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>> Home > Tags > fitting the side skins

fitting the side skins
fitting the side skins
masking tape
double sided
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fitting the side skins
36" Thames River Police Launch by Robbob by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 10 days ago
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.

Pilot Boat by RNinMunich Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 3 months ago
Agreed Mike, that was exactly my thought as studied the pics of frame arrangements👍 Pete, I hope you managed to get all frames fitted at right angles to the keel! To skin it I would fix the frame structure firmly to a build-board upside-down as Mike says. Make sure the keel is straight and then FIX THE BOTTOM SKINS FIRST making sure that they are flush to the keel and that the keel is straight and the frames not twisted. Leave overnight to set thoroughly. If you are having trouble fitting the skin round the bow and sticking the whole length then as a first stage glue the 'flat' bit aft. Leave to set overnight and then you can play with the 'bent' bits the next day without shifting what you have already done.😉 When the bottom skins are fixed file and sand to fit so you can fit the side skins smoothly and down over the bottom skin edges. Use the same technique for the side skins, stick the back end first if you ain't got enough hands handy to fiddle aft and bow on simultaneously😉 Use clamps if you can, e.g. the simple plastic X types or bulldog clips, whatever. Instead of Sellotape try aluminium Duct Tape. Cheers, Doug 😎

Pilot Boat by MouldBuilder Captain   Posted: 3 months ago
Winter approaches again so what better than a new project,.......to go along with the other two yet to be completed. I have excuses. Honest!! This new one is a bit different again. No wood at all this time. It is the Aero-naut Pilot Boat. I thought it didn`t look too much of a task but I think I will have to re-assess as it is tricky in parts. I have assembled the hull frame, which although the parts are rather loose fitting until glued went ok. I have, however, stumbled slightly on the next stage, to fit the hull skins. The instructions suggest to cellotape them in place prior to glueing. Not as easy as it sounds as considerable bending of the parts is required to get them to fit, too much for the tape. Does anybody know of an easier approach please. The ABS is extremely difficult to hold in position when trying to tape it, which incidently, does not hold anyway. Should I warm up the skins or will this distort them and give a rippled finish. Any help here would be appreciated.🤓 I will continue with the refurbishment of the Patrol Torpedo Boat for now as I have been trying to manipulate the sides of the Pilot boat into place for hours, no, days!!.😡😤

Side skins by mturpin013 Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 9 months ago
To enable ease of application of the side skins I decided to raise the building board up to 45 degrees, this allows a better view of the proposed joints Before fitting the bottom skins the side skins have to be trimmed back to the stringers and deck line again using a red pencil to show how much material is being removed as I approach the stringers with the plane. Having done that little job it’s time to shape the skin. I followed the same procedure as I did with the side skins. Again after some time I got a fit I was happy with from the stern to the start of the bow curve. At this point I pinned the skin at the B2,3,4,5 leaving enough material to trim to the bow curve and also trim the cut-out where the skin joins with a butt joint as opposed to the overlap from bow to stern, this is all done prior to bending. Notice the steel shim protecting the chine from being cut as the bottom skin is trimmed for the overlap of the side skin. The bending was done simply by soaking in hot water for 5 - 7 mins and then forming around a suitable size paint tin and left overnight to dry. I first pinned the stern end dry and then epoxied the bow area then followed by more epoxy and progressive pinning towards the stern using brass pins into the bulkheads and smaller pins along the overlap which will be removed when the joint is dry. I made a tempory clamping arrangement at th bow by pinning some scrap ply to the top beck atea to enable clamps to be used, notice the use of a mirror to be able to make sure the joint had come together

Skinning the hull (bottom) by mturpin013 Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 9 months ago
The boat has to be placed upside down so first thing to do is to modify the base board so the hull is firm to be able to do any final trimming. Before the skins are fitted the bow areas have to be sealed being careful not to seal the parts which are to be glued The instructions say that the lower skins are fitted first and as they are 6mm oversize this allows for trimming to achieve a good fit. After some time I got a fit I was happy with from the stern to the start of the bow curve so at this point I pinned the skin at the B2,3,4,5 leaving enough material to trim to the bow curve prior to bending . The bending was done simply by soaking in hot water for 5 - 7 mins and then forming around a suitable paint tin and left overnight to dry. Before fitting I decided to trim the skin at the front bow area where it has a butt joint with the side skins, easier than trying to cut it out after it had been glued. Point to note was that while the bending was being carried out, I also bent he side skins as well. Having pre drilled all the holes for the pins and ensured the fit is as good as I can get I can now epoxy the first skin on.

Forward cabin roof skins. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Happily the fitting of these three pieces is quite straightforward. The skins were heated with a hot air gun and gently curved to the correct profiles, then I ran a sanding block over the cabin sides and wheelhouse formers to contour them to the correct profiles so that the roof skins fitted well. The edges of the two outer skins was chamfered where they meet the edges of the centre section for neatness and to minimise filling. The skins overlap all sides of the cabin walls by about 1/8 of an inch and they were trimmed to allow this before fitting. The skins were then glued in place with aliphatic, pinned and clamped and left to dry.

