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Author Topic: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.  (Read 42652 times)

orby1

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Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« on: April 13, 2006, 04:07:15 PM »

Hiya.  Some of you may possibly remember the build-up thread I started on modelboats.co.uk, when I started building this Billings Slo Mo Shun.  Well obviously the whole forum has disappeared and according to Martin from here, all the files have been lost!  So here I am again.  Over the months, I had posted 45 photos over 4 or 5 pages, had over 800 reads, and received a lot of very helpful advice - all of which has now gone!!! >:(  Ah well.  Here begins the start of a long job, re-posting all the pictures, and re-explaining what the heck I'm trying to do!
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 04:19:26 PM »

I'll start with a shot of a few other boats my dad and I have built.  My first 2 boats are on the right - the Billings Norden and Billings Phantom. Mine is the one with the blue painted seats.  My dad and I built the same one so we could race them and see whose was the best.  Mine ended up being a lot neater, but lost the contest due to engine failure on her maiden voyage!  The other boats are my dad's - teh Clyde Pilots is (I think) a Calderdraft model, and I'm unsure about the other ones.  Anyway he's just finished the Billings Smit Nederland, and begun a Model Slipway 'Maggie', so he's nice and busy.





This is just another shot I like, taken on the same day.



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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 04:29:55 PM »

Anyhoo - onto the Slo Mo.? Here's what we see when we open the box! I only have experience of Billings kits, so can't compare the quality of parts and fittings etc to other makes, but I've always been quite happy with the parts and quality of wood from them. :)
As you can see, the Slo Mo was a 1950's hydroplane.? Apparently the real thing did 180mph in the early 50's, and at full throttle only the prop was actually in the water.? That thing used to really go.? We'll see how my attempt fares in time....






Here we have the keel being attached to the, errr, 'bulkheads'. What would you call them?? All simple stuff so far anyway.






This pic shows the side profile of the boat - see how the front curves up underneath.? You can see some longtitudinal struts have gone on too.  A lot of care must be taken here to keep the keel dead-straight and true. It would be very easy to come out with a bent boat due to rushing this part.


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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 04:49:24 PM »


Ah, I remember taking this one to show the 'shape' of the bow, how it curved upwards and was so flat.? I'd only seen photos of the boat up until the time I started to build it, and I hadn't really got a perfect idea how the thing looked until I could hold it in my hands, do you know what I mean?? You can see the keel acts as a sort of spine to hold these bulwark thingies in place while planking goes on.? At a later date the spine gets chopped off, you can see tiny dotted lines if you look closely at the front vertical piece, just under that strut.






Right, problem number one!? As I trial fitted the planks on the top, I saw that the planks didn't actually touch the front piece of frame.? If I planked it like this, there'd be a concave dip on top of the bow, and I'm certain it shouldn't have one.? Well, I'm not CERTAIN certain, but I'm certain enough to do this:



I've just glued a bit of plank across the top of the frame piece.? Hey you can see the dotted line better here, too! ;D




OK, I started the planking here.? Some people hate planking, it's laborious, boring, etc, but I don't actually mind it.? I enjoy feeling the boat come together, like the feel of the wood, and working with it.? I don't mind taking my time to do it right, which I think is a very important mindset to have in boat building.? Rushing stuff to get it finished just bodges it up and you don't end up with something you can be really proud of.
Anyway, I waffle on.? I thought ahead and realised that planking the outer 'bulge' bits of the front half would be quite tricky, due to the angle as they curve round the the point of the bow. I kind of decided to 'pre-curve' inwards the planks on the top as they got towards the front.? I had no idea whether this was a good idea or not, but I figured I'd give it a go.




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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2006, 05:22:25 PM »

OK, here we have a shot of the top of the bow.? The tapering effect was meant to make these planks more parallel with the ones which will later go onto the bulgey side areas.? If I'd planked the whole thing lengthways there'd have been lots of planks with 'raw edges' along the front edge as it curved round towards the point of the bow.? In an ideal world I'd have had one plank running along the bottom edge all way to the point, but the wood wouldn't bend that much.? Anyway you'll see later how it went.? Oooo, the suspense.... ;D







At this point I had to decide whether to plank those bulgey-outey side bits, OR the actual sides of the boat.? Both were looking just as hairy for different reasons, so it made no matter.? In the end I went for the sides.? Here's the problem I was looking at:



See how the sides curve underneath the boat as it goes towards the back end?? And widens out?? And twists?? All at the same time?? ?:o? I must admit to being a little daunted.? I just sat with the boat on my lap for a few nights as I watched telly, and occasionally looked at it and pondered the problem.



