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Author Topic: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build  (Read 118683 times)

Mark T

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Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« on: November 30, 2014, 04:44:11 PM »

Hi All

I wasn't going to actually post a build log of my Fairmount Alpine due to my lack of experience, but I feel as though I have had so much invaluable help from this forum that its only right to give something back  :-))   Well try anyway  :embarrassed:

As a bit of a background I am an international truck driver and spend most of my time on the european mainland so my time at home is very precious.  This has helped my build though as I have really had to think about each step of the build and how I can juggle all of the pressures on my time.

I have never built a wooden hulled boat before - In fact I've never really built anything out of wood and I knew that I was biting off a bit more than I could probably chew.  I also wanted to use this lack of experience as a learning curve with wood and use it when ever possible even though I could see quite a few short cuts if I simply changed materials.

I also wanted to see if I could build longevity into the model by being as thorough as I possibly could.  A very tall order but over the last year I think that I have honestly done the very best that I could do up to this point.  I am no where near complete and I reckon on another year (or so) of part time work to get it finished but I've done enough to share my experience so far.

Just a quick thanks to Dave (Stavros) who many moons ago pointed me in the right direction for the finish and paint.  Cheers Dave you saved me so much trouble  :-)) 

So here we go!  I'm going to try and post as much detail as I can even though this particular boat has been done several times on a well known Dutch website.  I'm not very good on the names of ships parts so when I get it wrong please put me right as I need to learn!  I'll also post when I can as I don't always have internet access.

First things first I needed slipway to make sure that the build was straight from the beginning - and yes that is the dining room table  %%





Then it was a case of cutting out the bulkheads and making sure that they were all at 90 degrees to the hull (??) before gluing with aliphatic resin.  This actually took me longer than I thought as they tended to twist being such a tight fit.  Each bulkhead required a bit of fettling to ensure a perfect fit.  The billings kit is fantastic and the lazer cutting is so precise it really is nice to work with.



The strips of wood under the bulkheads helped me to ensure that all was square.  I have never taken so may measurements in my life.  In fact it was almost as if the skeleton of the boat was locked onto the slipway, it just didn't move from this point onwards which made the building much easier as I wasn't chasing it around and I also knew that it was true.







More to follow
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 05:06:07 PM »

Next to do was the propshaft supports - A simple job of laminating a few parts together and then cutting to the required length and finally shaping and gluing.  This was when I noticed that the plywood supplied was quite porous.  I have no idea whether this is the norm but I could already see some issues in getting a good finish when it came to paint  {:-{





As with most Fairmount builds that I have seen on the internet I also decided to fit a front bow thruster.  I opted for a Raboash type.





As some wood removal was required to fit the thruster it left the hull a bit weak.  This was remedied by epoxying some strengthening pieces on the underside.  The result was an extremely strong joint which was stronger than before the excess wood was removed.






I'm sorry of some of the pictures are not very clear but I took them on my phone!
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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2014, 05:59:42 PM »

The next part was the rear deck.  It fitted perfectly and was firmly clamped in place whilst the resin dried





Followed by the front deck







Followed by the main crane supports and superstructure parts around it.  The front of the winch cable outlets also had to be shaped and carved from a flat piece of ply.  I really enjoyed doing that part.  It took hours but at least I could sit in front of the TV whilst I did it  {-)  The holes then had to be filed through so that there were no steps between the parts.



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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 06:17:17 PM »

I then moved my attention to the bow and glued the formers in place



Next the keel was strengthened by laminating it, and as I was not going to fit a rear bow thruster I removed the rear propeller mount and epoxied a plastic tube through the keel.  I did this as I could see that water proofing this part of the hull could prove to be troublesome.







Then I laminated the rudder mounts and spent a bit of time shaping them roughly into their finished shape



Finally whilst I had plenty of access I fabricated the motor mounts out of hardwood (I have no idea what type it is) and epoxied them into place.  I did this now as i thought that it would be extremely difficult to do this once the bulkheads where covered.  I made sure that they were level by fitting the motors but the fool that I am forgot to take pictures with the motors in place  :embarrassed:   I am using MFA geared motors though and I tried to get the couplings as straight as possible

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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 06:29:12 PM »

The stern was next to be laminated and resined into place



And then the real work started  :o   I had read that the bulkheads required sanding so that the outer panels and planks sat squarely on each one which in turn made a good joint.  My advise for this came mainly from this forum so using a spare plank I spent many an hour sanding the bulkheads so that I could achieve a good shape for the boat and bond between parts. I think this took about 8 - 10 hours work and only later did I realise just how well this effort would be rewarded. 

