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What to start with?

Advice on first model

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Michael Lydon12/10/2007 20:03:00
10 forum posts
10 photos


I have been building RC planes and helciopters for a number of years. I have dabbled with plastic boat kits but would like to try my hand at something better. Any ideas as to what I should start with? I had thought about the Billings Norden???? It's low price means if I make a mess of it then I'm not out of pocket that much. The other thing I have noticed on the net is you can convert it into a RC model???

Any advice would be appreciated 


Paul T15/10/2007 08:02:00
7340 forum posts
1229 photos
2 articles


Welcome to the world of model boating, its nice to see that you have outgrown those noisy flying things and have settled instead for the peace and tranquility of floating things (pipe and slippers are optional)

It does'nt look as though anyone else will answer your question even though we have all been through the same process. I dont know about the billings norden or how complex the build might be. 

Have you thought about paying a visit to your local boating lake or model club, dont be put off by the odd bit of gold braid, I imagine that aero clubs are the same (we all suffer)

You will see all kinds of different models and whats more you will meet lots of friendly people who will be only to happy to help and advise you on your choice.You will find that model boaters are one big happy family who just love to talk about their hobby (in fact we don't shut up) they will also point you in the right direction for the best deals.

As for myself I started just like you with plastic kits and moved onto bigger kits, my first "real model" was a perkasa MTB this was an all timber kit that was quite easy to build and very forgiving as it was quite basic and had no small parts. The build went very quick and I soon had a reasonable boat on the water, its only downside was its length, at 4ft long it was quite a big model and required a large area to build it in, the upside was that people have built so many different versions of this model that it did not have to be scale perfect. 

I hope this is of some help.

All the best


Len Ochiltree04/11/2007 15:38:00
525 forum posts
64 photos

If you can build planes then why not scratch build something?

A great designer is Glynn Guest whose plans are simple to understand and make.

His pusher tug is nice. Another one is Richard Webb who uses Styrene.

Tony Hadley05/11/2007 18:50:00
914 forum posts
559 photos

Hi Michael,

Have you obtained the Model Boats kit review special - Winter 2007 - shouldn't be missed for kit builders. The one which caught my eye is the Vosper high speed 'Rescue and Target Towing Lauch' (RTTL). This is a gem at £45- £52 for the kit excluding radio, batteries etc. An excellent review by Terry Small of the Model Slipways easy build kit. At 500mm long it won't cost the earth in batteries.

Besides kit reviews useful hints and tips, again the one which caught my eye is an excellent item on propeller shaft lubrication and how to set the thrust.



JC Uknz18/11/2007 08:42:00
141 forum posts
11 photos

My wife wants to put more into a model than her last one where I did the rough work, bread and butter construction, for her so I'm suggesting  George Turner Model s

Perhaps a bit basic for you  but I want her to succeed and have more input.  

Robert McHutchion20/11/2007 09:58:00
66 forum posts
10 photos

hi mike,

i agree with tony, as I'm just about to ring and order the vosper kit, a good deal at £52.

and looks fairly straight forward.

there have been several articles in modelboats over the past few months, ie a huntsman and a little pusher tug. these look stright forward as well.

must get back to my new river patrol boat, so i can shoot up the pond

cheers robert

Tony Hadley21/11/2007 18:25:00
914 forum posts
559 photos

Hi Robert,

What is your River Patrol Boat? is it the Veron Police Launch?

I have just received the plans for the Veron craft from Phil Smith. Now available as a plan not a kit. First impressions are superb. I will look forward to making a start in the New Year after my replica 1920's pond yacht is complete.

Happy Building -- Tony

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