Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length.
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: A classic 80' motor yacht in 1/18 scale - Vic Smeed "Lorraine" rebuild  (Read 18853 times)

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews





I bought the above model second-hand as a complete hull, deck and cabins, with very few fittings and details, and no running gear other than a rudder (it looks like the previous owner never got as far as adding the motor + radio). Other members of the Black Park model boat club might remember seeing it on the Thames Valley Air Ambulance stand at the club's open day on the 30th August!



Thanks to the help of other Mayhem members, I've identified the model as being built from Vic Smeed's "Lorraine" plan. This represents a largeish (70-80') motor yacht of the 1950s-60s period, I'm not sure if it's based on any particular prototype - it has design features common to many motor yachts and cruisers of this date.



The model was built from a very thin (1-1.5mm) plywood skin over a framework of heavier ply, other than the bow and lower stern (carved from solid) and stern transom (planked). The superstructure is also heavy ply (with cabin windows cut from heavy Perspex/Lucite sheet) and is removable as a single unit, the cabin roofs are also removable (the original builder made a start on adding interior detail, including wallpaper!). There's another removable hatch on the forecastle. Fittings are limited to homemade brass tube + copper wire railings on the forecastle, and a few other touches like steps + a seat in the rear cockpit.
The hull is a hard-chine type which is not very typical for the prototype (most large motor yachts have conventional displacement hulls) but was presumably chosen for ease of construction, as the original "Lorraine" plans give the option of building the model either with a hard-chine or rounded hull. 

The original builder had made a very neat job of constructing the model, but the very thin ply skin has bowed inwards between the frames creating an "oil canning" effect. Though it had been treated with an epoxy-type coating on the outside, it also appeared distinctly flimsy and vulnerable to damage. The thick plywood cabin superstructure was also very heavy, weighing almost as much as the empty hull, which might cause problems with stability.

Overall, the model didn't look particularly interesting, but it seemed to me to have a lot of potential; the hull form + deck layout was reminiscent of a classic mid 20th century motor yacht, and the large size + scale would allow for a very effective representation of the varnished wood cabins + superstructure found on boats of this era, as well as resulting in a model with very "scale" sailing qualities. I also happened to have a spare shelf - at the top of my model boat storage shelf unit - ideal for a model like this; with about 35cm clearance, this shelf isn't high enough for most scale models  with high superstructure, funnels etc, but a subject like this fits OK, providing masts, davits etc. are made removable!

First I needed to find a suitable prototype to base my model on. I didn't have anything in my book + plan collection that was remotely suitable, other than David Metcalf's plans for "Bluebird of Chelsea" - significantly different in design, and smaller, than my model, though still a useful reference/inspiration for fittings and design.

After some searching on the web, I managed to find a prototype which was very close to what I envisaged - the 83' motor yacht "Black Knight" built by Goudy & Stevens in 1968. This is a very impressive and elegant-looking vessel, with a wood hull and varnished teak cabins. The distinctive thing about Black Knight is that it's a 1960s vessel but constructed, finished and fitted out in a very traditional style. It also has a hull form very similar to "Lorraine", and a reasonably similar cabin layout. This makes it an ideal prototype on which to base my conversion.





My model will be based closely on "Black Knight" in general appearance, but adapted to fit the hull shape and cabin layout. I could have built new cabins from scratch, but the original ones are so sturdily constructed, and designed to be neatly removable from the hull, that I decided to keep them. In any case, I don't have enough photos of Black Knight to build a fully detailed model of it!
Though this will be a freelance (or at least semi-freelance) build, it will be fully "scale" in terms of detail and finish. Black Knight will be my main source of reference, but I'll also use photos and drawings of other contemporary (and earlier) motor yachts.

