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Author Topic: Billing Boats Calypso  (Read 7784 times)

neilesmith

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Billing Boats Calypso
« on: August 20, 2016, 07:15:34 PM »

I first posted on the beginners section as Calypso is my first radio control boat & I needed advice which was given & proved helpful so I decided to share my experience here. If Calypso is a representative example of Billing kits then I shall certainly not buy another. It's a shocker, especially at the price, so I rather regret my choice but it's not the first time I have had to make a silk purse from a sows ear so I'd better get cracking. At the start they suggest checking all the parts. Well DON'T not if you value your sanity. I spent over an hour trying to find just one part shown on a drawing & in the parts list but nothing like it anywhere while at the same time I have a pile of wood strips with dimensions that are nowhere in the parts list. Drawings of the laser cut sheets don't match the actual sheets (laser cutting is great but the sheets are all warped, can you iron plywood?) major parts don't match the plans & the instructions are pathetic. I could go on but lets stop being negative & sort it out.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2016, 07:28:06 PM »

I am still "getting my head round" the project & waiting for the famous book to come from Amazon so there will not be much to report for a while. Still I have had a success with a task I thought rather daunting, trimming the hull. A great opportunity to make a real dogs breakfast 'till I saw a mention of special scissors on another forum & tracked some down here: http://www.modelsport.co.uk/index.php?search=1&search_string=core+rc+scissors&x=12&y=11
I bought the curved & the straight but you only need the curved as counter-intuitively they are better for cutting straight lines. So the hull is trimmed with just a little sanding to do.
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phil_parker

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2016, 08:08:18 PM »

As this is your first boat kit, what you are finding is that there is a gulf between a plastic kit and a model boat.

Our hobby is very small and many kits require a lot of modelling work to complete them. Trimming the hull back is a stadard job and as you say, it can go wrong.

Calypso is a very old kit and a complicated boat - probably not idea for a first model when there are a lot of techniques to pick up. However, I'm sure there will be plenty of help and support here. It would be a good idea to see if there is a model boat club near you where you can chat to others, there may even be someone who has built this kit in the past!
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2016, 08:23:51 PM »

I am still "getting my head round" the project & waiting for the famous book to come from Amazon so there will not be much to report for a while. Still I have had a success with a task I thought rather daunting, trimming the hull. A great opportunity to make a real dogs breakfast 'till I saw a mention of special scissors on another forum & tracked some down here: http://www.modelsport.co.uk/index.php?search=1&search_string=core+rc+scissors&x=12&y=11
I bought the curved & the straight but you only need the curved as counter-intuitively they are better for cutting straight lines. So the hull is trimmed with just a little sanding to do.


I have several sets of those scissors for prepping RC car bodyshells.  A quick hint tho, Don't use them to cut any other type of material as the blades will loose their edge very quickly
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2016, 08:35:06 PM »

As this is your first boat kit, what you are finding is that there is a gulf between a plastic kit and a model boat.

Our hobby is very small and many kits require a lot of modelling work to complete them. Trimming the hull back is a stadard job and as you say, it can go wrong.

Calypso is a very old kit and a complicated boat - probably not idea for a first model when there are a lot of techniques to pick up. However, I'm sure there will be plenty of help and support here. It would be a good idea to see if there is a model boat club near you where you can chat to others, there may even be someone who has built this kit in the past!

Not quite my 1st boat , 1st r/c one. Sadly my nearest club is further than I am prepared to travel.
See my previous efforts in 1/90 scale
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2016, 08:36:08 PM »


I have several sets of those scissors for prepping RC car bodyshells.  A quick hint tho, Don't use them to cut any other type of material as the blades will loose their edge very quickly

Oh good tip, thanks,
Neil
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2016, 09:06:32 PM »

No probs


Looking forward to this build as its one kit I would love to build one day
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 07:20:32 PM »

So the bulkhead part 6 is 6mm too narrow & the base part 5 is too wide & will not fit between the shaft tubes as shown on the plan. Netleyned posted about a Calypso capsizing & sinking today & Shipmate60 suggested I omit the base to get the weight of the motors as low as possible so that will save me a bit of trimming. Thanks Bob
Neil.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 07:27:38 PM »

As soon as I saw this I knew it had to be improved & sure enough came across a chap who had his rudder come adrift & also ran into another problem I had foreseen, access for maintenance. As I have plans to build extra animations into the model I am hoping to devise a scheme whereby the entire superstructure can be removed from the hull so any advice will be welcome.
Neil.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 07:33:20 PM »

A couple of servo arms from my spares box. I ran a 2.5mm tap through them so when they are screwed on to the 3mm shaft they are a really tight fit & a locknut just to make sure. Servo placement & linkage will be determined later this was just to try it out.
Neil.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 07:38:44 PM »

If I am going to succeed in making the superstructure removable the hull moulding needs to maintain the right shape so the stern has its curve corrected with a piece of scrap ply.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 07:45:12 PM »

There's something going on in this picture which you can't see. I'll tell you about it later (if it works)......

What can be seen is a major problem where the forward bulkhead is too high. Other builders have encountered this but have not published what caused or how to overcome this fault. As the cabin structure is the same height as the bulkhead this is a serious error which I need to investigate.

Neil
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2016, 07:31:43 PM »

It didn't work so will remain hidden.

The other problem is hard to figure out without an accurate plan of the ship. I'm hoping there will be one in the book I have ordered; "Jacques Cousteau's "Calypso" which I am waiting for as it is coming from the USA. My impression is that the hull moulding is about 3.5mm short in height for the bow section. If anyone knows better please enlighten me. In the mean time there is much else to be done. Despite many years as an active IPMS member I have never done a vac-form model so that is going to be interesting.