Eventually it came to me.? Here's how it ended up:





Sorry the 2nd pic is slightly blurred, but you get the jist of what I did.? I don't want to blow my own trumpet here, but I'm really pleased with how this bit turned out.? There were no gaps, no anything.? I was surprised it worked this well as I had been so unsure about it for so long.
(Hey is there smiley with a swelling head?!!)

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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2006, 05:26:07 PM »

Oh no, this has taken me over an hour to post just this far, I have about 30 more photos to do!  ::)
Please be patient with me while I plough through and post them all, and then we can get up to date.

If anyone has any questions, or preferably advice for me, then please please speak up!
More in a couple of days -
Julian. ;)
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Voyager

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2006, 06:03:16 PM »

I'm enjoying your build up! Looking forward for further updates.

Voyager.
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BobF

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2006, 08:23:44 PM »

Hi orby1
Having watched your progress, and been put off building one, I stumbled accross an old Vic Smeed plan for something similar called a Zing Ray. Looks much easier to build so I thought I would have a go at it. Also only a Fiver for lite ply if it all goes wrong. I may even work out how to post photo's as I understand from another posting it is easier on this forum.

Regards Bob
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2006, 08:02:17 PM »

Hi voyager,

Having watched your progress, and been put off building one, I stumbled accross an old Vic Smeed plan for something similar called a Zing Ray. Looks much easier to build so I thought I would have a go at it. Also only a Fiver for lite ply if it all goes wrong. I may even work out how to post photo's as I understand from another posting is is easier on this forum.

Regards Bob

Hi Bob, was this in reply to me, or to Voyager? I think I recall you saying something along the lines of being put off building one of these on the other forum, but I may be mixing you up with someone else!! :D Anyway I'd be very interested in anyone else building something similar to the Slo Mo, as there don't seem to be a heck of a lot of models like it around.  if you need any advice about posting pictures, drop me a PM or something and I'll tell you how I do it, it's not hard. :)
Anyhoo, on with the build.  Got to catch up somehow!!
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2006, 08:33:31 PM »


After spending a while getting the sides done, I was left looking at this - the following photo.? I was quite pleased with the planking, it was almost a shame I was going to have to cover it up later with the mahogany veneer!? ?I was showing people at work how the build was coming along, and got tired of explaining that although it would all be covered up, it still needed to be done well - I didn't want to leave big gaps or holes, if nothing else I was worried about the structural integrity suffering if half of it was made out of filler!?
(In fact what I got sick of telling people most was which way up it was meant to be... ::) !!!)



You'll see later on I have problems concerning the strength of the structure as I hit another problem, but we aren't quite up to that point yet.? Luckily I had helpful advice and input from the fellas on modelboats forum, and they put me straight.





The following pic shows me trying very optimistically to 'fan' the planking on the sides of the hull.? I was hoping that I could in some way lessen the amount of bare edges of planks along that bottom edge (am I explaining this very well? ;D). I actually started with the second plank up, which I drilled and pinned on (0.5mm drill-bit with 0.6mm pins) as that would set the angle to start from - the next photo to come shows why this was so, as it's taken from the underneath.? I had to pin it as that was the only way to get the "xxxxx" to stay put!
Anyway, this whole process was done to try and add strength and ridgidity to the hull, and also because I've had a situation before where I've had to work with bare ends of planks, and I've struggled trying to sand them, and keep them stuck together.



These planks coming apart along that edge has been a problem actually, due to the curvature of the boat, there isn't complete contact between the planks lying side by side (it's not like they're on a flat surface), so you have to sort of, fill the gap in with glue.? It's not perfect. The only way round that would have been to sand each plank along the edge to form a slight angle, and I couldn't be bothered to do that!! ;D

More later!? Julian. ;)


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BobF

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2006, 05:25:02 PM »

Hi orby1,

Yep, it was a slip of the memory. The posting was aimed at you.

I've now changed the name on my other posting, to make it all the more confusing.

Regards Bob
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2006, 08:55:31 PM »


Evenin' all! ;)? All Easter Saturday I've been sat at work! how rubbish is that?? And to make it worse it's been quiet as a mouse and I could've been cracking on with this build-up thread. but for some reason the work computers won't find the Mayhem website!? Every other website on planet Earth works, but this one!? Ah well, I had a good book anyway!

