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Member postings for Gareth Jones

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

Thread: Why is the water blue
08/06/2018 18:06:44


It's almost certainly a blue dye added to the water to reduce the penetration of sunlight into the pond and inhibit the growth of weed. Its is quite commonly used now that the use of herbicides to kill the weeds is banned.

If you want the full technical details there is an article here:- **LINK**


Thread: Futaba 6ex
07/06/2018 21:14:38

Hi Jo,

It sounds as though the previous owner set up the transmitter with a mix of the two channels for some reason. For an aircraft the channels you are using would probably be throttle and aileron which seems a strange mix but maybe its a helicopter thing, about which I know nothing.

I suggest you check whether the transmitter is currently configured for a helicopter. If it is, you might be better switching it to a conventional aircraft configuration which is usually simpler and easier to understand. If the two channels are still interconnected, try and see if there is a mix setup in the transmitter, in which case 'unset' it.

Best of luck,


Thread: Mountfleet Models Clyde Puffer Sealight
11/04/2018 19:55:07


I suggest it would be worth spending some time having a look at Banjoman's build of a Mountfleet Puffer kit. There is a link to the thread here:- **LINK**


Thread: Scratch build yacht plan
01/04/2018 16:09:39

Hi Edward,

To some degree it depends on what sort of yacht you want to build, do you want a class racing yacht or a more semi scale model of a real yacht? I have been impressed with the sailing abilities of a Vic Smeed Starlet which would fall in the second category. The plans are available from Sarik (MM1048) and there is quite a lot of background information available, including that originally published in Model Boats magazine back in Dec 1966 onwards. It's a relatively simple ply hard chine hull about 34 inches long and would be a logical follow on from a Swordsman or Huntsman. Wood packs and sails are also readily available - have a look at the Belair website **LINK**


Thread: Spider J
11/03/2018 18:49:16

I have made a bit of progress on the dreaded ratchet wheels and reached the point where I have a workable, if not 100% accurate representation.

I marked out the next attempt by holding the pulley blank in a three jawed chuck and marked it into 6 equally sized sectors using the jaws of the chuck as a guide. I then fixed a screw through the central hole and small hexagon nut with the middle of the flats in line with where I wanted to make the radial saw cuts. I then sawed down to each flat which gave me reasonably identically sized sectors and reasonably similar depths of saw cut. Here's the second attempt after filing the teeth to shape with the first prototype on the left..

spider 185.jpg

It then dawned on me that I could skip the first step of using a chuck and just use the nut as a guide to the position and depth of the saw cuts. I decided to attempt the next two pulleys simultaneously as shown in the photos below.

spider 186.jpg

Here's the part after completing the sawing stage and prior to filing the teeth to the right, or near enough right shape.

spider 187.jpg

After filing this gave me two reasonably symmetrical ratchet wheels, albeit with only 6 teeth when there should really be about a dozen. I had to file the two wheels individually as it was too difficult to get them evenly shaped together.

spider 188.jpg

While I am in the groove so to speak, I am going to make another two for the winch on the other side then start making the pawls to match. I also have to work out how I am going to lock the two drums on each winch as it is not going to be practical to use the pawls and ratchets to do it because I cant easily fix both the ratchet and the drum on each shaft. After that its the brake mechanism that goes around the large diameter of the lower drum.


Thread: Land Yacht
09/03/2018 08:39:36

I am quite tempted Paul. I will let you know if I make a start.


Thread: Spider J
06/03/2018 20:21:30


I get most of my miniature fasteners from two sources,

Eileens Emporium who stock a good range of fasteners and a very wide range of brass sections. Their website is here **LINK**

BA bolts has an even wider range of fasteners, see their website here **LINK**

There is no particular reason for using BA fasteners rather than metric, I have just accumulated a few 10, 12 and 14 BA screws, nuts and washers and keep using them as appropriate. Maybe one day I will standardise and go metric.

On a slightly different topic, one material we use frequently for our vintage yacht restoration projects is T section brass, ideally about 8 mm x 8 mm and 1 mm thick. It's needed for jib racks, shroud plates and deck eyes. This is really difficult to come by in the UK, there are plenty of examples much smaller and much bigger in section but nothing the right size. I was forced down the route of cutting down H section for Serica and China Boy but that is a bit of a waste. Old brass curtain track is useful as a starting point but also almost impossible to find now. As a result I tried a source in Germany last week. **LINK** They do 1 metre lengths of 8 x 8 x 1mm and lots of other sizes. The postage is a bit expensive but I ordered it on Tuesday afternoon and received it on Friday morning, despite it being the worst weather in Europe for years - excellent service.

On Spider J I have started trying to make the first prototype 6 mm diam ratchet. The basis is an 8 mm brass pulley, filed down to 6 mm in my pillar drill. I then tried to cut 8 equally spaced radial slots with a small hacksaw and then started filing the shape of the teeth. The method has some promise, but the difficult part is getting the radial saw cuts equally spaced and equally deep.

spider 184.jpg

A bit more practice needed I think, or some sort of miniature jig. The hole in the middle is 1/16 inch diameter.


