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Topic Summary

Posted by: rondean
« on: 27 December 2023, 12:07:24 »

Hi All
 We hope you all had a very merry Christmas. So what do we do on Boxing day when the house is being cleared of the Christmas party ??? and all the wrapping paper is being cleared away? The suns shining and the winds are steady so its off to the lake for the trail run of Blue Leopard, at last. By the time we had her de-rigged & loaded in the car and the re-rigged  down at the lake, the wind dropped and the high clouds came with a watery winter sun. Maybe the best for test sail after along lay up to check all the rigging. Here she is in very light airs and fickle wind, motor used occasionally when becalmed, good test run now, we will wait for a good breezy day.  See her here on You tube

Happy healthy and a prosperous new year to all. Ron
Posted by: John Davies
« on: 26 December 2023, 09:19:08 »

Posting this because Ron’s tale of “Blue Leopard” both made me think and touched me.

For what it’s worth, my opinion is that yes, it is inevitable that a model will have some kind of “soul”, simply because we pour so much of ourselves into them. Hours of close attention and loving care. If you have read at all in the New Age, there is a lot about rituals to “charge” a talisman or other object. The New Age is a bit silly and fluffy in places, but to be more serious, there is a good deal in anthropological studies of tribal societies and their shamans.

But it is nothing to what we put into a good model. At least a couple of hundred hours of close devoted concentrated attention knowing we must not slip up badly even once, because that can bollix the entire project. This is particularly the case with a scale sailing model, because due to the cube-square law it is a bit of a black art to make it work at all. So the process begins with the planning decisions; how do I get a decent ballast ratio, what internal layout shall I use, what materials shall I use in each part of the project, how do I ensure decks and superstructure are adequately strong without adding weight above the waterline, etc. That is before the skill of our hands and the close focus of our eyes and mind even come into play.

I have rebuilt one Bristol Channel pilot cutter model to make it sail properly, built another and finally a small traditional gaff cutter yacht, which all worked pretty well. There is another one on the stocks which will use all I have learned and of which I have some hopes. But compared with Blue Leopard, a heavy traditional design with a low rig is easy.

A good model is built with all the skill of our hands, the close attention of our minds and the joy, creativity and determination of our spirit. So if we ensoul it in some degree, that should not be a surprise. I am sure Blue Leopard will sail again and I hope she brings great joy to her creator.

On a more prosaic note, a “quality” epoxy degrading badly? Yes, I have known this. So have some builders in the full-size classic boat movement. There are some unanswered questions about the stuff.
Posted by: rondean
« on: 29 November 2023, 11:15:22 »

   At long last a new set of sails have been made to replace the ones the mice had for lunch. It took a lot longer than expect as the sailmakers have long retired and the skills have had to be relearned, lucky enough we still have al the equipment and patterns but it  was along learning curve.   After a few failed attempt, ? we went for a original white set, ( later version were different individual styles of blue edge to differentiate models  on the water )
 Now rigged and fitted out with the water proof deck seals she was ready for a test sails, but then found that the t/xs had the dreaded black wire diseases so up for a fix if we can ?  we want to stick as original as we can.
 On the work bench  ( we need a larger bench ?
  Another daft idea we had was to also refurbish the display model in our showroom and try to get 2 on the water together, may manage t now all the waters gone stiff for sailing. ?
 More to follow
Posted by: rondean
« on: 24 November 2023, 09:57:58 »

Hi The motor is a Kondor 11 on 6volts it is a powerfull motor and drives the very sleek hull at a good speed when required, as in the video of the full size craft, at the time she was one of the most powerful motor yachts  around. A good evenings work on the refurbishment, all the new stanchions fitted in the redrilled holes and brass wire threaded through them,a real fun job, ??  all aligned and fixed in place. The cockpit and wheel mount has long gone, ( lost over the years, or eaten) so a new set up has been constructed from plans and some  picture taken on the full size craft. New dinghy mounting made and the dinghy restored and refitted with new davits. Really coming together now with no real problems and looking very elegant in the sunshine, next job on the water trials and then " the sails" and rigging ???
  I have been and asked a number of times, will she ever be re released, reply,  the kit will never be released again, it was a huge loss leader at the time, we have a strong link with Laurent Giles with other craft from their range and it was a of a challenge at the time "we could never make a blue leopard sail without huge alteration to the hull as she is so light " so we took up the challenge, and did. Since that time the firm that produced all the specialist castings was brought out, and the new firm wanted huge payments for the moulds and very large min orders,.  "which were ours and paid for" and when we declined, they were lost ???  plus we can not use lead in the keel  casting nowadays, and to replace with britannia alloy, at 20 times the cost per kg and new metal moulds and a full redesign would make it far to expenisve, so she will always remain very desirable model. more to follow Ron
Posted by: rondean
« on: 22 November 2023, 15:39:29 »

