Monday, 19 December 2011

Bow Thruster

Over the last couple of weeks, inbetween moving house, I've been attempting to fit the bow thruster to the Tamar hull.  Despite the template in the instructions, I've made this much more difficult than it should have been, hence no photos yet, I want to get it sorted before showing my mistakes!  Somehow, I couldn't get the tube straight and had to greatly enlarge on of the holes in the hull.  Still with the advice Model Slipway have given and some luck it ought to be ok.  I might still need to be a little creative with the waterline/boot topping though!

On a more positive notes, the mounting plates for the Trent trim tabs have been machined;

I'm very pleased with how they've come out, I just need some 1mm brass wire for the hoopsnow; I couldn't get a consistent shape with steel wire.  I'm confident the ram assemblies will look pretty good once finished.

Next time I should be posting about how the bow thruster saga ends!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tamar Beginnings

I know the Trent's not quite finished but I've begun building the Tamar.  Well, I'm still waiting for some bits from Squires and the trim tabs are still in development.

First up, I built 2 of the wheelhouse formers: the cabin floor and rear bulkhead and the roof former.  I wanted to push on before working on the hull but really that's as as I can get on the wheelhouse until the deck is on the hull.  But that means thinking about how I'm going to make the transom door operate and that's too much for my brain at the moment!
So, I thought I may as well get on with the hull and hope transom door inspiration comes my way.  So it's on with the first wave of deck supports and hull openings.  The hull openings have been chain drilled  for the prop shafts, rudders, bilge keels and, using the very handy templates in the instructions, for the bow thruster.  Some of the measurements, especially for the prop shafts were not easy to mark up given the hull shape but all done in rough, lots of filing to come....

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

It's all in the Detail Pt3

I know, I know, it's been too long since I last posted but things have been a little hectic as I'm moving house.  However, I have started work on the Tamar, albeit several months later then planned before packing it up.  Pics of the initial hull work will be up in a post soon.

Anyhow, back to the Trent.  The trim tab mounts are nearing completion and were looking good last time I saw them.  Thank goodness I have a friend with a milling machine!

So, to the final catalogue of my mods to the boat, this time focussing on the stern and flybridge:
18  modified the flybridge rails slightly (also hope to add small storage nets on either side soon-ish)
19  added the radio handsets and boxes
20  added the searchlight storage boxes - behind the helm's backrest
21  reshaped the liferaft frames
22  modified the X boat box to the newer larger size
23  added the XP boat motor under the step - I will also scratch build the emergency tiller shortly which is stored in the same place
24  modified the engine room escape hatch to the current flatter design
25  built the recesses for the exhaust outlets and added oil overflow pipes
26  added the trim tab supports - I'll post about the trim babs once they are finished
27  reshaped parts of the supports on the stern rail and added fenders which were kindly molded for me, along with the lifebelts by a friend from my local boat club

There, I think that's about it.  There are a few bits and pieces left, like the tiller and the block and tackle on the A frames, but that's for the future.  Oh, and of course I've the crew figures to make!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

It's all in the detail - pt2

So, it's time to run through the next batch of modifications I made

9 - added a small box in front of vents 5 and 6 on the wheelhouse side
10 - put domes inside the vent boxes.  These are just rubber feet sprayed gloss white
11 - added the sockets on the wheelhouse sides by the side steps
12 - added the conduit for the whip aerial leads
13 - changed the aerial arrangement on the mast and added new aerials

and inside the wheelhouse
14 - added the bars inside the front windows
15 - scratch built the switch panel by the radio operator and added handsets on the radio panel
16 - put seat belts on all crew seats and
17 - modified the grab rails

Next time, I'll finish off by looking at the stern and by then, hopefully the carrying box will be finished.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

It's all in the detail (pt1)

I've got three things to do before cracking on with the Tamar, aside from a few bits of detail on the Trent.  First, I have to build a box for transport, which I've just started, secondly I need to gee up my mate who's machining the trim tab rams and mounts for me, and third I have some crew figures to make.

So, with nothing boat related to report on, I thought I'd run down some of the modifications I've made to the standard kit.  Some were easy, some not; some I've mentioned in earlier posts.  I wanted though to put them all in one place, or rather a couple of posts, for easy-ish reference.
So, here's a list of what I have done, from the bow towards the stern:
1     reshaped the pulpit rail, it's less pointy now
2     modified the first hand rail stantion on each side
3     modified the front of the wheelhouse and built the valve recess with valve
4     reshaped the railing on the front of the wheelhouse
5     modified the bracket for the ship's bell under the front port window
6     fitted correct profile wiper boxes
7     scratch built the engineer's panel in the roof of the wheelhouse above the front consoles
8     added a solar panel

More next time...

