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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Vintage Model Works 46" RAF Crash Tender
>> Permalink
Vintage Model Works 46" RAF Crash Tender Print Booklet
Author: robbob   Posts: 62   Photos: 282   Subscribers: 15   Views: 10347   Responses: 137   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 1 of 7   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7
The Hull Markings - Posted: 19th Feb 2017
The paint on the hull has sufficiently hardened and needs a couple of coats of clear lacquer to protect it but before that happens I need to apply the hull markings.
The waterslide decal set that was supplied with my kit was probably at least 5 years old when I bought the kit on eBay and they had deteriorated so badly that when I put the large ‘FIRE’ lettering panel in some warm water it fragmented and clearly was not usable.
I called Mike Cummings at vintage Model works and explained my dilemma and he very generously agreed to supply me with a replacement set, and in addition a set of the recently available printed vinyl letters and markings that they now produce.
I decided to use the vinyl set as a quick test piece with the waterslide set revealed that the white ink is not solid and therefore not completely opaque. Furthermore I could not eliminate the ‘silvering’ effect that happens on waterslide decals despite using various lotions and potions such as Humbrol Decalfix and Microsol/Microset solutions. A test piece with the vinyl lettering sheet was far more successful and when over-lacquered on the test piece the results were very acceptable.
Starting with the large FIRE lettering I cut a paper template the same size as the complete word and fixed this with low tack masking tape on the hull, this paper was then outlined in more masking tape to form a window and the vertical spacing of the letters transferred to this to keep the correct spacing.
Vertical strips of tape were then used as positioning guides for the letters which were individually cut and placed so that I could eliminate all but the solid white letters and give them a hard edge.
Feeling very pleased with myself I removed the masking tape guides and realised to my horror that I had set the baseline of the letters far too close to the waterline and the vertical proportions were completely wrong ….disaster 😱
Feeling ashamed that I could make such a basic error I abandoned the lettering and called Mike at VMW and described my foolish error, no problem he said, I’ll send you another vinyl sheet and also some additional drawing that were missing from my kit that would help with detail finishing.
My second attempt with the new vinyl sheet employed the same process but I was careful to measure, mark and check the positions (several times!) before starting.
The roundel and numerals positions at the bow and the stern were carefully measured and marked using the supplied drawings and masking tape ‘guides’ used to fix their positions before application.
Lastly the roman numerals that span the waterline at the bow and stern were marked, cut and individually applied.
I also took the opportunity to fix in place a couple of modified 6mm portholes to replicate the aft cockpit drain outlets, in the photo is the ‘94’ waterslide decal which I later removed and replaced with vinyl when I could not eliminate the ‘silvering’ problem.
A big Thank You to Mike Cummings at Vintage Model works for replacing the lettering sheets TWICE! and for the extra drawings, I call that exceptional after sales service !.
Cheers Mike 👍👍 .

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The life rings. - Posted: 12th Feb 2017
The white metal life rings supplied in the fittings kit not only look flat and uninteresting but more than that they weigh in at 57 grams individually and along with the rest of the metal fittings above deck will raise the centre of gravity quite a lot and may affect the roll of the hull on turns. Well that’s my theory anyway and I’m using it to justify replacing them with something lighter and more pleasing to the eye.
I found some plastic ones on eBay that were roughly the same diameter for a couple of pounds each that looked ideal.
The rope detail needed to be added to them to replicate the originals and this was done with some nylon cord that I superglued into slots filed into the circumference. I then wound seven turns to form the quadrants, securing each turn with a spot of glue and ensuring that the ends all arrived on what will be the underside of the rings.
They were then sprayed with a couple of coats of white acrylic and the red bands brush painted.
The weight of the new life ring is 19 grams, exactly one third of the metal one and it looks, to my eye, a million times better 😁
To locate them on the engine room roof I cut some 3mm plasticard wedges and superglued them in place, the actual fixing will be two small screws from the underside of the roof.
The white metal ones will make ideal ballast weights if I need to make any adjustments 😉

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by boaty on the 15th Feb 2017
I agree with you on the metal fittings being too heavy.

Three years ago when I restored an old 34 inch Crash Tender I bought a complete set of them and was surprised how much weight they added to the boat.

I haven't got round to changing them yet but I am now considering it.

