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Member postings for Byron Rees...(Ron)

Here is a list of all the postings Byron Rees...(Ron) has made in our forums. Click on a thread name to jump to the thread.

Thread: 3 Motors RC Boat
14/07/2020 13:38:55

Hi William,

You should have very little trouble swapping 3 brushed for 3 brushless motors in your boat. I have now done this to nearly all my models (26 of them!!!) As Harry (above) says you will need to buy a separate speed controller for each motor, so it is vital that we know what the ,model is, what the current motors are, and if it went OK with them or not, or even if you don't know.

A brushless motor equivalent to what is in it at the moment will be quite a bit smaller but may fit the existing mounts which will hopefully maintain the propshaft to motor line-up.

You will have to solder up a three way lead from the receiver to power each controller, as I have never seen one supplied ready made (I could be wrong) This is unless you want the two outers paired and the middle one on a separate stick, as in say...some torpedo boats.

So once we get some actual details of what we are playing with here, we can all make suggestion which will hopefully help you.


Thread: Coronavirus
18/04/2020 11:27:22

Hi All,

It's good catching up with all the news in these difficult times and seeing old faces again. None of us really know how long this situation will last but I think we are all in it for the long haul. I read some of your posts relating to cleaning stuff- trolley handles, shopping, steering wheels and so on. My daughter and son-in-law are in 'The front line' and there have been some interesting forensic articles coming out to them at work.

We all now know that Covid 19 is a Virus and as such is a protein with a fatty outer shell. This means that unlike a living organism like a bacteria, it cannot be destroyed with anti- bacterial washes, gels etc. The only way to kill a free virus on objects that get handled is to destroy the shell. Hot water and soap destroys fat, but it should be hot, so a damp cloth to wipe your shopping is not good enough unless kept hot, which melts the fat . Alcohol washes, like some of the hand gels contain 65% alcohol which also destroys the fat. So at home or in the workshop Isopropyl-Alcohol will destroy them too, instantly! . Another source of alcohol is drinks like Vodka which are only 38 to 40% alcohol, but are better than nothing at all.

So really its still HOT water and soap that are the keep safe and keep modelling. and by the way 'This is not a scam or hearsay.....but known facts. Also our paint masks will NOT stop the Virus when you breath in but will stop you touching those areas, as well as sneezing or coughing on other people.

Hope this helps.............cheers....RON.

Thread: todays boating
08/11/2019 23:22:37

Hi Ashley,

It's been a while since I was able to indulge in my favourite hobby but finally the surgery is over and I am now halfway through my 6 week recovery period, so I am still not allowed to do much.

Read your last post with interest as I built a flying R/C Walrus many moons ago before my return to boats. I fitted 2 x 2 bladed props to my model, removing a little bit of the round hub so they slotted into each other by 1/16th inch. As I cannot get my head around my larger projects at the mo, I would be happy to turn you up a couple of prop adapters. PM me with exactly what you need and I will machine some for you.

Cheers....Ron Rees.

Thread: Creating Interest in Model Boats
28/10/2018 16:03:07

Me again,

I don't know how many of you read the Mail on Saturday, but an interesting article from their resident doctor, Dr Max on page 45 called 'Craftiness, Mend yourselves by making things' is worth a look. It's all about man's need to create.

Apparently it has been proved that model making along with similar pastimes can make you feel better, reduce stress and even ensure a longer lifespan, now there's a recruiting slogan.

Ron Rees.

26/10/2018 15:15:04

Hi All, (Another one of my epistles)

This 'never ending' subject is forever doing the rounds, it is as if some of us slightly wrinkled model makers feel the need to justify the fact that we love playing with fiddly bits of wood and plastic and spending copious amounts of money on paint, glue, wood, kits and hardware as well as copious numbers of hours making something like a true scale 18mm steering wheel for a ship nobody really gives two hoots about.

Most human nature analysts would say that we've picked up these skills and the need to use them from watching our parents perform similar tasks when we were kids, or that schools in our youth were more intent on practical life skills instruction, but the fact is that most humans are born equal and they acquire their skills through copying others but ...only if they want to.

