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Hi folks, I've been filling in spaces in the Vincent epic with making deck fittings for the Chris Craft Special Runabout. I can't find or, probably, afford to get them nickel plated, so I will give the brass fittings to a chum who does casting of white metal, then I can a) get more than one of some and b) burnish them to look like chrome and then lacquer them.
I'm assuming there might be a measure of interest in how these are done. I'm afraid I can't tell you how to do these without a lathe, because I've always had or had the use of, a lathe. They can be bought for a fraction of the price of a kit, off ebay. My No 1 son bought a lathe exactly like mine (a Peatol, which is same as the Taig), only on a huge base with a nice big motor, a tool rack to hold every supplied, additional tool they make for it and even the book on how to use it and make even more tools for it, virtually unused, for £200. Similar small lathes can be had for even less. It's the brass that costs these days!
Anyway, the trick is to break down the shape to that which can be cut, turned or bent. You can do all those things, so all you need to be able to do is silver solder and soft solder. If you can't yet, learn, sharpish. Silver soldering has enabled to earn a living till I retired. It helped me bring up a family of 5, so it's clearly very useful. I won't describe it in boring detail as these days there's a Youtube for every damned thing if you can tolerate that ghastly delivery that so many of them have. I can't, so I'm happy to answer questions if anyone wants to be told straight what to do. Golden rules....make it totally clean with a Swiss file, have sufficient heat, use the right flux. In silver soldering, just sprinkle the powdered flux on, don't bother making a paste, it'll just fizz and shift your little parts.
For this part, one of the various patterns of deck lights/flag pole holders that Chris Craft used, I started by turning the main shape of the bulbous bit to be rather like a thimble. I then cut gaps out of it in the vice with a junior hacksaw, so that it had three legs, oversized for now. Then make a teardrop shape out of 1/16th" sheet and cut a hole in it to match. Why the hole? Well, if this is to cast successfully, I don't need any undercuts or "hooks " in the mould so it has to be hollow. Also, I need to put the light lenses in after it's all finished as these units had riding or nav. lights in them. They also had a small jack staff in the top with a burgee or even a national ensign attached. To make the rather art nouveau-ish back end I made a cardboard pattern of what had to be cut from 1mm brass sheet to be folded, hammered a bit and rolled a bit to fit onto the back of the thimble section. I silver soldered the thimble on first, to make it easy to fit the back rolled and folded bit, which was itself then silver soldered on. After that, it's all down to filing to shape, then as you can see from the pencil lines, cut out the teardrop shaped holes in the back which leave a central spine shape. I would first drill a 3mm hole and then, with the piece in a vice use a dental burr in a minidrill and hand mill it out, but PLEASE make sure it can't slip or you could be the owner of a grooved thumb or worse. Finish with files and papers of various grades. More anon when I do the next bits, although you're already further on than I am!
These are going to be cast in white metal as near to pewter as damn it, so you can burnish them to a nice chrome finish. Then lacquer. I'll turn you some Perspex innards for the light and you can put some clear coloured paint over the Perspex.
There's just the bow piece to go, but I can't have the cutwater cast, so that will have to be either aluminium or foil covered brass as it needs to be thin.
Best for our purposes, Doug, would be Sellotape aluminium tape. It's self adhesive and very malleable so can be persuaded round all sorts of shapes. I am currently foiling a 1/48th scale Airfix Lightning jet, my favourite Cold War jet. Yes, even I make up the occasional kit and it IS a belter. But silver paint won't do, so I use all sorts of cooking foil, turkey foil, Kit Kat wrappers, etc.
