Tuesday, June 30, 2020

On a bed of Milliput

A gutted servo isn't the easiest thing to mount in a model boat hull. Admittedly, I could have removed the motor from the control board, but it wouldn't help that much.

Inspiration struck when I pondered sitting it on a carved balsa wood mount - then realised that a big blob of something would do. A bit more thinking and I remembered Milliput.

I've never been a fan of the stuff. It frequently doesn't seem to go off when I use it, but needs must. I sliced off a couple of portions and mixed them for 15 minutes while watching telly. Most of my mix was shoved in the hull and the motor pushed in to it.

Some rubber tube is acting as a coupling and since the gear on the motor isn't very big, I've tried to keep it under compression from the end of the shaft.

The blob was cleaned up a little with a damp spatula. It looks ugly, but seems to work remarkably well. The Milliput has hardened and when I give it juice, the prop rotates. Now I need to get the model on the water.

Fun Fact: I you are visited by Royal Protection Officers, and they spot two sticks on Milliput wrapped in their greasy paper but not in the cardboard carton in the top of your toolbox, their faces go a funny colour.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Waggle that rudder

Not confident my servo setup would work, I put the motor in a blob of Blu-Tack, bent up the connecting wire and tested the set-up. And it worked!

The final box holding the servo in isn't pretty - I just stuck plastic rectangles around the Blu-Tack and servo servo with solvent and cement followed by 2-part epoxy - but it works. The servo isn't jumping around and it swings the rudder with gusto.

The rudder swings far enough to work, nothing seems to be catching on anything inside the model and all the working parts are under the removable cabin. I'm happy with that.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Ferness Quay

Apologies if the blog posts recently have been a bit thin - I've been very busy getting ready for the "Virtual Model Railway Exhibition" that will be taking place next weekend.

Much of my time has been eaten up building a new micro layout "Ferness Quay". Although not a massive project, the aim was to video all the stages and during the show, release the latest instalments through the days. All this takes time and is in addition to the normal job of putting a couple of magazines out.

My modelling time? Very limited indeed.

Still, I'm very pleased with the way the layout has turned out and hope people enjoy the little films I've made taking you through the build.

As well as building things, I've spent time on Zoom interviewing people, so look forward to some interesting chats.

Put the 4/5 July in your diary now!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday Film Club: The British era at Volkswagen from 1945 to 1949

If you are familiar with motoring history, you know that the origins of Volkswagen were somewhat dark. However, by the end of WW2, the factory, or at least what was left of it, found itself in the British Zone of occupation.

Enter Major Ivan Hurst - the man who saved Volkswagen. In this fascinating documentary, he takes us from the period at the end of the conflict to the late 1940s when the place was handed back to German control.

Friday, June 26, 2020


I'm not flush with 16mm scale, 32mm gauge steam engines, but when I suddenly needed one for a photo shoot, it was an opportunity to dig out a model I built well over 25 years ago.

Ben came about because I watched my friend Anthony Coulls chasing a manually controlled live steam engine around a layout. I liked the size and shape of the model. The idea of working a regulator in the cab appealed to me. Chasing a lively steam engine didn't.

I also loved the drawing in the Backwoods Miniatures advert of a Barclay. With this in mind, I sketched out a plan based on some glass-filled nylon driving wheels I had managed to buy. When I made this model, I suspect spending proper cash on a garden railway project was out of the question, so they would have been cheap.

Apart from the slide bars and bearings, the model is a tribute to Plastikard. Nice thick stuff and plenty of it. This seems to have survived some dreadful storage in a plastic box in an unheated shed for many years. I haven't tried the model with batteries (2 C cells) but can't see why the cheapo motor and gears (possible from  Proops pound pack) shouldn't work.

The most expensive items on the locomotive will be the nameplates and worksplates. The later read "Philip Parker - 1992". Well, and the chimney which is metal from a source I can't remember.

Inside the body is the clever bit. A sheet of PCB carefully cut so a wiper on the back of the regulator moves around and picks up varying amounts of electricity, this being set by diodes soldered to the board. I have no idea how I worked this out, or why it's diodes and not resistors. I'm sure I couldn't figure it out now.

Direction control is from a slide switch in the footplate.