I often think of the fabulous film clips of baby monkeys watching Mum or Dad choose a rock for an anvil and a liftable rock for a hammer to smash hard shelled nuts, but in their world once weaned if you didn't learn what could be food and how to get it you would starve. Nature takes no prisoners.

I really feel, from experience that some people are born with an inquisitive mindset, some are downright lazy and some are so devious or intelligent that they manage to get others to do the nut breaking for them. It would seem that the inquisitive ones go on in later life to try and fill every waking moment not needed to get food, money or pay the mortgage, with some other task and into that category most of us fall.

There seems to be no point in trying to get a youngster interested in something that he's really not interested in, yet just because he/she feels the need to collect stamps, read poetry, dance the quickstep, go catching fish play on a mobile phone or anything else, they are 'a waste of space' because they don't make models.

Even those that do make a lego toy or a plastic kit in their childhood are far too busy through their formative years just trying to keep on top of the national curriculum, then along comes marriage, children, mortgages, bills and all the other pressures on your life, time and money. Far better we try to recruit all the retiring people into the hobby, if they are looking for an interest.

Times really do change, at one time the Blacksmith, Swordsmith, Armourer, Stone Mason, Thatcher, Baker, Bowyer or Fletcher were the people you needed in your village, Not any more, It still amazes me that the people with the skills in some countries were regarded as lower class or caste because they were making stuff!

We still try to screw a deal out of a plumber, electrician or boiler engineer, not because of their lowly skills, far below our own superior abilities, but because somewhere buried inside us is the feeling that they are just Artisans and don't really deserve to be paid so much for their skills. (Until your boiler blows up on Christmas eve!.)

Most of us modellers do possess those practical abilities and like Dave says have the ability to learn quite well practical skills when we need them, like when we are starting off and don't have much money.

I was a Copper till I was badly injured on duty, but I had since the age of 5 loved making things, it certainly didn't come from my parents, but making models and teaching myself how to do jobs in and around the house because I couldn't afford to pay someone meant that I had the skills set to become a Teacher, first a workshop Technician, then a Degree in Engineering, then a Cert Ed and so I absolutely know that teaching myself how to do things and making models all my life got me the job that I did till retirement...Head of Design and Technology, Woodwork, Metalwork and Product Design up to Uni level.

Don't knock being a modeller, its a great want to do it.


Thread: NewB
10/10/2018 12:46:42

Hi Gary,

The TID is coming on well. The 24gm fg is so thin that I normally overlap it about an inch at each end and squeegee it down well with an old credit card of piece of plastic. Once dry a light rub down before further coats are applied will see the overlap disappear.

Another method is to do one side including the overlap and let it dry. Feather in the overhang and cover with the second side. After a couple of filler coats of resin over the top to fill the weave you won't even see the join.


Thread: Transferring from plans
03/10/2018 09:54:54

Hi Ian and Diede.

The method you both suggest works very well but only really where the photocopy has been produced by a printer/copier that uses powder toner, inkjets are not as good.

One foolproof method is to use old glossy paper from magazines to iron your photocopied pattern onto, this works extremely well. I cut these out and stick them onto artists card, which are then cut into templates for drawing around.

I design my own models and draw plans for them for others to build from which sometimes can be found in the Model Boats magazine. When building the prototype I cut the actual wood/plastic etc till its fits then draw round the parts onto thick artists card. These templates are used to draw the plans and also can be passed on to someone else.

There are lots of methods for transferring shapes like this but I don't stick the copied plan bits onto the wood anymore as its difficult to remove and ironing the plan part onto the actual wood can, as you say warp thin pieces of ply and balsa, and certainly will not work with depron foam etc.


PS...the glossy paper trick is especially good for producing circuit boards and can be stuck onto blank PC board. This will transfer the ink if wiped over with Nail Varnish remover (Acetone). This can then be etched using Ferric Chloride as the toner ink is a resist. Works well. RR.

Thread: Petrol Engines
02/09/2018 14:16:09

Hi All,

As Dave M says above, it is hard to find venues or clubs that are allowed to run i/c engines of any sort. I entered boating properly in the late 1960's and was fortunate in joining the Victoria Model Steamboat Club in Hackney East London. This club is still there along with other ones near me like Brentwood MBC where a lot of Offshore and i/c powerboat enthusiasts run their boats.

