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Virgin Atlantic Challenger I

Everyone was disappointed when the news broke that Virgin Atlantic Challenger I had hit an underwater obstruction and sunk, just a few miles short of the record. [Read more...]


Virgin Atlantic Challenger II

Inspired by Mr Richard Branson crossing the Atlantic in record time, we thought it would be nice to have a model of the Virgin Atlantic Challenger II. [Read More...]


H.M.S. Norfolk.

F230 Duke

Class Frigate.

A world record holder.

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Motor Torpedo Boat  [Read More...]


H.M.S. Norfolk - Electrics 1

Main mast electrics & Running Lights


I started making the forward bridge steaming lights using 4mm brass tube. To cut out the section for the Grain of Wheat white lights was reasonable easy to do and I found a natty way of filling the top of the tube. Firstly you need to find some dowelling that just fits the tube but not too tight as you need to extract it later.
Push the dowelling up until you are about 2mm from the top and then clamp the tube vertically in a small vice using cored solder to fill in the top.  When cooled, you can file off the access or you can use P38 filler. It’s up to you.
On the back tube there was a plate that had to be soldered on to the tube.  This was a bit difficult to do, but I found a way using a block of hardwood with a 4.5mm hole drilled through it as this would support the plate and tube while I soldered it.
The only sod of a job was the thin lip I had to solder to the plate front and this proved very difficult to do.
After bending a thin piece of brass to the shape of the plate front I held it down onto the plate with  piece of wood. I cut a thin slot into the wood as this would hold it better and then I soldered it on.  
To hold the Grains of Wheat  into the tubes I used a spot of Evo-stik weatherproof wood glue as it would be easier to remove if the Grains of Wheat  were faulty. These I then glued through the upper bridge roof.

Port & Starboard Navigation Lights


Well, how do we make the Port and Starboard lights?  Peter came up with an idea of using a piece of tube and I decided to use 35mm copper tube.
Before cutting the tube down to the correct size, it was better to keep the tube in one piece as it would be much stronger when cutting and filling it. I cut the slots for the grill using a modeller’s thin saw and then I drilled a hole at each end of the slots and then used a needle file to cut through the hole sides.  
This done I filed the ends flat and the sides to a good finish.
Then came the tricky bit, to cut the copper tube to the correct width and height.
You must be patient and have gentle hands.
After this is done the next task is to bend it to the desired shape and glue it onto the bridge sides. The tops were made from thin ply and just before gluing them on we painted the insides with black paint.

Main Mast ElectricsMast warning lightsMast warning lights


I decided to use coloured ribbon wire as this would be easier to glue into place on the ply.  The side warning light supports were made out of brass tubing 6mm x 4mm x 40mm long and filled with hardwood.  They were then inserted through the main mast sides.  These were a fiddly sod to make and I glued them in using epoxy (that stuff Peter dislikes so much).  

There were 3 each side, red at the top and bottom with white in the middle.  At the top of the walkway fencing sides there are 2 white lights facing forward and a red light each side. We used grain wheat bulbs throughout the model.
I had to think for a day or two about how to connect the grain of wheat bulb wires to the mast electrics as I did not want to join up the wires permanently.  So I made up connectors using 1mm ID brass tube and 1mm brass rod and I soldered the bulb wires to the rod and then I could just push them into the tube and cover them with shrink fit wrapping.

I glued the brass tubing through the sides of the mast. If any bulbs needed to be replaced it would be a simple task of removing the shrink wrap tubing. This drove me crazy as this was so intricate to do and I had a few MALT whiskys to compensate.  The very top lights were made from brass tubing and were cut out in the same way as the forward bridge lights.
These were soldered onto back plates that were attached to the upper fencing. There was the slightly difficult job of drilling through the hardwood top block, but this done, I threaded the ribbon cable up to the top lights.

Bridge Electrics

I used ribbon cable throughout the bridge. 

The cable that came down the mast was connected into a 6 way connector block and two other 4 way blocks. I will insert a diagram of the wiring as it is too complicated to write about it.  Needless to say I LOST a few more hairs from my BALDING head in sorting out all this wiring!
As you can see from the photo there are two Din plugs attached to a 12 way cable and these supply the power to the bridge.
You have to be very good at soldering very small wires.
I used another of the blocks for the two bridge search lights that will be installed at a later date.
See later text and photos on page 3.