Neil.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2016, 09:29:51 AM »

So I'm marking around the parts with an indelible pen & cutting out with the scissors ready for sanding.
Also in this picture I have started preparing the planks for the decks. I decided 60mm would be about the right length for full size planks & as with HMS Victory am running round each plank with a soft pencil to simulate caulking.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2016, 09:41:11 AM »

A bowl of water with a piece of plate glass for a nice flat surface & a sheet of wet & dry. What could possibly go wrong? Well nothing at first, using 240 grade seem to work well & the funnel parts came out perfectly which made me overconfident so I went a bit too far with the submersible & need to use some filler. Nothing new here but my squadron signal white putty seems a bit hard & brittle with this plastic so I have ordered some Milliput epoxy putty which I hope will be more suitable. Some parts like the helicopter floats & the RIB I have decided are better glued together & sanded around the join.
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #15 on: August 25, 2016, 09:52:39 AM »

At the start of this thread I asked (tongue in cheek) if you can iron warped plywood. No one replied so I tried it. Of course you can, but it doesn't solve the problem. My solution is to dilute PVA glue 50:50 with water, liberally paint it on both sides of the offending article & then using clamps, weights, & wedges set it 100% opposite the warp & leave for 24 hours. In the case of the largest part I have also glued stiffener strips to the underside. It works & hopefully will have the added benefit of sealing the wood ready for sanding & painting.
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mermod

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2016, 10:38:31 AM »

Nice to see someone using common sense and not just following Billings's instructions blindly, 1st rule of billings, throw away the shaft's, props and tiller arms and buy better ones.
My first Billing's boat was the Flying Fish, second was the Bankert and third was the Smit Nederland, I don't think I will do that again :) it's been 25 years since I built the Flying Fish for my dad, he's now 88 and still looks at it and say's hey son remember how useless those instructions were.
Not sure if it has been mentioned but please thoroughly scuff up anywhere you plan to glue anything to the hull.


Phill
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2016, 02:17:49 PM »

Nice to see someone using common sense and not just following Billings's instructions blindly, 1st rule of billings, throw away the shaft's, props and tiller arms and buy better ones.
My first Billing's boat was the Flying Fish, second was the Bankert and third was the Smit Nederland, I don't think I will do that again :) it's been 25 years since I built the Flying Fish for my dad, he's now 88 and still looks at it and say's hey son remember how useless those instructions were.
Not sure if it has been mentioned but please thoroughly scuff up anywhere you plan to glue anything to the hull.


Phill
Thanks Phill,

I think you are being a bit generous describing a few childish sketches as "instructions".
The tiller setup was obviously a no no but as a novice I don't see what is wrong with the shafts, can you explain please?
Scuffing is good advice. I am using cyano to glue wood to plastic & you have to get placement right 1st time 'cause it's not going to budge when it's stuck.

Neil
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #18 on: August 25, 2016, 02:24:18 PM »

Won't be any further progress today as the weather is perfect for flying! Tata for now.....
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #19 on: August 25, 2016, 07:07:14 PM »

The Milliput has arrived. If anyone has not used this product it is well worth getting to know. I even used it at work so up to a few years back if you had seen an AC130H (Hercules gunship) it would have had some of this in it.
The little helicopter ( Blade MSR) is sadly a bit too big for Calypso, it would be a great challenge to land it on the boat.

Neil.
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essex2visuvesi

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #20 on: August 25, 2016, 07:16:34 PM »

The Milliput has arrived. If anyone has not used this product it is well worth getting to know. I even used it at work so up to a few years back if you had seen an AC130H (Hercules gunship) it would have had some of this in it.
The little helicopter ( Blade MSR) is sadly a bit too big for Calypso, it would be a great challenge to land it on the boat.

Neil.


MSR is a fun heli, I have the MSRx which is a bit more of a handful


What are the other ones?
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #21 on: August 25, 2016, 07:55:59 PM »

Yes the MSRx was a bit too lively for my liking. I had a couple but sold them. The scale jobs are all based on T-Rex 450 mechanics with the obvious mods.

Neil
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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2016, 10:53:33 PM »

Thanks Phill,


The tiller setup was obviously a no no but as a novice I don't see what is wrong with the shafts, can you explain please?


Neil


I'm not sure what is included in their kits these days but they used to have a 3mm shaft and plastic props that had little effect i reverse, changing to a 4mm shaft means you can use brass props which are way more effective and you have heaps to choose from.


Phill
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #23 on: August 26, 2016, 01:23:18 PM »


I'm not sure what is included in their kits these days but they used to have a 3mm shaft and plastic props that had little effect i reverse, changing to a 4mm shaft means you can use brass props which are way more effective and you have heaps to choose from.


Phill
Ah OK, the shafts are now 4mm but the props are still plastic. I'll go with them to start with & maybe change later on.
Interesting that you say they had little effect in reverse as marine propellers are much less efficient when going astern but this can be useful as at low speed the "paddlewheel" effect is enhanced which can be used to advantage when your boat has a single shaft & no bow thruster. On one occasion I used this technique to get around an obstacle & into a tight mooring space. Another boater actually ran up the towpath to ask my crew (wife) "how did he do that?" My hat didn't fit for weeks after.
I'm looking forward to comparing model boating to the real thing although twin screws are a different ball game to what I had.
Thanks for the reply.

Neil 
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neilesmith

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Re: Billing Boats Calypso
« Reply #24 on: August 26, 2016, 04:07:10 PM »

An update on the vac-form parts. A couple of elastic bands to stop the wet & dry flapping about in the water made life easier but it is still a pretty tedious job. Don't follow my bright idea of gluing the float halves before sanding as, of course you end up sanding away the contact point so they are back as 2 halves. With the RIB I left the join proud to represent a rubbing strip.
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