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Not Quite Sure Where This is Going!

As I start this “Blog” (I hate that word, it’s ugly, but I haven’t come up with anything better to replace it), I have to admit I am not sure where this contribution is going. I had hoped to be tidying up a number of unfinished commentaries but, as yet, the threads remain in an assortment of uncertain length. I think this characterizes our emergence from the limitations imposed by the Covid pandemic; we want to get together again and share our interests in person but time has moved on. Some personal lives have changed significantly, for others the needs of the job are once again placing heavy demands on their time, and for others the competing interests of the season draw us to other pastimes where nature gives little flexibility to gardening or household maintenance.

One thing is certain however, we remain keen in our interests and we have a busy schedule of activities lining up. Once again, the pond will be a fun place; and we hope to have attendance at the Waterfront Festival (Belleville) in July, Picton (No Frills) late summer, and the Whitby and Belleville Train Shows (November and December).

Spoiler alert …… I think I will devote the NEXT Blog to the intrepid builders of the classic Clyde Puffer; Q & A amongst Club members has been lively and it’s certainly given us a clearer insight into this fascinating little ship.

Jeremy’s been working hard to try and complete his model of the USN Crockett, as he says (more or less):

There is a corollary in wanting to build a bigger boat that relates to the number of extra things that can fit onto an increased size. I have completed the fore-deck, with all the chains, bollards, chocks, hatches, ammunition lockers, etc. etc. and will get it painted today (the dark grey will have to be redone in a lighter shade but that is all I had at the time. My better-half has done a really nice job painting the sailors (credit where credit is due). I have ordered 60 stanchions for the main deck ……. because I am fed-up trying to solder dozens of joints for the railings. (they were a bit expensive but looked great when they came ……… made the boat look like a million bucks). That only leaves the rear deck with all of its etc. etc. It's amazing how this thing can eat up time!! I want to be ready for the pond when the water is no longer “stiff”. I know I promised photos, but cut me a little slack today as there is Spring-Cleaning to do.

As an update “I have a Balance Charger/Discharger and for the life of me, I can't figure out how to get the damn thing going. I have read the manual, and gone on-line; I've even enlisted the help of my I.T. department (better-half), but to no avail. Anybody out there who can help me with this? I'm also having a problem with my Crockett. It was working fine, on all four channels before I left it to work on all the other things, then when I wanted to fire it up again, I got bupkus. I think it might be a low Rx battery, hence the reason for ………… Well, the paint job was finished and an ugly duckling has been transformed. The Crockett looks really good but, alas, it has not gone from the yard for the first pond day of the season.

Pride and frustration, doesn’t it make you wonder why we build the boats, but it’s all worth it in the end. Keep at it Jeremy, we have to see it come out of the yard and get on the plane.

On the plus side, it's good to report that Jeremy did get his Banckert tug out of dry dock and that provided a deal of satisfaction.

As the pics show, the weather was really very pleasant and Al made the most of the conditions to do some sailing round the pond: "not too much wind, not too little, but just right" for the nicely finished Fairwind (at least I think that's the design and the colours looked very smart).

Joe came with family and a collection of boats in various stages of completion. The USN Blue Devil (plastic conversion) looked very sharp and was given careful command (all waitng to see how well it would perform). He's working on a similar conversion of the RN Prince of Wales (one of two new carries in the Queen Elizabeth class (to be equipped with helicopters and STOL/VTOL stealth aircraft and not yet in service). As the images show, he's done a fine job setting up the propulsion system. Progress on the submarine is not so advanced. His PT boat conversion also looks very good and that too carried out early pond trials.

There were some other builds to see but I especially liked the next item on display. Have you ever thought how well the shredder could work to provide paper layers for complex hull shapes? I'm looking forward to see how well the final form this boat can be finished. I have used tissue paper for several builds (similar to model aircraft) and that works well as a "base" for fibreglassing. But, with enough layering, shredded paper might prove strong enough on its own with a suitable bonding; interesting, may be I'll try a build like it .............. and scrap paper is a wee bit cheaper than thin ply or fibreglass!

The Club had a good day at the pond and the skippers had all the time they wanted on the water, including the junior skippers.

Dirk had a tailgate sale for tools and some of his models; downsizing being a necessity because of a move to a smaller place. It seems like it worked out well for all concerned.

In closing, I have say thank you the Bob for sending some really nice pics of his model of the Japanese battleship Yamato, for inclusion of this blog. Don't you love it when someone does a dust-off of something almost forgotten? He thinks he made it about 30+ years ago, a bit of a father-son project as he tells it! With all that armament, it's hard to believe that the ship could float at all, and may their Emperor have protected the pilots of those float planes. I can't imagine the adrenaline rush when they were fired from the catapult launch!

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