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Author Topic: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework  (Read 8411 times)

montessa315

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Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« on: March 09, 2013, 06:23:02 PM »

 Well, as previously stated in my build of the Assurance Class tug, I lost all interest in building.  So, to try and remedy that I thought a couple of smaller builds might help out.
 
One of those that I purchased was the Hobby Engine Southampton tug.  I know it has been about for a long time, but comes highly recommended on a regular basis for a RTR boat.  Although improvements/modifications could be made.
 
I planned for mine to look different from the start and to upgrade the electrics as other people had previously done.
 
To keep it as a casual fun build, I did not want to create a build log, but did take some pictures during the conversion, so have now decided to show what I did and the final outcome as I could not find that much information in the way of other complete logs.  But that could very well just be me not looking properly or most people keeping it as it is.
 
So, to start, I purchased the boat back on 23rd January 2013 and received it next day, thanks to Howes Models.
 
First thing was to check everything was in the box and what there was.
The boat, with stand, 7.2 volt 800mAh NiMH battery, tyres, wall charger (not shown), cord and 27 MHz Am 2 channel stick radio.












 The battery was charged, batteries put in the transmitter and everything checked to make sure all was working okay.
 
Everything working as it should.  Fourteen screws removed from the deck and it was starting to come apart.
 
 
Alan……………
 


 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 06:26:41 PM »

 Right, with the deck removed, I took 3 pictures to show where all the small deck fittings are placed, as I wanted to remove them all to make the re-spray easier.
 

 

 

 
All the outer deck small fittings removed quite easily with a pair of pliers, without any external damage being done.  But a few of them did break and leave half of the stem in the holes.  These holes were easily re-drilled to size and enough of a stem was left on the fittings to enable re-assembly.
 
The deck with all fittings removed.
 

 
It was at this point that the bow showed up as being out of alignment.
 

 
But a couple of small pieces of sheet plastic glued on held in its correct position, which is noticeable in a later picture.
 
To remove the small locker at the front that acts as a latch for the cabins, I used a dremel to cut off the sealed box under the deck so the locker could be unscrewed and removed.
 

 
 
 
Alan……………….
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 06:31:03 PM »

 The battery/radio tray was removed from the hull along with the receiver/esc.  I am replacing these with my own radio of a Spektrum 2.4 GHz wheel type.
 
The hull interior showing tray removed and motors still to be removed.
 

 
The hull stripped clean of motors, drive assemblies and rudders.
 

 
So, next was to re-spray the hull.  I decided to keep the bottom the same colour as original.  Masked up appropriately and the main colour sprayed.
 

 
The deck was also re-sprayed.
 

 
New name decals were made and put on.  The deck and hull after all spraying was completed were given a couple of coats of matt clear.  Then just placed together to check everything was okay.
 

 

 

 
 
Alan………………
 
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 06:38:44 PM »


Very good!  :-))
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2013, 07:29:58 PM »

 Thank you Martin.



Time had come to start re-assembling.  The motors were refitted with new wiring, prop shafts greased and refitted.
 

 
The original props were re-used but O-rings were fitted.  Original rudders refitted.
 

 
I missed taking pictures of the electronics.
But the original tray was refitted.  2 off Mtronik 15 amp ESC’s wired in and a rudder mixer was installed, all on the original forward tray.
The original rudder connections and servo was re-used, but a new connecting rod made to work from the top leg of the servo connector and in different holes to give more rudder throw.
 
A new battery holding box was made for a 7.2 volt 6 cell NiMH battery and glued into the hull at the back.  I had to fit it at a slight angle to give the rudder servo room to operate.
 

 
Most of the fittings and bollards from the deck that were originally black, I left as the same colour, but gave them a coat of matt clear, which took away the plastic look.  Also re-sprayed the locker for the cabin latch.
 

 
All the electrics were bench tested and working fine, even the rudder mixer.
 
The major fittings on the deck were fitted and the deck was re-fitted to the hull using the original seal and some grease.
 
The picture shows the battery access through the rear hatch.
 



I wanted to keep the forward watertight cover under the cabins, so decided to fit the two on/off switches from the ESC’s into the cover itself for easier access.  Not fully watertight any more, but would help.
 

