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I have also coated my 46" RAF Crash Tender with fiber glass matting and used West Systems two part epoxy. i coated the entire hull in one piece apart from the transom. I left it for two days to harden off. it worked very well. I am fitting the rubbing strakes over the top of the fiberglass using modelling pins and 5 minute epoxy.
The prop-shaft, coupling and motor mount that I ordered from ModelBoatBits has arrived so it seems a good a good time to make up a supporting wedge for the mount to fix to. I do have a rigid brass motor alignment aid that I used when building the Crash Tender but do you think I can find it in the workshop?....nope! 😡 I expect it will turn up when I need it least! 🤞 Not wanting to waste time I used a length of heat shrink tubing over the motor coupling to make it as rigid as possible, a trick I had seen done elsewhere, and this enabled me to position the motor on its mount in the desired position and measure the angle that the mounting wedge needs to be made to. I used an offcut of beech that I had in the workshop which I cut to size and then shaped it on the rotary sander that I bought in Lidl, fantastic piece of kit !!. The wedge was then drilled to take the nylon motor mount and also the fixing screws that pass through the beech block, through the balsa base of the box and into the ply reinforcing plate that I put in during early construction of the hull. After cleaning up the hole through the keel the prop-shaft was keyed with some abrasive, smeared with some epoxy and then pushed through to mate with the motor coupling. I used the excess epoxy resin around the shaft inside the hull and used some packing tape to stop it running out when I inverted the hull to seal the lower end. A quick spin on the motor confirmed that the alignment was spot-on and the hull set aside while the epoxy set. The next step will be to plank the deck.
I used glassfibre cloth and epoxy resin successfully when building my 46” RAF Crash Tender and I chose to do the same with the Police Boat. See: https://model-boats.com/builds/view/23951 for the Crash Tender blog. The application of the cloth and resin serves to strengthen the hull enormously and produces a completely watertight hull, and after additional coats of resin are applied and sanded between coats resulting in a surface that is absolutely smooth and the perfect substrate for the subsequent paint process. With the benefit of my previous experience and greater confidence working with these materials I used a ‘fast’ hardener with the resin which gives a working time of 30 minutes and a much shorter curing time where previously I had used a 90 minute ‘slow’ hardener. The basic process is to cut the cloth roughly to shape with a good margin of overlap and then use masking tape along one edge so that after the resin has been brushed onto the hull the cloth can just be lifted over onto the resin. I then lightly brush the cloth into the resin and push the cloth into any tight angles, without any further resin on the brush, until the weave of the cloth is filled and there are no air pockets and the cloth is completely flat. At this point DO NO MORE as the resin will start to harden and any more fiddling with it will cause the cloth to lift and bubble, less is definitely more in this instance. The resin should cure completely overnight and can be trimmed with a sharp blade. I tend to cover a hull in five stages, as there are five ‘faces’ to the hull and thus it’s a five day process for me, this may be time consuming but I think the results are worth the effort. I will brush on two further coats of resin when the rubbing strakes and gunwales have been added, this will completely fill the weave of the cloth to create a nice flat surface but it’s essential to rub down each coat after curing. All the materials were bought from ‘Easy Composites’ https://www.easycomposites.co.uk
The bow of the boat has a compound curve and to create the shape a single block of hard balsa is supplied in the kit, although in my pre-production prototype this had to be formed by laminating some pieces of thick balsa together to the required size. Rather than laminating up a single block separately I did the laminating and glueing in situ on the hull to ensure a solid tight block, and after the glue had cured I set about shaping it. Initially I used a razor saw to roughly remove the surplus at the sides and bottom and then began the process of shaping it to the final form. My sanding plate proved invaluable for the final stages of making the block flush with the hull sides. The underside of the blocks were very carefully shaped with a combination of the sanding plate and abrasive paper around a series large round formers. I was careful not to just use abrasive paper over fingers as this can create grooves and unevenness in the soft balsa. I had already created a concave shape in the bulkhead former F1 and with the ply bottom skins in place it was relatively easy to extend the contour into the bow blocks being very careful to ensure symmetry on both sides. A line was drawn on the blocks that extended the curve of the hull strakes to define the shape. I also used the outer keel as a template throughout the shaping process to make sure that I was not removing too much material. It would be very easy to remove too much material so it pays to do this slowly and carefully, checking all the time for symmetry. Finally when I was happy with the shape I formed a slight flat on the blocks for the outer keel to sit on, using a back light helped greatly with this, and the whole hull was given a light sanding with a detail sander. The prototype kit was supplied with keel components made from thick balsa which would easily be damaged in use so I recreated this in thick ply laminations to the required thickness and shaped it so that it was completely flat and square on the inner edges and with a curved profile on its outer edges. The keel was checked for fit on the hull throughout so that only a minimum amount of filler would be required to blend it to the hull. It was fixed in place with epoxy adhesive and firmly pinned until it fully set and very little filler used to finish it. The kit, which is available now from VMW, includes a single piece bow block and ply keel parts as standard, which makes construction much quicker and easier. I’m glad that bit is over and I’m very pleased with the result. Next stage will be glass fibre cloth and epoxy resin….
