By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more

Member postings for Ian Gardner

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

Thread: Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs
05/04/2021 18:18:52

Hi all,

Yes, sorry Tony, I realise it was Colin who started this thread all those years ago. I have owned a copy of Power Model boats for getting on for fifty years and never really noticed the "It is on record..." bit.

I wish I had video or film of some of my earlier boats. I don't even have photos of lots of them.

Roy, I hope you do get round to Silver Mist, it is a lovely design.


05/04/2021 14:28:53

Hi again Tony,

It's always nice to have a bit of video of boats if only for one's own satisfaction but I would like to see some of your Vic Smeed models in action. I plan to do more this year once I can get up to Cheddar again. Hopefully it won't be too long now.

One problem with sailing small boats on larger sheets of water is keeping sight of them. I used to sail very occasionally on the Round Pond as a boy and remember completely losing sight of boats among the wildfowl! I wonder if Vic took binoculars with him - and was it actually him? The article merely states, ''It is on record...'' You would probably know about this having done so much research about him.

Yes, my steam yacht did use the Silver Mist hull at 36". I'm not sure if this counts as Vic Smeed boat or not.

It is odd that my spell checker is quite happy with Sneed but doesn't like Smeed! I must look up Sneed.😐

Also rather sobering to note that you started this thread in 2013.

Cheers for now,


04/04/2021 10:02:50

Hello Tony,

It's nice to see some progress on Royal Falcon. Hopefully we can all get out to do some sailing soon. I haven't sailed a boat since last August when I took the video of SY Minnow. I'd love to see some video of your Guardsman if you ever got round to it and I'd still like to build a bigger Guardsman some day myself, but doubt I'll ever get to it now.

I wonder if you still plan to replicate Vic's epic voyage across Brotherswater with Royal Falcon when it's finished? That would be really something - but somewhat nerve-wracking I should think!

I'll be in touch soon,

All the best,


Thread: Smoke unit
23/08/2020 15:51:46

I didn't realise you were after something for a diesel tug and this may be a bit OTT for that. It is possible to turn the output down - I had it quite high for the video. The unit comes with a pot which enables you to control the speed of the fan. There are other units which use a mineral based fluid which I assume would be a bit messier than these, but I have had no expereince of them. I like this because it's simple and clean.

Anyway, good luck whatever you decide.


21/08/2020 11:08:45

Hello Jake,

I have used the mist unit from Model Boat Bits and am very pleased with it. It operates on 12v and seems very effective. They do take up a fair bit of room in the boat. Mine was slightly different from the one in the link above, it was a vertical boilered affair. I have just received the one described above to install in another boat. I think they are basically the same, certainly look like the same electrics.

I have attempted to post a link to a You Tube video of my boat with it in so you can see what they look like.

Thread: Vic Smeed's Silver Mist
05/05/2018 12:05:15

Looking forward to that Ray - always one of my favourite designs. Mine appeared in Tony's Vic Smeed article a while ago. Mine is a little bigger than yours but not as big as Bob's - but size isn't everything!


All the best,


Thread: Navigation lights in shrouds
30/04/2018 14:18:55


I wondered if your model might be the Mistral- a lovely old Vic Smeed design. Mine was also enlarged a little from 18'' to about 23''. I found that the shapes on the plan didn't work out quite as intended so a bit of juggling was required- although it might have been me being clumsy.

I hope you have fun building the model and look forward to seeing some photos at some stage. I know others who follow this forum are great Vic Smeed fans too.



28/04/2018 20:32:14

Hello Charles,

I had just the same problem when I was building my Vic Smeed Mistral. No amount of searching could come up with the definitive answer but I did discover that the lifebelts were often mounted in the same place but on a wooden cross piece. In the end I just stuck the light boards on the shrouds with cyano and they have remained securely in place ever since.

Here are some photos of my Mistral.**LINK**

All the best,


Thread: SLEC/Vintage Model Boats Thames Police Launch
24/10/2017 17:11:37

I would only ever use a rubber coupling like these in a faster boat now as they are quieter. I read somewhere that the Huco type couplings are only designed for revs up to about 10,000. They are certainly much noisier and therefore, presumably, less efficient.

I think it would be worth taking a lot of trouble to get a good alignment and double couplings take up a lot of space.


Thread: Website wobble
07/10/2017 16:59:47

Using Firefox I find the product pages come up but the home page is blank.


Thread: Midwest Products plans
02/10/2017 22:31:38


I have had a look at your website and lots of others listing plans. Aerofred has three Midwest plans- the tug, the fireboat and a lobster boat.

Needless to say, one of the first things I did was get in touch with Midwest and they say they have no parts or drawings for the kits now.

I'll keep trying but it seems a bit of a lost cause. Trouble is though, one tends to get the bit between the teeth and it becomes a bit of an obsession!

Thanks for the response.


02/10/2017 19:13:48

Hi all,

I have been trying to track down the drawings for a couple of the old Midwest static kits which are no longer produced-or even the kits themselves.