Being 54"/134cm long, the model scales out at 80ft long in 1/18 scale (this is a standard scale for military vehicles + figures, and also very close to 16mm model railway scale, though it isn't a very common model boat scale). This is certainly the largest scale I've built a model boat in so far, and will allow for plenty of detail in both the fittings and the finish of the decks, cabins etc. It also gives me the opportunity to use some large-scale fittings I've accumulated in my spares box over the years:



The white metal anchor and wheel were bought on eBay last year for a few pounds, and I believe were originally from a Metcalf 1/12 lifeboat kit. I didn't realise how big they were when I bought them (the seller didn't state the size) so it's taken me a while to find a boat large enough to use them! The turned brass railing stanchions (which will go on the forecastle) are from a Graupner yacht fittings pack, found at a car boot sale.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews
Re: A classic 80' motor yacht in 1/18 scale - Vic Smeed "Lorraine" rebuild
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 05:05:08 PM »



Installing the radio + running gear was next. This is my first attempt at installing a proper radio system (rather than cheap RTR gear) in a model,
The model is currently powered by a standard 545 motor driving a 40mm prop, with a 12v SLA battery and Viper Marine 15 ESC. The hull already had a hole drilled for the prop shaft, which saved some time and work, but unfortunately the hole was far too large for a standard commercial M4 shaft + tube. After testing with scrap styrene tube to find the right diameter, I widened a M4 tube by soldering a couple of pieces of K&S "telescopic" brass tubing around the tube - it then fitted perfectly.

The prop shaft I had (11") proved to be a bit too small for the design of the model, and in order to get the prop a reasonable distance away from the hull, the other end of the prop shaft ended up quite low down in the hull, which gave me some problems with making an effective motor mount. I tried using a double motor coupling, but this proved too noisy and inefficient; I eventually mounted the motor sideways on a plate bolted between two frames, with a single coupling, which runs quite smoothly and doesn't (as I originally worried) have much effect on weight balance.




The motor is powered by a 12v lead-acid battery, which also provides much of the model's ballast weight (see below)! The prop is currently a 40mm Billing Boats item, plastic with a brass thread; I plan to eventually replace this with a brass one. 




I used the original rudder, which was the only piece of hardware included with the model when I bought it! It's quite nicely made from brass and includes a hole for a pin to stop the rudder dropping out of the hull in the event that the tiller arm loosens. However, I did replace the brass rudder tube, as the original one was too short (the top was below the waterline) and not glued in very well, resulting in leaks. The rudder is connected with a standard servo and tiller arm (two rods connected by a brass electrical connector block, to allow the length of the arm to be adjusted). Since taking the above photo, I cut a notch out of the bulkhead to prevent the brass block from catching on it and jamming the rudder.

Being large, constructed of lightweight materials, and with a high freeboard and shallow displacement, I expected this model to be a serious pain to ballast correctly. I was, therefore, very surprised when I put it in the bath (just large enough...) with the cabins, battery and radio gear all in place (no other ballast) and it floated evenly almost exactly at the waterline! It also proved to be extremely stable, not top-heavy at all despite my earlier worries. The model was slightly bow-heavy, so I added about 250g of lead at the stern to correct this.

The fittings and woodwork will add a small amount of topweight to the model, but given how stable it currently is, they shouldn't affect the balance enough to be a problem. (I later removed more of the interior woodwork from the cabins to further reduce the topweight)


I decided to re-surface the hull with wood planking, both for aesthetic and practical reasons. The real boat I'm basing this on has a planked wood hull (as do many older motor yachts) and the plank seams are clearly visible in closeup photos; in 1/18 scale the basic plywood hull just wouldn't look right, even when repainted. And as previously mentioned, the hull's plywood skin appears alarmingly flimsy in some places; I don't know how vulnerable to damage it would be in practice (given that it's been painted with sealant on the outside) but all the same I think it could do with some strengthening!

Planking a hull this large will use a lot of wood which normally might end up being quite expensive, but luckily I had a large stock of 6mm x 1mm strip wood which I bought very cheaply at the Merstham model steam show last year. I've no idea what wood it is (not balsa or basswood). I originally bought it with the intention of using it for static sailing ship models, it proved far too thin and splintery for this, but it should be ideal for adding a surface layer of planking over an existing hull.


