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With the extra additions made for the boat, I now needed to turn attention to the dreaded wheelhouse and detailing etc.

The funnels were first made.

The sides of the wheelhouse were then plastic welded into place double checking measurements to make sure it was centre.

Two holes made in each corner of the wheelhouse to allow the fibre optics for the control panels.

I wanted to detail the wheelhouse with two computer screens and make a control panel with intergrated fibre optics. The first task was to make the computer monitors. The monitors were made from 1mm and 2mm styrene sheet and roughly measure an inch x inch. The basic shapes were cut fom the styrene sheet and the centre of the back panel was located. This was then drilled and a 3mm LED glued in place.

The back panel of the monitor is actually cut around 3mm too long, so when glued end to end, a natural curve appears as per the real thing. This would also allow the LED suffiecient space.

And a front view of the monitor so far. The top and bottom of the monitor were then plasctic welded on. This will also hold the curve of the rear panel. The edges of the monitor were sanded so it all blended into one.

And finally the LED pins bent down and a stand created.

So, with the monitors complete, I now needed to make the control panels on which they sit. I looked hard on the internet for inspiration as there just seems to be countless buttons and knobs in these tugs. I then remembered I had an old circuit board from a retired digital camera which seemed to replicate a real tug control panel.

Heres a close up picture of the circuit board. At a glance, I think it looks pretty good. The engine controls were added and will be painted at a later time.

Heres the fibre optics used, its 1.5mm diameter and pretty cheap.

Holes were drilled through the circuit board and through the plastic top. The fibre optics were then threaded through, twelve infact. This will allow for four strands for each colour.

5mm LED's were used to give the required surface area to accomodate four strands of fibre optics. Heat shrink was used to secure the strands to the LED.

The previously painted monitor was then added and wired up.

And finally the working panel. Sadly, one of the green strands snapped and I decided not to undo all the work and leave it be.

Now time for the other side. The real Wyeforce on this side has an electrical trip panel and felt it should also be on my build aswell. Basically everything repeated as per above but the panel face was made using some 1mm styrene sheet with a printed panel stuck onto it. This again was made using the styicky vinyl and a picture downloaded from the internet. Decided to use just four read strands on this side.

I also made a keyboard using the vinyl technique and a mouse from shaped styrene. The mouse is a little out of scale but a good attempt anyway.

And finally the monitors were finished by printing the desired charts and desktop onto the vinyl which was then stuck to the front of the screen. Instead of this computer running on a windows based operating system, it runs on 'portholes' instead.

I then changed the subject of attention to the needed main bollard installation. I had put this off time and time again as where the brass meets the other, it has to be ground out to suit the shape and enable a strong bond. This was put off simply because its a fair chunk of brass which needs taking off and I didnt really have anything but a dremel and a few ginding bits. I've been looking for a suitable end mill but with no luck. Anyway, the ends of the tube were profiled after hours of grinding and also destroying my dremel attachment :(

I managed to get a reasonable fit between the tube. The tubes where sanded down to clean and allow a good bond for when its brazed and painted.

The tubes were brazed using a blowtorch and copper brazing rods.

I decided to use a commercially available towing hook system as i didnt fancy using the white metal casting which came in the kit. I attached the hook mount using a strip of brass to fit in the groove on its rear side. The brass strip was simply bolted to the main bollard.

The ends of the brass rod were filled with P38.

The filler was sanded flush and the bollard painted.

This is how the towing hook came. Its a Graupner model.

The assembled towing hook.

During towing, the tow line is obviously under tension which would make sure the rope stays on the hook. If the tension is lost, the rope is likely to slip off the hook. Not what you need in the middle of the pond. I decided to modify the hook by making a notch in the hook and adding a brass strip which locks over the notch. This stops the rope from slipping off the hook.

The brass strip now locked.

And heres an example using the towing line. Its not technically correct but it will do the job I intended.

The main bollard was then fixed to the bottom of the hull by using some expandable Loctite glue which foams slightly. All of the deck clutter has finally come together and I think it looks prett good.

The towing hook was painted and attached to its mount on the main bollard. This shows the hook and line with no tension.

This is the hook under tension.



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©Dan Walker