Ben always worked well, doing exactly what I wanted. I could chase my loco around and operate it from a proper regulator in the cab. I just didn't burn my fingers doing it.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

A win for hoarding

Every so often, I seriously consider that I need to make dramatic cuts in my stash of bits'n'pieces. And then I realise this would be a bad thing. 

I'm working on an urgent and very time-consuming magazine project at the moment. For the wiring up, I needed some DIN sockets and so included them in an order for materials. When the arrived, I'd selected the wrong pin pitch. My controller wouldn't plug in, and I was loathe to change the plug on this as it wouldn't then work with other layouts.

I have a shoebox full of electrical "stuff" and rooting around in there I found this panel thing. I don't know where it came from or what it was built to do - but it incorporated two of the vital sockets. A few minutes work removing them and I was in business.

If I'd not had that box of junk I'd have been stuffed. My rush project would have ground to a halt. So, a win for hoarding.

Does anyone else car to admit being dug out of a hole by a similar stash, or it just me that keeps stuff?

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: LTC 6


Last week, I featured a small tugboat and mentioned its job was to push around a dumb barge, well here we have it.

LTC 6 is an 80ft long dumb barge with a digger perched on top. According to the National Historic Ships records, she was built in 1911. 98 years old and still earning her keep, or at least she was in 2008 when I took this picture. I'm pretty sure she's still in use today.

Even the digger, or more correctly, dragline, is a good age. I bet it's from the 1950s or 60s. An era when things were built to last or at least be repaired.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

First float

You can't really call a few minutes in the bathroom sink a "sail" so we'll go for "float".

However, the float did include dropping all the mechanical bits in the hull, along with some lead weights to balance it so this was a useful test.

I'm happy to say the hull floated and looks like it will even take a bit more ballast once the model is finished. If this is to sail on the big lake, I'd like it to be nice and stable whilst not sitting so low in the water that I'm scared of it sinking.

All this is made trickier by the small size of the model, although I could fit it in the sink if if was any bigger!

Monday, June 22, 2020

Fiddly steering linkage

Lindberg didn't design their kit to have working steering.

The rudder clips into place, you set it at an angle to bring the boat back to you and that's it. Plonk the model in the water and off it goes. Get it wrong and you've lost it in the thick reed bed 10 feet from your launching point.

Modern RC means I can have more control, but only if I work out how to link servo and rudder.

My solution required an evening of fiddling with brass wire. A length goes down a brass tube full of grease into the top of the rudder. The end is bend over and bashed flat. A nut is soldered on the bottom. Trust me, that was a real pain to do and took two nuts, both of which filled with solder. Eventually I cleaned one out, a job that would be been quicker if I could have found my small taps...

The servo linkage is another bit of the same wire also bashed flat and drilled. At the moment it just waggles around at the servo end, but the important thing is that I can make the rudder move from the middle of the boat.

All this took a lot longer than it sounds, but quite satisfying to do.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Curating my bookshelves

Coronavirus has changed many things, but who knew it would need me to curate my bookshelves?

Behind me in the tiny office I use, is a bookcase full of A5 publications. Normally it's a bit of a dumping ground but that has to change - because you can see it in video calls.

I'd not worry about this except that I've had to do a Zoom-based interview for the upcoming Virtual Model Railway exhibition. Like politicians around the country, the background now matters.

I've not shuffled The Art of War and some weighty political memoirs into view, nor is there a weird picture of the Queen hung up. You'll have to decide if the 3mm scale society house magazine Mixed Traffic says something good about me.

Luckily, I'm well supplied with large scale locomotives to appear. Out (of sight) goes the La France fire engine. In comes a Saltford Simplex. RNLI toys are replaced with a battery-steam loco I built many years ago. The Garden Rail van is a subtle advert - at least I think it is anyway.

The Isle of Man poster on the wall was already a fixture, but Mr Kipper from the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has caused some comment!

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Seaspeed

A lovely promotional film made in 1980 showing the hovercraft operation.

Part of the interest comes from seeing the N500 Naviplane in the opening shots. It might have been bigger and faster than the SRN 4's, but it couldn't match them for style. It was quickly returned to SNCF.

