Author Topic: SS Moonlight, Restoration  (Read 6001 times)

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Tiny69

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SS Moonlight, Restoration
« on: January 07, 2016, 12:05:16 »
The Moonlight was a ship I built some twenty six years ago and has been on the shelf at my parents house gathering dust for quite some time now. I decided that with the VIC 32 almost complete it was time to have a look at what condition it was in. I have always wanted to restore the model and it will make a fine companion to the VIC 32 as it is the same scale and of a similiar era.

There is quite a bit of work to do replacing some broken fittings but first I will need to remove all the dust that has gathered all over the model.

The removable roof over the rear superstructure as twisted so will need to be replaced as it is beyond repair.

I will be removing all the internal wiring and replacing it with new cables along with new radio equipment and speed controller.

I also want to add a few extra fittings and fixtures to the model from the additional information I have obtained over the past few years.

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 10:29:56 »
Today I have spent some time hoovering all the dust off the model and started to remove some of the fittings so they can be repainted. I have also removed the coaming from around the rear superstructure because it was broken in places because the plastic had gone brittle over the years. I sanded it away to give a flat surface for a new coaming to be built on later.

I have also removed the toilet block to replace the main door which had wrapped.

Then I started to remove all the hatch planks and scrape the paint of the tops of the girders so when they planks have been refurbished they can be glued back in place.

sea monkey

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 10:36:28 »
I'll be watching this with interest. Always pick up a few new tips from your builds.

2tugboats

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 00:18:34 »
Truly a pleasure to see Tiny. As Sea Monkey said, "I'll be watching this with interest.
Always pick up a few new tips from your builds."

Michael
Yet another case of why men and women go down to the sea in ships. . .A pleasure to be here and smell the salt air. Thank you Tugboat Forum. . .Michael in Anacortes, Washington www.twotugboats.com

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 08:45:16 »
I have to stop looking at your work Tiny!  It makes my own efforts seem so feeble, LOL!  It all looks so realistic!  One question though. What is the "toilet block"?

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2016, 13:23:46 »
I have been following your tug build with interest and it is coming along very nicely.  To answer your question here is a photo of the toilet block which is mounted on the starboard side, it is just an outside toilet.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2016, 18:14:29 »
Well thanks Tiny, I appreciate that. So the toilet block is just an outhouse on deck!?  A novel idea where I come from.

Model Tug Man

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2016, 06:04:37 »
Happy to see your new project, Tiny. Always learn something from your labors. Don't forget to replace the privy. The crew needs someplace to read the newspaper.
VGJQ

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2016, 00:56:56 »
The Moonlight was one of the last ships with the 'Puffer' designation and was built in Northwich, England by W.J. Yarwoods in 1952.  Northwich is about 12 miles from where I live and has a long history of boat build dating back to the first canal boats.  The ship still had a compound steam engine even though diesel engines had started to become more popular.  The design incorporated some unique features to maximise space usage.  First the wheelhouse is in front of the funnel giving better visibility.  The Coal bunker is in front of the wheelhouse and has an angled front which over hangs the main hatch given better access to load in the coal.  As mentioned the toilet is outside on the deck giving more space inside the crews quarters which contains a galley, eating area and the Captain's cabin.  The steering chains run around the outside edge of the deck with mooring bollards mounted on channels so the chain passes underneath helping to save space on the deck.  These design features make the ship stand out from some of the other cargo vessels I originally looked at building before I chose to model Moonlight.

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2016, 11:06:59 »
Update 3: 17/01/2016

This week I have been concentrating on installing the new radio and electronics into the model. I ordered a new 6 channel futaba T6K transmitter and receiver combo and a number Action electronic units. Whilst waiting for them to be delivered I removed all the old radio equipment that was still in the model and accessed what could be reused and what needed to be discarded. Next I started to plan how all the equipment would fit into the hull and design an equipment tray to mount the items on.

Using some 3mm thick plywood I positioned the electronic units and battery and marked out the positions. Then I cut out the hole for the main battery. Then I built plywood surrounds for each of the units to hold them in position before placing the tray inside the hull. Now I could start to connect up each of the units starting with the switch and power board to the main battery via a relay unit. Then I connected the speed control unit to the power board and motor.

At this point I decided to try out the main motor using the transmitter so I connected the leads to the receiver and the 5v supply from the power board and switched everything on. The system worked with the motor turning both forward and reverse with the rudder swinging left and right. I haven't finished connecting everything together yet but here is a list of all the components.