A quick test using double-sided tape showed the overall appearance to be fairly good

I glued the planks on with thin superglue (cyanoacrylate/CA) after first sanding down the painted hull surface as much as possible to expose the treated surface underneath. I was unconvinced as to whether superglue would be suitable for gluing wood planks to this surface, but after gluing a few test planks I found that the thin CA produced an extremely strong bond. CA also sets very quickly when gluing untreated wood, so even the curved surfaces at the bow could be glued without much trouble.

Planking in progress:




Once the hull planking was complete, I sanded the whole thing thoroughly using several grades of sandpaper and sanding sticks to give a smooth surface to the rather roughly finished planks. No sealant or paint yet - this will need to wait until I've added the strakes and other structural details to the hull.

Here's the fully planked hull. The planks go a couple of centimetres below the waterline; below this is reinforced from the inside with balsa, and not visible once the model is on the water.









The overall effect is not incredibly neat, and wouldn't be anywhere near good enough for a varnished "natural wood" finish - but once sealed + painted will give a good representation of a planked wood hull. Some of the top planks near the deck have splintered a bit, but will be covered up by the strake which also covers the lower edge of the bulwarks (to be added).
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews
Re: A classic 80' motor yacht in 1/18 scale - Vic Smeed "Lorraine" rebuild
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 05:06:17 PM »




I next added the margin plank (teak-stained basswood strip) for the main deck. I won't be actually doing the deck planking for a while, but the margin plank also acts as a guide and support for the bulwarks:



which are made from a strip of 1mm ply, painted with teak stain on the inside. I then added the strakes to the hull side (which also cover and reinforce the join between the bulwarks and hull sides), these are "Hobby's" 5mm pine strip, also teak stained. The outside of the bulwarks will be painted the same as the rest of the hull, leaving the strakes and bulwark top rail as varnished wood.






Supporting stanchions and a top rail are added to the bulwarks using stained basswood and pine strip, adding structural strength as well as detail. Holes for freeing ports and bollards/fairleads will be drilled out at a later stage of the build.

The bulwarks (modelled on those of "Black Knight") are actually only about knee height; they have metal railings on top, which I'll add later. Unlike those on Black Knight, the bulwarks don't continue all the way around the transom.




The foc'sle has a low bulwark around the edge (made from Hobbys 10mm pine strip); metal railings will be added at a later stage.

I also added the margin planks and king plank to the foc'sle deck. These (and the margin strip on the main deck) will be varnished teak, like the cabins, whilst the main deck planks will be plain wood (most likely basswood) to represent holystoned teak. The overall effect should be similar to this, as seen on the Thames steam launch "Nuneham":







The hull was now finally ready for painting! I wanted to paint the hull either dark blue, or a dark bluish-green shade; I couldn't find a satin acrylic paint in the latter colour, so decided on a dark blue finish using Revell satin "Lufthansa Blue" acrylic paint.

I first painted the hull planks with a couple of coats of sanding sealer. The parts to be left as plain wood (strakes, bulwark interiors, etc.) then got a coat of gloss enamel varnish, to make it easier to remove any paint runs when painting the hull with acrylic.

The lower hull was then painted with two coats of Revell matt Red-Brown acrylic paint (a good colour match for red anti-fouling paint), then, when completely dry, painted with a single coat of clear satin oil-based household varnish, to make it as durable + waterproof as possible. (Once the rest of the hull was painted, I painted the hull sides with the same varnish to about 1" above the waterline)

The upper hull is then painted with Revell's "Lufthansa Blue". This paint covers very well - I only needed two coats, without any primer. I brush-painted this colour, I've found that airbrushing doesn't work particularly well on a planked wood surface (particularly on a working model where a heavy, durable finish is needed), and the grain of the wood hides any brush marks (not that you get many with acrylic paint anyway)

I then painted the white "boot stripe" at the waterline with Revell satin white acrylic, painted with the help of masking tape. The stern transom is left unpainted, varnished wood, as are the strakes on the hull sides.




