Modified Stiletto project
Making a bit of a start on my stretched Stiletto (more a Stilapier) at the moment, as it had been put aside while I had a play with a surface drive to fit to it, if I could get one working (see under surface drive experiment, in forum). I've shelved that idea till I can find a suitable universal for it, and have decided to use a modified cable drive instead (see under 'converting a cable drive to a standard drive', in forum) I wanted to settle on the drive type before starting fully, to make installation easier.
The Stiletto has been stretched to 38 1/2" by blowing the A4 sized drawings up to AO paper size. I've left out the usual internal locking structure so as to create more room and ease of access to the internals, instead, the whole cabin will lift off, rather than a few 'lids'. All the new positions have been worked out using top and bottom datum lines (pic 1). The deck camber has been changed but the deck sheer left in. A few other mods will be made as things progress.
I started by cutting out the keel, breast hook and new ply bulkheads, then cut the centers out of the bulkheads notched them for the stringers and reinforced them. I made a new universal building jig (under model framing jig, in forum) to hold everything in place, (right side up and upside down), and set everything up on it. Glued all the bulkheads bar the transom to the keel, (keel has shaft tube slot previously built in by cutting the keel on the appropriate angle, separating the 2 pieces by a shaft tube diam, trenching 2 side plates to suit the shaft tube angle and diam, and gluing/clamping them on using the building jig to hold them flat and straight.
I've made a cut-out for the motor in bulkhead 3, and bent the cable drive to suit. A motor mounting plate will be made later. Cable drive will have a V brace made to suit once the angle has been sorted for prop clearance etc.
Getting hard to find some modelling supplies (namely spruce strips for stringers and balsa) now so there might be some slow patches in the building.
9 months ago
Decided to do something other than a boat this time, but still with a nautical purpose,- a 6 wheel twin diff twin prop swimming truck. Been done before, but I thought I'd have a go at one of my own design. Drew up some side and end templates and made a start, Purchased all the mechanical bits, (diffs, front axle, prop shafts, props, ESC, wheels,) over a few months from uncle ALI and added them to stuff I had in my collection.
Using cheap 3mm packing ply, I made the floor base ( to suit the diff and front axle widths) and strengthened it with 10x10 ally angle. Next,-cut out the sides and front and back panels. The floor was scored at the front and back to allow it to be bent up to the sides for gluing. Holes were cut in the floor to allow the diff heads to protrude through.
I had to modify the front axle to suit the width of the diffs by adding in an ally angle center section. Also had a play with setting the diffs and drive-shafts up with universals. Drive motor is a 380 1500 RPM @ 12v geared reduction drive, which is the one I first used in my Jeep tow wagon for my Hartley, (replaced it with a 1000 RPM version for more torque) and uses a 3s LiPo and Quicrun 40A ESC.
23 days ago
VINTAGE RUNABOUT -NEW WINTER PROJECT?
Threw a dart at a bunch of free plans and came up with this one (old MM plan) No matter what I chose, I would always see something else and wish I'd built that instead, but this has possibilities for a few improvements to the hull and a bit of room for extra 'stuff'. I had it printed originally to A-O size, but it came out a tad large, so I scaled it back to 33" x 10" which should make a good sized model. If I'd gone with the original print size (48") it would have required a weed-eater motor, my own forest, and a trailer. At 33" it will suit 3ft balsa sheets.
Went up to the print place and got it done yesterday, came home and did the bulkhead tracings, then transferred those to some 4mm light ply and cut them roughly to size. Later today I might give them a haircut to the final shape with my small bandsaw. Next job will be to find some spruce for the framing, which could be a challenge, as the main (almost only) model shop in Auckland, is a bit light on for most modelling wood at present.
I'll build it my usual way, - upside down with a central square hardwood spine screwed to the board, with the tops of the bulkheads notched to fit over it and all blocked in place. Once planked and glassed, the spine can be cut out in the required areas. This model could take a while, as I have a dozen other jobs which need doing.
6 days ago
'FAIRACRE' BROADS CRUISER (BATES LOOK ALIKE) RESTORATION
Seeing there is not a huge amount going on at the moment, I thought I might put up a timeline of the restoration of an old M/M plan built 'Fairacre' launch, which was found in a farm rubbish bin, and given to me by a fellow plane club member. I did the restoration quite a while back but never put it together on the site, (only a few pics in my harbour).
The boat was almost completely rotten as it had been sitting in a bin outside for years, so it needed a lot of work. I first de-moulded the inside which was black and washed it all out. It was then left in the sun for a few weeks for the balsa to dry thoroughly. Next thing was to repair the hull, which required cutting out the rotten sections and re sheeting them. Other areas were ground out and filled where necessary.
The prop shaft was renewed and then the hull was glassed and painted. The inside was coated with 'Everdure' timber sealer/preservative to kill any mould in the balsa and toughen it. The rear rubbing strakes were replaced with dowelled in varnished hardwood and a rubbing strake fitted to the gunwale. The deck was sanded back, the plank lines re-drawn and the deck varnished again. The hull was painted inside with grey enamel which improved it somewhat.
