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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > The Vosper 46” RAF Crash Tender Kit By Vintage Model Works
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The Vosper 46” RAF Crash Tender Kit By Vintage Model Works Print Booklet
Author: mturpin013   Posts: 45   Photos: 359   Subscribers: 14   Views: 12343   Responses: 121   |   Oldest posts shown first   (Show newest first)

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The Vosper 46” RAF Crash Tender Kit By Vintage Model Works - Posted: 8th Jan 2018
Just a small introduction, I am a retired engineer, trained as a toolmaker and practiced this in various forms for 20 plus years before going into Lecturing in engineering for 13 years then finally working on development of NVQs and VRQs for an Engineering Awarding Body. As far as My model making experience I did a little as a youngster helping my dad to build the 36 inch Crash tender and then doing some model aircraft but that was 50 years ago. I then became hooked on building a kit car which has occupied me for many years changing things and maintaining it as a recreational vehicle. This brings me up to date and instead of restoring a classic car I decided to get back to model making and this is the start of the 46 Crash Tender.
So here we go
Out of the box and the contents checked off, a minor anomaly on the parts numbering but soon sorted by VMW.
I have spent some time in kitting out a new work station in what used to be my office until I retired. I now have two workshops one upstairs and one in the basement. How good is that?
One of the of the first things was to construct a substantial building board that would give a perfectly flat base and a grid that could ensure bulkheads are square to the keel an parallel with each other also the same aspects in the vertical axis. I lined out the base board with parallel lines spaced at 25 mm and then from the centre-line at 90 degrees I marked the bulkhead positions.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Lyle on the 17th Jan 2018
Dear Modellers and builders of the Vintage Model Works kit series. You will find my earlier pictures and various writings on the original earlier postings by me in OZ of my still some 30/plus years Crash Boat in which I wore out several I/C motors and my girl still runs in Salt Water at the local LAKE ILLAWARRA in New South Wales and you are somewhat fortunate with ready made fittings. I did not ever know of the "page" ( wish I had a copy ) on your wall of the rear well of fire hose details and fittings , wow what a bonus, as a colonial had several years till Peter Dimberline and I had contact and he helped me to authenticate my vessel. The ESSENTIAL secret of the Crash Boat is the spray rails. So many look toy in the videos and TOOOOOOO fast . The spray rails are doubled at width protruding from the hull and lesser at the point of "rise of the wood " towards the upper bow point. The depth is not too critical at a bit of about an eighth of an inch thickness or a bit thinner for the whole length as you do not want to see a "thick log ", rather again it is the width rather than depth. I know I have written on this before on this webb site in the past. The turns thus on the go become when starting on and STAY more on the go are more flatter rather like a full sized hull which has a planing/ flatter hull turn to the flatness of the water than a typical poorly behaving model boat hull which invariably heels TOOOO much and somewhat digging in , (in turns). The HARD CHINE hull design was meant to not only rise to a comfortable plane attitude but ALSO to turn without that annoying behaviour of "digging in" when it should still perform and exhibit that hard chine design attitude when in a turn . "Digging in" equals water resistance AGAINST the hull and loss of performance and loss of plane attitude and against wave resistance when the hull designers team is trying to maintain hard chine performance in the forward turning direction. I harp on this point that this hull design is one to respect . The older I get the more I expect of all my model machines that I am lucky to see on computers, as we certainly have more need to respect the masters, the likes of Peter Du Cane and T E Lawrence and Hubert Scott Payne of Vospers and Thornycroft and The British Power Boat Company and ELCO and Higgins, all of whom I have researched so much over my life and I have been to the memorial of Lawrence in the desert in Wadi Rum. I try to do it right. Regards to all builders Lyle. My mates and I have to run in 2 to 3 inch chop at times, such is the Lake Channel ! My wife has reminded me that some of my fleet do seem to have BLACK hulls and I only would build one model boat, when I bought the Aerobats Crash Boat home, the pictures are of some of my scratch built fleet.
Response by Ron on the 4th Feb 2018
I really like your work done on this boat. How did you go about building it from scratch? By scratch, does this mean making all the parts?

I built the 1/72 Airfix kit painting it like you have here. I like that you have also included the side hatch where the wounded could be transported on stretchers.
I will send some photos of my kit, but I ‘d enjoy seeing more of this boat you made.