I managed a trip on the hovercraft during the penultimate weekend and remember the facilities on the French side being very basic. My plan to go and visit the local area fell apart because it was on an industrial estate and there was no-where to go if you didn't have transport. Never mind, I still fondly remember the trip and am glad I made it.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Shuttles, stone and card modelling in BRM

Back and forth - that's what you get with a shuttle unit and in the latest BRM, I'm fitting one to a test track. It's an unusual project for me as this isn't part of a layout. Needing a suitable controller, I'm pleased to say that I dug out a Beatties unit, I wonder if anyone will spot that and write in to the magazine?

From the old to the new. A chance discussion on RMweb say me get my paws on a brand new kit from JS Models for a stone warehouse. The trouble with kits like this is that a simple build doesn't give you much to write about. The bits all fit and you can build it in a couple of hours.

That's not good enough (IMHO) for the readers, so I put a of of time in to develop a method of painting the nice, smooth MDF to look like real stone. The results are really pleasing and better than I'd hoped.

Another building, this time the Metcalfe Models Fire Station - lovely little kit and so well designed, but of course I had to fiddle with it and add a little bit of "Phil" to the finished model. I even managed to sneak a pun into of of the box-out titles.

On BRM TV (Still no DVD due to production issues) I'm doing more work with card kits to show a few enhancements that can be applied.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Garden Rail - July 2020

Lockdown is the perfect time to dig those old kits out of the cupboard and get them on the workbench.

Eric Londesbrough fights a small signal cabin that dates from the 1980s but manages to produce a lovely little model that would be perfect for any small line. The Editor goes back to his youth with a Saltford Models Simplex diesel and after many years in our hobby, Dave Skertchly finally gets his hands on a Tri-ang “Big-Big” diesel to bash into a steam locomotive.

We're not just looking back though – John Rogers is controlling his locos with a mobile phone via Bluetooth. Kitbuilders will enjoy the second part of Mark Thatcher's church build and David Rhodes completing a rake of coaches with a modified IP Engineering kit.

Layout inspiration this month comes with a visit to The Aston Railway and Tramway, built by Mick Eastough. It might have taken 50 years to get started, but the wait was worth it as his lovely 7/8

th scale line is full of narrow gauge character.

If you feel the need for another locomotive for your line, Steve Blackmore dons his Stetson to take a look at Roundhouse Engineering's latest model and we have all the latest product news for the large scale railway enthusiast.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: No Berth

I was looking to carry on the tugboat theme this week with a suitable boat and digging through my Isle of Man archives, I found this one.

This is a tug, or perhaps more a pusher. It works with a dredging crane that lives on an unpowered pontoon. This unassuming vessel provides the grunt to move the outfit around. I'm guessing the big sign is to tell captains of visiting yachts not to tie up to the boat. Not that I think that many would want to attach their floating gin palace to a boat that is the very definition of "working". 

Yes, this isn't a pretty boat, but I really fancy building a model one day. If I ever get back to the IOM, I'm going hunting for more photos.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Will the prop fit?

Digging around the box of boat spares, I've found a nice stainless steel prop setup to which I can fit a nice plastic prop. Placing it on the boat side, it looks like a good fit so I join the hull halves and deck together.

The kit is old and the part fit not perfect. I'm guessing that the hull has distorted a little over time joining the halves was a little bit of a fight. Plenty of liquid glue and much holding along with a couple of bulldog clips worked for most of the length, but the stern didn't want to play ball with a good millimetre of gap - if I could have got a clamp on it this wouldn't have been an issue, but there wasn't much chance of this.

Instead, I warmed up a soldering iron and melted the plastic over the join inside, letting it cool and do the holding for me. Amazingly, this seemed to work, allowing the glue to do it's job overnight.

The chosen propeller turns out t be a little bigger than it needs to be, but a small amount of carving gives me enough clearance to let it dodge the rudder support. OK, it's not prototypical, but no-one will notice.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Lindberg Line Tug Boat kit

I'm still keen to build a model boat and so it's back to the kit stash to find something I bought a couple of years ago at the IPMS show.

There used to be a fashion for motorised plastic kits, but mostly cars. There were a few boats including this one from the American Lindberg range. When I saw it on the stand, the idea of taking a model designed to said and adding radio control imediatly grabbed me.

