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Member postings for Bob Wilson

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

Thread: Loss of the Britannic
10/05/2020 19:08:39

Here is another one, the sinking of the Windsor Castle. Sadly, although it looks good, it is complete fiction. The Windsor Castle shown in the simulation did not sink after catastrophic hull failure in a storm, she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean during World War II, and sank with the loss of 1 life!

Here is the video, for waht it's worth:


10/05/2020 18:27:39

The text doesn't obscure the picture though, just being across the bottom. Very impressive film.

Awful times, and I often wonder why the general obsession with building model warships?


Thread: St Helena, SS Ohio
10/05/2020 17:48:01

Hi Pete,

It was not exactly compulsory, but someone had to do it, and we all worked pretty hard in the new ship. I rememebr one afternoon taking some telexes down to the captain and he jokingly asked me why I didn't get a wheelbarrow. I asked why, and he said "so you can bring all the messages down together!"laugh But it really was that bad. I could get ashore in Cape Town, because if the captain went off, which he often did, he wouldn't see any messages until he got back anyway. In fact when my wife was travelling, he often asked why we didn't stay in a hotel in Cape Town for the week like the doctor and his wife, but I always felt that the office would moan if messages were missed on account of me not being there. The captain got fed up of it all before me, and left before I did, but we still keep in touch. Whilst we were on mine clearance support in the Falklands in 1982/83, most of the time we were anchored in the mined areas with our two RN minehunters, HMS Brecon and HMS Ledbury, coming and going and dealing with the mines and unexploded bombs, So I did an anchor watch in rotation with the three mates and an RN Fleet Chief and we each did 4 on, 16 off, so I had plenty to do. I had no radio duties at all because it was radio silence on HF and MF, and we had two extra radio rooms fitted and staffed by 11 RN operators and their CPO using the satellite communications for everything . In my last cargo ship, the log carrier Bandama between Union-Castle and St Helena, I worked six on six off in port when required, supervising the stowage of a full hold of coffee in number one, with the 2nd R/O, whilst the 2nd and 3rd mates did 6 on, six off on deck with the logs and that was really hard going in the heat of West Africa where we could be in the river at Abidjan for over a month, followed by two more weeks in the lagoon at San Pedro, a few miles up the coast. But generally, I found the life very satisfying. What company were you in?


Thread: 900-Ton barque
09/05/2020 19:57:19

The paper dots are telex tape punchings dyed black. I saved a couple of hundred thousand of them when I was using paper tape teleprinters, but they are all on electronic memories now. But I can mke small paper disks of various sizes with a home made cutter, but it is rather tedious, but I will certainly never run out of punchings.

I ran out of deadeys today, forgot about all the backstays. So I sat down and set up the jig for a further 78 pairs. A bit tedious, and they still need the extra wires trimming off when the glue is dry, but all done now!   The black horizontal line on the jig are drawn under the wires on paper, and just used as a guide for three rows of deadeyes.   




Edited By Bob Wilson on 09/05/2020 19:58:33

Thread: St Helena, SS Ohio
09/05/2020 13:06:40

Morse was maintained right until the end of the R/O era, but after that, it finished and it was all satellite phone calls in excess of £3.50 a minute, teleprinter messages, e-mails and fax. All the main radio stations around the world closed down, Portishead, New York, Halfiax, Vancouver, Sydney,Mauritius Nordeich, Scheveningen, Roma etc, hundreds of them in fact. I was glad to go. At least eight hours a day in the radio room typing and sending telex messages, making phone calls etc. Then when supposed to be off duty, working in other parts of the ship from engine room to bridge repairing computers, videos, fire alarm systems, public address systems, satellite communications, radar installations, internal telephone system, automatic steering computers etc as well as all the transmitters and receivers in the radio office, and I was the only R/O aboard. In Good Hope Castle, there were two of us and in Windsor Castle, four or five! My wife and I visited the ship some time after I had left (wife had sailed with me for a number of years in both ships), and what I once did was shared out amongst the other officers. Another thing that helped me to leave was that in 1992, the whole lot of us from captain down, were made redundant and received redundancy pay, and then offered our jobs back at a 30% pay cut! - No chance as far as I was concerned! laugh I took up writing and model shipbuilding full time after I left that saw me through from age 48 to age 62 when I was able to take my pension. I would, however, do it all again if I was leaving school again in 1959, but if I was leaving school today, I would not even consider going to sea! I haven't the slightest interest in modern ships. Here I am in my last few days at sea, repairing a telephone handset . A passenger took when I wasn't looking, and sent it to me later!


final days at sea (medium).jpg

Edited By Bob Wilson on 09/05/2020 13:09:39

Edited By Bob Wilson on 09/05/2020 13:11:34

Edited By Bob Wilson on 09/05/2020 13:12:24

Thread: 900-Ton barque
09/05/2020 12:45:55

38 swg tinned copper wire wound on a small frame spacing via two 8ba bolts top and bottom. Small paper circles stuck on. When dry, cut the two outer wires from top and bottom, leaving just the centre ones - All very simple, and you couldn't really use this method for large models, but it looks great on miniatures.


tiny deadeyes -  (large).jpg

deadeyes 2 (large).jpg

09/05/2020 06:51:16

The ruination of three was a vast improvement. In the past, I ruined about 50% of them, but am getting better at it all the time. But I now have more than I need for the barque, It only took about 20 minutes to complete the 17, so it doesn't matter anyway!wink


