Ambulance launch - RC Groups
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Sep 20, 2011, 04:09 AM
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Ambulance launch

I suppose I've been on this forum long enough now to be able to post a build log of a model, and show that I'm not just an armchair modeller, so here goes. It'll be slow, as I am trying to juggle three models at once, and trying to satisfy both my daughters who want a model AND the charity I'm building this model for.

About 3 1/2 years ago I was asked by the St John's Ambulance,Guernsey to build them a model of their ambulance launch, Flying Christine 111.

It was a boat with a difference, and totally alien to what I had been building.

It was also a very nice clinical [ excuse the pun] looking boat with nice lines and I really enjoyed building it for the charity.

The real boat, and the finished model
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Sep 20, 2011, 04:20 AM
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Anyway, the model was completed in time for me to personally deliver it to Guernsey last april, 2010. As I made no charge for building the model, the Ambulance service said they'd pay for our ferry [myfamily and I] to go over there and stay for a few days, which was fantastic, and what a beautiful place Guernsey is. Can recommend going there if you have ever thought but not taken the plunge.

I digress. Whilst there the coxs.n of the boat took us out on the real FC3 for a two hour "training cruise" complete with full paramedic team [ for training purposes of course,], Took the kids on a full tour of all the lifesaving facilities including ambulance, ribs and control room, and then on the second day.they held a reception where i handed the boat over..embarrasing as the island's big chief was there along with the press, and it was there that the coxs'n, and also cox of St Peterport Severn lifeboat put me on the spot, in front of about 30 guests, and said, "well, we now have models of both Flying Christine 2 and about making a model of Flying Christine 1, the original from 1952.

What a bummer, as i wasnow looking forward to building some of those lifeboat models that I have waiting on stock, but in front of all those people, he knew I couldn't refuse.

So my excuse was, only if I could find plans and photos.

At that I was presented with a full album of photos from old clippings, and immediately recognised the old boat as a converted ST 200 series Sea Plane Tender. I was stumped, and so after completing the Clyde I am now directed to make a start , but not only that, my daughter also likes the boat, and so am now building this is the start of a build log for a SeriesST200 Sea Plane Tender.

I made a start on construction, so hope you enjoy it, as much as I am beginning to.

this is what the new model for the charity should hopefully look like.

Incedentally this class of boat was designed jointly and developed by a very famous Brit.....a gent you'll all probably heard of.

His name was T. E. Lawrence, otherwise known as Lawrence of Arabia.

Being by this time in his life on secondment to the RAF he saw a need for a fast rescue craft to rescue downed pilots on the English Channel and this was his first idea coming to fruition shortly before his sad and untimely death as a result of a motorcycle accident.
Sep 20, 2011, 04:24 AM
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As I haven't worked in timber for some time, except to make plugs for GRP moulding I realised that I would have to be damned accurate when cutting the timber for the static display model, and spoke to Steve Tranter of MODELBOATBITS, about his water jet cutting service. see here on MAYHEM

As I was building for charity again, Steve offered his services free of charge......just send me the plans and timber was all he asked.
The finished product is absolutely superb and very accurate indeed.
My second set, are, well should i just say, adequate to take filler for a grp mould, which the working boat will be made from.a moulding.

so here are the frames and keel, cut by Steve from MODELBOATBITS.

I copied a second set from these, but leaving in all those intricate holes that Steve had cut out, as this set would make up the plug used for a mould.
Sep 20, 2011, 04:27 AM
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The most important job when building plank on frame is to get the frames set up correctly, and true and straight before any planking is commenced.
Over the years I've seen some amazingly bent boats around, because initial care wasn't taken, and even when straightened out with filler, they never sail right or sit well, because their hulls are unballanced with the weight of the filler, so that extra hour in marking out and being particular in the initial process is always worth while.