I remember well the meetings and arguments I've had with local councils out to ban i/c engines, the noise, the oil/fuel in the water and so on. A great many clubs disappeared because of all that, some that had been happily drawing in the public on Sundays for decades. It was a great shame.

I still have a couple of boats powered by JAP engines, both the smaller 22cc x 2 strokes and I also have 2 x of the wonderful Gannet 15cc OHV petrol engines. In my old bits box there are the remains of smaller marine i/c engines, diesels and glow, never to see the light of day again, but maybe fill a space on someones collection shelves. VMSC and Blackheath clubs own a lot of fine models and engines from model members who have passed to the great boatyard in the sky, donated or bought from the estates of great engineers like George Nurthen, Norman Phelps, Alan Raymen, Bert Perman and others and these Seal 4 cylinders, gannets and high speed steam engines live on, but are rare to see running.

It is now a bygone age I'm afraid but if someone wants to run an i/c engine powered model, I am sure that the members of those rare clubs would welcome them to the fold. Contact the Model Power Boat Association for club details, they are still around.


Thread: Kids
30/08/2018 19:49:59

Hi is my penny worth.

As Ashley points out, we have had this discussion quite a few times,and it is a fundamental problem, getting younger people interested in our hobby, or any practical hobby for that matter.

With nearly 40 years experience as a Technology teacher in secondary schools, an examiner for 'O and A' levels and cub/scouts hobby badges plus a lecturer/mentor at Goldsmiths College teaching budding teachers the practical side of things for their Technology and teaching degrees, I have observed very many people of all ages and have come to some conclusions.

Everyone is born a blank canvas they say and watching and learning from their parents can form thought processes to be brought about in the young child that will ultimately affect how they deal with problem solving and skills, dangers and abilities in readiness for growing up etc.

As far as us old wrinkleys are concerned, we were brought into a world with far more hand skills around, most of the jobs that had to be done in the family home had a distinct practical side, not so many expensive things to do the work for us as now. Without really remembering the things we learnt at that tender age, we were exposed to darning, knitting, mixing food by hand as well as hand washing and a thousand other tasks. There was not really a television available when I was a kid, Oh they were there (I'm not that old) but we couldn't afford one.

Repairing things when they wore out or broke was commonplace,and many of our fathers and even mothers went out to work in an essentially manual world. These early inputs do register in our brains and...more importantly they are not alien to us or frightening. DIY came about at the same period, make do and mend and build your own radio are things we may also remember.

Another thing about early childhood is ones ability to Conceptualise, which it appears to me to be a God given ability even more than a learnt one. You would be surprised at just how high a percentage of the population are unable to look at 2 dimensional sketches and be able to visualise in their mind what it should look like in 3 dimensions. Something that most modellers will do without even thinking about it.

When given a few simple tests that I devised some years ago, secondary (11 to 13 years old) children (and those children are now in their 40's) about 95 % of them couldn't do it. When I asked the children who could do it what toys they liked or had, nearly all said Meccanno, Lego and Fischer Technic., none of the others were interested in those things, a real eye opener.

At their parents evening I often asked the parents of the ones with the practical or assembly like toys, why did they buy them for their children.....most answered that their kids really enjoyed them and spent hours inventing new things. It just came about naturally like girls wanting a BB gun and boys an Action Man or even a Cindy doll. The parents could no more wire an electric plug than fly to the moon, so it didn't come from them!

When giving a seminar to teachers about childrens ability to problem solve, I gave all the delegates a simple box to assemble and only an exploded view of it . Despite the fact that they were all very intelligent and qualified teachers only a very few could do it. I almost decided to start my own IKEA furniture assembly service on the spot.

I spent many hours allowing my son to tinker alongside me in the workshop, he turned out to be what they now call 'Word Blind' or Dyslexic, but he could conceptualise. He didn't follow me into the field of wood and metal but is now a highly sought after and qualified stone mason. Although he likes models he's still not interested in building them. His ability led him to a love of architecture and stonework, but it was still very practical

There is no guarantee that just because we have tried to get our youngsters interested in building models for instance, but by laying the groundwork at an early age they may come back to it when they have more time and grown a bit older.

I've tried every which way to get local youth groups interested in modelling. They love it while I'm doing it, but very rarely will one go into it as a hobby.

