If you are making a model of a vessel which has an operating stern ramp, or similar, it was almost certainly opened and closed by hydraulic cylinders. Did you know that you can purchase hydraulic systems of model size that will allow you to replicate the real thing? RC4WD sells equipment on their website at: http://store.rc4wd.com/. Their hydraulic cylinders come in lengths between 3.5" and 8.25", with an outside diameter of 1/2". The equipment is not cheap; the average price of a cylinder is US$90, with hydraulic tank, pump and controls in addition to that.
From Doug: Looking for wood strips or any other stuff for building? Check out www.modelerscentral.com. When I purchased my mahogany strips from them I received them in a week.
A good source for building materials.
When you learn that you need some of those hard-to-find small screws, nuts and washers, two of the best suppliers are:
Micro-fasteners are in the USA and their stock is mainly imperial sizes, but they do have some metric hardware.
Model Fixings are in the UK and specialise in metric hardware. Their range also includes taps and dies, bearings, and O-rings.
Doug has found a new supplier of cheap LED’s: http://lighthouseleds.com/
One interesting component that will be of value to model builders is a “20mA LED driver”. As described on their website: This simple device limits the current through itself to 20mA. When a voltage is applied (anywhere from 2 to 45V) it will actively adjust its own resistance to allow just 20mA (+/- 3mA) to pass through. This makes it a perfect replacement for current-limiting resistors in LED circuits, and you won't have to calculate resistor values or worry about a varying voltage source.
LED prices seem to change with the weather. Apart from local suppliers such as Sayal and Nutech, other potential suppliers, who may be cheaper tomorrow are: http://www.led-switch.com/ and http://www.componentshop.co.uk/. There are many others.
Confederation Marine Modellers