The drawings have enough information on them to build a model from scratch. I wondered if anybody had built a kit in the past and still had the drawings which they might be prepared to sell or copy.

The kits still pop up on Ebay from time to time , but are usually in the States and very expensive.

The two I'm particularly interested in are the Chesapeake Bay Flattie and the Sharpie Schooner. I know it's a long shot but I thought it was worth a try.

All the best,


Thread: Armouring the hull
30/09/2017 11:54:45

I think you'll find ZPoxy is a preferred product for models. I have used it and like it. It is less odorous and sands well. Others could say more abour Eze-Cote.

Thread: New to Steam - what to use in Victoria
19/09/2017 20:15:08

Yes, Donald- a bit of a trek from Kings Lynn to Cheddar!


14/09/2017 10:12:42

Hello Donald,

I have built some steam models in the past and used Cheddar plants which were excellent. However, I'm no expert.

Obviously Cheddar are no more, but a former employee, Jerry Watson ( I think) runs Clevedon Steam and you already know about him. I suggest you contact him and ask for suggestions. The Krick Victoria was a very well known boat so he will know just what you need. I should think any of the plants you mention would suffice.


In my opinion, silicone tubing for ancillaries like a sludge tank is OK in an enclosed boat but for an open launch it might look better to plumb in with copper tube. It is also my opinion (and only that) that electronic boiler control complicates things unnecessarily on a boat like this. You should get twenty minutes from a boiler you are likely to use then you have the fun of bringing her in and tending to the fire and water.

Whistles are fun but soon use up steam if you aren't judicious in their use.

I used to know the purpose of the syphon on the pressure gauge- I think it's to make sure the gauge is operated by water rather than steam.

Stan Bray wrote a book about model marine steam which is quite useful.


There was also a Traplet book about steamboats called Scale Model Steamboats by Phillip Vaughan Williams


Traplet store is closed but this copy is on Amazon- price is a bit steep it seems to me!

I see you can still buy Jim King's book and that would still provide good background although quite old now.


The best bit of advice is to join a club with knowledgeable people if at all possible. I don't know where you are in the country but Cheddar Steam Club has people who know all about this stuff.


Others on this forum will have greater knowledge than me but I hope some of this helps.


Thread: Vintage Gentleman's Cruiser
05/09/2017 11:29:52

Been there, done that Bob! It happened to me on the Silver Mist and it's very irritating. All part of the fun though and your latest build is looking very fine. Keep up the good work- always enjoy reading your posts.


22/08/2017 09:48:20

Those windows look absolutley fab, Bob. You can't see the join. I like the Fablon covering too- might try that one day. I take it those were the two tinlets you used?

I liked the picture of the full sized James Silver yacht- that stern doesn't look all that bulbous to me and I wonder if Vic got it quite right. However, he was only working from some photos.


21/08/2017 10:40:05

A very good solution for the window frames Bob. I was wondering what you might do to disguise the bare wood round the frame cut-outs. I often laminate thin mahogany onto lite-ply for superstructures and have the same problem. I'll be interested to see what you paint them with. I have used Plasticote Chrome paint in the past, which is a nice silver but not very durable.

I still have an old Maycraft Mercury to finish refurbishing and the thing that's putting me off is fabricating the twenty plus window frames!

Keep up the good work,


17/08/2017 13:36:13

Well, it was just a thought, Bob. It is hard to tell from the photos what the rake is. I think the funnel on Sea Dog looks awkwardly vertical! It is hard to get these things just right. Might be worth making some card mock-ups to try different heights and angles.

Whatever you end up doing it will look great, I'm sure.


17/08/2017 10:30:09

I'm glad the funnel will stay Bob. Just one further thought, having looked at quite a few photos of this type of craft, I wonder if the funnel is too steeply raked. Looking at the original Sea Dog and other boats, they tended to be more upright. But again, if you have glued it on it may be a bit late!


Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Boats? Use our magazine locator link to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Boats!

Support Our Partners
Restorers Wanted
Premier March
Pendle Boilers
Shopping Partners
Social Media

'Like' us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Pin us on Pinterest

Member Contributions
Distributors of Model Boats for our overseas readers

Make sure you never miss out on the latest news, product reviews and competitions with our free RSS feed

Make your own contribution to the Website

We welcome well written contributions from Website members on almost any aspect of Model Boating with a particular emphasis on practical hints, tips, experience and builds.

In order to maintain a consistent standard and format, all suggestions should first be sent to me by Personal Message for approval in principle. Only a very limited amount of time is available for editing contributions into a suitable format for placing on the website so it is important that the material is well presented, lucid and free from obvious spelling errors. I think it goes without saying that contributions should be illustrated by appropriate photos. I shall be happy to give advice on this.

The Member Contribution area offers space for short informative mini articles which would not normally find a place in Model Boats magazine. It is an opportunity for Website Members to freely share their  expertise and experience but I am afraid that virtue is its own reward as there is no budget to offer more material recompense!

I look forward to receiving your suggestions.

Colin Bishop - Website Editor