If I learnt one thing from this build this would be it.  The time spent here pays dividends later with great joints and parts that fit perfectly.  The strength achieved actually surprised me once the joints that were glued later had set.






Anyway I think that's enough writing for one day - I hope you have enjoyed it  :-))   I'll post some more when I can which will probably be next week.
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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

david48

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 11:54:15 PM »

Hi Mark T
Your build is coming along very nice indeed , as you say the tube supports are end grain and will not take a good finish . I used a easy sand filler NOT a 2pack product,it was just a exterior filler .Took a bit of time ,it's the same on the keel and the stern where the ply disks go on the end of the dowel .I have my hull in 6 coats of primer and all the end grains can not be seen . However I was given the advice on here to tissue it and resin coat the hull but I was to far one to do that ,it's that long since was building I did not know about this method so it was not done .
You are welcome to PM to compare notes any time
Not back to my build yet recovering from new hip no suitable seat in the shed .
David
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2014, 07:43:51 AM »

Hi David - Yes end grains  >>:-(   I've had a few issues with this.  I don't think that some of the ply wood supplied in the kit is the best to be honest but nothing a bit of work can't get around.


I'm off to Germany now but I'll post some more when I can.  I hope the hip gets better soon and the building for you can begin again  :-))
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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

hama

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 10:23:49 AM »

Thanks for posting this build! Will follow for future reference. I built the BB Smit London a few years ago and would like to do this one as well some time. By the way, I covered my hull with cloth and epoxy.
Keep up the good work!
Hama
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2014, 04:04:40 PM »

Just back from Germany - 3500km this week but that's another story  :o

So getting back the build; I had to start putting the outer panels onto the bulkheads if thats the correct term.  The first involved steaming the part in question, something which I have never done but it was easy enough when it came to it. 

I think I was worried about the ply delaminating but in the end I didn't actually have to get it that hot.  I'm sure some of the more experienced builders will be having a bit of a laugh at this point - but honestly I had no idea  {-)   The instructions that are supplied are only pictorial so do not give much indication of what is required.



Then with the large side panels I just tried to get the tightest joints that I could.  I did find though that they did need a little bit of scribing to get them to fit together perfectly.  This took quite a long time for me to achieve but I was pleased with the results.









To be honest I probably over did the amount of pins I used and they were murder to get out!  It took a good pull with a bit pair of pliers to remove them and the plastic ends tended to shatter.  I have since seen on other builds that some builders use small pins and leave them in.  I think with hindsight that would have been a better option.

Another thing worth noting here was the shape of the bow.  It has a very distinct flat front and is not rounded.  I could see issues later on in  the build where sanding could actually round the front off and change the shape completely.  In the back of my mind I was trying to alleviate this problem somewhat here by getting the joints right at this stage.
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2014, 04:25:04 PM »

Now for the bow itself - This involved laminating two identical parts around the front and they also required steaming.  Now at first glance this seemed easy but I discovered that the parts were not particularly a very good fit.  Both parts required scribing to get a nice tight fit.  If I had not I am pretty sure that the shape of the bow would not have turned out quite right.

First part fitted



Second part glued over the top of the first with a bit of rough sanding too.



Followed by the lower hull panels (For some reason I don't have many photo's of this but here are the ones that I do have).  I do remember thinking that it looked like a porcupine it had so many pins in it!





Now here was my first real error.  The instructions really do not show how to bring that lower panels together at the bow to make a good joint.  So having thought about it I did it as per the picture below.  Now although I did get a great joint - The way I clamped it together actually squeezed the bow slightly out of shape.  I didn't see this until later and it was nothing that a bit of filler couldn't sort out.  However if I was to do this again I would clamp it so that the bow retained its correct shape





And just to make sure - some nice hot runny epoxy was poured into the cavities.  I bit over kill I know  {-)




Thanks for reading I'll see if I can put some more up tomorrow - Mark
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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2014, 11:08:25 AM »

Next to do was the large bottom panels and then fill in the edges with 3mm stripwood which was easier than I thought it would be.  The only tricky bit for me was getting a reasonable fit around the bow thruster







At this point I needed to make a good seal between the bow thruster and the hull.  For some unknown reason I wanted this to look good and also be strong - anyway this was the result and I hope it stands the test of time.  If not I guess I could just fill the whole cavity with epoxy





I then filled in the rest of the voids in the hull using stripwood again




The final part of this stage was to finish the rear bulwarks (The part that stops you falling into the sea  {-) I'm sure I've got that wrong!) but I have no proper photos of this stage - sorry.  I then gave the inside a good couple of coats of epoxy resin including the underside of the decks.  This was a really messy job and sanding down between coats nearly drove me mad  >>:-(