Applying the waterline. - Posted: 11th Feb 2017
I have used a vinyl tape made by Trimline rather than trying to paint one. Starting at the stern the tape conceals the join between the red oxide anti fouling and the black gloss sides.
This is then continued to the bow but it has to cross the spray rail and this part gave me the most trouble. I ended up masking and painting the line at this point as I could not get the tape to conform to the multiple angles involved 😠 Visually it looks a bit odd and It’s far from perfect but I can’t afford to waste too much on it. Perhaps after some flatting down it will look better.
If anyone has a quick, simple and accurate method of doing this I’d love to know the secret 😞

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by jarvo on the 12th Feb 2017
I think you are being to critical of yourself, you are viewing the line at close quarters, from a foot away i think it would be invisible to all
Response by Dave M on the 13th Feb 2017
Hi Mark
Unless you are looking exactly at the side of the model with your eyes aligned to the level of the line it will look wrong because the spray rail is raised from the hull.
If you remember the old type of analogue volt meter, the better ones used to have a mirror on the scale to ensure you were viewing from the correct angle.
I suspect now that we have aired the matter many will notice this on model boats.
I suppose we are all wishing to achieve the correct finish to our models and yes we are sometimes too exacting.
Response by robbob on the 13th Feb 2017
Hi Boatshed.
Try as I might I could not achieve what you have done with the trimline tape, I'll put it down to my inexperience, this is only my second boat build in over 60 years!
Hi Javro.
You're quite right, I'm being too critical of myself and striving for perfection and failing is just beating myself up for nothing !
Looks even better from two feet away !
Hi Dave M.
I still have my trusty Avo 8 meter with it's parallax scale, not much help in this case though 😁
Part 2. The searchlight optics. - Posted: 31st Jan 2017
The reflector that I originally used for testing came from Maplins and was not a particularly good fit and it also produced a broad diffused light, but I found another lens from the same supplier that could be adapted to fit and would produce a much narrower 10° beam. The lens body was too long to fit into the searchlight body so I 'ground down' the lens on some abrasive to a size that would fit using progressively finer grades of wet & dry paper.
The lens was then polished with some cutting/polishing compound to restore the optical clarity.🤓
The original and modified lenses are shown in the 'photos.
The lens now fits perfectly into the searchlight body and produces a much narrower and focussed beam of light.
I cut and shaped a piece of 1mm clear perspex to form a protective cover over the lens to hold it in the searchlight body and make it waterproof.
The searchlight on the real boat has a 'tri-form’ protective cage with a centre boss (my description, there’s probably a proper name for it ), this part is not supplied in the white metal kit so I constructed one from some 22mm copper plumbing pipe, some brass pins and a hand turned and drilled brass rod for the centre boss.
These parts were ‘soft soldered’ together as silver soldering would be quite difficult because of the different heat gradients.
Before final assembly I will paint the parts gloss grey and secure the optical and protective lens with some canopy glue which will form a flexible seal and won’t ’fog’ the lens as superglue would, and then epoxy the 'tri-form' cage to the front.
Hopefully the end result will be well worth the effort and do justice to my brother’s lathe skills!😎

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by vosper on the 31st Jan 2017
Response by rayedgecombe on the 31st Jan 2017
very professional looking job!
Response by robbob on the 11th Feb 2017
Here's the fully assembled and painted searchlight.
Making the searchlight. Part one. The metalwork. - Posted: 30th Jan 2017
Having decided to make the searchlight a working feature I needed to make a sturdier base for it as the supplied white metal item is far too weak and not up to the job.
This is another job for the man with the lathe......😜
I want the new piece to replicate the original as much as possible so I took measurements of the white metal part and produced a dimensional drawing which I e-mailed to my brother.
A short while later the item arrived in the post with another as a spare in case I messed up the first! 😓
I annealed some ‘D’ profile brass rod and formed it to the dimensions of the original cradle and set this into a slot filed into the top of the turned searchlight base.
Before silver soldering the cradle into place I spun the part in a drill and rounded off the base with some abrasive to a profile more like the original. I also filed flats at the cradle ends and drilled them, and the searchlight body, to accept some 2mm brass screws to join the two parts together.
The base has a 2mm diameter hole bored through to accept the drive shaft from the servo and a very small grub screw secures the base onto this shaft.
The 3 watt LED is already epoxy into the searchlight body but I will replace the wire with something thinner and bring it out through the back in some heat shrink tubing.
I'm hoping that this will be flexible enough to allow free rotation of the searchlight.😊

