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Vic Smeed's Model Boat Designs

Tony Hadley's list

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Tony Hadley23/10/2016 20:33:19
912 forum posts
552 photos

Earlier in this thread (12), a photograph of David Goodhand's Lorelei from the July 2016 edition of Model Boats. was posted.

I came across these photographs from the original January 1953 edition of Model Maker, which must be Vic's original version of Lorelei.

lorelei (4).jpg

lorelei (5).jpg

lorelei (6).jpg

Ian Gardner24/10/2016 17:40:54
566 forum posts
1 photos

It's a very sweet little boat and would make an interesting and unusual model. I wonder where Vic got his inspiration for this as I have never seen anything like it in photographs of full sized vessels. Has anyone got any ideas?

I say little- it looks quite big in the photo of it on the pondside.


Dave Milbourn24/10/2016 19:05:34
4025 forum posts
282 photos

Those two pointed, forward-facing screens - one above the other - together with the round side-ports make it look sinister in a 1950's sci-fi sort of way. The hull is very reminiscent of an MTB. And I'd fit spray-rails (see third photo down)!

Length 36"?

Dave M

Tony Hadley25/10/2016 08:32:17
912 forum posts
552 photos

Length 34" (863mm) x 7.5" (190mm). My thoughts go towards a 2/3 size version at 22.5" (572mm). The plan (MM267) is in the Xlist plans range.



"Sinister 1950's sci-fi" - anyone remember the space designs by W.P.(Peter) Holland which were published in Model Maker? Some of his futuristic space designs were designed to travel on the water. Flopalong, a Martian canal boat (still available), Plutonium Plate, a surface airscrew craft, Coot, an oared craft and Hydroflash which had an outboard drive.

Perhaps the style of Lorelei was in line with the futuristic thinking of the 1950s.

Dave Milbourn25/10/2016 08:40:05
4025 forum posts
282 photos


Pete Holland was an unsung genius. Others were Rev Ray Malmstrom, whose amusing drawings always accompanied his very simple but clever model aircraft designs, and Bill Dean, who was responsible for many of the plans in the Solarbo books of balsa models. All were boyhood heroes of mine (I had no time for footballers - and I still don't!).

Dave M

John W E25/10/2016 16:46:05
275 forum posts
267 photos

LOOKING at the top pictures doesn't half bring back some nostalgic memories, some of them painful. The Sunday morning standing at the lakeside smelling of Kiel Kraft diesel fuel stinging fingers with cuts where the starting cord has cut into your fingers.- the darn things still wont start because the chances are you have flooded it that many times and after about 20 times of trying to start it the thing fires into life. You set it away on the lake and what happens - engine failure - right in the middle of the lake. So nothing more to do than sit on the bench at the park side waiting for it to drift in on the wind, along with several other boats. I couldn't afford a radio control those days

Dave Milbourn25/10/2016 19:30:46
4025 forum posts
282 photos


I have similar memories, particularly the smell of KK diesel fuel. It didn't half sting when you got any into those raw cuts in your fingers!
In these days we have proportional radio at pocket-money prices, electric motors which easily match the old small diesels for power (not to mention the luxury of reverse...) and batteries you can rely on for at least an hour's sailing. I reckon we are well spoiled.
Who said the past was altogether a better country?

Dave M

Charles Oates25/10/2016 23:32:44
623 forum posts
50 photos

I loved those Peter Holland models. I inherited my brothers 1950s model maker magazines in about 1960, and built many jetex powered rockets. I also made a walking 'mars' explorer called, Teal I think.

I would add Ron Waring to the honours list of early modeling hero's. I still have his book, power driven models in which he covered so much a lad needed to know. Interestingly, he had a chapter on motorising plastic kits, all the rage now. There's nothing new under the sun.

Radio control, easy. I had a brother who was a radio engineer, a good supply of free components and learned to pray every time I sailed. Radio affected would be a better description.

It was exciting though, I don't get that buzz now, and I miss the smell of ether. But would I swap decades, defiantly not, too much heartache, especially if you made ' planes.

Tony Hadley04/11/2016 15:01:21
912 forum posts
552 photos

River Queen - after reading John Elliot's article in the winter 2016 Model Boats magazine, I was wondering if the Models By Design "River Queen" is the one based on Vic's design. Does anyone know? Vic's "River Queen" can be scratch built to myhobbystore plan V102 and a GRP hull was once available from Kingston Mouldings. There are slight differences in the hull length and beam.



Forum member Ian Gardner has a superb steam powered "River Queen" on his website, built by Pete Smith of the Exeter and District MBC.

river queen (3).jpg


The item in the Model Boats Winter Special is worth reading, if only for the information on the ultrasonic mist generator.

river queen (1).jpeg

river queen (2).jpeg

Ian Gardner04/11/2016 19:20:59
566 forum posts
1 photos

Hi Tony,

Isn't Pete's model wonderful? I was only speaking to him on the phone this morning! The Kingston Mouldings model was, I'm sure, based on Vic's drawing of the same name, a copy of which I possess- one of the long list of boats I will build if I live to be a 300 years old! I don't know about the Models By Design hull but it seems highly likely- there'sonly about 1/2'' difference in the dimensions.

Isn't V102 Vic's River Queen? If so, it has all detail necessary for a scratch built clinker hull, including two forms of tuck in the garboard at the stern. I vaguely remember a smaller version of this being produced as a free plan and do have a copy somewhere but can't remember what it was called and when it was published. Are you thinking of having a go?

I was leafing through some old copies of Model maker last night and thought I'd found a new Vic Smeed design- Tuna- a rather odd looking patrol boat, but on checking, sure enough it was in your list.

All the best,


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