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Jan 27, 2008, 12:29 AM
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Ruby B by Victor Models

I got the Ruby B kit by Victor Models and I'm working on it now. It is meant to be a typical pilot boat of the 1800's. I uploaded a copy of the instructions here: Ruby B Instructions.

I haven't been able to find any dimension on the "real" Ruby B but I'm guessing it to be about 35-40 feet, judging by the companionway hatch in relation to the size rest of the boat.

I got the kit from an Ebay seller. The plastic hull was too wide and getting the glue joints to hold on the cross-members proved impossible. I contacted George at Victor-Models and he told me he's assembling the initial stages of the hull and is sending me that as a replacement. I'm awaiting that now but building around it as much as I can.

I also sent off another email pointing out that there are 12 screw-eyes listed in the parts list but that the assembly instructions call for 20 of them. Only 12 were in the kit.

This is my first R/C model sailboat kit but I lived aboard a sailboat for 10 years and had constant access to a 110 ft ship built in 1913 that was in the same harbor where I lived and was being used as a church boat. I'm using my memory of it's coloration as a color scheme for my Ruby B.

I have a pretty good handle on the build but I find the directions rather difficult in a few places so I could probably use a bit of help.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 27, 2008 at 03:08 AM.
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Jan 27, 2008, 12:57 AM
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I have assembled and stained the companionway and two hatches. The stain is Minwax wood stain Dark Walnut. I then coated it with 2 coats of sanding sealer, using fine steel wool after each coat. This produces a dull (not glossy) walnut finish. The rectangle shown in the first picture is the frame which gets glued to the deck for each hatch cover companionway and windows. The windows were sanded to imitate frosted glass.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 27, 2008 at 01:31 AM.
Jan 27, 2008, 01:22 AM
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Spars: The directions resulted in the first picture which seemed to project beyond the other side of the mast too far. I trimmed it down a bit to come up with picture 2.

I had some difficulty getting the color I wanted. Staining didn't penetrate so I mixed some of the Dark Walnut stain I had with Minwax Clear Gloss Polyurethane. This gave me the orangish cast which resembles a spruce spar.

The Dark Walnut on the jaws happened before I hit on the right mixture to get the orangish color I guess I'll just have to live with that.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 27, 2008 at 01:37 AM.
Jan 27, 2008, 01:48 AM
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Bowsies & Deadeyes:

The kit came with Dacron thread, thin and thicker. The Mfg suggested that shoe polish be used to stain the thread to give an older, more authentic look. All that did was make a mess that washed out easily leaving the thread again white. I tried Rit dye and that also failed since it's really meant to dye cotton. In a craft shop in the jewelry-making section I found some hemp string in two sizes nearly the same as the ones with the kit. I substituted those.

I added a black thread serving to the hemp in the deadeyes rather than to use the heat shrink tubing which the instructions suggested. This is much easier done with a bobbin used for (fishing) fly tying.

Also in the instructions the deadeyes simply have two knots. In actual use deadeyes vary somewhat in how they are threaded. One knot is sometimes used but the other end is tied to the standing rigging, then usually parcelled. I'll do that later when the deadeyes are installed.

Another took which has eased the work a lot was a Dremel tool and the Dremel Work Station which makes the tool into a mini-drill press.

Excess "hair" on the hemp thread can be burned off with a cigarette lighter or match. I'm not sure this will look right once the boat is finished. If not, the same craft store has cotton twines in similar sizes.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 27, 2008 at 08:12 AM.
Jan 27, 2008, 02:24 AM
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Swing Keel: It does not actually function as a swing keel but as a fixed keel. It's pretty heavy, over 5 lbs. In the kit it has square edges so those are rounded using Bondo.
Jan 27, 2008, 02:36 AM
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At this moment I'm pretty well stopped waiting for the new hull and an explanation of step #49: "Insert a length of wire into each sail hem. Bend a tight 180 degree x 1/4 loop in each wire end. Feed the wire thru the outer end of each hem till the loop is just comes out the inboard end of the hem then clip the wire to that length."

(Is it me or is that cryptic?)

I also need the missing 8 screw-eyes, missing Jib Swivel, missing piece of 7/8 ' plastic for the foresail mentioned in step 59.

In step 14 one is told to use a felt-tip pen to scribe lines on the deck plywood piece to resemble boards. In my case it resembled squiggly boards so I decided I'll add those as individual 1/2 inch glued down boards but I think I need to wait for the hull to do that.

The deck is also perfectly flat in the instructions which is not realistic. The deck should be crowned to force water to drain through the scuppers. I also intend to add that.

I might well add a pirate flag and a few cannons and terrorize my Yacht Club friends. **Grin** Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 27, 2008 at 03:04 AM.
Jan 27, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Use lots of different shades of wood stain. You can mix some to get new colours.
I have seen some models with very uniform colouration, and they look like toys.

Cover the deck with a layer of thin balsa planking. Much better than planking with pencil lines.

Ruby B is a working boat. She would not have been pristine.

I used polish to dye the dacron no problem. But the black takes better than the brown. I put a blob of polish on a cloth, folded it over the Dacron and pulled it through many times. Until an even colour was obtained.

If you havn't already done so look at the scale sail threads here there are two Mary J Ward builds, which are sister ships to Ruby B.
Jan 27, 2008, 01:06 PM
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Looking good :-). Thanks for the flytieing gadget suggestion - looks like a serving reel in miniature.

