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Author Topic: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer  (Read 1974 times)

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2021, 11:10:33 PM »
hope Im not going into too much detail with the way I make things, but I think its good to know how others do things, and I'm fairly new to this boat modeling and scratch building from styrene, so if I go into detail I can look back and see how I did it last time  :D ohh and tell me where Im going wrong too please.  :)

To machine the outside of the paddle wheels I decided to sandwich then between some MDF discs, the one being held by the tailstock centre was counterbored so that it would only clamp the paddle wheel edges, and the the one driving the paddle wheel used a drill shank as the spigot for locating the centre of the paddle wheels. and the mdf is mounted on a small faceplate held in the lathe chuck

then its a nice easy turning job for turning the wheel down to diameter.

I was looking into making the paddle wheel axle from abs, but when testing the bond strength between abs and styrene found it to be quite weak, so laminated some 3mm sheet street strips and used that instead. so far in this build I've used Revell Contacta Professional cement as I find the tube allows accurate application. for the laminating I used Tamiya cement as the brush in the top makes it easier to give an even coating to both surfaces before clamping together.

the paddle wheel centres were made slightly long and then the other end was turned to shape.

and them the holes for the grub screws were drilled and tapped. although Im only using one grub screw in each wheel, I dilled and tapped 4 holes in case I strip one as its easier to now rather than later

the paddlewheel sides were glued to the centres which were checked to make sure they were running true before the styrene cement had set

and the completed paddle wheels (which I think came out pretty well)

and on the model in the water.

the wheels are 46mm diameter, 17mm wide, with 8 paddles 15mm long x 8mm deep and the completed wheel weighs 3.8 grams. I was thinking that it might be necessary to pin the wheel centres to the wheel sides but the bond strength of the cement is good so its not required. the new paddlewheels  are slightly heavier than the original 8 paddle versions that I made, but think these will look better on a finished model.

Offline derekwarner_decoy

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 08:34:59 AM »
Too much detail?...... :gathering ....we think no not at member/builders can look in detail or scan the images & story to see what is what

From your posting on the 22nd, could we ask if you used Log Tables or Slide Rule for the calculations?  :whistle

The depth of paddle wheel blades immersion may be a little trial & error....trying to minimising cavitation, but still maintaining thrust

Looking forward to the build posts

Derek  :beer 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 08:41:07 AM by derekwarner_decoy »
Derek Warner

Honorary Secretary [Retired]
Illawarra Live Steamers Co-op

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2021, 08:41:10 AM »
my calculations are basic trigenometry, I used log tables in school in the early 1980's before we were allowed to use a calculator......Im guessing log tables are a thing of history these days though  :D

the internet makes life easier for us though, with sites like this, put in 2 variables and it throws out all the dimensions you could ever want. now I dont have to remember if its a sine, co-sine or tangent these days.

Ive had another play today and at least I know it should work when I've finished it. and the boat complete so far is weighing less than 100g ready to run and in its current state uses 136g or ballast,  so I know that I should able to build a superstructure that will allow me to keep some ballast in the bottom of the hull.

I decided to try out the new 1 amp speed controllers. show here with a larger 5 amp speed controller and a standard servo plug (which shows how small they are).

using the 5 amp speed controllers the motors are running at 240rpm full speed, but with the 1 amp speed controllers as standard they only run at 170 rpm (which was a bit disappointing). but adjusting my transmitter to 120% of stick movement  it would give 195 rpm, but that didn't work with channel mixing so my paddles are running at 170rpm max.

Ive also shown the wiring on one of the speed controllers

and a couple of them with the receiver in the background (I'll rewire them again when Im ready to do the final install).

I ran the boat continiously for an hour in the bath tonight, tank steering has its advantages and you can so laps of the bath or figure 8's without touching the sides and straight line speed will be 1 to 1.5 miles per hour at a guess, so for a boat that's is only 30cm long thats fast enough.  The edurance was pretty good too, the battery I was using was a single lipo cell rated at 350mAH, and after an hours running was 3.97V so nothing to worry about.

so at this stage its looking pretty good, if I can get it to look like a boat, I know that performance shouldnt be an issue, as long as I can keep the weight down, so that I can use ballast to keep it stable.

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2021, 04:55:49 AM »
the hull around the motor mountings were a bit flexible as the hull sides is only 0.75mm thick so I decided to use some 0.50 stainless steel sheet that was slightly springy, they were also grit blasted to key them to be stuck in place with epoxy resin. to hold them in place while the epoxy set I use modified a modified M6 cap head screws that were reduced to a M4 thread with a straight section, so that if any excess glue went into the centre hole it would have set to the finished size and a hex wrench would have made it easy enough to crack the adhesive bond.  I didnt have any issues though, when a simple screw and nut would have done instead.

Ive also started on the paddle boxes, and wasn't happy with the accuracy of me drill holes for the slots in the sides, so co-ordinate drilled them, it took me ages to work out the positions though ad the small holes are 1.0mm diameter and the large ones are 2.5mm diameter. the slots were then cut with a craft knife. the side was then laminated with another piece of styrene, which was cutoversize.

