A Model Subject


In September, we received an email from Jimmy Waters containing some photos of Endeavour at Maldon. We posted the picture above on our Facebook page and it duly got loads of likes.

In the comments, we posted a further two pictures and said, "If you look a little closer, you might realise - if you hadn’t already - things aren’t quite what they seem!" This was because the boat hasn’t been to
Maldon recently, and as you will see from the other shots on this page, it was actually a beautiful scale model made by Barbara and Jimmy Waters.

Below, Barbara tells us how they built their replica.

"My husband, Jimmy, is into radio-controlled scale model boats and had built a crab fishing boat and had joined a model boat club. I used to go along with him to the club lake and watch the boats. Another member offered to let me have a go on an old boat of his and I really enjoyed myself. I wouldn’t use Jimmy’s boat as I was worried I would crash it or sink it.

"We were down at Leigh for a walk and passed by Endeavour and read about her history. I was taken by the thought that she looked like a nice simple design to make into a scaled remote controlled model of my own. How wrong I was! I joined the society and asked for cards and postcards of Endeavour.

With the 1906 Thames Barge Hydrogen in the background

"Jimmy explained to me that we would need to do a lot of measuring of the full-sized Endeavour to scale down the measurements for the model. In February 2019, Rob Everitt kindly organised for us to go and walk all over Endeavour when she was at the Marina. We measured everything in sight and took lots of photos, and worked out the scale.

"I had purchased a slightly imperfect fibreglass hull in 2018 and transferring the measurements we had taken gave us a scale of 1:18. The hull had a damaged keel which had no pre-bored hole for the prop shaft so after some hesitation Jimmy used an oscillating saw to slice into the keel to accept the prop shaft. I sealed the cut with fibre glass tissue and resin.

"We started on the model in 2020, it was then that I realised that it was beyond my capabilities to make the model unaided from scratch. My husband had a lot of experience in building other models, not only boats so I’ll admit he built most of the model and made and painted the figure from wire, foil and acrylic paste. I did some shaping of the hull and cutting the wood, most of the painting and varnishing and the sail. We bothered Rob about the names of things and what things were for and he was very informative and sent us lots of emails and photos. I kept him informed of progress but it was a slow job.

"Eventually after tests in the bath and the building of a very large wooden case so we didn’t have to remove the rigging, on the 22nd June 2021 we ventured out to the public boating lake at Maldon. It was a very windy day, but the model responded brilliantly and looked fantastic as my husband’s photo shows.

“I would like to thank  Rob, Andy, Chris and Brum who met us while we measured, for their patience and help, we couldn’t have built the model without their input.”

We wish her all the best!

In the course of putting together the article above, which appeared in the newsletter, we also corresponded with Jimmy who sent us some lovely photos of the model under construction and added his own take on the work.

"When Barbara said she wanted to build Endeavour, I thought, 'Okay, she's capable.' She had already built a sloop that wasn't designed to 'sail' let alone under radio control - although she nearly lost it a couple of times due to swamping as she had the washboards open! (Washboards are planks that are inserted into openings such as cabin entrances, or walkways to stop water getting in - Ed)

"I advised she didn't cut them for Endeavour so she could sail in quite rough conditions. As she said in her article, the hull was bought damaged so we got it cheap.

"Cutting the slot for the prop was the most difficult part of the construction - I didn't want to ruin it for her after she had put so much effort in obtaining measurements and materials for the build. Thankfully, it turned out ok!

"When she completed the fitting out, she was quite happy to sail it 'as is' but I suggested it needed a skipper. Try as she might there is nothing commercially available in 1/18th scale and certainly nothing suitable for Endeavour, so biting the bullet, I set to making a figure. I measured him from myself and made a wire frame, trying to create a 'working pose' as some of the commercial figures look so gormless!

"We bought some acrylic paste, which is good for modelling as it takes a while to set so you can play with it longer. The only problem was there was a lot of 'body' to fill out.This was achieved with tinfoil wrapped around the wire.

"Finally, Barbara made a fender out of polystyrene which she glued to his hand, so he is busy rather than just standing there and it moves in the breeze! I think it works?

"The virus lockdown came at the right time in a way as it gave Barbara a focus."

Below are a few more detailed photos Jimmy and Barbara sent over. The level of detail is truly amazing!

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