Model Boat Mayhem

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Working Vessels => Topic started by: Pat Matthews on December 03, 2018, 02:52:13 PM

Title: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 03, 2018, 02:52:13 PM
I mentioned in "Model Boating" that I secured one of the first Fairplay 30 kits from KY Models (sold under the PEBA name through Hobby Lobby Modellbau). I'm doing a build/review over at RC Groups: (
... but will repeat the unboxing pictures here.

We modelers are a varied lot... some will do nothing but scratch build, some only want to pull a model out of a box and run it, and others are in between. This kit is certainly in between! But I believe it and its manufacturer represent an important development for model boating, and for those of us who want some building to be part of the experience.

I've always longed for a "complete" kit, one that's well engineered, goes together easily, and yet allows for customization in painting, operating gear, etc. Something like Trumpeter's line of 1:200 kits, but intended for R/C. Now I understand that injection molding isn't affordable for a great big tugboat model in low volumes... but one should be able to invest a little bit in tooling to produce a finely detailed GRP hull, a set of nice resin castings, and some photoetch. That's what KY Model has done here (and on all their previous models, such as the entire Graupner Premium line). Yes, there are some gaps in the effort, but much more easily overcome by the modeler than some of challenges presented by most other available kits.

One big technical step KY Model has taken here is the adoption of 3D Printing. In some cases, it's the master for a resin casting that has been printed, with all the appropriate fettling performed by KY on the master, so that the molded part comes out "clean". Examples here include the massive deck house castings, done with thin walls and fine detail all around.

In other cases, KY Model provides actual 3d prints for kit parts. This is done for most of the small parts in the kit. The process is SLA- that which requires support structure to be printed under overhanging geometry, but which otherwise is capable of some pretty fine (but not perfect) surface finishes. The supports must be nipped off, often leaving little nits or tags where they were attached. The process allows for making hollow parts that simply can't be molded... such as the fire monitors and their twisty feed pipes. The down side? The designers will add all sorts of little details to such parts that make it difficult to fettle the surfaces, which may show visible print layering.

KY Model display in Germany, this year;
Fairplay 30 by KY Model;
A scene from the KY Model factory
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 03, 2018, 02:59:46 PM
What's in the box?

A sizable well-stuffed box;
GRP hull with preattached deck and cast resin bulwarks (mine were slightly crunched in shipping);
Pair of Schottel drives, using KYM's own design, and featuring direct drive brushless motors;
Large sheets of PE;
Bags of small parts;
An example of a 3DP part, hollow and with more detail than could be cast in a single go.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 03, 2018, 03:07:08 PM
How's the build going? Again, see the link to RC Groups ( for the latest status, but I'm plugging along, drilling lots of holes in a perfectly good hull to install the bits and pieces.

Attachments: Main towing winch and anchor windlass loosely assembled. The stud-link chain is my own printing, not a kit part.

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 08, 2018, 03:38:46 PM
One of the unusual features of this model is the direct drive Schottels, with a brushless outrunner mounted directly onto the vertical spindle... no 90 gears, no belt drive. The one issue is that the motor wires move with the steering, and the steering allows for 90 motion... so the wires flop around a lot!

I discuss this more at: (

Also see it in the video: (

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: derekwarner on December 08, 2018, 08:11:28 PM
Pat....this is certainly a unique motor mounting :o

Many years ago, I used a WW11 vintage Military [MIL-Spec] Mercury filled glass tubed tilt switch came complete with Silicone covered super fine multi strand woven wire connector leads

Yes, suitable for continual physical tilting [frequency of 1 per second? movements] & bending of the wiring loom without issue

If the motors do not have such wiring, you could consider attaching a terminal block to each motor & hard wire [a suitable current rated wire], such 8# SWG silicone covered multi strand wiring loom back to another pair of terminal blocks

Whilst the motors are brushless, the axis rotation motion is controlled via conventional servos, so you could control & set a limit for the physical motor axis rotation [and hence the wiring loom] by using Action P96 Servomorph

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: coch y bonddu on December 08, 2018, 09:26:30 PM
Dare I be cheeky and ask how much this kit is

