Cookies used in this website are gluten free, wheat free and dairy free. By using this website you agree to our use of cookies. More Info
Login Below
Join Us On Social Media!
Get The Model Boats App!
Apple App Store
Android app on Google Play

Help Support This Website
or enter custom amount

(Non Contributor)

Help support this free
website and donate.

£285 a year is needed to keep the website and apps online. Please consider donating £5 or more to help towards these fees.
All donations are securely managed through PayPal. Amounts donated are not published online.

Many thanks for your kind support.

Model Boats Website Team

Donation History
May 2017: 5 people
April 2017: 23 people
March 2017: 9 people
February 2017: 12 people
January 2017: 37 people
December 2016: 2 people
November 2016: 2 people
October 2016: 8 people
September 2016: 2 people

Unique Visitors This Month

Website Members

Terms and Conditions
Privacy Policy

Model Boats Website
Active Users (18)
Login or Register
To Remove This Ad

Login or Register
To Remove This Ad
>> Home > Members > robbob
24th Jan 2016
Last Online
23rd May 2017

Member Stats
Member No. 3664
Registered 24th Jan 2016
Last Online 23rd May 2017
City London
Country United Kingdom
Boats in Harbour 1
Sailing Locations 0
Forum Posts 36
Photos Posted 489
Likes Received 634
Likes Given 34
178 Total Posts
Sailing Locations
No Sailing Locations
46" RAF Crash Tender
Type: Fire Boat
Fleet Admiral!
Ranks Points
Fleet Admiral 1000
Admiral 800
Captain 600
Commander 400
Lieutenant 200
Sub-Lieutenant 100
Chief Petty Officer 50
Petty Officer 25
Seaman 10
Apprentice 2
Recruit 0
Top Ranking Member!
Activity Worth Awarded
Boats in Harbour 8 8
Forum Thread 5 35
Forum Post 2 72
Event 8 8
Photo Gallery 10 0
Photos Response 3 0
Video Post 15 0
Video Response 3 0
Build Blog 20 20
Blog Post 5 415
Blog Response 3 174
Sailor 8 0
Guestbook Post 8 0
Liked Posts 1 34
Received Likes 2 1264
2030 Total Points
Good Conduct Medal
This member donated!
United Kingdom
Recent Posts
The Kent Clearview screen by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 7 days ago
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 😎

Stanborough Lake. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 9 days ago
Hi Mark. That's a good suggestion, I'll try that. What I really want is the low down from members that use the lake. Thanks. Rob.

Stanborough Lake. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 10 days ago
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.

3 Footer on a very rare outing by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 10 days ago
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) 😉.

Kent windscreen. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 12 days ago
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

The mast & rigging. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 19 days ago
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

The mast & rigging. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 19 days ago
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. 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 👍

The boat hooks. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 21 days ago
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.

Waterproof glue by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 22 days ago
Hi Chris. Like yours, my very first wooden boat was held together with Cascamite. I'm very happy to recommend Titebond 2, it's an aliphatic resin that's waterproof, dries very quickly and forms a very strong bond on wood to wood joints. I have used it extensively in the construction of my crash tender project. The other glue I have used is Z-poxy 30 minute epoxy resin, great for wood to metal and various other materials. I hope that is helpful. Rob.

46" RAF Crash Tender by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 22 days ago
[Score: 9/10] 46"/7200g 46" RAF Crash Tender Single Propellor (2 Blade X Type 50mm) Direct Drive to a Turnigy SK3 4250-500 (2 Blade X Type) Powered by NiMH (19.2v) Batteries Controlled Through Turnigy 90A watercooled ESC - Comments: Construction started May 2016....nearing completion May 2017.

Working out scale by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 24 days ago
Hi Doug. That's a very useful calculator tool, I've bookmarked that one for myself too 👍 Thanks. Rob.

Crash Tender planking by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 24 days ago
Hi Martin. I'm pleased that my blog is interesting and helpful, but I don't want to mislead you on some of the details I have included on my model. I don't have any real hard evidence that there was any type of fancy decking on either of the fireboats, indeed I do believe that it's more than likely that the deck areas that I have finished with planking were probably just painted the same as the main deck and upperworks. These were working boats that would get harsh use and treatment so any type of adornment would be a waste of time and money. I do have a drawing of the tow hook deck that certainly shows an underlying planked construction of the rear decks but no finishing details. The only 'photo of the rear well that I have doesn't seem to show any visible planking so I suspect it was all just painted. My decision to plank these decks is pure 'modelling licence' as used by many other modellers of these boats and I think it adds interesting detail to what would otherwise be a very utilitarian vessel. Without access to the full original Vosper construction drawings and possibly other photographic evidence the decking question is open to speculation. Rob (Robbob)

