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>> Home > Boat Building Blogs > 36" Thames River Police Launch
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mdlbt.com/47891
36" Thames River Police Launch Print Booklet
Author: robbob   Posts: 13   Photos: 100   Subscribers: 6   Views: 2344   Responses: 70   |   Most recent posts shown first   (Show oldest first)

Showing page 2 of 2   |   Jump to page: 1   2  

mdlbt.com/48485
Assembling the keel & adding bulkhead formers. - Posted: 29th Nov 2018
With the box assembled and the glue fully cured the next stage is to glue the inner keel parts together and fix it to the underside of the box.
The keel consists of four pieces that need to be jointed whilst on a flat surface, the instructions suggest that the parts are best assembled whilst laid over the plan with a transparent protective sheet between to ensure accurate alignment.
A gap is left in the keel for the prop shaft and this gap is laminated over by some additional keel pieces on either side.
I chose to deviate from the instructions here and fit these pieces after the prop shaft was in place to ensure a snug fit, I have it on order from Model Boat Bits along with the prop and rudder.
The assembled keel is glued in place along the centre line of the inverted box and when dry the bulkhead formers can be added.
The positions of all the formers are clearly marked on the box and the underside formers are added first followed by the side formers and lastly the bow formers, and the assembly set aside to dry.
I’d almost forgotten how easy it is to work with balsa, it takes glue and pins readily and assembling this model is a joy, however, shaping the solid balsa bow blocks to the correct profiles will be an interesting challenge.
But I don’t need to do that for a while yet.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by mturpin013 on the 30th Nov 2018
Looking good although I had not seen the method of building round a box before, it takes some time before the shape of the craft can be seen.
Response by robbob on the 1st Dec 2018
Hi Mike.
The majority of Phil Smith's Veron designs were around this principle, just as the Aerokits/KeilKraft designs were based on the 'egg crate' method.
Both methods are very successful and popular over the years as many modellers will attest, and the hull can be completed really quite quickly.
'Plank on frame' is probably as common if not more and a great deal more time consuming but far better able to reproduce complex hull shapes.
Never tried the latter..perhaps one day.
Response by mturpin013 on the 1st Dec 2018
Now Plank on frame really sets my imagination going, I have to say that i am a builder rather than a sailor and get immense pleasure from problem solving and just creating structures.
I will be looking for a suitable subject after the Crash Tender which at the moment is taking some time with fiddly bits that don't seem to advance the the overall vision of the project so apologies for the lack of "blog"
Any suggestions?

mdlbt.com/48189
Constructing 'The Box' - Posted: 21st Nov 2018
Phil Smith, the original designer of the Thames River Police Launch, based the construction on a rigid box structure around which bulkhead formers are fixed to give the hull it’s shape, a design feature of many of the Veron kits.

In the Vintage Model Works kit all the components of this box are laser cut and require no additional trimming before assembly, I have used Titebond 2 aliphatic glue throughout the construction as it bonds wood very firmly and dries quickly too.

I started by joining the edges of the two sheets of balsa that form the base of the box, these were held firmly together with some scrap wood and weighted down on the cutting mat and left to dry.

Meanwhile the box sides were similarly glued together taking care that the two pieces that form each box side are in perfect alignment using the laser etched vertical lines that mark the bulkhead former positions, these were also wedged together and weighted while the glue set.

Once the bottom and sides are dry the ends can be added to complete the box construction, a try-square was used to check the box for accuracy and everything was held together with some ‘push pins’ while the glue set.

As this box forms the foundation of the hull it’s essential that there’s no twist or anything out of square.

This was all done in one evening, clearly the assembly of this kit could be completed quite rapidly if you really wanted too!

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by mturpin013 on the 21st Nov 2018
Keep it coming! its looking good
Response by rolfman2000 on the 21st Nov 2018
Looking forward to more Robbob. Cheers, Dave W 😊

mdlbt.com/47892
36" Thames River Police Launch - Posted: 8th Nov 2018
After the successful build of the ‘Vintage Model Works’ RAF Crash Rescue Tender I was asked by Mike Cummings of VMW if I would undertake to build a prototype of their new model with the aim of checking the construction method and the assembly instructions for accuracy before the kit is put into production.

The model is a ‘Thames River Police Launch’ and is based on the original design by Phil Smith for the Veron company, this was a very popular model kit in the late 50’s and 60’s and sold for the princely sum of 43 shillings and tuppence, approximately £2.15 in today’s money but an equivalent cost of £48.50 in 1960.

This design has been updated to accommodate electric propulsion and radio control by Colin Smith, the son of the original designer and it has been re-scaled to be 36” in length where the original was 24” which gives much more scope for detailing and provides more ‘hiding room’ for the drive, control systems and all the associated wiring.

The kit produced by VMW uses the same construction techniques as the original and the materials are a combination of balsa and plywood both of which a laser and CNC cut for precision.

The ply and balsa materials supplied are of very high quality as one would expect from VMW and all the stripwood for the chines, rubbing strakes and deck detailing is included, even the dowel required for the mast is in the box, very comprehensive!
The kit also includes white metal fittings such as the fairleads and stanchions, and the searchlight and horns. The glazing for the windows comes in the kit too.

The instruction sheet supplied is in need of revision as it is largely taken directly from the original as written by Phil Smith and some of the terminology needs updating, for instance the ply bottom and side skins are referred to as ‘strakes’ but I understand that a re-write of the instructions is in hand along with an updated plan showing the best positioning for the motor, prop-shaft, battery, ESC, receiver, rudder and servo.

During construction I have added a few additional pieces of ply or balsa as reinforcement or supports and substituted some balsa parts for ply where I thought a stronger material would be better. I also added some hatches to give access to the wiring at the bow and the rudder & servo at the stern but largely I have not gone ‘off plan’ to any extent.

The pictures show the model in it’s present state (Nov 2018) and is ready for painting and finishing.

Attached Photos - Click To View Large

Response by Rookysailor on the 11th Nov 2018
Hi Rob, Is there a date when the kit will be available? and have you an idea of what the price will be.....😲

cheers, Peter
Response by rolfman2000 on the 12th Nov 2018
The original Veron kit of the Thames police launch was the first kit I ever made, and as I was only 12 at the time, my Uncle Cyril was called in to carve the balsa blocks on the bow (and a right mess he made of them too). So I had to do a bit of filling. But the boat is still sat in our garage some 53 years later, and is still available. I often thought of bringing it up to date with a new one, so maybe the time has arrived. I'll keep a watch on this build, and bide my time. Thanks Robbob. Next wishes, Dave W 😊
Response by robbob on the 12th Nov 2018
Rookeysailor.
The kit is, I understand, due for release by Vintage Model Works any time now. I think that they are awaiting some of the white metal fittings from the manufacturer that are included in the kit.
RE: price, probably best to contact Mike Cummings at VMW to confirm the above and the pricing.

rolfman2000.
I'm afraid you'll still need to carve the bow, but I bet you can get a better result than uncle Cyril now!
I hope you enjoy my blog.

Robbob.

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