Think it was a great deal. Cannot buy the hull for anywhere near 50 GBP! I built one under a blog HMS BULLDOG / BEAGLE a couple of years ago. Turned into a nice model and very nice sailer. Only downside is she is bigger that fits my car easily and susceptible to transport damage. Good luck. As Dave M suggests, write a blog so we can watch the rebuild, it should be interesting.
Most of the deck equipment such as winches and bollards, is standard freighter fare. The deck layout is typical of a vessel of this type and vintage, as are the masts and rigging. There will be little of interest to report until the first water test is planned in about 6 weeks when will get access to an indoor pool.Will hold any further blog updates until then unless something unusual occurs .
My father built me one too. It had 2 x flat batteries and a “Mighty Midget” motor. It was well loved and suffered accordingly. Brought it to Canada and did a refurbishment. Retained original shaft and prop but with a small motor. Fitted MTRONIKS 10 with a mini rudder servo. Now sails well and passed to my Grandson for him to enjoy.
Hi Doug, Hate to split hairs, but am researching a Brave Borderer for my next project. In doing so can advise that although the BB and the Brave Swordsman were sister ships, they had different superstructures. Have no idea why. The Perkasa was different again, it resembles the BB but it has an enclosed wheel house in front of what looks like a BB superstructure. This extended portion can be seen on the pictures. Sorry, as R.A.F in Canada, to disagree with you! Enjoyed the rest of your post though, it helped explain some of the export derivatives of the Brave class which I could not otherwise pin down. Rowen
Before the funnel could be installed wanted to fit a working radar scanner, navigation lights and the batteries. Decided to use sub C NIMH batteries in plastic holders, they should have the target endurance and provide some ballast. Fitted two sets of 4 cells, one at the forward end of the superstructure and the other at the rear, both at keel level. These were inserted into wooden battery trays to hold them in place. A dry test run showed a full speed motor run time well exceeding the hour target, so will try on water. Also took the opportunity to fit the Rx and then adjust the rudder before finishing off the wiring. Both the navigation lights (LEDs) and the radar scanner work. The radar is driven by a servo with the potentiometer removed and a magnetic drive shaft run up through the superstructure from below the deck. The motor requires about 9 volts to run at what would seem to be something approximating to scale speed; fitted a voltage reducer to allow the lights and the radar to work on less than 6 volts. The mast lights are to be installed in a separate circuit after the masts are added. As I get more into the detail it is evident the GA drawing and the photographs of the vessel in service differ. Fortunately the component locations seem consistent, although the equipment is not. This most apparent in the hold ventilators. The GA shows the standard cowl vents, but the photographs show a mixture between an vertically squeezed oval vent (which am advised is more typically German) and ventilator columns with cylindrical caps. The column style vents with cylindrical caps were easily made from two different sizes of styrene tube with the cap tops made from styrene offcuts. The squeezed oval style vents were more difficult. Broke them down into the major parts of the cylindrical vertical tube and, from a larger tube cut a small ring and filed one end to straddle the tube once it had been squeezed oval. Glued it into place whilst restrained in a small hand vice. Once set, removed and sanded the the two to give a smooth transition, closing the rear aperture off with styrene offcuts. Then resorted to wood filler, filed down to give a smooth, oval vent.
Have moved on to the deck furniture and equipment, including the funnel. Most of it can be made from the usual assortment of scrap materials and odd and ends. Decided to start on the funnel. Planned to make up a wooden replica and wrap a thin styrene sheet around it, finally inserting styrene formers into the shell, gluing them into place. Made the replica up from scrap wood blocks and shaped it into the correct shape. The outcome looked so good was tempted to use as final as making funnels seems quite a challenge. Anyway proceeded to plan and shape thin styrene sheet around the replica, using a heat gun to overcome the memory. Once this was done, fitted shaped styrene internal formers to hold the styrene to the correct shape and glued with adhesive. After the styrene glue had dried and the excess material trimmed, now had two usable funnels - wood and styrene. The wood version is nominally smaller and fits slightly better, so decided to use it. The Teakwood was originally operated by the J I Jacobs Company, which had a buff funnel with a black cap as markings. Stumbled across a picture of the vessel when she was chartered to the British India Steam Navigation Co. Evidently BI usually painted chartered vessels in their livery. Although the picture does not show the traditional and attractive BISNCo white hull cheat line, it does show the funnel markings. These are black with two narrowly separated white bands. Rather preferred this scheme so adopted it. The picture was taken in the mid 1960s and it also shows a pristine looking ship, my worries about the model looking unsoiled seem groundless. One of the pictures shows a strip that extends back from the wheelhouse almost to the funnel - this is a support for the awnings that fit over the bridge wings.
