Thanks you for your generous words kind sir. Model making is indeed a good therapy and I'm so grateful that the staff here allow me to use sharp implements unsupervised but I still have to wear the special jacket which is rather limiting 😜 Must go now...have to take my meds..... PS. who is bro?
After test fitting the hose ends to establish the correct lengths the hoses were trimmed to size and the fittings were then glued into the hose ends with some epoxy. On the real boat the hoses are arranged to lay on the tops of the foam tanks and they are supported on the stern coaming by a bronze hook. I formed this hook from some brass sheet so that it holds the hoses firmly one above the other, this was primed and finished in gunmetal grey and fixed to the coaming with a couple of brass rivets and a spot of epoxy. For a bit of extra security I cut some large diameter heat shrink to form some bands around the hoses to hold them together. So now the hoses are all finished and I think they look really good, I’ll probably re-polish the brass fittings and apply a light coat of lacquer to keep them nice and shiny at a later stage 😎
The remaining hose fittings are the male & female connectors and fortunately require nothing more than drilling to take the four short brass ‘turning handles’ which were soft soldered in place and then filed to length. The suction hoses themselves proved far more difficult to make to a satisfactory standard and after several experiments with different gauges of copper, steel and stainless steel wire I found a 1.25mm galvanised ‘garden wire’ that proved malleable enough to be formed into a long coil spring that when covered with some black heat shrink tube looked OK. I used a length of 8mm diameter aluminium tube as a former and hand wound the galvanised wire tightly around the tube to form a spring. This was a painful process, quite literally, and caused blisters on my thumb and forefingers despite wearing protective gloves 😭 The springs were then stretched out on the rod to space the coils evenly and then drawn through the heat shrink tube, and then a heat gun used to shrink down the tube onto the springs. While the newly formed hoses were still warm and pliable I put them on a former with the correct curvature and applied a little more heat and then left them to cool and set. The hoses were made over length so that, when finished, I could trim them to the correct lengths to fit into the rear well of the boat with the fittings attached. See part 4 for the final assembly...coming soon.
Interesting suggestion...perhaps not the functional torpedo's, a bit anti social perhaps. There was an Aerokits Patrol Torpedo Boat on eBay very recently that I was tempted by, but the bids went too high. I'm thinking something more sedate but not sure what. Maybe a cabin cruiser ?
The next piece I tackled was the bulkhead connector to which the assembled hose is connected. This is not a particularly complex piece but I had to engineer it’s attachment to the bulkhead to allow for easy removal. As with the suction pickup I added four short pieces of brass as turning handles to the ‘cover cap’ for the want of a better description, this cap would be undone to reveal the male connector of the pump intake and the cap would have a retaining chain. This chain would presumably be attached to the bulkhead in some way but I needed it to attach to the base of the fitting. I drilled a hole through the spigot on the cover cap and formed a loop from some brass wire for the chain attachment. Similarly I drilled the base and made another wire loop for the chain attachment there. I didn’t have any suitable chain so I thought I would have a go at making some by winding about 20 turns of brass wire around a piece of thin brass rod which I then cut through lengthwise with a hacksaw to produce some brass loops. These loops were then flattened, linked and closed to form the chain and a short length of the finished chain attached to the fitting. Very fiddly work and a test of the eyesight 🤓 As mentioned, I needed to make the fitting easily removable without using screws or a threaded stud as it needs to be removed without tools to allow the cockpit floor to be lifted out. To achieve this I put a 3mm thread into the rear of the fitting and then threaded a piece of 3mm brass rod to go into that. I made a retainer to go into the bulkhead that would provide a friction fit for the hose connector. This was made from a short length of 3mm I/D brass tube set into another short supporting piece of 4mm I/D tube and a piece of 14 swg brass plate, all the parts were silver soldered together with the 3mm tube protruding the plate by the thickness of the bulkhead. The 3mm tube was cut crossways to form some ‘fingers’ that will grip the 3mm shaft of the fitting. To provide extra grip I used a piece of rubber sleeve and a small pipe clip over the ‘fingers’. This piece was glued into a 4mm hole in the bulkhead with the end of the tube flush with the bulkhead. The hose connecter is then pushed into this retainer with a firm friction grip but is easily removed without any tools. Definitely getting the hang of working with brass now 😁 Still not inclined to by a lathe though 😜 The remaining fittings should be a lot easier...I hope.