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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
Anteo Tug Build http://www.modelboatmayhem.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,59708.0.html

Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 11:21:39 AM »

Now here is my first move away from the actual kit.  I really didn't like the kort nozzles that were supplied they just seemed to flimsy.  So after a bit of internet searching I contacted Mobile Marine Models and spoke to them.  They did not know if their parts would fit the Fairmount but I decided to give it a go.  Anyway after many hours of fettling and the use of 2 Mr Muscle oven cleaner lids I managed to get a reasonable fit.  The plan was to secure them using 2 brass screws and epoxy after the hull was nearly complete.  I simply wanted to fit them now to save any possible damage to the hull at a later time



You can see the supplied kort as a comparison as its also in the picture below





In the end I was really pleased with the initial results and I found that by using 2 screws a fixings it allowed me to adjust their positions very finely.  These were then removed until later in the build.
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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david48

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2014, 11:37:08 AM »

Hi Mark
Things are comeing along just fine ,are you working with a picture of the real ship as well . There is no mention in the build book of the detail round the blue painted parts of the hull , I made mine out of  styrene strip and stuck on with Trend double sided tape its fiddly to get the angles right . When I primed the hull it came out OK ..
David
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2014, 12:59:40 PM »

Thanks David  :-))  Yes I am working with pictures of the ship too and I have added the rubbing strips as you have.  Like you I found the marking out very tricky and I'm still no too sure that I got it right  >>:-(   I'm over a year into this build now and have only managed to finish the basic hull.  It would be great to see some pictures of your build too  :-)
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2014, 01:18:37 PM »

Ok back to the build - Next was the forward bulwarks.









Which was followed by quite a few hours of sanding across the hull





And then the closing of the rear end.  These two little pieces really tried my patience  {-) .  I also started filling the hull to remove as many imperfections as I could.  I used Easylite polyester filler as recommended by Stavros.  This stuff is so easy to use!






I also glued some small pieces of wood behind the port holes at the front of the hull to seal them off.  The kit does supply some plastic for this job but I thought better safe than sorry and I didn't think that it would make any difference to the finished boat.
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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david48

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2014, 01:30:54 PM »

Hi Mark
I would love to post pictures but my internet / broadband is so slow it comes back as taking to long to down load .Ive tried resize and it still takes to long ,not tried the IPad don't know about that.
David
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2014, 01:37:12 PM »

The stern was simply made out of balsa blocks that were then sanded to shape.  I discovered that I'm not to keen on working with balsa!  I'm a bit of a dab hand at putting dents into it without even realising that I've done it  %%





This stage was followed by - well what can I say - simply hours of sanding and filling. 

I'm sure that someone with more experience than me would have carried out this task much faster.  It was also the opportunity to put the bow right from my earlier mistake when I glued it together.  I was trying to get the hull ready for next stage of either epoxy and cloth or Eze-Kote.  I was still undecided as what to use?



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dougal99

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2014, 04:22:04 PM »

I found the stern on my scratch Anglian Sovereign problematic and required loads of carving and sanding, although I did use some harder balsa so dents weren't a problem.


Once you start to paint it will all look far more realistic. Stick at it it will be worth it in the end. Anglian Sovereign took me several years on and off, with a lot of off!



Pics of the process and the final output.
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2014, 04:28:05 PM »

After taking some advise I decided to cover the hull in cloth and epoxy.  I was daunted by this as I felt that this would either go well or quite frankly ruin all of my work so far.  I started by giving it a coat of epoxy.







Then it was just a case of going for it  %%   I was actually rather surprised just how nicely the cloth went on.  It seems like one of those jobs that you don't need to think about too much or it'll put you off!  Just going for it worked for me!





I did the keel in two parts which seemed to work ok.  The build also got very expensive at this point.  As Patient as my partner is she kicked me out of the dining room which unfortunately meant that I had to buy a proper work bench  :-)) :-))   What a blow - I was so happy  :}







I'll post some more pics next week when I get back from my travels - Thanks for reading - Mark
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2014, 04:32:12 PM »

I found the stern on my scratch Anglian Sovereign problematic and required loads of carving and sanding, although I did use some harder balsa so dents weren't a problem.

Once you start to paint it will all look far more realistic. Stick at it it will be worth it in the end. Anglian Sovereign took me several years on and off, with a lot of off!

Pics of the process and the final output.


Hi dougal99 thanks for sharing your pics that boat looks great.  Until you said, I did not know that balsa came in different hardnesses.  If I could go back I would have preferred to use a harder wood in this area.  But at least I know now for my next build.
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2014, 07:08:30 PM »

Well unusually for me I made it home tonight  :} :} :}  So I thought that I would do a weekday update.

