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A Little Bit of This and That

Thank goodness our members remain in good health but there is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic has affected what we can do. Our usual monthly meetings have been postponed and of course it is not practical for us to “show and tell”, in person. However, the shipyards have not gone silent. For many of us, there is still some stock on-hand and shipments from online suppliers are still available though they may be severely delayed by a congested postal or courier system. The enforced lockdown has given us ample time to explore the internet, with some surprisingly interesting results.

John McK has been busy again, this time he’s been doing a bit of a rebuild on a model dredger passed on from one of the club’s past members. The model is from a 1:300 scale kit of the Dutch dredger Geopotes 14.

It seems the original tube glue did not last very well and became brittle. It’s a complex model and some of the kit parts like railings were very much over scale. John has started to disassemble many of the above deck parts, and some brass bits and pieces will be added (there’s nothing specifically made for this model so this will be a scrounging exercise from his parts box...and from Don S.). It will be coming off the stand and further modified for a water base.

Correspondence with a friend in Germany has gleaned the original instructions which will help considerably with the rebuild. A repaint with more subdued colours is planed.

It's all coming apart, well some of it!

I forgot! John has also been honing his skills with that wonderful material, styrene! This time, he's also created a water line model of a French fishing boat, "Neat Eh!"

New member Joe is busy working on an r/c conversion to his Lindbergh model of a "Blue Devil" destroyer. The model looks great but progress is slower than hoped for because, like many of us, he's waiting for parts. We're all looking forward to hearing how the conversion works out. He also plans to do an r/c conversion to an airforce rescue boat (also by Lindbergh). Great work Joe.

Don S. has been busy with another model of Miss Supertest, this time at 1:24 scale. Recently, he’s been especially lucky, the kit maker will be providing a casting of the RR Griffon engine to fit into the model. Images of the casting show just how much detail will be provided, it will look really good when Don applies the paintwork and what ever accessories that are required.

It was fortunate that Don and Peter took many images of the boat when it was on display at Picton in 2011. No wonder the boat has become so popular as a model subject.

John C. has been doing a masterful job, constructing his model of the St Lawrence skiff “Katherine”. The model is 1:6 scale from plans of the actual boat which is on display in the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton N.Y.

He originally intended to plank the hull, but after trial and error he decided that, even after steaming the ends of the planks he could not control the twist required at the bow and stern below the turn of the bilge.

The 1M model is build on frames and he is now using a thin plywood skin to form the hull. The next steps are to correct a couple of flaws in the plywood skin, fill any gaps between the panels with an epoxy putty, and fine sand the hull before applying fibreglass. It has been difficult to fit the bow and stern panels because of the compound curves that are required. The final finish will be white paint outside, with a varnished rubbing strake and varnish inside. With the hull lifted, the construction shows clearly.

John used cedar for the three top planks as they will show inside when the boat is finished, he then switched to stringers and ply below the turn of the bilge. This will be hidden by the floorboards. There is a bit of cleaning up to do inside before glassing the outside of the hull. The cedar rubbing strake will be added later. John already has all the electronics and a spare DF65 fin and bulb, and doesn't have to wait for Canada Post! But it is going to be an interesting challenge to fit them into the hull without compromising the look of the boat.

Bob has a strong personal interest in the C & C designed Corvette class of sailboats that were built in Belleville and wanted to make a half-hull of the “31” for display. However, information on the web is not sufficient to make an accurate model. He raised the problem with members. Fortunately, Peter had a friend who owned one and, not only that, he also had a half-hull model of the boat. Peter arranged to take the lines off the model (an easier task than off the actual boat, this Spring). With the hull lines complete, it’s now Bob’s turn to see how well Peter was able to loft the lines. Working with a contour gauge was an “interesting” experience at this small scale, especially copying the concave surface between the bilge and keel.

Mike (past member) has been doing a beautiful job on his Midwest and Dumas kit boats (Boothbay lobster boat and Victory Lord Nelson tug). Just looking at the lobster boat gets the “juices” flowing. Right about now, I could do with some nice boiled lobster down on the dock! My, they are good (and it’s getting near supper time, as I type).

I like all the detail in these two kits and Mike is giving a really good finish to the models ……… may be a lot better than the real thing! All we need now, is to be able to get together and try the boats out, guess we’ll have dream a little longer.

Peter has been working on his model of the 1812 topsail schooner, “Lord Nelson” and decided it was time for some sea trials. Trials and tribulations! With the lake level at last not too high and waiting for just the right wind, and hoping to get the model in before the weeds broke surface, there was perhaps only one more day of grace before conditions deteriorated. So: it floats, it did not ship water (although it took a few drops through the sheeting ports), it has fair stability, the drive pumps gave it just enough push to make a short self-retrieval, and best of all the sails have reasonable balance.

Peter was not sure how much effect the topsail would have on stability. However, since the present sail size seems to give no obvious problems, he’s already planning to increase it’s size (next winter) to make it look more like “the real thing”. Doesn’t it sound like boasting; well no, there’s much follow up to do but at least it works and next time “use a lifter”. You wouldn’t believe how much more weight it put on sitting idle over the winter.

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