One of the distinctive features of the RAF fire boats are the suction hoses in the rear well of the boat, and they were something that I was keen to reproduce with some accuracy. They have been very successfully modelled by others and there are some fine examples of their construction on this site and consequently a wealth of tips and ideas on how to make them and I have shamelessly taken the best of them to make my own. The key elements are, of course, the fitting at the hose ends which probably would have been originally made of cast bronze or brass and machined and jointed to couple together to form the complete hose. To replicate this in anything other than brass would not be doing justice to the model, and as you may be aware, I have a brother who is also a skilled model maker, and he has a lathe and has previously made some excellent brass fitting for me. I started by studying the few photographs of the boat and some drawings supplied to me by Mike Cumming at Vintage Model Works and I made up some engineering drawings, one for each fitting, and emailed them off to my brother. I also ordered some 15mm brass bar to be delivered to him for the fittings and once he had approved my drawings, set about machining the parts. A while later the parts duly arrived in the post and they were excellently made exactly as my drawings and so I then set about adding some more detail to them. I only have one set of these fittings so I can’t afford to make any mistakes and ruin them 😱 The most challenging fitting to be tackled was the suction pickup into which I wanted to inset some stainless steel filter mesh, so I carefully measured and marked off the areas of metal that needed to be removed. With the piece in the drill vice I cut a series of holes which were gradually enlarged, and then the remaining metal removed with files to form the square apertures. The collar of the fitting was then drilled to take some short brass rod ‘handles’ which were soft soldered in place and then filed to length. The stainless steel mesh was cut to fit inside the fitting with the join concealed behind part of the brass. The circular end cap was made by pressing the mesh into a piece of brass tube the same diameter as the inside of the fitting using a piece of brass bar as a mandrel. After thoroughly cleaning the fitting with some wire wool the mesh filter pieces were finally epoxied in place. That’s the most difficult piece out of the way, much to my relief. One down, four to go 😁
Hi Dave. Very soon I hope. I think I have found a good place for the maiden voyage so I just need to do some final bits and bobs and it's good to go ! I haven't built and run an R/C boat for years (45+) and I'm a bit scared I'll wreck it on it's first outing 😓 Rob.
I had previously assembled and primed the anchor, having added a little additional detail to the white metal castings, as described in a previous blog update. I subsequently added some plasticard pieces to the arm of the anchor to thicken it slightly so that I could fit a small brass shackle as a finishing detail. The final paint finish is Tamiya gunmetal metallic to match some other deck fittings. The anchor is held in place on the foredeck by a small double sided adhesive foam pad beneath the anchor base and the mounting pad it sits on. The base and arm is also retained on two other mounting pads buy couple of ‘staples’ that were formed by heating and bending some thin Plasticard rod into shape and they are just a push fit into some holes drilled into the mounting pads. The fixings are quite secure but as with many other items of deck furniture it can be easily removed for maintenance or repair. Sorry this is not a particularly exciting or interesting post but the next will be the suction hoses and fittings which were quite a challenge and will hopefully be a great deal less boring 😜
The steps need to be fixed to the floor of the cockpit so that the upper part of the steps do not require fixing to the cockpit wall which would be difficult to do and make removal of the cockpit floor difficult if I need to access the rudder servo. To ensure that they sit firmly in place against the cockpit wall I chose to secure the steps to the floor with some ‘spring assisted’ fixings that would ensure that they would always abut the cockpit wall without a gap. To achieve this I carefully measured and marked the cockpit floor with the step positions and then drilled through the floor. The steps were then temporarily held to the cockpit floor for alignment and then drilled through the cockpit floor into the legs of the steps. A small offset was introduced to the positioning so that the steps would always need to deflect slightly when in their final position against the cockpit wall. The holes in the floor were then opened up to the thread diameter of the cap head wood screws that I would use and then the underside of the floor drilled to make some recessed pockets for the springs. The springs were taken from some old ball point pens and trimmed to a length that would provide the required tension under compression to allow the mountings to flex, these are securely retained in the pockets in the floor and also a by small washer under the head of the cap screws. This arrangement means that I am able to remove the cockpit floor with the steps in place and, as a bonus, there is sufficient clearance for the foam tanks to stay affixed on the cockpit floor during removal. The whole cockpit floor assembly is held in place by the single cap head screw in the top of the tow hook stays. I’m quite chuffed at how this has worked out so well 😊
