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Paul Godfrey05/02/2009 18:44:07
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I'm getting towards the end of my first model boat, Model Slipway's Dutch Courage, and will soon be looking for another kit.
I've got three shortlisted:-  Model Slipway Envoy Tug; Caldercraft (Jokita) Imara; and Mountfleet's Sir Lancelot.
Model Slipway's quality is now apparent to me (although the hull seems a little plain), but what about the other two? I know they are very similar in terms of materials used, in that they both have detailed GRP hulls & superstructures etc, and plenty of wood, but do things like the white metal fittings compare well with MS? Do the kits go together well in terms of accuracy of parts?
Any guidence would be appreciated.
Ta.
R Gordon06/02/2009 20:46:13
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Hello Paul,
Unlike you, I have so far no experience of Model Slip[way ktzs sointerested in your comment on yours.  I have however built both the Caldercraft 'Sir Kay' and the Mountfleet 'Highlander' as well as Artesania Latina 'Hellen' and the Panart 'Anteo'.
I think a lot depends on what you lile to do modelling.  The Anteo is a splendid kit if you like tobuild the hull as well in wood planking on frames.  Quality of bits was excellent although the detail on the plans sometimes seemd to vary from sheet to sheet (8 of them in total!!)  Hellen was more semi scale but quality was good.   Interestingly, these continental kits had a fair number of fittings made in brass.
All this is by the way to your particular shortlist.  
The Caldercraft kit hull was good and parts made up into a model of which I am pleased.  However I did find the white metal fittings made froma very sorft alloy and were easily bent out of shape (but conversely could be usually returned to shape ) and Jotika were very good at supplying missing bits.   There is info on these Round Table minesweepers of which Sir Lancelot is another in the War Museums etc.
The Mountfleet kit was purchased at a time when Frank was nearing the end of his life  and I have to say that the hull left alot to be desiredand I think quality control hadbeen allowed to slip a bit as a result .  Thismay well have been remedied now by the ladies in charge.  However, remedying the inaccuracy of the hull myself moulding with resin and glass fibre  resulted in model being made.  The drawings left a fair bit to God and guesswork  which was an interesting challenge on occasion but again using other sources of info, I am pleased with end result.  The ladies at Mountfleet were at all times extremely helpful and missing bits were quickly sent.  White metal fittings were reasonable and  coukld be cleaned up well.. 
A long spiel but hope helpful. Enjoy your modelling
Richard
Colin Bishop06/02/2009 21:24:15
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I built the original Model Boats review model of Imara and it does make up into a very impressive model. Heavy too! I still have the review and can email it if you want although there may have been some changes since I did  it back in 1991. I found that the twin screw version had a very wide turning circle and that independent control of the motors was essential for steering although others have found it acceptable. It may be to do with the motor/propellor combination. If you were to use one of the ACTion twin controller with mixer units then I think it would probably be OK.
 
I don't have any direct experience of Envoy but have seen several made up examples which look very good indeed and the company has a solid reputation for quality.
 
As far as Sir Lancelot is concerned, again I have no direct experience but I have seen several reports which suggest that the model is quite top heavy and needs to be carefully constructed to offset this.
 
Colin
Paul Godfrey06/02/2009 22:02:00
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Thanks Richard & Colin for the replies. I've read the 'revisited' reviews of the Imara in the latest mag, and was very impressed with how it looks - it does seem much more detailed than the Envoy, so maybe i've narrowed my choice down to this or Sir Lancelot!
I guess tugs are always going to be more stable due to their wider beam, (and Sir L has some heavy looking guns quite high up) - Is it just a case of ensuring the batteries are positioned as low down (i.e. flat) as possible in Sir L.? What other building techniques can be used to lower the c of g?
There is an interesting video on You-Tube of the construction & sailing of Mount Fleet's Boston Typhoon, and even this looks a little top heavy, so although I was steering towards buying Sir L, now I don't know again!!
Thanks again.
Paul.
Colin Bishop07/02/2009 10:27:12
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There is a build thread of Sir Lancelot with pictures here:
 
 
Also some other references to the kit on the Mayhem site if you put Sir Lancelot into the search box.
 
Colin
Paul Godfrey07/02/2009 11:03:04
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163 forum posts
292 photos
Thanks Colin.
Comments are made about Caldercraft's 1:48th version being top heavy, whereas Mount Fleet's seems to be ok - the (fairly)recent review in the magazine says it sails well, even in choppy conditions.
In the Modelboatmayhem thread mentioned above, the author doesn't seem overly impressed with the quality of Sir L. in CERTAIN areas only - however, he does seem to be a very good and experienced model builder, so maybe he has especially high expectations. Is there anyone else out there who can comment on this? Maybe since he purchased the kit, there have been some improvements?
Look forward to receiving your help!
Thanks, Paul.
 
R Gordon08/02/2009 10:47:25
22 forum posts
6 photos
Paul
I have read comments of Sir Kay being top heavy.  I have to say I have not found this using ,as I alwys do, sealed lead acid batteries for power.  These of course act as very useful ballast if kept down in hull.  Boat sails very nicely indeed and has shown no sign of being unstable athough as you say, a fine aspect ratio hull warship is always more of a challenge .
Richard
Paul Godfrey08/02/2009 19:46:40
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163 forum posts
292 photos
I've been along to The Dockyard Model Shop in Chatham today, to look at some of their built up models (not to buy, but to see how these can look when completed).  Mount Fleet's Sir Lancelot, Boston Typhoon & Steam Tug Cruiser were there, together with Caldercraft's Resolve amongst others. I also had the opportunity to look at some other smaller Mount Fleet kits still in their boxes, and I have to say that I was very impressed with the quality. So, having thought some more today, I've decided to part with a fair wedge of money, and go for Sir Lancelot (even my wife thinks it looks good, and she doesn't like boats!!).
Paul.
Colin Bishop08/02/2009 22:02:12
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Hope you are giving the Dockyard Model Shop your custom Paul, the small traders need all the help they can get.
 
Colin
R Gordon10/02/2009 14:46:05
22 forum posts
6 photos
Paul
Have started to build a phot album today and have bundled single picsof all my boats as a beginning. One is of the Sir Kay on the water which mayhelp reassure you about the stability of these minesweeper models.
Richard

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