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Author Topic: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build  (Read 11685 times)

barriew

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Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« on: March 23, 2008, 02:05:07 pm »

I want to make it clear that this thread relates specifically to the original Caldercraft kit. I bought it unstarted from eBay, and I reckon its been in the vendors loft or somewhere for at least 10 years. The box has Caldercrafts Huddersfield address, no mention of Jotika.

At first sight the kit looked OK apart from the hull which had suffered from being stored. There was a distinct hollow each side of the keel (see photo). I have been able to partially correct this by the application of heat, but have not succeeded in getting a completely  flat  bottom.

I also had problems with locating the rear bulkhead. The cutaway in the top of the hull was not symmetrical, and the dimension given in the instructions for locating the two bulkheads didn't bear any resemblance to hull in front of me :(

I have finally got them fixed into what I think is the correct position. Strangely one of the first operations in the instructions is to fit the rudder assembly which has been completed.

I have just finished fitting the deck supports, and working out where the hatch bearers go. The deck is ready to go on, but once on I will have no access to the bows area, although the plan shows ballast in there ::). I will try to cut an access in the forward bulkhead, because I will also want access to fit working lights.

Barrie

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nhp651

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2008, 02:24:16 pm »

barrie, the indentations on the model were common on all boats from the early caldercraft puffers.I built one 20 odd years ago and remember mine having them. it doesn't really detract from the appearance of the model as most people's eyes don't lok under the boat but what is on top. And i always say to those critics,"if you can do better go away, build one and show me". enjoy the build and enjoy sailing it even more, I remember sailing mine all those years ago, and it sailed just great.neil.
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2008, 03:40:31 pm »

Neil,

I guess you are right - I am not bothered about appearances, but it did affect the fit of the bulkheads which is why I tried to correct it. I think that once I get the decks on, the build will be OK, although some of the fittings need a lot of work.

Barrie
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2008, 03:34:25 pm »

Made quite a bit of progress since the last post. Decks are on, comings round the hatch are completed, the steering servo is mounted - not sure if I can get it out again as its mounted under the bearers ;)  Fitted the bulwark cappings and the Stem post etc. I also built the main winch whilst waiting for glue to dry.

Just about ready to paint the hull, which the instructions say to do at this stage, but I'm away now for a few days.

Barrie
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2008, 10:15:34 am »

Hatch cover now completed except for the tarp.. I decided to model it fully covered - just one problem. I don't like the material they supply for the tarp. It looks too shiny, and there is a mark where the tape used to fasten it to the box has left a residue due no doubt to long storage. So, I think I will start again with plain white cotton and paint it.

Also had some problems with the operating rudder arm. The supplied white metal fitting was loose on the rod and wouldn't hold with super glue, so I made up a new one from a bit of an electrical fitting and brass strip, but I don't like it - too clumsy. Will have to think again :)

If the weather would warm up I could get outside to prime the hull, but its too cold up here :(

Barrie
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2008, 10:23:19 am »

Quote
I made up a new one from a bit of an electrical fitting and brass strip, but I don't like it - too clumsy. Will have to think again

I've found a good method is to use the brass hub from a pulley or gearwheel which is fitted with a grubscrew. Then take a bit of stiff brass strip, file a half moon in one end to match the brass hub and solder together. Drill two or three holes in the brass strip to accept the linkage from the servo. Then you have an adjustable arm that can be removed for oiling/servicing etc.

Colin
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2008, 10:42:22 am »

Colin,

Thanks - in principle that's what I did, but used a square bit of brass with a bulky screw, (not grub screw) as this is what I had available. I plan to replace with something neater and have just ordered some wheel collets.

Barrie
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2008, 10:48:20 am »

Yes, that's a good alternative. It's always a bit of a problem when you have exposed steering gear. It needs to be both robust and practical as well as looking reasonably "scaleish" I don't think white metal is a suitable material for working parts like this.  After all, it's quite likely you will "ding" the rudder at some point and if the operating arm is just glued on....

Colin
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Roger in France

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2008, 01:18:07 pm »

I agree with all that advice but would add....It is sometimes difficult to get a good purchase on a grub screw on a rudder post etc if it is way back under some decking etc. so I try to file a flat spot on the post for the grub screw if possible and add a touch of locking fluid to the grub screw before tightening it home. I would rather struggle to undo a grub screw for maintenance or repair than struggle to do it up.

Roger in France.
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2008, 03:32:21 pm »

Thanks Colin & Roger

Yes - I plan to try to file a flat if possible. Unfortunately one of the first things to be done on this model is fit the rudder assembly and its not possible to remove for later work. Also the rudder post is piano wire with a copper plating otherwise I would try to drill and pin the arm, but in situ I don't fancy my chances :(

Barrie
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2008, 03:43:34 pm »

Barrie, just remember that the supplied material for the hatch cover is actually airframe covering Solafilm material so you can fit it by heating it with a hot iron.  This has the advantages of being able to create realistic folds and creases at corners and the heat of course releases the bonding material. 

To be honest my experience of this stuff is limited so I will be having a bit of an experiment first before I commit mine to the model.  Close weave cotton sheet material may even prove a bit easier in the end, soaked with maybe watered down PVA and then sealed with a varnish afterwards.

