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Member postings for Banjoman

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

Thread: New Projects for 2019 ??
11/03/2019 18:52:12


Oops! Well, forewarned is forearmed, eh wot wot … ?!


11/03/2019 11:02:45

Hello Ray,

And thank you very much for asking! I'm still around in the general sense of the term, and (other than a couple of colds recently) in excellent health and state of mind, but have been otherwise much occupied in various ways since last autumn. Among other things, my wife and I went to Australia over the end-of-year holidays and for most of January, but more detrimental to model boating has been me going off on a woodworking tangent of late.

It all started with a need in our kitchen for something that would facilitate consistently placing the kitchen table in the desired spot under the lamp (as we're renting, moving the fixture was not an option) while also providing some storage space for the odds and sods that would otherwise tend to clutter up said table; the result was a made-to-measure set of shelves of my own design that one can see here between the table and the half wall:


I then got it into my head to sort out a (non-)problem which I've wanted to address for quite some time, namely to have a Stephenson screen in the garden to house the outdoor temperature/humidity sensors and rain gauge for our two (one older Oregon-type one, and a more recent Netatmo on-line capable system) weather stations:



I am not in any way, shape or form an amateur meteorologist, but I have been getting more and more fed up with having to guesstimate the temperature measuring error that one inevitably gets when the sensors are set up too close to a building. I don't care if it is currently 6.4 degrees in our garden, as the Netatmo app tells me it is, or actually 6.2 or 6.7, but I don't want to have to deduct +/- so many degrees from a reading of somewhere between 8 and 10, which is what I would probably have gotten before, when the sensor was strapped to a drainpipe next to the house ...

Both these projects are now finished, but while working on them last autumn I also took a ten week (and 30 hour total, I should perhaps add; not ten weeks full time) course on hand tool woodworking (the bench in the foreground with a plank being edge-planed was mine) ...


... and got bitten pretty badly by that particular bug; so badly, in fact, that on Saturday, my wife and I will be driving up to Arnhem in The Netherlands where I shall spend a small fortune on hand planes and suchlike at a place called Baptist, and also visit the Arnhemse Fijnhouthandel ("Arnhem Fine Woods Shop" ) for a first recce. We will then spend the rest of the weekend plus the Monday doing more touristy stuff, including going on to see respectively the David Hockney (at the Van Gogh museum) and the All the Rembrandts (at the Rijksmuseum) exhibitions in Amsterdam; just the tool and wood stores would not likely have lured my wife along ... 

This does most emphatically not mean that I have abandoned model boating! It is just that I have given short term priority to spending available time and money getting properly started on full size woodworking. Once that dust has settled, though, my next model boat project will be a 1/16 Fairey Huntsman from Dave Milbourn's plans! Oh, and I shall also have to do some minor restoration work to the hull paint work of my Moonbeam, which got a bit scratched against the pond shoreline when I took it out in an a tad too strong wind back in autumn ...

Again, many thanks for asking after me, and all the very best!



Edited By Banjoman on 11/03/2019 11:06:28

Edited By Banjoman on 11/03/2019 11:09:37

Edited By Banjoman on 11/03/2019 11:13:16

Edited By Banjoman on 11/03/2019 11:14:34

Thread: Spider J
19/11/2018 13:36:22


She looks truly and stunningly beautiful on the water, even under 'just' the trial set of sails! A most impressive and admirable build from start to finish, and one that it has been a joy to be allowed to follow.

I take my hat off to you, Sir!


Thread: Iron barque completed
29/10/2018 06:26:58


It is good indeed to hear that you are almost there with the reparations, and kudos to you for getting on with what cannot have been the most inspiring job.


Thread: Todays Boating
30/08/2018 10:02:55


Given that the exact configurations of masts and spars would have been eminently variable (they were, after all, not glued in or anything, only held in place by their stepping and the standing rigging) at any point in time, and that a new set-up with longer masts and/or topmasts could have been installed in a ship in a few days, things may well have come to vary from the original design, if the latter for one reason or another was found wanting or sub-optimal ...


Thread: How to make a small vacuum box
27/08/2018 08:16:01

In which case, I'm glad that I downloaded it while I could


21/08/2018 10:12:16


I just bought a copy, and found it in equal measure interesting and useful!


Thread: Transferring from plans
12/08/2018 09:39:36

Brian and Ray,

I have now gone thrgh the first two chapters of Vol. 1 of Harold Underhill's book, and found the passage I seemed to recall. He has the following to say:

"The first thing is to discover whether the Lines Plan has been drawn to the inside or the outside of the planking. In almost all builders' plans for merchant ships, both large and small, the Lines will be to the inside of the planking since that is the most suitable arrangement for setting out the frames etc., but in most plans drawn for models the Lines will be to the outside of the planking, because that gives the true external shape of the hull and is suitable for building either solid block or laminated models." [Plank-On-Frame Models and Scale Masting and Rigging : Volume 1, Harold A. Underhill, 1958 (12th reprint, 2006), p. 26.]

