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Our  Models

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.

[Read More...]

 

MTB488

Motor Torpedo Boat  [Read More...]

 

H.M.S. Norfolk - Superstructure

Rudder Shafts

That evening Peter started positioning the rudder post blocks that we had cut out of hardwood I made up some horrible epoxy glue (that stuff that Peter hates) and glued the blocks in.
After they had dried he drilled out the post shafts. In the meantime I was making up the rudder shafts.
These I made out of thick brass tube, 3/8” OD and 1/4” ID and into this brass I inserted Lead Teflon bearings being 5/16” OD x 1/4” ID x 3/8 inches long.
I had to get it right first time but fortunately I had done this before. I made sure I left a little space at the very top of the shafts so that I could put in an O ring as this would stop any water being forced up and into the hull.
After I had finished them, I began to insert them, which proved a difficult task. I had to use a rubber headed hammer to bang them all the way in. Half way in I thought they had become stuck but after giving them a hefty bang they continued on their way.

Testing the Hull in the Water

Well the time had come to test out the hull in water. So Peter and I arranged to take it up to Eaton Park for our test. Unfortunately we had to use the bottom car park as we had a lot of bits and pieces to carry. I had borrowed from my works a sack barrow as this would help us take it all up in one go.
As it turned out it was a long drag up to the lilly pond as the main pond was empty and awaiting repairs. Also we carried up to the pond 22 kilos of sand, which were bagged up into 1 kilo bags, as we were to check out the waterline that we had put on in the form of black PVC tape before we made it permanent line.
We initially put “O” rings around each stainless steel bolt between the two halves as a precaution against water entering the hulls. This done we bolted up the halves and launched it into the water. I had screwed in a metal eye in the bow as then we could pull it along.
It took all the 22 kilos to get it down to the middle of the waterline, we both thought that a further 4 to 6 kilos could be put in if need be. It seemed to be lying in the water all right when I towed it along the pond and this gave us a very good feeling. There is nothing like proving that your building techniques are all sound.

Superstructure and Interior of the Hull

Peter and I started to cut out some of the parts of the superstructure, AND THIS WAS NOT EASY AT ALL. It was amazing how Peter could decipher all of the angles from the line drawings, as my forte lay in engineering and electronics, writing articles and summing up sponsorship for us both. It turned out that Peter was to cut them all out and I would glue them together. I could go into raptures over the making of all the superstructure sections but I will not, as modellers who make these very difficult models know how to assemble these parts. I used Epoxy glue throughout the model.

Well, the bridge threw up some interesting challenges as you will see. Fortunately Peter was VERY good at determining the shape of the bridge as it seemed to bend and slant all over the place. One of the difficult jobs was done by Peter and this was to make the bridge window frames and window panes. He said they were very difficult to do but they looked super when he had finished them. On the top of the bridge was a radar deflector and this threw up an interesting challenge of how to make it as it had a good amount of bend on it. We could have made it out of prefabricated ply but instead I visited a firm in Norwich that makes shaped rubber. I asked them if they could make the deflector shape and they said if I could make pattern of the shape they would then make it for us. This done we collected it after a week and it was super! The next thing was to glue it onto the bridge roof and we used Evo-stik 528 Contact Adhesive and this proved up to the job. When using this adhesive you must have good ventilation and use a good respirator.

Smokestacks

I had decided at the time that we would put a smoke generator into the model and I had made provision for this to happen. That included inserting two 35mm copper tubes in the stack box. After I had done this
I found out that these ships do not smoke, so I used them as air inlets to the main battery compartment instead. I also cut out air inlets in the main smokestack sides and used grills that I had taken out of an old radio. These are very useful, if any rain or water is splashed on to them it runs off, as mostly you will find the slats are on a slant.

Peter made the springy aerial posts and glued in the aerials, which we made from plastic tube. The main stack tops were pre-fabricated from thin ply and glued together, with each top reinforced with 5mm Ramin wood glued onto the inside of the stacks, finished off with P38 Isopon filler and then sanded level.

The three rear stacks were made in the same way but with smaller copper tube inserts. We came up with a natty idea of using a wooden file handle which was then cut down and used for the forward chimney stack radar dome and this was fixed onto 4mm x 10mm brass tubing. To make it much stronger I inserted a piece of flat birch wood through the tube and then glued it into the stack side.
Then I used a stainless steel self-tapping screw to secure the dome through the brass tubing.

Hanger, Radar Deflectors & Air inlets and Outlets

The hanger was a straightforward building project and did not throw up any particular difficulties. We glued the radar deflectors onto the roof with contact glue and Peter made the missile designator bases.

The main parts will have to be made at a later date.
As the hanger is over the drive motors and speed controllers there has to be good airflow in and out. So there is an 80mm main electric motor fan and 2 miniature computer fans over the speed controller heat sinks.

As I had inserted the rear receiver next to the speed controllers I had to have an aerial at the rear as well.
As I did not want a normal large aerial because it would look out of place, I bought a Quick UK base loaded aerial Part No. H5330 40Mhz. These are very easy to fit and on my model it looks like a REAL short aerial.

I used two magnetic cupboard catches to hold the hanger on to the main hull.
You also can see another magnetic catch and this holds the front panel covering the motor mounts.
The hatch with the 80mm fan has Velcro holding it down as it has to be easy to get off.

 

Shaped Pod on the underside of the bow

When I started on the shaped pod on the underside of the bow I wondered what it was for. At the time I thought it might have been for sonar but found out later it was to punch a hole through the oncoming waves as this would make the ship go faster. This will raise its head later in the story.

Well what should I make from? After a little think and a chat to Paul Notley, a friend, he suggested it should be made out of hardwood and he said he had a piece of matured beech at home. Next day he brought it into work and gave it to me, saying it would be very hard to shape but it would be very strong.

So I started that night on shaping the said piece of wood. The shape on the plan was not very plain and I used my skill as a modeller and used modeller’s licence to determine the correct shape. This took many hours of BLOOD, SWEAT AND FRUSTRATION to shape. Plus I lost some of skin off the back of my hand. Was I getting tired? YES, it was bloody and blooming sore, so I stopped and went to bed. SO WHEN YOU GET TIRED STOP; IT’S BETTER TO DO THIS AS YOU DO NOT HURT YOURSELF.

 

When I finally finished the pod I had to find a way of attaching it to the hull. I drilled three 5mm holes at varying depths because the pod sloped as you will see from the photo. This done I cut three pieces of stainless steel threaded rod and glued them into the pod using Epoxy, as this was threaded rod this would help it bond better. The rod that I inserted into the hull was 70mm in length as it had to be very strong. This was also glued in using Epoxy glue.