Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Steve D

Saunders-Roe Seaplane tender

Recommended Posts

Another post of a model I complete some time ago.  This was a departure for me in terms of scale as this is built to 1:12th scale and was intended to be a working model, though in the end I didn't fit the motor.

 

I completed is around 2010 and it languished on a shelf looking a bit rough.  In 2015, I re-worked it and these pictures are of it as it is today.  The boat was entered into the 2016 Model Engineering Exhibition where I was fortunate to be awarded a Silver medal, I'm not really sure why.

 

Below are the notes I prepared for the exhibition:

 

Overview

I found drawings of this boat in a book written by Uffa Fox, first published in 1937 titled Racing Cruising and Design and as Uffa himself says, what appealed to me was the hull shape which I quote as I couldn’t write it better:

 

“The flare off forward, throwing the sea away from her decks, is washed out amidships, where her side is plumb, while aft the tumblehome takes any heavy look away from her transom, and besides this cuts down on the wind suction from the stern by that much”

 

Studying the drawings (reproduced below) I could see that it needed to be a largish model, so I chose 1:12 scale, a departure from my normal 1:48th scale.

 

Seaplane tenders were designed to transfer passengers and crew from the shore to seaplanes.  This tender, designed, built and operated by Saunders (later Saunders Roe) was used in the Solent between 1920 and WW2, I have not been able to find out and operational history other that which Uffa describes.  He says it operated for 25 years (before 1937) but as Saunders only entered the seaplane business in 1920, I have dated it from then. 

The tender dimensions were:

  • Length overall: 36ft
  • Beam: 6ft 6in
  • Draught: 2ft 5in
  • Displacement: 2.43 tons
  • Max Speed: 15 knots

 

Drawing

 

The  model is 3 feet long

 

Sources

As can be seen from the drawings, there is very little true detail and searching the internet, the only photograph I could find is reproduced on the cover.  Again, this shows very little detail, but I did find photographs of a similar seaplane tender, fully restored and for sale, plus drawings of many components in a copy of Davey & Co’s fittings catalogue from 1961 (most fittings had not changed since WW1). 

The model was built using the following sources:

  • The plan in Uffa’s book
  • Various illustrations of boat and ship fittings from Davy’s catalogue
  • Some additional detail from the photographs found on the internet
  • Conjecture

Originally, the model was intended as a working model and still contains a motor, battery pack and servo, however, I have completed it as a static model, supported on an acrylic stand so the lines can be seen unencumbered and surrounded by the inter-war seaplanes Saunders-Roe produced.

 

The image below is the only one I could find that shows the launch, in action...

 

picture of tender

 

For interest, I include below a drawing of a fast motor launch (found on-line) which is clearly different to this one and the one in the photographs but showing a distinct family resemblance (dated 1920)

 

1913-brooke-32-ft-seaplane-tender--2

 

Construction notes

The hull was a major challenge and the real reason I built the model.  There is no parallel section, it changes continually.  Because if this, it is planked with double layer of diagonally laid 1/32nd balsa strips, bending across the grain, glued to thin open frames to produce a strong, very light hull.  The hull was then coated, inside and out, with clear epoxy to both strengthen the balsa and render it water-tight.  It has a single bulkhead at the front of the cockpit for added strength as I guess you would see in full scale practice.  A 1/16th inch ply sub-deck was then attached (to deck beams forward) to further reinforce the construction and the deck planked in lime-wood with calking from black card.  The passenger area was then also planked on the inside and the crew seat built up to act as a storage place for the battery box (see picture below).

Finally, the framing for the passenger deck and rear seat (which all comes out to allow access to the rudder servo) was built up.

The gratings were home-made to be the right size, being such a prominent aspect of the passenger area, as was the engineering plate in the crew space (etching glued to aluminium).  The column throttle was turned and capped with an etched ring.

The silencer and exhaust are modelled as shown on the drawing, the engine would have been water cooled via the exhaust and so I added a water intake on the port side below the water line and a heat shield where the passengers sit.

I added the lifebuoy as it seemed strange she could have operated without one and the Saunders-Roe logo because I wanted it represented on the model.

 

Other Fittings

 

The fittings were primarily made of brass, with some help from custom etchings (wheel frame and rudder top pulley).  The seat cushions were made from Fimo.

The rev counter was modelled on this photograph of another seaplane tender (further pictures in appendix).

Mostly the details were scaled up from the drawing above but the following fittings were added from Davey’s catalogue illustrations:

The anchor I chose was a folding one (built up from brass) all of which works and certainly looks the part in its galvanised finish (Davey's illustration below)

 

folding anchor

 

Commercial Fittings

The only commercial components used were:

  • The propeller and shaft
  • The anchor chain and rudder chain

All other components were scratch built.  The name plate was custom etched to my drawings and the ensign hand-painted.

 

And here is it at rest in its case, the pictures under the perspex base are Sunders-Roe flying boats of the 20's and 30's

 

DSCN1584

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And here are some more photographs of the details

 

DSCN1572

 

I love this anchor, all scratch made from bits of brass, the flukes fold and the cross bar slides to it fully folds per full scale practice

 

DSCN1573

 

These leather cushions are made from brown fimo, can't remember how many failed attempts it took to get them right

 

DSCN1575

 

Underneath the seat is the silencer and exhaust, with a grill to protect the passenger's legs

DSCN1576

 

The engine room bulkhead with fire extinguisher, great graphic made by Nigel at Flightline Graphics.  The rev counter image came from an illustration I found on line.  You can see the lifebouy rope well in this shot, made on a rope-walk I used to have.  My Christmas Break project is to make another, better one

 

DSCN1577

 

The steering wheel was etched (4 pieces), is works with a servo controlling the bowden cables

 

DSCN1578

 

The hand operated light works if a battery is installed.  Checker plate is diagonal mesh soldered to copper plate, centre section lifts out

 

DSCN1579

 

Beautiful arrangement of the rudder and propeller bushing.  Exhaust in the background

 

DSCN1583

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consumate craftsmanship Steve. Exquisite in all respects. :clap:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Impressive cushion work. All in all, beautiful.

 

Stuart

Thanks Stuart,

 

I don't know if it's just me, but I look at stuff sometimes and wonder how I did that...  Those cushions are a case in point

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crumbs! That looks absolutely superb! Museum display quality there!

 

Did you make the case too? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve very impressive stuff as we have come to expect from your builds

 

:popcorn:

 

beefy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gidday Steve, a superb job. It's all good, but if I had to choose my favorite bit it would be the cushions, anchor, hull timber decking, lattice decking etc. Regards, Jeff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Murdo said:

Crumbs! That looks absolutely superb! Museum display quality there!

 

Did you make the case too? 

Many thanks, but no cases are HARD.  All my cases were made by Peter Jones at DSC Showcases in Newbury, great guy, reasonable prices.  I totally recommend him

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, beefy66 said:

Steve very impressive stuff as we have come to expect from your builds

 

:popcorn:

 

beefy

Thanks Beefy, much appreciated 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Beautiful looking boat and even more beautiful model.

You set a standard I can only aspire to.

The cushions alone are indeed a thing of beauty:o

Rob

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, robgizlu said:

Beautiful looking boat and even more beautiful model.

You set a standard I can only aspire to.

The cushions alone are indeed a thing of beauty:o

Rob

Well, I had a few failed attempts first, like everything I make, we are the sum of our mistakes as they say...

 

Actually, the hull was the challenge, its shape is so complex with a hollow stern to help keep the bow in the water.  Just imagine tearing across the Solent in that launch in the 30's to catch a seaplane to Le Tuoquet for lunch :eat: - wonderful

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great work!

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...