Costing £20, the kit has been opened and the prop shaft and prop removed. A couple of tiny glue marks inside suggest someone has had a go, but they didn't get far.

The parts had been rebagged in thin plastic and as far as I can tell at this point everything is in the box. Even the motor is in there, but I fancy replacing this with a gutted servo with a second micro version for steering. Hopefully, the extra wight won't be an issue, but we'll find out later.

I love the instructions. No CAD drawings, instead we have illustration by an artist.

Anyway, I'll dig out the plastic glue and give this a go. With a bit of luck I'll end up with a model suitable for the pool - at a foot long, it might even see a calm day at the lake!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Upgrading the photo studio

For the last few months, my photo setup has included a roll of printer paper acting as a background. Since adding this, I've saved ages over previous attempts at providing this - to remove all the background for construction shots often involves nothing more than a tweak of the brightness and contrast settings.

When the paper gets dirty, I just unroll a bit. Cut off the old stuff and am ready to go again.

The only problem is that the roll is only 61cm wide and I now have a small layout project in prospect. Worse, that's going to require video and you don't get to do cut-outs on moving images. I need a white background.

So, needing to upgrade to a much wider paper roll in a hurry, I rang around a few places. One said it was delivering on the website, but when I spoke to them, the warehouse is locked down. Another was going to call me back, and didn't.

The winner was Graphic Design Supplies Ltd in Macclesfield. A very helpful chat resulted in a 5ft wide roll being delivered the next day. All I have to do is work out how to support it. Bits of string won't do the job!

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Draw a Bord Na Mona locomotive

I met Shoo Raynor a couple of years ago at a literary festival and have dropped in to his YouTube channels a few times since then. However, when I spotted this lesson, I knew it had to appear on the blog. What a subject to pick, it's not Flying Scotsman!

Friday, June 12, 2020

Trams LP

Spin up those wheels of steel, this is a platter that matters!

From BBC Record - recordings of trams.

Found at the back of a cupboard, we don't actually own a turntable to play it on, and even if we did, I can't see listening to the rumblings of tramcars being something I need to do very often.

So, it's back to the cupboard for the moment, and unless someone wants to make me a generous offer for it, a trip to eBay eventually.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lockdown Project: Fix the APT

On the top of a cupboard, I have a wooden model of the Advanced Passenger Train.

Produced by Space Models for use in travel agents, these models have become popular among APT fans and are generally worth a couple of hundred quid. As an APT nut, I had to buy one when I had the chance. In fact, I have two - well both were bargains at the time and have increased in value over time.

My model is better than the one in the NRM, but a fall from its perch meant I needed to carry out a few repairs. This job has been around for a while, but now it is done.

Job 1: The bogie sideframe on one end had fallen off. These are plastic and should be separated by a couple of rods. Those on my model were badly deformed and wouldn't glue back in place anyway, so I dispensed with them.

Slackening off the screw that holds the wooden model to its track allowed the sideframe to slot back into place. Tightening it up again clamped the part between body and track, hard enough it wasn't coming out easily. Quite how it fell off in the first place is a mystery.

Job 2: On the top, the pantograph had come off in the same accident.

This is a whitemetal piece and locates on top of wires running through insulators. I drilled out the holes and with a little superglue, this fitted back in place nicely.

Job done - it felt a little like an episode of The Repair Shop, but in a good way. Now I just need to dust the thing more often and be careful.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: (At)Lantic Bay

Atlantic Bay

Spotted in Peel harbour back in 2008, this is the Atlantic Bay dredging away.

The business end seems to be a fairly conventional digger parked on the deck. It grabs a bucket-load of the seabed and dumps it in the hold. Presumably, there is then a way of discharging this out at sea. Surely they don't dig it back out again?

I've always been confused about how they know they have dug the entire bed. The ropes fore and aft tied to the quayside I assume act to position the vessel accurately, a bit like the mechanism that moves the print head in my inkjet. Maybe it doesn't matter if you get everything as the movement of the tides will re-distribute the silt, filling holes and flattening mounds.

This isn't a huge boat and would look great on a model. You need a diecast excavator and a boat hull. The result would be much more than the sum of it's parts and appeal to a wide variety of enthusiasts, far more than just a cargo vessel.