Sealing & painting the inside. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
The next stage is to fit the deck skins but before doing so I drilled some holes in the bulkheads to pass the wiring for the lighting circuits and servos through later. The battery supports are in place and I have cut two larger holes in bulkheads B4 & B5 and bridged them with a bar to act as a support for wiring and water cooling tubes so everything is supported and looks tidy. I then applied 3 coats of sanding sealer to all accessible areas inside the hull, rubbing down between each coat. I forgot to mention previously that before fitting the bottom and side skins the voids at the bow ahead of B1 were sealed with sanding sealer. I used silver Hammerite paint over the sanding sealer as suggested in the building instructions, and when dried and hardened has provided an attractive and durable finish. The insides of the cabin sides and cabin formers will probably be painted black at a later stage.

Fitting the side skins. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Hi Paul. Thanks for your encouraging comments. The motor is a Turnigy SK3-4250-500kv brushless outrunner, batteries are 2 x 9.6v NiMh 5000mA, a combination recommended for this boat by VMW. You are not the only one to express a concern on it's potential performance but I'll go with what I have and if indeed it does under perform I can easily up-rate the motor and battery combination. The ESC I have is more that capable apparently. I'm too far down the road to reconfigure to a two motor setup and really I'm building this as a test of my re-awakened model making skills and for the satisfaction of it all rather than terrifying the pond life and myself to boot, assuming I can find a 'pond' that is. The spray rails are indeed a nice square profile as you suggest and will hopefully help with the cornering. I'm trying to find out more about the mysterious stern navigation light that appears in a couple 'photos I have seen, I might like to incorporate this in my boat if it's a significant detail...anyone know? This is the sort of constructive criticism that I was hoping to get from other members to my blog so please do chip in if I'm getting it wrong, albeit too late for me but for others building similar boats. By the way, my comments about the fire boat content of the plans and docs section is not intended to offend anyone, but I can't understand why 'copyright issues' means that 'photos and drawings have to be deliberately blurred to render them next to useless, It's like giving someone a book to read and then poking then in the eyes! Rob

Fitting the side skins. by pmdevlin Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
H Rob, really nice woodwork skills, I am unable to do that! I just rescue other peoples builds and make them pretty! If I may, I have some concerns about your drivetrain, something I have spent a lot of time testing etc. That motor, with nimhs just isn't going to deliver the power needed to push this heavy old girl along, please consider lipo's, or even twin screw, you still have time to do this, its very easy, I did it! As you have seen on the youtube videos, these boats where fast, they handle real great in a straight line, its cornering that things get difficult. One real good tip, make sure the spray rails are square profile. HS93 told me this, and it works a treat to aid turning at speeds, this hull wants to roll quite a lot! Regarding the mysterious rear light, I saw a picture years ago, it was blue, we thing it had something to do with pre trial river requirements, I cannot find that info anywhere, so left it off mine. Paul

Fitting the side skins. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Hi don6398 I actually found the the process very easy and not at all messy and the results certainly worth the effort. Rob.

Fitting the side skins. by don6398 Chief Petty Officer   Posted: 2 years ago
I have 3 boats that way and they turned quite good. They are definitely strong. I have fiberglass a 4 real boats. The product can be messy but definitely worth the work and time.

Fitting the side skins. by cormorant Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Thanks Rob. I will keep watching. Steve

Fitting the side skins. by don6398 Chief Petty Officer   Posted: 2 years ago
You made a hard job look easy. Do you cover the boat with fiberglass cloth and resin

Fitting the side skins. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Hi Steve. The design of the VMW kit uses skins that run the full length of the hull although I have seen others that have a balsa bow section, and in my opinion the full skin approach is possibly better because the bow shape is formed very easily without repeated sanding and contouring and checking for symmetry. The first crash tender I built 46 years ago was all ply so In that respect I have had a bit of practice !. Keep watching the blog and you see that I also reinforce the hull with fibreglass cloth and epoxy resin. Rob.

Fitting the side skins. by cormorant Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 2 years ago
Hi Robob I have just started following your blog so please forgive me if I have missed something. About 30 years ago I built a wooden hulled 49" Perkasa, similar in construction to your Crash Tender. In fact, I also built the 37" version of the crash tender. The hull skins finished at bulkhead B1. The kit suppled four blocks of balsa for the upper and lower bow sections on each side of the keelson. These were glued into place and then carved and sanded to the profile of the bow. Once I was satisfied with the profile I sealed and then painted with two part epoxy paint to give the balsa a hard shell. This method was very straightforward and required minimal shaping of the hull skins. Had you considered this method? Steve