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Member postings for Tony Hadley

Here is a list of all the postings Tony Hadley has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: comparison of self steering systems
19/04/2021 09:16:38

There was a discussion about Vane on this site here -


From the Vintage Model Yacht Group's site re: Braine and Vane -


Thread: Commodores Challenge
13/04/2021 11:02:36

Hello Bob,

It's good to see you building this design. I had to take a look about the The 'Slipper Launch' on the internet, they are superb and I'm sure your model will not disappoint.

Following your build with interest,


Thread: Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs
05/04/2021 17:19:29

Hi Ian,

Yes it's nice to have video clips of models, some of my early ones, of the Aerokits Crash Tender go back to sound cine. It's all so easy today with a mobile phone, although I still like to use a camera for stills.

I'm not really sure as to who made the crossing, I would doubt it being Vic as it's a long way from where he lived. He used to visit Fleetwood for the yacht racing and wrote many of the reports on the MYA events in the early Model Maker magazines. It could be possible, I just accept that we will never know.

Nowadays, as an alternative to binoculars a drone could be used to keep track. I'm just not getting too carried away as I haven't driven outside of the local area for a long time and at my speed of building, the model is probably a couple of years away from being anything like finished. Having said that, during lockdown, it's been possible to get more building done than normal.

Just had a look back and you are quite right with the 2013 start of thread, Colin (Admin) was the originator. Just shows that there is still interest in Vic's designs after all these years.

All the best, keep building


05/04/2021 11:51:17

Hello Ian,

Thanks for the reply.

Royal Falcon is proving a lovely little build, there will need to be changes to the original e.g. to accommodate radio which wouldn't have been fitted back in the mid 1950s. It's all a learning curve as the build progresses.

I researched the epic crossing of the Lake District lake Brotherswater, by one of these little models and attached it to this post. The text is from Vic's 1966 book, Power Model Boats. Although the lake isn't big, it's still a remarkable achievement. Paddle steamers are notoriously unstable craft, slim hull with two large wheels to further upset the trim/balance. Vic has very cleverly engineered this one to be flat bottomed with slim paddle wheels which don't look out of place and shouldn't present a problem.

After watching the video featuring the superb SY Minnow on your website, this has given me an inspiration to make a couple of clips of my two little Smeed models, Guardsman and Lorena. Perhaps later this years or next, I would like to do some tidying up and minor modifications to these during the summer.

Reading the text on your website, SY Minnow was based around the Silver Mist design. Hope you don't mind me posting the link.


royal falcon orig (5) power model boats 1966.jpg

royal falcon orig (6) power model boats 1966e.jpg

01/04/2021 10:02:07

Recently, Vic Smeed's 'Royal Falcon' 24" (610mm) little balsa paddler has been under construction. Originally from 1955 and featured in Model Maker magazine, #8 of this thread shows p1 of the mag item. The model is loosely based around the River Thames paddler 'Royal Eagle'

Attached are three photographs of the build, currently the stern is under construction. I've also attached a photograph of Vic's original model from his book, Scale Model Ships.


royal falcon (2).jpg

royal falcon (12).jpg

royal falcon (13).jpg

royal falcon orig (4) scale model ships 1988.jpg

24/03/2021 11:06:07

Hi Kevin , welcome and thanks for the interest in Vic's designs, which bring back many happy memories to many of us.

Sea Mew was a 36" long racing catamaran, the magazine item was in the December 1958 Model Maker magazine. The Vosper RTTL (above) was the free plan in this magazine, whereas Sea Mew was a magazine article which I've posted below. Also in the magazine was a small 3/4 page size plan of Sea Mew, which can't be posted as the plan in still on sale with Sarik Hobbies MM533.


As to whether it was popular in it's day, I would very much doubt it being a top seller, yet I could be wrong.

sea mew (1).jpg

sea mew (2).jpg

Thread: Dave Milbourn RIP
08/03/2021 15:31:25

Quite a shock to read this thread.

I remember Dave well from the work involved with Colin's 2015 Model Boats Special. His main interest was the Faireys, yet I loved his re-designing and building of Vic Smeed's 'Twinkler' design for the publication. He will certainly be missed in the hobby..

My condolences to the family.

RIP Dave

Thread: Complete Novice
04/02/2021 11:31:55


In the Manchester area, the two clubs which I know of are Bury Metro Marine Modelling Society and the Mutual Mills Model Boat Club in Heywood. I am unsure as to their current arrangements in the current situation and can't advise any more. Manchester is a large area, so there could be clubs nearer to you.



Thread: Veron Vosper Patrol boat
11/01/2021 09:17:33

Is this the correct model which you are researching? Found this photograph of the Veron Patrol boat in Vic Smeed's book, Model Ships.

veron patrol  boat.jpg

Thread: 2021 Builds during lockdowns
07/01/2021 14:19:59

Your 'A' boat looks super Gareth, if only I had the space. Seem to remember these were kept in the club houses many years ago.

My builds during lockdown have been a selection of plastic kits. I was struggling to get to the lake before 'lockdown' and have enjoyed building these kits. Glasses, strong magnifiers, tweezers and the dreaded carpet monster are part of the course with these kits.

Firstly, I completed the 1992 Revell kit 'Nina' one of Christopher Columbus' ships. She must have looked superb with the lateen rig, this wasn't always used.

Second is my old Revell 'Benledi'. A Scottish cargo liner from the 1960s. A couple of pieces were missing and have been scratch built from sprue. Kit is still in progress.

Lastly, I am unsure whether to build the Revell 1956 kit HMS Bounty which is still on sale, or the 1992 kit of the Pinta.

