John's FREELANCE FLEET
Hello Martin and all modellers,
I am the Freelance Fanatic from Canada...you
may have viewed some previous posts on this site during the past year....
I start by buying a GRP hull, one which is the overall length-beam ratio that suits my builds. The hull must be flush deck. Because I prefer 1/48 and 1/72 scale I generally buy a destroyer hull between 60-75 inches long. I then surf the web looking for warship designs that appeal to me, or in most cases various components that I like enough to consider building...for example the " missile corvette " in the attached photos was inspired by an Indian Navy missile boat INS Prabal , itself a variation of the Russian Tarantula class. The design of the missile launchers and their location appealed to me and I chose to build it with a helicopter to amplify the attack configuration.
Once the various drawings and photos are available, I use a graphics program to create the simple plans. Finding two or three view drawings is ideal but side views will also suffice.
Although this model does not pretend to be any specific warship, I am sure you will agree that it looks Russian in it's overall configuration. I chose the Dolphin helicopter because it is less fragile than any others available, I was looking for simplicity, not extreme detail.. in fact I build all my models as scratch builds and intentionally build as stand-off models. The superstructure and deck you see here is one of five superstructures that are about 90 % completed. This one is built with a one piece deck however the other four utilize two piece superstructure-decks. All are secured to the hull cross braces by small aluminium screw posts. That is one of many compromises that I must accept when building in this manner.
One of the five superstructures being built
has a sound system installed. The MP3 player is installed high in the bow
where it can be turned on when the main battery is turned on. The Mp3
player is loaded with 15 to 25 sound effects, musical selections and
various intercepts of real naval communications all downloaded from the
web. Some naval clips I created myself by talking into my digital camera.
Those video clips were played back and the audio re-recorded in MP3
format. The audio clips are loaded into the Mp3 player in sequence ( dead
air spacers included ) and is free running rather than connected to any
servo...the Mp3 player is connected to a 20 watt audio amplifier drawing
power from a separate 12volt 5 ah gell cell located next to the larger
main power battery. The 20 watt amplifier is fitted onto the floor with
the receiver, 2 x ESC and fuse block. The speaker is located in a shallow
deckhouse amidships aimed vertically so it will not be seen. This MP3
player provides me with the option of loading any combination of sounds I
wish...for example, one day I may choose to load only naval gunfire sound
effects and harass all the other warships on the pond...LOL ..while
another day it may involve a complete sequence ...leaving harbour to
chasing a submarine. The sequence of sounds is only limited by your
imagination. My MP3 player has enough memory or space for over an hour of
When I built my first RC model, a 1/48 scale frigate at 75 inches long I found the two 540 geared motors were too noisy to permit a sound system to be heard at any distance so for this series I will install 2 x Robbe 755/40 high torque , low RPM motors direct drive ( 3/16 in shaft - 50mm custom brass props ) utilizing rubber universals from Robbe. 2 x Robbe Navy ESCs are fitted.( 25 amps ) The main battery will be one 12V 7ah gel cell from Power-Sonic.
I anticipate having to load a minimum of 20-22 pounds of ballast to get this model stable. The ballast will all be removable and loaded / unloaded at the shoreline.
I should point out that the sound system
has not been proven yet in this hull however a previous attempt installed
in a 51 inch freelance frigate was successful but underpowered at only 5
watts...I am confident this 20 watt system will be
If anyone is interested in my concept I am sure Martin will be happy to pass a message. Hopefully i have provided enough info to answer most questions.
Cheers from the Freelance Fanatic.