The boat hooks. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 24 days ago
I stumbled on the boat hooks whilst scouring eBay for some other bits and bobs, they came as a set of three but the poles were too short to be scale accurate but I bought a set anyway and replaced the supplied poles with some 3mm mahogany dowel of the right scale length. The hooks themselves are made of white metal and are quite delicate so some care was needed in cleaning them up for painting. I etch primed them first and then brush painted them with some silver metallic acrylic before epoxy fixing them to the poles which I had sprayed with a satin finish lacquer. The retaining brackets were made from some 22 gauge brass cut into a 3mm strip and formed into a lipped retainer. These brackets were pierced to take a 1mm brass dome head pin which was soft soldered in place and then etch primed and brush painted with ‘gun metal’ grey acrylic. A 1mm hole was drilled into the cabin sides in the correct positions according to the drawings and the brackets glued in place. The brackets retain the poles quite firmly and I think they give the boat some interesting detail 😁

The scramble nets. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 24 days ago
Hi Boatshed. I have given you some duff information, the cord spacing I have used is actually 1 inch (25mm). I wrote my response from memory but as I'm now making the second net I realised my error. Sorry...

What size planking for crash tender decks? by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 25 days ago
Thank you for your kind words Martin. This is only my second boat build, the first was over 45 years ago as a schoolboy and I'm learning all this stuff as I go along. Crash tenders come up on eBay quite often but some are, in my opinion, basket cases with over optimistic starting prices but I hope you find a suitable example. As you say, there's a lot more detail available about the boats now and what I have found is only a small part I'm sure and I'd love to get more so building in detail is a lot easier now. So from one old wreck to another...good luck finishing the old girl, and I'm sure you have forgiven your brother for his untimely arrival by now !!

What size planking for crash tender decks? by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 25 days ago
Hi John. I used 7mm x 1.5mm maple for the planking and some .7mm black plasticard cut into fine strips for the caulking. All the detail is in my build blog. Rob.

The scramble nets. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 25 days ago
Hi Boatshed. They're spaced about 7/8ths of an inch (22mm) aproximately. Rob.

What size planking for crash tender decks? by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 25 days ago
Hi Martin. Thanks for your response to my question, it's nice to get one...eventually. I managed to work it out for myself and you can see the result of my efforts in my build blog. As a first attempt at planking I'm quite pleased with the results 😁 Rob.

The scramble nets. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 25 days ago
The scramble nets were a particular challenge that I wasn't looking forward to making and at first I looked for something ready-made and I found a manufacturer of sports and bird netting. They make a net for golf driving ranges that looked to have almost the right dimensions and construction so I called them and requested a sample, which they very obligingly supplied. However, when it arrived the ‘rope’ looked far too thin for a realistic scale and the squares slightly too large and furthermore it could only be bought by the square metre with a minimum order of 4 metres so it would have been very expensive for the small amount I actually needed 😱. And so as I couldn’t find anything else remotely similar or suitable I resigned myself to making the nets from scratch. After some research and scale calculations I decided I needed a 2mm diameter twisted black polypropylene cord for the nets and I found some on good old eBay for a few pounds for a 30 metre length. The next hurdle was forming the netting squares and I initially tried to produce a net by tying ‘square’ knots which are used to make real ‘cargo’ and ‘climbing nets’. I found a helpful YouTube video demonstrating how to tie the knots, at which I had some success, but with such a small diameter cord and big fingers I soon gave up on that idea 😡. The successful method involved marking out a square grid on a piece of ply and nailing brass pins on the edges from which a net of cord was formed, and where the cords crossed I used a hollow needle, which I made from some brass tube and rod ground to a sharp needle point, to form the joint. The needle was used to pierce the twist of the vertical cord and draw the horizontal cord through the twist, this was repeated to form a neat and accurate net structure. After adjusting the cords to form accurate squares I applied a small drop of superglue to each joint to lock the cords together. The completed net was trimmed at the sides and the hot tip of my small soldering iron used to melt the polypropylene cord ends to neaten them up. The net was secured to the rails on the cabin roof by passing the cords through a short piece of black heat shrink tube and then passed under the rail and back through the heat shrink tube. I used the clean tip of a small soldering iron to shrink the tubing down around the cords as using my heat gun for the job would also easily remove the paint from the roof 😱. I made a bar for the bottom of the net from some 4mm dowel drilled with 2.5mm holes at the same spacing as the net, this was stained mahogany and given a few coats of lacquer as a finish. The cords were passed through the dowel and secured in a similar fashion as the top fixing with heat shrink. The end result of this process is a scramble net of more or less the correct scale as the real thing that, when rolled up on the cabin roof, looks pretty good… least to my eye 😎. A lot of effort and thought went into making the first one… all I’ve got to do is make another one for the other side 😓.