Monday, 5 September 2011

The Devil's in the Detail

This week has seen me finish the flybridge radios and also the cables for the whip aerials.

A couple of weeks ago, I put up a photo of the component parts for the radios, well here they are all done:
I have to admit to being pleased with the result!  Even the handset looks ok even though it's a simplification of the real one.

The cables for the whip aerials were a relative breeze.  Having already fixed the conduits prior to painting the wheelhouse, it was just a matter of adding the photo etched sockets and then 2 lengths of cable either side.  A little cheat but you can't tell...

There's not much left to do now as I'm waiting for the trim tab rams to be made up by my mate with a lathe.  He's not thinking of milling the parts so I'll have to wait and see.  Just a few more job that I can think of other than that: the ropes on the A frame block as well as the lights; the emergency steering gear and; a couple of small vents by the back of the wheelhouse - the latter two to be scratch built so watch this space.

More pressing though, as, hopefully, I'll be moving house soon, is building a box for the boat.  So less model making in the next week or so, more cabinet making.  And then, it'll be time to start the Tamar.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Aerial View

So, I've fixed the mast and fixed all of the aerials.  Only the blue and orange lights to add now.  The mast's not as sturdy as I'd like; The break is only held by superglue gel but there wasn't another option!  The aerials are as per the real boat this year and so there's a few changes.  Hopefully the photos will tell the full story.  All of the mast aerials are 0.8mm brass wire with brass tube at the base.  The small aerial on the port side has two thicknesses of tube.

 It all looks pretty good to me.

What's not so good is the starboard railing.  It broke again at the side steps, at about the same point.  The rail is plastic tube with a brass rod core.  I can only think that the brass I used wasn't long enough hence the weak point.  Anyway, I pinned and superglued the joint so fingers crossed for this time, and a lesson learnt for the next boat.

The bridge comms system is all painted now and just needs putting together, and that should ten mean the flybrigde is finished.  Photos hopefully in the next post.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Bits and Pieces

Little to report this week due to a busy week and weekend.  Nevertheless, I've glued the last pieces of fendering on and the side rail wires are also on.
As the fendering from Speedline Models is hollow, I needed something to fill in the ends of the pieces on the stern, and also to fill any small gaps.  The solution came from a recommendation in a copy of Model Boats magazine from a year or two back.  It's black kitchen sealant.  At first I thought it wasn't going to be a great colour match as it has a gloss finish.  But, if given a gentle rub when it's tough dry, it turns matt and blends in nicely.  (I also tried black guttering sealant but couldn't get a smooth enough finish and it's a little too grey in colour.)

I've also started to scratch build the flybridge intercom units.  Hopefully, they'll be the finishing touch to the flying bridge.  The parts I've put together are in the photo below, prior to assembly and painting.
This week coming, I think it's time to tackle rebuilding the mast...

Monday, 15 August 2011

Off the Rails

The finishing line is getting closer.  This week I've been mainly pottering about, just adding a few bits here and there, but the boat's now looking much more complete.

I've fixed the stern rails and side stern rails, along with the flybridge screen.  Now just a few more bits and pieces to add, and to rebuild the mast which took another hit in a clumsy moment.

As I've a picture of the stern, I thought I'd describe the modifications I've made here.
At the bottom are the trim tab mounts.  These are simply lengths of 6x3 styrene shaped and blended with filler.  A friend is making some adjustable rams for the trim tabs on his lathe.  The oil overflow pipes have been added.  The biggest change though was to build recesses for the exhausts.  A hole was drilled and then reamed out on both sides.  The recess was actually made from a pritt stick lid.  The exhausts then sit in the recesses.  They're not deep but they are noticeable on the full size boat.

Just visible in the photo is the engine room hatch.  I've scratch built this to the more flush current type, using the kit part as a guide.  I've also used checker plate on it .  Also seen under the flybridge stairs is the X boat motor.