I needed to find a method to hold the foam tanks in place in the rear cockpit that would enable them to be removed, without tools, to allow easy removal of the cockpit floor to access the rudder servo. The solution was to hold them down with some of the amazingly powerful neodymium magnets that are cheap and readily available. I chose to use a 10mm x 2mm circular type and inset them into the cockpit floor and foam tank bases by clamping the two components together and using a ‘step drill’ to bore the holes simultaneously for accuracy. Some short timber bridging pieces were glued into the holes inside the foam tanks and some circular packing pieces glued to them to support the magnets and bring them flush to the tank bases. Similarly the holes in the cockpit floor were fitted with spacers and all the magnets glued in place after checking their correct polarity and orientation. The tanks now self-locate very accurately on the cockpit floor and are very firmly retained by the magnets.
I have just returned from an enjoyable day out visiting The St Albans and Stevenage lakes with my wife, son-in-law and granddaughter on a sunny and warm day. I arrived at St Albans late morning and had a very informative chat with a delightful chap called Alan who had finished sailing for the day but he very kindly took the time to advise me of some of the water hazards and general information about the lake and the local club. Moving on to Stevenage in the early afternoon, the water was quite calm and weed free but there was no boating activity for some while until a chap arrived with a fast electric boat that was astonishingly fast and maneuverable for it's small size. He also imparted some useful information but he was only an occasional user of the lake and not a member of any club. So, all in all, time well spent for me and the family and useful information gleaned. St. Albans still looks favourite though 😁.
Hi Rex3644 I had not considered Stevenage as it's a fair distance from me but it should deserve a visit. I'm planning another visit to St Albans this Sunday morning and then possibly on to Stevenage for a look at the Millenium lake. Thanks for you suggestion, I appreciate your response. Rob
Hi Ed. Thanks for your words of caution. Unfortunately there seem to be very few model boating lakes around the area I live (north-west London). Most have been filled in or left to 'go wild' for the benefit of fowl and fishermen. At the moment the St Albans lake looks like the most promising candidate. Rob.
I had previously made and tested the lighting pcb but I subsequently decided to modify it to take some 2 pin Molex connectors, they have the same hole spacing as the Veroboard PCB and are polarised and will make the final wiring a little easier and a lot neater too 👍 All the lighting wires were formed into colour coded twisted pairs and tacked in place within the wheelhouse with some epoxy and then overpainted black where they were conspicuous. The PCB is fixed to the bulkhead on PCB spacers and all the wiring retained by a cable tie on a self-adhesive base. The two Turnigy R/C controlled switches were mounted on a plasticard plate with double sided foam tape and then this plate secured to the bulkhead with a self tapping screw. The battery connections and common negative connection to the R/C receiver battery are on Molex connectors as well. The battery was fitted with XT60 connectors and secured to the keel with cable ties through some screwed eyelets. The port, starboard, forward blue and mast lights are on one switched circuit and the searchlight on a separate switched circuit. The searchlight also rotates on it's own servo channel. The result is a nice tidy installation which can easily be removed for servicing and modification if required 😎
Hi Kipper. Thanks for the link, I had already looked at the site and unfortunately could not visit on the 27th May for their regular lakeside meeting to make contact with club members. However I had previously paid a visit to the lake on Sunday 21st May expecting to see a few boats on the lake on a what was a gloriously sunny afternoon and found not a single boat but plenty of wildfowl and the lake clogged with weed and leaves. It's a nice big stretch of water with plenty of landing stages around the shoreline and on the wooden bridge that separates the pleasure boating lake from the model boating lake but the amount of weed and detritus would make me wary of making a maiden voyage there. By contrast, I visited the lake at Verulam Park St Albans a week earlier and, although not as big, had little or no weed, but a few alarmingly large branches were being thrown into the water by dog walkers who were encouraging their pets to retrieve them, but were ultimately abandoned. Sadly no boats were being sailed there at the time so I could not make any inquiries with their owners. The first 3 pictures are Stanborough and the last 3 are St Albans. I think I know which I prefer but I would still like to have the view of others who use these lakes regularly. All responses welcome....please ! Thanks. Rob.