The wheelhouse was made out of styrene sheet, suitably shaped and heated to get the correct contours. It was left loose as, until the funnel is made, in some doubt about the shape and size of the cut-out needed in the navigation deck. The structure is essentially complete; glazed and painted. Until the funnel research is finished have now moved on to other items. Started making the hatch covers to establish interior hull access and to confirm the best battery that can be inserted through them. Not made a final decision on the battery size or type yet. Hatch access is limited, so gell cells are out. Vacillating between Ni-Mh and Li-Po, but have had better experience with Li-Po. The hatches are the McGregor folding type, but the GA has few details of them. Fortunately my SD 14 plans have full dimensions so copied those. On the SD 14 made the hatch coamings (sides) as males and fitted them through apertures in the deck. On Teakwood decided to build up a small wood coaming around the hatch aperture and then have the hatch coamings fit, slightly loosely (female) over them. This is a much better approach. All the coamings can now be made from the same strip so the hatches immediately stand equally above the deck. Also, shims can be inserted into the hatch coamings so the alignment can be adjusted to get them to line up accurately. It will be a better way to keep water out, although cannot see that ever being much of an issue. Added the accommodation ladder recesses in the bulwarks. In future, must remember to add them before the hull is finished as repairing damage should not be needed with better planning. Happy Christmas and Best Wishes for 2018
Hans, cannot say for the Netherlands, but in UK we try the National Martime Museum, the various local museums close to ports, shipbuilders and even local model boat clubs. There must be something similar in the Netherlands. I know there is an excellent museum in Amsterdam. The net should reveal sites and contact details Rowen
Having corrected the bow problem, returned to the superstructure. The original plan was to try to reproduce the whole of the superstructure, right back to the rear of # 5 hold in one continuous piece of styrene. It would be cut and then filed out to fit the front panel right through to the rear on both sides. This would avoid any joints and discontinuities and it was hoped would capture the flowing lines more accurately. Measured and found the piece would be over 42'' long! Decided this would be difficult to cut accurately and would probably never fit. Gave up on the idea and made the piece up in three sections; the front and both sides. The sides would be from an assembly of styrene strips and various precut shapes, the front from one styrene piece. After making several measurements and then templates, made a complete front panel from a cereal packet and from it cut the proposed panel out. Left the solid areas oversize so could file and sand to the correct size and shape. Once was reasonably confident the panel would fit, heated and bent the corners around a steel rod to get the correct radius. Throughout this kept offering the panel up into place making sure the radius and dimensional adjustments were satisfactory. Finally glued it into place. Once glued in place, cut the lower edges to follow the hull bulwark contour. Used a similar technique for the sides and finally glued them into place and together. Sanded to remove traces of adhesive. Fitted LED navigation and wheelhouse lights, but left the wheelhouse structure off as the funnel size and shape will determine the navigation deck cut-out. This will be added after the funnel has been researched and made.
