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Found 11 results

  1. Hello all. It's my first post here so a little about myself. Like many here, I suspect, I returned to the model hobby in my late twenties after a hiatus of 15 yrs or so. Since then I have made a number of wooden vessels, from kits, and I also very much enjoy bringing plastic kits mechanically to life - which is the main theme of my Youtube channel 'Gonzo mechanic'. This current project was spurred by reading about the naval campaigns of World War Two. I was fascinated to find out that the Duke of York (Capt. Guy Russell) took on and destroyed the Scharnhorst at night, in an Arctic storm, with gunnery controlled entirely by radar. Before reading about this, I had not realised that such a thing was possible in this period of the war. Indeed, it turns out Russell specially trained his gunnery teams to fight at night having discovered weaknesses in night-time drill during his time on the Nelson. Unluckily for the crew of the Scharnhorst, the Royal Navy presented the right man with right ship in the right place at the right time. I had planned to convert the Tamiya Prince of Wales to show the Duke of York in her post '44 re-fit form as the amount of anti-aircraft weaponry was truly awe inspiring: 12 pom-pom mounts (!) 2 quadruple bofors mounts and eight or so twin powered oerlikon turrets plus numerous single emplacements for the same weapon. It almost seems a pity this was never tested. However, over time, I decided to do the more familiar 1943 look as this is a rare example of a paint scheme mainly intended for fighting fight in the dark of the Arctic winter when the Russia convoys tended to run. Having bought an addtional KGV kit to borrow the waist boat platform I decided to build this later and she will form a later posting. Sources So what did she actualy look like? I bought the KGV series book by Witold Koszela and a book of drawings of the DoY by the same author. I also found this site https://www.naval-history.net/xGM-Chrono-01BB-Duke of York.htm which turned out to be vital. Finally, there are the pictures from the IWM website of which the series taken at Rosyth 'from the 100 ton crane' are easily the most important. However, beware pictures from the IWM site. Several turned out to be mirror images which resulted in quite a lot of wasted time. Some aspects of the ship are 'handed' - like the roof of the cabin abaft the main director and the mysterious little tub thing on the stbd. side of the forward superstructure and these need to be checked. Also the date appears to be wrong because on the 1 November 1943 the DoY was in Scapa not Rosyth. The pictures more likely date from around January to March that year. The Koszela material is helpful in many ways but many details are wrong or missing. We'll come to those later. Finally the Pontos set while also hugely helpful is also missing a number of items and is also wrong in detail in some places. In other words this project has required careful synthesis from disparate and sometimes conflicting sources. Some aspects remain unresolved and it will be most interesting to see if others here can shed light on them. It is, then, a source of some surprise that is can be so hard to piece together a reasonably faithful image of one of the largest warships the UK has ever put to sea - even within living memory. First up: the hull This, like all my plastic projects, is going to be rc so it can be filmed. There are various conversion kits for other vessels available but I decided to use my 3D printer to make a motor and servo mount. Anything to do with rc has to be maintainable because the first law of sod is that anything inaccessible will break first. In addition, and without disrespect to the many very fine modellers who use them this way, I could not face having the wooden deck show up with a 'real-world' 10" step - so joined the plastic deck together and cut a rebate around the edge so that it, with the wooden deck added, would fit flush with the hull sides. Here you can see the 3d printed motor mount and dog bones. I inserted small brass washers where the dog-bones met the mount. Stern glands Rudder pintle On the right you can see, just about the rebate cut into the under edge of the deck. This was a tiresome process involving a mini-router. N.B. the hull on the left is for the KGV hence stern windows but is otherwise identical to my DoY Next up: alterations to the forward superstructure.
