All donations are securely managed through PayPal. Amounts donated are not published online.
Many thanks for your kind support.
Model Boats Website Team
January 2019: 12 people December 2018: 6 people November 2018: 11 people October 2018: 9 people September 2018: 13 people August 2018: 5 people July 2018: 8 people June 2018: 8 people May 2018: 7 people April 2018: 21 people
The heating elements in the hairdryer had two different wire gauges as elements. I removed the lighter gauge thinking they would probably draw less current. I am attempting to use 6 volts as that is what my boat is. 1. First Photo: Took a length of element and stretched it out as shown, started with a longer piece about 8". If you are at 12v probably longer. Use some alligator clip jumpers and attached to one end, ran it to negative terminal of my 6v SLA. Took another jumper and attached to a point on the wire, say about 7". JUST TOUCH the other end to the battery positive to see if it glowed, it did not. So just moved about 3/8" at a time till it glowed - See Photo. CAUTION, make certain you have a nonflammable surface to work on, I used a tile scrap. IT GETS HOT FAST AND WILL BURN, DON'T ASK ME HOW I KNOW. That's why I just touch the terminal till it glows then stop, let it cool for a while. 2. Cut element to length, than take your 16 gauge wire and the crimp tube shown in earlier post. Insert both into the tube and crimp it. I used a side cutter and carefully just squeezed enough. Make sure that the element will not pull out. Do the other end. Because I am using only 6 volts, I had flattened out the wire to give me more wraps on the wick. See photo and note. 3. In the lid of the box, I located the fan at one end, the exhaust stack at the other. Drilled a hole matching the fan opening and secured with two screws, drill small pilot holes so as not to crack the plastic. Drill hole to match brass tube OD, tube is about 1" long or so. Super glued brass tube in place. Excuse the sloppy copper sheet work on the inside of the lid, it was an experiment at the time. I added this a a bit of a heat sheild as the wick and element would sit below this. 4. Next photos show the interior of the box, not the best photos of the process as this was already built.... The mint tin set inside the plastic box was an idea to do two things; first isolate the heating element from the plastic,and two, provide a smaller vessel for the fluid. You may want to just use a metal container instead of the plastic box, again I was just using what I had on hand. The wick is laying in the tin with the element propped up at on end to keep it out of the fluid. Photo shown does not show much fluid in place. This needs some work, but worked for this test. Experiment, just be sure that the lower portion of the wick is in the fluid and the element wire wrap is above the fluid level. For the test, I used some mineral oil and a bit of glycerin, smoked very well. It's late so I will run it and photograph tomorrow. Cheers, Joe (Excuse the Imperial rather than metric)
Wow Robbob, I have just seen the video of your Crash Tender. She is amazing. Looks great on the water. I just love the way these hulls sit on the water. Virtually no roll at all, it's as if they are glued to the waters surface. The Aerokits Crash Tender was my very first boat back int 1959, it was my 9th birthday present and my father and I started to a build. But he wasn't happy about building the original kit straight outright. As our first ever build, he brought home broken down tea chests and orange boxes and he got me to draw round all the parts and he went on to cut each piece out with a nice new fretsaw. So as the first one went together and it seemed to go well then the Aerokits one followed on. He then bought me a ED Hunter 3.46cc Diesel engine for my Christmas present that year. I say he I should say my parents both bought them for me. Sadly I never got to have radio control in it. I was weird as we went on to build another five in all. One was given to my younger brother, his had a Taycol Standard in it, and I had the job of taking the accumulator to the local model shop to have it charged up as we never had a charger for it. I think they used to charge something like a shilling each time it was done. The other five that we built he actually gave away to friends and one even went to the milkman. I still have a 34 and a 46 inch still new in boxes. The 34" is an original that Was Released in 1994 by Aerokits on the 50th Anniversary and the 46" is a VMW kit. I have a 46" to refurbish and have scaled one down and built a 28" in Balsa wood. As well as a 46" PT 109 with a 26cc in her that also sits on the water the same way. Sorry to waffle on it just brings back old memories. I'll leave it there. I just love your Build such detail.
