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1:48 scale Fairmile B

Steve D

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Did you say a 1/48 Flower??  Ooh yes please; just promise you’ll let us follow the build on here! 


I’m not really a Coastal Forces guy in modelling terms - but this is fabulous!  

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Thanks for the kind comments and yes, if I do get myself organised for the Flower, I'll post the whole thing this time.


Update today on the stanchions.  For those who've not seen them before, these are split pin stanchions that need soldering to bases.  I'm using both 2 and 3 wire ones.

The photo below shows the process with two ready to solder in the jig I made to ensure the height is right.


I'm using Fryolux solder paint for the first time, I guess I'll get used to it in time...  the bases are etched from 18 thou brass and the whole process is nothing if not fiddly.  I solder these with an iron, not the torch, but the one that have braces (see mid-ships section below) need to be silver soldered after the soft soldering which is a process going the wrong way round and a bit fraught...  These ones also have .5mm wire loops soldered in to support the wire ends.  I'm using beading wire (0.015") and 1x1 mm ferrules that look too heavy, a may need to redo these with .8 mm brass tube, very fussy work.  Still at this scale, you can't achieve the same lightness any other way


You can just make out the stem fitting shackles with 16BA bolts securing them.  The wires terminate against these. 




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21 hours ago, Modelholic said:

Is that the 48 Flower on top of the cupboard?


Hi Tom,


No, that model is a year's worth of work on HMS Speedy, an Alarm class torpedo gunboat of 1893, also 1:48th scale and a bi model at almost 5ft long.  I started it too soon after completion of HMS Medea (an M-class destroyer of 1915 built for the Greek navy but taken over by the RN that won me a gold medal at the MEE).  The models were too similar, and the repeat challenge too great at the time for me to complete.  She's been taken round three houses in the past 15 odd years since then.  One day I intend to complete the model, but I estimate it will take me 2 more years at least unless(until?) I'm retired. 


If anyone is interested in seeing more, I'll be happy to post a few pictures





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Sunday evening update...  Progress on a number of fronts, all the Starboard stanchions made and installed but not fixed, still in white primer.  This allowed be to finally confirm and install the depth charges on that side.  I ordered two types of beading wire a couple of weeks ago, the second from the US, which is 7 strand stainless and only 0.25mm (10 thou Inches) diameter.  This is the one I will use for the handrails, using .8mm OD brass tubing for the sockets.  The ones on the funnel are too coarse and will need redoing.

The other thing I'm redoing is the main mast which was just not good enough, too thick and I never liked the tabernacle.  Second version well on the way, much better tabernacle and neater mast bands.

My modelling leaves behind many aborted pieces.....


The deck still needs final varnishing and colours wash but it is taking shape now


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Quick update on the new mast.  First picture shows it before painting next to the rejected one


Much finer and overall better, if rather fragile.  The blocks have been varnished and are ready to hang

In the background is the mould for the 10' dinghy (its an old mould I made for the other ML), I'll start that next weekend.  The boat will be made by papier mache laid on the keel which is inserted into this mould after waxing.  When this is dry,the outside is planked with thin card, then the inside is built up.  I've made about 10 of these boats over the years, they take time but are worth the effort, don't know how else to make such a small boat


After painting and rigging the blocks.  The bell polished up nicely.  The tabernacle is at an angle to that the mast lowers to the side of the funnel, easier to see once installed

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Couple more pictures from today.  Not much difference really, but lots of work.  I've made (at the second attempt) a passable windscreen frame, (un-glazed at this point), the lifebouys are finished, the deck and wheelhouse are varnished, the port depth charges and smoke floats are fitted, the funnel and desk house handrail are both redone with the new fine beading wire, etc etc plus endless touching up of paintwork


Port side stanchions next weekend and a start on the boat


The end is in sight, ordering the case :)

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First stages in making the ships 10' dinghy.  The mould is made from balsa between ply frames with a slot down the middle for the keel.  Once sanded to shape, this is varnished and the planked in card to create the impression of the clinker planks on the inside.  This is then varnished again and cleaned up.  That was all done for the last ML which also had a 10' dinghy.


The first image shows the keel frame ready to slot into the mould.  The mould has been coated in spray releasing wax.

The shell of the boat is built up from tissue paper dipped in weak PVA glue and then left to dry overnight


Then the sheer line is cut and the shell eased out very gently to be cleaned up prior to re-positioning on the mould for the outer planks (in thin card) to be glued in place


The final image shows this with further clean-up and a coat of varnish and then primer.  Next week I'll be fitting out the inside frames etc 



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I just wanted to add my thoughts, pride and admiration for the British, Commonwealth, American and Allied forces of all three branches who fought on D-day, 75 years ago today. 


Building military models is a way of keeping their memory and sacrifice alive 

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7 hours ago, Steve D said:

I just wanted to add my thoughts, pride and admiration for the British, Commonwealth, American and Allied forces of all three branches who fought on D-day, 75 years ago today. 

In 2015, my wife & I visited the Normandy beaches & the British & Canadian War Cemeteries.  A very moving experience.   Lest we forget.

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Quick update on the 10' dinghy.  

