Graupner Shouthampton / Wyeforce, Mark Wilkes


  Just after Christmas 2005, I purchased a Southampton from A MODEL WORLD, (Northwich), and she is a good boat, need to get some transparent plastic to do the windows of the bottom deck, having tried a power test with her in the bath, tethered, I think that a tow could be done I wound the engines up to full bore holding the tow line and she seemed ok, the deck bollards not moving.

I do like how the battery compartment has its own watertight hatch, underneath the lock-down superstructure, and the way the lock is concealed to the rear servo access hatch, (which makes for good useful storage). that hatch too is weather proof, so as long as nothing silly is done, she should take some good water on the lake without taking on water.

As regards detail, the model is very well detailed for a RTR, and worth the 216 I paid for her, which when you consider say a kit built tug may cost 160 before paint, motors, optional fittings, radio gear ETC, is a good price.

The hull itself certainly looks to be durable, not made of cheap plastic, even though it is quite light. The only thing I can fault, is the fenders, being made of vinyl, to be as soft as rubber tires are on the real model, some of them ripped as the thread that held them to the ship was being fed through the pre-formed holes, also the thread itself isn't particularly wonderful, cheap nylon, so I will get some double sided tape and stick the tires down to the hull.

Southampton on the water.

After charging batteries, it was a case of go down to the local park lake and put the ship in the water to assess how she performs, here are the results as follows.

along with My freighter, Gemini, Southampton was sailed around the lake, at varying speeds and turns to see how she handled, with the results being quite pleasing, the Twin-screw drive performed as well as can be expected with only two-channel control.

The turning circle could do with being a little tighter, taking as she has a radius of around 5 boat lengths, (that may be due to the fact that she is twin-screw twin rudder with no differential effect on the props allowing the speeds to be controlled independently, changing this to 4 channel with twin ESC will probably solve this)

The high superstructure on the deck, in relation to the deck means that the model is prone to weather-cocking, and so sometimes twisting in reverse, and the kort nozzles reduce the effectiveness of the rudder when in reverse, this may be a problem when engaging in Tug-Towing competitions, however, it is no worse than a single motor tug.

In all, I am impressed by the quality of the build (as said earlier), a Very good model, but could do better, perhaps an option would be to produce a model of her with twin controllers for the engines and to make the rudders have more throw on them.

Well done Graupner
Rating: * * * *

Mark Wilkes


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