Talk to most plumbers, builders, electricians etc about their ability to conceptualise. Invariably it is a skill that most of them will have....maybe we should be recruiting them into our model clubs. Perhaps arranging a few talks at the local college of further education for the practical course students might pay dividends..

I could go on but I'll let that lot settle first.

Happy boating..................RON.

Thread: Timbers
22/08/2018 19:08:36

SM. and all.

Hornbeam is a hardwood and is of the same genus as Birch, which we use in plywood. Some people mistake its white and very close grained appearence as being Beech.

It is regarded as quite difficult to work with but historically was used to make the teeth for cogs in Windmills, it also has found uses in cutting boards, soles/frames for old woodwork planes, the action parts like hammers and frames in pianos as well as the soles for clogs among other things.

Its whiteness and hardness would make it useful as a decorative inlay but you would need very good sharp tools to machine it and they will blunt quite quickly. It can be waxed or oiled but if you wanted to stain it it might be better to use an alternative.

It can be turned on a lathe and would make ideal rolling pins, dowels etc.

Hope this helps...............PS Willow can indeed be used for stringers and very good it is too, make sure its fully dried.


Thread: How to make a small vacuum box
22/08/2018 18:36:28

Hi Bob,

Wow! see what you mean......Mine was small but designed to go up to 5 inches square, made 9 clear visors for 1.12th Lifeboat figures in one pull and 4 inch lifeboats.

I love making home-made gadgets. Nice one.


21/08/2018 15:47:39

Hi Bob,

I was interested in seeing your mini vacuum box. I did quite a detailed article for last years Model Boats Winter Special (2017) which dealt with how they all work and included detailed plans on how to make one, might also be worth a look for those interested. The new layout used by Graham Ashby, the new editor at that time made it a very nice and colourful article.

Cheers......RON REES

Thread: Help
11/08/2018 14:05:12

Hi Robert,

Have a look on YouTube videos under 'Moulds and Moulding with Carbon Fibre' there are loads of 'How To' videos on there.


Thread: Why do we do it?
11/08/2018 13:40:36


I was not quite 5 years old when after the Queens Coronation street party in June 1953 I was taken to stay with my Grandparents on the Isle of Wight. He was retired Navy (Ships carpenter/Mate) from WW1 and RNVR (WW2) and bought a house in Ryde, 15 minutes walk from the sea.

He was very handy with a chisel and plane and made loads of stuff from old railway sleepers! Solid Oak and covered with tar, but amazing carvings, I would almost live in his shed all that summer and just watch him wood carving. I stayed there for 8 weeks as my younger sister was due to be born (I never remember my Mum with a bump!, )

One Sunday the Model Yachts were all out on the boating lake on Ryde Esplanade and the sailors running around with long sticks with hooks on them, they seemed absolutely massive to me and I loved them, even helped push a couple away from hitting the banks. I was smitten and asked Grandad if we could make one.

"We'll start with something smaller" he said,"What would you like?"..........."a Galleon", I said. So out came another chunk of railway sleeper, he sharpened up a couple of shortened chisels and taught me how to use them. I was 5 and you could have shaved with these things!!!, My Dad, who'd brought news of my new sister and also my pain of a 3 year old brother, was horrified in case I cut myself....."Are they sharp" he asked..."Of course they are, you can't carve wood with blunt chisels" Grandad said smugly, "Won't he cut himself".....My Dad cried, thinking his father had gone mad, "Not if he does it the way I say, he won't, and if he does, it'll be a good clean cut and he'll never use one wrong again!.

It took me weeks of hard graft to carve that Galleon, he never sanded any of his carvings. I still remember him saying things like "Both hands behind the cutting edge, and let them see the chisel marks just make them smaller near the end" He'd take a handfull of shavings and polish the wood with them, then a dab of beeswax, it shone, and no varnish.

With bits of cut up bed sheet for sails and three masts, we sailed my Galleon alongside the big yachts at the end of August. The Sailors came over and asked Grandad about the little 12 inch ship and he told them "Ask him, he made it".. I've never been so proud of anything in my life.

