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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: 79   Photos: 425   Subscribers: 16   Views: 14435   Responses: 163   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 1 of 8   |   Jump to page: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8
The foam tanks. - Posted: 24th Apr 2017
I need to make the foam tanks as two separately removable items to allow the deck to be removed for access to the rudder servo etc.
The most intricate part of the foam tanks is undoubtedly the gratings that go over the top of them, fortunately there is a ready-made grating available that makes their construction unnecessary 👍👍.
I bought this from, the grating ’WG7’ that they supply is dimensionally perfect for the job and can be easily assembled into the shape required.
The casing for the foam tanks was made from a combination of materials, the base is 4mm ply, the back is 2mm ply, the front and sides are 2mm plasticard and the top is 1.5mm plasticard.
The grating panel was assembled to the correct length and width for the scale and bordered with some 3mm x 4mm mahogany strip, the grating does not run the full length of the foam tanks and there is a plain section to the rear which will be a plasticard infill.
The wood and plastic panels were all cut by knife and only needed the edges trued up with a small plane.
All the joints were fixed with superglue with a reinforcing piece on the inside of the joint for strength. At all stages the assembly was checked for square and size and dry fitted in the deck well to check for fit.
The grating panel was sanded to a smooth finish and a light mahogany stain applied to just the outer mahogany frame as I quite liked the contrast between the light and the dark woods, they were then sprayed with several coats of satin lacquer and set aside to dry.
Before glueing the tank tops in place some short bracing pieces were fitted for rigidity.
The tanks were given a rub down with fine abrasive paper as a key and sprayed with two light coats of grey primer and then a final paint finish of BS631 RAF Light Grey, the same as the rest of the superstructure.
The two infill panels were painted the same and then epoxied into the grating panels.
Before fixing the gratings to the top of the tanks some mahogany trim was applied to the tank sides.
I need to devise a method of holding the tanks in place on the deck, probably with some of those small but tenacious little magnets that can be let into the bases of the tanks and concealed on the underside of the deck panel.
I’ll need to make the suction hoses soon and that will involve a bit a brass turning by ’you know who’ so I’d better get busy with some engineering drawing for the man with the lathe 😉

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by rolfman2000 on the 24th Apr 2017
I've watched this blog from the start, and will see it to the end. I am still enthralled with the build as I have loved Fireboats since I was knee high to a grasshopper 😊 Thanks for many handy tips and insights into the build. Also the introduction of, which I am sure will be a well used source from now on. 😀 Best wishes, Dave
Response by robbob on the 24th Apr 2017
Hi Dave.
Glad you're enjoying the blog.
Modellingtimbers is operated by a very nice chap called Keith Jewell who was extremely helpful to me in choosing the correct scale grating, a real 'diamond' of a chap.

PS. If you really like fireboats and my build has inspired you, check out the very comprehensive kit of parts that justintime2001 is selling, it's an incredible bargain for the asking price, and you can use my build blog as the set of instructions (far better that the ones supplied with the kit 😜). Rob.
The cockpit steps. - Posted: 21st Apr 2017
A little bit more cockpit detailing....there's quite a lot to do in there and I want it to look as good as some of the inspiring examples that I have seen on other boats...sorry if I have stolen your ideas 😜
The cockpit steps were made from some 12mm x 3mm mahogany strip that I made up from some 10mm strip glued together and then cut down to the required width.
The supplied drawing was to the correct scale so I was able to use this as a template, but one of the legs of each ladder needs to be slightly longer on one side because of the curvature of the tow-hook deck onto which the ladders are fixed. The treads were cut to the correct width and length and the forward edge rounded slightly. After marking the correct height of the treads on the sides I drilled some small holes through the sides into the treads for some 1mm brass rod to reinforce the glued joint. The steps were assembled using superglue and the brass rod helped to keep the piece square and true as the glue set.
The protruding brass rod was then cut and filled flush with the sides. After a light sanding a mahogany stain was applied to enhance the colour and then few costs of satin lacquer sprayed to give the final finish.
The steps will be fixed through the deck with some hex head wood screws from the underside so that they meet the bulkhead at the upper end without any fixing.

I think they have come out quite well 😁.

