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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. No photos today- but I have made great progress this weekend sanding and filling the hull. Steve- thanks for that tip on the MH Ready Patch- that stuff is great! I applied it with a nylon putty knife, almost like a thin-as-can-be skim coat on a plaster wall. I then used my electric 1/4 sheet power sander to sand most of it away, leaving the gaps and valleys filled. I still have a bit of work to do, to prep the hull for the next major step- the layer of fiberglass.
  2. Steve, Thanks-- I'll check that Ready Patch product out. For me, water exposure is not really a concern, as the hull will be getting a layer of fiberglass, sealing everything in.....
  3. Hit a major milestone last night- the hull is planked! I started kit on August 30. Now, 10.5 months later, the hull is planked! It was a tedious process at times, but the main reason it took this long was that it was a long cold winter, and I didn’t spend much time in my basement workshop. Don’t look too closely- there are a bunch of planking sins committed over the winter! I knew I could get away with them, as the next step is a thorough sanding to smooth the less-than-perfect planking joints, followed by a coat of fiberglass...
  4. Steve, Once again, I get to chime in a little too late to be truly useful! Regarding your paint spill- I learned the hard way years ago, so now I never paint from a bottle on the bench. I set the bottle inside a roll of electrical tape- it fits snugly, and the roll keeps the bottle from tipping over when (not if) I bump into it. ”Been there, done that, ruined the tee-shirt!!” -Bill
  5. Steve, You asked: “Apart from lettering and an anchor, both of which will be done later, the ship is ready to turn to work on the port side, the masts, the awning and deck furniture (is it all furniture or are cleats, chocks, rope reels and such considered something else?).“ Those items are all considered to be “fittings” by most ship modelers. “Deck furniture” is literally the things the passengers sit on. -Bill
  6. Steve, If you don’t have film canisters, small pill bottles work well, too, to contain the shot while sorting out how much ballast to add. If you are going to use ziploc types of bags, be careful not to put too much in. The seams in those bags won’t last long with a couple of pounds worth of shot in them! As Lou mentioned, be sure to secure ballast and batteries so they can’t move about. I make it a practice to roll my model 90 degrees (on the bench ) and give it a couple of mild shakes, to make sure nothing inside shifts about. I might have said this already, but I’ll risk repeating myself: One of my club mates almost lost his tug. He was hit amidships (“T-boned”) by a model belonging to an inattentive skipper. The collision did no damage to his sturdy hull, but the force of impact and resulting roll caused the big SLA battery to fall over against the model’s side. The resulting list put the model’s cabin/ deck joint in the water. With no real coaming , the model started to leak, worsening the list, letting in even more water. Fortunately, the model was close enough to shore for the skipper to wade out and save it —he got there just as the model was on her beam ends and going down. A collision, a motorboat wake, a strong gust of wind — all can play havoc with a model with lots of top hamper if it catches you broadside. -Bill
  7. Steve, I bought a 25 pound bag of lead shot decades ago, still have a third of it left. I remember how surprised I was to see how small of a bag it came in. I have a bunch of 35mm film canisters, I filled them with shot- each one weighs close to a pound! It makes it easy to control the lead, to add/ remove it when trimming a model. When I’m happy with it, I then mix up a slurry of lead and glue and pour it into place. You don’t have to use (expensive) epoxy- waterproof woodworkers glue will do the job, if you pour in layers. You just don’t want the shot rolling around inside the hull!