Thanks Martin, I'll look out for that👍 Yeah, the Lightning is cool, I had the 1/72 version back then. I recently bought the 1/24th kit of the Mosquito, another cool kite! It's a MONSTER and I haven't had the guts to start it yet😉
I recently found on the Krick site some chrome "Racing Paint for Polycarbonate Body's" made by Ghiant Aerosols in Belgium, branded 'RC Car'. Comes in two 150ml cans; chrome spray and a lacquer / fixer. Haven't tried it yet, will report when I have. Cheers, Doug
Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 Cheers Doug
have used silver leaf before (not on a model )and it works very well on curved surfaces use gum arabic as a base and apply the siver with a soft brush ,silver and gold leaf are not as expensive as you would think and a little book goes a long way .Cheers Marky
Leaf is a bit fragile. Bare Metal Foil is less so, but still a bit difficult to use, but Sellotape aluminium is good stuff, especially as it's self adhesive and the glue doesn't show, whereas foiling with thinner (Kit Kat wrapper) foils and leaf glue can show the glue if you're not careful. For something like a cutwater, Sellotape would be ideal as it isn't being asked to round anything too extreme, but yet it is tougher for that application.
Is it a silver finish you want? or chrome finish, if chrome is what you want, try ALCLAD paints, saw them at Telford IPMS show last November, and decided to try some on a club 500, you have to spray the base coat of black, and then the candy silver over it, really gives it a chrome more than silver finish, I think you can get it on Ebay, not expensive and worth a go👍
If you want it to look like metal, use metal. That alclad is OK, but still looks like paint to me and having to do it in black first (and that coat has to be perfect apparently) is too much of a faff for me. Hammer, as you can see from the response (or lack of it) taking more pictures (never easy for my shit camera) would hardly be warranted and the description says it all really. I have a few more to take, or rather the wife can take em with her Klevafone for me. Filler and cap, exhaust outlet and windscreen supports have been added. Just the bear paw vent to go when I get a bit of 1/8th" through the post. I have 1/8th", but it's that horrible yellow gooey stuff, so I've splashed out on a small bit of CZ120, hard brass. Also called leaded, silicon or engravers' brass. MUCH better to cut and shape. The equivalent for rod, strip and section is CZ 121, extruded. These will all be available to buy once my chum has cast them in white metal and then you just have to burnish with a crewel needle (darning) and you have chrome (lacquer to taste).
Full size!? 😁 Respect!👍 From the look of your models I must agree though👍 Photographed out of any scale context who'd know they weren't the real McCoy? Cheers Doug 😎 BTW: Found that Supermarine yet? BTW2: Won't white metal be a bit on the heavy side? Can your chum do resin casting as well?
Young at heart - slightly older in other places 😉 Cheers Doug
Nah, I was being facetious, Doug. But thanks for the nice words.
No heavier than brass and not a problem. Resin would be slightly lighter, but wouldn't be the right colour and would be very weak, especially the screen supports and cleats. As it happens, I do know someone who casts resin. He's doing the crew for the Crash Tender.
I'm waiting for my son-in-law to come over and get up in the loft and sort through my boxes of stuff to see if the Supermarine is up there. My knees are not really up to climbing ladders and kneeling once up there, whereas he'd do it even if it hurt!
Here's the bear's claw vent. I got a piece of 1/8th" brass this morning and between chores managed to knock this up. The flange around the edge has to be removed. It only appears under the webs at the front. They are merely sawn and filed into the 1/8th", which is then soldered to a piece of the 0.8mm sheet and then filed up. Greatest care required to get the slight spine down the centre, which is hardly there on the real one, never mind the model.
Colin, these are to fit in with my Chris Craft, which is roughly 1/8th scale, so they just look right. I don't have any dimensions as there are no Chris Craft Special Race Boats in Britain. Not that anyone would dare to question you anyway as nobody gives a toss about classic speedboats over here. We never had those types of boats. The Thames had one or two nice Brookes and slipper launches, but our attempts at speed were never as elegant as the Yanks and were all a bit boxy and unembelished and generally sat upon by authorities who didn't like speed, except at Windermere and Oulton Broad and they were mainly outboard powered with one or two exceptions in aluminium, and paint. Mahogany was strictly for furniture for the English.
I will get all these bits cast and will have spares, so if you need any that are among my bits, just holler and I'll see what I can do. May have to charge for metal weight, but that's about it, as I will have to pay for that, even if I can get the bits squeezed in other peoples' moulds. I reckon you could use these on a 1/12th scale model without any doubt being caused. Most boats used two of those vents. A couple of cleats, a light/cum staff holder and screen supports, which I'm also doing but haven't got a picture of. That will comprise left and right, short and central, longer. The glass will slide in cast in grooves. A filler and steering wheel and instruments finish it off. Can't do a bow piece as they are all different and must fit the boat exactly. That's down to you and you can only foil that for the chrome look.
