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St Canute by ejgray52 - Billing Boats - Scale 1:50 - second wooden ship build.


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I have recently completed Billing Boat’s 50ft Steam Pinnace, (listed as HMS Renown). It was quite a steep learning curve, as it has been many years since I attempted a similar build. I found it much more involved and more satisfying than the average plastic kit. The result is maybe not the most accurate rendering of one of the boats, or up with the efforts of many of the boats on this site, but it’s a start. I purchased a few of their kits whilst working in Saudi Arabia in the 90’s, where I discovered a model shop in the town where I lived. They were a little more expensive than they would have been back home, but, (a) it saved them from the ravages of Saudi Customs bringing them in and (b) the shopkeeper had decided to include the fittings packs with the basic kit, making them actually cheaper!

The Admiral liked my first attempt and helped me choose the next one from my stash, Billing’s St Canute. It is one of their 700 series where the hull is built in two separate halves and then bought together. With the Pinnace I glued the two halves together before I planked it, but with this one I will follow the manufacturers method. So the first job, find a suitable board and pin the skeleton keels down and then mount the frames. I also added the deck at this stage. The kit is die-cut as opposed to laser and it shows on the slots cut in the deck’s edge.

Billing usually provides just one planking layer and those provided were quite thick – not too bad on most of the hull, but a problem at the stern which has tight compound curves. I decided to make an infill block with some balsawood, recycled from an earlier project. The first attempt was not particularly good, as I tried to make allowances for the planks to cover it, so I scrapped that and make one that the planks butted up to, as the hull will be filled and painted anyway. (You will notice that I had already put the first plank on before I had thought of it…) The rest of the planking I am doing in sections, as I am still experimenting with the best way to do it for me.

deck edge

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Explained to the Admiral, that although my workshop seems full of tools, there is always a need for others.... Waiting now for a pin pusher and a new set of razor saws, so I will take a break from the hull and start on the various fittings and deckhouses etc. It is interesting how Billing uses a variety of materials to create them; for example there are two tall ventilators, made up of a brass tube, cowl, ring and base, a piece of wooden dowel and a plastic base. The plastic items for those who haven't built any of their kits are one sided mouldings; some require assembling to make a 3D item - for example the davits, towing hook, etc. The parts are identified by photos of the individual frames in the manual. However, you then have to search the instruction manual and the plans to find them.... Parts F 837f look like they are for the capstan, but so far I have failed to find them anywhere on the drawings... I have also downloaded the manual and plan from their website, which appears to be a later version. It's a challenge, but an enjoyable one so far; certainly not like a 'shake and bake' modern plastic kit!348942520_SCplastic12.thumb.jpeg.6bdb7525be3c1bba82c7412406f33a88.jpeg20200530_171516.thumb.jpg.dd7f8ee6be0f46c1ed4e6455d9cd179a.jpg20200530_115254.thumb.jpg.8d256eb69ec5199ab1a68633709874bc.jpg

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nice seeing this one being built again - have been building this one off and on for 20 years now! i replaced the anchor winch with a 1/48th steam anchor windlass from caldercraft but used the billings sideframes - made a big difference though not sure if still available as a spare?

 

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been sat there a while- she needs a good dusting!

 

Keith

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You make me feel guilty as well EJ. Only mine is something like 25 years or more of sitting on the shelf unfinished! I was originally going to finish mine as RC and have the hull and main cabin fairly done and then quit doing RC. I have thought several times of going back and finishing her as a static build.

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Thank you for your encouragement, I will do my best to finish it! Began building the deckhouses today and found some clamps I had bought for making card buildings very useful. They are supplied by a company that produces online card kits for model railway buildings and are 3D printed; they contain small magnets and make sure you have a 90 degree angle at the corners. Due to the age of the kit there is a lot more work to do compared to a more recent products, with printed parts for example. Some of the die-cutting has gone out of alignment, so will have to be corrected. Quite easy as it only needs some redrawing.

Some research is required regarding the ship's boats. The davits are glued to the sides of the deckhouse according to the plan, which means they would be lowered straight onto the main deck. On the deck above between the davits is a hand operated winch, with no information about it's purpose - although form it's position it must have something to do with the boats. The photos show all the information supplied. Time for the crystal ball!