Thread: St Helena, SS Ohio
08/05/2020 19:02:06

Hi Pete,

It didn't bother me all that much. I was only there for about two years from 1990 to October 1992 when I left the sea, having got fed up of the whole show. (After 31 years!). The ship was more comfortable than the old one, but for me was a technological nightmare. My best years were spent on the 1st St. Helena where I was from 1979 to 1990. My decision to leave was taken because despite having to work harder than I ever had done before with all the latest electronic systems, an international decision had ben taken to dispense with the services of radio officers on a world-wide scale before the year 2000 - which they did. The work we used to do, was shared on between heads of departments and the electrical officers. I have kept in touch with a lot of old shipmates both UK and St Helena based,, many of whom left about the time that I did. The airport has not been all that much of a success, and many wish they had got a new ship instead of an airport. My association with the island began in 1973, when I was chief radio officer of the Union-Castle liner Good Hope Castle. When they sold that, I was fortunate enough to get asked to join the St Helena..


good hope castle at cape town (large).jpg

Thread: 900-Ton barque
08/05/2020 10:01:55

Rigging is easy enough with wire, but I must admit, deadeyes are rather tedious. I made 17 this morning. It shouldn have been 20, but I ruined three!frown


08/05/2020 08:45:22

Hi Bob,

The Preussen had about 26 miles of rigging! But ships like Preussen and Pass of Brander had steel masts and spars and most of the rigging was steel wire, so they could really be driven hard, but even so, they could not compete with 10-knot steamers. In my models, the masts, spars and rigging, including the ratlines are 100% metal, the rigging being fine copper wire. No knots anywhere! The 900-ton barque would have been rigged with rope, but in the model, it is all copper wire.


08/05/2020 08:14:31

Hi Bob,

The big iron and steel ships had large sailrooms usually inside the poop deck. They usually had a brand new suit of sails that they would save for the hard weather parts like rounding the Horn, or winter North Atlantic, and a suit of worn sails for everyday use in warmer climates, plus a vast amount of new canvas in bolts two feet wide that the sailmaker could make new ones from. All folded up, they didn't take up all that much space, but were very heavy and hard to handle. But they didn't take up as much space as a steamship engineroom and the coal bunkers, so all of the hull below decks was open for cargo. A ship like the Preussen, below, could carry 8,000 tons of cargo -


preussen at anchor 25 ft to 1 in.jpg

Thread: St Helena, SS Ohio
07/05/2020 21:27:07

And here is a 48 minutes one of the final departure from St Helena - **LINK**

07/05/2020 21:24:16

All the cars will be electric as well! Here is a short movie of it. **LINK**

07/05/2020 18:03:16



7 louisiana.jpg

07/05/2020 17:53:51

hms norfolk.jpgHi Pete,

That explains it. The image you have seen with "Extreme" painted on it shows the ship in her new role as a floating paddock to carry Extreme racing cars and their drivers to race in various parts of the world where the conditions are extreme. All the cars will, of course, be carried on board, so maybe they have altered the cranes, I must have a look. I knew about St Helena, ex Samloyal, and have built a model of it - see below. I have basic plans of Ohio, and considered building it in the past, but no pipe layout shown. But if I had built it, it would have been in Texaco colours. I don't have any particular dislike for war scenes and warships, but I find the grey colour rather drab and boring. I even dislike grey merchant ships. Also the modelling world is absolutely dominated by warships and I find that reading about one sea battle is pretty much like the rest of them, and probably not very pleasant to take part in either. I have built a couple of warships, HMS Dreadnought (Battleships) and HMS Norfolk (heavy cruiser). Also Louisiana, a Texaco oil tanker very similar to Ohio -


hms dreadnought.jpg

st helena (large).jpg

Edited By Bob Wilson on 07/05/2020 17:55:01

07/05/2020 15:15:34

This is the St Helena drawing that I did of the first one - 1978 - 1990 -


rms st helena.jpg

07/05/2020 15:13:02

Maybe you are talking about this ship, the second RMS St Helena. I sailed in this ship, but did not build this model. It was owned by the company, and someone dropped it, and I got the job of repairing it. Those two white things on the foredeck are just cargo cranes, nothing special about them. This ship was not requisitioned for anythin, she was only completed in 1989, and came off the St Helena run two years ago, but is still sailing elsewhere under the same name. I have never done a line drawing of this ship! It was the first St Helena (1978 - 1990 that was requisitioned for the Falklands.   The two white blocks in front of the bridge are cargo containers. 


rms st helena after (large).jpg


Edited By Bob Wilson on 07/05/2020 15:13:45

Thread: 900-Ton barque
07/05/2020 11:43:10

Look at this, the huge 2,127 ton Pass of Brander, a steel four-masted barque of very full hull lines, completed in 1890. In 1909, she ran from Cardiff to Callao, Peru around Cape Horn in 58 days, covering a total distance of 10,033 miles, giving an average speed of 7.2 knots. Probably with several thousand tons of coal as cargo. With steel masts and rigging, those big ships could really be driven far harder than flimsy wooden clippers and their average speeds were quite respectable as well.


pass of brander.jpg

07/05/2020 11:15:12

Hi Pete,

I have just replied to the St Helena, posting. but don't know what you mean by two large white structures on deck.


Thread: St Helena, SS Ohio
07/05/2020 11:13:34

Hi Pete,

Just been directed to the above via your post in the 900-ton barque. I am not sure what you mean by two large white strutures on deck. There were two St. Helenas, and I sailed in both of them. The old one had no advanced cargo-handling equipment, just derricks. The new ship had two cranes, but I have never done a line drawing of the new one. Have you a link to the image you mean?


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