Confederation Marine Modellers

Meeting notes - April

Nautical lore - Light vessels.

Recent events - Hamilton Home, Garden and Outdoor Show, April 5-7.

April 2019


Pictures and text by Peter F.

Roy started the proceedings by talking about the boat he's building with his 7-year old grandson. It is a small cabin cruiser based on a lifeboat design in Glynn Guest's book "Small radio control boats". Construction is very simple using only balsa for the hull. The superstructure will be styrene. Guest's designs are all for stand-off models of simple construction, and are an excellent intermediate step between building kits and complex plank-on-frame models.

Roy followed this with a demonstration of the use of small stepper motors to power radar scanners. In this case they are fitted to the wheelhouse and mast of Roy's catamaran ferry "Manannan". Stepper motors have the advantage that they are much smaller than the DC motors we typically use, but their disadvantage is that they are more complicated to set up. They require dedicated electronic 'drivers' as well as a microcontroller (such as Arduino) to feed the drivers.

Paul was next up with information about this Flower-class corvette, "La Malbaie", with some of his information described above. Of particular interest was the fact that Paul's father-in-law served on La Malbaie during WW2, for the whole of 1943. THe Royal Navy's corvettes were named after varieties of flower, but the RCN chose the names of towns in Canada. They often persuaded the towns to 'adopt' the vessels, and this commonly resulted in the townspeople sending comforts, such as clothing and food, to the crews. 

​Steve gave an update on the workshop progress on the Pilot 40 which is under construction. The process has evolved to one in which techniques are demonstrated at the workshop and then someone takes the model home to continue work on it. 

The model is now ready for the propeller shafts to be locked in place and for fibreglassing of the hull to begin. Steve also showed us the motor mount that Doug has made specifically for the model.

Robert L. mentioned that he enjoyed participating in the display at the Home show. Although the traffic was light there was good interaction amongst the members participating.

During the business part of the meeting, Roy spoke about the "sail and scale" sessions that several members join on weekday mornings, typically between 8 and 11am at the Spencer's Pond. 

I participated in the set up of the pond at the Home Show - with 6 other volunteers. Members who have never done this should - to appreciate the planning and effort that goes into it all under the direction of Doug Grinyer. 
I attended the Sunday show which was a little slow on visitors but a great opportunity to catch up with the other 5 members displaying and finally run a model on water after our brutal winter. Many kids had the thrill of running the tugs which was enjoyable to watch.
Interestingly I ran into an old business friend who has been retired for quite some time and has expanded from RC aircraft into boats - I will be meeting with him again and he is very interested in joining and participating in our club.
I later helped in the tear down of the pond which went flawlessly  - ditto above comments.
Looking forward to doing it all again at Boats in the Park in May.

Word from the Quarterdeck

          The world's first light vessel was the result of a business partnership between Robert Hamblin, an impoverished former barber and ship manager from King's Lynn, Norfolk, UK, and David Avery, a regular investor in small projects. In 1730 the pair secured a government licence to moor a ship – with a prominent light affixed to it to serve as a navigation aid – at the Nore in the Thames mouth. Hamblin and Avery intended to profit from the vessel by collecting a fee from passing merchant vessels. The licence was opposed by Trinity House which considered that it possessed a monopoly on construction and maintenance of navigation aids in British waters. After an extensive legal dispute the licence was revoked in 1732 and Trinity House assumed direct responsibility for the proposed lightship; Hamblin and Avery were granted nominal lease revenues in exchange. 

Our next club meeting will be on Tuesday 14th May at 7:30pm..

I started building a Matchbox plastic kit model of a WWII Convoy Escort Corvette in 2007. I made good progress with the hull and, in a fairly short period, had the radio-controlled gear all installed. I had thought that would be the hard part but I soon learned how wrong I was!
My next step was to paint the hull in the “Mid Atlantic Admiralty” camouflage. There were so many variations of camouflage on these ships that I had lots of leeway without fear of being too far off the mark. But then the trouble started as brush painting a model of 1/72 scale means that all the brushstrokes scale up to what would be half inch welts all over the surface. Frustrated, I put the project on the shelf.
A couple of years later I started looking at air brush equipment. I had no idea what an airbrush was but I knew it would enable me to add a perfect thin coat of paint to this model. Another couple of years and I was no farther ahead. The kit was now just taking up shelf space.
It was about that time when I joined Confederation Marine Modellers and it wasn’t long before I realized that there was a vast amount of knowledge there just for the asking. At a regular meeting I asked for advice with airbrushing. There were several comments and Morley was even kind enough to GIVE me an airbrush. Later I learned that he had enjoyed many frustrating sessions with his airbrush and I think I was doing him a favour. I progressed a little but the model was still dutifully collecting dust.
Another couple of years and I was talking to Dean M. and he told me he was building the same model. He was wonderfully encouraging and chatted about all the challenges of the 1,214 piece kit. I was inspired to get back at it.
Last fall I found myself relieved of some family responsibilities and the time was right so I jumped in again with both feet. In the intervening years I had bought a second kit (second hand but unopened) which was the Revell Platinum version so I had photo-etched parts, brass parts and a wooden deck.
Now the members of CMM really came to the fore. Rick G. helped me more with the airbrush, John B. handed on a book, Canada’s Corvettes, to me, Doug G. lent me his photo-etched parts bending jig, Doug G. provided a source for LED lights, Harry F. gave me a bag of 1/72 figures to augment the kit’s supply, Roy provided the water alarm and Gary showed me how important a carrying box can be when you have such a fragile model.
By early April I had completed the boat and I think one of the most significant parts of the build was the fabulous input I had from so many members of the club.
I have often heard that it takes a village to raise a child. Perhaps it takes a club to complete a boat.

Thanks to all of you throughout the process.