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The fire monitors - Posted: 23rd Jan 2017
The fire monitors are supplied in three pieces that need to be assembled, there is the pedestal, the main body & handles and the discharge nozzle (my descriptions, they may have a proper technical term!) 🤔
Before assembly all the parts were filed smooth, and cleaned with my ‘suede shoe brush’ to remove flash and blemishes and to give a key for subsequent paint.
I felt that just glueing the main body and discharge nozzle together would not be sufficiently strong so I bored out the centre of each and inserted a 4mm threaded stud to pull them together, some threadlock on the stud and then some filler at the join produced a good result. The hole at the end of the discharge nozzle also looks more authentic.
The pedestal was also bored out at both ends, the lower end for a 3mm stud and for a 2mm threaded stud at the upper end.
The arms need to be carefully bent to the correct angle, you only really get one attempt at this as the white metal will not stand repeated bending and will probably fracture quite easily.
I also added a small 'lever arm' feature to the bottom of the pedestal that appears in some photographs of the real item, this was finished with a hand turned brass knob.
The finished parts were sprayed with one coat of grey etch primer, a coat of white primer and finally two coats of Halfords ‘Toolbox Red’ acrylic gloss.
I assembled the two pieces when the paint had hardened and put a dab of red paint on the top fixing nut. The handle ends will also be detailed with some black paint or perhaps some black heat shrink.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by allenrod on the 24th Jan 2017
Hi Rob,
They look great your attention to detail is amazing, with this in mind I wonder if you had considered working fire monitors?, from one of your last posts I seem to remember your brother is good with a lathe, keep up the good work it is so interesting, I hope one day to have a go at this build when SWMBO decides to release a bit of cash !!!!
Thanks for a great blog with great ideas, Allen R
Response by robbob on the 25th Jan 2017
Hi Allenrod.
Perhaps if I ever do a refit on this model I might consider working fire monitors but as it was never part of my original plan it would be very difficult to incorporate now.
Besides, I have had my brother doing a little bit more brass turning for me as you will soon see in some forthcoming posts.😉
White metal deck fittings. - Posted: 21st Jan 2017
In between coats of black paint there’s time to prepare more of the white metal deck fittings.
They all require a bit of a clean up to remove casting lines and flash, and this is easy to do with an assortment of small files, blades and a small suede shoe brush with brass wire ‘bristles’.
After a quick clean up with panel wipe I fixed them all to a piece of card with small strips of double sided foam tape to stop them getting blown around by the pressure of the spay can and gave them a couple of light coats of etch primer.
To assemble the anchor I used some 2mm brass rod with some brass ends made from some larger diameter brass rod, drilled and filed to a pleasing profile, a bit of plasticard was added to neaten the pivot point and the assembly was also given a coat of etch primer.
The cooling water outlet tube and flange and the dummy exhaust ports (adapted portholes) were primed also.
They’ll get a coat of black gloss before they are fixed to the stern.
I’ll tackle the fire monitors next…

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Spraying the hull black. - Posted: 19th Jan 2017
Now that the red oxide has dried and hardened it’s time to mask it off in preparation of spraying the upper hull black.
First I had to very carefully flat back the ridge in the red oxide paint left by the edge of the masking tape that might prevent the new masking tape laying flat.
I chose two types of Tamiya tape, the first is the very thin and flexible type to get the sharp edge and this was then overlaid with the wider flexible variety.
Once this initial masking edge was established all round the hull and at deck level I could mask up the rest fully.
As an experiment and to prevent any possible bleed through of solvents through regular newspaper onto my lovely red oxide anti-fouling I chose to mask with some ’Bacofoil’ which actually works very well for this purpose as it is quite strong and easily folded and formed to the hull shape.
I didn’t use too much of this from the roll, and my wife never noticed it’s absence from the kitchen whilst I was nicking it …result !
The hull was thoroughly wiped over with a tack cloth and panel wipe to remove any traces of contaminants that could spoil the paint finish and then it went into the booth.
The pre-warmed paint went on very easily but at one point I noticed a bit of blooming on the surface in a few places but much to my relief this soon disappeared. Even after only one coat the finish looked very smooth and glossy.
I left this first coat for a day or two to fully harden before wet flatting it down with an 800 grade abrasive.
The second and third coats were applied in the same way, each left to harden for a day or more before flatting with a yet finer grades wet & dry paper.
With the final coat on the finish greatly exceeded my expectations 😎
The masking tape and foil was very carefully removed to reveal a very sharp line where black meets red although this will be covered with the white ‘Trimline’ tape I bought from SHG Model Supplies at the Bristol model show in the summer.
After a further couple of days drying and hardening I gave the black paint a bit of a polish with some Halfords cutting/polishing compound.
I’m extremely pleased with this finish and at the same time frightened to death that I’ll ruin it in some way with a clumsy knock or in the lettering and lacquering stages 😓 …

