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Rcboater Bill

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    Derry, New Hampshire, USA
  • Interests
    RC scale ships, plastic models ( ships and aircraft, mostly)

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  1. Steve, I wouldn’t worry about the awning on the pond - you’ll only be sailing on nice days, after all! I used painted (acrylic) printer paper for the covers on the lifeboats on my 1/96 Lightship, and they’ve held up well for years. I have seen PE boat falls on smaller scale models, but not in 1/96 before. The issue with PE for stuff like this is that there is no depth to the part- the blocks should be thicker than the line. If I had 2 or boats to rig, I wold replace the brass parts. But 16 boats??? I think I’d try painting them first, to see if that helps. Another option might be to add a small disk of plastic to the top pulley to make it thicker than the line- maybe just on the side facing out would deceive the eye...? -Bill
  2. Strategy&Tactics magazine! Published by Simulations Publications, Inc. Every other month you got a magazine with a war game included. SPI also sold bigger boxed games. I still have about a dozen or more games, all from the mid-late 70s. A group of friends and I used to play them a lot. We found the Avalon Hill games to have better components, with mounted board game style game boards, but the SPI games, with their folded maps and less colorful game materials, were more playable, with Innovative rules and game systems.
  3. I’m really interested in your build- fabulous work so far! I’m curious- how well do the BlueJacket plans match up with the Revell hull? The reason I ask is that on some of the plastic modeling sites, the Revell Alabama is rather poorly regarded in terms of accuracy. They say the Revell Alabama was just the Revell Kearsarge hull, with some different topside parts, and the two ships were not the same length. (Bluejacket’s kit is much more accurate, I understand.) But I don’t think many of the critics had access to the BJ plans, because the BJ kit was released long after most of the reviews of the Revell kit were written.... -Bill
  4. I checked my build log- I have recorded exactly three one-hour sessions working on this model in the shop in the last 30 days! I spent most of my time doing a full cleanup and re-organization of my space. Now that is done, so I returned to working on the garboard planks. The kit provides two more of the one-inch wide basswood planks for this step. I was dreading installing these at first, given how hard it was to bend the sheer planks. But it turns out the garboard planks mostly need twisting, and not the curving the sheer ones did. A good overnight soak made it reasonably easy to clamp a wet plank in place to dry. Here’s a shot of how the garboard plank looked after it dried:
  5. Steve, Another RC tip: Build your model so that it can roll 60 degrees (or more) and nothing moves or shifts- especially batteries and ballast! Story time: Many years ago, at a club sailing event, I saw a 3+ foot long steam- style tug almost founder on a flat calm pond. The model was sailing along fine, when it was “T-boned” amidships by an inattentive skipper’s model. The collision did no damage to the Tug’s sturdy hull. But the force of the impact rolled the tug to port a good 45 degrees or so. This caused the (unsecured) main battery, a big 12volt gel cell, to fall over against the side of the hull. The shift of the weight caused the tug to not recover- it continued to list a good 35-40 degrees to port. This extreme list put the seam where the removeable cabin met the deck under water. Water started to seep in, and the flooding made the list worse. The model made it back close enough to shore that the skipper was able to grab it in thigh-deep water just as it foundered. I know you still have a lot work ahead of you, but do make time to install some method of keeping the heavy stuff secured! -Bill
  6. Steve, I wouldn’t worry about de-watering the open boats. You aren’t going to be sailing her on a rainy day, after all- it isn’t much fun, nor is it good for the transmitter! If you do get a little water in there, I think you’ll find a turkey baster is overkill for those small boats. An eye dropper or a small syringe might be small enough to reach into the bilges more easily. But the easiest way to get water out is to wick it out with the corner of a dry paper towel. (Evaporation works, too!) The turkey baster or a large syringe is handy to have if you get some water in the hull, but that should be an unusual condition. If something is leaking, fix it. Regarding the misplaced porthole: I think it looks a bit odd there. If it were my model, I’d just cover it up with a thin square of plastic - like a patch or a doubler for a mount for some long-since-removed piece of gear. Ships are constantly changing throughout their lifetimes- no ship 100% matches the “official” plans or any of her sisters. -Bill
  7. The kit includes a drawing for a keel and a recommended shape to use to make your own lead bulb. No installation instructions are provided, but it is pretty obvious that the fin is shaped to fit in the centerboard slot. The assumption is that you’d just glue it in, it seems. A club mate built this model as an RC Boat. He made the keel removeable, with a threaded rod embedded in the fin, and a wing nut to retain it in the hull. (The usual method used on most ARF sailboats.) He glued the kit centerboard to a nice display base. When he gets home with the model, he removes the sailing keel and sets the model on the waiting centerboard. I think that’s pretty clever, and I am planning to copy it. I took a photo of the relevant section of the plan, showing the shape of the keel. -Bill