Doug, Thanks for the encouragement. Was contemplating not saying anything, so readers got the impression my skills were perfect! On second thoughts though, felt that the major objective of this site is to help and encourage modelers. Thus decided better to describe the undesirable feature and then show it could be resolved. Rowen
As the superstructure rose in height it confirmed a suspicion that had been growing for some time. In spite of the copious checks during construction, the leading edge of the bow was twisted slightly by about 3/32” towards starboard at it's base. Not sure how this developed, can only guess there was a slight misalignment during the original modifications that eventually grew to become clearly visible. It was the kind of defect only discernible to a careful observer - or me! Initially hoped to avoid corrective action, but the superstructure build seemed to emphasis the twist. The model is now looking quite good; it would be a pity to compromise it with an elementary, but fundamental, issue such as this. After many measurements, including using spirit levels and squares, decided to cut the trusty bow coat hangar loose, reposition it carefully laterally and then epoxy into place. The longitudinal shape was fine. The pictures show the twist, the cut and then the amount of reposition required. Reconstruction followed the original bow addition procedure. There was a lot of sanding required on the starboard side of the bow to realign the bow and hull transition. Fortunately, this was limited to the addition area, so neither the mechanical nor water sealed qualities of the original Velarde hull have been compromised. After repainting and finishing, all looked well, as shown in the final picture. Concluded this repair was indeed worth the effort. The problem would have been exaggerated in my mind to spoil my enjoyment and then pride in the model. Glass fibre is remarkably forgiving and there should be no reluctance to embark on such modifications when necessary.
Finished the major parts of the hull and am satisfied with the results. Now turned to the superstructure, which has turned into a challenge in its own right. Decided to break the structure down into decks and concentrate on each deck individually; before “rolling them up” into the complete structure. Also decided to make the central “core” first and complete, before adding the curved frontispiece containing the forward bulwarks. This would allow all the detail between the two such as windows, doors and portholes to be accurately made and positioned. The structure from the first deck upwards was made removable to gain access to the internal systems of this working model. The lovely flowing curves, which attracted me to the vessel initially, proved a pain to reproduce. The bends around the front corners required making each deck front separately and then gently bending heated styrene around a former to reproduce. There is much opportunity for hurling! Added a L shaped strip around the front of each deck, so there is something firm to glue the front bulwarks to. Was concerned that without something like that the individual deck shields would never line up properly. Similarly added styrene U channel along the deck edges to give a surface to which the shield side rails could be fitted. This also replicates the vertical deck edge panels that are evident in pictures. Felt this would also make the structure more robust, enabling it to be removed and refitted without damage.
Started to add the finishing touches to the hull; portholes, a bulwark capping strip and bilge keels. The portholes were drilled to the outside diameter on the drawing and small sections of styrene tube epoxied in. These were then drilled out and smoothed to the hull contour. Once the hull is painted lenses will be added usimg clear epoxy. The bulwark capping strip is a small styrene “U” section CA glued along the top of the bulwarks. This tidies up the edge and gives a smooth, consistent appearance. Have never been satisfied with previous attempts at bilge keels. Tried making them from both styrene and wood, pinned and epoxied into place. Not very robust, although they looked fine. Plenty of scope for repairs! Decided to try another approach on this model. Purchased strips of 1/4” L shaped styrene and CA glued them into position on the underside of the hull, with the leg facing in towards the keel. Filled the gaps on both sides of the styrene with fibre-glass resin and then rubbed them down, feathering the edges of the bilge keel into the hull. These bilge keels are nice and strong and, from the outside, the bodge is not visible. It can been just seen from the underside if the model ever gets inverted. Hope that is unlikely though! From here on the construction will follow well established principles, so will only write bog updates as significant milestones are achieved.
Thinking back over this part of the project, felt it might be of interest to others considering modifying a hull to summarize my experiences: 1) Cutting and modifying a hull to a different profile seems intimidating, but using planning then care, using a simple selection of workshop tools and adhesives, it is quite within the skill of the average modeler. 2) This is the second proprietary glass-fibre hull I have used. Both required a “spindle” of bulkheads and longitudinal stringers to hold the hull rigid and to which can also be fastened the electrical / mechanical equipment needed for the model. 3) Have tried two approaches for the spindle. The first was to totally assemble it off the hull, get it as rigid as possible, fit it into the hull and epoxy into place. The second was to fit the keel reinforcement to the hull then epoxy the bulkheads and remainder of the spindle to it. That spindle remained relatively flexible until finally installed. 4) On reflection, think it is best to fully assemble the spindle, taking care to get it true and then fit it to the hull. The relatively flexible hull can then be adjusted to fit the more rigid spindle and kept true. 5) Used the relatively flexible spindle arrangement on the Teakwood and have spent many hours getting the bulwarks and deck frames leveled and lined up satisfactorily. The more rigid spindle would have helped mitigate this by ensuring the frame was accurate before trying to adapt it to the hull. Have now finished all the modifications needed to the hull and the result shows that this type of transformation can be successfully completed..