I'm making the foam tanks just at the moment....and I thought the steps were fiddly !! 😲

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The servo mount. - Posted: 17th Apr 2017
I had originally made a platform and a servo mount out of ply to go in the stern compartment but I found that there was very little clearance left between the top of the servo and the underside of the cockpit deck and the arm and push-rod could foul on something, so I decided to scrap what I had made and invest in something a bit better engineered.
I found quite a neat CNC machined aluminium mount on eBay that looked ideal and so I ordered one at a cost of just under £5 including delivery from China.
I have not previously bought anything directly from a Chinese seller as I’d heard bad things about long delivery times and getting clobbered for import duty and such but I thought I’d risk it anyway.
Surprisingly it arrived about 10 days later without extra costs and is quite well engineered.
I decided to fix the servo mount to the bulkhead on some 15mm nylon PCB spacers with an internal 3mm tapped thread that I had in my electronics bits box.
This was to allow the servo arm to move unrestricted over it’s travel arc.
I used a servo tester to check the operation and it works a treat and looks a million times better that my original mount.
I’ll probably replace the clevis attachments for a ball & socket type at a later stage.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Dave M on the 17th Apr 2017
If there is a height difference then a ball on the servo arm is possibly the best option.
My 34" Crash Tender uses a max of 30deg but at speed I cannot use more than about 5-10 deg. I use a Futaba 6Ex and have two settings controlled by a switch to reduce the servo travel.
Paul (PMDevlin) would be the best person to advise you on your model as he has one and its stable and goes fast!
Response by pmdevlin on the 17th Apr 2017
Hi Rob, personally I would keep the clevises, it will make fine tuning much easier than the ball and socket. As Dave said its about 35 degrees, but you radio can play a big part here. I use a spectrum dx6i. So I have dual rates and exponential settings, and use these when at speed, and then going slow. I wont bore you with this as you may know what I am talking about, if not let me know Ill explain, but I need to know if your radio accommodates this, virtually all digital transmitters will have this.
Response by robbob on the 17th Apr 2017
Hi Paul.
I have ordered some ball joints from CMB so I'll try one out on the servo arm anyway and leave the clevis and adjuster on the tiller to see if it does the job.
My radio is a Turnigy TGY-i6 from Hobbyking.
I think it has the features you mention but I'm definitely a newbie to digital radio systems so this is all new territory for me.
The tow hook stays. - Posted: 16th Apr 2017
The tow hook stays brace the tow hook by tying the tow hook deck to the keel to transfer the load when the boat is towing a seaplane and is a simple structure on the full size boat but as scale feature is quite tricky to reproduce.
It also has to be made to allow the rear well deck to be removed for access to the rudder servo etc. so this took a bit of thinking about how to make it easily removable.🤔
As my brass working skills seem to be improving I decided to make this in brass for strength and durability.
Mike Cummings at Vintage Model Works had previously very generously supplied me with a set of drawings which included the tow hook detail and these were of great help in the making process.👍😊
First I marked out the fixing plate on some 22 gauge brass and cut and filed it to the correct shape and then two pieces of 6mm brass tube cut to the correct angle where they meets the plate.
After some measurement and geometric juggling the cockpit deck was marked with the positions of the holes that the bracing stays pass through and I used my brass ‘cookie cutter’ to make two neat holes through the decking planks for the flanges that the stays pass through but in this case the tubes will finish just below deck level to allow it to be removed.
These flanges were made from some 14swg brass plate, filed to a circular shape and with the centre hole pierced and filed to an angle for the tube to pass through with a small clearance gap to allow them to hinge on the two brass pins that I drilled and inserted into the flanges. This hinging feature allows the towing stay assembly to hinge back slightly to aid removal.
I drilled the upper ends of the tubes where they meet the fixing plate to take two brass pins that will hold the parts securely in place while soldering and two temporary brass bracing pieces were then soft soldered to the tubes to hold them at the correct angles and separation.
All the parts were thoroughly cleaned and assembled and silver soldered together and then the soft soldered braces were removed and the whole assembly cleaned up with abrasive and wire wool.
Two false bolt heads were soft soldered to the plate to add a finishing detail, the centre fixing is a cap head threaded screw that fixes the assembly to the cockpit bulkhead.
I sprayed two light coats of etch primed and when dry brush painted the whole piece with two coats of ‘gun metal’ grey.
Happily the part sits perfectly in place on the deck and hinges back easily as intended so that removal and re-fitting is simple…unlike the process involved in conceiving and making the part 🤓

