Model Boat Mayhem

Masterclasses => Whitehills Lifeboat => Topic started by: gribeauval on February 25, 2008, 11:20:18 pm

Title: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 25, 2008, 11:20:18 pm
As I said in my RTR tug rebuild I have been researching/building a 1/12th scale model of a 35'6" Self Righting Motor Lifeboat for a gentleman in Whitehills, Scotland, who is converting the old RNLI station to a house. The boat was the 'RNLB Civil Service No4' built in 1932 by J.S.White's at a cost of 3,342, powered by a 35 bhp Weyburn AE6 petrol engine and was stationed in Whithills from 1932-48. After being sold out of sevice in 1948 it was last heard of in 1970 being used as a private yatch in Newfoundland.

After a great deal of searching a profile/deck plan was found and rescaled to 1/12th. Half patterns for the hull sections were made and then transfered to the ply ready for cutting. The keel section was made from three layers of ply as this class of boat had a drop keel which was used when under sail.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 25, 2008, 11:41:25 pm
Keel sandwich and drop keel.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 25, 2008, 11:46:34 pm
When the 'keel sandwich' glue had set, the keel and bulkheads were set up on the building jig to ensure that there would be no warping until the planking could be added. The bevel gears for the steering gear were alsao added at this stage as the shafts will be 'buried' after planking.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 25, 2008, 11:52:48 pm
Steering gear in close up and the shaft support built and fastened in place.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 12:02:18 am
Next phase was to add the decking as it is easier to do now than when the hul planking gets in the way! The caulking between the planks is chocolate brown paper strips glued between the planks.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 09:36:01 pm
After the decking the first layer of hull planking was applied. On real lifeboats of this period both layers of planking would have been diagonally laid. I have laid the first layer fore and aft as this allows for corrections to the shape to be made when I make cock ups!
The planks were steamed/soaked before gluing and pinning in place.The ends of the hull were not planked as the curves were easier to produce in solid balsa for this lower layer.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 09:41:23 pm
The end air box casings were also planked over at this stage and the hull planking completed.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 09:45:22 pm
Now the ends were filled with blocks of balsa and when set shaped and sanded to match the rest of the planking.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 09:56:10 pm
On the original boats the two layers of planks were separated by a layer of calico cloth. This helped with sealing the hull and still allowed a small degree of lexibility. This I reproduced with a layer of cotton sheeting (don't tell the wife!!) glued onto the planking. Even though it will never be seen again, I know its there, and that's all that matters. ;) When this was dry the outer layer of planks was fitted by steaming/bending and gluing in place.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 10:00:24 pm
Planking finished!!
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 26, 2008, 10:41:57 pm
After sanding the hull the bilge keels were plotted,laminated and fitted in place. The hull then was given a couple of coats of sanding sealer ready to start the priming/painting.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 27, 2008, 08:41:33 pm
After several applications of sanding sealer and much rubbing down three coats of primer were applied. After flattinmg down and allowing to harden two top coats were added of blue and white.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 27, 2008, 08:48:44 pm
Whilst waiting for the paint coats to dry I started on some other parts of the boat. First the rudder and then the navigation lights  on the small foremast. For these I used led's.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 28, 2008, 10:40:28 pm
Next major problem was the small deck shelter. This curves in two directions, each plank is different  and was a pain in the butt to do!
The solution was to shape a block of florist foam and use that as a former. The foam had a couple of layers of papier mache to give the inside a smooth finish. A layer of mahogany veneer was then glued in place and, when dry, sanded down smooth. Next the outer frame was added and then the top layer of 1.5mm mahogany planks were steamed, bent, fitted in place, sanded and varnished. Finally it was trimmed to size and the port holes added.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 29, 2008, 07:39:03 pm
Next piece of mahogany to be built was the engine casing. It is simply a box with hatches on the top to allow access to the single Weyburn engine just in front of the shelter. The engine has remote controls fitted in the shelter.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 29, 2008, 07:45:34 pm
Moving towards the bow, the casing over the drop keel was constructed as well as the tabernacle for the mast. the mast itself was tapered and the heel squared off to fit. The signal light on the top of the mast was also fitted and power to the led is by thin solid copper wires glued to each side.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 29, 2008, 07:54:21 pm
Next to be tackled are the air cases/side benches. The forward sections are made from beech blocks with lime sheeting for the tops. At the bow end of the port seats is a locker for the anchor cable. When painted lime slats were glued on top. At the stern the benches are fitted around the stern towing bitts.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on February 29, 2008, 08:01:15 pm
Now the up to date part of the build.