Back at it this afternoon, handrails are very solid after overnight cure. Trimmed the rail ends to the necessary length. Glued in place. Built a ships ladder, first time for this, think it will work. Need to get ships ladder set to finalize railing. Ladder railing is seen in photo, I make bends like on this by applying heat and bending with my fingers. Styrene gets very flexible with heat, but can quickly melt if not careful. I learned not to use my heat gun (used for shrink tubing in my electronics) as it quickly gets out of control. I usually boil water, let it sit and dip the plastic in and out. Easy way to control bends. Joe
Last night I had done a quick railing mockup as seen in the first three photos. Decided to go with styrene and use a rectangular stanchions (verticals) and top handrail along with horizontal round intermediates. Drilled holes through the verticals and inserted the round rods, then glued. Worked pretty well. Next few shots show how I typically sketch up to scale and determine proper spacers, dividers come in handy for this. Then drew some guide lines for assembly, taped it to my tack surface, covered in wax paper and pinned the assemble in place. Pins do not penetrate anything,just uses pressure to secure. Some drops of styrene cement and the parts are welded together. Then on to all the railings needed. Will let dry overnight and trim ends in place. FYI -- Tack surface is just a piece of acoutical ceiling tile, I cut down the 2'x4' size to make smaller ones for my tiny workbench use. I learned this pinning method from building balsa airplanes, comes in handy a lot...... Joe
Cabin detail part 5 speed control & compass The speed control has two main throttle controls presumably to operate the engines independently. The construction of this piece made it easy to allow each arm to operate independently but to ensure that the levers had some stiffness in the travel I incorporated a spring into the centre screwed shaft. I machined some detail into the body and a recess in each end face to accommodate a dial (AHEAD, ASTERN, STOP, SLOW etc). The circular body needed something to stand on so I made a cradle, which will support it when it is screwed to the framework. I left the whole unit in natural brass, lacquered it to stop any tarnishing, and mounted it with an 8BA screw to hold it in position. The compass again a simple turned piece of brass with a recess machined into the top face to accept a N,S,E,W compass dial. This item is simply glued in the recess on the console.
After the Christmas break its back to the cabin to finish some of the instrument detail. You may recall I detailed the cockpit with some ply constructions to represent the general layout; I also intend to detail the compass, throttle controls, steering wheel, panel lighting, and instrument panel. The instrument panel was copied and scaled from various drawing and pictures and I came up with a three-panel unit where panels 1 & 3 are identical as they are for the two-engine managements system the centre panel deals with electrical things. I intend to make the panel out of 1.5 mm aluminium cut to size on the guillotine I then attached this to a hardwood block with some strong double sided tape this will be more than strong enough to hold the piece for the drilling/light milling operation. I worked out the hole positions using an absolute datum (same as CNC work, if only I was still working) This does take some time using my rather old milling machine making sure any backlash is taken out during the 28 linear movements. I used various sizes of centre drills to produce the holes as they give not only accurate size but also perfectly round holes on thin material and the only ones that needed to be a particular size (6mm dial holes) the others are for switches and LEDs which can all be a 3 mm location hole. Each hole was drilled and then chamfered to simulate a bezel on the dials. Finally, I milled a shallow groove (2mm x 0.3 deep) to simulate the separate panels. I have copied a number of different marine dials from the internet and using PowerPoint I aligned in a complete group and then printed and laminated them, this will be placed behind the aluminium plate using double-sided tape. Having fixed the dials in place I drilled through the holes where LEDSs will fit. The LEDs will be shortened and polished so they are flat to the face; these are then stuck in place. Next, I made all the switches from brass bar with a fine brass pin glued across its face to simulate the lever. These were painted gloss black and the centre pin picked out in red, they were then glued into the 3 mm location hole. The black knobs/pull switches were turned out of black Perspex and polished; they were then glued into the location holes. The whole instrument panel is then pinned on to the wooden framework which has been left in natural wood finish (ply) as it looks like the original boat was just a varnished ply finish.
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….