 
 
Alan……………..
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2013, 07:35:10 PM »

 For the back of the tug, I had already planned to have some kind of raised hatch cover, and was going to fit it to the original cover with a small locker located over the latch button.  But the new battery box was in the way of the latch button so the rear cover would not fit.  I thought of turning the cover around and cutting out for it to fit as I had seen elsewhere, but decided to discard altogether and go a different way.
 
So a coaming was fitted around the hatch opening.
 

 
A hatch cover made and sprayed.
 

 

 
A wood grating was made.
 

 
A couple of access hatches made and painted to mirror the cabin locker latch in colour, and the rear hatch cover is complete.
 

 
The hatch cover height was purposely made so the hook when rotated back had a paper thin gap, so stops the cover from lifting off.
 

 
Off to process some more of the pictures, then I’ll get some more of the rework posted.
 
 
Alan………………..
 
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2013, 07:52:21 PM »

hi alan
now that is looking realy good  :-)) i have the southampton as well i have converted to 2 escs and a 6v 4ah battery.
im thinking of  repainting it as well.
great job mate will be watching for more posts on this lol
regards
mick
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2013, 10:12:52 PM »

montessa315 ....I do like your choice of coffee [43 beans  {-)  in every cup] ....oh & the rework - build is pretty good too  O0 .....Derek
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2013, 11:05:19 PM »

Thanks Mick.  Go for the repaint, I found most of the small parts were just a push fit or had just enough glue on them so they didn't wobble loose.  So the strip down was not hard and made it very easy to repaint.  Just take your time getting the fittings off.  There were a couple I couldn't remove.


Derek,  I'm being cheated, only getting 41 beans in every cup   :}    Must remember not to use that particular jar though as its full of car screen wash.  Oh, and thanks.


Alan..............
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2013, 11:08:23 PM »

 The next thing I did was to water test the tug in the bath and ballast it out.  Because of the batteries in the back some weight was added to the front.
I then managed to get it onto the lake and try it out.  Went great. 
Turned on the spot with rudder control only and still turned with control under power.  The motors were not responding exactly the same at very low revs, which was a lot more noticeable in reverse, and would not reverse in a straight line.  But, still very happy with the manoeuvrability.  At a standstill it was sitting on the waterline nice and even, but tended to nose dive a bit under power, so have removed the weight in the front and will see what it is like the next time I get it on the water.
Checked the insides after testing and bone dry.
 
Happy that it is seaworthy, I carried on with the cabins.
 
The cabins as original.
 

 
The cabins totally stripped into bits.
 

 

 

 

 
The only parts I could not remove from the bottom cabin were the 2 off outer deck lights.  I was hoping to fit LED’s into these, but did not want to break them,  so left them on as original.
 
 
Alan…………….
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2013, 11:11:28 PM »

 The bottom cabin was sprayed, decals fitted and details picked out.  I did also fit some windows in the bottom cabin.
 

 

 

 

 
The exhaust stacks were sprayed and had decals placed on them.  I also drilled out the end of the exhaust outlets.
 

 
All the small parts were primed and sprayed black in the end, except for the 2 off valves which I picked out detail in different colours.
Primed small parts
 

 
 
Alan……………..
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 11:14:14 PM »

 The front steps to the top cabin I wanted to remove, so preceded to make a solid barrier to cover where the steps entered the top railings.  Almost finished.
 

 
The top cabin floor in primer.
 

 
The top cabin in primer.
 

 
I left the cabin desk in its original colours, just adding some simple decals to the instrument panels and coating in a matt clear.
 

 
The top cabin in its main colour, the inside was sprayed black as I read it somewhere that they had a lot of glare in the cabin when a light was fitted, hoping the black would stop the glare.  The seats were left in their original colour and just had a coat of matt clear.
 

 
The window frames on the top cabin were painted, the roof was sprayed white, the internals of the top cabin were re-assembled and the two cabins refitted together.  The railings were sprayed and refitted.  Later pictures will show the final finish.
 
 
Alan……………
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2013, 11:17:32 PM »

 I wanted working lights on this model, so the main mast was the first thing to be tackled.
The first thing was to remove the support ribbing from the back of the mast to leave a nice channel.
 

