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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: Sea Breeze - Vintage Model Boat Company
26/04/2018 11:47:33


My favourite is definitely scheme 1, but if you have been "slapping on the filler", I suppose that stained and varnished sides might no longer be a viable option?!

My runner-up favourite would be scheme 3, as I think that darker-coloured topsides will set off the stained and varnished deck even better than white ones.


Thread: Building Ardent
19/04/2018 06:20:14

Congratulations on a very, very pretty build, Eddie, that looks absolutely splendid on the water!


Thread: Mountfleet Models Clyde Puffer Sealight
16/04/2018 07:19:16


The Highlander kit that I built did of course have a slightly larger hull, but not all that much (838x235 mm as opposed to the Sealight's 813x203 mm), and in addition to the 1,9 kg battery and 1,3 kg worth of white metal fittings, I had to add some 8 kg or so of ballast (mainly in the form of lead shot).

However, unless I've misunderstood your initial post, you already have the Sealight kit, don't you?

If that is the case the easiest way to get a good enough estimate of how much weight the hull will displace is to temporarily mark out the line at which you wish the hull to sit in the water (a simple line of e.g. masking tape will do nicely), put the hull in the bath tub and then weight it down with whatever you find to hand (I used tins, jars and even flour bags from the kitchen) until she sits at the desired line, then add up the weight of those tins, jars or whatever.

Given the basic shape of a Puffer hull (to all intents and purposes a square box, slightly rounded off), you'll find it very easy to ballast, and not particular to a few hundred grams or even half a kilo more or less; however, when budgeting for ballast, don't forget the weight of the white metal fittings! The rest of the construction materials should be light enough that they're almost neither here nor there, but the white metal does have enough of a bit of weight to make a difference.

Likewise, if you have the kit, you should be able to get the dimensions of the hatch off of the plan. Looking at the photos on Mountfleet's website, though, and taking into account the known total dimensions of the hull, I'd guesstimate the hatch opening to be somewhere in the region of, say, 140x420 mm or so, which should give you plenty of room to fit even a large battery like the 12V/12Ah that you mention.


12/04/2018 11:37:32


There are sometimes issues with researching Puffers, given their place in popular culture due to the Vital Spark stories and the subsequent films and TV series based on those which has, I think, led to a certain amount of myth forming over the years.

That said, when I was looking into these things for my Eilean Mòr build, I found what seemed reasonably reliable information that claimed that the standard crew for a Puffer, at least up until the 1960's, was a total of four men: in order of rank on board the skipper, the engineer, the mate and the deck hand.

The engineer was normally the only one in the engine room.

I found nothing about skipper (or other crew member) families being regularly on board, which is logical enough, given both the limited and rather cramped quarters available, and the fact that the crew would usually be able to spend time at home on a regular basis, as the voyages made were short and they were mainly local to the area.

Local people hitching a ride, on the other hand, is more likely to have happened.

As for clothing, from what one can see in photos it seems likely that the crews wore whatever work clothes they happened to own or found useful, or in other words any kind of period workman's clothing. From what I've understood, the Puffer trade was not only very much a working class kind of job, but also a not very high status one at that: it was frequently dirty, heavy (including unloading bulk cargo more or less by hand out on the islands), not all that well paid and with unsociable hours and schedules.

For more information, the autobiographical Last of the Puffermen (**LINK**) by Keith McGinn is perhaps not the best-written book I've ever read, but there are quite a few nuggets of information to be gleaned from it.

Puffers (**LINK**) by Guthrie Hutton is mainly a collection of photos, but does also contain a certain amount of interesting information.

And although fictional, and concerned more with the crew and their shenanigans than with Puffers as such, the Para Handy tales (**LINK**) by Neil Munro are agreeable and entertaining reading ...

The Scottish Maritime Museum has also put up a very interesting collection of photos on flickr: **LINK**

Finally, a very informative website is Alisdair MacKenzies Puffers and Vics one: **LINK**.

Good hunting and have fun with your build!


Edited By Banjoman on 12/04/2018 11:37:59

Edited By Banjoman on 12/04/2018 11:44:01

Thread: Adding photos
09/04/2018 07:10:53


Not that it matters much, but I think that the forum platform actually does automatic size reduction of too large photos, at least within some limits.

My photos are mainly taken with a Leica D-LUX 4, and come out of the camera as JPGs roughly 3750x2500 pixels in size and weighing in at around 3 to 4 MB each.

Those images that I select for use on this forum (and on another, Swedish one, where I also participate), I always edit in Photoshop, both to give them more meaningful file names, and to re-size them. After this process, each photo is 1500x1001 pixels in size and, at 180 dpi, weighs around 1 MB, which is pretty much the optimum size for use on that other forum.