I was wondering how to hold the sides of the paddle wheels to the top and thought it would be best to make a jig from MDF to do this, shown here being machined on a rotary table. if it was larger I would have sanded it freehand on a disk sander.

pins were then stuck in the side to help align the sides and screws were put into the top so the sytrene could be held in place with magnets. the corners were also chamfered to give clearance to the styrene cement when applied.

the side was then taped in place like a hinge so that the styrene cement could be applied.

and the glued in place.

I tried it out at the local pond over the weekend, and it worked, ripples in the water wern't too much of an issue, but it is incredibly slow, but there isnt any rush so I can live ith that......ohh and it didnt sink either.

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2021, 11:40:47 PM »
due to the construction of this model, the paddle boxes and sponsons will need to be removable so that the paddle wheels can be removed in case the motors need to be removed. If you hadn't noticed, Im designing this model as I go along, and thought I would fix the paddle boxes to the Hull using M1.6 cap head screws, and I stengthen the hull at the end of the transverse frames as it would be stronger there and flex less. the paddle box sides are 0.75mm thick (as are the hull sides) so stuck a 1.00mm thick strip of styrene there to and strength and tapped the holes in the paddle boxes after spotting the holes into the hull side. this meant that the gluing jig for the paddle boxes needed to be modified to allow clearance for the thicker section at the rear of gthe paddle box.

and the completed paddle wheel and paddle box assembly on the model. the paddle wheels are 17mm wide and the inside of the paddle boxes is 19mm wide.

I've also tried some new speed controllers that I got though the post but couldnt the neutral position to work with my radio gear, so the'll be resigned to the bin (the elelctronics inside a servo worked better as speed controller). Last week I tried it at the local model boat club with the motors running at 170 rpm , but today I changed back to the original speed controllers and rewired them. the motors are on the left, the reciever is in the middle and the speed controllers are on the right.

and there are a few pics of the hull in action, and it seems to work pretty well, it goes in a straight line, doesn't tilt to one side, the straight line speed seems slow but its as fast as it will go, at 240rpm I was getting some cavitation, but at 170rpm I wasnt and there isnt much difference in speed. the turning seems to be a bit slow so may reduce the size of the hull later and hope it'll stil go in a straight line, although it is easy to correct .

so at this stage I think I'll call it a success, its a sidewheeler, that is 1ft (300mm ish) long so is on the small side and works on open water in a pond without any major issues (other than being slow and hard to see), all I need to do now its work on the aethsetics to make it look like a boat. I think this will end up looking more like the "paddleducks on tour" edwardian paddle steamer though, rather than the one at the one at the start at the opening of this thread as the construction will be simpler and I dont have issues with the paddle boxes needing additional ventilation holes.

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2021, 08:40:37 AM »
so now its time to add the sponsons to the paddleboxes, a layer of pvc insulation tape was put on the hull sides to stop the styrene cement from sticking the paddle box /sponson to the hull.

The inner wall of one of the paddle boxes started bow inwards so I clamped them together with a steel ruler between then to limit the movement and then some styrene on the back face to hook over the side of the hull to stop moving.

the hull sides for the cabin area and front and back panels were cut and then the sides were glued in place. The deck was then cut to size, so that when finished the boat will have a sealed hull.

the front and back cabin sections were then glued in place. I would have glued the deck section in place inside the cabin area, but cant do that until most of the model has been completed for working out how much ballast is required.

and I've done the electrics again and used some new speed controllers although I understand that normal radio gear as has a pulse width of 1000 to 2000 micros seconds, these are quoted as having a pulse width of 700 to 2300 microseconds so wont be giving me full speed , but the power loss is minimal for this application. I'll have to try it on an oscilloscope one day

I heat shrink the receiver / speed controllers and then coat the bottom with car body filler (bondo) to get a flat base. I'll let this set on pvc insulation tape as the filler wont stick to it. I'll then stick the the reciever/speed controller in place with double sided tape.

ohh and is looking a bit more like a paddle steamer now.

Offline william stafford

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2021, 09:19:55 PM »
you have done well, small paddle steamers are prone to being tender and not good sailers
a mate and my self built similar small models but have found problems, i had more draft on mine and it seems ok, but model not finnished

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2021, 01:56:21 AM »
yeah so far its going pretty well, the bare hull with radio gear works well, and there is more ballast than boat so far, but Im building the boat as light as I can so that I can try and have the weight as low down as I can to help with stability.

time for another update,  I seem to have spent more time thinking about what Im doing with this model rather than making it,  but I'd rather get it right rather than rushing it.