Finally I added portholes to the forecastle, 3 each side. These should not present any problem with watertightness, as they're a very long way from the waterline and are glued in securely with epoxy anyway. I used Mantua turned brass portholes, 18mm in diameter; these are nicely made items, complete with glazing (a solid plastic moulding, not thin acetate sheet) and rivet detail around the rim.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews
Re: A classic 80' motor yacht in 1/18 scale - Vic Smeed "Lorraine" rebuild
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2009, 05:16:44 PM »

Here's the finished hull! The boat is already looking a lot better than the original plain white plywood finish, but still has a long way to go yet; the as yet untouched cabins look rather out of place now.












Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews
Re: A classic 80' motor yacht in 1/18 scale - Vic Smeed "Lorraine" rebuild
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2009, 05:26:45 PM »

I gave the boat its first proper run at Black Park on the 24th (having previously tested it in the bath and in a neighbour's swimming pool); it ran extremely well, quite manoueverable for its size (even at low speed) and running at a good "scale speed". The only problem is that it runs very slowly and inefficiently in reverse, perhaps due to the hull shape and prop location. It's manoueverable enough for this not to be much of a problem, though.

Hopefully the local pond/gravel pit will be soon free enough of weeds for me to run the model closer to home! Here are the Black Park photos:












Note the temporary "mast" to support the aerial wire - this wire will eventually go inside the real mast aft of the wheelhouse!

Like the Cutty Sark, this will probably be a "long term" project and progress will be slow at times. However, I hope to have the cabin + deck woodwork completed by the end of the year.


I also took a few videos of the model on the water, and uploaded the best one to YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mYZXAMguNk
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews


Sorry for not posting any updates to this thread earlier; I've made a lot of progress with this project since last September (I did manage to get the cabin woodwork + deck planking finished by the end of the year) and, though far from finished, it's already looking a lot better than it did when I got it! If anyone's interested, here are some photos of my work from up to now. I'll post several updates over the next couple of days, as there are a lot of photos.

Starting with the cabin woodwork:





First, I added a new, slightly overhanging roof to the wheelhouse and forward cabin, cut from 1.5mm ply using the original roof as a template.










The cabin superstructure was entirely re-surfaced with thin plywood painted with mahogany wood stain (at first, I tried cedar stain, seen in these photos, which is a close colour match for varnished teak "brightwork", but I ran out of cedar stain and couldn't find any more for sale, so went for mahogany cabins instead!)












Most of the basic structural woodwork on the cabins is now complete (though there are still some areas to be done, such as decorative framing on the doors and below the windows, and the doorway in the aft cockpit). Window glazing will be added later on, using the Perspex window sheets made by the model's original builder.










These on-water photos (Black Park again) show the basic cabin woodwork (now mahogany stained) and also show the mast, which I made from copper tube and a length of tapered paintbrush handle, and which fits into a brass tube socket on the boat deck. The hollow lower part of the mast also houses the aerial wire. Details (yard, lights, rigging etc.) will be added to the mast at a much later stage of the build. 










More on-water photos on the local pond/gravel pit, in quite "heavy seas" - this was during the high winds of early November last year. The large size + high freeboard of the model made steering tricky, but the motor + prop had no problems with running into the wind.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews



The next stage was to plank the decks. I used 5.5" wooden coffee stirrer sticks for this. Basswood (or similar) strip would be the best choice, but coffee stirrers have the advantage of being extremely cheap (about 6 on eBay for a box of 1000) and are the right colour, and about the right dimensions for 1/18 deck planks, once the rounded ends have been cut off. I used heavy black rigging thread to represent the "caulking" between the planks.






The planks are attached using brass pins and waterproof wood glue. All of the decks are laid with the planks parallel to the margin plank and with a central king plank; I initially attempted "joggling" the plank ends into the king plank, but the results didn't look very neat, so I just cut off the plank ends straight. The margin and king planks (fitted earlier on) are stained pine strip.