Action Electronic units
P79 Speed control 10A
P29 Steam Whistle
P56 Compound Steam engine sound unit
P44 Double switch unit (2 off) For winch and derrick motors
P92 Power Board with 5v BEC for receiver supply

Other items
Main Switch
12v 12Ah Battery
12v Relay and Base Unit
2.4 Ghz Receiver
Servo unit with two micro switches for light circuits

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2016, 23:40:08 »
Update 4: 24/01/2016

I have been continuing on with installing the rest of the elecronics in to the hull. I made two C Cell battery sized boxes from plywood and positioned then either side of the Action P44 modules and wired them together to power the winch and derrick. Each motor will run on just 1.2v through a gearbox giving a slow movement. With that complete I then made two servo mounted sets of micro switches to control the steam whistle module and light circuits. With these two units wired in place to complete the the system the speaker for the sound module was mounted under the rear superstructue and connected to the unit.

With the electronics complete I could now start to renovate the model starting with replacing the coaming around the rear superstructure. First the old broken plastic was removed and the base sanded to give a flat surface. Then four 9mm wide strips of 0.8mm thick plastic were cut to make the new coaming. I placed the superstructure in the correct position on the deck and working from the front started to measure and glue the 9mm plastic in place. To strengthen the joint a strip of 2.5mm angle plastic was glued in place along with triangular uprights at regular intervals.

With the coaming complete the steps removed from the old one were glued back in place to line up with those on the superstructure.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2016, 08:37:10 »
I bet that deck head doesn't get used much in sloppy going!  Seems a bit precarious to me.

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2016, 08:47:58 »
Update 5: 31/01/2016

The roof of the rear superstructure was the next item to be made starting with a sheet of 2mm thick plasticard the shape was marked out using the old banana shaped one as a template. Then it was cut to the rough shape and placed onto the superstructure to check it fit correctly. With a bit of filing the final shape was achieved. Next a 5mm deep plastic strip was glued around the outside edge of the 2mm thick roof to form a coaming to hold it in place on the superstructure.

Some of the window frames in the wheelhouse had broken so they were removed and new ones made from 0.5mm thick plastic sheet and glued in place. Now a base coat of grey acryllic paint was applied to the new coaming, toilet block and roof ready for the top coat later. The whole superstructure as also been given a light sanding with a 400 grit wet and dry paper ready for repainting later. I spent some time scrapping of the old black paint from the handrails and re-soldered the broken rails/stantion joints before repainting them white as shown in a colour photograph I had found of the ship on the internet.

All the fittings had been removed at the startof the project so I decided to repaint those that didn't need any repairs doing to them. First they were hand painted with the base grey and then given the applicable acryllic top coat colour, mainly black.

Tiny69

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2016, 08:33:06 »
Update 6: 07/02/2016

This week I have been working on renovating the main winch to working condition. First the broken pieces were removed and the rope from the main drum. One of the plastic piston conrods had broken so using the other as a template I made two new ones from some aluminium which is much stronger but still very light. Next the electric motor was refurbished by cleaning the rotor brushes and removing the green gunk that had built up on the contacts. A new brake pedal was made from brass and the band that wraps around the main drum cut from some thin brass sheet and is held in position by the new brake pedal.

To finish of the repairs a new reversing gear lever was made from plastic and glued in place. Then I airbrushed the whole assembly in a matt black acryllic paint and finished it of by painting the ends of the warpping drums white as indicated in the photos I have of the ship. Using some white paint I dry brushed the cog teeth to highlight them so it looks like the paint has worn off the teeth. Lastly the rope was wrapped back onto the main drum ready for installation into the model.

Whilst studying the new colour photgraphs I found I noticed that the rear superstructure roof was painted all black as well as the skylights and water tank along with the deck at the front of the wheelhouse. So I glued into position the skylight housing, the water tank and small mushroom vent then airbrushed the lot in flat black as well as the deck in front and behind the wheelhouse.

To finish off the rear deck I painted the superstructure coaming flat black and the deck a brick red. The rear quadrant was repaired and painted black and glued on top of the rudder boss. The steering chain pulleys were placed onto the freshly painted bosses and the chain routed around the deck. Then the bollards and mooring cleats were glued back in place over the steering chains. The wooden quadrant cover was glued back in place as well as the two freshly painted cowl vents.

tug-arlyn-nelson

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Re: SS Moonlight, Restoration
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 09:25:58 »
Stunning work as always Tiny.