Anyway, where were we?? Ah yes, these sidey, pokey-outey things (I'd be very grateful for any help with terminolgy, by the way).? This next shot shows the underneath of one side. You can see now why I started with the second plank in - I wanted to set it at an acute an angle as possible, so as to mean less fanning of planks further up, so I needed the bottom plank to have just a little contact with its two outer bulwarks.? I hope I'm explaining my confused thought processes in a way that makes sense....!

 




Here we have a shot of one side completed. From the birthday cards on show this can be dated to the end of February!?






And here's one of the finished planking - both sides completed.? I gave the outer edge a rough sanding down just so we'd be able to get a better idea of the final shape of the beast.




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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2006, 09:05:29 PM »

I found some pictures of the real thing on the internet, and nicked them for inspiration.   Here's one of her in the dock, justwaiting to unleash that insanely massive horsepower.
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2006, 09:11:39 PM »



And here are a few more I found of her on the water doing what she does best - which in one of them, according to legend,  is 182 knots!!!! :o :o :o









And this is the record breaking one, from 1952 I think



And here's someone else's model.? I have a feeling it's a slightly bigger scale than mine, but look at it go!!? Yipeee!
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2006, 09:27:31 PM »

Moving along then, here's what we have when we flip her over.? It looks like a beetle on its back doesn't it?? Come on, it does a bit? !!? ? This was the point I'd really been looking forward to - chopping off the spine, and seeing what I had.? See how the instructions are laid out - there's no text, just a picture showing a hand saw and the boat!? It reminds me of the instructions you get with Lego - not that I play with Lego you understand, what I mean is, someone TOLD me it's like the instructions with Lego. Yes, that's it. :D






Errr, it might be part of Billings' plan for this boat being in their 'Experienced Modeller' catagory, but the lack of text certainly makes things interesting.? On the other two Billings boats I did, there was only one side of A4 writing for the whole thing, which I found daunting enough as a beginner, but there being none at all really takes the biscuit in my opinion.? There are times I could use a little advice.

 



It was at this point that I had my first major worry.? On one of my evenings sat looking at the boat I realised the keel was actually BENT. :o? I was pretty worried about it, as the whole thing has to be arrow straight for the bottom to fit on, and the fact that it isn't promised trouble.? I was pretty confused about how it had happened as well, as I had been so damned careful to avoid this very thing happening.? I'd started the planking of the hull in the middle and worked outwards evenly to try to keep it straight.? I think if I was going to advise anyone making this model after me, I'd tell them to put a plank along the outer edge of the top of the hull first, on each side, which would fix it straight.?



Mind you, I thought that's what those longtitudinal struts were for....
Beats me ???



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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2006, 09:40:36 PM »

I got on with chopping the keel off to see how bent things really were.? Here's where trusty Mr Leatherman came in very handy




The bottom of the Slo Mo is just a flat bit of wood. Were it made of seperate planks or sections, I'd have had less of a problem, but just one sheet of ply fits the entire bottom, side to side and front to back, and it has no tolerance for error.? I know this because the bits where it fits, fit very tightly and snugly indeed, just as they should do all over.
Ah well, I laid the bottom peice of ply onto the bottom of the boat, and this is what I saw - just as I feared, the bend in the boat means this peice just doesn't fit. Fortunately it's something I think I can do something with.?




One option would have been to make a new bottom sheet, just go and buy some ply, make a template from cardboard, and cut a bent sheet of plywood, but I really REALLY didn't want a bent boat. Due to working shifts and having young family I have little spare time, so I'm going to spend at least 6 months building this boat, and I want the thing to be right.

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John W E

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2006, 09:49:12 PM »

hi mate just a thought have you started on the top deck.? If not, and looking at your last photograph, it might be adviseable to coat the inside of the complete hull with a very thin layer of resin (just pure resin and hardener that is - no matting) and mix this resin so that it takes longer than 20 mins to go off in a warm climate.? This will allow the resin to soak into the timbers and fill any gaps in your planking and any mis-alignments in the joints of the frames.? Work the resin in well with a really stiff brush.

Aye
John E
Bluebird
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2006, 10:03:30 PM »

Hello John - you're saving me again!? Lovely to hear from you mate.? That would've been a very very good idea, I should have put some kind of sealer onto the insides of the boat.? Alas I didn't think of this, and the bottom went on with the inside of the boat just raw, untreated wood.? Hmmm, you've got me worried now!
I'm going to have to hope I can pull off a feat of veneer-application so neat and perfect that there are no leaks!? Also as you may recall I'm intending to treat this model to the sort of very shiney finish which needs lots of coats of varnish, so hopefully they will seal the boat very well.
Please keep these bits of advice coming, they're exactly the kind of help a rookie like me needs!? You live and learn, as they say, and in model boats I haven't done much living, so I haven't done a lot of learning either!!? Could you tell me a little more about this resin, what it is, how it works, what it's used for, etc. I'd be very grateful.


