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The cabin has now been finished off with a well deck, the well deck is made of balsa mostly, and the floor is oly, the well deck floor is lined as planks ( urghh ), firstly scored with a blunt Stanley type knife blade the the plank lines infilled with pencil, the floorboard nail marks are just scored with a sharp pin with a little cyno rubbed in the hole to colour the pin prick, decided to make this as an all in one removal unit, It still has to be glazed and fittings plus furniture, as in windscreen , door's consul etc: .. The deck and all other woodwork has been varnished and the cabin roof painted white, awaiting suitable weather to paint the hull, as this is done outdoors.. Muddy....
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!
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.
Have you tried soaking balsa in boiling water and pre forming it to shape ? (bend around pegs on a board) works well for hard wood as well. Shape, allow to dry, check and repeat as necessary. Be gentle with it and if the curve is tight, do it in stages.
Hi Gardener, Don't know the Sadolin stuff, I use Billing Boats stains meself, BUT whatever you use, esp on balsa, apply a coupla coats of sealer first. Then at least one or two coats of clear satin varnish; e.g. from Lord Nelson range from Holland. THEN AND ONLY then, apply your stain til you get the depth of colour you want. After that seal with matt, satin or gloss varnish / lacquer according to taste😉 That's the way I did my Sea Scout 'Jessica' renovation, see blog on this site for results!!! Coupla sample pics attached. The whole process is described in the Blog. Otherwise the balsa will soak up all your stain and still not look right 🤔 A 'preserver' as such is not normally necessary if the wood is properly treated inside and out; sealer, stain, varnish etc! Or just EzeKote resin inside. Stain no needed inside of course. Good luck and above all have fun with your endeavours. 👍 Keep us 'up to date' ('on the running' as my German friends would say; 'auf den Laufenden'!) 😁 Cheers, Doug 😎 PS I like Danish Blue meself 😁😁 On the other hand; I wouldn't have used balsa for speedboat deck in the first place. I use a close grained marine ply 0,8 or 1.0mm. Takes the stain better and looks more realistic. Balsa is too coarse grained for stain and varnish on scale speedboats. Thick coat of paint ... OK. On the cabin roof and after deck (which I had to renew) I used 1.5mm mahogany veneer. If I had to do it again I would use a close grained 0.8mm marine ply (birch or pear) and cherry stain (also Billing) as I used on 'Jessica's deck.
So, having had a few days off during the week when "The Boss" has been at work has given me enough hours to finish The Waveney off! Its been a hard week of making the small bits n bobs from scratch using a combination of balsa, carbon rod, brass rod, plastic tube, plastic sheet etc to make the radar array, antenna mast, extra cockpit details ect. The deck winch was made from large Servo output discs! The RNLI flag printed off Google! This has been followed by alot of detail painting and laquering. Anyway, I think I have just about exhausted as much detail as can be had at this scale and and happy to call completion! Only job to do now is get it in the Hot Tub and add the 2 Kg of ballast to get her on the waterline. On water photos and video to follow in the last update on this thread! as for next projects? I have the Aeronaut Pilot boat sat in the pile and the Fairy huntress 23 plan and wood pack on route from Sarik Hobbies!
Hello from Australia I built it years ago and converted it to a Skidoo. Went like the clappers. Build it out of Balsa not plywood as the plywood makes it a bit heavy and you need a gutsy motor to push it along. Regards Sid
I'm starting to build a Veron kit of the Vosper Rescue-target towing launch, which I bought on Ebay. This boat seems quite rare - well to me anyway - although Belair sell one currently which is similar but slightly larger (34in long - mine is 28in). The kit is obviously old and if anyone knows when these were sold then please let me know. The structure is balsa - not my favourite wood - and ply for the exterior. Balsa does not hold temporary or permanent pins well, and holding things in position while the glue dries is made more difficult. The balsa has been pre-cut to shape and several of the curved pieces are weak in places where the grain is inevitably across the length of the piece. I broke several parts and needed ply backing to repair. Glue used is 5 min epoxy. The keel is made up of several pieces and to get the right shape I photocopied part of the plan and laid the parts on that to set while gluing.