Nina -

nina (39e).jpg

nina (36e).jpg

Benledi -

benledi (22).jpg

benledi (23).jpg

HMS Bounty -

bounty box art.jpg

Pinta -

pinta box art.jpg

Edited By Tony Hadley on 07/01/2021 14:26:37

Thread: Boat size for SC40 glow engine
26/11/2020 12:59:14


The magazine item on Remora is posted in the thread 'Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs' -


A build of one was recently discussed on the Model Boat Mayhem forum -


Looks a superb design, hope you get sorted with the size.


Thread: Starlet 1048
06/11/2020 13:11:40


I've sent you the build item from Vic's book, Simple Model Yachts.

If you have a look at the thread, Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs, there is a posting on #20 about Starlet.


Wishing you every success with the build,


Thread: Lady Jan steam tug
20/07/2020 19:08:54


Steam boiler testing is a problem unless you join a club who has an MPBA boiler tester. It would be a case of asking around the local clubs and probably having to join.

The Kirklees Club have a steam day when boilers can be tested, providing the necessary information is provided in advance. This event is usually in April, but was cancelled this year due to the Covid-19 restrictions. There are two members of this forum who could provide further help, Richard Simpson and Stan Reffin and it could worth sending them a message. Stan has the forum name Gambier Bay. Richard doesn't always respond quickly, as he works away at sea. On their club site, the information is in the 'Downloads' tab on the toolbar. I realise this is a long wait and with my steam paddle tug, I fitted a temporary electric drive installation in order to have some on-the-water time.


Whether one of the commercial boiler makers e.g. Clevedon Steam or Ribble would offer this service, I just don't know.


Thread: Wanted - Veron Dolphin
15/07/2020 09:04:18

I managed to find this Dolphin being re-built. Might be worth trying to contact the builder for further information, through the Wicksteed Park Model Boat Club. The Dolphin was 24" long.



Thread: Question for anyone who's built Vic Smeeds Guardsman
04/07/2020 09:08:14

Thanks Dave for the link, that model (Guardsman) is still with me.

Charles, looking back at the plan and my build the prop shaft and the angle were as the plan. The difference with mine was the length of the coupling as against the plan. This obviously influenced the positioning of the motor. Mine was a plan size model.

As previous, I still have the model and it's in good condition, stored in the shed, awaiting a small modification to the electrics. Component Shop sells a smaller car type fuse holder and toggle switch. I've recently received these, as the current larger type fuse holder is a squeeze to fit in.

My only comments about the design are firstly, the positioning of the navigation lights. The full sized vessel, Enterprise, which the model is based on, the navigation lights were located on the side of the cabin above the door. Vic's plan shows them mounted on the top of the cabin. With my build it was too late to change them after they had been fitted. In Model Boats magazine, September 2004, is a large steam powered version of Guardsman and the builder has worked to the full sized vessel's positioning of these lights. I've attached a couple of photographs.

The second comment, is the rudder linkage, the way it's shown on the plan would never work. It needed to be modified by cutting away the balsa blocks under the deck. To coin the saying - "It was like wallpapering the hall, through the letter box". Shouldn't be problem for your size of model and type of construction.

I wish you every success with what is a super little model and it's always a pleasure to take this one to the lake.

guardsman (10).jpg

guardsman item (6).jpeg

Thread: Duplex 575
03/06/2020 13:07:41

There was a good photograph of a 575 on the cover of Vic Smeed's 1979 book Model Ships. I like the Model Boats decal (or sticker) on this yacht.

Never had a 575, but really enjoyed my two 590 class models. The first, back in 1991 was the basic 590 and the second, which I had in 1996 was the 590s. They were a pleasure to sail. Wonder what ever happened to them.

vic smeed book (1).jpg

590 - 1991 (2).jpeg590s - 1996 (2).jpeg


Thread: Midwest fantail steam launch
30/05/2020 08:06:20


Just had a look at the Midwest Fantail and it was 19" long. Vic Smeed's River Princess is a 24" long open steam launch. The plan gives construction details for a clinker built hull using thin plywood (or other). The plan was presented as a free plan in the April 1989 edition of Model Boats magazine and never made commercially available. The model is a smaller, modified version of the 35" River Queen which is available from Sarik.

If this design would be of interest, message your email and I will send the magazine article and plans. Admittedly there is more work involved than the Fantail, but a lovely little model could be achieved.


Thread: August 1989 issue with free plans Santa Ana stern wheeler
03/02/2020 22:31:05

Came across these two photographs.

santa ana (1).jpg

santa ana from exhib.jpg

Thread: Vane Steering for Model Yachts
23/12/2019 21:01:25

Hi Dave,

I can remember starting a thread on vane sailing some time ago in the Sailing Models section of the site. Attached below is a link. Under the thread 'Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs' #23 there is a plan for the 25" MM class models Waterbaby and Sea Urchin. The plans show details of making a vane for smaller yachts.

In the Vane Sailing thread the moving carriage vane gear is mentioned, these are a superb piece of engineering, but only suitable for larger yachts e.g. "A" class due to their weight.




Thread: January 2020 issue: Test Bench Revell PT Boat
23/12/2019 16:43:06

Hi Ray,

I also like to give some model building time to plastics. I don't have a stash (for loft insulation), but like to buy to build with a couple of exceptions. The cargo liner Benledi is in storage, an old Revell kit, which dates from when Revell had a manufacturing plant in Great Britain. Not sure whether I will build or not, the old saying "when in doubt, do nowt" seems to apply.

My current plastics build is Revell's 1:90 'Nina' from the 1990s when Revell were in Illinois USA.

Pleased the new editor, Martyn has found space in the magazine for these (plastic) models.

benledi (1).jpg

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