04/03/2018 16:41:35

The first of the coaming mounted halyard winches has progressed quite well, if rather slowly. I usually make a prototype example first and then the final versions but in this case the prototype looks good enough to be the final version of the port winch. It is made from brass square section uprights (2.5 mm), rod and tube, fastened together and to the coaming with a mixture of 12 BA and 14 BA nuts and screws.

spider 182.jpg

The top roller operates the foresail halyard and the lower one, which has a low and high gear arrangement operates the gaff peak halyard. The internal gear on the larger diameter section has been made from a length of toothed belt recycled from an old printer. The small pinion is taken from a small electric motor reduction gearbox. The screws all need cropping to length, although I am pondering whether for realistic accuracy, it is worth replacing them with hexagon headed bolts, rather than continuing to use cheese headed screws that I happen to have in stock.

spider 183.jpg

The next parts to make are the brake, which clamps around the large diameter piece of tube and the pawl and ratchet mechanism that goes on the end of each roller. Making a 6 mm diameter ratchet from a small brass disc could be a challenge. I don't have a lathe so my usual starting point for something like the ratchet will be a small brass pulley, filed down to the right diameter in my pillar drill..

When this side is complete I have to make another identical, but handed winch for the other side. That one operates the gaff throat halyard and the topping lift (which holds up the aft end of the mainsail boom).


Thread: Yacht type
01/03/2018 08:00:45

Hi Henry,

I think something has gone wrong when you have tried to post a photo of the yacht in question. Have another go at posting a photograph. There are some notes on how to do it in an earlier post here. **LINK**

It will help identification if you can provide a couple of photos, one side on showing the elevation of the hull clearly and one directly down on the deck showing the plan shape.


Thread: Ellesmere Port show 2018
19/02/2018 16:07:42


Are you sure the event is going to take place? From what has been said on the other well known forum, I thought that this years show had been cancelled.


Thread: Star SY6 Southern Star
09/02/2018 14:32:51

HI Bob,

There is some information about Star yachts on the Vintage Model Yacht Group website. I don't know if it will help answer your questions but there is a link to it here:- **LINK**


Thread: dead eyes
05/02/2018 17:00:47

HI Hutch,

Elizabeth used Artesania Latina part 8503 dead eyes on her model of Ariel. They are nominally 4 mm diameter which would be 240 mm diameter at full scale or about 10 inches. I have attached a couple of pictures on Cutty Sark which might help you judge the size of the real item.

If you assume from the second picture that the top of the rail is about 48 inches high and then scale the deadeyes in the first picture by measuring the diameter and the distance from deck to top of rail, it makes them around 9-10 inches diameter.

dead eyes 1.jpg

dead eyes 2.jpg

As you can see, it was pretty wet the day we went round Cutty Sark.


Thread: Stanchion Plates
04/02/2018 17:35:09


As an alternative to drilling holes and fitting real rivets, you could simulate them with a spot of thick superglue in each corner of your base plates. Alternatively you could impress the rivet heads from the back of the base plate using a tool made up of a small block with 4 pins, similar in principle to the process I used on Spider J's hull plating shown here.

spider 72.jpg

Another option would be to use photo etched rivet heads stuck in each corner. I have not done this to simulate rivets but I have used it quite a lot to simulate bolt heads and tails


Thread: Spider J
03/02/2018 18:43:18


Solartex does give quite a good impression of a tarpaulin. All three hatches have now been covered. There is a very small overlap on either end of the centre hatch which hides the joints in the hatches very well. The material I have used is satin finish dark green.

spider 177.jpg

I have done the covering in a number of sections, roughly representing sheets about 8 feet wide. Initially I folded the edge over to make a seam but, even folding 3 or 4 times it still looked too thin and lost in the overall look. Eventually I incorporated a strip of styrene, 2 mm wide and 0.3 mm thick which looks reasonably convincing, although perhaps now slightly too thick. The styrene strip was ironed on, near to the edge of the Solartex using the adhesive backing and the Solartex then folded over and ironed on the underside of the strip as well.

spider 178.jpg

The panels were overlapped and ironed down in turn to fix them on the ply hatch cover. There is the odd small wrinkle and bubble but the tarpaulins were never ironed down completely flat in real life. I ran a small clock gearwheel along each seam to simulate the stitches. Its not easy to see unless you look closely but at least I know its there.

spider 179.jpg

I have been trying to finish off various details that got abandoned in a partially complete state when I moved on to something new. The brass anchor chain has been blackened, as have all the brass fittings for the lee-boards and the front head ledge winch. There are still quite a few details that need painting, including the deck horses and the front winch. I have also started to shape a piece of timber to make the tiller arm. I will post some pictures when I find a way of forming it into shape, which is probably going to involve some steaming.

