Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Season's Greetings to all...

Last post before Christmas.
A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all who read the blog.

All the best from Martin, Chris and the doggies.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Found a trailer...

No point doing a racing boat without a trailer to put it on, so here's one I made earlier.  Well, actually it was Little Richard at S.A.M.S. who made it and sent it to me.  I made masters for several different trailers, from a small box jobby on Morris Artillery wheels to a 6 canoe carrier.  But this 4 wheeler had all the bling on it.
Naturally, it'll be dirtied up a little, just a very little as these guys tend to keep a clean machine.
Also did some work on the bot last night.  Painted the engine and glued some of it's bits on.  And I see i have mails from my old mate Rich, no doubt correcting my assumptions on drive lines, etc. for the Rayson.  Rich is a fount of all things speedboat, railroad, scenery and so much more.  The most widely read gentleman I have ever known.
He's like having my own personal Stephen Fry!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

You gotta love a clear out...

I was having a bit of a clear-up in the workshop, mainly in case Chris wants Christmas decorations from the well hidden doors.  Well hidden by my stuff and a selection of huge gorillas for which we have no room, but which Chris will not get rid of.  Long other story....
I was already getting jitters about where the DH 89 master had disappeared to and where my newly acquired aviation snips might be resting, when I came across a box I'd forgotten about, in which was another old "Guild" models box, one of the 5x2x2 maroon things that my old series of kits came in years ago.  It was very heavy, so white metal seemed to be what I'd find inside and sure enough this was in a bag.
"What the bloomin' Hell is that pile o' junk", I hear you say.  Well, it's a 1/43rd scale Raysoncraft.  I made the master years ago for S.A.M.S. Models up Hull way.  It was a very popular American sports and racing boat.  We had an old but accurate AMT kit of it in 1/25th scale, so I scaled it down and produced this in brass.  S.A.M.S. was one of the few companies that ever sent me cast examples of my masters. Indeed, somewhere in another heavy Guild box, I have a built one in metallic purple!...Somewhere.  I also have the custom 4 wheel trailer for it in the showcase, so these parts will be all put and brought together to make a rather dashing addition to one of my dioramas, either the Tony Moss garage or Lantern Yard.  I will be finishing it more in a British fashion than candyapple, vreeble, flip-flop, metalflake like our Yankee chums are wont to do.  More your Oulton Broad or Windermere Motor Boat Racing Clubs then Tri-County Speed Week.  Cream and Cambridge blue, I think, with some Windermere Numbers.
Quite a few of these were imported, contrary to popular belief, along with Chris-Crafts and even the odd Gar Wood Baby Gar (the bones of one can still be seen at King's old yard on Wallasey Island)
Although the drag boat version (we also did the comfy sports boat) would have been unlikely in Britain, I can always pretend that this one was on its way to Windermere Records Week, one October in the early 60s.  I have a Bristol 400 as a tow car.  One of the earlier Mikansue Models I also did the master for back in about 1973!
Here you can see the detachable sponsons that go on the hull to make it a drag boat, along with a blower, stub exhausts, etc. for the small block Chevy power plant.
Here's the rest of the bits:-
And inevitably, I haven't a clue what they all are!

And in the box with the boaty stuff was this:-
A second generation Dinky toy in 43rd of those made by Corgis about 20 years ago.
In this age of endless Chinese die casts covering all sorts of subjects, it's easy to forget that not that long ago it was a real event to see a useful addition to the road vehicle stock.  Being a Bedford CA fan and being at the time keen on making Code 3 models from new die-casts, I just had to have a go at this one.  I grew up near Seven Kings (in what is now considered East London) and while my Dad would be fixing radios and TVs for a friend's shop, I would train spot and look in the large windows of the Essex Speed Centre (every town had one in those days) up on the station bridge.  So it was a no-brainer to hand paint the van in Essex Speed centre's livery (as imagined).  They were dealers for the companies I painted on the side. Aquaplane were huge goody manufacturers for small Fords, Derrington did everything from Austin 7 to VW Beetle and Speedex are what became Marcos.  In fact I saw a set of Speedex alloy wheels in the window in 1960 and finally have a set for my Austin 7 Cambridge Special, 53 years later!
The careful weathering is what's known as..."dust"!

Gotta love a clear-out.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Where thar's brass...

.....thar's moock, so those strange northern persons say.
So here's a few bits o' brass off the canal boat model.  I was busying myself, lathing, yesterday.

A back cabin chimney, a forecabin chimney, a roof exhaust, 2 studs, a rudder head and a swan neck. Ooh I love boaty terms!