The rear deck has a few features that need to be done to finish the deck. 1) The hatch part needs the magnets putting in to hold it in place, which requires the deck to be milled out to accept the magnets. Having milled the recess out in both the base and the hatch in four places the magnets can be epoxied in the base. Now these have been set in place the upper magnets can be placed on top of the base magnets to get the correct orientation and glued in place, but I made sure to place some silicon baking paper between the magnets so they don’t accidently get stuck together (with epoxy). 2) The handles and recess to lift the decks out have to be milled out. Using a 2 mm slot drill I cut a 10mm x 5mm 1.5 mm deep recess in 4 places. Each recess has two holes drilled in the corners to accept the brass handles which will be epoxied in later 3) There are two drains at the rear of the deck. These were made from a machined piece of tube, which had vee groves milled in one end to accept a 1.5 mm brass rod in each, which were then soldered in place. After some cleaning up of the excess solder the underside was filled in using epoxy resin coloured black (with Graphite) to simulate a dark hole. The ends were then machined flat, polished, and finally epoxied into the deck. 4) Finally the foam tanks need to be secured, once again using round magnets this time , they are sunk into the deck and similarly the opposing magnets are sunk into the base of each foam tank, this gives a real sturdy fastening the tanks jump into position as soon as they are placed near their position. 5) The deck has had a number of clear lacquer coats during manufacture so now for a couple of final coats.
Two wooden pieces, steel rod, each hinge 3mm i/d brass tube, shaped with filler and then each hinge covered and the shape made using Strips of five glass and epoxy finishing resin. File to suit. Pins for hinges clevis type 3mm.
This is a small item but very visible on the wheelhouse and since the standard for this item has been set I have to follow suit. So first of all get some 3mm blue LEDs ordered and then it’s on with preparing the white metal body. I used by hand as suggested a series of drills increasing in diameter until 3.1 dia was reached but only 2/3 down the length from the front the smaller hole (1.5mm) was bored right through for the wires to exit. Arrival of the LEDs, first check the LED using my power supply, just over 3 volts seems to illuminate to the correct level. Next was to remove the shoulder on its plastic casing so the whole body does not exceed 3mm over its length and lightly abrade the outside to give a diffused light. Next cut the LED legs to 2mm from the plastic casing noting which is positive, next prepare the wires. I used Futaba servo wire cable 22awg which is very flexible and with the white signal wire stripped off leaving a red and black wire. These were tinned and cropped to 2mm and then quickly soldered to the appropriate terminal. Next check the LED still works! first hurdle over, I now needed to check the that when the LED goes into the body it doesn’t short out so checking the diameter over the widest part which is over the soldered terminals this was 0.1 below 3mm. I decided that shrink sleeve was too thick so I mixed some epoxy resin and coated all around the terminals, this proved to be satisfactory in both non-conductivity and dimensionally. Now the final test, using some aliphatic wood glue I slid the LED into the body whilst it was illuminated as it was a tight push fit, bingo it’s still lit – leave to set. I used aliphatic glue, as it would be easier to remove should I ever have to change the LED. The body still needs painting white but this will be done with all the other fittings at a later stage.