A full set of laser cut perspex windows is supplied in the VMW kit along with corresponding frames for all and they are all a pretty good fit in the window apertures of the engine room, forward cabin and wheel house rear walls, only requiring a light easing with a file for a secure fit. I left the protective film on the screens whilst gluing them in place with a very small amount of canopy glue applied to the window edges with a dressmaking pin and pressed into place so that they were flush with the outside of the cabin walls. The wheelhouse windows were a bit trickier as they are glued to the inside face of the panels and I had to remove the protective film around the edges of the outer face of the windows by running a fine sharp blade around the window aperture with the perspex held in place by hand. Canopy glue was then used very sparingly on the face of the perspex and the windows clamped in place. The central screen of the wheelhouse has the Kent Clearview in it and this needed to be carefully centred before fixing in place. When all had dried and set the protective films were peeled off to reveal nice clear ‘panes’ without any unsightly glue smudges. The CNC cut window frames are made from a flexible plastic material with accurate and well defined edges. They were all given a light sanding with abrasive paper as a key for the paint and were then laid out on a large piece of card paying particular attention to getting them the correct side up, in particular the wheelhouse frames which are ‘handed’ for either port or starboard. They were all held to the board with small pads of double sided foam tape and sprayed with two coats of Halfords metallic silver paint followed by two light coats of Halfords gloss lacquer. After a couple of days to dry they were removed from the board and fixed in place with canopy glue applied with a pin as very small dots around the inside face, aligned with masking tape ‘guides’ and a straight edge and then held in place with small tabs of masking tape. The installation of the glazing in the wheelhouse was made a lot easier because I had previously cut away some of the bulkhead and rear wall to give better access to the wheelhouse interior for detailing. This is not mentioned in the building instructions but is well worth doing for all the above reasons 😁
There is a white metal ‘ring’ supplied in the kit for the Kent Clearview screen but it is too large and doesn’t look particularly ‘scale’. So after some research on the web and some help from other forum members I found enough information to make one from scratch. The outer ring was made from a narrow section of pvc pipe that I had to hand and this was cut to length in a mitre block and then sanded down to the right thickness on some abrasive paper and then sprayed matt black. I didn’t use the perspex screen supplied in the kit as the hole was too large but the small circular cut-out piece was the right diameter to fit into the ring that I made, the new screen was cut from a new piece of perspex sheet and a hole drilled through the centre to locate the rotating part of the screen. The parts were assembled onto the new screen using canopy glue applied very sparingly with a dressmaking pin. The motor drive assembly on the inside of the screen and the black triangular part that sits on the outside of the screen were made from some black plasticard and these parts were also fixed in place with canopy glue. I used a brass panel pin with the head filed down and painted black for the central bearing of the screen but when I applied a very small amount of canopy glue to fix it capillary action unexpectedly drew the glue between the two ‘panes’ of perspex 😡 Not what I wanted to happen but I decided to leave it to dry to it’s clear state and then assess the situation. Fortunately the glue is not too conspicuous to be much of a concern but it is nevertheless an unwanted blemish that I will have to accept 😭 The finished piece was then glued into the wheelhouse with a few dots of canopy glue and looks quite good as long as you don’t look too closely 😎
Hi All. Does anyone here sail at Stanborough Lake in Welwyn Garden City? I'm looking for somewhere for the maiden voyage and regular sailing of my 46" Crash Tender when it's finally finished. I'd like to know what the access and parking is like and whether it's a good place to run a boat like mine. Also, what's the local model club like? All advice and suggestions gratefully received. Thanks. Rob.
