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Liverpool class lifeboat and tractor/carriage build


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neil howard-pritchard15/04/2021 21:28:43
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

I am at a point where i have to clear away a lot pf unused duplicate parts from the last part of my Tyne class build, those parts that i made for the Mersey lifeboat that i duplicated if needed........and there is muck and debrie all over, and so before i fling myself fully in to finishing the big tyne class boat on the other thread, i thought i would start on parts for my Liverpool lifeboat later in the year.

the boat is based upon one which served both in Cornwall and then at Blackpool and was launched into the sea by a tracter and trailor.

And so, i started by building the tracter unit, based upon a Case L unit.


neil howard-pritchard15/04/2021 21:35:56
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

So, what did i do...........i bought a box of nice tricks from eBay.

The box contains something pertaining to lifeboats but something i have never ventured into before.........a TANK.........

well not quite, but some caterpiller tracks, drive and trailing wheels and all other parts to make an RNLI Case L tractor to pull my Liverpool class lifeboat on a trailer.

The idea came to me some time ago after seeing both

Mike Pendlebury


Mike Davies

trailers and tractor units for their boats.

Having seen both their beautiful works i knew i could never build similar, but a simpler tractor unit would be within my capabilities and as such i have muted the Case L for some time.

However a Fowler tracter came up on eBay a couple of weeks ago for sale, and as offers were asked on the price of £250 quid, and the fact that instead of having the wrong type of tracks [in fact Tiger tank tracks] i made an offer, but was rejected as the vendor said he had had better offers..........

Mick French

unbeknown to me had also put in a bid with similar replies.

I am actually very pleased that my offer had been rejected as a] i found the person selling it had made unpleasant remoarks on other forums about members on here and b] i wouldn't always have to think that i had used basically a tank track on a tractor that didn't have tank tracks. and so i started doing a bit of research and homeworck on ebay, and found the perfect thing to fit the bill, as i found this kit..........

Absolutely perfect.......tracks and wheels perfect, right length, correct width and only two main wheels per side, with a chasis to build the main body on to.........and with some offer discount, i got it for £27.20p...........a tenth of what a tracter with wrong tracks would have cost, i will have great pleasure in building the body and towing hooks etc to fit onto the chasis.

and with the kit came the two motors to get the tracter working under r/c.

i also bought a set of tracks with similar wheels plus two extra wheels to fit inbetween those sets of wheels for the bogies on the trailor............they are from seperate suppliers, but all the same size diameter wise, but this "robot" took only 8 days to arrive from China...........fantastic service..............and i am sooohh excited to start this too,The case l that was used at blackpool with the lifeboat i am going to buils was the older more exposed case..........and have one very handy to go and photograph this summer in Blackpool.









neil howard-pritchard15/04/2021 21:50:57
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

WELL, as I hurt my back shifting a garden box containing all sorts of crap yesterday, I am taking it easy today and resting it............but if anyone knows me............I cant sit still without some sort of modelling to do or my hands start twitching and I end up picking my nose or ears for something to do...........and so!

this afternoon, I couldn't leave my new little box of tricks out and start fiddling.

I first mounted the motors onto the steel chasis, only to find that the wheels with tracks on, didn't match up centre wise with the mounting holes for the motors, and so had to make a choice...........

Either to shorten the tracks as supplied...........and shown in the "instructions" or to lengthen the chasis.

The instructions are in one line "have a guess" type sentences with photos so dark as to be stairing up black holes [ and I dont mean my nostrils] I decided to cut the chasis into two parts, and use the bed of the tractor, [to be made in plasticard as a new chasis top which the engine and other things can be mounted to] where I can stretch the positions of the motor centres to keep the tracks tight, by using the slots in the chasis as adjustment tracks.

Once I had cut the steel chasis in to two parts,using a fine metal cutting blade on my band saw I made the bed from 3 parts, a piece of flat grp sheet and two pieces of 2mm plasticard.

I then glued these sheets together using 30 minute 2 part epoxy and then used a piece of ply wood to keep it flat, by clamping the sheets to to the ply...........and there it will stay until set.

