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Member postings for John W E

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

Thread: Stabilisers on Model Boats
19/03/2011 10:35:13

hi there David
Just put a link on from anoter forum of another discussion which was made about stabilisers and their true value on a model.
Personally, I feel the actual effectiveness of them on a model is very small unless of course it is a very 'thin' warship.
aye - John
Thread: Shemarah II
22/02/2011 18:32:48
hi there Gareth
I have been searching through my model books to see if I could find the plan feature - it is somewhere - I will keep looking. What I did find though was the Magazine which contains the plans for the Boston Blenheim which is the diagonally planked vessel which I used 0.8mm thickness ply for planking the outside - this isnt a James Pottinger plan.
The other vessel I planked was the Frederique Spashett - using lime wood for the exterior.
You are considering using large sheets of ply to cover the side of the hull; where this is a good idea, the only downfall is ensuring that the resin doesnt crack off the exterior. So it is always well adviseable to 'rough up' the surface with some heavy grade sand paper. The only disadvantage of using plywood as a planking material is that when you come to cover it with epoxy/polyester the resins will not penetrate any further than the first veneer of plywood because of the bonding glue makeup to the plywood.
The next tip I could give, unless you already know - the next time you assemble the motor gear box -stick the gear box shaft into the freezer for an hour to actually shrink the shaft and gently warm the bearings in a tin of warm oil. (NOT BOILING OIL) for approx 10 mins. This will allow the bearings to slide onto the shaft.
Looking forward to seeing your build.
20/02/2011 17:59:26
hi there Gareth
This looks a very nice build. I believe you are building from a James Pottinger plan?
Some of his plans are very easy to work from. I hope you are finding this build easy.
Looking at your build, may I please make 1-2 comments?
It may pay you to add several stringers down each side of the hull, preferably one either side of the keel. One in the area where the bilge keels are located and one at deck level. The reason for the 3 stringers: The first stringers which are located next to the keel will give a greater area for glue, for your plank and give a stronger joint. The second one, in the area of the bilge keels will give added strength and thickness to locate the bilge keels too. Bilge keels are vulnerable and tend to be knocked / snapped off quite easily but using brass pins through the bilge keels into the stringer adds strength. The third one at deck level, gives you an area for your deck to the glued too.
The other option I can think of, but requires far more stringers, roughly between 8-10 per side of the hull, would be to diagonally plank this hull - in 0.8 mm thick plywood, possibly covered with tissue matt and resin to give an extremely strong hull.
Of the several hulls which I have built (plus I am busy building one of James Pottingers plans now/The Sea Lady beam trawler) I have diagonally planks 2 of them and found this method to be stronger type of build. My model of the Sea Lady I have planked longitudinally.
Hope this helps.
The choice is yours
Thread: Inexpensive 2.4Ghz systems
31/10/2010 18:30:55
hi ya there Robin
I have the Giant Cod 2.4 conversion kits - 2 of these - these are a DIY unit.    You fit the unit into either a 40 mghz or a 35 mghz transmitter to convert  the transmitter to 2.4 GHz.  Along with the unit for the TX you also get a new RX (normally of an 8 channel).    As I have said, I have fitted 2 of these units (costing £26 each) to existing FUTABA gear and on the bench, under test - it works perfect.   However, it has yet to be field tested.   Going by reports of other people with this set up - they cannot faulter it.
I also have a 'cheap' Planet T5 five channel 2.4 GHz set - I bought that from Cornwall Models for about £36.  On face value its good piece of kit for what I paid - but - it does have a reduced range of only 100 metres....not that that will bother us much - cos after 100 metres I doubt whether you would be able to see the model boat  unless of course your model boat is a 1 - 1 scale supertanker  .
Now the downside of this little unit - on test - I have noticed something.   If I switch the RX on first and then the transmitter - sometimes the throttle mode (which is normally mode 2) swaps channels and goes over to mode 1 without any warning - in other words quite dangerous IF YOU DONT REALISE THIS HAS HAPPENED.   It doesnt take long to find out once you have lost control of the model.    I am not sure whether this is a fault with the unit I have, or, it may be just one of those things - I have never heard anyone else complain of it YET !! 
One of the good things I did find out though is that the majority of the speed controllers I have such as Electronize, and that 'old' firm I think they call them ACTion with the positive field diodes roond the wrong way - and it even works with them!!!!   United sand -dancers association - suckers eh.....
so my advice would be - although a lot of these cheap sets are getting good reports and write ups - if you decide to buy one - give it a blinking good bench test before using it on the open lake - SOME FOOD for THOUGHT ANYWAY.
john e