  2. Pride in the Pacific 1982 In late 1976 I got a job as a laborer on a construction site in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. At the site they were building a Baltimore Clipper schooner named Pride of Baltimore. Pride under construction in November 1976, just about when I started there. Five years later, on my 21st birthday, I reported on board as Pride's newest crew member. I spent two months aboard the boat in charge of her guns as she took part in the bicentennial reenactment of the battle of Yorktown. Yours truly is at the top right, in the cocked hat. A summary history of the boat is available at my site, as is an album of the few photos taken during my time aboard. In 1982 I acquired a copy of her plans from Thomas Gilmer with the intent to build a sailing model, but I was young, moved around a lot and it just never happened. In November of 2011 I got to seriously thinking about actually building a model of Pride and figuring out what size to make her. The upper limit was as large, overall, as Constellation, but there was a lower limit also. I tried scaling her the same as Constellation (1:36), but looking at what she would need in terms of batteries, winches, servos, etc; I didn't see how I could fit the equipment needed to control so complicated a rig. I decided to make her 1:20 scale, as large as I could and still stuff her into a van or SUV. With her lines scanned and scaled up I printed her stations on paper. There were glued to 3/8" CDX plywood, cut out, sanded, etc, and stood up on the old building board Constellation was built on. A work in progress: every item I draw in scale gets added to this plan. There they stood for nearly a year. On November 19, 2011 I cut out the keel, mounted it on the forms and began planking. I learned my lesson on Constellation and fully planked the hull, but I taped the edges of the forms so the planking wouldn't be glued to them, and they could be removed - leaving me with full access to the very limited space. The hull was planked in pine strips 1/8 thick and 1/4" wide. They were glued to each other, but only pinned to the forms. The pins were akin to half-length straight pins and bent at the slightest look, making planking extremely tedious and hard on the fingers. I wasn't doing the next one that way. I also didn't spiel the planks, but just laid them on from the keel up, and the sheer down, leaving that football shaped hole to fill. The hull being glassed and painted, it wasn't an issue visually, except that it bother's me constantly. I'm not doing that again either. By Halloween, the hull was planked. The hull was filled, sanded, filled, and sanded some more. The aft-most form with the counter and transom forms was given a tap with the handle of a screw-driver and came right out. Soon the other forms followed, leaving the hull open. The inside was sanded and then painted with diluted Tightbond III to get into the nooks and crannies of the planking and glue everything up. It was then given two coats of poly resin. The stern post was too tall, a sign of advanced planning. I cut it down with a rotary tool - you'll see why later. The stern and then the sides were fiberglassed with 4 oz cloth. Pride's plan compared to Macedonian's The concept I restarted the build logs for Constellation and Macedonian that were lost in the crash. There never was a build log for this model on MSW, but, what the heck, there is now.
  3. I have been part of a tug/barge project over the past year. This project has involved designing everything using Fusion360. I am now back to regular physical modelling but started a new private project. This involves a motor yacht from 1930, I have the plans so it will be a fairly easy work to create a 3d model. But I won't stop there, my intention is to create frames and parts for building her as a RC yacht. Here is a picture of her as on plan.
  4. Inspired by a large RC model of the Rattlesnake featured in an issue of Model Ship Builder magazine, I looked around for a subject to built and decided to built the ship in my own back yard, the sloop of war Constellation tied up in Baltimore's Inner Harbor since the mid 1950's. Some video of Rattlesnake Constellation was a sloop-of-war, of 22 guns, designed by John Lenthal, and built in 1854 by Gosport Navy Yard at Norfolk, Virginia; the last US warship designed and built to operate under sail alone. For a long time she was believed by many to be the old frigate of 1797, rebuilt and moderized, and that debate has raged in the maritime history community for decades. Her lines and sail plan were acquired from the National Archives where I got to handle the actual hand drawn documents. I decided to build her as she appeared in a portrait by deSimone when she was in Naples in 1856 and still a new ship. Her lines were drawn in 1:36 scale, which was perfect, giving a model: Beam: 13-5/8" (34.713 cm) Length over the rig: 96" (243.84 cm) Width over the rig: 36" (91.44 cm) ~ Main yard w/o stuns'l booms. Length on deck: 61" (154.94 cm) Length between perpendiculars: 59-1/8" (150.178 cm) Draft, without ballast keel: 7" (17.78 cm) With 3-1/2" ballast keel: 10-1/2" (27.94 cm) Height bottom of keel to main truck, without ballast keel: 65" (165.1 cm) With ballast keel: 69" (175.26 cm) Sail Area: 2,807.01 square inches in 17 sails (19.5 sf, 18,109.7 scm, 1.8 sqm) This log will cover my work on this model since it began in 1999 up to where it is now. Editor's Note: This is a log of how I am building this model, not a guide to how a model such as this ought to be built. It's full of fits and starts, changes of mind, errors, re-do's, more error's, a few mistakes; and somehow, despite all this, it seems to be becoming a working, sailing model that actually looks something like it's namesake. The director of the actual ship recognized it on first sight - I take that as a good sign! If you're considering taking on a project like this, please, please, don't let this build log deter you - it's not nearly as difficult as I make it seem. Just take away from it that which helps you along, and ignore the rest.