As for the rudder post, I have the same issue in so far as the fittings are all white metal and really not up to it.  I can make a better arm but I am still left with a cast white metal rudder stock that I am not happy with but it is now in the model and I cannot do a great deal with it.  I am going to try to sleeve it with a brass tube but I don't hold out much hope and, as already suggested if the rudder takes a ding, the rudder shaft will simply twist.  That could prove challenging!!
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2008, 09:32:43 am »

Bunkerbarge

I didn't realise it was solarfilm - maybe I'll cut off a bit and experiment. I still think it looks too shiny, so would need matt varnish or something. My rudder is white metal, but the post is copper covered piano wire. I think the rudder will hold to its post, it was already fitted by Caldercraft, but only time will tell :)

Barrie
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2008, 06:56:51 pm »

I have now modified the working udder arm - It looks a little better. I think I will have to be satisfied with this. I thinned down the collet as much as I could without compromising the grub screw.

Barrie
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2008, 07:54:57 pm »

Looks good Barrie. Just paint it black or something to blend in with the adjacent hull and it will blend into the scenery. Sometimes you have to make minor compromises to have a practical working model. Once the boat is completed nobody will notice except you.

Colin
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Stavros

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2008, 10:15:14 pm »

Barrie just an observation but why don't you put a raised deck to hide the tiller arm,personally htta is what I would do,but it looks good as long that you are happy with it


Stavros
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2008, 09:19:41 am »

Stavros,

That is just the operating arm. There is a dummy arm to go over that which will partly hide it, but unfortunately that bit has to hang over the stern. I am reasonably happy now I have got rid of the ugly screw head. I think when painted to match the hull it wont show too badly.

Barrie
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Bunkerbarge

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2008, 01:25:54 pm »

Barrie, As Colin says a bit of paint and only you will know it's there.  You've now got a nice neat arrangement and being outside the hull, easy acces in the future.

I don't know if you are going to weather the model but don't forget using additional details for hiding things such as wooden crates, barrels, coils of rope etc.  All can be creatively placed around a model to hide those little linkages.

The accomodation certainly looks neat and a lovely fit with the deck, you should be very pleased with the way it's going.
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2008, 06:11:27 pm »

Hi Bunkerbarge - thanks for the kind words. Getting rid of that ugly external screw on my first attempt was the important bit. When its cleaned up and painted it will be OK. I plan to plank the deck - the printed overlay looks very crude - so the deck house should fit even better then.

I've spent the afternoon making the wheel house and starting to plank the outside of it - my fingers are now covered in superglue {-)

Barrie
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2008, 07:03:45 pm »


This is what I did with Jan's Puffer.

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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2008, 09:25:25 am »

Not a lot of obvious progress recently. I have been sorteing out the working lights. These will all 'flicker' as I intend them to represent parrafin lights.  I considered the Action unit, but it seemed a bit expensive, and all lights would have the same pattern of flickering, so I have used the 99p LED night lights bought before Christmas. 

The wheelhouse is now almost complete - just the steering chain to fit then I can mount the funnel and oil drum.

I airbrushed the bottom of the hull yesterday - with luck I will get the top section done today - if the bottom section is OK. I ran out of paint just as I was finishing, so I hope its all covered OK.

Barrie
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2008, 04:09:46 pm »

Things are speeding up now. I've painted the hull (airbrush) and also given it a quick coat of airbrush mat varnish. I may leave it mat or airbrush again with Satincote. I've also planked the rear deck and fitted the stantions and railings. I didn't like the white metal and piano wire supplied in the kit, so have used brass.

I plan to finish the stern next - steering chain to fit and the rear platform plus some fairleads etc. Obviously the railings will need painting black.

Barrie
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GaryM

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2008, 02:52:26 am »

Hi Barrie
I'm building the Calder Craft Marie Felling I noticed a couple of similarities.
I also have some disfigureations in the hull, my instructions also start of with the rudder assembly and the piece that fits on top of the brass rudder arm has a far too large diameter hole.
It looks like you've solved these issues, and I hope you don't mind if I follow your lead / thread.  Did you find the plans a bit lacking and not to scale?

regards
Gary
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barriew

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2008, 01:52:10 pm »

Gary,

The plans do not match the hull in terms of dimensions that's for sure, other than that there is plenty of detail, although some part numbers are wrong..  I only tried to straighten the moulding to get a reasonable fit for the two bulkheads. I am not too bothered about the shape of the bottom - you can't see that when it is in the water :D
I also found the printed ply overlays for the deck and cladding for the companionway etc too crude for my liking. However having built a few models, I have a stock of planking in various widths and thicknesses and so am using that, as you will see from the stern.

I also don't like white metal stantions, so have used brass, and brass wire for the rails. As far as the rudder is concerned I thought it might be vulnerable during the rest of the building, but it has stood up well. If your 'working' tiller arm is white metal, I would recommend replacing it as I did.

When it comes to placing fittings on the deck etc, make sure they all fit BEFORE gluing any - that way the plan inaccuracies wont cause a problem.

Barrie
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Colin Bishop

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2008, 02:12:04 pm »

When I was doing reviews of the original Caldercraft kits I had to use the original materials. The printed ply overlays do look crude at first sight but I found that they could be improved and made more realistic by rubbing over with a dilute solution of acrylic matt black paint to give them a weathered look before sealing with matt varnish. Proper planking will look better of course (albeit quite a bit more work)  but you could always try the other way first to see if you can get an acceptable effect.

Colin

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GaryM

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Re: Caldercraft 'Northlight' build
« Reply #24 on: May 01, 2008, 06:22:11 pm »

Hi Barrie.

Thanks for the advice, your boat sure looks good. :)

regards
Gary
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