October 2, 2014

Large Scale RC Sailing Ships

There is frequently crossover among the modeling hobbies, both in techniques and the people that practice them. This is a tale of such a nexus.

 I read several armor and ship modeling magazines. I occasionally look at radio controlled (RC) armor, ship, and airplane websites  to see what they are up to. That is where I first learned how battery power is revolutionizing their hobbies and its spill over to RC trains. However, I was unaware of the large scale  (RC) square rigged ship modeling hobby until my friend, Brian Kammerer, started sending me emails about the model he was building.  Brian is the fellow who helped me with the camp scenes for my backdrops. He is famous for his animated movie called , "The Other Great Locomotive Chase."

The image at the left is the ship Brian built last summer, a four foot long model of the HMS Surprise. The hull is plastic extruded foam covered in vinyl siding and putty.  He used an RC motor boat inside for power. The sails and rigging do not work... actually that is not true. Lets say they work, but not in a way that allows one to actually sail. They do catch wind and move the ship!

The most amazing thing is that Brian built this ship model with scraps, odds and ends, and craft store supplies. It is an incredible demonstration of scratch building. I helped in a tiny way by laser cutting some detail parts like the windows and the bowsprit. Here is a link to a forum with more photos.

Once he had his ship done, he connected with Ray Grosser, a name familiar to many model railroaders. He and his wife are serious model railroad enthusiasts with several amazing layouts on their resumes. But, Ray was also a serious RC ship sailing hobbyist. Here is a sample of Ray's 1/24th scale HMS Surprise sailing in brisk wind. It really is amazing.




I have several ship models planned for my layout, but they are going to be static models. Basically they are structures that happen to rest on water. But when you see these ships in their moving in their intended element, it is much more interesting and exciting. Perhaps this will be my next hobby once the layout is done?

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