Because I need access to the wiring at both ends of the boat I formed the framework of an opening at the bow to make the dummy hatch into a real hatch. In a similar way a hatch was formed in the rear deck which will give me access to the wiring, rudder servo and the ESC cooling. It’s going to be quite tight to get all that into the cavity under the rear deck but I’ve done a test fit and it will all go in but will involve some ‘keyhole surgery’ through the rear hatch opening when I get to the stage of installing all of the running gear…🤓. Both of these decks were glued and pinned in place and some packing tape used to pull the decks firmly onto the frames. The side decks were also trimmed for best fit and secured in the same way and when all was dry and set a small hand plane was used to trim them flush to the hull sides. The next stage will be to fit the balsawood blocks at the bow and shape them to the hull…..it’s the tricky bit I’ve not been looking forward to…😟
Totally agree with all points mentioned👍, another way is to make a note of the things you need, now and in the future i.e. glue, fittings,paint etc, and then visit the model boat shows advertised around the UK, some are close, others not, for me I like Doncaster show, Haydock and Blackpool, going to shows allows you to choose from various traders and cherry pick the bits you want, it works for me along with the internet for items wanted NOW! cheers Peter😊
The HobbyKing ESC I’m using has the facility for water cooling and as it will be in an enclosed location without any free ventilation it seems sensible to utilise this feature. To keep the water circuit as short as possible I will put the pickup just behind the propeller and the exhaust on the stern but as the boat has a bulkhead just in front of the stern skin I need to make an access hole through it to allow me to secure the nut on the stern skin. I made a hole through the bulkhead large enough to get a socket on the nut and reinforced the hole with a ply plate, similarly I reinforced the inside of the stern skin where the outlet passes through it. When I was happy that the arrangement worked and I could attach the hoses and securing clips easily I glued and pinned the stern skin to the hull. The water pickup is a standard one that is readily available but it’s supplied with overly large and ugly fixing nuts, the inside one is of no consequence but I thought that the outer one needed smartening up so I put it on a threaded rod and locked it in place with another nut and put that into the chuck of a drill and used a file to re-shape the nut to a pleasing taper….who needs a lathe......😜 I had to reduce the height of the inner keel former as the pickup tube is not long enough to get a good fixing with the internal nut, as the inner keel is balsa I fitted a ply reinforcing plate to spread the load. The last ‘photo shows the location of the ESC, main battery fuse and receiver. The hoses will be secured to the ESC with spring clips throughout. I found that the silicone tube I use tends to kink rather easily if the radius of a bend is too small and I found it necessary to form a tight spring coil around the piece that loops the water back through the ESC to prevent this happening.
Last night I started on the large hatch that will cover the entire deck opening rather than several hatches, this is to keep with simple approach. The pilot house and whatever else I decide to add will be attached to this for easy removal and access for battery charging and maintenance. It's not as easy as a flat deck hatch as I curved the deck and wanted to curve the hatch as well. See photos, I cut curved sides, then I clamped it to blocks on the bench to bend , glued and let dry for 24 hours. While that's setting up I started on building some tow bitts. These I am making from styrene that I had from my railroad scratch building. See two small for aft and 1 larger at the bow that is in progress. In addition, I showed some shots of my Brooklyn Tug Bitts. These are heavy duty and were made of brass! Still enjoying this simple build..... Joe
Captain's Log: Supplemental Well, today was a good day to fix. The leak in Brooklyn's aft end! I scraped off the paint around the skeg area and boss! I then took a piece of 10mm x 110mm plastic. And glued it to the seam. Making sure to cover the area. That was cracked and leaking! I am then going to let the glue set over night. If all goes well, the leak should stop..... I will reassemble her aft end. And do a Domestic Test Tank Test! If the Test Succeeds. I will then repaint the aft end of the tug! And put all of her Ballast back and her batteries! Hope my repair works!!!
Given that the inner core of the riva is some sort of plastic (onto which the planks are laid and glued), and given that the one shown has some 15 coats of clear epoxy and varnish, it is quite well sealed. And stable in our experience. I should have mentioned that you may be carving out space for the electronics and motors as well. (I say "may" because it has been a few years, and my memory is not photographic...)
Captain's Log: I have discovered where the leak is coming from! As the Hull is two halves glued together. The aft end of the hull. Is the weakest part of the hull! It has cracked under stress!😲😡😭 So, what I plan to do. It strip the paint in that area. And glue a piece shaped like the seam and Boss!😁😁😁 But, for this I have to take everything out of the hull. The hull will be light and easy to work with then! Note: It's good to do a Domesticated Test Tank Test! As often as possible. If a leak is going to develop. Better for it to develop in the DTTT! Than for it to happen 125 meters into the pond!