This is thus the size of the files that I upload to this forum, too; however, during the upload they are automagically saved to the MB forum servers at 1024x683 pixels and 96 dpi and weighs in the low hundreds of kilobytes.

I have never tried to upload any full size photos to the forum, so don't know if there are any upper levels above which the system would refuse the files rather than re-size them, but at least from 1500x1001 to 1024x683, it does happen!


Thread: How to preserve blackened brass/copper
05/04/2018 10:36:03


A little may indeed come off when handled, so yes, a sealer can be used; however, be careful that you don't negate the positive aspect of blackener that is that nothing is added to the surface! For my part, i have never felt any need to use sealer.

I have on the other hand found that a stronger, better lasting result can be had by diluting the blackener with water and proportionally increasing the time that the parts are kept in the bat. If my memory serves me, I've usually worked with +/- 1 part blackener to 3 or 4 parts water, i.e. a 25 or 20% solution, and with immersion times between 10 and 20 minutes or so.

After blackening, I also always rinse the parts by dipping them in a bowl of clean water and then let them dry naturally on some kitchen roll before handling them with my fingers; for moving them from blackener to rinse to kitchen roll, I of course (carefully) use tweezers. If your tap water is on the hard side, you might want to use distilled water or rain water, to avoid limescale spots.

And yes, blackener can be reused! It will become less effective with repeated use, and eventually lose all effect, but it can definitely be reused several times.

What I do is to pour the used blackener into a different bottle from the one in which it came; that way, the original bottle will always be fresh and full-strength, so that the diluted and/or pre-used stuff in the other bottle can be topped up by when and as needed.


Edited By Banjoman on 05/04/2018 10:37:01

Thread: What a difference 10 thou makes ...
01/04/2018 21:48:40

Although there are still a few more bits and bobs to add to the cradle, it was now sufficiently ready to be put through its paces, so a nice piece of 35 cm long oak firewood was collected from the woodpile and held fast between the studded pads ...


... to be gradually cut down ...


... in several planes ...


... until I had a piece with two faces at perfect right angles to one another!


The parallel fence ws the used to cut off a 5 mm slice ...


... from which a nice enough circa 1.3 x 5 x 300 mm strip could be cut with the table saw.

I still need to practice my cutting a fair bit to improve precision in all dimensions and directions, but at least the principle of thing works just as intended!

Oh, and I don't particularly intends to use oak for my model work, but the woodpile was a convenient source for a nice, dry but most of all uneven and lumpy but not too large piece of wood, and also the fact that I can manage oak (albeit at a very slow pace of cutting for the largest cuts on the bandsaw) means I should be fine for basically any wood I might care to use for model work ...



01/04/2018 21:37:55

The main eason why I made up this sledge base from both plywood and pine panel was that I (as yet) have no router, and figured that the easiest way to create the necessary stepped grooves would be to work with two pieces.

To mark both those pieces with exactly the same lines, I next made four lengthwise saw cuts into them, 50 mm from each outer edge, and 250 and 350 mm from the respective ends.


The two pieces were the separated again by unboilting the steel flat and rmovinbg the six screws, after which the plywood was given 25 mm diameter holes at the ends of the four saw cuts ...


... and the correspnding strips of wood sawn away too ...


to produce four slots, 25x250 and 25x350 mm respectively.


The pine panel was similarly treated, but with slots only 12 mm wide.


Once the plywood and the pine were screwed back together (this time with considerably more than just six screws), 4 stepped slots were created into which the wide ends of four M10 bolts fitted nicely.


An intermediate drilling accident had led to a large drill bit going all the way through the wood where one of the five steel flat fastening bolts were meant to go, so the micro lathe was called into service ...


... to make up a suitable plug ...


... which was then epoxied in place.


A first holding piece was the made up in the form of a 45x18 mm lattice through which a series of 10 mm holes were drilled. With this, flat pieces, such as plywood, can be held down to have straight edge sawn on to them.


For lumpier or more uneven pieces, a different system will be needed though, so next I made up two 9 mm plywood sliders, some 180x120 mm in size, and drilled 10 mm holes through these, too, so that they can be fixed by M10 bolts and wingnuts in any position from +/- 95 to 660 mm apart.


After cutting out two further pieces of plywood, these 20 mm thick, I plotted out and printed a pattern on paper ...


... that was taped onto the plywood blocks ...


... the pattern transferred with an awl ...


... drilled and countersunk ...


... so that a serties of woodscrews could be fixed through the plywood, to make up two studded pads.


The pads were further reinforced with back plates from 9 mm plywood glued onto their backs ...


... and then secured to the plywood sliders, with a couple of handles added on top of each pad.


To be continued ...