The fittings for the sails/shrouds at the mast head have been started, (using the excellent fittings from Redbank Models, no connection just a satisfied customer!) as to allow the mast to fold down all the rigging of the gaff rig has to work correctly.
 
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 02, 2008, 04:32:47 pm
The major work on the standing rigging has now been finished and by the kindness of my wife the two sails have been made.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 02, 2008, 04:39:54 pm
The sails have now been fitted in place on the boat. Now that this stage has been reached I now have to remove all the rigging in order that the minor fittings and painting etc can be added!! Typical of life! Two paces forward and one back!  :(
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 09, 2008, 10:34:43 pm
Started on the smaller fittings now.
The anchor is a slimmed down fisherman's pattern anchor (Model Slipways), I used a 1/16th scale one as this gives the correct size for this lifeboat at 1/12th.  ???

I also found a working compass at the local Pound Shop (built into a key ring!) that was the correct side and it is fitted into a painted brass case ready to hang inside the deck shelter where it could be seen by the helmsman. The life rings are made as I usually do, curtain rings of the required size.

Also work has started on fitting out the deck shelter. The flooring is made from hard plastic tapestry canvas with the correct hole size, much easier than trying to build the things from scratch! The spaces are where the lockers will fit. The console at the end is the engine /gearbox controls so that the mechanic doesn't have to open the engine cover hatches in foul  weather and risk swamping the engine.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 12, 2008, 12:49:38 am
Just finished the main fitting out of the deck shelter with the other two lockers and have added the binacle made earlier.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: furball on March 12, 2008, 11:25:36 pm
You really need a little brass wheel in there instead of that red plastic one  ;)

Lance
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 14, 2008, 07:17:22 pm
Another milestone passed, the lifting rudder has been fitted with its rigging.Also thanks to my wife rhe bow bumper has been made and fitted in place.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 15, 2008, 06:58:54 pm
The curtain , sorry LIFE rings have now had their support frames made and fitted either side of the wheel on the rear bulkhead. The rings fit tightly (not glued!) on to the hooks and are ready to throw to persons overboard.  8) The last picture shows the stanchions/chains fitted on the gunwale and the new red colour of the sails as before they were too light for my liking.
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 17, 2008, 07:25:11 pm
"The Lifeboat" now has an identity!  8)

It's no longer an anonymous build but now the build of RNLB CIVIL SERVICE No4 stationed at WHITEHILLS  from 1932-48. The period RNLI bow flags have also been fitted.

Time to start putting all the removed parts back in position for final finishing.  ;)
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 18, 2008, 05:22:39 pm
The display stand has now been made and is ready for varnishing. Parts are now being refitted ready for final finishing. The name plate has been collected from the engravers ready to fit.  ;)
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 21, 2008, 04:43:34 pm
The lifeboat is very nearly ready to 'return to station after refit'  8) Most of the sub-assemblies have been refitted and there are only a few more minor items to build/fit before the boat is delivered to the client. I will be taking/posting the final pictures in a few days. The switches for the lights and motor have also been fitted and wired into the stand.

Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 23, 2008, 11:10:59 am
Whilst doing the final details on the Lifeboat I got to wondering how to make four identical grab rails in the easiest way. The answer was at my local market hardware stall which was having a sale. Toothbrush holders at 10p each!! These were the correct length and so the ends were cut off, trimmed down to the required hight and primed then fixed on to the bow and stern deck of the boat.
Total cost 40p, time to make 15 mins ! ;)
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: gribeauval on March 27, 2008, 03:55:15 pm
Final pictures of the build as if I don't stop fiddling about with it I will ruin what I have already done! ::)

I hope you have all enjoyed reading about the build as much as I have enjoyed building the boat and thanks for all your kind comments! ;)  Hopefully the weather will  soon allow a return to the Monster Mersey!!  8)

Mike
Title: Re: Whitehills Lifeboat by Gribeauval
Post by: Martin [Admin] on March 28, 2008, 01:25:28 am

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