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by pmdevlin on the 16th Apr 2017
nice job with that Rob, I fail miserably at silver soldering, never seem to be able to get things hot enough
Response by robbob on the 16th Apr 2017
Thanks Paul.
I bought myself a new butane torch, as seen in one if the pix, as the 'pencil' type I used previously just couldn't deliver the required heat and my regular plumbing blowtorch was too large and unwieldy.
My problem with silver soldering is putting too much solder into the joint and spending too much time filing away the surplus, 'less is more' as they say.
The radio aerial & handrails. - Posted: 12th Apr 2017
Only the aerial base is supplied in the set of white metal fittings so it needs a rod added to complete it.
First I bored out a hole through the base using a 2mm bit in a pin drill and then I used a short length of 2mm brass rod for the aerial. This rod was tapped with a 2mm thread and a nut filed to a round profile used as an end stop on the thread.
I left sufficient thread below the base for fixing through the tapered aerial base, cabin roof and the reinforcing piece on the underside of the wheelhouse roof.
The upper end of the rod was fitted with a hand turned knob as a finishing piece and for safety and the piece was sprayed with etch primer and two coats of white gloss.
Finally I tapped a 2mm thread into a small piece of brass which was glued to the underside of the roof for the piece to screw into.
The handrail bases were bought on-line from Polly Model Engineering and are 3½" gauge stanchions, normally used on steam locomotives, along with some 3/32" stainless steel rod and 8BA fixing nuts and washers.
The fitting of these was quite straightforward but the two rails on the wheelhouse roof need to be bent to follow the roof curvature. The rods are fixed into the stanchions with a drop of thin superglue.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Mataroa on the 14th Apr 2017
Hi Robbob i must say you did incredible job on the RAF Crash Tend and done it to such a high standard in model boating thats me.I sent you a pm

Response by billmcl61 on the 15th Apr 2017
Hi Robbob,
Dang that boat is big, been following your very impressive build for a while now, I just had no idea of the scale of it until I saw it in it's cradle. And at last I've finally made my first post. Perhaps now I'll get my finger out and make some progress with my wee corvette.
Regards Bill
Response by robbob on the 15th Apr 2017
Hi Bill.
Congratulations on your first posting...don't be shy.
Being a larger model, at 1/12 the scale, the detailing is probably easier as a result.
Now get back to that corvette and get a build blog going 😁
The davit. - Posted: 9th Apr 2017
The davit needs some modification to attach it to the boat and some extra bits to improve it’s looks so the first thing to do was file off the casting marks and fill some of the hollows in the white metal surface.
The false winch block part of the casting was removed from the upper end and a slot cut into the casting to take the hook of a brass tackle block which was secured with a brass hinge pin.
A couple of plasticard cheeks were then added to the sides of the winch mechanism and a crank handle added too.
The most difficult part was devising a means to attach the davit to the cabin wall that would allow it to swivel out over the deck from it’s ‘parked’ position. This also had to be easily removable so that the centre deck can be removed for access to the motor compartment.
First the davit attachment points were modified by filing a deeper recess into the casting and the tabs drilled with a 2mm bit for the hinge bolts.
I used the earth pin from a mains plug filed down to fit into the casting recess to act as a hinge block, the ends were drilled and tapped with a 2mm thread for the hinge pin bolts.
The hinge block was then drilled and tapped to take a 3mm fixing stud and also a plain 2mm locating pin
and then mounted on a plasticard mount and spacer to give the davit clearance to swing out and clear the cut-out in the engine room roof.
The ‘foot’ of the davit was also modified from square to semi-circular to clear the cabin wall as it rotates.
The whole assembly was etch primed and brush painted in ‘gun metal’ grey.
Finally a lifting hook and rope was attached to the winch mechanism.
The cabin wall was drilled with a locating pin hole and another for the 3mm fixing stud, the attachment is by a wing nut to allow quick and easy removal and re-fitting when required.
The finished davit now looks a million times better and is also partially functional 😁.
The build is nearing completion now and I hope that you are enjoying reading my blog as much as I am writing it, please let me know if it's getting boring though, all comments welcome...good or bad 😜.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The tow hook & chafing plate - Posted: 7th Apr 2017
As supplied, the tow hook consists of two rather ugly lumps of metal that need to be coupled together, and a further piece, the ‘chafing plate’ which is not supplied, made to complete the fitting.
I started be adding some detail to the main component in the form of some steel rod to represent the lever mechanism and operating handle.
The body of the tow hook then has to be attached to the retaining plate with an articulated coupling which I made from some brass tube, copper wire and a 2mm nut & bolt.
The retaining plate was also drilled to take some 2mm cap head screws for fixing through the tow hook deck.
The finished piece, which now looks a bit more like the drawings and photographs, was brush painted in ‘gun metal’ grey and a piece if heat shrink added to the handle as a grip.
The chafing plate was formed from some 4mm square plasticard rod which was immersed in boiling water to soften it sufficiently for it to be bent to the required radius.
The bending process unfortunately distorts the profile so this was restored and improved by rubbing it flat on some coarse abrasive paper.
A piece of plasticard sheet was marked and cut to a corresponding radius to form the base of the chafing plate and some further plasticard wedges added to form the end stops.
This piece was also pained gun metal grey.
The chafing plate is fixed to the deck with 2 cap head screws and I also set a brass pin into the centre position which locates into a hole in the underside of the tow hook to hold it in place.
Next on the list of fittings is the davit 😁