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by figtree7nts on the 20th Jan 2017
Extremely impressive paint job, If I ever decide to build a fireboat. I will definitely keep your blog in mind. Job well done Sir.👍
Response by Ballast on the 20th Jan 2017
That is a marvellous paint job, you are to be congratulated. I would be scared to put it afloat !!!
Response by Missouri on the 28th Jan 2017
Impressive finish.
Navigation lights and circuitry - Posted: 17th Jan 2017
The white metal fittings for the port and starboard navigation lights were hollowed out with a burr in a Dremel tool and a small hole made for the LED lens to go through.
After the wiring was soldered onto the LED’s and tested they were set into the fittings with some epoxy. I have pre-drilled the cabin roof and sides for all the fittings and there’s enough wire on each to go to the supply and switching circuit board that will be in the cabin.
All of the lighting, including the searchlight, is switched by R/C so I made a power distribution and switching circuit from ‘Veroboard’, my favourite prototyping tool for circuit development.
Following my initial drawing of the lighting circuits I laid out the component positions and cut the Veroboard tracks to suit. Each LED is fed through a separate correctly rated current limiting resistor.
One switched circuit controls the three navigation lights and the mast light and a separate switched circuit activates the searchlight.
I included a spare position on the first circuit just in case I found justification to fit the mysterious stern navigation light that appears in photographs of the 93 boat, research into this has led to a bit of a dead end but nevertheless it’s good to have the capacity to add another light elsewhere if necessary, perhaps the cabin interior, without too much re-wiring.
The large ceramic resistor is for the searchlight LED, it only needs to be a 2watt type but I couldn’t find a 3R9 resistor rated at less than 3watts in my bits box, it’ll do the job OK but it looks disproportionally large compared to it’s ¼ watt neighbours.
Both lighting circuits are switched separately by R/C switches from Hobbyking, these Turnigy receiver controlled switches are rated at 30v 10A max so they are capable of some heavy switching if required so my little lighting circuits present no problems for them.
One important consideration is that the negative supply to the lighting and the negative supply to the receiver have to be bridged for the switches to operate correctly, and this clearly explained in the instruction that come with the switches.
The Veroboard has pins soldered into it for the wiring connections, all will be soldered and insulated and the board installed in the forward cabin, I’ll also include a separate charge/operate switch for the battery supply close by.
Everything has been tested on the bench and all works as intended, as another will attest, it’s advisable not to do this on the lounge table in case of misplaced confidence in electrical design 😜

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The wheelhouse navigation light. - Posted: 16th Jan 2017
While the paint is drying on the hull there’s time to continue working on more of the white metal fittings.
The body of the small navigation light on the wheelhouse roof is just big enough to set a small 3mm blue LED into so I started hollowing it out with a fine drill bit in a pin drill.
The technique is to start with a small bit and by drilling one or two turns at a time and the backing the drill out to remove the swarf, this ensures that the bit does not jam in the very soft white metal, and then gradually increasing the bit size to the required diameter for the 3mm LED.
The wire for the LED was taken from a miniature transformer from a defunct power supply, this tinned copper wire is very fine and is insulated with enamel.
The legs of the LED were trimmed as short as possible and the wire soldered to each and insulated with some fine heat shrink, then the pair of wires were passed through some more heat shrink to form the connection cable and shrunk down.
The base of the LED was also filed down slightly to reduce it’s diameter for a snug fit in the body of the fitting.
After a quick test with a battery and dropper resistor the LED was epoxied into the body.
Before painting the LED was ‘frosted’ with a fine abrasive and the body cleaned up ready for paint.
I used some Humbrol ‘Maskol’ on the LED before spraying with some white gloss.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by vosper on the 16th Jan 2017
Hi Rob, Can you give some advice about switches for navigation lights as I nearly had a disaster on the lounge table due to a short circuit ?
Response by robbob on the 16th Jan 2017
Hi Vosper.
The next blog will be about the port and starboard nav lights and the associated switching circuitry for all the stay tuned 😋.
Sorry to hear about you near miss on the 'G plan' 😱
Response by vosper on the 17th Jan 2017
Thanks, looking forward to the next instalment, more of a near miss for my head on the block, phew !

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