st Class)
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    Amazing work. Thank you for sharing. Well doneπŸ‘
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