Update: James Finister has donned his deerstalker and worked out that what I thought was just tired signwriting isn't. The ship name really is Lantic Bay and you can find out more about it here. And track it here.

Tuesday, June 09, 2020

Mending the Mini-Train

The Mini-Train is broken in many ways. For a start, the boiler unit has been dropped and broken in half. That's pretty terminal for most people, but not someone armed with a bottle of strong-smelling MEK.

The solvent quickly restored the parts, but not perfectly. Not enough for a collector, but fine for someone happy to do a bit of filling and planning a repaint.

A bigger problem is that even when loaded with a fresh C-Cell, the motor didn't spin.

Taking the model apart by undoing a single cross-head screw underneath and then wiggling the red frame clear, exposing the motor. It's a horribly cheap one and I was confident I had a suitable replacement in stock somewhere.

With this in mind, I desoldered the wires and peeled back the retailing tabs on the plastic end. Carefully pulling it away, I could see that the commutator and brushes were covered in sticky goo. My guess is some grease that has solidified, but it looked capable of stopping electricity.

Wiping everything clean with a bit of kitchen towel soaked in WD40 did the job. A quick polish with a fibreglass pencil and all seemed well.

After reassembly, the motor was rigged up to some power via flyleads and slowly turned. After a few seconds, it speed up and ran sweetly. A little oil on the bearings and everything seems fine.

Back in the loco, there was a little fiddling with the contacts in the switch, which is underneath the loco, and I have a working model. This sort of "toy" is pretty simple and easy for the amateur to fiddle with so it's always worth having a go.

My plans now involve fitting a more convenient switch and detailing the body. To which end, a big order for bits has been placed, but I may have to wait a bit for delivery.

Monday, June 08, 2020

Faller Mini-Playtrain

Faller Mini-Playtrain 3515

Since I got back properly in garden railways, the amount of RTR stuff that's been made available at the budget end of the market has fascinated me. I've already explained my love of Faller's insane Hit Train. Now my collection has been swelled by a very reasonably priced Mini-Playtrain. 

The set was produced in two colours - blue and yellow or the more attractive (and common) red and green. UK sets came with a station, Germans had to do without this. More details on the sets here.

Running on 32mm gauge track, the model is supposed to be filled with Busy-Body* type figures. 

The coaches should have canopies which are missing from my model. Normal figures with legs that bend downward aren't quite as good a fit, but I think something can be done.

However, it's the loco that interests me.

Looking at it, what I don't see is a steam engine. Those controls are for a diesel. Despite appearances, this is a model of a fake chuffer. The sort of thing you find in amusement parks that looks nice, offers a train ride but doesn't need to be steamed at 7 in the morning.

So, my plan is to take this non-working (that's why it was cheap on eBay) model and make it into an amusement part loco. A 16mm figure will stand on the footplate OK. Get the right one and even the tension lock coupling will work, but that will be replaced with a more conventional 16mm thing.

I'll scrape some detail off and replace it. The "smokebox" will need to go black for authenticity, but I'll keep the green and red bits, although they will be painted too.

Silly, but my kind of silly.

*Busy-Body figures appeared just before Playpeople and disappeared pretty quickly after these appeared. I think I had a set, then many sets of Playmobil. Oddly, I can't quickly find much on the web about them.

Sunday, June 07, 2020

The book is back!

Yes, my first novel is out again. We've gone back to basics and done something we should have the first time around - employed a proper proof-reader.

Over time, it's become more and more obvious that our "publisher's" attempt at proof reading was somewhat lacking. Now, while I'll never claim perfection, it's been well sorted. There have been hours of tweaking and correcting plus a tiny amount of rewriting. After that a bit more proof reading and polishing. Both Candice and I are now happy in a way we are with Kate vs the Navy, which was proof read by a pro.

There's also a new cover and an author interview. Basically though, it's still funny and after having to re-read it while correcting the text, I'm still proud of our efforts.

Saturday, June 06, 2020

Saturday Film Club: Thunderbirds reunion

It's back to work for the Century 21 staff as they re-visit the Slough studios before demolition.

Friday, June 05, 2020

Mystery Fowler

Here's a little mystery. I have this lorry on a shelf - presumably bought because it's an Isle of Man collectable - but can't identify the maker. It celebrates the 1993 Douglas vintage rally.

