Members Models

These pages show model boats under construction or completed and useful tips by members of the Sedgemoor Model Boat Club

By Jared Hornsby

After building a lot of models and one or two subs at "entry level" I decided to bite the bullet and go one step further with a Robbe U-47 semi scale Static Dive sub - with a few "intermediate" modifications - I like to keep myself on my toes and challenge what I can (and can't) do.

The most part of the build took a few months - I had a few other things on the go at the same time, plus work kept getting in the way!
I'm not a big fan of ABS plastic - it's not very forgiving, and if it gets silicates on the surface it can be a pig to clean for painting at a later date.

I decided very early on I was going to ditch the ugly and cumbersome "Dynamic dive" system in favour of an imported static dive module and control system from Engel Submarines in Germany. Basically this system is a huge motor driver syringe controlled proportionally by a Hall effect sensor on the main drive gear. Easy as pie to setup - when you don't get superglue on your fingers and bond the sensor magnets onto three of your fingers!

The Robbe design in its simplicity uses a huge O-ring and a screw clamp on the watertight compartment (WTC) to pull the seal on the stern cap together, creating a seal. This had to go as I wouldn't have room to put all my new kit inside, so I also purchased a Bayonet ring (twist and lock) to remove the need for a bolt-clamp. This, after spending ages on the build was the scariest part as I had to cut away a substantial part of the main WTC to fit the bayonet - a job that can only sensibly be done once the hull halves are bonded into place.

I wanted to get the front dive planes working via a servo, but it would only work by putting the servo outside the WTC - so I had to work out some way of waterproofing a servo - I tried a sealed box, via a bellows seal but this proved too cumbersome so I ended up pulling the servo apart, plastering the motor and electronics in RTV sealant, and filling the gearbox with mineral oil. I then topped the output shaft with an O-Ring ... it's still working at the moment!

If you are looking for glue that is amazingly powerful and can stick Metal to - well, anything then try to find "UHU Plus Acrylit" and Deluxe Materials "Super Crylic" glues, they're expensive but really worth the expense.

Once all the parts were fitted and tested, I decided to paint her with a Red oxide primer to give any scratches during use a "rusty look" I can work into the Weathering, and a std Acrylic paint top coat matched to the RAL colours supplied, and start on Weathering the hull. I'm a HUGE fan of weathering - done right a model can be brought alive and achieves a certain "depth" (excuse the pun) that an un-weathered model can't.

It may seem that I went a smidge overboard with the rusting on this one as I've tried a totally new method and want to see how long it lasts and wears under a lot of use. Once it tones down, I'll seal it some thin matte Lacquer. I aimed to have it looking battle weary on the sea, and badly abused when "Dry docked" on the boat stand.

My tried and tested method is to seal the acrylic paint with a coat or two of MATTE water based lacquer, preferably sprayed - then using a soft dapple brush start patting a thin wash of an oil based paint, thinned with turps over the lacquer.
Try to avoid slopping the wash everywhere - your just after a thin film of colour to act as a base for the wash. Let the wash dry and you'll have a drab, mottled coating over the lacquer. If it's not dark enough, simply re wash until your happy.

To get a "rusty look" you can do a multiplicity of things - the net is littered with ideas and guides - but, if your after a really, really, good tactile rust effect - use Deluxe materials "Scenic rust". Basically it's a fine metal powder mixed with glue - apply to where you want the rust then brush over the activator and leave it for 8 hours - it looks very authentic.

For streaks and staining, simply use a thicker wash of black and "ochre" colour oil paints, and paint on the streaks or stains - from water drains for instance - where you want them by "Dry brushing". This involves dipping your brush, and then dabbing it on a rag until the brush is nearly dry and then painting the streaks. Let them dry, then I've found that using a dry brush lightly dipped in thinners to work the streak until it looks "right" Works a charm - although it take a lot of practice and some patience the end results are worth the pain.

And let’s not forget the most important modification of all - my 200mm high Bright yellow Marker flag - now the Guys in the club have no excuses! =)

Trimming has been a pain, being a static dive modified sub, ordinarily it needs trimming to be Neutrally Buoyant at full flood underwater - but as it's going to be in a murky lake I decided to trim it so it runs at periscope depth - so even if the ballast tank safety system doesn't kick in it'll still be recoverable. I spent a lot of time with lead strips and a paddling pool full of freezing cold water to get it “Just right”. At 2m Long My sub just won't fit in the Bathtub !

....and ..........relax... =)


Hands-up - I was one of the “guys” who accidently tried to remove Jared’s periscope on his other sub while I was in attack mode with my Perkasa Torpedo Boat. It was a little embarrassing as he had only just joined the club!
Having seen this U-boat up close and personal – the weathering effect he has obtained is truly stunning.

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