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 08, 2018, 09:38:42 PM
As mentioned, it's available through Hobby Lobby Modellbau. This one is currently the top of their line (branded "PEBA"), so it's not super low cost... but quite a bit better than the fully assembled models of the same ilk (and same manufacturer, KY), available as Graupner Premium Line.
There are some other PEBA kits that are smaller and less dear, but which still benefit from similar technology in their production.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 08, 2018, 09:40:39 PM
Thanks Derek. It indeed has the super-flexy silicone wire on the motors, and I will use more of same for the rest of the connection... as well as some spiral wrap sleeve, and some other tricks for containing the flop.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: SailorGreg on December 09, 2018, 03:36:44 PM
Just read your build thread on RC Groups.  I guess you got a very early kit (perhaps a pre-production set?), which might account for the slightly wayward bow thruster holes and warped components.  I am sure the manufacturers will aim to fix the wrinkles you have highlighted. It certainly looks a comprehensive kit and, as you say, points the way for kits of the future.  We can expect 3D printing to become better, faster and cheaper as the technology is refined, so laying up GRP hulls for model kits could become a rare skill. 

Interesting to watch this kit come together.  Thanks for the view.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 18, 2018, 01:58:40 AM
Thanks Greg, but no, it's definitely one of the first batch, typical of the lot I'm sure.

Here's another thing to watch out for: As those motor cables flop around during steering, they're placing strain on the magnet wire winding bundles inside the motor... it's all completely unsupported, no strain relief. Wouldn't be a real issue on a normal motor mounting, as there would be no real motion there... but I'm quite sure this application will fatigue the magnet wire inside, and then you're looking at new units or a rewind job.
On top of that, as these wire bundles move around, there's nothing to stop the bundle from moving into the spinning outrunner housing.

I'm looking into how I can restrain the cable... either a bolt-on restraint, or "potting" the area in thick epoxy...

Photo 1: Contact is possible at the orange arrow.

Photo 2: Another view of the unsupported bundle where it transitions into simple magnet wire leads.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 22, 2018, 02:18:59 PM
Fitting the PE railings is a joy!

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 30, 2018, 02:16:15 AM
Working on improving the drives. Haven't figured out what to do better yet, but I have to start with the design as it is... and here's what it looks like.
Need to improve some of my measurements, but it's close...

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: derekwarner on December 30, 2018, 03:22:00 AM
Hello Pat....sealing fluids is a working life long vocation and education for me....

We see in the a T stepped seal cavity as a primary water ingress seal......however we are not sure if this sea;is static or rotational?

So if the former is static, this then requires an element in the being the location for a secondary rotational seal

Many designers use and rely on sea/river water as the seal lubricant, some choose a pressure energized seal format, others relying on a grease cavity being pressure energized & hence keeping water out

Most interested to understand your thoughts

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on December 30, 2018, 03:33:19 AM
No seals. Even the ball bearings are shielded, not sealed. The design relies on stainless bits and gobs of grease inside.
The white part is just a simplified model of a ball bearing.

The circumferential groove in the face cap is merely a place for grub screws to lock into. More views below.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on January 03, 2019, 12:16:01 AM
So I developed a wire retainer for the KY Schottel (the orange bit by the wire, below)... and I realized that if I could delete the four screws joining motor to spindle housing, and make the retainer a connection to "ground" (the hull), then the motor and its wires would stay put while the spindle could turn independently.
Just need a means of keeping it all together in the axial direction, while allowing free rotation...

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on January 06, 2019, 01:48:41 AM
OK, did even more... I modified the drives with a central torque arm joining the motor bases, and freed the motor bases from the spindle housings... now the drives can steer as before, but the motors and their cables stay put.
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: KitS on January 06, 2019, 03:06:14 AM
Not only is that a really good solution to a real pain of a problem, but the video is EXCELLENT.

Good work there.  :-)) :-))
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: chipchase on January 06, 2019, 09:06:32 AM
Nice kit Pat  :-))   I don't think it would stand up to the tug towers at Balne Moore though {-) , i like the idea of a motor replacing the headgear. I might have a look at a modification to the drives on my Stevns  Arctic build.
 (brushless motors are all black magic to me at the moment) and I don't know if they would be up to the job of turning my drives. The weight of each drive is 2:9oz.

Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Butts on January 06, 2019, 11:47:39 AM
Hey Brian, don't demonise us {-)

I'm always surprised to see how well quite modest boats do when tug towing. I'm sure Pat's
would perform very well at Balne Moor :-))
Title: Re: KY Model "Fairplay 30" kit
Post by: Pat Matthews on March 02, 2020, 05:44:12 PM
So, I moved across country last year, and it took a while to get the new shop set up and the projects unpacked. I have been nibbling away at the Fairplay 30 project though, mostly posting on RC Groups... but here are a few shots of the almost complete model, and a video link showing the lights and working radar: (