The model is 105mm long. On the gaudy orange chassis, all we have is "Fowler Steam wagon 1927" but no makers mark.

The cab is riveted on, but the load bed attaches with screws which suggests that alternatives were available.

Can anyone tell me more?

Thursday, June 04, 2020

Smoked glass

When I was building the office block for BRMs Runcorn Salt Union layout, I suggested on video that to hide the lack of interior, some car window tinting film might be a good idea.

Where this idea came from I forget, but in the end, I just set some black cardboard back a few millimetres behind the window as I always do. It works and meant I didn't need to hang around auto shops trying to find someone to pimp my building.

The idea didn't go away though, and since I had a spare side, rejected for wonky glazing bars, when I happened across a spray can of Humbrol Clear Smoke, I decided this would be nearly as good. Quite a bit cheaper too as the can only cost me a quid.

Paint was applied to the back of the windows and you know what? It looks rubbish.

The blackness is too close to the glass and just looks wrong. My normal method is the better one. At least I know now.

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday: Walk around a Severn lifeboat

Fresh from the RNLI, a walk around a Severn Class Lifeboat.

Click here to go aboard. Loads of great modelling detail if you are building a RC model or perhaps the Airfix kit.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Cutting frames

One advance since the plans for La Passagere was filed away is the silhouette cutter. What better way to produce frames than transfer the plans to the computer and let the machine do the work?

I scanned all the drawings in and then re-drew them in the cutting software. While doing this I decided to make the model a bit bigger - the original version seemed to be an exercise in micro-modelling and when it comes to boats, this just means loads of messing around minimising and distributing weight. Technically interesting maybe, but I can't get excited about it. You also end up with a model that can only sail when the weather is perfectly calm.

Stuff that, I'll just it bigger.

Drawing out the bits was interesting as the beezer curve tool isn't like the one I'm familiar with in Paintshop Pro. They work in sort of the same way, but not exactly the same. Still, I managed.

All the bits were cut in 1mm plastic. I made all of them twice so they could be laminated up to get some thickness and (hopefully) strength. The cutter won't go all the way through, but it cuts enough of a groove to make final cutting with a knife easy.

One lesson learned is that when drawing something like a frame that should be mirrored around the centre, draw half of it and mirror. Don't rely on the original drawing you are copying being accurate. One frame wasn't, although fixing this didn't turn out to be too difficult.

I used a guillotine as a building board because of it's a nice flat surface, and that I'd had it out to chop up the plastic to fit it in the cutter. 

The basic frame went together OK, but when I started to cover it, things got wobbly. The original model was made of wood and it's a lot stiffer than styrene sheet. The glue joints proved to be less strong than I'd hoped too. 

Basically, trying to cover the hull with single pieces of 0.5mm thick plastic was going all wrong. I couldn't cut the pieces perfectly and trying to trim them to fit didn't seem to work very well. 

So it went in the bin. A nice idea, but not a success. I think there is something in this method, but I need a stiffer material and that won't go through the cutter I have. 

I should have remembered building my scratchbuilt Brede which also has a plastic hull. The boat never gets sailed because it always feels fragile. That and the hull is annoyingly not the perfect shape. 

Despite this, I think the project was an interesting experiment. OK, I've ended up with bin filler rather than a model,  but I've learnt quite a bit. One thing is that I've learnt I hate making boat hulls. Too many curves. Too important. 

However, this project isn't dead. It sleeps as I have another idea for the hull, but it will have to wait for a while...

Monday, June 01, 2020

La Passagere

Digging through the photos recovered from a hard drive crash years ago, I spotted this shot of a tine ferry that I suspect I took at a model boat show over a decade ago.

It reminded me that I'd really fancies this as a project and somehow, via a kind person on-line, ended up with a photocopy of the French edition os RC Marine back in 2007 where the model's build was described.

The article, which included plans was filed away and I did nothing with it, but now I fancied a go.

Digging around on the web, it seems that La Passagere is a real boat, but one that is somewhat longer than the model suggests.

Not to worry, I fancy a "messing around with Plastikard" type project right now and this looks like it should fit on the workbench very nicely.