Model Boat Mayhem

The Shipyard ( Dry Dock ): Builds & Questions => Working vessels R&D: => Topic started by: Bryan Young on October 08, 2012, 03:45:25 pm

Title: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on October 08, 2012, 03:45:25 pm
The re-birth of s/s “Hunan”.
Hunan was built in 1932 for the China Steam Navigation Company (otherwise known as “Swires”) by Scotts of Greenock.   She was one of many roughly similar vessels operating around this time. I’ve often wondered if they were just pricier versions of the then ubiquitous “West Hartlepool Tramp”. But they were all of the 3 island design. At a length of around 310ft she was an ideal candidate for building at 1:48 scale.
As a cadet trotting around the various creeks and harbours of the entire Far East I was very used to seeing these ships. But when I eventually got hold of a set of Builders Drawings (coutesy of Glasgow Archives) I was fascinated by the anti-piracy measures taken. But I’ll get to all that in the fullness of time.
“Swires” (Better named “Butterfield and Swires”) were (are) one half of a fiercely competitive couple of outfits. The other being “Jardine Mathieson”.
The origins of these 2 companies was pretty well described in a book by the author of Tai Pan. Can’t recall his name. Good book though.

So. Here we go again.
Just a preliminary foray into what may lie ahead of me.
I decided to have a good gander at the interior first. Oops…something wrong here. It took me a few minutes to realise that the deck fastenings are missing. I had used 2 captive nuts, one for’d and one aft to fasten the deck/superstructure on to the hull. The fastening bolt heads were disguised under the 2 capstans. These had been removed and the 2 capstans have been epoxied in place. My first real hint that I’m dealing with the work of an ignorant idiot.
     However, when I lifted the deck for a good eyeballing I was quite surprised that nothing had been removed, changed or otherwise fiddled with. Unfortunately, I can’t remember now how I wired the whole thing up.
The starboard speed controller is for the main engine, and the port one is for the variable speed bow-thrust unit. More on that in a minute. The unit at the bottom left of pic 1 is a servo operating a micro-switch for the ships whistle. But I can’t remember what some of the switches are for. I also sussed out that the 2 switches in the middle are the main power switches and have the aerial socket just ahead of them. I’ll change that and run the aerial round the inside of the hull. The 2 units at the top of pic 1 have me a little flummoxed. I think one of them is a voltage reducer (for the whistle) and the larger one is a now antique sound unit…but I’m not sure. The forward box is the size of a “Walkman”, but I can’t recall fitting a tape recorder! I’ll have to remove it to find out. That blue thing at the bottom right looks suspiciously like the top of a battery. God knows what that’s for! And there’s fuse and empty sockets all over the place. I must have had something in mind back in the mid 1990’s when I built this part.
     On to pic 2.
The centre “block” with the 2 main power switches on it is raised quite high in the hull so the switches and aerial socket are easily accessible by simply lifting of part of  No. 2 cargo hatch. More accessibility is gained be removing the entire hatch.
   My “patent” bow-thrust unit! Power comes via a Smiths 12v heater motor connected to a Black & Decker multi purpose rotary pump unit. This thin operates very effectively in both directions. A bit noisy, but doesn’t half shift the bows either on of off the “quay”.  Just aft of the motor can be seen the top of a windscreen washer pump rigged to pump out any water that leaked into the for’d space. So I guess that at least one of the switches operates that. I suppose that nowadays it could be made to work automatically….but I wouldn’t know how to go about that. Enough for now. BY.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Colin Bishop on October 08, 2012, 04:57:21 pm
Gosh! It's just like opening King Tut's tomb. 'Wonderful Things' in Howard Carter's words.....

Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on October 08, 2012, 05:59:11 pm
Dear Colin.....either your'e pulling my widget or it's a reference to antiquity. Could be both, though.
Anyway. Nice of you to take the time.
I expect this latest stuff to be episodic as I'll be flitting between demolition of one and construction of t'other. All weather dependent. Old bones can't stand the cold, you know. Regards. BY.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on October 09, 2012, 05:33:31 pm
Sorry about this.....
For "PUGWASH"....could you please send me your e-mail address. I'll explain later. Bryan.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: pugwash on October 09, 2012, 07:08:58 pm
Bryan It is on  my   mayhem profile.
P.S. I have just changed it (trouble with

Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on October 10, 2012, 05:56:18 pm
I really must concentrate on the barge at the moment. Mainly because I don’t really know where to start on Hunan. Truth to be told, the main structure of the model is pretty well unscathed. Not like “Bayflower” was.
The main stuff to come off is a lot of the rigging…but I’ll probably leave that until near the end of the repairs to the repairs.
For the next few sessions of this thread I intend to post photos of the model “as is”, pointing out the rather silly errors that the ignorant repairman made.
I’ll start with the fo’c’sle head and work back towards the stern.
The hull doesn’t need any work as far as I can see at first perusal. A testament as to how strong I build things! (Maybe).
The first pic is a general overall view of the focsle head. You may be able spot the flat bar stanchions circa 1970s on a 1930 ship. Then there’s the square butting up of the rails at the 2 after corners. All epoxied “in place”. Then there’s the protruding ends of the rails in way of the fairleads. Sloppy. The rails are too thin, and the top rail shouls be a bit thicker than the others. But as the whole lot will have to come out, I guess that doesn’t matter to me at the moment. The anchor cable was bought and fitted before the more modern and correct studded cable was freely available. So they will stay as is. The forestay will eventually have to go….but that’s for later. There’s also something missing from the little pedestal for’d of the capstan. As yet I don’t quite know what to do to remove the capstan and reinstate the deck locking down bolt. I don’t want to have to wreck the capstan if at all possible.
    So I think (at the moment) that seems to be all (“all”!) that needs doing at this end..
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on October 11, 2012, 04:07:42 pm
A slight bit of back-tracking required today.
The guy who returned the model to me has found some photos of her in the “as found” condition. I can now incorporate these into this thread. Remember that they are all “as found” and post so-called initial “repair work”. My full efforts won’t be available for some time.
So the only pic today is of the “as found” focsle
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on July 07, 2013, 12:43:25 pm
Now that the warmer weather has finally reached Geordieland I’ve managed to repaint the garage/workshop floor and tidy things up a bit.
Then to bring “Hunan” back into her birthplace.
I’ve spent almost a week just eyeballing her, and every time I do that more problems become evident. I’m not normally a vindictive person, but the ignorant idiot who was responsible for the so-called “repairs” needs to be strung up by the whatsits and left to dangle.
    My first task is to renew all the rigging. So in this first episode I think that it’s apposite that I show just how not to do it.
This will be all about the Foremast.
   Two photos will accompany this section…….
   Starting at the top ….the upper yard….this has been put under such strain that it has bent and been re-attached to the mast with a big blob of epoxy and about 2 yards of thin wire (5 amp fuse wire I think).
The top half of the topmast had been broken off and “repaired” with a bit of pink (!) plastic tubing epoxying the 2 parts together. Alas, not nearly “in-line” with the unbroken part, hence the forward tilt above the lower yard.
    One of the things I’ve always been wary of has been the problem of mounting the masts so that they sit at the correct angle. Hunans masts were vertical. To get this “right” my usual method is to bore a hole slightly larger than the mast requires. Then another hole drilled through the block through the centre of the bored hole. A similar sized hole being drilled through what will be the mast. A suitable bolt (and nut) fastens the block to the “mast” but the clearances allow the mast part to be loose and capable of jiggling about a bit. The final positioning being done by adjusting the rigging. So I thought that removing the mast would be a simple job. I should have known better. My careful placement with little wedges and so on had been comprehensively destroyed by yet more use of epoxy. Immovable. At least the little wedges must have been left in  place as the mast itself is still “true”. But it still means that any work I wish to carry out on the mast has to be done without removing the mast. Rats!!!
I’ll put the 3 photos on with this post and attempt to describe what you are seeing in the next one. Actually, it looks a lot better now that I’ve removed all the offensive standing rigging!
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on July 07, 2013, 01:19:02 pm
To continue……Although the photos don’t show it, the lower forestay deck attachment has been moved aft from its true position up in the eyes alongside the upper stay attachment.
The odd little “ring” near the top of the upper stay is actually a knot with a couple of turns of white sewing thread through it …presumably as a “tensioner”.
The lower stay upper attachment is one of the real horror stories! Imagine a load bearing stay being attached to a yard intended for flying flags only….and by a stupid bridle at that. Despair gives way to anger. You may also notice that both yards have lost their rigging.
You can’t easily see the shrouds as they’ve been replaced with a thinner wire than the backstays…..and reduced from 4 per side to 2, and roughly 1/16” in diameter. About twice the thickness of the backstays.
Where the occasional cargo block has gone walkabout Mr. Incompetent has simply moved the cargo runner to another winch. The stbd aft derrick now shares a winch with it’s partner…..a sheer physical impossibility.
And just to rub it in, it’s just cost me £54 to buy enough solid drawn brass wire to remake all the standing rigging (both masts) and all the required bottlescrews.
More anger.But as I mentioned, I’ve removed all the standing rigging and the yards from the foremast….I’ll leave the running rigging alone until I’ve re-done the standing stuff.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on July 13, 2013, 05:39:33 pm
Sorry for the delay. The repair and refitting of the broken topmast is more difficult than I thought it would the fact I'm thoroughly enjoying the radio commentary on the Trent Bridge test. BY.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Netleyned on July 13, 2013, 07:09:27 pm
You are running a guy down Bryan, the thief or
buyer from the aforementioned has obviously
designed a system for lifting a ship's mast out
using it's own derricks  :D :D.
It's very interesting following the Docking
and Essential Defects.  :-))

Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on July 15, 2013, 07:00:24 pm
Yeah, right. "Essential defects".
I wish I could charge him for it all. I'd have been better off just getting the broken one back. BY.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Bryan Young on July 31, 2013, 07:21:13 pm
31st of July already!
All good intentions grind to a halt (again).
I completed the renewal of the yards, their braces and both foremast stays plus the Triatic stay (the one that runs aft from the fore topmast to the top of the funnel. No real problems there except that my working time is limited to around an hour at a time.It was at this stage that I realised that fitting the backstays and the shrouds would severely hamper the refitting of the cargo running gear.
     This has (as previously mentioned) been “re-fitted” into an unworkable rats nest. Mr.Incompetent may have found his task a bit easier if he’d realised that both hatches are easily removable (see pics)….but I very much doubt if that realisation would have resulted in more competent work. So it looks as if all the derricks will have to be unshipped and totally re-done. Not a task I’m looking forward to doing.
Removing the derricks from No.1 hatch was reasonably straightforward. Having removed them I’ve decided to re-make the derricks themselves as I’ve always known that I originally made them too short… ar least a couple of inches (I must have mis-measured somewhere along the line!!!). No big deal….just more time needed.
At this stage I also noticed that most of the foredeck bulwark stays had gone walk-about. Oh, dear. What else am I going to find. I’m starting to think of completion sometime next spring now. We’ll see. Depends on the winter weather I suppose…..this one is just too long to work on indoors. But perhaps if I shunted “stuff” around a bit I might just be able to do it.
Title: Re: The re-birth of s/s "Hunan".
Post by: Capt Podge on July 31, 2013, 10:36:37 pm
Steady as you go there Bryan - We know you can do it  O0