Hi Doug, I have used the floating periscope on my other submarine too. On that one there are two sets of two. If the periscope tubes slide easily and the float is big enough then it will work. I have used aluminium tubes on the HMS Triumph. The U boat scopes are both aluminium. They are loose so I can put one or both in before sailing. The floats are balsa wood and painted for sealing.
My crew were made by Shapeways. Somewhat expensive, but I needed an unusual scale. I asked a question and the designer got back to me. I was able to select from a few different groups and he also did a few pose mods. The crew is available as U-181. I think they can be scaled down to any scale, although the Revell U-boat crew are also available and a lot cheaper. Some of them now sail on my 1/72 Z39 destroyer. So far I have put 9 crew members onto the U-boat and I have 3 remaining. They are for the front 105mm gun. My periscope has a very simple working method. A balsawood cylinder at the bottom of the periscope. Sub dives and the periscope comes up. Sub surfaces and the periscope goes down.
First five pics show 'square one'. 😲 Dave_M reckoned she'd been plastered not painted.😁 Before attempting to strip the hull I figured I had better stabilise it so it wouldn't fall apart when I removed about 1mm of ancient paint. So I applied a couple of layers of resin and FG tissue inside. Pic 6. Not so easy between those somewhat rustically built bulkheads! They weren't even shaped so that the planking fitted properly! Sanding was obviously out of the question so out came the heat gun. On medium heat (ca 300°C) about four layers of paint started to bubble up and fly off, gently persuaded with a not too sharp 3/4" wood chisel. Pics 7 to 10 show the results; almost more filler than wood and Horrors! Upper Stern / gunwhale made from a chunk of thick cardboard cut from a 3M sticky tape reel 😡 This was promptly replaced with a carved chunk of hard balsa. Pic 11. I will later add a mahogany step deck on top of the block, and a mahogany cap rail to finish off the hull. Last two pics show current status after filling, sanding and applying a coat of EzeKote to the outside. Shame the woodwork was so bad, she might have looked quite nice with the wood cleaned up and varnished 🤔 In between these jobs I also stripped and EzeKoted and primer/filled the hull of the PTB I'm renovating as well. Saves getting the same tools and materials out twice😉 But that's another B....log! As Bamber Gascoigne (What a moniker😁) used to say "I've started - so I'll finish"!! Oops! Forgot the last pics🤔 Last three are today's status 😁
Eric, you can go to good old Jeff Stubbs in Oundle who is mainly aeroplanes, but will have balsa, I'm sure. Failing that there are model shops in P'borough (or were). There's one in an industrial unit on the outskirts. My son took me there once. If you fancy a nice ride out, go to SLEC at Watton They have absolutely everything including hard woods and exotics. They are basically a huge modelshop who import their own balsa and other woods which you can kill an hour just looking round, easy. Cheers, Martin
[Score: 10/10] 16"/500g RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch Capable of 15mph and a runtime of 90mins Single Propellor (2 Blade X Type 25mm) Direct Drive to a Turnigy 2211 x 1400kv (2 Blade X Type) Powered by LiPoly (7.4v) 2Amp/h Batteries Controlled Through HK 10 Car For/Rev. (5Amps) ESC - Comments: This is another article for MB magazine. The model plan had to fit across 2 pages (A3) Hence its length. This one is built using the old Keil Kraft Eezibilt methods of the late 1950's. Made using mainly Balsa wood and covered in nylon tights and dope. It is fully detailed mainly using odds and ends . The plexiglass gun turrets are made using 21mm Carp fishing 'Ball' floats. Masters in plastic were fitted to the model after mouldings were made for the Oerlikon 20mm and all the Lewis guns as well as shrapnel padding and most fittings. 2 sheets of highly detailed plans will be free in the Winter Special hopefully with a full photo and build write up. It goes like a rocket. Great little model and all for under £25.00!. (Inc ESC, Motor and battery!)
Hi dennisw - I use both Titebond 3 (green label) and the Aliphatic Sandable Wood Glue which I get from Cornwall Model Boats (not the first plug I have given them but no connection, just a very satisfied customer). It is described as "quick grab, excellent sanding, shock & weather resistant, bonds porous materials, ply, balsa and hardwoods, non-toxic and non-fuming". So far it has not let me down. Best of luck with your build. Smiffy