I think the next major sub assembly project will be the two coaming mounted winches which hoist the sails and gaff boom. This will be made in styrene and brass as it needs to be robust since it will end up taking some of the sailing/rigging loads. Here is a picture of the real thing. There are two, one on either side just aft of the mast. Having a real example to copy is a great benefit when it comes to trying to get all the details right. There are a few hatch bar wedges to compare as well.

spider 181.jpg


03/02/2018 17:51:21


Thanks for the reminder about your Puffer thread. There are quite a few areas where you had some good ideas I can use on Spider J as they have quite a lot of rigging in common. However I have deviated from your method of making the hatch wedges. I made up an aluminium spacer to use on my disc sander platform so I could hold the relatively narrow wooden strip against the disc at a fixed shallow angle. I have just sanded the tapered section and then cut them off to length afterwards. It means I used roughly twice as much timber as you, per wedge, but they are only small and its only an off-cut anyway. Here are a couple in place after they have been dyed.

spider 180.jpg

The brass hatch bars have been blackened. I am not sure yet whether I am going to paint them. The final look I want for the sloop is a well used but not necessarily abused appearance.


Thread: Bending Deck Planks
03/02/2018 16:14:56

The planking of Daredevil is now complete, the next job for Elizabeth is sanding it down.

plank bending 5.jpg


Thread: Spider J
26/01/2018 20:23:12

Tonight I have had a trial fit of the Solartex tarpaulin simulation. I plan to fit this in sections about 5 inches wide to simulate separate sheets that overlap.

spider 175.jpg

The hatch bars will be made from 3 mm wide, 0.5 mm thick brass strip. I would have used styrene but I have not got any of the right size but I have the brass. I have also made the first 4 prototype wedges that hold the hatch bars in position. These have been made from some 3 mm x 2 mm timber, not sure what, possibly spruce, tapered on my disc sander to about 12 degrees and 8 mm long which looks about right.

spider 176.jpg

At some point I need to make 68 of these wedges, near enough all the same size and shape. They will be dyed with Colron light oak wood dye. The hatch bars and wedges will be stuck to the sides of the hatches so they just rest in the cleats on the coamings and don't actually get wedged in properly otherwise removal and refitting the hatches would be difficult and I don't fancy having to remove 68 wedges every time I take the hatches off.

I have tried fitting a second piece of Solartex to overlap the first but it is so thin, the seam is almost invisible. I am going to have to fold over the edge of each piece before fitting to make the seams more realistic.


26/01/2018 20:09:34

I made a decision on the hatches and have shortened the front one so that it finishes flush with the fairlead where the sheet for the foresail emerges just in front of the mast. The reason for this is that there is a fixed deck horse across the hatch at this point and, if I had left the front hatch as it was, it would be very difficult, if not impossible to fit behind the front winch and under the deck horse.

I have now made the rear hatch in two sections. The aft one will normally be semi permanently fitted and the centre section gives access to the carrying handle and will have to be fitted after the boat is in the water.

spider 170.jpg

The next step should have been to fit the magnets to hold the hatches down but since they are still in the post I made the foresail deck horse as shown below. It is made from 1/8 inch brass rod and is attached by two short strips of brass through each side of the hatch coamings. The deckhorse slides in through a hole in each strip, which is free to float sideways at present to allow everything to line up. The brass strips will be secured in their final position with some epoxy resin on the inside of the coamings.

spider 171.jpg

As another fill in job I have made the main sail horse from 3 mm styrene rod and 4 mm square tube. The slider is a bit of brass tube and strip. Now that I know it fits, it needs final sanding and gluing before painting, This will not actually be used when sailing the model so it does not need to be particularly strong.

spider 172.jpg

The magnets have now arrived so have been attached to the inside of the coaming using 6 mm thick ply drilled out to take the 6 mm diam, 3 mm thick magnets.

spider 173.jpg

The steel targets for the magnets are attached to the underside of the hatches on a tapered packing piece. I originally planned to use some small steel washers as targets until I discovered stainless steel is not magnetic. I happened to have a tin full of bits of watch components and managed to find some suitably sized gear wheels, about 10 mm diameter which make a good substitute.

spider 174.jpg

The next job on the hatches, now that they are tied down in their correct positions, was to fair in the joints so that there are minimal steps and gaps between each one.


Thread: Receiver compatibility
26/01/2018 18:25:13

I think an AR400 should be OK. Spektrum did produce a chart which had a compatibility cross reference between all their receivers and transmitters but unfortunately it does not have a DX4E in the list, I guess because it is relatively new. However the AR400 is DSMX compatible so it should be OK.


Thread: Bending Deck Planks
26/01/2018 18:11:16


Just to add to my earlier post here is a photo showing how we used a couple of clamps at the centre hatch (and another at the mast aperture) to create an edge against which we could hold the outermost mahogany plank.

plank bending 3.jpg

Whether this would be possible on your model remains to be seen.

Planking has progressed on Daredevil and Elizabeth has 5 planks on each side now, plus the edge one. Having seen the earlier post by Tim Rowe, Elizabeth decided discretion was the better part of valour and decided not to joggle all the curved planks into the centre king plank. The king plank has therefore been glued in place and it is now easier to bend the planks into position using wedges rather than clamps as shown below.

plank bending 4.jpg

I don't think we would attempt planking a deck this way with anything wider than 8 mm or it would be too stiff, or anything thinner than 2 mm or there would be no edge to pull or push the plank sideways with.


Edited By Gareth Jones on 26/01/2018 18:12:15

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