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Author Topic: River Ferry  (Read 625 times)

GG

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River Ferry
« on: February 14, 2022, 03:37:08 pm »

For my New Year build, first of 2022, I slipped into "economy mode" and planned to use up some of the lumber I'd saved when dismantling old furniture and was now in danger of leaving little room in the garage for a car.  To be honest, the term "lumber" does the quality of most of this timber a great disservice.  It's often clean with a smooth surface, perfectly straight and nice square edges,in other words, far too good to discard.


The only downside might be the thickness of some sections, no problem if you are into "Bread and Butter" style hull construction and don't mind some arduous cutting and carving.  But, to make life easier, I tend to build something where I can use a simple angular hull without producing a visually offensive model.


I'd done this before making a "Car Float", a simple barge that US Railroad companies would use to move locos and rolling stock around on rivers and in harbours.  Ideal, I thought, for my US Railroad tug?


This time, something powered and a little different was challenge.  In the end a model based on a small vehicle and passenger river ferry was the most tempting.  You know, the type often used to connect roads on either side of a river which is too wide, fast or deep to ford yet finances, location or traffic couldn't justify the cost of a bridge.


The types that appealed most had "Z" drives mounted on either side of the hull.  A sensible idea on the full size vessels, good performance and, with the drive being able to swing up and out of the water, ideal for maintenance or repairs.  But, a "xxxxx" to come up with a simple, reliable and economical (the latter perhaps not being a problem if you have elaborate facilities unlike me!) way to duplicate it at this scale (about 1/30).


This proved to be "the challenge" of this model.  Lots of ideas sketched out and a few tried but with no success.  I then resorted to the creative modellers fall back option of cheating and using a direct drive which was disguised as a "Z" drive.


The hull's basic structure was made from timber hull sides and crosspieces, with plywood sheets for the bottom panels.  All joined together, in a no nonsense style, with glue and nails.  The deck was a little different, not being a structural element, it just had to be strong enough to keep its shape.  Some thick (about 3 mm) cardboard (also saved from a piece of furniture) was used for the deck.


Early testing on the garden pond, before deck and details were added (just in case I was deluded), showed that the model needed an operating weight of 8 lb to keep the propellers from sucking air down.  The two RE 385 motors with a six cell Nimh battery pack would give it quite lively performance.  But perhaps most importantly, my skill at model handling using two transmitter sticks in "tank steering" fashion needed more practice.


Completing the model was a pleasurable activity, I was definitely in the semi-scale mode so items only had to look OK and in proportion to each other.  The two lorries are actually from a supermarkets toy shelves. Toys they may be but after removing any obvious toy features, giving them a dirty working appearance with light sprays of paint and they look fine, much better than I could have scratch built them!

Proper sailing trials confirmed the models excellent maneuverability, precise docking and rotating on the spot being easily achieved.  They also revealed that my "tank steering" skills took a while to become re-learnt and not to get confused as to which way the model would move when given ahead or astern commands.

Overall, good fun to build along with a little more learnt about this hobby.  It was also nice to realise that, apart from the two lorries, it had cost me nothing extra, all parts from the piles that Mrs Guest often refers to as "more junk..!!!"

Glynn Guest[size=78%] [/size]


   
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Big Ada

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2022, 03:49:02 pm »

That is really nice Glynn.


Len.
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JoJoElbe

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2022, 04:43:24 pm »

really nice ferry, 'almost' perfect  :-))
just add a few people  :} Best,Joerg
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2022, 04:49:01 pm »


Quite charming!  :-)

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GG

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2022, 11:11:37 am »

Hummm....????
Martin,
         Thanks for the comments but the use of the word "charming" had me puzzled at first.  I did look up it's definition and find that it is perfectly acceptable and (hopefully) correct.  It's just not one that fits naturally into my Engineering background.


Still, quite a few words and phrases that I find "odd" have entered this hobby in the past couple of years.


I'm also grateful that people appreciate that an economical and simple to scratch-built model (which can sometimes be a pain to design) doesn't have to look crude, if not offensive and perform indifferently.  Even better if it was made from what others might regard as second-rate or waste materials.


So, thanks to you all for the encouragement to pull some more stuff out of my stash....!
Regards,
            Glynn 

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Tug Fanatic

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2022, 03:09:59 pm »


I see the beginnings of a Damen Multicat.
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RST

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2022, 09:47:06 pm »

I wholehartedley support Glynns type of model here!  My very diminutive Meercat multicat worked great until I relised a small but critical error in construction which is where I stopped* but with no rudders and just a strange mix on my TX it worked great out on the water.  I could have set it to tank steering with no mods apart from plugging into a different channel and changing a switch on the TX.  (It was very controllable and manouverable as it was)...

*water set-in and I've yet to correct.

Rich
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chum444

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Re: River Ferry
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2022, 12:34:58 pm »

Did you post a build log of the Meercat?
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