Hi All Refer to attached for motor comparison. I don't like using Cyano so the hull be built using ZAP 30minute epoxy and a weather proof Alphylitic from Sika. I will more than likely use a polyurethane based glue for the skinning. The hole boat will be epoxy coated inside and out to add strength. By the way the epoxy resin will increase the strength by about 2.5😁😁
Boat lifting eyes As has been said by others the boat lifting eyes are a small detail but an important one, somehow when detailing gets in your head its difficult not to seek it out. Anyway, there are six eyes three on each side, which I presume, are for lifting the boat out of the water, unfortunately there isn’t any detail on size so it’s down to “builders eye”. I made the six in a batch, that’s to say I first made six identical pieces 10.5mm x 20.5mm x 2mm thick and drilled the hole in each then the six pieces fastened together with an M4 screw and then machined together to ensure uniformity and ease of production. I then skimmed them to final size 10 x 20 followed by milling the concave and convex radii on the top. I intend to sink the eye into the deck and secure using a brass pin sideways into the gunwhale stringers and epoxied into position. To ease fitting I made a small jig, which will allow a 2mm slot to be cut in the exact position on the deck along with a drilled hole at 90 degrees. Two small grub screws fasten the jig to the gunwale stringers while the slot and holes are machined. After all the slots had been prepared I then made all the foot rails that run along the edge of the deck from bow to stern, the first set I used the obeche supplied in the kit, however as they are in a place that could get knocked I decided to rework then in walnut. Finally I pre drilled all the foot rails ready for temporary pinning. Having all the components ready it is time to assemble with epoxy resin, using sparingly and making sure not to get any on the visible part of the brass lifting eyes and using pins to hold in position while curing. PS sorry about some of the picture quality but I didn't check them until after assembly
Depends on the resin, NPJ. If it's epoxy you've bought, you need to weigh out 1/5th of the hardener to any amount of resin. Ergo...20 grams of resin, 4 grams of hardener. So get some electronic scales (very cheap and essential to the use of resin)put 20 grams in of resin and then, without touching the scales pour in drips of hardener till you have 24 or 25 grams showing on the scales. Don't go above that. Epoxy requires accuracy of measurement and endless mixing. Just mix and mix till you're fed up with it, then mix a bit more. Don't use large amounts as the heat from the curing of a large amount will set it off even quicker. Looking at your bottom picture, I see bubbles in the paint. Scrape them right off and see what's below. Probably soft wood, so scrape that out too and allow to dry thoroughly. Then in with the resin. If there's a bit of a dip, you can make your own filler by mixing fine sawdust with the resin into a peanut butter consistency and look and apply that to already wetted out surfaces. I used that on a full sized wooden canal boat. Worked a treat. When that's set, you can file it flat with a rasp and a second cut then wet'n'dry on a block to finish. Finally repaint and wax. But, as Doug says, you need to see if the water's getting in somewhere else like the shaft or rudder areas. Good luck, Martin
Have added reinforcing to the frame supporting the end of the shaft tubes, 3 pictures show dry fit. and once dry glue in shafts with epoxy resin, 3 pictures of fixed shaft tubes. Now looking at an extra part frame to support the three motor brushless out-runners.
Well, the die got here today, so the shaft is now done, all threaded M3x 0.6. Still ludicrously hot, so nowt gets done outside, except after about 7 in the evening. I've also got 4 figures from this morning's boot fair that I have already started converting into RAF boat crew. Huge amounts of Milliput epoxy putty later, the action figures will have RAF uniforms and the odd hat, suitable for 1/16th scale Crash Tenders, etc. Once done, my slot racing chum will cast them in resin and they will be available for sale. Don't know how much till he gives me a price for casting. Cheers, Martin
I built this 1/125th scale Amati kit of the Titanic over two years from 2016. It has enhanced etched brass details from Minibrass. Conversion for radio control involved making the hull waterproof with multiple layers of fibreglass cloth bonded with epoxy resin as well as the installation of a drive train and RC gear. With only a tiny rudder, steering is dependent on a mixer unit controlling the differential speed of the propellors.