There was considerable sanding required around the bow. Once complete, decided to continue and remove all the hull detail not appropriate to the Teakwood. Used an orbital sander for this and it turned out nicely. The detail seems to only be in the gell coat and the actual glass – fibre core was untouched. Suggest do this outside and wear a mask as it creates a lot of dust. Had originally thought of covering the bow with light glass – fibre cloth and stippling it down with resin. After looking at the bow area decided that a coat of glass – fibre resin, applied to the new portion and extending an inch or so into the original hull would be adequate. The wood filler / styrene / steel wire structure is quite rigid and robust. This has turned out nicely and the bow area is now complete. Retained the anchor hawse pipe detail as, much to my surprise, it is in the correct location for the Teakwood. Inspected the hull shell from all angles (this usually any reveals errors or inconsistencies), pertinent dimensions were also checked with a steel rule, protractor and a spirit level. Found nothing amiss. Whilst cannot be absolutely positive the bow entry lines are correct (do not have a lines plan), checked them against a number of similar vessels. These range from the Liberty, through SD 14 to the “City of Toronto” - which is of a similar vintage. They look quite close. Have now completed the major transformation of the Velarde hull into the Teakwood and can move onto the remainder of the build.
The only remaining area requiring significant rework was the bow. Decided now to concentrate on getting the shape and dimensions correct. Made a template from a steel wire coat hangar, shaped to follow the Teakwood bow profile. Cut a mating recess in the upper bow and bulwark, fitted the template into it using CA glue. Once fitted and relatively rigid, cut a piece of styrene to fit into the space between the hull and the template. Epoxied the styrene into place at both the template and to original Velarde hull bow profile. This gave a nice looking bow from the side elevation, one that is also strong. Unfortunately, when viewed from the underside, the usual nice smooth water entry is not apparent. Had two ideas to attempt to blend the bow into the hull sides properly. The first was to cover this transition area with thin styrene and then feather it into the bow and the hull. The second was to use the modelers secret weapon, wood filler and do the same. After either approach planned to cover the whole area in thin glass-fibre cloth and sand down until smooth. Mocked up the styrene installation and decided to abandon the idea. The styrene makes the bow transition bulky, it also became quite clumsy around the upper area. Thought would try the wood filler approach instead. Shaped the rough filler with sand paper, it worked out relatively easily as it required little rubbing down. The modification worked out well and the bow looks satisfactory from both the side and underside. Decided also to replace the pulley drive arrangement with a toothed belt system. Have never tried this before and, as a friend of mine had a selection of belts and pulleys, thought would be useful experience to try it. One question perhaps somebody can help me with – what colour was the deck on this vessel? All my pictures showing the deck are in black and white!
As the under deck access was now as good as it would ever be, it seem be an opportune time to add the major pieces of operating equipment. One item overlooked in my previous blog was the stern bulwarks. The attached picture reminded me that I had recessed the bulwarks to epoxy a piece of alloy strip onto them. This was another attempt to make sure the bulwark joints were strong enough so they would never pull apart. The alloy strip had been bent to follow the correct profile, which was thus imparted to the bulwarks. The rudder post had been fitted earlier and the rudder horn now installed. The servo location was chosen to fit it close to the rudder. Appreciate the rudder/servo sense is reversed, but this reflects all my models and retains Tx control consistency. Linking them was easy through the generous holes previously cut in the bulkheads. An auxiliary bulkhead was cut and installed to hold the motor. Once the correct spacing and location was achieved, this bulkhead was also epoxied into place. Readers might question my choice of “O” ring and pulley drive. Have used this arrangement on several models and have never had a problem. The “O” rings easily last a couple of seasons, but usually replaced as part of the winter PM program. The arrangement has advantages in that the motor orientation can be reversed to minimize space and alignment requirements are reduced. It is also quiet, easy to work on and a modicum of speed adjustment can be made with the pulley sizes. The black tube in the foreground, looped out of the way, is the shaft oiler feed. Seems to have become is increasingly difficult to buy new shafts with this feature. Not sure just how well they work as always pack the shafts with oil and grease annually, but they do appeal to my Engineering sensibilities. The ESC and will be added Rx later, they will easily fit easily into the remaining space.