Edited By bluebird on 31/10/2010 18:46:25

Edited By bluebird on 31/10/2010 18:47:50

Thread: help please
29/10/2010 19:15:28
Hi there Jay
I find just using short bursts of the electric starter normally does the job - I presume you will already have the heater glow start which clips on to the top of the plug - it makes life a lot easier.
29/10/2010 11:09:47
hi ya there Jay
At the present time I am running an Enya 19 vintage engine in the Surfury.  I am using nitro fuel, however, this has  5% synthetic oil and 5% castor oil in the mix. According to the people in the know (at the boat club - which I belong to)  and who run vintage glow engines, this mix should be okay and equivalent to the 'old' Keilkraft mix of fuel.      Having said that though - there are one or two members who say that it is adviseable after a run of the engine to run a drop of 3 in 1 oil through the engine by hand.  
A 12 volt electric starter - similar to the type which the aircraft lot use (for starting their engines) is a good bonus.   This is the first thing I acquired. 
A few thoughts there for you.
Thread: Hull Plating
20/10/2010 19:14:22

Hi there, with regard to plating; there are 2 methods which I have used successfully>>

One is to use printer card, which has been pre-sprayed with undercoat paint and then glued onto the hull using watered down PVA glue & that was used on HMS Daring build which is shown in the photographs.>>

The other method of assimilating plating on a hull is to use 0.5 mm thickness of Plasticard and this is glued onto the hull using superglue.  One of the drawbacks with using superglue in vast quantities is to remember that one must be in a well-ventilated area and also when placing the plates into position there is very little time if any for adjustment of plates.>>

I did try a product from a company called 5Star which was their answer to an odourless contact adhesive, similar to the Evostik/Bostick type of contact glues.  The problem I found with this was that you could peel the plates from off the hull quite easily, even though I have followed the manufacturers instructions to the letter.  Even going as far as roughing the contact faces up between the hull and the plates.    Not very successful.    I would have used the Evostik contact approach but both the fumes and smell from the contact adhesive is no good for me chest/health – and everyone has to be very careful using glues like that.>>

