Confederation Marine Modellers

July 2018

        

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.


​Paul

The Word from the Quarterdeck

October 2018

         

From your President:

         We had a speaker at our recent March meeting that raised some points that have made me reflect on relative values, and how different people place different importance on things.
          We pass on constructive and construction information to fellow members all the time, and even go to the extent of passing on parts surplus to our own needs. Observing this over the years with the club reminds me that these gifts of information and parts, or even kits / completed models are gratefully accepted by the recipient member. But it is tough to fully understand the value of the information or gift as the giver, unless you have also been a recipient yourself.
           Our workshops for members are a good example. Skills and techniques are being showcased and taught, and it is difficult as an organizer to gauge how effective the teaching process has been and how well the new skills will be applied.
          Glenn Harkness spoke to our group about where the club’s donations to the Hamilton Boys & Girls club are going and what is being done with them, and in a gentle way, describing to us what shortcomings might exist for a child or children if our club had not made a donation in the first place.
          Suddenly the relative value of a very small monetary amount sent on to Glenn’s group is totally out of proportion to the effort the donor had to make in the first place. The positive impact to those in need totally outweighs any possible negative impact to the donor. By raffling models and kits that come into the club’s possession, we are giving every club member in attendance at our meetings the opportunity to significantly contribute to a child who cannot change the circumstances that they find themselves in. But our club can facilitate that change.
          For this reason, I want to thank the club members who donate their time to staff our public events, especially at events where we are collecting for Glenn’s charity. I want to thank the members who turn back funds to the club that came as a windfall to them, and that they wish to share with others in greater need. I want to thank all our members for the support that they provide to this very worthy cause when we are raffling off kit and model gifts, and to the success of our club and our hobby.

          Gentlemen, you have my most heartfelt thanks.

“Keep your oar in the water and your thwarts dry, otherwise you will have a slow, damp time getting to where you want to be …..”

Steve

The Word from the Quarterdeck

The Word from the Quarterdeck

        

Word from the Quarterdeck

         

May 2018

May 2019

         

December 2018

April 2019

The Word from the Quarterdeck

The Word from the Quarterdeck - 12 month archive

Word from the President

        

Well, our sailing season seems to be very slow to get underway this year. It had promised to be a great start. There was water at Spencer’s much earlier than normal. We didn’t have a lot of residual snowbanks to have to deal with. Yet sailing has been a very haphazard affair so far. Some days are sunny and warm; others are rainy and cool. It seems to have been my luck to pick the rainy and cool days to plan a sailing session.

Your Executive has been working on ideas for events that we hope will prove of interest to a larger group of members of our club. We are trying to encourage more members to come out and enjoy the operating side of our hobby.

Metro Marine Modellers in Toronto has the same objective.

At the root of these efforts is the realization that as clubs we must do all that we can to encourage members to be active and interested in this hobby and expose this hobby to as many members of the public that we can. Otherwise, our club will face ever dwindling membership. Other member clubs of the GLMBA group of clubs are experiencing this right now. Clubs are going inactive, events sponsored by clubs are being cancelled. We have no way of understanding what is happening outside of our association of clubs, but there is no reason to believe that other clubs across Canada, and across the world, are not going through a similar situation.

All that I can ask is that you all try to be as active as you can, and as visible as you can to the public. Your Executive will continue to provide as varied and interesting a program as we can in turn, to encourage and support your participation.

Have a great 2019 Sailing Season!