Edited By Banjoman on 01/04/2018 21:49:11

01/04/2018 21:16:25

Well! As already reported above, I managed to get hold of two feet's worth of 16x6 mm steel flat, and have, over the last few days, set out to make myself the cradle for which it was intended.


For starters, I made a trip to the local DIY shop, where I picked up a couple of glued pine panels ...


... and assorted hardware.


I then measured for ...


... punch-marked ...


... and drilled five 2 mm holes along the length of the steel flat.


Next, a suitable piece of 9 mm plywood was cut off from an old piece I found in my stash ...


... aligned with the better part of the long pine panel ...


... and fixed to the latter with six screws.


Next, the steel flat was carefully set out, and the positions of the holes transferred to the plywood with an awl.


The five holes in the steel were then enlarged to 4 mm ...


... and countersunk on the underside ...


... after which corresponding holes were drilled through the wood and countersunk on top ...


... so that the steel flat could be bolted down with no parts of the nuts and bolts sticking out either side.


This produced the base sledge of the cradle ...


... which, with the steel flat engaged snuggly in the mitre slot, will glide smoothly in parallell with and some 6 mm away from the blade.


To be continued ...


Thread: Help required for building Billings Bluenose II "600"
26/03/2018 08:32:06


I completely forgot to say that I'm truly delighted to hear that you are pleased with the results of the paint job!

As a general rule, I would say that yes, airbrush painting is tad more likely not to lead to bleeding, as sprayed-on paint doesn't go around corners very well. However, it is not a certainty that there will never be any bleeding, as this depends on a combination of how well the masking is pressed down and the angle at which the paint is sprayed on.

Is there any chance we might be treated to a photo or two of the now painted hull?!


26/03/2018 08:25:25


I did indeed first mark out those lines very lightly with a soft (4B) pencil; I then used a sewing machine to apply a line of stitching along and completely covering each of the pencil lines.

I suppose if one were to look very carefully, the pencil markings would still be visible here and there, but otherwise they were to all intents and purposes obliterated by the subsequent stitching.

For sails like yours, I think I would probably have opted for stitching the lines on as well, but with a thread only a few shades darker than the sail cloth, so that they wouldn't stand out too much. I quite agree that to use a much darker thread (e.g. black on white) would over-emphasize the lines and make them look exaggerated and out of scale (which of course they are, strictly speaking, true scale stitching being quite impossible to achieve at most scales).

A thread just a shade darker than the cloth, on the other hand, should provide the desired visual effect, as it would look line and represent the turned-over cloth edges that, at normal distances of observation, is what you actually see on the full-size sails rather than the stitching.


23/03/2018 10:31:30


If you look again at the photos in your last post, I think you'll find that the anchor chain is actually shackled to the port anchor!

In the first photo you can (just) see a metal object pointing outboard and downwards behind the top of the anchor stem; I'm reasonably sure that that is a second shackle that connects the chain with the more visible shackle that in its turn is bolted to the eye of the anchor stem. There are thus two shackles involved: one bolted to the eye of the anchor stem, the other bolted to one of the final links of the chain, and the two shackles taken through one another.

If you think about it, this is a fairly logical set-up in a situation where both the eye of the anchor stem and the chain link are too small for the eye shank of the shackle to pass through either.

Likewise, the second photo shows the anchor chain going over the bulwark top but not up to the davit! Instead, it seems to end up pretty much around the shackle end of the anchor ...


Edited By Banjoman on 23/03/2018 10:32:27

23/03/2018 09:31:35


It has happened to many a modeler that the rivets got to them in the end, so why should you be immune?!

More seriously, no not necessarily a rivet counter, but perhaps a rivet acknowledger?!

By this I mean that a rivet ignorer won't even notice that a surface is composed of riveted plates, but just make it flat; a rivet acknowledger will know that there are plate lines and rivets, and try to reproduce them to at least a general effect level; while a real rivet counter will strive for an exact reproduction of the original plate pattern and count and measure the exact number, size and placement of the rivets.

And so on, mutatis mutandis, for all other aspects of a build.

My personal view is that all these approaches have an equal intrinsic value, because I firmly believe that the only person whose opinion really counts is the builder. If rivets leave you cold, don't bother with'em! If one too few or too many makes you break out in a painful rash, by all means get a-counting!

I will say, though, that once you have thought about a possible improvement on the basic approach, it is usually better to go through with it, as otherwise you risk having to live with that slight, internal wince of dissatisfaction every time you look at the result. I say usually, because of course one has to weigh up additional expenditure of money and time against the level of improvement and against the general level of achievement (one super-detailed item on an otherwise stand-off scale build risks looking rather out of place, if you see what I mean) aimed for.