Here's how I got the bottom stuck on.? Obviously the top is planked over so you can't see in to check whether you're doing it right, you just have to sit and think about it for a while, plan the best way forward.? ?As you can see, I lack enough, grips, tools, and a workshop, however I make up for that with a plentiful supply of tinned tuna, tomatoes, vinegar Lloyd Grossman pasta sauce, and gaffer tape.? Ingenuity saved the day.? It was just a matter of finding anything about the right size, putting it on the boat, and then very tightly wrapping it round with gaffer.
I had to go outside for this part (into the snow!! :D), as the fumes from the glue tighten up my airways and I get very wheezy, and even have problems breathing at night!

I actually got to wrench the bottom into almost fitting, using gentle persuasion. The position that it set in isn't too bad at all.



And after I'd finished I made a nice pasta bake for our tea!! ;D

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John W E

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2006, 10:20:14 PM »

Hi ya again, its just standard lay-up resin - I purchase mine in small quantities from Halfords or any auto shop.? But, like me, I note you have breathing problems (Like me!) - so make sure you use it in a very well-ventilated area.

Also, if you have never used fibre glass resin before make sure you stick to the rules on the tin - meaning - make sure you get the resin-to-hardener mix correct.?

I know in my last post, I mentioned slowing the hardening process down, but, I took it for granted that you may have worked with resin before.

What you could do, where the outer curved piece of yourhull are you may be able to pour resin into that area and aggitate your boat, so that the resin swooches round inside - it will then creep into the gaps.? ?I didnt realise on this model that its actually veneered over the top.? ?Now then, after you have veneered it, and you want a high gloss, you can use an Epoxy Resin and this is totally different to the previously mentioned resin (which is a polyester based resin).? An Epoxy Resin, we will say, for the purpose of this thread and our use, is 100% - waterproof - Polyester Resin is not.? As I say, after you have finished veneering theoutside of your hull, two or three coats of Epoxy (just pure Epoxy Resin) and you can purchase this from any yacht chandlers shop and it comes in a variety of names? - I personally use a system called S.P.? Like I say, there are many others, but, TOUCH WOOD, I have had no problems with S.P Epoxy resins and it gives one very good finish.? Sealing Well.? ?To protect from UV deterioration of the Epoxy you could give it one coat of proper varnish over the top, which I doubt you would need.

Hope this is of some help.

Aye
John E
Bluebird.
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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2006, 10:24:50 PM »




Many thanks John, let's hope this thread doesn't disappear like the last one and I lose all your advice a second time !!  I am however now at a point where the boat is a totally sealed, hollow hull, with no way in or out.  I just haven't got to that stage of catching up with my photo's yet!  All will be revealed!



With the main piece of ply for the bottom now glued in place, I set about assembling the front of the bottom of this boat.? As you can see from this 1st picture, it's made up of panels, and as anyone who saw this thread the first time around may remember, the panels JUST DO NOT FIT! >:(




This picture shows how bad the fit actually is. The two pieces should align perfectly.? Look at it!?




And worse, the two going sort of laterally across this picture should line up level with each other, with no step from one to the next.




When I put the next panel on top, there should be no gap.? Now I'm no genius, but I think that if I made the boat like this, with a massive hole in the bottom, water might just get into the boat.



To be honest at this point I was worrying that I'd done something drastically wrong. ?The rest of the boat, and the other two Billings boats I've done have fitted together very snugly, and very well, with barely any inaccuracies - so what's this all about? ?Have I done something wrong?

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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #20 on: April 15, 2006, 10:44:34 PM »


Here's a handy hint-? if you don't already know this, a food steamer can work wonders for bending your bits of planking or panels.? You just have to remember to act all innocent if your family ask why the salmon fillets taste like wood glue...





Here I am building up that 'step' of mis-fitting wood using planks, tapered down at one end. Despite it looking like the grip is squashing them out of shape, they did make a nice smooth curve, and a good fit. :)





Here's another anomaly with the (lack of) instructions... As you can see here they clearly show the front triangular piece going on first, with those wedge bits going on afterwards, somehow being fitted underneath the front triangular bit.? That looked daft to me, so I ignored it and put the wedge bits on first.? I also planked those long thin vertical bits too - in fact youi can see I'd already done them on the last set of pictures.