Steve 

          At the end of May I attended our “Boats in the Park” annual event, our cornerstone annual event for Confederation Marine Modellers. As I stood back and looked at the event I marvelled at many aspects of it and I’ll try to describe them:
          Venue – The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon even when there aren’t special events going on. The Museum reaches out especially to our members in that almost all of us are tech geeks in one way or another. We have the knowledge to understand what went on with the huge pumps that provided water for Hamilton a hundred years ago. And, on top of that, the Museum supports us continuously and generously though our use of the meeting space, storage of our pond and help with promotion and running of our events there.
          Camaraderie – It always amazes me how our members come together to make an event happen. Planning seems to happen almost automatically and on the day of the event guys show up on time and put it together very quickly (get there early or you’ll miss out on the fun) and seemingly effortlessly. Lots of joking goes on and then, almost always, off to Tim’s for a coffee.
          Public Participation – To see how the public shows up to look at our boats and to ask lots of questions (Does that sailboat have a propeller?) tells me that we don’t just play with toy boats; we create engineering marvels that are unique and beautiful and people want to know all about them. Add to that the fun of the balloon busters and the opportunity for kids to run the pusher tugs and you have a fun filled day for modellers and visitors alike.
          Exchange of Ideas – At quieter times during these events we see boaters chatting in pairs or small groups and more often than not the topic is the “How do I?” question. At that event I asked Don Hodgson about how he powered the lights to the superstructure on his new cabin cruiser and he generously spent time to show me the brass contacts he had bent over the coaming and inside the cabin wall to enable him to remove the cabin without having to disconnect wires. Brilliant, I thought, and by the next week I had replicated his system in my new tug thus enabling me to move the lighting battery lower in the rather top heavy boat.

There are many, many reasons to attend our CMM club events; these are just a few.

Paul Charles

September 2018

         

         Last fall I read that a store in Victoria, B.C., called BC Shaver & Hobbies, was closing. They claimed to be the oldest hobby shop in Canada and I think they were very close to being actually that. I had been fortunate enough to have been there several times and the last kit I purchased there was the Carol Moran, a tug by Dumas. They closed for four reasons; the owner wanted to retire, there was no one to take over, the competition with the internet was impossible to beat and, worst of all, people are no longer building model boats (or planes, trains etc. for that matter).

          Earlier this week Leading Edge Hobbies announced that their huge, wonderful store in Kingston will be closing at the end of June. Tony and Mike opened the store twenty-five years ago and have been a great support for the model boating community. I was in the store in October and had a long chat with Tony and from that chat I can tell you that the reasons for closing are not unlike those for BC Shaver & Hobbies. Tony told me that the margins are not good enough (with internet competition driving prices to the bottom) to support the square footage and inventory of a large store. And, again, people are not building. Yes, they are buying Ready to Run planes, helicopters and drones but those are often a passing fancy and not the stuff of life long modellers.
          On the brighter side we are very lucky to have local stores who support our hobby. I think first of Dundas Valley Hobby on Cootes Dive in Dundas. They carry all the little bits and pieces for the scratch builder including brass, balsa, styrene to name a few. They have a wonderful selection of model train equipment and a marvellous array of plastic kits. A fabulous traditional hobby shop right in our community.
          We also have Skycraft Hobbies on Plains Road in Burlington. They also carry a good selection of the accessories and materials we frequently use but they tend toward the cars and helicopters and have recently given up on all boat accessories.
          A little farther afield is the Credit Valley Railway Company at 2900 Argentia Road in Mississauga. As their name suggests they specialize in trains but they have a huge supply of materials, accessories and neat stuff. I wanted a couple of 1:72 ladders and they had a whole tree of them for under 10 bucks!
          My point in all of this is that we need to support these dedicated retailers because, as is terribly clear, without us they will cease to exist.
          We all order stuff on line and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that but let’s make an effort to try to get the item locally first; if it’s not available, go to the internet. But don’t buy on the internet to save five dollars as that is a sure way to put the local guy out of business.


Paul

January 2019

Word from the President

Febnuary 2019

     By now you have received an invitation to the annual meeting and dinner for the GLMBA. It will be held on October 20th at the Stoney Creek Legion Branch on King Street in Stoney Creek. The meeting starts at 11 a.m.

     But do you know what the GLMBA is or does as part of our model boating community? I know when I first became involved in the hobby I had no idea what GLMBA even stood for.