Pics attached – hope this is of some help.>>


John e>>

Thread: Prop Shaft Supports
09/10/2010 19:50:22

hi ya there, if you make a small jig which fits between the two prop shafts at the correct distance and also the correct height from the base of your hull and attach the prop shafts as shown in the pic.    This will enable you to acomplish the correct spacing and angles for your prop shafts and also A frames. 
Tac the prop tubes into position with Super-glue and then when you are happy with that, epoxy them in place.   You can then fit your A frames.
One thing to remember though, when you are fitting the A frames, you will have to cut slightly larger slots in the hull to allow for slight movement and realigning the A frames.   When you are happy with the positioning, you can epoxy them in place.
Hope this helps
john e
Thread: Lead Ballast
12/06/2010 21:46:44
Hi there
SAFETY NOTE  do not DO NOT attempt or even try to pour moulten lead into a fibre glass mould or hull of any description.
Even if the hull is resting in a cold bath of water.
EVEN THOUGH you cannot see with a naked eye the air bubbles trapped in resin THEY ARE THERE!!!!!!     The only way you can be sure there is no air in the resin is if it has been constructed using the vacuum method, which is a little too expensive for our model hulls.
Thread: prop direction
12/06/2010 21:38:40
hi therejust to add my two penneth worth in - basically Tony, you have the answer above - try the two options inboard and outboard rotation.   If you havent got the facility of controlling each motor independently, in conjunction with rudder movement.  You will find it very difficult to turn the model in its own length.   Even with independent control, some models are reluctant to behave correctly - in other words - turn when they should.  I have several twin-screw models, with various setups as far as prop rotations go, one of them is
 an RAF WW 2 rescue launch 2564.
This has outboard turning props along with transome slung rudders, with no independent control of motors and it takes an age to turn.
I have an MTB with 3 shaft setup controlled off 2 speed controllers but still not independently controlled motors and this will turn in 3-4 boats' lengths. 
Then I have the RTTL 2571 which is built to true scale and both the props turn in the same direction.   Motors are independently controlled.   At slow speed, this will turn in its own length - under speed she suffers terribly from prop-walk - and turning the model can be pretty hair raising.   Just to throw another spanner in the works,
I also have HMS Ajax a 4 propped war ship  -  independently controlled motors and when I had the props turning outboard, even independly controlling the motors in the turn she would NOT turn - make a perfect straight runner.  I swapped the props around so that they all turn inboard & the model will spin on its own length.
Food for thought.
Thread: Thinning epoxy resin
18/01/2010 19:52:34
hi there all
I have found, if you use a very coarse Oxide sanding paper and a sanding block, the polyester resins and epoxies sand very easy, even if there is a glass matt in the mix.
thing is to be careful of - using a coarse Oxide abrasive paper, you can remove a lot of material easily and quickly without realising it.
I normally use P.80 and P,60 grade and you will find once you have removed the top surface (in other words the sheen off the top of the fibre glass, you can use a finer grade of wet n dry to finish off.
Remember to always use a sanding block of the correct size and shape to prevent sanding hollows in the hull.
10/01/2010 11:58:19
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Hi ya there Jeremy

I am attaching some pics of my RTTL model which I am currently building and used the method below to cover the hull.

I would advise strongly against thinning epoxy as there is no need to.  The trick of using Z-epoxy is to purchase the cheap artist brushes (you know the ones – the ones from the Pound shop) to stapple the resin into the grain and into the gaps of the planking.

Once this epoxy has dried, rub it back with a wet n dry paper, until you expose the grain of the planking again, but leaving the epoxy in the gaps.

Then recoat with a 2nd coating of z-epoxy, and when this epoxy has dried, rub it back but not so as you expose the planks.   Then, put your finished coat of epoxy on – rub this back with finer grades of wet n dry – and a sanding block to achieve this desired finish.

Edited By bluebird on 10/01/2010 12:06:33

18/06/2009 15:54:50
Hi there everyone
Do you have a favourite home made tool/jig that you always end up going back too to use?
I made 2 sanding boards up - years ago - I made them from some scrap pieces of plywood. 
 One of them I covered with double sided tape; which the carpet fitters use; and, then, on top of that I stuck a medium grade sandpaper.    I always find this board useful for sanding items flat such as white metal/resin fittings which require a flat surface.
The other board I made (also years ago) was one which I use for squaring materials up; in other words 2 faces at right angles to each other.   This once again, I made from plywood - it has a vertical piece of plywood glued to the long edge of the base plywood - and this vertical edge is also covered with double sided tape - and then an abrasive paper stuck to it.
Just wondering if anyone else has made their own tools/jigs which they find exceptionally useful and would like to share their ideas with all of us???

Thread: Summer 2009 Photographic Competition
17/06/2009 10:12:05


Edited By bluebird on 17/06/2009 10:14:00

Thread: Tug Forceful
01/09/2008 13:59:00

Hi there Mike

Before I answer any questions NOT GUILTY your Honour  or, do I owe you any money  .   Mike did you ever live in North East of England UK anytime - if so, it is pretty high chance our paths may have crossed.  I did, for a while, live in St Neots Cambridgeshire (Eaton Socon) so there is a possibility there....also, I used to work for a small engineering company who had a Naval Contract.......we used to work in most of the Ports around the Uk with that company......

so there is another possibility my friend.....