Deck planking complete. This was a fairly long and tedious job, but the finished effect was worth it! There are some noticeable gaps between some of the forecastle planks (whatever wood coffee stirrers are made from, it doesn't bend very easily), but these will be mostly concealed by the many fittings + details that will go here later; the straighter planking on the aft forecastle, main deck and boat deck went down much more neatly.
The large hole in the middle of the forward deck hatch is the location of a skylight; the breakwater will go forward of this.












After thoroughly sanding the decks to smooth the plank surfaces and remove any glue marks, I then varnished them (including the margin + king planks) with Winsor & Newton artist's oil-based gloss varnish. This is a lot thinner and clearer than most furniture varnishes, and also completely colourless. As it soaks into the grain of the wood, it gives a subtle semi-gloss rather than unrealistically shiny appearance.
 


I also painted the cabin roofs with Revell semi-gloss Beige (no.314) acrylic paint. This is a very close match for the paint colour used on Black Knight. Although Revell acrylics usually cover very well, and I first treated the roofs with sanding sealer, 3 coats of this paint were needed to give a good finish without any of the wood grain showing through.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews





The funnel (modelled on the one on Black Knight) is made from thin aluminium sheet (similar to litho plate, though a bit thicker). As well as having more structural strength than styrene sheet, it's much easier to form into curved shapes like this.  Detailing (including the engine exhausts inside) will be added later.





The completed funnel will be painted in a yellow/buff colour with black top.




The aft companionway:



and the forward skylight. This is based on the one on "Bluebird of Chelsea"; Black Knight doesn't have a skylight here, but something really needs to be added to make the removable deck panel less obvious! Only the basic structure has been made so far - hinged and glazed covers will be added later (as will the portholes + door handle for the aft companionway)






Freeing ports were added to the bulwarks, the surrounds are commercial resin castings which I picked up at the Warwickshire show, can't remember the manufacturer's name but they were very inexpensive. The freeing ports will also have mooring cleats on the deck behind them.

Though not as evident as the detail work, I've made some additions to the working parts of the model - the motor now has suppressors added (which should give better radio reception) and I've replaced the plastic prop with a solid brass one. I also had to repair a leak at the point where the solid wood bow meets the planked hull - this whole area has now been reinforced and sealed to prevent the same thing happening again.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews



Detailing added to the funnel using styrene strip, and exhaust gratings added to the interior from spare plastic washers + aluminium mesh.



I then sprayed the completed assembly with a coat of Halfords grey primer, once dry I brush-painted it using Revell semi-gloss black and Sand acrylic paint.





The completed funnel in place on the model. It's glued to the cabin roof only, as it has to be removable to allow the model to fit on the storage shelf.











The cabin woodwork is now more or less finished with the addition of the decorative panelling, Perspex glazing (made by the original builder) and metal fittings. The door handles are scratchbuilt from brass rod + washers, hand rails are commercial turned brass stanchions, the companionway portholes are also turned brass commercial fittings.




The breakwater is closely based on the one on Black Knight (which appears to be no longer fitted - it doesn't appear on recent photos - possibly as it blocks the view from the forward cabin windows). As with the funnel, I made the basic shape from aluminium sheet, both for strength and because curved shapes like this are easier to form in metal than styrene. I first made a template from paper to get the shape righ.



I added a half-round plastic moulding to the top and a stained + varnished wood strip to the base (added after painting!) As with the funnel, I first sprayed a coat of grey primer, then brush-painted the final colour (Revell semi-gloss Beige, same as the cabin roofs).



Here's the breakwater glued in place on the forward deck.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews











Here's the model on the water at the Beale Park show last Saturday. As you can see, it's progressed quite a bit since the last update (and has progressed further since). If anybody's interested in this build thread, I'll post some more photos of the build up to this point.




Interestingly, I also spotted this in the park's "model boat museum"! This is what my model would have looked like when completed according to the original plans. There are some differences (the cabin woodwork on this model is much nicer than mine was when I got it) and the builder appears to have added some extra detail, but it's clearly a "Lorraine". When it was built, and what powerplant + radio it has, I've no idea.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews





Some of the various metal and resin fittings. All of these were sprayed with a base coat of enamel primer before brush-painting with the final colour, for extra durability; I find that acrylic paint seems to adhere poorly to white metal parts, resulting in easily chipped edges.
The fittings are from various sources, mostly picked up at the Warwickshire show in November; the "mushroom vents" on the boat deck are actually model railway coach roof ventilators!