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Cockpit deck brass features. - Posted: 4th Apr 2017
The aft cockpit deck has two drain holes on the real boat that discharge through a pair of outlets on the transom if the boat takes on any water in the cockpit well.
On my model the drains are not connected to the outlets, that’s taking the scale accuracy a bit too far 😜, nevertheless I don’t want a couple of holes in my deck letting in water so I need to fill them in with some drain gratings.
I made these from some 10mm thick wall brass tubing and some 2mm brass rod.
First I filed three narrow slots into the end of the brass tube about half the thickness of the brass rod and soft soldered them into the slots.
The rod was then filed flush to the top of the tube to flatten the profile and form the grating slots, and the overhang filed flush with the tube sides.
I used a pipe cutter to separate the finished piece from the brass tube and then repeated the process for the second fitting.
The grating needs to be blocked so that It doesn’t let water through and I did this by forming a disc out of black plasticard the same diameter as the tube bore as a stopper and filling the base with epoxy to form the seal, the finished drains were then glued into the deck panel flush with the planking.
I used some 1.5mm brass rod bent and fashioned to form the handles for the hatches and these were fixed with epoxy through holes in the panel.
Another brass feature on the deck are the rivets around the battery hatch, these are actually some domed rivets with a 2mm head and 1mm shaft that I bought online from RB Models (Poland) along with some other excellent items from their range of ships fittings.

Finally the deck panel and main hatch cover were sprayed with several coats of satin lacquer.
The panel will need some further work to incorporate the towing hook stays and I’ll cover that in another posting.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Planking…. part 3 - Posted: 3rd Apr 2017
The aft cockpit deck has quite a few features that will test my novice planking abilities so I started the process by very carefully measuring off the drawings and marking out the positions of the main access hatch, battery hatch and the rear drain holes.
I want the main access hatch to be removable so I cut this out from the 4mm ply panel with a Stanley knife and put it aside to work on later, the battery hatch will be non-opening and will have a false panel to represent it. I also pre-cut the drain holes but I intend to plank over these and then open out the holes later.
The main hatch aperture was first bordered with 4mm maple strip with mitred corners, and the battery hatch with 6mm strip with mitred and radiused corners as per the Vosper drawings. The rear edge of the deck incorporates the two drains and I used some 2mm ply for the raised portion of this area.
With these borders in place I then applied plasticard caulking strips to their edges and then proceeded to lay the 7mm maple strips onto the deck, working out from the centre line until the area was fully planked. Fortunately the spacing worked out quite well and did not requiring any narrow strips at the borders.
After trimming all of the ’caulking’ flush to the planks with a sharp chisel the whole panel was sanded smooth.
As I wanted a paint finish on the two hatches these were left un-planked so I shaped a piece of 1.5mm ply for the main hatch to bring it up flush with the planking and glued the two together after cutting out two small square holes that will form the lifting handles.
A smaller 1.5mm panel was also made to form a false battery hatch cover, also with a lifting handle cut-out, and this will be painted before it’s glued down.
A couple of bearers were fixed to the underside of the panel to support the removable hatch.
After the glue had fully cured the whole deck was given a single coat of spray lacquer to seal the surface and two hatches were primed and painted the same colour as the main decks and then the false battery hatch cover glued down.
I will add some brass fitting details in the next stage before the deck panel receives the final coats of lacquer.
Thankfully that’s all the planking in place and I am extremely pleased with the way it’s turned out 😁

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Threelegs on the 4th Apr 2017
Having planked my original 46inch Crash tender in preference to painting, I am most impressed by your attempts. Mine was a first attempt and while turning out well I think yours looks better. Well done. Threelegs
Planking…part 2 - Posted: 2nd Apr 2017
After a successful first attempt at planking the tow-hook deck I then did the same to the mid deck.
I placed a 5mm border of maple with mitred corners, but I stepped it out around the forward cabin access door so that the completed deck panel can be dropped and slid into place beneath the door threshold.
The planking was placed working out from the centre line to keep the spacing even, and when the CA had fully set the black plasticard ‘caulking’ was trimmed flush with a sharp chisel and the whole surface sanded smooth.
There is a small detail on this deck which is identified on the Vosper drawing as a ‘fuel tank sounding’, a sort of dipstick access point I suppose.
This part is not supplied in the metal fittings kit so and I fabricated this from a piece of 10mm brass tube with a plasticard insert to replicate the detail.
This was then painted metallic silver and let into the deck after cutting a 10mm diameter hole through the planking.
To cut this hole I used a short piece of 10mm thin wall brass tube with a sharp edge filed on its internal bore so that it acted as a sort of ‘cookie cutter’ and it produced a neat and accurately sized hole in the deck planking.
The ‘step’ formed by the door and frame was painted to match the door and then the complete deck panel sprayed with several coats of satin lacquer for the final finish.
I'm getting the hang of this planking lark so confidence is high as I move on to tackle the far more challenging cockpit deck 🤔

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

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