The cabin was almost a write-off as the front part had warped out of shape. This required adding small sections of thin ply and veneer to get the deck line anywhere near straight. The cabin saloon roof was cut off to allow access to the inside (and to later re-do the windows). The cabin sides were sanded back as far as possible and then re-varnish/stained with 4 coats to try and hide the ply weather staining defects.
The inside was carpeted (left over grass from my sons model layout) and the seats painted (don't ask me why I painted them moroon). The cabin roofs were sanded back and repaired, then painted and re-fitted with blocks and screws so as to be removable. They had been planked originally but were pretty rough, so paint was the best option. New windows were installed after re-shaping and repairing the openings in most of them, and some left-over Graupner 'Commodore' curtains (from 1978) were used to cover the windows.
The old Graupner monoperm motor was re fitted after a tidy up, although it's pretty knackered as the bushes are worn out. It still runs very quietly and pushes the boat at a decent speed, so saved having to buy a new motor. I used my old 1978 Futaba FP-MC llB 12-24v 10A ESC which still works perfectly, to run the motor from a 3s Lipo and a Sanwa servo for the rudder. The main power switch is a 12v car aux switch hooked to the ESC, and the output from the ESC run to a stereo speaker connector, then to the motor (simple to disconnect) The TX used is a 2.4 TGY (Flysky) 6x, converted to twin throttles (used on the MTB as well)
The lighting is a mixture of LEDs (nav/running lights/dash-top power indicator) and grain of wheat bulbs for the 3 cabins. The are all independently controlled from an 8 way micro PCB switch and have resistors to balance the lights. I also fitted a mast,, grab rails, a few deck ornaments, and made a boarding ladder for the transom.
The model is far from perfect, but considering it's previous state I think it's a slight improvement. The boat runs nicely and is very quiet as well. The original builder made a good job of it and used ply frames and 4x4mm hardwood stringers which probably saved it from extinction.
While I'm waiting for the sampan to arrive from China, I am going to make a start on a small refurbishment and tidy up a few bits. I'm going to fit a spray rail on the chine, a toe rail, simplify the lighting (all LEDs switched from the TX), better on off switch and tidier wiring, anchor, bow roller, new motor, new interior and whatever else needs improving. Wouldn't mind actually getting hold of a plan (still available) and scaling one up to 40" and 'Starcrafterising' it, - would make a nice and unusual model.
11 months ago
HARTLEY FLARELINE, NEW PROJECT
Thought I'd have a lash at a model of the Hartley 19ft 5in 15 deg V cabin boat I completed about 30 yrs ago. Hartley boats are NZ designed, and there have been around 100,000 examples built, ranging from canoes to large ocean yachts. Hartleys have been built since their plans were first produced in 1938, and wherever you go in NZ or Aust you are bound to find one example. The most common runabouts in the 50s- 80s, were Hartleys, Pelins, Augustins and there are still thousands around today,(I had the Hartley and still have a 70s Pelin Nomad 12ft dinghy)
I have been thinking of building this boat for a while and have decided to power it with a jet unit to see how it goes. My particular boat was designed for a Hamilton single stage jet, to be powered by a Zephyr 6 or 149 Holden motor or similar (around 100hp) but I fitted a MK3 Zodiac 6 with a stern drive which pushed it at 30mph at 5000rpm.
I scanned a drawing from the old Hartley plan brochure and modified it to resemble the model I had, with the longer dodger with longer side windows. I then enlarged it and scaled it for 30" on A4 (I was thinking of 40"but it would have been huge) Today I took the drawing to the big local stationers and had it blown up to full size (as well as the 1/2 bulkhead/frames I had scaled). I took some measurements originally from the A4 drawing at points along the hull for the frames, (height, width etc) and estimated some of the positions I remembered from my boat. The boat has quite a flare in the bow (a feature of most larger Hartleys) so I will have to do a lot of fiddling to get it all to look right.
Tonight I cut out some trial frames,and will set these out on the keel upside down, then try out the positions with a piece of 3x3 balsa stock to get the 'flow' right. Takes a while doing it without any plan but usually works out ok, (eg my HSL , ST and Maiami) Not in any rush so this will take a while. Have ordered the jet unit (26mm El Cheapo) from Ali Express and will probably try a brushed 540 30T or similar first to see how it goes. Would have loved an AMPS stern drive, (still have a brochure somewhere I sent to UK for, about 1970) , but they are long gone (mostly collectors items now)
This will be the usual balsa/ply/glass hull with Mahogany trim etc, so should be an interesting exercise, especially with the jet, (will have to come up with a reversing bucket as the El Cheapos don't have one.)