The brass bands that always are wrapped round the chimnies for decoration are effectively produced by turning some of the  brass tube away and leaving the bands to be polished and masked when the chimnies are painted gloss black.  They also have plugs in the bottom so that they can be removed for safety.  The plugs have yet to be soldered into base plates, as have the studs.  One stud goes either side of the rudder head for tying lines to.  The rudder head is a (to my eyes overly complex) conbobulation of bits and pieces best known to modern day equipment suppliers to get the pressures from you on the swan neck to the rudder, so your boat will go left or right, port or starboard, in or out in boat lingo.  It is mounted at an angle pointing aft, so the swan neck has to be that strange shape. Odd how our 70 year old wooden Nurser built working boat had none of that crap, yet handled with one finger like a dream....innit?  The wooden thing is just the backslide which will be shown fixed shut, so that I don't have to model all the interior.

More as it happens, folks.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Ah, the good ol' Sunday Market...

I am forever telling people that they should buy their tools at Boot Fairs, Sunday Markets, etc.
And today was no exception.
Within minutes, I found a pair of very fine nosed pliers, of excellent quality for 50p, then I spotted a Mini AVO meter in a typically AVO leather case in perfect condition for a fiver!  Perfect for the car (although I wouldn't know what to do with the electrics on a modern one like I am now forced to own)
Chris found a fibre optic Christmas tree with all the knobs and whistles for £15, normally retailing at over 40!

So we were all sorted, for pocket money (not that I get any usually!)

Even at a very sparse market, there are bargains to be found.
Get out to one and stock up.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

I've cut wood on the narrowboat...

Well, having cleared the decks (a bit) I found that I had  33" on my bench for a 33" boat!  So drawings were made at 1/48th scale based on details gathered at the boatbuilder's yard a couple of week's ago.  Just as well I did them then as the yard owner sadly died suddenly last week and the yard has been closed till further notice.
I photocopied the plans up 200% and transferred them to some 3mm plywood, for the base plate. The model is to be made as a waterline, so the baseplate had to be drawn as half way up the hull.  Since the boat was afloat in a rather tight dock at the time, some of the shape is eyeball.  No option unfortunately.  The bandsaw came in useful here.  Then the bulkheads were marked from the drawings onto a piece of Foamex to use as a pattern.  The first four bulkheads are all the same, only changing as they rise up at the rear and also narrow to the "starn end".
These were all cut and glued on over the kelson, or backbone, which is there mainly to keep everything nice and flat.
Finally, stripwood is glued in between the bulkheads to provide something to glue the sides and roof against.  The wood was cut from a plank of 3/16th spruce, as my "model shop" locally had run out of strip, but spruce is nice and strong, so once again the bandsaw was called into service. It actually cuts a pretty good straight line once you get the hang of it.
The centre section of the bow was bandsawed out and glued on the centre line.

So, here it is so far, folks.  There is a little extra stripwood protruding from the frames aft to allow a slight fair curve to be planed into the straight sections.
In my tiny workshop, it's difficult to photograph a 3 foot hull in one piece, but here's a shot on the back of my chair.
Next, the hull sides in 1/16th " ply.

Friday, 5 December 2014

Why can't they just leave it alone?...

I had my suspicions with the last pack I bought, confirmed some way by the black stuff and now, with a new delivery of my usual Yellow-green Milliput, it's definite....the silly buggers have changed the formula.  My favourite filler is now grainier, making it more difficult to mix and spread and it is way more sticky than before, or at least the green component is, which now backs up people who complained of its "messiness" from the days when it really wasn't if you spit on yer mitts.  Now, I hardly have enough spit to stop pulling the whole lot off what I have just put it ON!  This is not progress, but then, when was any new development of a substance an improvement?  Have you tried to stick anything with modern Evo-Stick, that amber/clear coloured crap that runs out the end under gravity alone?  Don't bother.  Use Evo-Stik carpet adhesive in a tin. That's yer Original cream snot and so much the better for it.
I don't know of anything like Milliput, so will have to keep going with it.  Of course it is not "yellow-green".  It never was.  Now it's baby poo and pale grey.  The sticks are now very close in colour, which makes life very difficult to mix the 2 parts in anything but strong daylight.  I always do Milliputting in the evening. It's an ideal job for that point where you get the impression the Mrs. expects you to be sociable, whatever garbage the telly companies are pushing out.  But now, with the change of formula, you won't be able to mix it properly and even if you can, you'll spend the rest of the night getting the muck off your fingers!

LEAVE IT ALONE fer Chrissakes!!!