Next up was the bilge keels.  Now there weren't any supplied with the kit so I simply did a search on this website and found some very helpful advice on how to make them.  I was unsure what size they should be or what angle they should be placed at, so I looked at as many models on here as I could and tried to copy them as best I could.

I used a fairly hard wood which I got from my local model shop and attached them with epoxy and brass wire that went directly into the bulkheads rather than bending the wire over on the inside.



To make sure that they were both at the same angle I made a simple guide and the results were quite good



I then sanded them to the shape that I felt was right and then gave them the same treatment as the hull by covering with cloth and epoxy



Finally I gave the whole hull a good keying and then gave the whole thing a second coat of epoxy after de-fatting it between coats



The sanding really started at this point.  I now fully understand why many modellers use this base of a finish on their boats.  After I had worked my way through many different grades of sandpaper the hull looked like it was made of glass and was extremely smooth.  Just right for a sprayed finish.  I can honestly say that I am very glad that I took this route and the effort put in was definitely rewarded with a great finish.  Oh and the photo above was taken before any sanding commenced  ok2    I would estimate that I spent about 12 hours actually sanding the coating into the finished product.

Thanks for looking and I'll get some more up next weekend (Definitely this time :-) )
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Its not the finishing that matters - Its the journey along the way that counts

Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2014, 01:47:05 PM »

Time for an update  :-)

I then started working on the railings that are situated on the rear deck.  I actually did this out of building order according to the instructions as I felt as though I would damage them whilst doing work on the hull.  I don't know whether this was a better way of construction or not to be honest







Now for the marmite part of my build  :embarrassed:

Having read a few build logs on this boat, one of the problems seems to be the rear deck.  It is just a flat piece of plywood that is no good at keeping the water out of the hull.  After giving this much thought, I decided that I needed to make two rear decks.  The first would simply be for show and the second for when the boat is on the water to keep the hull dry inside.

I decided to make an upside down coaming but the first issue was the irregular shape of the rear deck opening.  The first thing that I did was to make it a regular shape by fitting strips of wood around the inside





Inside this I fitted a styrene U frame which in turn had a male frame that fitted inside it



This male frame was then epoxied to a piece of ply which then fitted in place to make it flush with the strips that I had previously fitted





The rear deck was then glued to this structure and when fitted it is not possible to see the upside down coaming underneath





I found that the deck really did not sit quite right and as such required fixing into place.  I did this using 3mm stainless steel bolts with captive nuts that had been sunk into the wooden strips below.





Now I know that some people won't like this solution but I'm very happy with it and when its on display I will use the original rear deck (Oh when I actually built it)

Thanks for looking I'll post some more later on - All comments good and bad are very welcome  :-))
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Fairmount Alpine Build http://modelboatmayhemimages.co.uk/album/bXv
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Brian60

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2014, 05:18:45 PM »

I think your lucky to get away with a workbench, your partner is very understanding. The mere mention of resin around my wife and the door is opened for me to step outside  <*<

If you fancy a more elegant solution for your stainless bolts for the rear deck try this. Get some countersunk brass screws or bolts slotted not the crosshead type , bolts would be better as they fit your captive nuts. Get some brass wire and form a crescent shape and then solder into the slot at each end of the crescent so they stand proud of the bolt. When screwed into the deck they would look like tie down hoops for deck cargo. The soldering can be done with an ordinary soldering iron and electrical solder, no need to go to silver solder and excess heat.

Forgot to add, they can be turned in by finger and thumb, they don 't have to be screwed down tightly, so finger tight is sufficient, especially if light pressure is applied to the deck with the other hand.

irishcarguy

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #23 on: December 14, 2014, 05:38:13 AM »

Hi Mark you have a great build going there.I have the kit too but for various reasons not much done yet. I think it is a great kit & I like the colors too. There is another build on here some place (I think it is Brian 48) He has fitted thruster at the rear too. Mick B.
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Mark T

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Re: Billings Fairmount Alpine Build
« Reply #24 on: December 14, 2014, 11:29:41 AM »

Hi Brian - Yes I can't complain  :-)  My missus is extremely tolerant - thank goodness!  Thanks for the advice I really like your idea.  I'm going to order some 3mm brass countersunk screws and also counter sink the holes so that they it flush.  A great idea to make a feature out go them I'll let you know how I get on  :-))   I might even paint them a bright colour so that they stand out!


Hi Mick thanks for the kind words - Your right about the colours.  This boat is so bright but for some reason it really suits it  %%
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