Am scurrying around looking for a future project and have decided to attempt the Vosper Brave class MT/GB. Will use a hull that is about 37" long from MTBHULLS, as that is the size that fits our usual sailing venues best. There are a number of members who have built either the Brave or the Perkasa derivative. Can anybody suggest the best electric drivetrain for this project? At this stage am thinking of triple screws, individually powered so getting a contra-rotating screw should be relatively easy. Would like to emulate the performance of the original if possible. Appreciate any advise on this project and recommendations for a successful model.
As the stern needed the most reshaping, decided to tackle it first. Made up a wooden insert to reflect the correct deck stern contour and glued it in between the deck supports. This would give the stern be the correct shape and length. Once that was positioned pulled the hull up tight to the supports. As the stern is approached the sharper profile of the Teakwood requires the hull sides to be pulled firmly inwards and the transom be vertical. Decided this was not going to epoxy and stay in place satisfactorily once the strain was released, so cut a series of vertical slots in the rear hull to allow it relax and squeeze it together. One slot has to be quite deep, otherwise the lower hull will crack as it will not relax sufficiently. Used the Dremel cutting disc for this. The slots need to be quite generous as the the hull has to be pulled in some distance. Once this was all epoxied in place, wrapped “cling film” around the rear of the hull and poured liquid fibreglass resin around the slots and under the insert to bond everything together. Worked this onto all the vertical and horizontal surfaces as it set. The stern is now good and rigid. The attached pictures show the new stern profile and slots. The first pictures are “as is” to illustrate the process. Further work was also needed to true up the bulwarks and disguise the slots. This mutilation may seem a brutal way of getting the hull shape correct, but had tried all kinds of pulling and squeezing of the hull, none of which held in place after the clamps were released. Once the cosmetic aspects of the stern rework were complete, established the correct location for the rudder post and fitted it. The major stern work is now finished.
What to do next? Decided that the hull needed reference points from which dimensions could be established and checked. The most logical place is the peak of the bow as from this most longitudinal and vertical measurements can be established. The dodger on top of the bow interferes with such measurements, decided that as it was to be removed eventually to remove it now. Cut the dodger off with a hacksaw and then filed/sanded the forecastle bulwarks to their correct height. As the stern required several modifications decided it would be easier to implement them if that bulwark was the correct height too. Rather than laike around making relatively small areas the correct height, decided that it would be easier to get all the bulkwalks correct at the same time. Used a Dremel tool with a cutting disc. rather than a hacksaw. This is much easier, but recommend wear a mask to avoid ingesting the copious amounts of dust created. Once the major amount was removed, used a Sureform scraper and a sanding block to bring them to the correct height. As the bulwark heights were getting close to the correct size, checked measurements from the drawing and used a spirit level to make sure that not only are the heights correct they are symmetrical across the hull. This is quite time consuming, but it is important they are correct as otherwise the hull will look twisted. Once the Teakwood hull shape started to develop from the Velarde, it rather looked like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis! Modifying a hull presents a range of problems that do not follow a logical sequence, unlike making a model from scratch. In parallel with this model am slowly doing one of the S.S. Great Britain. Whilst that is more challenging, the work flows logically from one step to the next.