 
I then sliced off the original moulded in lamp, drilled two holes in the bracket top and super glued on a 3mm LED.  Then drilled two holes in the mast through to the back.  I cut the LED legs very short, soldered wires onto them, fed the wires through the holes to the back of the mast and bent the LED legs backwards towards the mast.
 

 
I done this with all 3 lights and the top anchor light, all the wires fed down the back of the mast.
 

 
All LED’s fitted.
 

 
The back of the mast then had a small piece of sheet plastic glued onto it to cover up the wiring.
 

 
The LED’s had a small area masked up then the whole mast was sprayed.
Finished mast and LED’s lit up.
 

 
 
Alan………………….
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2013, 11:25:07 PM »

 The original mast for the rear lights I did not like the look of, and was not of a shape that was going to make it possible to fit LED’s on.
 
So, make a new mast.  I made it out of box section to mirror the main mast and made up the light brackets to also match.  The LED’s were fitted the same way as the main mast, but the wires were run down the middle of the box section instead.  The mistake I made was gluing on the top cover of the mast before fitting the LED’s.  Couldn’t get the wires down the box section, so had to cut the top off and re-glue afterwards.
The only pictures I took were off the made mast without the LED’s.
 

 

 
The original spotlight already has an LED fitted in it, although it is red and 5mm in size.  I only had 3mm ultra bright white LED’s, so made a small collar out of aluminium tube and fitted the 3mm ultra bright LED.  The top cabin, bottom cabin and the back exterior of the bottom cabin also had LED’s fitted.  The port/starboard navigation lights were also changed for LED’s.
 
The original plan was to run the light wires down inside the exhaust stacks, which was very easy to do.  So the roof was fitted with all the wiring coming down the stacks, then I realised I couldn’t get the wiring back into the front of the bottom cabin where I wanted to connect everything up.
 
A quick change of plan and a plastic tube was fitted through the floor of the top cabin to run all the wiring through.
 

 
In the front of the bottom cabin a micro switch and small servo was fitted so the lights could be operated from the transmitter.
 

 
All the resistors were soldered to a bit of strip board with a 2 way header pin for the battery to connect to.  I’m using a separate 6 volt flat pack receiver battery for the light power.
 

 

 
The strip board has been fitted to the servo/switch bracket and a battery holder made for the battery, all within the front of the bottom cabin.  That way I only need to run one wire set into the boat for the servo.
 

 
Finally all the LED wires and switch are soldered onto the board.
 

 
 
Alan……………….
 
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2013, 12:07:05 AM »

YUK..........I see the BLUE fluid in the 43 beans glass jar........... :embarrassed: ....... that would taste terrible........[please excuse me using a Moderators color]  {:-{  just trying to highlight the contents of the coffee jar  %%
All of the paint work appears crisp  :-))  & not over done [not too thick] ......are you using automotive aerosols? or an air brush?.............. ..................
As your build progresses could we see some images of the drive system please......Derek
 
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2013, 12:26:28 PM »


All of the paint work appears crisp  :-))  & not over done [not too thick] ......are you using automotive aerosols? or an air brush?.............. ..................
As your build progresses could we see some images of the drive system please......Derek
 


All the paintwork is airbrushed.  The primer I use is an Alclad 2 Laquer primer.  By using 2 to 3 thin coats with 1/2 hour between coats I have not yet had a problem with paint reaction, even over acrylic paint (as long as it had dried over night).  But always to a test spray on an unobstusive part first if I do not know what the original paint is.
The colour is normally Vallejo Model Air Acrylic paint to which I add 1/2 dozen drops of Windsor & Newton acrylic flow improver per bottle.
For the clear coats I use either Johnsons Klear floor polish and Tamiya Flat base to create a matt coat, or Alclad 2 Lacquer Klear Kotes.
I have got 2 airbrushes, 1 with a 0.2mm nozzle for fine work and 1 with a 0.4mm nozzle for the larger area's.  The larger nozzle will give me about an 1 1/2" spray width.
It can take a bit of time with the larger hulls, but I have full control over the paint thickness and can keep it thin and even.
As some some might recognize from the type of paints that I use, that plastic model kits are something that I have done a few off.  Especially usung the Alclad 2 Laquer paints for metal finishes.  As can be seen below.



