RC Boats - Tsekoa II

In 2001 I was made redundant from Epson Uk due to a relocation of their technical services department. I was fortunate enough to land a higher paid job shortly after and thus found that my redundancy money was burning a hole in my pocket. Now I've always like the look and shape of oil rig supply ships, but at that time there was nothing really available, as a ready made kit. I then caught sight of the buoy support vessel produced by the model slipway whilst visiting an expo in Gt Yarmouth. Money parted and we returned home with an excellent project for the winter months.

My boat is still to be completed, but hopefully it will turn out like this excellent example on the left from the model slipway's web site


What follows is an insight in to the early part of the build, with most of the images being taken between October 2001 and January 2002. However, due to a move and ever expanding family the project got shelved and remains at my parents house in a 90% finished state. Hopefully I'll find some time soon to complete the model and get it on the water.

 

The build commenced by rubbing down the GRP body which I must say is of excellent quality. Then Styrene strip was bonded to the inside of the hull to form the deck support.

Before I constructed the deck I chose to install the motors and rudder connections. All the props, rudders and fittings are supplied as part of the kit. which is still at the same price I paid in 2001 (£189).

Here you can see the rudder servo fitted and the pair of monoperm motors connected to the supplied shafts. These were epoxied into place inside and out. I must admit that drilling holes for the shafts is one of the most daunting aspects of model boat building.

 

 

The recommended motors are 540 class with a 2.5:1 gearbox when using 6V batteries. However I had found that most model boats are too overpowered for true scale speed, which was why I opted for two MonoPerm motors when I built a 30" tug boat back in 1982. These monoperm motors cost me £56 back then, but they offer excellent performance, and smoothness, they just begged to be used again. The sad thing is that I don't think these motors are available anymore, hopefully some reader may be able to provide a link if they are still around.

The good thing about these motors is that they have a small switch (seen facing the camera) that reverses the direction of the motor. This makes the wiring a simple practice, especially when you need two motors to run in different directions for contra-rotating props

With the rear deck in place I needed to dress the rough grp that is visible above the deck. there are two ways of doing this, the first is to use filler and then sand it down to get a nice smooth finish. The only issues I had with this was the time and the mess, so I opted to skin it with very thing styrene sheet. This was glued using a thin film of epoxy glue. This method also had the advantage when it came to glue other styrene parts to the hull as liquid solvent type glue could be used.

I think the result looks rather good

The next part involved cutting out all openings for water to drain off the decks (hopefully only in the full sized boat and not the model !)

The two large cut outs aid in the launch and recovery of the buoys, and under normal use these gaps have hatches in place, which you will see later

I then cut out the rear of the hull for the 3rd buoy access gap, and then fitted the deck braces ( those small triangular webbing support seen in the image) at every point indicated on the plans.

Talking of plans I must say how impressed I was with the large two sheet 1:1 scale plans that you get, along with clear coloured photographs its very easy to understand what part goes where. However, if you are looking for a kit with a thick manual showing how every part is put together, then you won't find that here. You need to be able to read the plans and compare that to the parts you are using. That said all styrene parts come on printed sheets which have the parts numbered so it's not really that difficult. You will be requiring a sharp knife to remove them, but it should be well within the capability of the novice modeller (like myself !)

Work progressed to include the main hatch, and the "doors" that cover the buoy recovery hatches. Here you can see some of the excellent white metal fittings used to simulate the locking clasps and hinges.

It was at this point that I stopped taking photographs, and work on the model slowed. I did manage to get the forward deck installed, and most of the cabin built, but its now gathering dust in my parents spare room. All being well I'll be updating this page very soon so keep coming back