 

Eric

 

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In case you have not already seen it, here is some information and pictures that may be of assistance. Some of it is now a little dated but a search based on this information may come up with more recent stuff.

https://www.foweyharbourhistory.com/uploads/2/0/9/0/20909932/st.canute_2014.pdf

 

https://www.facebook.com/steamtugstockvik/

 

http://www.tugboatlars.se/Stockvik.htm

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Many thanks for the references, the Fowey ones are new to me; surprising how much is available.

I was thinking of inserting a small piece of brass rod across each davit towards the base to simulate a hinge, then connect the winch to the tube marked as F622  in the drawing. Looking at the photos of it at Fowey, it didn’t have any davits or boats, so there is another option 😊

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Started on the superstructure, as the hull was damaged; one of the frames broke when I used a little too much force with the pin pusher. I have repaired it, but decided to have some time away from it. The material used is very lightweight and resembles balsa wood; also on the deck houses I've noticed what look like deep scratches after painting a primer coat, which are the grain showing through. Any ideas what the wood might be?

The kit is an original version I think, judging by the die-cutting of the major parts.

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it is called soft ply and all the billings kits used it till laser cutting came along- only solution if using a painted finish is to use high build primer then sand back- pain in the rear end but best way. 

 

Keith

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On 6/5/2020 at 10:19 AM, ejgray52 said:

I decided to ask the current owners about the boat davits;

Nothing like getting the actual information from the people who own the real ship! NO ONE can argue with that information. Thanks for thinking of it. Now I know as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Progress has been slow the last week or so; planking the hull is taking longer than I expected, so I am pressing on with the deckhouses. I have a spare set of some of the St Canute fittings, so should be able to furnish the wheelhouse with a wheel, binnacle and telegraph as well as the open bridge. Finished the planking on the bridge wings and added a capping rail to them. Also realised my workbench was getting untidy, so build a tool workstation out of some spare pieces of wood that were lying around. It's a 'work in progress', as I have left space to add/rearrange things if I need to. completed the engine skylight; the white substance in the portholes is 'Glue 'n Glaze', a type of PVA used in plastic and card modelling to glue clear parts or make small windows. It dries perfectly clear and is ideal for small portholes. Might even try it for the wheelhouse windows later.

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Here's the portholes after the PVA has dried. For me it's a lot easier than trying to cut them out from plastic sheet to fit and better looking than backing them with plastic. These particular ones are only as deep as the plastic squares they sit in; the wood behind them is painted black. However, the photo does show up some flaws which I need to sort out!20200620_111935.thumb.jpg.5c00c0e92f3d5bf8aab607df849cabaf.jpg

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Not had much time in the workshop, what with the family and a couple of days when it was too hot in there... Been pressing on with the deck houses and fittings, using the various resources to add additional details. Just added some bits and pieces to the wheelhouse using photo images generated on Photoshop; looked for similar items on the web and then arranged them and reduced the finished item to the right scale. The chart is actually the area where I volunteer as a Coastwatcher - well it is my model, after all!

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I had backed the wheelhouse walls with cartridge paper as suggested in the instructions, to prevent the wood from splitting as the openings were cut out (It didn't work!). As you can see in the previous photos, it reacted with the paint I applied. So it was time to remove what I could and start the walls again... I've added some more details, which are based on the original, so looking through the windows will not reveal an empty space. Other equipment such as the wheel, binnacle etc. will be sourced from the spares box and fitted. I'll modify the kit provided fittings for the duplicate wheel etc. on the wheelhouse roof. The rest of the work so far has been second coats of paint, filling odd gaps and improving the capstan area, where a rectangular wood block represents a box with a cylinder either side with various pipes connected.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Been a while since I posted any updates; life got in the way... Still working on the deckhouses and fittings; the wheelhouse is still an on going project, the photos show up areas which need to be redone etc.I can see why people take years to complete projects! The funnel is complete with just the ladder to go, the capstan area has been remodelled to represent what is actually there, instead of the rectangle of wood supplied. I've had a go at weathering it, just needs the colour added back to tone it down - the photo makes it look a lot rustier than it is. Working at the moment on the davits, building a plausible method of hoisting the boat in and out. I am thinking of a double block at the davit end and a single block at the boat end with the line going from double to single back to the double and then to boat, so that it is lowered by the occupants of the boat. My logic being if the crew needed to abandon ship, they would all want to be in the boat! However I am happy to have advice on this.

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