Working out scale by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 30 days ago
Hi Steve. Here's an on-line scale calculator that I have found very useful, it eliminates the 'brain ache' I get when need to work out a scale dimension. See: Rob

The foam tanks. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 30 days ago
Hi Dave. Glad you're enjoying the blog. Modellingtimbers is operated by a very nice chap called Keith Jewell who was extremely helpful to me in choosing the correct scale grating, a real 'diamond' of a chap. PS. If you really like fireboats and my build has inspired you, check out the very comprehensive kit of parts that justintime2001 is selling, it's an incredible bargain for the asking price, and you can use my build blog as the set of instructions (far better that the ones supplied with the kit 😜). Rob.

The foam tanks. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 30 days ago
I need to make the foam tanks as two separately removable items to allow the deck to be removed for access to the rudder servo etc. The most intricate part of the foam tanks is undoubtedly the gratings that go over the top of them, fortunately there is a ready-made grating available that makes their construction unnecessary 👍👍. I bought this from, the grating ’WG7’ that they supply is dimensionally perfect for the job and can be easily assembled into the shape required. The casing for the foam tanks was made from a combination of materials, the base is 4mm ply, the back is 2mm ply, the front and sides are 2mm plasticard and the top is 1.5mm plasticard. The grating panel was assembled to the correct length and width for the scale and bordered with some 3mm x 4mm mahogany strip, the grating does not run the full length of the foam tanks and there is a plain section to the rear which will be a plasticard infill. The wood and plastic panels were all cut by knife and only needed the edges trued up with a small plane. All the joints were fixed with superglue with a reinforcing piece on the inside of the joint for strength. At all stages the assembly was checked for square and size and dry fitted in the deck well to check for fit. The grating panel was sanded to a smooth finish and a light mahogany stain applied to just the outer mahogany frame as I quite liked the contrast between the light and the dark woods, they were then sprayed with several coats of satin lacquer and set aside to dry. Before glueing the tank tops in place some short bracing pieces were fitted for rigidity. The tanks were given a rub down with fine abrasive paper as a key and sprayed with two light coats of grey primer and then a final paint finish of BS631 RAF Light Grey, the same as the rest of the superstructure. The two infill panels were painted the same and then epoxied into the grating panels. Before fixing the gratings to the top of the tanks some mahogany trim was applied to the tank sides. I need to devise a method of holding the tanks in place on the deck, probably with some of those small but tenacious little magnets that can be let into the bases of the tanks and concealed on the underside of the deck panel. I’ll need to make the suction hoses soon and that will involve a bit a brass turning by ’you know who’ so I’d better get busy with some engineering drawing for the man with the lathe 😉

The cockpit steps. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
A little bit more cockpit detailing....there's quite a lot to do in there and I want it to look as good as some of the inspiring examples that I have seen on other boats...sorry if I have stolen your ideas 😜 The cockpit steps were made from some 12mm x 3mm mahogany strip that I made up from some 10mm strip glued together and then cut down to the required width. The supplied drawing was to the correct scale so I was able to use this as a template, but one of the legs of each ladder needs to be slightly longer on one side because of the curvature of the tow-hook deck onto which the ladders are fixed. The treads were cut to the correct width and length and the forward edge rounded slightly. After marking the correct height of the treads on the sides I drilled some small holes through the sides into the treads for some 1mm brass rod to reinforce the glued joint. The steps were assembled using superglue and the brass rod helped to keep the piece square and true as the glue set. The protruding brass rod was then cut and filled flush with the sides. After a light sanding a mahogany stain was applied to enhance the colour and then few costs of satin lacquer sprayed to give the final finish. The steps will be fixed through the deck with some hex head wood screws from the underside so that they meet the bulkhead at the upper end without any fixing. I think they have come out quite well 😁. I'm making the foam tanks just at the moment....and I thought the steps were fiddly !! 😲

The servo mount. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
Hi Paul. I have ordered some ball joints from CMB so I'll try one out on the servo arm anyway and leave the clevis and adjuster on the tiller to see if it does the job. My radio is a Turnigy TGY-i6 from Hobbyking. I think it has the features you mention but I'm definitely a newbie to digital radio systems so this is all new territory for me. Thanks. Rob.