Apologies for the spelling and bad grammar in the last chapter, its is not the spell checker at fault, its was me, long Sunday in the workshop and late at night trying to get it all down, if it is left in the working week it gets left. thank you for all the "viewers" who have taken the trouble to point it all out to me, at length some. ?
The problem with the shaft was not the epoxy, it seems that in those days it was car body filler, and no cloth strengthen strip across the joint, also the model had ben placed in in its box with the shaft resting on the stand, so over the years it had forced the shaft up breaking the joint, Now the shaft stripped, bearing checked out ( O K) all re glassed in with a strengthening strip , we learn all the time in this hobby.
 broken stanchion all cut off and sanded flat, new holes drilled in to the centre of the broken ones. fun job
 All under deck rigging replaced with new cords and re threaded, another fun job.
 motor mount stripped and replaced and shaft re aligned.
  more to follow
Posted by: rondean
« on: 19 November 2023, 15:59:16 »

 Hi It was to wet ad windy to got out today so it was in to the workshop and get started on the restorationFirst up was so gloves, a lot of industrial clear and some disinfectant, a good wash down and a rinse with clean water  a dash of fabric conditioner and she cleaned up a treat, but what came out in the wash scary, there were things living inside that Attenborough would want to study I am sure. The deck was given a stiff brushing and rinse and come up looking good, over all she cleaned up a treat. The main cabin with a good wash ans scrub came up a treat and all the glass is still clear.
A surprise was that everything, rudder, propshaft etc all worked well, good stainless steel in all parts, a less pleasant surprise was the the "epoxy ?" holding the propshaft in the hull has degraded and gone brittle, one tap and the shaft came adrift from the hull. Likewise the same with the motor mount. that will be a fun job.
 The plan was to rip everything out a replace it with more modern radio ?? but like a classic car, it is original only once, so i will leave all the original gear install and try and get it all working, " most of the wires have been well chewed . will be a surprise to some in the future explaining what a Bobs Board is and how it works ?  now its started I will have to finish it.  more to come

Posted by: rondean
« on: 18 November 2023, 12:08:03 »

 Do model boats have “soul” ?
Being short of space for the storage of new models it was decided a clear out of one of the storage sheds.
 Lots of “useful junk” was removed and piled up for study, way in the back of the shed under piles of boxes a very large transport case, on removing the lid  it is a Blue Leopard model, not only that, it is my own model not a works prototype, my one I paid for and build in my own time. She has not seen the light of a lake for possibly 15 years.
Inside was a very sorry state, the mice have been in and made a nest on the top, chewed through the sails and the rigging, chewed up all the stanchions and made a lot of a mess, heart braking to see.
   It is covered in nesting materials and a lot of dropping all over the planked decks
 Move it in to the workshop for when space is cleared on the bench, a clean up and see if anyone is brave enough to buy it and take it on. We need the space and have no time.
 Every time I walked by, it brought back many memories from all the years ago it never let me down, it was always a beautiful model to drive and sail,
 It won lots of trophies was always admired, many times I went to the lake with it, just for a sail / drive, not work or testing, just to sit and enjoy.
 It it was a pet with “soul” what would it feel ?   for many years it went with you all over the UK, never let you down, always brought a smile, travelled all over Europe to exhibitions and competitions, was enjoyed, cleaned and polished and cared for, many happy hour spent together.
 I have a classic car, after a good day out in the sun I pat it, and to it and myself and the cars ?  well done ?  Silly really. It just a car
 Then one day Bue Loepard it is packed in a dark box and shut up in a dark and silent shed, does it sit there waiting to be let out again in the sunshine and wondering why its owner has done this to it, what has it done wrong. ?
I am sure it was looking at me with big sad eyes evert time I went past it ?
 In the end I could not do it,  dispose of it,
 I will find the time, Christmas break is coming,  no matter how long takes it will sail again.
 Stupid I know it is just fibreglass, plastic, metal, etc, just a toy.
  It you disagree with me. Do, but I do not care, so do not waste your time telling me, and I am sure the usual trolls will just that.
  I will try and keep you updated if you wish, one day she will sail again ?
 See her on the water here, many years ago from a 8mm film
 and the full size ship the showroom model with my one, on the water