The ship stayed on his mantlepiece for years as I grew up and when he passed away in 1970, I asked if I could have some of his carvings, nutcrackers, Hand shaped bookends, which I still have today, but no-one ever knew what happened to that Galleon. It probably looked a right mess but to me it was a marvel and I have been a modeller ever since. (And taught hundreds of kids how to carve).....By the way, I have never cut myself with a chisel......Thanks Grandad.


Thread: Hi, newbie here!
27/07/2018 11:38:37

Hi Nikki,

Welcome to the MB Forum, which I'm sure you'll find useful as there are a lot of very experienced model boaters on here who enjoy passing on their many years of experience.

I agree with what Dave M says about paint strippers, I wouldn't use them. Most models needing a brightening up will benefit from a good rub down all over, no matter what the original paint medium was. This may not find where the leaks are coming from, unless you are lucky. Wet and dry used wet will cut back several coats of old paint but I wouldn't expect to remove all vestiges of previous colour, just get a good smooth matt finish all over.

We don't know exactly what actual model it is, you say wood, is that plywood skins or balsa? I think Glynn Guest did a couple of plan/features for this type of hull a few years ago, certainly a Vosper 72 foot Torpedo Boat and I think a Higgins, they were 28 inches long and were skinned in balsa. Most kits tended to be plywood I think.

While doing this clean-up, follow Ashleys recommendation and give the inside a coat of a 2 part resin like Zap Z-Poxy, or even Glassfibre resin from a car spares shop, which is a bit cheaper but harder to rub down.

Deluxe Materials Eze-Kote is also good and as its an Acrylic single part system it will cover most things and maybe repair any small leaks as well.

If it was me I would use some lightweight glass cloth or nylon tights and skin the outside with the Eze-Kote as well after its rubbed down, once again this product should bond well to previous coats, whether Enamel, Cellulose or Acrylic. Its fast drying and washes out in water. This is not just to strengthen the hull, they don't usually need to have this done, but will stabilise the previous coats and give you a good base for subsequent painting.

Final rubbing down with wet and dry before normal Primer, undercoat and topcoats sprays and a lot of us use the very reliable Halfords range of spray cans, buy all the finishing products from the same system as they are all matched to work together.

Other than splits in hull skins or holes which need patching or filling, most infuriating small leaks come from the rudder post or sealing around the prop shaft entry into the hull, these often only show up after the model has been run in water. (Under Load) A simple and useful test is to wrap or place any one of the small feminine products around the rudder post etc and hold it in place with an elastic band. These will absorb any moisture and once removed can tell you exactly where the leak is. Then you apply extra sealant or epoxy or remove the unit and refit it properly.

Hope all this helps you.

Cheers............Happy boating.............RON R.

Edited By Byron Rees...(Ron) on 27/07/2018 11:39:26

Thread: Using a Sewing Machine for models.
20/07/2018 09:19:49

Hi Harry,

Yes, I know what you mean. (been there, got the T shirt)

I did see an immaculate Frister Cub 7 machine in our local charity shop, case, all the bits and hardly used...£20. Top quality all metal, German engineering from 25 years ago and it worked a treat as the lady in the shop said I think it works OK, so I tested it for her, even had a swatch of material under the presser food. So there are plenty out there because the younger generation don't use them hardly and they clear them out!

That's cheaper than 2 prop shafts.

No I agree, Live long...and prosper!


(Did I buy it....course I did...those machines will sew leather!)

19/07/2018 15:31:38

By 'Expert' I meant....the wife!! in my earlier post.............


(I know Ex is a has been and a Spurt..a drip under pressure!.)

19/07/2018 15:26:37

Thanks Matthias,

The system in our schools is, in many places exactly as yours in Sweden and with flexible projects aimed at what the students enjoyed, the boys had a load of choices, not just skirts and blouses etc, Halloween costumes were the favourite at my last place, strangely boys enjoyed the needlework and girls liked the woodwork, but not always metalwork!.

Even if a model boater has an older machine like a Singer, Bernina, Husquevana, Frister and Rossman etc, most of these came with handy gadgets for the modeller like a rolled hem foot, straight hem etc. For sails this allowed the edge to be finished nicely and with care even rigging ropes to be installed inside it whilst sewn.