The servo mount. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
Hi Dave. The servo arm is still slightly higher than the tiller arm so I thought I could use a ball joint below the servo arm to remove the offset, but I do take on board your valid comments. Perhaps I should just incorporate a crank in the push-rod and keep the clevises? What amount of rudder movement should I allow for on this boat? Thanks. Rob.

The servo mount. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
I had originally made a platform and a servo mount out of ply to go in the stern compartment but I found that there was very little clearance left between the top of the servo and the underside of the cockpit deck and the arm and push-rod could foul on something, so I decided to scrap what I had made and invest in something a bit better engineered. I found quite a neat CNC machined aluminium mount on eBay that looked ideal and so I ordered one at a cost of just under £5 including delivery from China. I have not previously bought anything directly from a Chinese seller as I’d heard bad things about long delivery times and getting clobbered for import duty and such but I thought I’d risk it anyway. Surprisingly it arrived about 10 days later without extra costs and is quite well engineered. I decided to fix the servo mount to the bulkhead on some 15mm nylon PCB spacers with an internal 3mm tapped thread that I had in my electronics bits box. This was to allow the servo arm to move unrestricted over it’s travel arc. I used a servo tester to check the operation and it works a treat and looks a million times better that my original mount. I’ll probably replace the clevis attachments for a ball & socket type at a later stage.

The tow hook stays. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
Thanks Paul. I bought myself a new butane torch, as seen in one if the pix, as the 'pencil' type I used previously just couldn't deliver the required heat and my regular plumbing blowtorch was too large and unwieldy. My problem with silver soldering is putting too much solder into the joint and spending too much time filing away the surplus, 'less is more' as they say. Rob.

Fantastic Plastic by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
I'm more comfortable working with wood as I was taught woodworking skills at school back in the dark and distant, but plastic certainly has it's merits as it's versatile and far more malleable, and forgiving, as I have discovered during my build, even brass work is getting easier for me 😁. Rob

The tow hook stays. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
The tow hook stays brace the tow hook by tying the tow hook deck to the keel to transfer the load when the boat is towing a seaplane and is a simple structure on the full size boat but as scale feature is quite tricky to reproduce. It also has to be made to allow the rear well deck to be removed for access to the rudder servo etc. so this took a bit of thinking about how to make it easily removable.🤔 As my brass working skills seem to be improving I decided to make this in brass for strength and durability. Mike Cummings at Vintage Model Works had previously very generously supplied me with a set of drawings which included the tow hook detail and these were of great help in the making process.👍😊 First I marked out the fixing plate on some 22 gauge brass and cut and filed it to the correct shape and then two pieces of 6mm brass tube cut to the correct angle where they meets the plate. After some measurement and geometric juggling the cockpit deck was marked with the positions of the holes that the bracing stays pass through and I used my brass ‘cookie cutter’ to make two neat holes through the decking planks for the flanges that the stays pass through but in this case the tubes will finish just below deck level to allow it to be removed. These flanges were made from some 14swg brass plate, filed to a circular shape and with the centre hole pierced and filed to an angle for the tube to pass through with a small clearance gap to allow them to hinge on the two brass pins that I drilled and inserted into the flanges. This hinging feature allows the towing stay assembly to hinge back slightly to aid removal. I drilled the upper ends of the tubes where they meet the fixing plate to take two brass pins that will hold the parts securely in place while soldering and two temporary brass bracing pieces were then soft soldered to the tubes to hold them at the correct angles and separation. All the parts were thoroughly cleaned and assembled and silver soldered together and then the soft soldered braces were removed and the whole assembly cleaned up with abrasive and wire wool. Two false bolt heads were soft soldered to the plate to add a finishing detail, the centre fixing is a cap head threaded screw that fixes the assembly to the cockpit bulkhead. I sprayed two light coats of etch primed and when dry brush painted the whole piece with two coats of ‘gun metal’ grey. Happily the part sits perfectly in place on the deck and hinges back easily as intended so that removal and re-fitting is simple…unlike the process involved in conceiving and making the part 🤓

Kent windscreen. by robbob Fleet Admiral!   Posted: 1 month ago
Hi Dave. Thanks for the link, it's useful to see the mechanics of the Kent clearscreen, I have found some other old b/w photos online that look similar to the ones on the fireboats so I probably have enough to go on now. Thanks. Rob.