  8. Steve, Doing the math, your model is going to displace about 36 pounds, when ballasted to float at the waterline. So whatever the finished model weighs, you’ll need to add ballast to get it to 36 pounds. The denser and lower in the hull the ballast is, the better - the more stable the model will be on the water. Lots of people prefer lead shot mixed with epoxy- that can be poured into the hull to get the weight as low as possible. But you don’t want to do this up to the very last ounce- it can be very hard to remove later - say if you decide to go with a larger battery to increase run time. You may want to leave the last pound or two loose, so you can move it about as needed to adjust the model’s trim in the water. Then you can secure in place in a way so it can’t slide around, but still be removeable later if desired. As I said, lead is a great choice, but can be hard to find. Birdshot or buckshot can be found at gun shops, but not all will have it. ( There is a growing movement to ban the use in hunting and fishing because lead is considered to be a toxic substance.). If you find yourself needing several pounds, exercise weights might be an option. Another option is tire weights- most tire shops have buckets full of old wheel weights that are just trash to them. FYI , Here’s how I came up with the displacement estimate of 36 pounds: Take the displacement of the real ship, convert to pounds, then divide by the scale, cubed. I found the data online for Liberty Ships as 14,425 long tons. Multiply that by 2240 pounds per ton, then divide by 96 three times. The result is a little over 36 pounds. Note that getting the actual displacement can be tricky, especially for cargo ships. Lots of references list the cargo capacity, and not the gross tonnage. (The first value I found for Vance listed 7700 tons.). Also US ships are usually listed in “long tons” which are 2240 pounds, not 2000. This page gave both: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_ship Hope this helps.... -Bill
  9. Steve, Glad to hear all is well in the lifeboat dept- I should have realized that with the repainted hull, the boats would also lose the stripes! But, like I said, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and miss a step, at least for me! My hall of fame moment here was when I was building a WW1 Bristol Fighter plastic kit. I got so fixated on closing up the fuselage and eliminating any sign of a seam, that I forgot to put the engine in first! Figured it out when I looked at my perfect fuselage and realized there was nowhere to attach the exhausts and prop! D’oh!!! Going back on topic: Steve, your receiver should be fine where you put it. I have installed some just above the waterline in small models, and had no issues. The 2.4 GHz RC units are great- the days of one model per frequency are gone. Each receiver binds with its transmitter, and ignores signals from anyone else. But the signal can’t penetrate water, so you want the Rex above the water line. Even in a pool, where you’re likely no more than 50 feet away, you’ll lose control of a sub after a foot or so down on 2.4GHz. I don’t do subs anymore, but I was able to sell all my old 75MHz RC gear to other sub skippers... -Bill
  10. I think the steel wire to support the man ropes looks great. (We called them “Monkey ropes”) Question: did you miss a step? Are there decals for the green stripes and red crosses on the lifeboats that would be easier to apply before gluing the boats in place? Or were those gone from the time period your model represents? I ask because I have “Been there, done that, have a drawer full of tee shirts”! -Bill
  11. Steve, You needn’t have any concerns about the range of your RC set- You could sail the model far enough out that you can’t tell which way it is going, and still have control. Having said that, the 2.4Ghz signal is line of sight- so don’t sail behind the boathouse or other big solid structure. It is is also a good idea to mount your receiver above the waterline- 2.4GHz signals don’t penetrate water much beyond a couple of inches. (That’s why RC sub sailors use the old 72MHz radio gear— so they can go 5-6 feet down.) -Bill
  12. Steve, One of the great things about building scale RC ships (compared to aircraft) is that you don’t have to wait until the model is finished to take it out for a sail. In fact, I usually put my models in the water as soon as possible, just the bare hull— to verify the running gear, stability, etc. Might be a little late to tell you this now, but even now you may discover something you want to change before completing the detail work..... -Bill
  13. Steve, Here are a couple of photos from “Modern Seamanship”.... In the foreground of the first photo, you can see the chain stopper. This takes the load of holding the anchor securely in the hawsepipe. The Pelican Hook is basically a big clamp that fits around a link in the chain.
  14. Steve, The kit supplied ground tackle is missing a few details, including one that may solve the hawsepipe issue.... On all the ships I’ve been aboard, there is a removeable metal cover that fits over the opening where the chain comes on deck. This serves two purposes- one to to keep people from accidentally stepping there when underway, and two to cut down on the water shooting out when the ship buries the bow in a large wave. Adding this detail would hide the fact that the chain isn’t going into the hawsepipe... An item missing on many models is the chain stopper- it is a separate item that hold the weight of the anchor when it is hawsed. I’ll try to post a couple of photos from Knight’s “Modern Seamanship” later tonight.... -Bill
  15. I am still working on the model, when I have the time. It was a long cold spring, so I didn't spend much time working on the model in my basement shop. But I am still slowly planking the hull-- sometimes only a plank or two a week. Now that it is getting warmer, I can spend more time.... The hull is planked is planked from the deck down, and from the keel up. About the a third of the planking remains-- the hard part at the turn of the bilge. I have also given the interior surfaces of the bulkheads a coat of epoxy resin, to waterproof them in case water ever gets in. No pictures now-- I am committing all sorts of planking sins, tapering planks to a point, etc. I can get away with it because I will be fiberglassing and painting the hull. (And because there will be no photographic evidence!) -Bill

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