All of the deck fittings are held in place with brass wire pegs fitted into holes drilled in the deck as well as being glued with two-part epoxy; with a large model like this, it's particularly important to protect smaller details + fittings from accidental damage.
The first lot of fittings to be added were the bollards + fairleads, mooring cleats, and ventilators.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews




The railings on the forecastle are made using turned brass stanchions - the ones I'm using are 50mm high (excluding peg) and I think were originally from a Robbe yacht kit (I got them in a "box of bits" at a car boot sale).







I decided to solder the brass forecastle railings together, for extra strength, as they're in quite a vulnerable position. The upper rail is (if I remember correctly) 60 thou brass rod, and the lower rail 40 thou. The completed railing assembly is glued with epoxy into holes drilled into the deck margin plank.






The railings on the main deck (again, based on Black Knight) are less conventional, they have varnished wood rails supported by brass stanchions. I drilled the holes for the stanchions down through the wooden bulwark supports and into the deck below; this was quite a tricky job, but gives a lot of added structural strength to both the railings and the bulwarks themselves.





The rails are "Hobby's" 5x1mm pine strip, sanded to give rounded corners + ends, and painted with mahogany stain.
Logged

martno1fan

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2,506
  • Location: Blackpool

Very nice work she looks very nice,only thing i would have done differently is i would have staggered the planks where they butt up to each other like on a real boat but it looks very nice all the same.
Mart
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews

Thanks... I have to say I wish I'd put more work into the hull planking, but I did this at a very early stage in the build when I really wasn't sure if the whole thing would work out, and, as it turned out, I only had just enough wood strip to plank the hull anyway (not a lot of room for error). The planking on the hull is not intended to represent a "real" plank pattern, it's more to strengthen the original (very thin) plywood skin than anything else, and isn't visible once on the water.

Here's some more progress:





The forward cabin roof has wooden handrails along the edge. These are made from wood strip carved and sanded to shape, stained and varnished.






There are three inclined ladders, one in the aft "well" and one on each side at the forecastle break; plus a vertical ladder on the side of the aft cabin/coach roof, to access the boat deck. All are assembled from pine strip held together with brass pins, the sides are mahogany stained and the steps left plain.







Here are the ladders glued in place.






The flag staffs (the larger one with the ensign goes at the stern, the small one at the bow with a pennant) are stained + varnished ramin dowel with brass fittings. The bow staff in particular is rather vulnerable to damage, so I made both removable with a very secure fitting. As well as the brass rod which fits into a hole in the deck, there's also a short brass tube on the deck which fits inside the ferrule at the bottom of the flag staff.





The finished flagpoles on the model. It may be based on an American motor yacht, but it still flies the Red Ensign! The flag is cloth and sewed onto a halyard tied to the brass eyebolts on the staff. The bow pennant hasn't been added yet. Another flag will fly from the mast, when the latter is complete.
Logged

martno1fan

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2,506
  • Location: Blackpool

As i said it looks great and your attention to detail is admirable, i can appreciate the work thats gone into this as i was a boat builder for some years from school and spent many years working on yachts from wood to steel and anything in between.Im now back to building boats but now theyre smaller,well if you call 5 ft powerboats small lol.Keep up the good work
mart
Logged

DickyD

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9,497
  • www.srcmbc.org.uk
  • Location: Southampton UK
    • SRCMBC

Excellent job Edward it looks very impressive and well worth the effort.

Did you say this was going to be a 1960s yacht ?
Logged
Richard Solent Radio Controlled Model Boat Club http://www.srcmbc.org.uk

Harbottle

  • Guest

That's a nice makeover you've done. Isn't Black Knight the commitee boat of the New York Yacht Club? They have one very similar.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews

That's a nice makeover you've done. Isn't Black Knight the commitee boat of the New York Yacht Club? They have one very similar.