I always start with a good sturdy building board, and having just refitted our kitchen, I had plenty of good chipboard to go at.

the holes are for taking screws to fix the frames to the board from the underside, which makes the hull removable once planked

the board is then cut to a basic deck shaped piece and countersunk from underneath.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:16 AM
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Frames have then a piece of 15mm square pine screwed to them to enable the frames to be screwed to the building board, and then, all screwed up in sequence.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:20 AM
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I needed to find the timber for some stringers now, and weighed up the costs of purchacing balsa ( which I hate working in anyway) from my local model shop, Redbank Models, when I suddenly remembered that some years ago, I had been given a stack of timber by a friend who used to own the Hobby Shop ( long since retired and sold up) before he closed.
Looking in my wood bin, there it was, correct thickness, just needing ripping down to the same square thickness (about 5mm), so out came the bench saw and 10 minutes later I had my stringers (in lovely pear or cherry.not sure which.)

The four stringers for the prop shaft guides were glued in last night, (see previous photos) and the longitudinal stringers holding the frames together have been put into my "steaming tank" and will be left for a couple of hours to soften up in hot water ready for dry pinning to the frames, befor gluing to them when dry and reset into shape.

My wood bin.

Timber in raw planks ready for ripping down.

I'll leave it in the bath in hot water for a couple of hours and then remove one at a time to "wet fit onto the frames, before leaving to dry and set.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:32 AM
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I DON'T LIKE plank on frame building, and am really out of practice.hence the crap job that i have done skinning the first layer of the twins.

I used 0.8mm [1/32] birch faced ply for it and skinned as fast as i could...but the results aren't pretty and hopefully once i put the second diagonal layer on it might look better, but hey ho once filler has been added i hope it won't look too bad.

obeche' blocks were added to the bow before filling.

these were then filled and sanded before the gunwail edging strips were added and glued before i begin the second layer of planking with diagonal planks this time.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:51 AM
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The next process was to diagonally plank the hull with 0.8mm ply cut into12 mm wide strips.

I used Aliphatic quick grab resin glue to fix them to the first layer, asnd then i skimmed the bow section with polyester filler. Once i'd left it all for a few days i trimmed any overhangs on the planking and went to town using a small minicraft sander with 40 grit and sanded both hulls that i'm building for a good few hours.............once sanded i skimmed the whole boat hulls with cellulose sanding putty rather than polyested filler as the unevenness was now small enough to not warrent major filling.

after leaving this putty to harden whilst on hols i came back to more sanding to get the hulls smooth.

once smooth i added both top stringer for belting and the bottom stringer for the spray rail that follows the hard chine. again using aliphatic resin glue, i double layered these strips using obeche........finally sanding them to shap and filling where needed.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:52 AM
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there are too slightly different hulls here. the one shown above is the one i'll be using for the display boat and i have built her up tp deck level so that the stringer for the protective belting is level with the deck.

However the second hull is to be used as a plug for a grp mould and i needed an upper bulwark above the belting strip so that the moulding could be taken up to this height and then trimmed back, giving a solid hull side without air pockets in it..

this is shown as an extension of the side of the boat protruding above the belting strip on the shot below.
Sep 20, 2011, 05:56 AM
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Next step was to detail the showcase one wioth a belting along both port and starboard side. I put these on with pva glue and 120 gram cartidge card, and fixed with cellulose sanding sealer.

and the deck was then preliminarily dry fitted.
Sep 20, 2011, 06:17 AM
Mmm, tugs...
patmat2350's Avatar
Very nice, clearly a top quality build!
Sep 20, 2011, 07:23 AM
Registered User
thanks Pat, but I don't think it's in the same league as your Baywatch rescue boat.....that is on a higher plane altogether.

Sep 20, 2011, 08:22 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Nhp651, the photos of your build are oh, so familiar to the active modelers on this forum, and refreshing to see---.

Someone is actually putting one together---.
Sep 20, 2011, 12:42 PM
Grumpa Tom
Kmot's Avatar
Fantastic work!!

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