Older style model sails can be made with cotton which can be dyed and an old white cotton bedsheet would be a good source of fabric and can be waterproofed after they are made. With a slight increase in foot pressure and smaller stitch lengths nylon, terylene and silks are also easy to sew..

My latest machine has a computer card in it and will sew down to a 3mm circle automatically, ideal for reinforced threaded rope tie-offs etc. as well as embroidery and lettering. (Brother Inovis 400)

For those who fancy having a play with the boss' machine fit a different colour top thread so you can see it clearly. I've recently been playing with 'Invisible' threads which are like fine fishing trace and things like dacron, silk and shower curtain material work well with this and you can't really see it. It does take a more modern machine to handle some of these difficult threads though.

Plus you can now get a basic Brothers type machine for under £50, and they are quite good too, then you could keep it in the model room!!

And its not just sails...canvas hatch covers, Sunshades, canvas dodgers, even tiny clothes for figures are all possible and I did quite a few zip up bags in quilted materials for A and B Rig transport.


19/07/2018 12:50:49

Hi all.

Started this thread after reading yet another member 'Being nice to the missus as he needs some sails sewn up!'

Come on guys...equality works both ways you know!

I know that there are a lot of good model makers out there who make up their own sails etc so this is not aimed at them although their input is always welcome.

It seems that Sewing machines are a bit of a grey area to most men which I struggle to comprehend as they are amazing machines and as easy to use as a scroll saw, even having a similar action.

Oh I know that they have a lot of apparently wierd things like Bobbins, foot pressures, Zig-Zag and even going backwards but as a bloke I find they are an incredible tool.

Like any new experience it is worth just having a play and maybe doing a bit of research. They won't cut your fingers off like the things we happily use all the time so what's the problem?. (Try reading the instruction book!!!)

If you can cut a straight line with a jigsaw, bandsaw or scroll saw, you can sew a straight line with a sewing machine, it's even easier in fact as the machine pulls the material through the machine at the rate it needs to sew properly, you don't have to push it or pull, cos if you do you'll break the needle or the cotton....big deal, it only takes slackening one screw to change a needle.

Get some scrap cloth, an old handkerchief, shirt or similar as cotton is probably the easiest material to sew...and just practice putting it through the machine. Even a basic machine has reverse which you can use to seal the ends or strengthen a seam, Turn the big knob to Zig Zag and give it a go, there will be another switch or button to alter the width and length of the zig-zag, and it will do that backwards as well.

Try stopping in the middle, make sure the needle is down in the cloth, then rotate the cloth 90 degrees, there you go, you've just done a corner.

If the wife is generous, or even slightly amused at the thought of her hunky man sweating over the sewing machine, ask her nicely to run through winding a bobbin and threading the machine up..there are usually at least two threads for normal sewing....keep it simple. Practice this a few times as if not properly threaded all sorts of horrible annoying things happen.

Before I go on too long, there is an amazing book for beginners....all pictures.. a bit like reading a kit build booklet, which I know you can do....Its called...The Simplicity Sewing Book. This is like the sewers bible and covers more than you'll ever need. Most women who sew will have a copy.

Just so you know that I know a bit about this, I was head of Design and Technology in secondary schools for many years (38) and a Tutor for Student teachers of D&T at 2 famous universities in London. Needlework was a subject under the D&T banner but many schools didn't offer it because of staff costs.

It is one of the things I regard as a Life Skill and so over the years I have promoted it alongside Wood, Metalwork etc in my departments. Over 35 years of doing this, teaching kids from 11 years up, boys and girls, I have never met one that couldn't get the hang of using a sewing machine after a few lessons.

Apart from Model Boats etc. I also make period Costumes for stage production and Drama groups and it is as enjoyable as modelling...Making is Making after all and as DM often says.."I have done a couple of these before"

Go on guys give it a least you can do it indoors and you'll have an expert to call on if needed.

I'm happy to answer any queries from beginners should there be any.


Thread: todays boating
16/07/2018 13:59:25

I built a similar barge for my friend at 1/24th scale. I found 1.4 ply frames and 1/16th sides and decks was ample. Had a cargo of coal on a lift out base. Underneath were two 6v SVLA batteries on their sides as ballast. Tow lines carried power and the Tid Tug could run all day for two days!! great for shows.


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