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2021 Builds during lockdowns

What have you been building and current projects

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Gareth Jones06/01/2021 08:53:28
802 forum posts
1081 photos


Its been a while since I posted anything on here, mainly because I have changed tack, so to speak, in the model boat world and have been concentrating on building and restoring vintage model yachts for the last couple of years.

My current project is an A class yacht to a 1970 John Lewis design called Phaedra 2. We bought the bare wooden hull and keel weight from another VMYG member in the middle of last summer. It was brought along to a model boat club in Leeds about 10 years ago as a garage or loft find and auctioned off to a member of the club. Last year he decided he was not going to finish it and was looking for someone to 'take it on' Elizabeth and I were eager volunteers. The hull is about 85 inches long, beautifully constructed with cedar planks. The keel weight is very nicely cast and was partially finished when we acquired it. When complete the yacht should weigh about 68 lbs and carry about 1500 sq inches of sail. The only clue to the original builder is that the hull was accompanied by some drawings done on UK Atomic Energy Authority drafting sheets from their site in Risley. Coincidentally many more years ago than I care to remember, I used to go out with a girl whose father worked there.

So far I have added the deck beams and internal bracing ribs and tie bars, The sail winch and rudder servo are also installed and the deck has been cut roughly to size. Work on the model has been paused for the last couple of months as we have been carrying out some major improvements to our workshop. In addition to Phaedra 2 we have two ten Raters in for restoration but at the moment these are primarily Elizabeth's responsibility.

Here are a few photos of Phaedra as we originally acquired it and as it is now.







Richard Simpson06/01/2021 09:18:12
1027 forum posts
256 photos

Andy, love the railway, great atmosphere created in a small space and very realistic landscaping. Why is there a mirror as a backscene in one shot but a printed sheet in another, and what is the lift up section for?

Gareth, I only once came across a VMYG stand at a show and was captivated by the sheer beauty of the models. The wooden hulls are stunning and I think just about all of them were scratch built from plans with all the fittings hand made as well. I was lucky enough to obtain a small scratch built yacht from a club member who has now sadly passed away but the hull is planked and varnished and looks absolutely beautiful. You cannot beat the sight of a large vintage model yacht under full sail.

Gareth Jones06/01/2021 11:17:47
802 forum posts
1081 photos


I am pleased that you were impressed by the models on the VMYG stand at the CADMA show. I was the custodian of the stand at the time you came round and was curious to know why you were making notes. It was only later that I realised you were going to write the show report for Model Boats. In that respect you replaced me as I had done the show report for the previous 8 years or so, However I don't bear a grudge, after 8 reports on the same show it was getting difficult to think of anything original to write.

I am intrigued by your reference to a small scratch built model yacht. Is it by any chance an Alan Wyatt S class? Elizabeth bought one from him about 6 years ago, in fact the one he had built for his wife Margaret. Elizabeth wanted something to remind her of his craftsmanship and the help he had willingly offered when she started building model yachts. He was an outstanding craftsman in many materials including wood, metal and paint. He was also so willing to offer advice and help and so modest about his own achievements. He was a very sad loss to the modelling world and Kirklees MBC,

Maybe we will get a chance to meet up this year. Phaedra might be finished by the summer, but I am not very confident there will be a CADMA show to attend in June.

Best regards


Richard Simpson06/01/2021 12:12:51
1027 forum posts
256 photos

Wow, Gareth, it is indeed a small world. You are quite correct it was at CADMA, 1st June '19, and I was taking notes for a show report for the magazine. Here are a couple of shots of your stand that I took. I must admit I was completely captivated by the quality and beauty of the models, which were nothing like the 'vintage' standard I had in my mind.







As regards the smaller yacht, you are again correct, it was an Alan Wyatt example. I believe he built two 'S' Class boats then realised that they were a fraction of an inch two long for the class, so he decided to built two more. Mine has the 'A' on the sail for Alan and I very strongly suspect that you purchased the one with the 'M' on the sail for Margaret. Interestingly the two new ones also went up for sale when Alan sadly passed away and a friend of mine here in a small village bought one of those so there are two of Alans boats here in Lincolnshire.

Alan was indeed an incredibly talented modeller who could turn his hand to anything. He decided at one point that he wanted to make a steam powered model so he bought a small universal machine and scratch built an oscillating engine for it. Both Alan and Margaret were wonderful people and we miss them dearly at Kirklees.