20/07/2008 11:41:00

Hi there John from another John

As far as the articles go, January 1980 - that was part 1 in the Model Boats magazine.  Then part 2 was in the February 1980 issue - whether there was a part 3 - I do not know - due to the fact that I only have photocopies of the Magazine Article - there is a place where you can purchase back issues of the magazine its Tee Publishing and their web address is

If you struggle to obtain the copies you require, please let me know your email address and then I could try and scan the articles which I have - and send them to you.



Thread: Model boat Robbie pt.15
16/07/2008 10:38:00

hello there Mick

regarding the instruction book for the PT15, what our Dicky forgot to mention is there are one or two of us who really struggled with this instruction book which THEY SAY is in English  and, to be honest with you, the Plan was more help than the instruction book.

 I am not, what you would really call, a Kit modeller - but, I was bought the kit as a present by the better half - along with all of the kitncaboodle - the motor which is actually recommended for the kit along with all the sound units and bits and pieces - to start off with the motor that is suggested is the one with the gear box and as Dicky mentions you can hear the thing run from 4 mile away!  it is so noisy.

The sound effects from Robbe - the horn sound - when I was testing it out - my wife thought I was strangling one of our pet cats.   Then there was the engine noise - a series of click, click clicks, and that my friend is a diesel engine   -  not very impressed.

As far as building the model is concerned, I quite enjoyed it to a point and I would think anyone who does do kits seriously - it will quite easily turn into a lovely model.  Hey and before our Dicky says anything - Yes........mine is sitting in the loft....its sulking....cos it just needs its guns painting & not to mention its sea trials.

aye, John e

Thread: Propshaft lubrication and setup
15/07/2008 12:11:00

Hello there Brian

 Brand new electric motors are not 'supposedly' needed to be 'run in'.   However, I have always put a light splash of machine oil on the motor bearings, whilst running the prop shaft in.   This I then wash off with methylated spirits or some cleaning agent and then re-apply 2 or 3 drops of clean machine oil.  That is very light machine oil by the way, similar to what they use on model railways locomotives and sewing machines.

 Hope this is of some help.



15/07/2008 10:18:00

Good morning there Brian

I totally agree with what Chas says  in his posting - the only thing I would add is, if this is a new set up - i.e. it is a brand new prop shaft and motor; what I would strongly recommend is to run the motor and propeller shaft in situ for about half an hour to an hour - allowing the prop tube and motor bearings to bed in.

Whilst the motor is running, you can check for excessive tight spots, which will be indicated by excessive heat.  Once you have ran the motor in, remove the propeller shaft from the tube, cleaning all old grease out and then renewing the grease.   This you will find will make the motor and propeller shaft run a lot quieter - hope this is of some help.



Thread: Prop sealing
15/03/2008 22:28:00

hi there all

Normally when I first install propeller shafts and motors into a model; I pack the propeller tubes with a medium grease, also lightly oil the bearings and bushes on the motors; connect the motors up without any speed controllers or anything - to a 6 or a 12 volt battery (depending on the motor size) and allow to run for at least an hour.   This beds the bushes in the propeller shafts in, and also the bushes on the motor.

After the motor has been running for about say 1 - 1 1/2 hours; I remove the prop shafts from the tubes; clean out all the grease from insides of the prop tubes, normally flushing through with paraffin or white spirit.  Then replacing the grease with a couple of drops of very light machine oil or sewing machine oil - in with this I have a syringe that has a light machine grease which was supplied from where I used to work  and I only put a tiny amount of grease in the shafts - so much so you should be able to spin the shaft freely by hand.   After I have done all of that I reassemble motor and couplings and run the motor straight from the battery again for approx 5-10 minutes.

I know sometimes, some folk say, you shouldnt run brand new stuff in - flat out - you should actually build the speed up gradually, but I must confess I have never done that on electric motors.   Yes, I have gradually build up speed on steam and diesel motors, but as I say never done that on electric ones - and I have never encountered any problems.

To be honest the only problems I have ever encountered like that was created by 'poor' plastic coupling bodies; where the brass inserts either end have been mis-aligned.

Aye, I do hope that is of some help  John e - (bluebird under cover )

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