When is a Billing Banckert not a Banckert?
When Jason Pilgrim get his hands on a kit!

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   Part 1  
Iíve done some work on the Banckert tug of late and itís coming along pretty well. Iíve made a lot of the structures from other materials to simplify the cutting out and strengthen it. The 2m ply is a bit tricky to cut into tiny shapes as itís not laser cut and just has the lines printed on it. Iíve used some block balsa and other things. The end result looks the same so Iím happy with that.

     I started with a ĎDick Smithí motor and plastic hose drive but it wasnít a success so I lashed out on a Uni coupling and a 400 motor with a brass prop that I reduced the pitch on and it pushed the side of the bathtub for Ĺ Hr. without too much heat. Iíve used an Msonik ESC, which Iíve had a good run with in other boats.

The little fan is out of my nephewís old laptop. (Donít tell him) I fitted a mini servo and switch thatís hooked up to a little Tooter for now, but will eventually have a proper horn simulator.

     The boat had itís first sea trial (Lake trial) a while back on one of my Scope client boating days and my mum was driving it round and round in circles. The rear hatch was just sitting on and not waterproofed yet, so on hearing her ask if anyone could see the tugboat, I jumped in cloths and all and rescued it as it was going down for the last time. The tip of the bow was just visible! I took it home and stripped everything for a service and itís all cool. While it was afloat it went very well. The reverse steering is a bit slow due to the Kort nozzle being fixed with 2 rudders aft of it, but it was otherwise quite fun to drive. I put the tug build aside for a few weeks as a guy I met at the lake asked me if Iíd restore his late grandfatherís Pond Yacht that he built in a German POW camp! I jumped at the chance and itís going well too. Iíll send more on both of these as it comes to life.


   Part 2  
Iíve gotten underway with the Tug build and so far, Iíve made a fibreglass hull and deck using the kit plastic ones as moulds. It worked out well and Iím very pleased with the finish. Iíd highly recommend this to others as long as you keep the resin layers thin and seal the plastic well with a moulding film and wax etc to prevent perishing of the styrene. The glass is much tougher and doesnít need all of the reinforcing thatís required for the plastid deck etc. Iíve fitted the prop shaft and some frames and Iím now starting on setting up the motor and other electrics.


   Part  3  

Dear May hemmers!

The Tugboat is finally finished. Itís had its ups and downs over the past months. Literally! I sunk it twice during testing by having the hatches less than waterproof. Sheís a bit different from the original kit version in that the hull and deck are GRP. (Fibreglass) and she has an extra bit of keel on the bottom with some very high-tech ballast in it for stability. (A cold chisel) Jimmy Barnesíd love it!

I changed the battery set-up too, by replacing the 6v lead-acid with a 3300 mah NIMH pack. This and the Ďhigh-techí keel helped with the stability a lot. I decided not to put the white stripes on the hull as I like it all black and itís not a true scale build anyway. The performance is quite impressive now and it puts up a nice bow wave and turns pretty well.

See a video clip at: http://www.magpieyachts.com/files/TugBanckertGrandLaunch.MPG

The range isnít that good though. The lighter batteries are a compromise. Iíll just have to schedule my boating days to have my tugboat fix first and then move on to the yachts or the sub Iím building.
Thatís another story; I love all kinds of models and Iíve decided to have a go at a U47 kit from ĎRobbeí, with a ĎModelbrassí brass etched deck kit and a few other mods that will no-doubt come to mind during the build. I canít seem to stick to rules and plans aye? Funny that, it must be my up bringing. I got the cuts most days at the Tech school.
If I find I can afford it, I want to add an Engle ballast tube too. They dynamic dive pretty well, but they wonít let you sneak up on ducks and scare the hell out of the old ladies feeding them, or surface under targets (The dark sideís term for surface boats). I think Iíll make a good Gunther Prien (U47 Captain WW2).
Once I get under way with the sub, Iíll send some more ravings.


All for now.

Jason Pilgrim