  5. Hello everyone Today is a good day to start my scratch build log. Maybe this Tableboat would be something for a scratch build log ... Seriously, i wish you all a happy new year! Cheers : ) Mike
  6. I usually scratch-build RC ship models of the 19thc. Recently, my interests changed to earlier time periods where I have little source material. So, I'm posting here for your help. I've read/viewed some great build logs here of earlier ship types. I hope my efforts may add to that interest. I'll begin to post my research that I need to do to determine what the model will look like. As far as I know, no plans exist of a of Irish Galley c.1580. Historical background: It’s hard to research Irish Maritime history for several reasons. At first glance, you’d think it wouldn’t be. It is an island. Of course, they’d be interested in the water and boats. But, that has not been the case. They are a culture that has been suppressed for over half a millennium. Since English King Henry VIII in the 1500s, Ireland has been under siege and then conquered by a policy called Surrender and Regrant. Later, there was the Plantation Policy by Queens Mary and Elizabeth I. Their language, customs, laws, and certainly history have altered to demoralize them through the filter of a conquered nation. Any state promotion of an anti-English history (which this model represents) was suppressed. And this in turn, lead to a perpetual rebellion against a corrupt authority. One of those rebelling clans was the O’Malley clan in western Ireland in the County of Mayo. In the 1500s and as it had been for many centuries, Western Ireland was the far west of western Europe. So far west, that it was not even conquered by the Romans or Vikings. This gave the Island a longer period of insolation to form their own customs than any other peoples of Europe. Ireland never had the unifying force of the Roman government and army. Various clans ruled and warred amongst themselves for limited control of limited parts of the Ireland. The O’Malley clan was one of those Western clans. They ruled over the baronies of Murrisk and Burishoole. They were somewhat unique in that their power came from a combination of warriors to control land and seafarers to trade and war on the sea. This gave them the ability to trade not only with other clans but also other lands. It’s recorded that they travelled to the ports of England, France, Spain and Portugal. Theirs was no small enterprise. English State Papers record O’Malley maritime activities from the mid-1200s to the early 1600s. Some of their vessels, oared galleys, were recorded to hold 300 warriors. That is a significant size vessel of the 16th century. The most famous of the O’Malley clan leaders, called chieftains, was a woman called Grace O’Malley. She lived from circa 1530 to 1603. It is her life I find the most interesting. Because she grew up when the old Irish customs were still in force in Ireland. But by the time she ruled and for the rest of her life, England was conquering Ireland clan by clan. Usually, it a was a process of the superior English power making deals by granting money and titles to those who would submit to them with the least effort. Often clan was pitted against clan with the backing of English power on one side. In the midst of this upheaval, Grace refused to submit her clan to this transition and warred on land and sea against the English. She is called in English State Papers as a “nurse of all rebellions”. The clan motto in Latin, a common language of the educated in the period, proclaims their importance with Terra Marique Potens. This means Powerful By Land and Sea. The vessel: It is stated many times that this clan used galleys or oared rowing craft. But, what type and how large? Surely a clan that was known for ‘piracy’ by the English were not using the same vessels for trade and warring. ...more next time.
  7. Way back in 1978 and 1979 I had the privilege of crewing on board an old Portuguese Grand Banks fishing vessel turned sail training ship, the barkentine Gazela Primeiro. Of all the boats I sailed for pay or pleasure, Gazela is my favorite and my fondest memory. It was a combination of a sturdy and trust-worthy vessel combined with a crew of wonderful people; that made me feel at home and safer than any other boat I've known. <= an 18 year old me after morning wash-down on Gazela. A bit of the ship's history is available on My site. I've always dreamt of building a model of Gazela but I could never find her lines. I spent a lot of time searching, contacting people like the builder of the model in Philadelphia. Six sheets of plans were drawn up around the time I had sailed her and a profile from that set was included in a book by Allison Saville about the ship. This was printed on a tabloid sized sheet, and while not perfect, was usable, but I still didn't have a body plan. One contact had built an old Scientific kit of the boat and still had the instruction sheets. He photo graphed these for me. Another contact who had the plans, sent me a a paper photocopy on a tabloid sized sheet. I scoured the Internet for any images of the boat I could find, especially those of her hauled out of the water. I tried to reconcile what I had to each other to come up with a working set of plans in the 1:36 scale I wanted. It was very tedious with all the photography and scanning distortions. I was getting near to something I could use, but wasn't there yet. I eventual found the plans drawn up in the 70's at Mystic Seaport. They were very expensive, but I set my teeth and ordered them, only to hear they they were restricted in making copies. They steered me towards the Independence Seaport Museum who apparently hold the originals. These folks are not set up to provide copies of plans. They offered to digitally photograph the plans for me, or send them out to be digitally scanned. The cost they estimate for that would be astronomical. In trying to get across what I'm after, they told me the plans were missing! Since then they've found two of the six sheets and sent sample photos; they are the same two sheets I show you above. At this moment, I'm still negotiating with the Museum to get usable copies of Gazela's plans. If this doesn't work, I'll have to resort to my make-do attempt detailed above.