This was of course first written in 1958, so I've no idea if it still holds true; it does, however, seem to indicate that if building a model from a lines plan, one should always try to find out whether that specific plan was drawn to the inside or the outside of the hull ...


10/08/2018 11:57:14

Brian and Ray,

If I'm not much mistaken, those "long lines" can be used to plot the shape of any cross section along the hull. Harold Underhill gives a detailed explanation of this procedure in his book on plank-on-frame models (**LINK**), and if, as he did, one is making a fully-framed model, this is an essential skill, as even a large set of sections on the drawings will not provide all required shapes in a ready-to-use form.

As for whether such ready-made cross sections are made to the outside of the hull, I suspect that they are; at least I seem to recall from when I read the Underhill book a few years ago that when plotting, he allowed for the thickness of the skin. But I may be wrong on this, so I'll try to remember to look it up in the book over the weekend or so ...


Thread: Creating lines on sails
10/08/2018 11:42:11


Those lines do not represent actual strips on the sail, but rather the effect created in a certain light of the seams between the bolts of canvas (usually two and sometimes three feet wide) from which a real sail is made up.

Please note that by "seams" I don't mean the actual stitches -- these would not be visible unless you stood within a couple of feet of the sail. It is the hemming of the sail cloth edges that looks like a line when the light shines through the sail, because where those edges have been hemmed and stitched together, there are several layers of canvas, as opposed to the width of each bolt, which is just a single thickness.

If you image google "Bluenose II", you will find a large number of nice colour photos of that ship under sail, taken in different light conditions; on some of these the seam lines are very marked, on other, where the light is falling on the front of the sail as the camera sees it, they are almost invisible.

In my opinion, the best way to imitate this effect on a model sail is to sew on the lines with a sewing machine. First mark them out very faintly with pencil, to give you a guide, and then apply a series of straight, fairly short stitch lines on top of the pencil lines.

For my part, I would not use a black or even very dark thread to do this, as I think it will look to marked, but rather a beige or tan one, just a few shades darker than the fabric. Get a couple of different colour threads from a haberdasher's, and do a couple of test pieces on some spare material until you are happy with how it looks.

Apart from there being no risk of ink bleeds, sewn lines have the advantage of looking the same on both sides of the sail with no extra effort required.


Edited By Banjoman on 10/08/2018 11:42:54

Edited By Banjoman on 10/08/2018 11:44:04

Thread: Iron barque completed
25/07/2018 08:26:29
Posted by Bob Wilson on 24/07/2018 21:49:17:

[...] Some time ago, I sold a model of Clan MacTaggart for £400 privately. It later turned up at Charles Miller Ltd nautical auction in London where it sold for £3,800! [...]


Have you ever considered selling them yourself through Charles Miller? Even if the difference between the price you ask and what a model would fetch at auction were but a third of the example you give, it would still provide an ample margin to cover the auctioneer's handling fees and commission, while the problem of having to send models out by courier could be circumvented by delivering them by hand to the auctioneers -- going up to London a few times a year with a model or two would surely be doable?!


Thread: Using a Sewing Machine for models.
19/07/2018 13:45:49

When I was at school in Sweden in the 1970's, we all, boys and girls alike and together, had a weekly double-hour period of D&T from grade 4 at age 10, with needlework and woodwork alternating between semesters until one reached grade 7 at 13, and could freely chose one or the other. Using a sewing machine was indeed one of the key skills taught in needlework, but we also had a go at things like embroidery, patchwork, crocheting, knitting and probably other techniques as well that I don't remember off the top of my head.

Personally I found it great fun, and if nothing else it rather demystified the sewing machine for me ...

In any case, Ron is entirely correct: it is not very difficult to learn to use a sewing machine to the level of being able to make up a set of cotton sails for a model! Just as with any craft, there are things that would be much more difficult, not least when it comes to making clothes from slinky and/or stretchy and/or stiff fabrics to fit around the odd shapes and forms that make up the human body, but the flat-cotton-and-straight-line sewing involved in most model sail making is a comparative doddle that no-one who is handy enough to build a model boat should need to worry about tackling!

That said, if outsourcing sail making to other members of the household is as much or more a matter of making it a team or collaborative effort, that's a different kettle of fish, but if it is just a question of "I don't know how", I entirely agree with Ray: give it go!


Thread: Please! Help me
19/07/2018 09:37:56

There are two different products, one called Green Stuff (**LINK**) which I think would be the two-component epoxy putty mentioned by Tim. It does indeed have that in common with Milliput that it is two-component and epoxy-based, but I believe that it has different characteristics. There's some in a drawer in my workshop, but I've yet to use it, so cannot comment from personal experience. I know, though, that it is popular amongst the figure modelling crowd.