The picture below shows it after the inner ribs and sheer strake were added and the interior and exterior painted.  You can clearly see the clinker lines between the frames taken from the mould.  I've also adjusted the crutches and added ring bolts ready for tying it down

BTW, in the background Lambert's drawing shows an 8' dinghy and it sitting somehow on the lower deck.  The specs say it was a 10' dinghy and many pictures of the port side show the boat stowed as I have it, on the coach house roof but hanging over a little.  I added braces as it seemed odd without.  I'm guessing the outer crutches folded and allowed the boat to slide over the side, there is no crane or davit assembly, must have been very tough to get it back on board.... 




The next picture shows it with the internal ring bolts, floor boards added and the seats and knees installed.  I know there should be two per seat, but try making them in wood at this size, they just break.  I've settled for one per bench :) though looking at the photo, they look too chunky, will work on thinning them a little.  The proble with these photographs is they show it better than I can see it, so I just stare at all the imperfections, sigh....



This is still very much work in progress, still quite  a bit to do, but I wanted to show the steps.  Once I've made the oars, I'm going to display it with the tarpaulin installed but pulled back to show the interior 

The observant can see I've also made a start adding flags to the flag lockers, Holman projector in the background

I still have to do the port side stanchions, boring job so putting it off.....

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As soon as I wrote that comment, I knew I'd have to re-do it.  One day I will get things right first time


Anyway, below is how it looks now, remade with a cuddy at the bow and 2 knees at the end of each bench and the cover rolled back  Much happier with this....


Note the windscreen (#3...) installed




It would be so much faster but for the mistakes....


Mast installed now but not rigged yet

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Quick update from the weekend.  I realise all these pictures look very similar, but progress is being made.


The changes here are that the mast is rigged, both twin Vickers are made, painted and installed, the handrailing on the starboard side is complete (I still have to add the chain across the entry way), the last lifebuoy is in place and I've added more weathering to the deck.  The drawing in the background is there to make sure I get the layout of the stanchions right, where the removable ones go, they have different bases to the fixed stanchions.  I'm pleased with the 7-strand beading wire, (all the way from California!), but its too bright, will dull it down.  This is connected using tiny brass ferrules that I've been struggling to drill out (0.8mm tube).  They need a 0.55mm hole to pass two lines through before clenching shut, they fly off at the slightest.... 


I'm really bad at painting, don't get enough practice so I'm unsure about the extent of the weathering to do.  The pictures all show very weathered vessels so I guess I can add and not overdo things, happy to accept comments/suggestions, where to stop?


I've decided this is all very ambitious, its a very crowded deck




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15 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Steve, do you have an image of how the these are mounted?



Hi Stuart


Not a great shot but this shows it hopefully


The guns are tiny, made from 11 pieces of brass each. They mount on a 1mm tube that is fixed to the windbreak just behind the windscreen on each side

This shot also shows the turnbuckles on the mast stays 


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40 minutes ago, dnl42 said:



Most excellent work! Love all the brass work! :worthy:

Thanks, nice to see someone else building in 1:48th scale (your LCM3 thread, looking great), it is the right balance of detail and size imho 👍

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  • 3 weeks later...

I've not posted for a couple of weeks, been away and then just attending to finished bits, no really progress shots until now.


The ML is now complete bar some additional rope coils, final weathering and the stand and case.  I'll post better pictures once that is all complete but for interest, below are where it stands now.


I hand paint my flags using fabric paint, this one is a 3' x 6' white ensign which is the smallest I've done




I know it looks a little rough but then I soak it in very weak PVA and hang it overnight so that it rests dry in nice folds as shown below





The folds easily disguise the rough painting.  Then its hung on the rope fall and mounted on the model.  Below you can see it in place, reasonable shape for a flag in a light air




I also re-built the first anchor blade assembly and made the second anchor, the flukes were too small.  The picture below shows the brass components prior to assembly.  The bolts are 16BA (0.7mm dia)




Next, here they are installed, a couple of pictures I found show them and the chain in white which looks nice and distinctive.  I've also added the 3 pdr shell case wire to the handrails (brass etched) and the first two rope coils added to the forecastle




Lastly, this is what it looks like overall now (sorry, lighting not great)...




I'm still very uncomfortable with weathering but I'm going to do more next weekend, finish the ropework on the deck and make a start on the stand.  Overall, I think it is OK, though some bits are still not clean as I'd like.  Looking forward to seeing it next to the WW1 example, its companion :)


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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry, not posted for a while, just been adding little finishing touches and it didn't seem to change much so little point.


This weekend however, I cracked making Brodie helmets in 1:48th scale out of 5 thou copper sheet, after about 5 failed attempts that is.  Heated to red heat to soften and beaten in a doming block, I made 5 in the end before I got bored, trimming the edge is a nightmare.  4 are now mounted on the bridge next to the vickers guns and 1 has been left on the ready use locker for the RR gun.  I took this picture but it seems the rigging is in the way of the bridge, however, you can see the one on the locker ..


I've also spent ages turning the base columns, bit large for my Unimat lathe, very slow job and cutting the stop chamfers on the oak board, to match the sister model.  I was about to start french polishing when I watched a Youtube video that recommended dusting with 4F pumice as a grain filler.  I've not had great success with french polishing before so I've ordered the pumice, maybe this is the magic ingredient, time will tell...


 The columns grip the keel sides and also slot a rod into a hole in the keel for stability so it appears to almost hover in space

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