In response to Paul's question, the weight of my 46" crash tender is 6Kg without the main batteries and 7.2kg with. It got wet for the first time today with brief dunk in the 'test tank', and it sits about 10mm above the waterline all round 👍👍. I ran the motor up very cautiously while my son in-law held it tight, and the thrust even at about a quarter throttle is astonishing 😱. I didn't dare run it up to full throttle or it would easily empty the bath 😁. I just need somewhere to find somewhere to run it now, and the courage to 'give it some stick' to get it up on a plane (hopefully) 😉.
Thanks Martin, I had already seen the Kent screens on Keith's site but the largest he does is only 10mm which is too small for my 1/12 scale model so I ended up scratch building one. I'll be posting a blog update on that shortly. Rob
I had already made the upper rigging ropes and forward stay rope using black heat shrink but I thought that the lower ropes might look better with white so I did a search on eBay and found a few suppliers of white (and many other colours) in the very small size I needed. I suppose I could also re-make the other ropes using the white but that's not a priority at the moment. I'm making the Kent Clearview screen at the moment and that is giving me a few headaches 😡, I think I might be obsessing a bit on minor detail but I think the challenges are what makes scale modelling what it is. And they keep the mind and the fingers nimble 😁 Rob
I had previously adapted the mast with lighting and fixing studs and so it’s ready to be fitted to the wheelhouse roof, but I decided to add some rigging detail in the process. Along with some other items, I had previously bought some threaded brass ’eyes’ and wooden rigging blocks by mail order from RB models in Poland. Very good prices and remarkably quick delivery from overseas. http://www.rbmodel.com I drilled the horizontal bar of the mast to take a couple of small brass eyes, and bent the lower part of the exposed thread back at an angle, onto these I fitted some wooden rigging blocks with brass sheaves which I had previously stained mahogany and lacquered. Another slightly larger eye was fitted to the centre of the mast and another to the wheelhouse roof for the forward stay rope, I used some thin white elasticated thread that I found in my local Hobbycraft store for all the rigging. The stay rope end were finished with small brass hooks formed from some thin brass wire and secured with some small diameter heat shrink tubing, I think this makes for a much neater look than just tied knots. The top rigging ropes were made in the same way. The completed mast was then bolted down through the wheelhouse roof on the threaded studs and the two lighting wires passed through separate holes in the roof. This should allow me to detach the mast and fold it down for transport if necessary. The lower end of the ropes from the rigging blocks were formed into a loop with a spot of superglue to fix them and then some small white heat shrink tube used to cover the joints. The loops fit neatly over the cleats on the cabin roof so that they can easily be released. I’m hoping that being elasticated all the rigging will stay taut and remain presentable 😁 I must remember to order some ensigns flags from 'Mike Alsop Scale Flags' for a finishing feature as recommended by pmdevlin in an earlier blog post 👍
I'm very flattered by your kind remarks, it's been quite an enjoyable process and I've learnt a lot about model boat building and quite a few new skills too. The boat is getting quite near to completion now, just a few more things on the list to do: The windows and frames, Kent clearview screen, anchor & mounting, mast & rigging, suction hoses, interior & exterior lighting and installing the propulsion and radio kit. Once all the heavy stuff is on board I will be able to get the all-up weight and put it in the test tank (bath) to see if she actually floats 😲!!. I'm hoping that it sits somewhere close to the waterline on the hull, might need some ballasting ?, won't really know until the maiden voyage. I hope you have been successful in finding a buyer for all your kit, I was really looking forward to seeing your build blog. Best wishes and get well soon. Rob.