Thanks. Imagine Roker Park is close to F.C., but really have no idea. They are a great Club that sail in the Roker Park lake. Have been very helpful with advice and also supplying original plans for the SD 14 freighter, which would otherwise have been unobtainable.
Thanks for the comments. I mount all my models on trunnions bolted through the hull into captive nuts held in the keel. In my opinion it makes for a neater display. All my models sail and can be displayed. The only down side to trunnions is the possibility of water ingress when sailing. I use capscrews with rubber washers screwed into the nuts and they work well. Guess you can always forget to install them, that should become evident fairly quickly! Trillium is correct, every GF hull I have ever worked with must be firmly fastened to a building board to remove flexibility and assist accurate working on the hull.
Recently visited the U.K and collected the hull from a relative. It is now back in Canada so a detailed examination can be carried out. First impressions are: 1) The Deans Velarde hull bulwarks have fortunately not been trimmed to the final dimensions, these are marked in pencil. The excess material will really help as the Teakwood forecastle extends further sternwards and this extra material avoids having to build the forward bulwarks up. 2) The hull has many details added to facilitate positioning; portholes, rubbing strakes etc. These will all have to be sanded off as they do not fit the Teakwood. 3) The Velarde has a pronounced “dodger” on top of the bulwarks around the bow. This will also have to be removed. 4) The bow leading edge is quite bluff, possibly to suite the GF manufacturing process. This will probably work in my favour as it can be extended forward and slimmed into the Teakwood style entry, which is sharper and more vertical. 5) The hull is slightly oversize (about .300”) , not enough to be concerned about, but it does make the revised LBP correct! 6) The hull is nicely made and a credit to Deans Marine. The initial plan was to modify the hull shape first to adapt it into the Teakwood. Decided, as it is quite flexible, it would be better to add a keel strip, bulkheads and deck supports first. It would then become rigid enough to work. This revision to my original thoughts proved the best approach. The hull needs several modifications, but until it is rigid it is premature to implement them. The modifications will only prove more difficult and then inaccurate. Made up a number of plywood bulkheads, based upon the MM Velarde plan, but reduced in height to suite the Teakwood. As these are trial fitted into place in the GF hull further adjustments can be made. Once satisfied with the bulkhead fit, they and the keel were epoxied into place. Horizontal stringers were also added to ensure the bulkheads were accurately positioned, vertical and not twisted until the epoxy set. Can probably remove them once the hull structure is compete, although they could also be left in place to support the deck. Will probably largely leave in place. Deck support stringers were also epoxied into place and the hull sides glued to them. The hull is now good and stiff and can be worked safely. As the stern portion will require further adjustment, the sides were left free from the stern bulkhead rearwards. This will allow the rework without cutting through recently fitted items.
Finally obtained General Arrangement drawings for both vessels. Scaled them to the same size and superimposed the Teakwood hull drawing onto the Velarde. This confirmed that a conversion was possible and that much of the major rework would be limited to around the stern. The bow could be extended relatively easily and the bulwark heights trimmed and reshaped. One point to remember in reviewing the attached photographs, the Velarde hull plan is slightly oversize. Have noticed when printing plans the humidity affects the paper and sizes can change slightly. This would not be of much importance when building a kit, but should be considered in a hull conversion. With the two hulls superimposed and the Velarde adjusted to the correct size, considered the ways the hull could be adapted. Measuring sternwards from the revised bow profile found the correct LBP could be obtained if the Velarde rudder post was moved back about 5/16”. This would also reduce the stern rework and allow the use of my traditional bow strengthener of bent wire from a steel coat hangar. This slight bow extension would help to offset the stern profile, with the hull and LBPs remaining the correct overall lengths. In the photos the Velarde hull lines are black and the Teakwood red with pencil accents: they indicate the amount of bow/stern rework. The bulwarks are relatively simple, they only need lowering slightly. Next step is to examine the actual hull and compare it with the plan to see how accurate it is. Hopefully this will confirm of my investigations - of course, could always leave the hull “as is” and use it that way. I would be only person aware of the differences! Unfortunately, being something of a purist, this easy way out did not compute.