Then it will be drilled for nuts and bolts as the fasteners and left until I figure out how to fit the guide wheels lol.





img_8588 (1).jpg


img_8590 (1).jpg

neil howard-pritchard15/04/2021 21:55:31
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

who needs unreadable inadequate chinese instructions.....

with a little thought and some BA spanners and some mag spanners, plus my box of 3mm screws and nuts/washers.........and my laminated platform..........

job done.......i can start building the tractor unit to tow my Liverpool now.

img_8591 (1).jpg





neil howard-pritchard15/04/2021 22:05:38
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

Still on with the Case tractor, I was having a bit of a tidy up now that my back is feeling somewhat better in my workshop whilst casting a lifeboat crew figure for a regular gentleman when after casting I decided to give the tidying a break.................well you cant do it all or you'd never know where everything is and you'd loose sight of it all, being a bear of little brain my memory cant cope with such strains on such things...............

And secondly I came across some old drawings/sketches that someone had made for me years ago of an old RNLI lifeboat and RNLI tractor engine,.........

There and then I decided that as the Case L tractor has an open engine compartment on show with all the parts on show, so would my model, to a certain degree [not going into earth shattering rivet counting detail], but the basics will do.

And so I got some nice old obeche out, set the laithe up and started with the "heavy" flywheel, followed by the cylinder heads, half engine block and then the cylinders from dowel.

Hope you like it........tonight i'll make the top of the gear box, and then tomorrow the exhaust pipes, 4 into one, lol.

Hope you like it......excuse me for just playing, but at times it is enjoyable just to do something that probably isn't right to the purist, but looks alright in model form.......

My old mate Frank Hinchliffe of Caldercraft Models once said to me whilst visiting him over at his house in Yorkshire.........."my [franks] models conform, but often things are put onto them that aren't necessarily correct, but always remember Neil.....buls*** baffles brains"

He was the father of modern model boat why should I complain. lol.







and that is the "build" up to the presant date.

Bob Abell16/04/2021 07:27:45
9317 forum posts
2976 photos

Hi Neil

That`s a new twist to the Thread?

Building a Tractor!.....Wow, what a good idea

It`ll be very interesting to follow the build


Richard Simpson16/04/2021 08:37:33
646 forum posts
302 photos

What an interesting thread Niel. There are actually a huge number of model tank suppliers, particularly in 1/16th scale where you can buy metal tracks and wheels and all sorts of fancy control gear but one or two items that you might find interesting are such things as metal tracks, which sag much more realistically than the plastic ones and metal sprockets and road wheels for them to run on.

One thing that I have noticed though is the fact that your motors appear to be connected directly to the sprockets and one is at one end of the chassis and the other is at the opposite end.

Just a couple of questions then, are both motors connected to the driving sprockets to ensure a positive transmission to the tracks and, all the tanks I have had, and still have, have been connected through a gearbox with quite a significant reduction in revs. Connected directly to the motor might prove extremely difficult to control in a nice slow controlled manner such as you would be looking for with a tractor.

I hope I haven't thrown a spanner in the works but I would hate you to put a lot of work into such a project then have to ditch a chunk of it further down the line.

I have just noticed from the original instructions that you got with the kit that there is a drive sprocket at opposing ends of the tracks, which is why the motors are connected at either ends of the chassis.  This might end up looking a little odd on your tractor when you end up with one driving sprocket on one side at the opposite end to the engine.

If you would like me to take a photo of the inside of one of my tanks so you can see the normal arrangement of motors and gearboxes let me know.


Edited By Richard Simpson on 16/04/2021 08:46:25

Richard Simpson16/04/2021 08:40:03
646 forum posts
302 photos

These guys are particularly good when it comes to supplies of parts and spares:

Richard Simpson16/04/2021 08:59:48
646 forum posts
302 photos

I found a couple of shots on Ebay, these show an arrangement where both sprockets are at the same end, where the engine is, and both going through quite a significant reduction gearbox to give realistic revs at the sprocket.



neil howard-pritchard16/04/2021 17:06:25
1916 forum posts
1747 photos

thanks for the vote of confidence Bob, but to be honest the moment this is a new avenue to my modelling, and a bit trial and error...........but i suppose i'll get there.

however to answer richards questions.

firstly, all of the tank tracks that i have seen are ALL the wrong "shape" at both ends and not high enough to give me the profile of the old RNLI Case, and at 1;16 scale they are too long.............the case tractor is only 12" lomg from extreme front to rear.

as for the motors, they actually have gear boxes attached to them and maximum rpm at 12v is 345 rpm....... i will be using 3.7v 2700ma batteries running in series [or is it parallel] giving 5400 ma of i would presume with those batteries, maximum endurance with minimal rpm...................

and the Case tractor had a maximum speed of 6mph...........which i reckon will be scale for what i want.


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