Best regards,

Response by Ron on the 17th Feb 2018
1/72nd version of the RAF by Airfix.
The Vosper 46” RAF Crash Tender Kit By Vintage Model Works - Posted: 10th Jan 2018
Keel base
The first puzzle was the aspect of the keel base with the first bulkhead position for B1 and the fact that they are not square and actually at 88.9 degrees This made me question as to whether the keel should lay flat on the base or the bulkhead should be in the vertical plane when fitted. This could result in a small error of the vertical B1 or a 10mm error in the keel having to be raised by 10mm at the point where the prop-shaft emerges.
A quick call Michael Cummings at VMW confirmed this should be a 90 degrees not 89 degrees. Therefore the keel lays flat as I thought it should and there would be a small gap between B1 and its vertical face. Michael Cummings said he would look into this.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
The Vosper 46” RAF Crash Tender Kit By Vintage Model Works - Posted: 11th Jan 2018
Let the build begin, first job is to cut all the keel components out and trim any pips. I found the most accurate method of marking the position of the bulkheads on the central keel was to lay the cabin sides on the keel and transfer the positions of the already cut slots in the cabin sides onto the keel. The keel was then supported with four 90 degree angle brackets, Starting with the K1 pair they are clamped in position up against B1 then drilled through with 1.8 mm drill, and a 2 mm brass pin pushed home, this was repeated inserting each bulkhead along the whole keel ensuring the bulkheads would fit after the keel components were epoxied. The brass pins are then removed, each pair are epoxied and once again the pins pushed back right through this ensures accurate positioning. As I worked along each section the assembly was clamped. Note the two angle brackets holding the keel square at bulkhead B1

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
Bulkhead - Posted: 20th Jan 2018
Time to fit the B1 bulkhead, at this point I was advised (by a well-known crash tender builder, more about him later) that I should dry fit the entire front end and to chamfer the appropriate parts prior to final assembly leaving only final trimming when fitting the skins (a good call). Again keeping all components square, vertical and level by using height gauges squares etc. they are pre-drilled and temporally pinned to ensure that they fit correctly. Its then all taken apart before final assembly with epoxy and pushing the brass pins fully home and clamped where required.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large
More Bulkheads - Posted: 21st Jan 2018
All the bulkhead parts are made ready for assembly. I decided at this point modify CF2 and B2. B2 to enable easy access for further detailing of the cabin at a later stage and CF2 I cut out what will be the door opening into the cockpit. Each of the bulkheads had 2 x 12 mm holes drilled just below deck level for future wiring runs; they also needed support to secure them at 90 degrees so I made a number of right angle squares to support them squarely and at equal height at each side, these were secured with a temporary brass pin. The spacing at the keel was pre-determined when building the keel components, however the tops need correct spacing by dry fitting the cabin sides and just checking that each side measures the same height, finally the back end of the keel needs supporting to keep everything square. Each of the cabin sides and bulkheads can now be dismantled and reassembled with epoxy resin. NOTE at this stage only the bulkheads are epoxied to the keel, the cabin sides and CF2 are only there to ensure the bulkheads are square and correctly spaced at this stage.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by robbob on the 21st Jan 2018
Hi Michael.
You might want to consider enlarging the cut out in CF2 to allow you to get your hand easily into the interior of the cockpit. I think the small 'door' cut out will restrict access if you intend to detail this area with a wheel, throttles and instruments etc. And getting your hand inside is really helpful when it comes to glazing the windows.
Apart from that it looks like a 'proper job' 👍
Response by mturpin013 on the 22nd Jan 2018
Robbob hopefully the cabin roof will be detachable/hinged and the bulkhead at the back of the cabin will be solid apart from the door, so the bulkhead needs extending down to the floor when fitted, this why the cutout is in B2, its at floor level
That's the though at the moment.
Response by robbob on the 22nd Jan 2018
Ah...I see what you are trying to achieve now, I've never seen that done but that's not to say it isn't possible so if you think you can engineer it...why not 😜👍.
Cabin sides and deck supports - Posted: 28th Jan 2018
Before we continue I must mention some fine detail that should have been mentioned in the previous build update and that is the preparation of the cabin sides. Because the bow end of the cabin sides narrow there is a need to score/cut through partially in the places indicated in the build instructions, this is around the cabin side window and enables the side to bend without cracking the external faces, and this also applies to the rear of the cabin sides where it joins B5. The cabin side extensions can also be glued into position as well

To continue, having secured all the bulkheads to the keel I can now epoxy the cabin sides to the bulkheads ensuring that the height is maintained side to side and bends smoothly round to the bow and stern. Allowing this to set for a couple of hours I can fit the deck stringers from ¼ x ⅛. These are cut to length to suite the gaps between the bulkheads and glued in place using aliphatic resin glue. I also added some extra support where the cabin side extensions are since its only a butt joint.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Dave M on the 28th Jan 2018
Good building practice. Nice solid baseboard and lots of vertical jigs and clamps holding everything square whilst the glue dries.
I look forward to following your build
Response by jarvo on the 2nd Feb 2018
Just a thought mate, when you have completed the bulkheads etc, before fitting the skins, seal the wood with something like Zpoxy, this will make it easier when sealing the rest of the hull.