  8. This is an example of a 3 foot long basswood plank after soaking, clamping in place, and letting it dry. Makes installation so easy!
  9. I am still slowly working on the model. It is rather chilly in my basement shop, so I am not spending a lot of time down there these days.... But I have made a start on the planking. I’ve got the first two added to hull P&S. My procedure is to put a 1/8 by 3/8 basswood plank in the PVC pipe to soak over night. The next day, I’ll pull it out, and clamp it in place to dry. A day to three later, I glue it in place and put the next one in the soaker... It is a slow process, drawn out much longer than it needs to be, but it allows me to at least make some progress while it is so cold down there...! Here you can see the wet third plank on the port side clamped in place to dry. Once it dries, I find the pre- formed plank is much easier to glue in place. Note that the apparent mismatch between a couple of planks is a bit of an optical illusion- the hard shadow is caused by the location of the overhead light. There is a slight step in places, but that will quickly disappear when sanded. -Bill
  10. Yes, I missed the name. (In my defense, it comes up as tiny grey text on a black highlight on my tablet.) In light of this, I have edited my previous comments in post #107, so they make more sense..
  11. Kevin, That is an interesting photo - thanks for sharing it. You can see that a prop is going to be there for a voyage- you can see the anchor points on the deck for each end of the tie downs that go over the prop blades. This is what I love about forums like this- you can learn something new from people all over the world. I couldn't find any info about what type of ship the Wei Lee is, so I’m not sure how relevant it is to my earlier question. But I did say I had never seen a prop stored like that, and now I have! (I still think it is a weird thing to put on a hospital ship!). 😎 -Bill
  12. Steve That is very unusual- I have never seen a spare prop carried on the foc’sle like that - on any ship, any size. (Real or model.). I am really surprised the Dean’s kit tells you to do that. As a former sea-going officer, it just doesn’t make sense to me - it is not like a spare tire on a car. Props for a ship that big are huge, heavy, and expensive. A ship needs to be in dry dock to swap it out- it is not something the crew could do while at anchor. If a spare prop was on board, it would likely be crated, and stored in the hold- no sense in having all that extra weight topside. If it was carried topside, it would have to be very thoroughly tied down, so it can’t move. I’m curious, does the kit kit include a photo or other evidence this was ever really done on the Vance or her sisters? As I said, it seems odd to me, but it also seems unlikely that Deans just made it up. It is possible, I suppose, that an empty hospital ship on its way to the war zone could be used for an urgent delivery to a forward base. But that would be a very unusual... Do any of the photos in your Hospital Ships book show this? You’ve got me really curious...... -Bill PS- I am loving your build- you are doing a fabulous job, and I think it is looking great, and will really be something on the water. You even have me looking at photos onlin, thinking “Maybe I should build a hospital ship out of my extra freighter hull.”
  13. Robert, I’m really enjoying your build- it is looking great, and will surely be a impressive on the water! I am a little surprised by the size of the triangular braces on the bulkheads/ spray shields around the bridge. I’ve been on a number of ships, and have never seen braces that big! Standing a watch at sea there would be a challenge- those things are tripping hazards! Makes we wonder if Deans had a drafting error...? -Bill
  14. I have (finally) successfully installed both of the 1/8” x 1” sheer planks, and can now move on to the smaller planks. I have to say- I don’t get why Laughing Whale designed the kit this way. The first step in planking the this hull is the hardest- trying to bend a one-inch wide plank to match the boat’s sheer. It was really hard to do, and if you mess it up, it will affect the rest of your planking job. In hindsight, I should have tossed those 1” wide planks and used narrower stock. Could have saved myself weeks of time- making jigs, soaking, test fitting, ironing, waiting for stuff to dry, re-soaking, etc. etc. Nic- When the time comes for you guys to look at updating this kit, I’d suggest taking a hard look at this step....!
  15. The BJ kit provides a lovely thin piece of laser cut mahogany to be attached to the ply transom. But I am not going to use it, for two reasons: One, I think that while a nice varnished mahogany transom would be gorgeous, I think it is too “ yacht-y” for a hard working fishing boat. Two, even if I wanted to use it, it is too small, because I had earlier replaced the kit ply transom with a new one that is slightly wider, to better match the deck. I was looking in a book I have on Frienship sloops, and it had a nice photo that showed the construction of the transom, which was planked. So I decided to just plank the transom with some of the 1/8 x 3/8” stock. A benefit of this is that I have effectively doubled the gluing area for the planks where they overlap the transom.

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