Hello Martin and all modellers,

I am the Freelance Fanatic from may have viewed some previous posts on this site during the past year....
For those who may not have seen the previous posts, a short explanation of my FREELANCE approach to model boats may be of interest..

Although I have built a 1/48 scale frigate of a ship I served freelance career began four years ago when my wife suggested that I build numerous superstructures to fit onto a generic GRP hull...well, that idea blossomed into a full blown obsession ..I am currently mentoring three other Canadian modellers who soon realized the many benefits of this idea . Here is my latest build, a work still in progress. The drive train has yet to be installed and many smaller upper deck details are still pending but the photos will give you an idea...I anticipate a finished model in a month and will post the photos of this project when it is launched.

While I am in awe of the scale models posted on this site and understand the motivation to build exact replicas of real warships, it is the creativity involved in searching, planning and designing my own warships that keeps me building freelance.

" This freelance hull is 70 inches long "

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 recorded sounds.

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
the solution.

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.