Im happy with these speed controllers

but when I tried it on an oscilloscope I was expecting a square wave output rather than having an output like this, so I guess there can be more heat build up in the speed controller at low speed, but at full power on standard radio gear there is only a tiny reduction in full power output, and in reality I cant notice it. (the blue horizontal line is 0v and the waveform is with a free running motor ).

the one of the M1.6 mm holes in the sponson/paddle box has stripped (which I expected) so they were all drillled out and 4mm long threaded styrene inserts were fitted.

I needed some small vent cowls and think they look pretty good  once I'd worked out how to make them. the tops are 6mm wide and the vertical tubes are 4mm

so first I ended up making a form tool to form the radius on the end of the 6mm styrene rod. this was a piece of rusty 3mm gauge plate so I drilled and reamed a 6mm hole in it, and stoned the top face to give a nice sharp cutting edge....ohh and because it was being used on styrene, I didnt harden it, it was just used in its annealed state.
Then cut 10mm off the end of the rod, turned it round in the chuck and drilled it 4mm to remove most of the inside material
The round end then had a flat bottomed 4mm hole milled in it so a 4mm tube could be glued into it.
The "bowl" top of the vent was then parted to length, and the parting tool is 0.6mm wide and this was then glued to the vertical tube.
and then the inside of the top of the vent was created using a 5mm ball nosed milling cutter to create the curved interior, but how do you hold it? mill a recess piece of wood using a 6mm ball nosed cutter and mill a 4mm wide slot for the tube to sit in. and then hold it with tool makers clamp to keep your fingers out of the way.
and a completed vent next to a half done one

I need a couple of small ladders so bought some plastruct ones

which are 5.4mm wide so I narrowed them using a 0.15mm wide slitting saw to 4mm wide. the ladder was stuck to a lollipop stick with double sided tape and the lollipop stick was stuck to a ruler with double sided tape. the side that was cut off was then cleaned and stuck back on.

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #23 on: May 31, 2021, 04:03:41 AM »
One of the issues with making a small boat is trying to make small windows, and for static modelling, there are modelling versions of pva glue that work well like this

and how to use it

but they have one issue with a r/c model boat is that they are not waterproof and go milky if they get wet, so not much use to me.

I tried some clear epoxy resin but with mixing it had issues with small bubbles in the mixture and a better option was to use clear gorilla glue

which worked well, and is waterproof (left in water overnight but with no issues). but has microbubbles in it and has a pale brown tinge to it, but not enough to notice on a model.

so that lead me to looking at using UV curing adhesive, so I got some fairly cheaply off ebay

I also got some tape that is used for casting the resin on, but its just to use as a smooth surface for casting the window on, you can use insulation tape if you want a slightly frosted look.

so this is my method, the window i "made" was 10mm square which is twice the size of those that I need.

take a piece of the smooth tape and cut it out slightly larger than the window required, this was then put on some masking tape sticky side to sticky side. then stick that over the hole that you want to glaze.

then turn it over and fill the recess with the UV curing adhesive using a cocktail stick to get it into the corners, its is self levelling and air bubbles are easy to pop.

when you're happy leave it in a sunny place for  a while (30 minutes for a first attempt) in a horizontal position and thats it , job done.  this is the second lens I tried to make the lens its 6" away from my phone and the lens is 6" away from the tape roll, so its not too bad.

I also go a UV torch too

and found for a window it caused the resin to set too quickly so wasnt as clear as with sunlight as the activator. also as the leds have   a specific wavelength there is an issue of the surface remaining tacky , and the answer to that is to leave it in sunlight for a short while. but you can use the resin like superglue but with a worktime of 30 minutes unless you leave it in the sun of shine the torch on it for 30 seconds, and its waterproof and much thinner than epoxy resin so may have other uses too.

back on with the sponsons now I needed to make some extensions to the paddle boxes to cover the mounting screw threads so made some , but they looked too "square before fitting them, so I decided they would look better if the corners were  rounded, so I cuts some triangular sections from 2mm styrene sheet with a 0.15mm wide slitting saw. I also made some portholes too, the tool in the lathe is 0.6mm wide. and then the extensions are glue to the paddle box / sponson. the insulation tape is to stop it being stuck to the hull, and finally a picture of the two completed sponsons and there are 22 separate pieces of styrene in each one.

Offline DamienG

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2021, 09:22:21 AM »
 :clap :bravo :great

Offline Mike

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #25 on: June 01, 2021, 01:28:01 AM »

  Lovely work and good photo's too. :clap

Offline optima21

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Re: Small Edwardian Paddle Steamer
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2021, 05:36:27 PM »
thanks for your kind words guys :) and this is the only place where Im posting this project. I've done some CAD work on the boat with solid modelling.......when I say CAD, that's Cardboard Aided Design.  ;D

so here's roughly what it might look like when its done, but can still change at any time.  I ended up getting a few cheap books off ebay for inspiration, and they'll end up in the local model engineers / boating club library. as then others can use then too rather being stuck on my shelf and not being seen again. I find it so much easier handling a book rather than trawling the internet looking for pictures etc.

ohh and Ive got a deadline of 7/07/21 to to get this finished for for an open day at the model boating club.


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