Here you can clearly see how I built up those wedge shapes with the extra bits of planking.? See how it goes together now?? I can't see how Billings could make such a big error.
You can see I got the two side pieces on as well.? Again I used drilling and pinning to get them on and on for good.? Do you see the two little bits of ply just forward of them?? How it looks like those side bits carry on forwards with a little step down?? I had realised that the front triangualr piece had absolutely nothing to stick to on its outer edges, and Billings expected me to perform some sort of butt-join with the long side bits!! ????



Again, I thought that was daft - you'll see just how I got round it in the next thrilling installment...


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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #21 on: April 15, 2006, 10:56:54 PM »

See?? This is what 5 minutes in the steamer can do to a bit of stiff plywood if you gaffer tape it up properly!? ;D





And here we have that little extra bit I had to build on each side.? There should be a nice smooth line from the wedge bit going across, over the bit of vertical planking, and onto this little extra bit I made.? You can see there's a slight step, but I fixed that with a bit of filler.? It looks messy and rough and a bit of a bodge, but it did the job of providing somewhere for the triangular piece to glue its outer edge to, and as it would soon be hidden inside the boat, looking like a bodge didn't matter.
Besides, someone on the last forum told me a very important mantra to remember when doing a job like this - "IT'S NOT A BODGE - IT'S A PRACTICAL SOLUTION TO AN ENGINEERING PROBLEM!"




We still have quite a few pictures to go before we're up to date with where I actually am with the boat, but I've cracked on tonight and got further than I thought I would, so I reckon I could get up to date when I carry on tomorrow night!? Good news!? I have to go to bed now - up at 6:30 for work tomorrow! >:(
'Night all.
Julian.x

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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2006, 08:13:00 PM »



Well, what a fun and joyous day I had at work, while the rest of you were sat scoffing Easter eggs all day! ;D
Let's press on.
I had a set-back.? All this faffing about with these panels had been quite fiddly and not especially easy to get right.? When I glued the triangular piece onto the bottom of the hull, I did so with the front apex of the triangle not touching the front apex of the boat, it just stuck out horizontally while the glue set.? Bad idea, Orby. :'( When I tried to move on and glue the rest of the triangle down, we got a massive bulge - and we all know how embarassing they can be...? Basically, it had been set in the wrong position.






Look at this gap - it's about 2mm-3mm, full of nasty looking glue, and it looks crap.? It's not good enough, and the whole front triangular piece had to come off and be started again.? All that showing off about my technique with the steamer came to nothing!! ;D



Luckily a very helpful fella called 'Leadfoot' on the other forum had suggested that I solve the problem of these ill-fitting panels by making templates from cardboard and then cutting my own from thin ply, so I'd already got a sheet of 2mm ply handy to make another triangular front piece.? It took 2 minutes, easy as pie.? Unfortunately, while pulling the old piece off, I also brought half the boat with it!! My little extra support-ey bits, my extra fill-in bits from on top of those wedges, all came off and had to be re-built.? All wasted time...


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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2006, 08:19:46 PM »

Here's another technique I've learned through necessity - this damned boat has more curves than Angeline Jolie (I must name-check my dad for that similie), and no matter where you need to get a grip or some clamps on it, you can't.? I've found I've had to superglue some bits of scrap wood onto the hull for the clamps to get a purchase on, then when the glue has set, I remove the clamps, cut the scraps off, and hope they don't leave a mark.
It seems a bit severe but most of the boat at this point will be covered in veneer so marking the top won't matter, and as for the bottom - errrm, it might be painted yet, I'm not sure.? I'd like to varnish it and leave the wood showing, but it depends how much I "xxxxx" it up! :D





By the way, you can see here the new bottom triangle going on, it's there on the left.  The boat is tipped up on one side.

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orby1

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Re: Billings Slo Mo Shun build-up.
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2006, 08:39:01 PM »



At this point I'd stopped shilly-shallying around with this thing, and was determinded to show it who was boss.? My dad had bought me a model drill for xmas, and with that and a few 0.6mm pins, I stuck the new front trianglular piece down for good.  This row of pins across the middle happened first actually, making very very sure it was in exactly the right place this time...






It was glued wherever it came into contact with anything else, and pinned as well.  Across the middle, and across the back edge.





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