  8. I first set foot on board the Constitution when I was 7 years old, and I was hooked on sailing ships ever since. My elementary school library had C S Forester's The Captain From Connecticut which I loved and led me to Forester's other work, namely Hornblower. In fact, the 16 foot daysailer I've had since 1979 is named Lydia. I spent my teens and twenties working under sail and power, from barkentines to tugs. I've built several of the 1:96 scale Constitution/United States Revell kits, two of them were RCed; but I always wanted a sailing model of the ubiquitous British frigate, and no one made that kit. I finally decided to build one. Already deep into building an 1850's American sloop-of-war, and with a Baltimore Clipper schooner already planked up, I began a third model of the HMS Macedonian. I chose Macedonian because I could easily get Chapelle's drawing of her from The American Sailing Navy from the Smithsonian, and she was interesting. Macedonian by Gardner Macedonian was a Lively class frigate rated at 38 guns, another of Sir William Rule's designs. Launched in 1810, during the War of 1812 she had the misfortune to meet the American frigate United States, a Constitution class 44 and was captured. She was taken into the American Navy and served until 1828 when she was broken up and replaced by a new ship. Lively Bacchante The story of Macedonian is well told in Chronicles of the Frigate Macedonian, 1809-1922 by James T deKay and I've posted a fair history of the ship on my page There's lots of data available on how the British built and out-fitted their frigates, and even Macedonian's figurehead still exists, but I never have found any reliable information on what her stern looked like. What I've come up with is my own conjecture based on the sterns of other Lively class frigates. The mounted figure is from a statue of Alexander that existed when Macedonian was built. The round object is the "Vergina Sun" found at ancient Macedonian sites and dating from the time of Alexander's father. Symbology available when Macedonian was built and while this is my own guess, it's at least a logical guess. I considered using Alexander's profile from a coin in place of the mounted figure, but his face is already on the bow - given the choice, I'd think an English builder would choose the horse. When the drawings came in from the Smithsonian, the first thing I did was have them digitally scanned. I then rescaled them from 1:48 up to 1:36 mostly so this model would be the same scale as my Constellation. That done, I made up a sheet with each station drawn full-sized, and printed that on my plotter. At this scale, the model should be; Length: 59" taffrail to Alexander's nose Beam molded: 13.3" Draught: 6.87" without the removable ballast keel Her length over the rig will be about 7' and she will stand from keel to truck, about 4'. (I'll update this with more accurate numbers and metric equivalents at a later date) These paper patterns were used to rough cut the wooden stations from 3/8" plywood. Each paper pattern was then glued onto it's station close cut on the bandsaw, and then fined up on the beltsander where some bevel was put into the forward and after stations.
  9. Anyone know of any suppliers of decent larger size rigging blocks. I'm building an RC square rigger at 1/36 scale and need blocks about 7-12mm in size. They don't have to be functional, just strong and look the part in wood.
  10. Well, it took time but now all the racing upgrades are done. The servo for main sheet is a digital high torque 120 degree throw servo. The original high torque is powering the rudder. The clew in the jib and main are adjustable along with the cunningham plus vang for the main. The sheet lines are adjustable as well
  11. So I was pressed by the Admiral to sell my dream car a 1971 beetle. The car was out of capabilities to repair and she didn't like it sitting around. She was very generous though in that she told me I could take a portion of the money and get my self something. I have been wanting to build an rc sail boat for some time but now I finally have some money to throw at it. I will admit I am one of those crazies that doesn't want to do a T(numeral) kit. I want to do something I think is a little more fun. I know it's crazy but so am I. What I'm thinking of doing is a simple ship like the Ferret in the book "Story of Sail". The sails won't be far from a beginners kit type ship just a gaff along with the boom on the mainsail and an extra jib. I have the plans more or less figured out but I'm not sure what to do as far as electronics. I know I need servos a receiver and remote but which ones are best? Where's the best place to get them? Is there anything I'm missing or should know? Thank you for your advice.

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