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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > Vintage Model Works 46" RAF Crash Tender
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Vintage Model Works 46" RAF Crash Tender Print Booklet
Author: robbob   Posts: 95   Photos: 577   Subscribers: 20   Views: 30607   Responses: 270   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 4 of 10   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
Lacquering the hull. - Posted: 17th Mar 2017
Now that the self-adhesive vinyl lettering and hull markings are now applied and correctly positioned…😉 I can now spray the lacquer finish on the hull.
The gloss black areas will have a number of coats of Halfords clear gloss lacquer and the red ‘anti-fouling’ areas finished in Halfords clear satin lacquer.
I started with the gloss lacquer first, so the all the deck area and the red ‘anti-fouling’ areas were masked.
As I wanted the white waterline to be sealed with the gloss finish I masked below the line.
After a thorough wipe over with some panel wipe the first coat of gloss was sprayed followed by a further two coats at 30 minute intervals.
Fortunately it all went on without any runs or blemishes so I left it for a week to thoroughly harden after removing the masking.
The black area was then masked from the bottom of the waterline, the area cleaned with panel wipe and sprayed with three coats of Halfords clear satin lacquer.
With all the masking removed the boat was them put aside and left for a week for everything to dry thoroughly and then I polished the black area with some ‘T-cut’ polish to remove any surface blemishes and bring it to a full shine.
All the hull marking and lettering are now firmly fixed and sealed and I’m very pleased with the final results.
The next job will be to spray the deck and superstructure with the BS631 RAF Light Grey and then the majority of the paint process will be complete 😁

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The deck anti-slip finish. - Posted: 15th Mar 2017
The original Vosper drawings state that the deck was finished in a special anti-slip finish called ‘Cerrux’ and according to some well-respected contributors to this site the best way to achieve this finish is to apply a coat of a textured paint on the areas required and then overspray with the desired finish colour.
Others have used a Rustoleum product but that proved difficult to obtain but I found a product from Halfords that looked promising.
As always I did a test piece using this to see what the results would be like and after the finish colour was applied the effect looked very consistent in texture.
At model shows I had previously seen some lifeboat decks that had been ‘texture finished’ and noted that non-textured areas had been carefully masked off. This seems like a great idea and would serve to emphasise the textured effect and also to distinguish it from a very bad spray job!
I applied a low tack masking tape to the deck areas and features where I wanted a smooth finish and very carefully trimmed the tape to leave a narrow border, I also masked the positions of the metal deck fittings.
Everything else was masked off and the textured spray applied in two very light coats and left to dry.
When the masking was removed it revealed a very neat defined border around the foot rails, cabin sides and deck fittings.
The deck and cabin sides will be over-sprayed with a couple of light coats of the ‘BS631 RAF Light Grey’ that I have had custom mixed and will be, hopefully, accurate to the prototype. 😁

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by robbob on the 16th Mar 2017
Hi Canabus.
That does look like a pretty good example you have picked up there👍
As Paul says it's good to put your own spin on the refurbishment, yours appears to be 180 degrees judging by your 'photos 😜.
I made the opening wheelhouse hatch to allow me to get to the servo that turns my searchlight but I soon realised that I would need much better access to fit the wheelhouse glazing, portholes and all of the metal fittings that are on threaded studs, and of course all of the servo and lighting wiring.
I have also got a great deal of inspiration and ideas from this site, for instance I also took a leaf out of Paul's book and cut away some of the wheelhouse bulkhead and cabin former to give me room to get a hand inside the space.
It looks like you intend to do the same judging by the pencil marks on the cabin former in your last picture.
I can now also, at a later date, put some detail inside the wheelhouse such as steering wheel, instruments and controls fairly easily which would have been impossible before.
Good luck with the re-furb.
Response by pmdevlin on the 16th Mar 2017
do the wheelhouse rob,👍 only because I have not seen any others with a scale finish. I was going to do the full wheelhouse, even had a figure for it, but decided the dash was enough!
Response by canabus on the 17th Mar 2017
Hi Robbob
A serious cut of frame 2 and CF2 would be required.
I cut out a section of frame 2, but, not CF2 at this point as I had no wheel house pics.
I have download yours, thank you.
Sorry about the pics, but, I thought as I live in Tasmania they would be the right way up for you living in Britain.(HA. HA!!).
The later kits did not have the full plan with them, but, the original builder still had the plans and frame outlines which he traced out before starting the boat.
I borrowed the plans, etc. and have a paper and PDF copy.
I have the roof held down by double 10mm magnets, also the roof hatch is a working one.
Wheelhouse roof detail....and a paint problem ! - Posted: 25th Feb 2017
Because of the curvature of the wheelhouse roof the searchlight, mast, aerial and other fittings need some shaped wedges to sit on so that they sit vertically, this is particularly important for the searchlight as it is designed to rotate.
I cut and shaped some plasticard for these and when I was happy with the angles I superglued them in place on the roof and used a small amount of filler to blend them into the roof profile.
Similar spacers were made for the anchor where it sits on the forward cabin roof as well.
After masking off the surrounding areas I sprayed a coat of Halfords white primer on the roofs and immediately noticed that the paint ‘crazed’ very badly for some unknown reason.
I had used panel wipe to clean the roof before painting and was spraying over previous coats of the same primer so this was really disappointing to see 😭
I had to leave the paint to harden for a couple of days and set about stripping it back to the base coats as much as possible and then re-masked and sprayed again….only for the same thing to happen again 😡
This was despite pre-warming the can and shaking it thoroughly for the prescribed two minutes.
To cut a long story short I discovered that the new can of white primer that I had recently purchased was faulty and it was spraying considerably more solvent/carrier than pigment and this heavy overload of solvent was the cause of the problem.
Halfords replaced the paint without argument but I had to wait another couple of days before I could remove the paint and start over again for the third time.
Happily the replacement paint was OK, the re-spray was successful and the final gloss coat is to a reasonable finish but the whole process set me back a couple of weekends and was a very frustrating experience 😞
An isolated case I’m sure but after previously stating that Halfords paint was OK, I now reserve my judgement and remain cautious with their paint, and I now do more test sprays just in case…..

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by robbob on the 25th Feb 2017
Hi Javro.
I tend to use light coats when painting but rattle cans dispense a volume of paint quite rapidly unlike an airbrush that is far more controllable.
The paint system on the roofs is three coats of sanding sealer, one coat of grey primer, one initial coat of white primer and a further one over the additional details, and then two coats of gloss.
At all stages the coats are flatted with wet & dry and there's usually at least a couple of days between coats and any solvent completely flashed off.
The Halfords white primer was definitely the cause as it was dispensing more solvent than pigment and that, I believe, is what caused the underlying layers to split.
Perhaps I'll look to getting a decent airbrush before I tackle another project.
All part of the learning curve as they say !
Response by jarvo on the 25th Feb 2017
HI Rob, yes an airbrush is the way to go, I have 2, a normal airbrush and a mini spray gun for large areas, get my paint made up at an auto paint shop in Stockport, take the colour you want and the match and mix, either ready to spray or plain acrylic paint.

P.S. Get a compressor with a tank, no spluttering and a constant flow of air
Response by pmdevlin on the 25th Feb 2017
I gave up on Halfrauds a while ago, the cans always seem to give out way too much paint volume, I suppose they are actually designed for cars!
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

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