I bought some lovely, extremely fine link copper chain a while back, and shall go through my archives tonight or tomorrow to see if I can find out where that came from (I don't remember of the top of my head), and if I find it, post a link here.


Edited By Banjoman on 23/03/2018 09:31:51

Edited By Banjoman on 23/03/2018 09:32:30

23/03/2018 06:29:44


The chains that you see between the anchor and the davits cannot be the actual anchor chains; they are way too small and weak for that purpose! I'd say they are just there to hold up the anchors to the davits when the anchors are stowed on board as they are here. The long chain (not the short one attached to the bitts) running along the deck might be the anchor chain; it's hard to say without a clear view of where it comes from and goes to, but the fact that the run of decking underneath it is not varnished like the rest of the deck would support the theory that it is indeed the anchor chain.


22/03/2018 11:49:29

PS. If you have a look in your inbox, you'll find an answer there from last week to your PM to me ...


22/03/2018 11:36:32


It is quite hard to paint a chain (not least one that small) in a way that'll look realistic. Although I dare say that it can be done, I have never had any success, and these days won't even try.

My preferred method is to use a chemical blackener. The one I use is called Blacken-It, and is made by a US company called A-West, primarily for the model railroad crowd. Here's one supplier in Australia who, alas, seems to be out of stock, at least for the moment: **LINK**.

There might be similar products available from gunsmiths, I believe, although I've never checked those possibilities out, as I can usually get my hand on Blacken-It.

If you look at p. 10 of my Eilean Mòr thread (**LINK**), there are photos there of both brass bottle screws and shackles, and of a brass anchor chain that have all been chemically blackened.

Please note that this product is a soup of acids, and should be handled with proper gloves on; however, it doesn't fume or smell very much, so with reasonable care is not a health hazard. It can be diluted for a longer reaction time but more solid and stable result. It can also re-used, so should go back in the (a) bottle; I prefer to decant into a separate bottle, thereby not diluting or polluting the as-yet unused quantity in the original bottle.

And yes: masking off is (almost) always the way to go! With a steady hand and beady eye, it is possible to paint in a pretty straight line, but masking off is so much easier; afterwards, you might need to touch up the occasional spot where the black has invaded the white or vice versa, but that is rather less trouble than trying to do it all freehand ...


Edited By Banjoman on 22/03/2018 11:40:36

Edited By Banjoman on 22/03/2018 11:40:48

Thread: ET0422 PHOTON 2.1FW SYSTEM W/11.0R 3450KV MOTOR/60A ESC
20/03/2018 13:10:11


For my part I'm more inclined to think that those white bits are support struts between the walls of the propeller tunnel and the prop shaft ... ?!


19/03/2018 19:23:21

There is, I think, a photo of the existing prop in the album created by Jonathan: **LINK** ...


Thread: Help required for building Billings Bluenose II "600"
19/03/2018 06:24:04


I have never used the Humbrol/Revell/Tamiya type of filler, so wouldn't know from experience how well (or not) they would handle that; I should think, though, that they would do just fine, so if they are easier for you to source ...

About the deadeyes, I'd say no worries, it'd have to be an observer, hawkeyed almost beyond mortal ken to spot that difference! I will, however, quote one of Sweden's foremost comedians and satirical writers of the 20th century, Tage Danielsson, at you:

"Säll är den som har till rättesnöre, att alltid tänka efter före"

(which roughly translates as blessed are they whose guiding principle be, to always come to think of it beforehand )


Thread: What a difference 10 thou makes ...
17/03/2018 19:42:30

Fortune did indeed smile, Dave; out of the six pieces of steel that I sourced from various suppliers (at, I hasten to add, very reasonable costs), only one was a perfect fit, even though they were all supposed to be 16 mm wide.

Fair's fair, though; this sort of metal is not intended to be made (or sold as being, for that matter) to such high standards of precision; of the ones I got, four were around 6.20 mm, and so did not fit in the slot, while one was 15.85, and thus just a tad too narrow.

Speaking of precision, though, I took delivery this week of a table saw from Byrnes Model Machines, and this one is a a true miracle of exactness!


The rip fence just locks dead straight without any checking or other faffing about required, while the mitre fence is a wondrous thing in itself: it has a series of precision drilled holes set at all the usual angles, by which a desired standard angle can be selected with the simple use of a pin and set to the exact same position time after time after time. Very clever and just plain wonderful!


The cost of this machine is indeed equivalent to a selection of choice body parts, and I have had to save up for quite some time to be able to get my hands on one, but I already know that I will not regret it for one second, and that the price will be forgotten soon while the joy of the thing should last me for the rest of my natural days ...


Edited By Banjoman on 17/03/2018 19:43:00

Edited By Banjoman on 17/03/2018 19:43:14

Edited By Banjoman on 17/03/2018 19:43:24

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