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Author Topic: Denny SGB S302  (Read 1997 times)

BarryM

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Denny SGB S302
« on: June 23, 2007, 02:46:09 PM »

Older readers will remember the Eagle comic which, apart from Dan Dare, Luck of the Legion, Harris Tweed etc., featured stunning double-width, cutaway drawings by (I think) A E Fisher. These featured locomotives, aeroplanes, ships, cars - in fact just about anything that moved - in colour and full detail. Thus, at the age of about 14 and getting interested in model boat building, a plan of the Denny SGB 'Grey Goose' caught my eye. Using the colour spread as a guide, I built my model and installed a Mamod SE1a, single-cylinder reciprocating engine. I recall this cost the enormous sum of 1 1s. 6d and thus must have required frantic saving of pocket money to acquire. I cannot recall if the stability was ever checked prior to the maiden trip on the local pond; however, with an impressive plume of steam from the funnel, the Goose was launched, steamed in a broad arc, heeled over .....and sank.... Post-salvage, this was found to be a happy event (?) as the pond water had put out the internal fire started by the burner. (Insulation? - What insulation?) Subsequent modifications were successfull and I had many happy hours of sailing - or was it the effect of methylated spirit fumes from the burner?

Many years later, casting around for my next model boat project, I decided to return to my roots. This time the scale was 1/32 which produced a double-plank-on-frame model of LOA 4'-6" based on John Lambert's plans. S302 was chosen as the pennant number because this was the number assigned to a hull which was never constructed and thus gave the 'rivet-counters' no opportunity to pounce on the location of the bridge ashtray etc. Power is from two Monoperm Super motors driving 47mm PropShop screws via 2.5:1 home-made reduction gearboxes. The for'd 2lb QF, the aft Rolls Royce 40mm cannon and the searchlight all fully traverse; the navigation lights and searchlight illuminate and the Robbe siren unit gives a very satisfactory whoop-whoop! Apart from most of the electronics, some of the crew figures and the RR 40mm, everything else is scratch built in some two years of construction. Next project? Well I've a feeling that it's time to return to steam power but this time something bigger and better than that old Mamod SE1a!
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kayem

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Re: Denny SGB S302
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2007, 04:29:21 PM »

Older readers will remember the Eagle comic which, apart from Dan Dare, Luck of the Legion, Harris Tweed etc., featured stunning double-width, cutaway drawings by (I think) A E Fisher.


Not quite right, the man responsible for many of those Eagle cutaway drawings was Walkden Fisher, who was one of the founders of the comic. As a teenager I spent many happy hours in the large cellars of Walkden's Southport house, which was also the home of the well known Southport slot car racing club, their track was one of the best in the Country. As well as being a talented artist, Walkden was a good and kindly man, endlessly helpful to impecunious but enthusiastic young car modellers of which I was one. During race weekends, some even stayed at his home, something that would nowadays attract the attention of the Child Protection Agency, but those were innocent times, and no-one ever got 'interfered with' as papers like the News of The World used to put it, and I doubt if the prospect even entered anyones mind. Walkden also drew many covers for Vic Smeed's Model Maker magazine, which was mostly about boats and slot cars. He drew the cars, while another artist Laurie Bagley drew the marine subjects, and Walkden also contributed many car-related articles to the magazine. He also painted watercolour landscapes, one of which I saw on Antiques Roadshow fairly recently. Now here's a (small) co-incidence. In later years, Walkden was too busy to do all the Eagle centre spreads, so he used to share the work with another talented artist, one John Batchelor who lives on the south coast, only a few miles away from me. I didn't know him back then, but like Walkden John aways had an interest in modelling, and for several years he used to do most of the boat drawings for my advertising material, and he never charged me a penny for them, if only I'd got him to sign them, they might be worth a bit today. An art gallery a few doors along from Westbourne Models sells John Batchelor original paintings, mostly of WW2 aircraft, and they charge thousands for them.   
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tolnedra

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Re: Denny SGB S302
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2007, 06:28:08 PM »

Being in the right age bracket, I can remember my grandfather buying the first ever Eagle comic for me on a day trip to Brighton! More to the point, many years later, I was on a RN Gunnery Instructors' course. In those days, the Seacat system was pretty hush-hush. Our trainer told us as much as he was allowed to (remember we were being trained to teach others!) and finished the session with the information that if we needed to know any more, purchase the Eagle of such and such a date, and there in the centre spread was the complete breakdown of the Seacat missile. So much for the Official Secrets Act!

Danny
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kayem

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Re: Denny SGB S302
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2007, 06:52:56 PM »

I suspect that an Eagle centre spread of a Seacat missile would probably have been John Batchelor's work, he had a lot of useful contacts in the defence industry. Several years ago, I mentioned casually to him that I was working on a model of a WW2 Fairmile motor launch, though I didn't think to ask if he had anything useful in his vast files of photos & plans. I saw him again a couple of weeks later, and he gave me a stack of old folded plans almost a foot thick, all slightly musty original 1940s blueprints from Fairmile Marine, Cobham, Surrey, every one of them marked 'Secret & Confidential'. He told me how he'd obtained them, and asked me not to tell. I kept the most useful, and gave all the rest to John Lambert, who drooled over them. He admitted that if he'd had them when he did his Anatomy work on the Fairmile D, that book would have been even more accurate. John gave copies of some of these plans to that wonderful old chap Roy Skeate, whose model of a Fairmile D almost defies description, almost every single detail of the original construction is reproduced, even bulkhead construction and the scale double-diagonal planking. Roy and I agreed to differ on one or two of the paint colours he used, but it's truly a remarkable model, ME Exhibition gold medal winner if memory serves me correctly.
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