     GLMBA or the Great Lakes Model Boat Association is a coming together of model boat clubs in Ontario and New York State to promote the hobby and coordinate activities and events while sharing information on our club activities. By being a member of any member club of GLMBA you automatically become a member of GLMBA.

     And what then does it do? GLMBA was set up originally to ensure that neighbouring clubs did not inadvertently schedule events that would limit members from attending as many events as possible so schedules are now carefully coordinated to avoid any conflicts. Second, GLMBA oversees rules of competitions which clubs hold such as build competitions or high point regattas. This guarantees that you can expect the same treatment in any competition held by any member club. Third, a fairly recent addition to the offering of the GLMBA is to make available liability insurance to member clubs. By sharing this insurance policy the cost per member of all clubs has dropped substantially over the years.

     The GLMBA is run by a board made up from representatives from all member clubs. Delegates from clubs attend the annual meeting and they elect an executive to run the organization.

     Over the years the GLMBA has hosted quite a fancy dinner with extensive awards and prizes for members to enjoy.

     If you haven’t attended before you may wish to consider it this year.


Paul

Word from the Quarterdeck

          We are approaching the end of another great year for our club and our hobby. We had good times and we had sad times this year but we always enjoyed our boats and the camaraderie of our friends. We welcomed new members and mourned the loss of those who could not be with us anymore.
          Our 2019 schedule is coming together and it looks like another busy season starting with the Hamilton Boat Show at the beginning of March and going right through to our Remembrance Day display in November. I encourage all of you to attend and participate whenever you can and to bring along family and friends wherever possible.
          Our monthly meetings will continue on the second Tuesday of each month and our paring down of the business side of things appears to have been a success. Please consider doing a short presentation on your latest project or even just bringing a boat or two along to show the guys what you’ve been up to in your workshop.
          Another activity that is well attended is the “Confederation Coffee Klatch” every Thursday evening at 7 p.m. at the Tim’s on Plains Road East just east of Brant Street. During the winter at least a dozen and sometimes as many as twenty of our members get together to chat, trade stories and help each other with their building and maintenance challenges. A very pleasant way to spend an hour or two. Drop by, you’ll find the guys to be entertaining and welcoming. During the boating season the guys congregate there after running their boats at Spencer’s. Start time there is about 6 p.m. Parking under the hydro towers seems to be the best bet – and be careful crossing Lakeshore!
           We will be displaying boats at The Hamilton Boat Show and The Hamilton Home Show early in March and early in April. With luck we will be given enough space to set up our pond and to run boats in our portable pond. This is a wonderful opportunity to test the waterline of your new craft or just enjoy getting your older boats wet again. The Hamilton Wood Show has been moved to the Ancaster Fair Grounds and will be in August so we will be providing further information on it over the next couple of months. These shows are important also as they give us an opportunity to promote our hobby and our club to prospective members and they also give us an opportunity to generate donations from our pusher tugs for kids to our club charity, East Hamilton Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club.
          The last weekend of May will see our “Boats in the Park” event draw hundreds of spectators to the Steam Museum to see our little craft. This is a fabulous display and it usually includes the steam locomotive guys and the Mecanno guys so there is something for everyone.
          In July be sure to check out our High Point Regatta at Spencer’s. For more detail on how this works have a look at the previous article in this “Word” series. Sign up, join in, there’s even a category for novices and you get coaching!
          Have a look at our schedule to see other CMM events and events that are hosted by other clubs.
           It’s going to be a great year.

Paul Charles

The Word from the Quarterdeck

         As I write this I am looking out the window and seeing the results of a cold, windy fall followed by an early onset of winter. And spring is a long way off!
         So I started thinking about boating events for next season.
        