The rework itself was not originally intended to be done as a log, so I only took a limited amount of pictures, all of which I have used so far.  I have actually finished the job complete this weekend on the boat, then decided there should be enough pictures to give a vague idea of what I did in a log.

If you let me know which parts of the drive you want to see, I might be able to blow up that part from an original picture or if I can see it through the hatches will gladly take another picture.
It would not be a very simple job to remove the deck again as all the screws have been painted and some screw holes have been covered for which I will explain shortly.


Alan..............
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2013, 01:01:03 PM »

Awsome little mod!


Dan
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 01:11:44 PM »

Great conversion, top job  :-))
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2013, 02:48:09 PM »

Dan & Adam thank you very much.

 Right, with all the LED’s fitted and wired up in the front cabin it was time to finally glue the cabin roof on.  But before doing that I had a helmsman to glue in.  I had previously already pinned the feet of the figure and drilled the holes in the cabin floor, and test fitted the figure.  Also I was not happy with so much blank space by the instruments panels, so just added a little something to fill the gap.
Original test fitting of figure.
 

 

 
Now it was time to fit the cabins, route the servo lead into the boat and double check the lights.   
 
OOPs.       :(( :((
 
Miscalculated with the measurements.  The light servo arm was connecting with the hand knob that holds the waterproof hatch down.  Took the waterproof hatch into consideration to start with, just did not think about the latch handle that holds it down.
 
Okay, no problem.  The hatch hole has got a built in coaming round it, so just remove the waterproof hatch, fit a bracket for the two on/off switches and leave it at that.  The bracket is glued in at the moment, but would not be too hard to remove, so at a later date I might remove it and refit it with some screws.  Or will have to if I need good access through the hatch.
 

 
So, the rest of the crew decided the boat was now seaworthy enough to come aboard.
First the captain, complete with mug of drink. ( 43 beans in every cup).
 

 
The grumpy one about to hang on for dear life.
 

 
And the disillusioned one with a crowbar in his hand.  (I’m sure he’s waiting for the seagulls).
 

 
With full crew aboard a full light test could be completed.
 
From the front.
 

 
From the back.
 

 

 Alan…………………..
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2013, 02:54:05 PM »

 With all bits back on, it is nearly completed.  I’m now at the stage that it was in when it came out of the box, just a different colour and a couple of small mods.
 

 

 

 
Half of the screw holes that hold the deck to the hull were left open on the original.  So I used some aluminium tubing that fitted in the holes to the best fit I could get and placed some cold form rivets into the aluminium tube.  These were painted with a coat of matt clear.  They are glued into the holes with a small amount of white PVA glue to hold them place, but should pull out quite easily if needed.
 
Some of the original tyres supplied with the boat were rubbed down with some fine wet n dry to remove the shine and tied on.  A tow rope added and the left over rope tied round the front bollard.
 
As far as I’m concerned it is now finished.
6 weeks of work written up in two days.
 

 

 

 

 

 
It has not been back on the water yet since initial testing. That is planned for next weekend, and hopefully I’ll try to get some more pictures.
 
Any questions or criticisms please say out aloud and I’ll answer them the best I can.
 
Hope you have enjoyed the little there is of it.
 
 
Alan………………………
 
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2013, 10:54:29 PM »

Alan what a fantastic job you have done.
thanks for sharing your work with us it just goes to prove all Southampton's don't have to look the same :-)) lol
time to get the screw driver out and the paint
regards
mick
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #21 on: March 11, 2013, 12:32:18 AM »

i was about 2 miles away from buying one this past weekend
but the wife called and i had to get home :((
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montessa315

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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 06:24:25 PM »

i was about 2 miles away from buying one this past weekend
but the wife called and i had to get home :((

There's always going to be next weekend...... ok2


Cheers Mick.   Look forward to seeing what you do with yours.


Alan................
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 10:30:26 PM »

Wonderful job Alan, let's have some photo's " on the water " please,
 
cheers  Vic.
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Re: Hobby Engine Southampton Tug Rework
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2013, 09:06:05 PM »

Finally managed to get the boat on the water and actually have my camera with me.

So just a few pictures on the water...........



















Alan................
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