It definitely used to be, though I think it's now privately owned. In 2007-2009 it underwent a major restoration + repair - the restoration company (Buzzards Bay) have a lot of photos of the project on their website here: http://www.buzzardsbayyachtservices.com/blackknight.htm
There are some interesting views of the hull construction, fittings, engines etc., though not many external photos useful for modelling reference. It's surprising how much of the structure appears to have deteriorated + rotted despite the boat being very well maintained (or maybe not, considering it's been on the water for 40 years) - it looks like the restoration was definitely overdue!

Did you say this was going to be a 1960s yacht ?

"Black Knight" was actually built in 1968, but is not very typical for its period - a lot of its design is very reminiscent of pre-war boats.
I have wondered, at several points in this project, whether it would have been better to actually build it as a model of Black Knight rather than simply a freelance design inspired by it (the hull form is almost identical, and it wouldn't have been too much work to rebuild the cabin layout) - but I really don't have enough detailed reference material to build an accurate scale model in such a large scale. The advantage of my "semi-freelance" design is that whenever I get an area that I don't have references for (such as the forecastle skylight and windlass), I can improvise and adapt.




At the next stage of the build, I finally got round to finishing the forecastle skylight. Black Knight does have a skylight at this approximate location, but I couldn't find any photos or plans showing it clearly, so I based mine on the skylight fitted to "Bluebird of Chelsea" (for which I have a set of plans) - smaller, 30 years older and from the other side of the Atlantic, but in very much the same style.
Here you can see the covers and window frames fitted, made from stained plywood. Holes for the brass handles and protective rails have been drilled out.







The completed skylight, with glazing and brasswork fitted. The glazing is thick clear styrene from a plastic storage box, painted with Klear/Future for extra clarity.








The mast was next. I made the basic mast at a much earlier stage (originally it was going to house the aerial wire, but this proved a mistake - a copper tube isn't really the best place for a radio aerial; it now goes inside the wheelhouse). Here's the completed (other than some small fittings) and unpainted assembly. It's modelled on Black Knight's mast, though, as the cabin arrangement on my model is different, and the main mast therefore much further aft, I won't be adding the small "mizzen" mast fitted to Black Knight. The boom is used for boat handling (there are no davits).

The mast itself is made from copper tube and a wooden paintbrush handle, and is removable, fitting into a brass tube on the deck (all rigging will be detachable on the finished model, using hooks + eyelets). The boom is another brush handle. The yard/spreader is styrene sheet reinforced with brass; commercial fittings were used for the eyebolt and the boom gooseneck fitting. The masthead light (a Billings brass fitting) is non-functioning, I couldn't think of an unobtrusive way to wire it up!
Logged

DickyD

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 9,497
  • www.srcmbc.org.uk
  • Location: Southampton UK
    • SRCMBC

Seeing as you are such a stickler for detail, a good thing, I take it you will be changing the red ensign for a later one as the one you are using at the moment was in use

during the years 1707 - 1801
Logged
Richard Solent Radio Controlled Model Boat Club http://www.srcmbc.org.uk

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews

Seeing as you are such a stickler for detail, a good thing, I take it you will be changing the red ensign for a later one as the one you are using at the moment was in use

during the years 1707 - 1801

Oops  {-) Don't know how I missed that - thanks for pointing it out. The flag set I used was originally from a Mamoli sailing ship kit. (At the time this flag was in use, it was actually the Royal Navy ensign).  I don't have another fabric Red Ensign of the right size, so the incorrect one will have to stay on for now - but I'll find a more up-to-date flag ASAP!