Then there's also a one-component hobby purpose filler from Squadron Products called Green Putty (**LINK**), which I've never used or seen, but suspect might be popular with plastic modellers, who I think is the primary community served by Squadron Models.

As for whether the Dumas USS Whitehall kit is a good (re)starter project for you, if you have lots of time and patience, why not? There's really only one way of finding out ... and even if a first project does not necessarily turn out as one saw it in one's mind's eye, the process is likely to be mainly enjoyable with plenty of opportunity to learn.

Again, if you have time and patience, you should be fine! Read the instructions through several times, while looking at and handling the parts described, and then have a good think about each step before you start work on it. Build in your mind before you build with your hands. (Personally I love to think things through while waiting to fall asleep at night.) If you feel unsure, or don't understand, read and think again, or do additional research on the 'net or in books (your local library will not be likely to have all that much on their own shelves, but it is surprising what you can get through inter-library loans) or ask questions here or on other fora. Measure twice before you cut, and if you're not happy with a result, try again until you are. Because in the end the only two things that count are that you enjoy the process and that you are happy with the result. If other people like what you've built, too, that's nice and a bonus, but the only one whose opinion actually counts is you yourself.

Good luck and have plenty of fun!


Edited By Banjoman on 19/07/2018 09:39:17

Edited By Banjoman on 19/07/2018 09:40:31

Thread: Modelling Timbers
17/07/2018 06:13:15


No, I believe he sold off as much as he could of his stock over the last six months or so, but don't think he passed anything on; at least not that I'm aware of, although I am of course not to that extent in his confidence that I would necessarily know ...

For natural material lines and ropes, though, I can heartily recommend the Syren Model Ship Company: **LINK**. Quality through and through, at very reasonable prices. My only (very mild) reservation is that at least their larger ropes are laid with four strands, rather than three, and thus a bit more of a hassle to splice. Slings and arrows, eh wot wot ... ?!


16/07/2018 10:55:59

Sad indeed! Not only did Keith Jewell sell a number of items that I have yet to find elsewhere, I also found him a real delight to do business with, always helpful and very prompt in all his dealings. I too sincerely wish him all the very best for the future!

When I heard a few months back that he would be closing down his business, I immediately got in touch with him and bought the remainder of his stock of cast bronze rigging thimbles; hopefully I now have enough of those to last me at least a while longer ... or I shall have to learn how to do bronze castings myself!


Thread: Spot the missing workshop
16/07/2018 10:07:46

I entirely concur with the previous postings: a most attractive-looking result indeed! The white trim sets off the dark green in a very neat and pretty manner!


Thread: Using cheap 6 channel Rxs in boats
06/07/2018 06:17:30

And it is called tank steering because that is, quite literally, how tanks (and other similar armoured vehicles, like troop carriers) are steered! Well, not through a RC t/x, of course, but by pulling and pushing on two sticks in front of the driver's seat. I once did the Tank Experience Day at Bovington, where one item on the programme is to get to drive an armoured vehicle around a training ground rough track. Huge fun, and a very effective way of controlling a vehicle once you get the hang of it.


Thread: Spider J
05/07/2018 07:03:12


That looks seriously good, and in my view completely realistic, in the sense that one could perfectly well imagine a real winch having a similar security locking arrangement. A true expert on these winches (I'm sure there are a few out there) might say "oh, I've never seen that arrangement before -- where did you come across it?", but I would be well surprised if even such a person dismissed the construction out of hand. And of course you are quite right that the tension from the rigging lines should be enough to keep the pins in place through simple friction between pin and eye.

Also, with a pin diameter of 1 mm, I likewise think you are absolutely right to prefer piano wire to a brass bolt -- the latter kind of fixing at such a small size as 12 BA might well bend slightly under the pressure of the weight of the spars and sails in combination with the pressure of the wind on the sails ...

What sort of surface treatment do you have in mind for the winches? Chemical blackening? Or paint? If the former, I thought I should perhaps mention that I have had it happen to me that soft solder started to dissolve when left immersed for too long (half an hour I think it was, or even a bit more) in the blackening agent. But I suppose you have used hard solder, anyway, given the loads that the winch must be able to stand up to?!


Thread: Todays Boating
04/07/2018 13:54:14

"... candid photography ... know what I mean? ... nudge, nudge ..."

Thread: Spider J
04/07/2018 08:58:40


A further thought: if you were to drill and tap a hole through the upright strut, you could then use a suitable small brass bolt instead of just a plain pin to engage with the locking eye on the roller. That way, there'd be no risk of it falling out during transport or while sailing. In consequence it could be kept fairly short and thus be more unobtrusive, while I'm sure that a fitting socket wrench hex key just held between the fingers would give more than enough purchase to engage and disengage the bolt with ease.

This would of course add a detail to the winch that isn't there in full size, but I think it would look like something that could very well have been included on a real winch as a security backstop to complement the pawl-and-ratchet arrangement, rather than as a clumsy makeshift solution.


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