Just to finish off this post is a photo of the model from the side.
PS The flyer to the right of the shot is not for the Nuremberg rally, it's for Richard Herring's Hitler Moustache tour - dvd available from Go Faster Stripe!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Washed Away

I've made lots of progress over the last couple of weeks since my last post.  The biggest task I've completed was the windscreen washer system.  This is now on the boat along with the wipers.  I thought it would be a real challenge to make up the pipework, but it really went quite well.
I've also fixed the side railing stantions and back plates in place.  This went much quicker than I'd expected.  I used a photocopy of the plan cut to fir the deck to make sure all stantions are vertical.
I've found the fendering quite challenging.  It's almost finished now, but not after some frustration.  It's not that difficult, but cut in the wrong place and that's it.  Fortunately, it mostly went to plan.I used a glue that's supposed to stick nearly everything for the main run round the hull, and although it's ok, it's not great.  I had to resort to superglue gel for the other pieces.

Other than that, I've been finishing off other bits and pieces like the wheelhouse door and the A frames.  The end is in sight, but ahead of that, I have to fix the broken mast...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Fending off

I was on holiday last week so didn't get much done.  But, hols were in Cornwall so went to have a look at the actual boat I'm modelling.

This weekend has seen some progress though.  The wheelhouse is nearly finished, or at least back where it was before the respray.  I've also made a start on the fendering.  I bought an upgrade to the kit fendering from Speedline Models as although not exactly cheap, it is a worthwhile improvement.  So, the main run around the hull is now on.  Only the tricky bits to do now then!

I've also now fixed the bow roller, bollard, capstan and anchor chain guide on as shown in this pic;

This pic also shows the mods I've made to this area of the boat.  I've reshaped the pulpit rail and superstructure rails, added a chequer anti-slip plate between the bow roller and bollard and reshaped the front of the wheelhouse to include the fire hydrant and its recess.

Well, it's getting there I reckon.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Progress of sorts

Finally, what feels like progress.  I've got most of the hull fittings on, and the wheelhouse is nearly back to the stage I had it before the respray.  Also, I've had her in the water and the boot topping is in the right place; somewhat of a relief.  

However, I dropped the side railing which broke a stantion about a third of the way up.  No problem I thought, a little superglue gel will fix it.  Unfortunately though the glue seems to have turned the plastic soft and it didn't reset.  So I've had to chop it up, and this is what it looks like:
So the plan is to repair the damage this week and then re-paint it.

I've also made progress with the flybridge stairs which are now in place;
I've remodelled the stairs by adding in the 'half landing' and modifying the rails accordingly.  I simply cut the kit stairs in half at the correct point and added a bigger 5th step and side pieces.  I got the rails shape by simply redrawing the shape on the plans.  

Also, under the stairs is the X boat outboard and its frame.  Just visible to are the bolts added to the bollard base plate and the engine hatches.  These are in fact cut down Amati pins though the ones in each corner of the engine hatches are full length and secure the hatches in place.

I'm aiming to finish the wheelhouse this week or next and then it's on to fixing the railings. 

Sunday, 3 July 2011

So, since it's been a while since I posted, what have I achieved?  Well, the hull is now painted and I've re-painted the wheelhouse.  The finish isn't perfect but after all this time, it's good enough.  The result, minus the deck colour is here.

It's the last time I use Plastikote spray paint for major parts, Halfords all the way in the future.  I'm also beginning to re fix fittings to the wheelhouse.  Hopfully, not too long before I'll have the wheelhouse as it was before the repaint.

In the meantime, I wanted to record the various mods I've made, starting with the back of the wheelhouse;
Here, the X Boat locker is taller, there's an axe underneath and the liferaft frames are re-shaped with ribbon used for the straps.  I've also scratchbuilt the stowage frame for the X Boat outboard and on the flying bridge are storage boxes for the searchlights.  More next time.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Right, first post and time to set the scene.  This blog is to track my build progress and to record the modifications I've made to the kit to reflect the Fowey boat I'm basing my model on.  This won't be a witty or particularly erudite blog a la Mr Fry, but hopefully it might be of use to someone.  Where I've made modifications to the kit it's to suit me  and where I've encountered problems it's probably my fault rather than the kit!  My Trent model is nearing completion.

A few weeks ago it had a water trial (see photo) but I was unhappy with the paint finish on the wheelhouse.  So, after a week of rubbing down with wet and dry paper, my aim this weekend is respray the wheelhouse and the blue on the hull.  Fingers crossed for a good finish.