At least I didn't put it on upside down...
Logged

Dreadstar

  • Guest

A beautiful piece of restoration and conversion work Edward.  :-))
Logged

Bill D203

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1,974
  • not long now!!
  • Location: Sunny Stevenage

A VERY big pat on the back for the boat. It is not very different from the one I am doing up (not as good as yours)  Looking at the motor coupling in your pics it would run better if you could line it up a bit more. Or maybe you all ready have.
Still Well done a lovely model.
Logged
Roll On Mayday. Im off for a pint.   How Much!!!   WHEN do you need it!     No dear!    Yes dear??   Wot Now???  soon to be EX Chairman SMBC

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews

It is not very different from the one I am doing up (not as good as yours) Looking at the motor coupling in your pics it would run better if you could line it up a bit more. Or maybe you all ready have.

Looks interesting - I wonder if this could be another Vic Smeed design? He was a very prolific designer of motor launch/yacht/cruiser type plans (quite a few of which are still available). The hull construction looks quite unorthodox, though, so maybe it was a scratchbuilt design.

The motor/prop shaft setup in my model is the best I could do with what I had available at the time - it isn't great, but still runs reasonably smoothly and isn't noisy when on the water. Changing it would require fitting a new prop shaft, which I'm not very keen to do.

More progress:



The running lights and searchlight will be illuminated with LEDs, on a seperate circuit powered by one or two AA batteries. The fittings themselves are commercial parts.





The painted fittings installed on the wheelhouse roof. LEDs are fitted but not yet wired up.






The main radar goes on a "mast" at the front of the wheelhouse roof. I made the whole assembly from a mixture of laminated styrene sheet, scrap sprue, and plastic washers left from kits. The radar itself will not be motorised, but it's removeable and fitted in place with a long brass pin which goes inside the mast, so it would theoretically be possible to motorise it in future.



A smaller radar is fitted to the mast, along with another aerial of some kind in a disc-shaped housing. Recent (post-restoration) photos of Black Knight show the small radar has been replaced by a larger drum-shaped housing, probably containing a new radar.








The rest of the fittings (radar, antenna housings, RDF loop, air horns) on the wheelhouse roof. These are a mixture of scratchbuilding and adapted commercial parts. The fittings, and their layout, are based fairly closely on those on Black Knight.
The tiny thing in the middle is a brass eyebolt for one of the forward mast stays.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews




I couldn't find any photos or detailed plans of the windlass on Black Knight, so I just looked up "anchor windlass" on Google, and scratchbuilt this based on the largest yacht/cruiser types available. These usually seem to have most of the working parts hidden away inside a streamlined casing, with only the drums and in some cases a mooring cleat exposed.
The main casing is made from thick (2mm) styrene sheet, with the edges carved + sanded. Drums are resin castings (from Mobile Marine Model's "bargain bin" at the November show!).






The anchor (12cm/4.5" long) is a white metal kit which I picked up cheaply on eBay a couple of years ago. I think it was originally from a Metcalf Mouldings lifeboat kit, but is just the right size for my model. Large motor yachts often seem to carry both a conventional "fisherman" anchor like this, and a Danforth or CQR anchor (presumably for different mooring conditions), so I'll probably add one of the latter later on.

The second photo shows the painted anchor, it's painted matt black acrylic over a sprayed black enamel undercoat, with drybrushed graphite paint and a burnt umber oil wash to give a subtle rusty metallic look.








The completed windlass and anchor in place on deck. A chain pipe (metal eyelet) has also been added.











The painted mast in place on the model. It's painted the same colour as the funnel, Revell acrylic "Sand". Rigging will be added later - as the mast is removable, all of the rigging lines will be permanently attached at the mast end, and removable at the deck end, via brass hooks + eyebolts.
Logged

Edward Pinniger

  • Full Mayhemer
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 531
  • Location: Berkshire, UK
    • Plastic Ship Kit Previews



I finally managed to find some 1/18 scale lifebelts at the Beale Park show last month. They have the standard moulded plastic ropes which I thought looked a bit unconvincing in this scale size (even if painted well) so I decided to try replacing them with real "rope"!



The moulded ropes were removed and the belts painted white + red. I painted them overall white first as this makes a very good undercoat for red!





The line is held in place by the 4 rope bindings around the belt.





The completed belts in place on the model.

Not much left to do now - rigging is next, followed by the two "ship's boats".
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up