10 months ago
Graupner Optimist re fit
Forgot I had the Optimist to re-do so I'll do a short blog on what I'm doing. I had already re-fitted the stays with solid stainless fishing trace as the original wound wire stays had frayed and had nasty sticky out bits. I had also re-joined the cabin roof which I had cut behind the mast for R/C and battery access (once assembled the model had no access to the interior and involved removing all the stays sheets and mast to get at anything,- about 10 mins work!)
Now with long lasting LiPos there will be no need to remove the top for the whole day. I have two 'El Cheapo' winches to fit,- one for the jib and one for the main. Not sure how long they will last as they won't even center properly and sit there and hum most of the time. The alternative is a very expensive modern winch, around $600 or maybe a winch servo arm type, (still quite expensive).
I have ripped the rudder and shaft out as it had completely seized up over the last 40 years and was spinning in the hull, (having broken the epoxy) I've made a new shaft and bushes to go back in, and will be adding a lower (skeg) and upper (deck) bush as the original had none and just sat in a hole in the ABS skeg, and the shaft tube was just held by 2 ply wedges to the inside of the hull. I am strengthening all this up, and the top bush will now support the shaft where it comes through the deck to stop any flex in the ABS.
It was a very nicely made model in its day but ABS was the wrong material to make it out of, considering the weight of the keel required. If you pick the model up on its side, the hull flexes, so I might glass the inside for a bit more strength as it's getting old and probably a bit brittle in that area, (as long as polyester resin won't distort the hull)
The rudder shaft goes through the deck, through the shaft tube and into a brass tube which is epoxied into the rudder blade, and through to the bottom bush of the skeg. The shaft and blade tube are drilled through before the blade tube is epoxied in place. Shaft and rudder blade are then assembled as one unit into the hull ( shaft going through everything) with all the bushes epoxied in at the same time to line them up The shaft and blade are then pinned in place through the pre drilled holes.
This time I'll fill everything with grease to hopefully stop it seizing again. Might use a small stainless split pin to lock the blade and shaft as it might be easier to remove. This design also was not a brilliant way of doing the rudder, and prone to corrosion inside the blade tube.
I have also re modeled my modelling room as a complete area, (was getting sick of working between rooms. Have put both 6ft tables in so now have more 'bench space'. Now to get rid of some planes!
2 years ago
40" Seaplane Tender, new build
Just started a 40" model of a 41'6" seaplane tender. I have been wanting to do one for years and now that my 36" 100 series 64ft HSL is done I was getting itchy fingers. Started with drawings from the 1976 Model Boats mag (part of the series on ASRs they did back then) which show frame shapes and positions, and enlarged them to 40" (A-O paper after rearranging the images on the A4 primary enlargement used as printing 'pattern' to enable max size on A-O. )
I did the same with the HSL and with a bit of fiddling got all the frames to line up nicely to shape. You have to be a bit inventive building this way regarding framing material etc, but it's possible if you have previous building experience. I found with these particular drawings that the frames were not drawn with identical profiles (left and right sides) so I had to create 1 side and flip it for the opposite side. I also had to create an extra frame between 2+3 as there was no real support for the stringers without it.
The front top deck frame is cut from 3mm ply, as are the frames,-(ply is from packaging of a big Toyota Landcruiser axle recall which was done during my time at Toyota, which is 3 ply, very light, and perfect for this type of job, and not to mention, free!) I borrowed this frame method from the old 60s Vic Smeed MTB plan and it makes a good strong bow section to work with (used it on the HSL also.)
Ply longerons are run through from transom to F2 with hardwood stiffening between transom and F4. Chine, gunwale and mid stringers are 4mmx2mm Beech, bottom stringers are 3x3 beech with mid stringer doubled. I may have to put extra stringers in the sides but that will depend on how the planks lie in the flares. planking will be 1.5mm balsa as the flares are quite pronounced especially in the bow area, and you just can't get sheets to go round the compound curves.
Hull will be glassed and faired when finished and sealed with thin resin inside once everything is ready. Cabin is reasonably easy but takes a bit of working out and fiddling with due to lack of any plan, but it seems to be working out reasonably with the use of photos etc.
The model is going to be a representation of a tender which was imported privately in the 50s by a doctor in the Milford sounds area here in the South Island of NZ, to enable him to visit patients, due to there being water access only in many of the remote areas. I have modified the drawings to represent this boat, which included changing the mast and removing the rear oval port and replacing it with a small round port, (not sure why this was changed, maybe an interior modification made the large port unnecessary ?) The boat ended up in Auckland at some stage and was owned by a family not far from my place for a number of years (pic is on the hard at our local yacht club in the 70s, - colour pic is from a friends super 8 movie taken from his boat, on an outing together with Jaguars owner 60s/70s). It is now apparently back in the South Island being restored.
The model will use brushed 540 motors with twin ESCs etc but still a way off yet. I have to work out a way to make the cabin removable either with or without the rear cockpit, but more likely it will be a 2 piece job. It's a bit of a make it up as you go project.
Model Boats frames boat sheets Landcruiser motors ESCs
3 years ago