I would be surprised if we see any events again this year but even being able to get to the pondside once in a while would be a wonderful step in the right direction.

Edited By Richard Simpson on 06/01/2021 12:13:12

Banjoman06/01/2021 12:41:31
1146 forum posts
2423 photos

Gemplemorums all,

First of all, may I express my very best wishes to one and all for the New Year, and also my sincere hope that you are all doing as well as is but possible under current etceteras!

I am also happy to say that my own bill of health is a nice and clean one, and that my unduly long absence (hiss! boo! for shame!) from active participation on this forum has only been due to my continual being a very naughty boy: I fear that back in the summer I managed to once more ignore the compass and head off course from the model boat build that I'd started in spring, lured towards the rocky shore by the siren song of general woodworking.

More specifically, I've kept very busy down in my workshop since, but with building a bench for full size woodworking, rather than things to scale that go through water. This is still very much work in progress, as with almost only hand tools to hand, it is rather taking it's time to turn this pile of 8/4 hard maple into a bench.


So far I have ripped most of the planks to make the blanks to produce a sufficient number of laminates (aiming for each one to be +/- 2250 x 105 x 45 mm) from which to glue up the top ...






... and I'm currently about half way through the process of planing and jointing them to those final dimensions, and to S4S.










Other than me gallivanting off after the lure of wood shavings, it has, alas, also been a case of very little actual sailing being possible anyway. As the pond to which my model boat club has access is part of a larger recreational and sports facility, access has been limited for much of 2020 by lockdowns and other pandemic-related measures. Not that model boating out in the open air is all that risky in and of itself, but just that the whole complex has been shut down or have had very strict rules of access for much of the time.

So. I do hope that I now know better than to make too many promises as to what and when in the way of model boat building on my part, and in all honesty it is more than likely that I will continue to heed the woodworking siren's song for some time yet (I ruddy well do want that workbench!) but I shall at least try to follow the forum discussions more actively, and chip in as and when I have something with which to contribute!

For starters, and to end this posting (duh!), I should for example very much like to compliment previous posters in this thread on their builds, whether they be boats or trains: a number of fascinating subjects and excellent builds!

Cheers and, once again, my warmest wishes to you all and all of yours for a Happy New Year!


Edited By Banjoman on 06/01/2021 12:42:27

Edited By Banjoman on 06/01/2021 12:43:00

Edited By Banjoman on 06/01/2021 12:44:48

Ray Wood 206/01/2021 12:46:27
2847 forum posts
993 photos

Hi Mattias,

Welcome back yes you have been missed ! you now doubt will have the only French Polished work bench in Belgium ??

Still looking on your workroom shelves you won't be thirsty

Kind Regards Ray

Gareth Jones06/01/2021 13:05:41
802 forum posts
1081 photos


Your S class is quite different from ours so maybe the class changed over the years. Elizabeth acquired hers from Alan in 2012 and it was No 5, Shiva. Alas the photo is one of those that for some reason, no matter how I format it, won't appear the right way up.



Richard Simpson06/01/2021 13:21:21
1027 forum posts
256 photos

Its a long long time since I saw anyone use the traditional symbols for 'Face Side' and 'Face Edge'. Beautiful traditional woodworking at its best Banjoman. This looks like it is going to be a work of art rather than a workbench!

Richard Simpson06/01/2021 13:23:22
1027 forum posts
256 photos

Gareth, I'm probably mistaken mine may have not been an S Class. I'm afraid I'm not very well up on yachts, I just know a beautifully built hull when I see one! I do know it was too long for the class it was built for though so Alan built two more. I'm sure he could build hulls like that in his sleep.

Chris Fellows07/01/2021 12:02:09
1196 forum posts
752 photos

Hi All

I don't think it will come as any surprise that I'm carrying on with my Fairey builds. The three underway will be progressed to the painting stage to join the other two for a mass spraying in the spring.

Then for something a bit different I shall make a start on the Faun river cruiser and Fisherman motor sailer (both Faireys of course!) which are plank on frame.

When I was young in the 1960s my father had built a large Hornby 00 layout in the roof of the shop my parents had at the time and I had a great time playing with it. Unfortunately when we moved to a house it was dismantled and built into two smaller layouts which weren't as good. The trains etc. are still at my mother's house unless my brother has spirited them away!


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