Just wait till I have to do some of these! Ain't they gorgeous?
Simply superb, you're right about the bits and classic speed boats, but in the model world I think there the best, our best seems likely to be the Fairey range of boats but although quite quick still rather blockish. I have deep respect for modellers who are able to produce such exquisite examples. My humble efforts give me great enjoyment as most of my work involves renovation of old forgotten models when my arthritis let's me.
I also enjoy restorations, Colin...just as much. Every challenge is different. This Chris Craft is a restoration of an Aerokits Sea Urchin that cost me all of 99p. on ebay! But then i thought it would be better made up as a single cockpit smaller runabout, hence the Chris Craft with the steeply tumblehomed stern. My son has an Aerokits PTB and my other son has a Sea Rover. I also have a Sea Urchin and a Veron Veronica yacht, so yes, I do like the restoration of old items. I have a pre War Marblehead in the loft too! I've never been interested in the big ships and service vessels. Only inshore sailing fishing boats and classic speedboats.
If I can help you out with any info or techniques, let me know. I have a lot of books on woodies and years as a professional modelmaker to call upon.
I was just searching for a model car pattern I made months ago for some mods and I found all the lovely etchings I'd done years ago, pre computer, for Riva and Chris-Craft models. These two pics show two brass patterns for the Riva vents and two of the white metal cast vents, one polished about 20 years ago, one done just now, to show that a well burnished casting will stay looking chrome even without lacquer.
Then the two Chris Craft tread plates I had the great, good forethought to draw when I found I had a bit of space on the Riva fret. They are perfect, as are the Chris-Craft side flashes and all the Riva badges, even though they were done from hand drawn artwork, proving that Vector images are NOT essential as the pootah people will tell you. I shall mount these two on the typically wedge shaped base and have them cast. I also found a FUEL engraved cap cover which will go on my Chris-Craft filler. It happens to be bang on size wise! I'm cock ahoop! I knew I had these, but had no idea where to start looking. Thanks Mel for getting me started on the search for your Tecno F2 car, but sorry, couldn't find that devil. I have made some more Vincent bits, been to son's to play on his new steering wheel and pedals racing game ( I managed a whole lap of the proper Silverstone in a Lotus 25!) and dined out with the lady wife. What a great day.
Just got white metal castings back of the Chris Craft fittings and very nice they are too. They have started to burnish up a treat and will polish well as Paul uses a good quality metal. Nice and hard. Now I have to make the light lenses.
Also put the blue bottom on her at the weekend using my one and only pot of Plastikote enamel paint, not the acrylic muck they've turned over to and it went on through my spray gun as smooth as could be. Even my masking worked. Just waiting for a gold pin stripe tape for the boot topping now. The final bit will be masking the deck to paint the covering boards and king plank with the same blue. For those not lucky enough to have a wee pot of proper Plastikote in the paint cupboard, I also got a couple of tins of Rustoleum spray, only 5-25 a pot, enamel (of course) in a nice French blue and a rich cream. These colours will look good on my Darby One Design single stepper "WHO'S DARBY?". Very post War. I think the Oulton Broad One Design single stepper will be Burgundy and the Whippet One Design will be varnished mahogany. I know of no other classes of British stepped hydroplanes. These will all be 1/6th scale as they're all around 12-13 ft. long. I'll probably put the same motors in them eventually. The Darby is well advanced and has a Speed 400, but I may go brushless. Any suggestions for a cheap Brushless/ESC combo will be welcome for, say, 3S Li-Pos. It would be good to see these period boats all racing together. I also plan to make reverse clinker Singer cadet and a Percy See Bugatti engined boat for which I have plans. I'm hoping to get a response from the current keepers of Berylla II about measuring that, too, since it also uses a Lea Francis engine, like the Whippet.