          Have you been to a “High Point”? Do you really know what it is?
          I sure didn’t when I first showed up a few years ago and gave it a try. I have to say it was a bit of a lesson in frustration initially but very soon I saw that it can be a lot of fun. A High Point Regatta is a day long event with different challenges presented to participants who are running their boats. The events are as follows although not all competitions include all events:
Precision steering and docking – This event duplicates the operation of full-sized boats as captains are required to navigate their craft around a circuitous course and dock it along side a pier. This is to be done while keeping within the illustrated course and without hitting marks and other obstructions. Points are lost for collisions with things and for missing the course.
Predicted Log – This is not at all as complicated as it sounds. But it is tricky and you need to know your boat. The contestant is to predict how long they will take to navigate a course. Upon completion of the course the contestant’s real time is compared to his predicted time and a score is determined accordingly.
Salvage – In the salvage event each contestant is equipped with a drag line of about six feet and this line has two floats attached along its length. The challenge is to encircle the derelict boat with the drag line, snag it and pull it to shore. Not as easy as it sounds but good practice for any boating event. Scoring is based on success in salvaging the derelict and the elapsed time for the process.
Straight Steering – This event is about boat setup and lots of luck concerning the wind. The contestant sets the speed and rudder to go as straight as possible at the start gate and turns the transmitter over to an event official. At the end of the course the score is determined by which of the numbered gates your boat went through, the nearer the middle, the higher the score. In this event R/C boats, sail or power, or free running boats are eligible.
Conning – Conning requires a two-person team, the Captain and the Crewman. As is the case with large ships the captain instructs the Engineer (who is below decks) as to the position of the throttle and the helm and the crew sets them accordingly. In our event the Captain and Crewman stand in the operating area, the Captain facing the water and the Crewman with his back to the water. The crewman operates the radio transmitter, without seeing the boat, on orders from the Captain. Again scoring is based on keeping to the course without hitting obstructions.

As you can see the High Point Regatta can be a lot of fun. We will be hosting one next summer as always and I encourage you to come out and give it a try. I am hoping we may have a couple of practice sessions on Thursday nights leading up to the event.

Paul Charles
   

November 2018

        

Word from the Quarterdeck

Word from the Quarterdeck

It was heartening to see the support shown by our club at our January meeting, helping Cher find homes for Bob’s hobby items and tools. It was hard for Cher to part with Bob’s personal items, most of which I am sure had a connection to a story for Cher, and for a lot of others as well.

I wanted to thank members from Buffalo and Toronto coming out to support our evening as well.

We are entering into that part of our annual schedule where our activities are focused indoors; activities including model building and repairing, and meeting with the public at events such as the upcoming Hamilton Boat Show, and the Hamilton Home Show. Most of the other clubs have events of their own scheduled.

A group of our members also meet weekly every Thursday evening at the Tim Horton’s by the Burlington Court House.

All members are welcome to all events. Just get in touch with an Executive member to learn more details.

If you haven’t before, try and get out to one of the events and stay in touch!

Keep your oar in the water and your thwarts dry, otherwise you will have a slow, damp time getting to where you want to be …
..


Steve

Word from the Quarterdeck

March 2019

From your President:

Well, our event schedule has wound down to its off-season ebb, as our events move inside more and more, as the weather cools off and the water gets harder.

There are changes coming to some of our indoor events that may make members uneasy or upset. There are conditions beyond our control or influence in play here that means we can only watch, wait, and hope that there is still the chance to meet with the public in some kind of public show.
It is important to realize that nothing remains the same. The Rocky Mountains are gradually being ground down. It may take millions of years or more, but they are on their way out. Temperature averages are on the rise, but then at some point they will subside again. Mankind may not be here to see that, but it will happen.

Closer to home, I have to report that the Lake Lisgar Sailors in Tillsonburg is no longer operating as a formal group , but there are a few guys who still sail from time to time.

The best that all of us can do is to support our hobby, support the efforts of the GLMBA in coordinating events across southern Ontario and upper New York State, support both your own club, and the sister clubs in the GLMBA as we all strive to present our hobby to the public in the best possible light.
And at the end of the day, support one another in our efforts to become better modellers, and in our efforts to enrich our friendships with each other.

Keep your oar in the water and your thwarts dry, otherwise you will have a slow, damp time getting to where you want to be …..

Steve