Boom jaws were often made from a different wood than the boom itself, so the fact that your's are a different color than the spar is not unrealistic, to me.

I've read that hulls are often "too wide" when they come from the mold. One has to use innovative clamping/strapping techniques on the hull to bring the gunwales together as one glues in the deck beams.

Perhaps the wire insertion instructions say to bend the end to make it easier (smoother) to insert thru the hem w/o catching on threads? If you are inserting the wire loop though the foot of the mainsail from leach to luff, the loop would be handy when you tie on the downhaul. A wire in the foot might make your lashing of the sail to the boom cause fewer wrinkles in the sail when it's set. I prefer loose-footed mainsails in my boats, in which case a wire would cause problems.
Jan 27, 2008, 07:18 PM
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Balsa was what I was going to use for the deck. I bought some wide pieces and just now slit them into 1/2" wide boards for deck planking. Again I'm waiting on the hull before I go on with that part.

I suspect that the thread I used for serving is disproportionately small. I used fly-tying thread which is usually quite fine. If so, I can easily add a few turns of heavier twine. Other fly-tying tools might also be useful.

I have uploaded the instruction manual if anyone wants to follow this. It's in my first post above. You could then see what is confusing me about the wire. I suspect it is supposed to be inserted as one piece into the seam of the mainsail, head to luff, down the luff, into the foot and out the end of the foot. The parts list says the wire is 6' but mine is 63" and the sum of the three sides of the main is 52".

The sails appear to be Dacron, a material that was not easily found in the 1800's , since it wasn't invented until this the mid 1900's. Hence I'd like to change the appearance to resemble canvas or linen. If that's not possible what material could I use? The sails are flat so no special cut is needed. In fact, the directions suggest using a pencil to mark lines on the sails to resemble panels. That doesn't seem like any better of an idea than penciling the deck planks. I've a feeling the lines would smudge. Is there a better way to simulate panels ?

I did notice the Mary J Ward builds and have been using them as a help.
Jan 28, 2008, 07:47 PM
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I got the new hull from George @ Victor Models. It's great! He also answered my email about the missing parts and it seems that I'm the first one who noticed that the kits were missing 8 screw-eyes. He is sending those now.

The confusion over the wire is solved:

The wire is used on the Mainsail only:
Insert that through the head from leech to luff in the seam. once it exits pull back a bit so the folded end of the wire catches and stops in the seam. Then cut the other end at the end of the seam + 1/4 inch. Then fold over the 1/4 inch. The wire will now be captive in the seam. Do the same for the luff and foot. There will now be 3 separate wires in the main sail's seams. (See the pics.)
Jan 28, 2008, 08:18 PM
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Very interesting thread, Usaki
Jan 29, 2008, 07:53 PM
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I found that the keel was not perfectly upright, so I widened the holed laterally by slanting the drill. To force the screw to conform to the new path I widened the countersink on one side. That forced the screws to move over and then the keel was perfectly upright. The directions don't show any countersink at all.

To install the rudder log I drilled from the bottom side. In my first try with the original hull I drilled from the top then found that I was off a bit laterally. Drilling from the bottom avoids that problem.

Another touch which is not given in the instructions is the slotted mast foot. This assures that the mast is properly aligned when installed. It also is quite realistic since masts were normally slitted. I laid the mast on its side then used a Dremel tool mounted in it's workstation. A small milling bit was used to carefully shave each side.

I used the suggested Ranger II, 2 channel system with the included HS-311 servo and the extra HS-815 for sails. Assembly of the Radio Board was quite straightforward. Servos are screwed down. Rubber bands hold the receiver and batteries down. The on/off switch was glued in with thick CA.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Jan 29, 2008 at 08:21 PM.
Jan 29, 2008, 11:20 PM
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Following the instructions worked fine. I did simulate panels by using a pencil as suggested. Instead of the provided dacron line, I used thin hemp line that I got in the jewelry section of a craft store. However there was a hitch. The gooseneck was poorly aligned and scored my beautifully finished mast. Besides that, it was binding and making movement of the boom very tight. By loosening the lines near the gooseneck I was able to access it to try to correct this. Luckily the thin CA broke loose when I pried with a screwdriver inserted into the gooseneck. I re-aligned it so it would slide easily on the mast and re-applied thin CA.

Moral? IGNORE STEP 47 and WAIT until you attach the mainsail to the mast to glue the gooseneck in place.

I've left bowsies and the lines lashing the sail to the gaff and boom loose so they can be adjusted later.
Last edited by Usagi_Chan; Feb 03, 2008 at 12:15 AM.
Jan 30, 2008, 04:24 PM
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I am about to replace my goosenecks. They seem to be an achilies heel for Victor models. I have already replaced two and these have now snapped at the solder join.

I will be replacing them with proper goosenecks I have just purchased.
There are Aeronaught parts (very cheap), and I will then use a line and bowsie as a kicking strap to keep price down.

Sorry cannot post pics at the moments as I will not be at home for three weeks, so am using other peoples 'puters.
Last edited by tigerbay; Jan 30, 2008 at 04:30 PM.
Jan 31, 2008, 02:59 PM
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I can't tell from the photos, but do you have both boom jaws and a gooseneck? If so, you could discard the gooseneck entirely, as the jaws will preform w/o it (just like the real ships). You might need a keeper across the open end of the jaws on the far side of the mast, like real ships. I have used boomjaw-only mounts for my sandbagger boom and gaff.

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