1st Gunwhale stringers - Posted: 4th Feb 2018
First job is to trim all the bulkhead corners so the stringers sit flat against each bulkhead. We can then start to trial fit each side to see what sort of curvature will be needed to steam the stringers prior to final fitting. I decide to make a jig for the stringers to “set” after steaming, I made this jig to accommodate all 4 stringers creating the same curvature, as the minor differences in curve will be flattened out during the clamping process. I used a domestic wallpaper steamer/striper and a piece of 4” plastic drain pipe blocked at both ends with a piece of cloth and steamed for about 20 minutes. The 4 stringers were then placed in the jig and locked into place with wedges and clamps. These were then left for a couple of days to thoroughly dry out
After steaming and setting, the stringers were dry pinned to the breast hook on both sides with brass pins, then followed back to the stern drilling and pinning to each stringer to the bulkheads as I went back. Being satisfied with the fit I now removed all the pins and started again from the front and epoxied and pinned each bulkhead on both sides.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by robbob on the 4th Feb 2018
Hi Michael.
Good idea with the jigs, it certainly minimises the possibility of snapping the stringers while they 'set'.
Response by Ron on the 17th Feb 2018
This boat looks like it will be very heavy using those plywood bulkheads.
2nd Gunwhale stringers - Posted: 9th Feb 2018
Now for the more difficult stringer, this one has already been steamed and set in the jig. The outer stringer has to be put on using glue only and clamps, so no nails at all since it has to shaped to the profile of the bulkheads over its entire length hopefully using a jack plane (which don’t like nails). Clamps at the ready and glue in hand and away we go,

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Ron on the 17th Feb 2018
Is this a kit, using kit wood? The parts look like they will add too much weight. Am I correct?
Response by Dave M on the 17th Feb 2018
It'a a 46" model so the wood is the correct size. You have asked about clamps in your post and there are plenty of examples in this blog, you should subscribe to follow progress.
The kits by Vintage Models have been around fore a few years and make into a nice model if built carefully as in this model.
Response by mturpin013 on the 17th Feb 2018
Thanks Dave you beat me to it
Chine stringers - Posted: 16th Feb 2018
Chine stringers
Again first job is to trim all the bulkhead corners so the stringers sit flat against each bulkhead. We can then start to trial fit each side to see what sort of curvature we need. This time I needed a tighter curve (2.5 litre paint tin) so again using a scrap piece chip board I made another jig. The stringers are fitted in the same sequence as the gunwhale stringers that is the first pair are trial pinned, then epoxied and fully pinned. When fully set the second pair can be fitted but this time using clamps only, no pins, to allow for trimming at a later stage. Then allow some time for it to set and check that all this tension in both sets of stringers hasn't caused any twisting or misalignment.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 16th Feb 2018
Great work, LOVE the jigs 👍👍
When I built my destroyer (many many moons ago🤔) I just used loads of panel pins hammered into a chunk of pine board. You way is much more elegant. 😉
Response by mturpin013 on the 17th Feb 2018
Its all material I had lying around in my workshop, I never throw anything away so you can imagine the amount of "stuff" I have in my basement. The Yellow angle brackets are made of old neighbourhood watch signs they are made of 1/4" plasticard
Rudder, water pickup and skeg - Posted: 16th Feb 2018
At this point I decided to fit the rudder tube, water pick up and skeg. I was able to mount the boat in the machine vice by gripping the keel; this ensured that the holes are drilled absolutely true and square, 2 x 8mm holes are needed to take both the rudder tube and water scoop. I purchased the rudder assembly from a well-known supplier but I didn’t like any of the proprietary water scoop tubes on offer so decided to make my own. Whilst the boat is in the vice I also decided to machine the slot for the skeg to fit in. This required drilling a series of 2mm holes and then opening them up into a slot using a long series slot drill again giving an accurate slot which the skeg can locate into.

Water scoop
Having dealt with the woodwork, I turned my attention to metalwork. To bend the ¼” brass tube successfully it has to be annealed, (cherry red and quenched in water), then inserting a tight fitting spring inside the tube to stop any kinking I gently pressed it round a former to the correct shape. Springs removed I filed the end to the correct angle which gives an oval opening, but the end didn’t look finished, so I machined a thin spacer and then squashed it to suit the oval end and silver soldered it to the end of the tube, this gives a much better visual appearance.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by RNinMunich on the 16th Feb 2018
An excellent tutorial, splendid stuff 👍👍👍
Several years ago I forgot the annealing stage, while making davits for my destroyer, and jammed the spring into the tube 😡 The tube didn't kink but it looked like an earthworm 🤔

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