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Hello from the Heathrow area

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Hello all,

Retired 66 year old that is looking to get into modelling, particularly wooden boats.

Like most people my age a spent lots of time in my youth building plastic airplane and building Meccano cranes.


Unfortunately I come across this site and read the article "A Cautionary Tale" that listed recommended boats for a newcomer to late. My wife got me a Billings Boat "Renown" (off my Christmas list) for Christmas. This model was chosen because it was supposed to be for beginners. Having started the model I can concur that the instructions are crap and the quality is a lot to be desired.

For its faults though this kit is a way into fault finding and model wooden boat building, just got decipher the plans.


Looking forward to actively participating in these forums.






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Gidday Tony and another warm welcome from the Land Downunder.

A pity about the crap instructions and quality issues.

If you search the Build Logs under the Renown I am sure you will find a lot of information to assist your build.

There is a wealth of information here and members freely give advice and encouragement.

Wishing you all the best with your build.


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  • 4 weeks later...

I've just had a look at Scott's (bigpav) build of the Renown on this site from 2013. Like others he claimed the wood was terrible quality. I also note that it has a slightly unusual construction in that the hull is built in 2 halves on bulkheads and that he found difficulty when assembling the planked two halves. It may be done this way because of the way the propeller shaft is fitted


I downloaded the plans and instructions from the Billings site and suspect that the biggest problem might be in building the hull and that the remaining fittings would be relatively easy, especially given the lack of masting and rigging. Given that the plans are provided there is always the possibility that if you make mistakes you can build your own hull using the drawings.


Given his difficulty with the halves, you might find it easier to fit all the bulkheads of both sides and glue them together before planking. It might give you more leeway to ensure the symmetry of the hull.


You'll find a reasonable build log by Charles on Model Ship Builder, where he did plank after the two halves were fitted.


As others have said, this is an interesting ship as there are so few builds on this site, and there'll be plenty of people to help you when you ask questions.


I won't say good luck with the build as it's not really a matter of luck -- more with patience and perseverance as you meet difficulties and try to overcome them. So I'll say I hope the difficulties prove to be few and the rewards many. The painting should prove great fun.



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Welcome here, also me new on here but don't have the same experience as you have with Billing boats.

Built in the past several ships, Passive and RC controlled, all billing boats.

Sure you must have some imagination through to complete all but personally, coming from shipping I did not have any problem.

But here on this forum there are nice guys and will give you a hand or advice if you get stocked.

Presently I built the Fairmouth Alpine and start to have the slip-way installed, the actually boat comes this week but will place some pics later.

Success with your built and hope we will see when completed.

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On 1/31/2019 at 9:26 PM, Lodds said:

My wife got me a Billings Boat "Renown"



I started with a Billings kit some 30 years ago. I seem to remember building it was fairly "plain sailing" albeit I think the materials supplied were a bit better quality then. Just give it a go, take your time and ask for help. 

I used to work for BAA at Heathrow - but am now retired. I was one of those people you probably cursed every time Concorde took off.

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