GRIPER


One of five “Director Class” naval auxiliary paddle tugs used mainly for the docking and moving of large aircraft carriers (when we had some). The mast could be folded down allowing the tug to get under the overhanging flight deck. They were powered by twin Paxman diesels driving each paddle wheel, which could be individually reversed, unlike civilian paddlers which had to use both paddles rotating in the same direction.The 1/ 48 th semi-scale model is fitted with twin 385-type geared motors driving the paddles at a 2.5:1 ratio. The styrene hull along with fire monitors and anchor winch were purchased at the 1996 Luton Club auction for only £10. Paddle wheels are ex Graupner Glasgow bought separately.

Forceful (a sister ship to Griper) was a free plan in “Model Boats” late 1979 and early 1980. Superstructure and most of the fittings were scratch built from plastic card and bits rescued from the rubbish bin. Power is from a 6volt 12Ah gel battery running through a Bob’s board and micro switches on the rudder control, stopping appropriate paddle at approx. half rudder and then reversing it at full rudder allowing the model to turn on its own axis. Same result as a mixer but a lot cheaper with only a small loss in fine control. Gross model weight is nearly 12lbs and building cost excluding paddle wheels, radio and batteries was £27.00, Total cost £126.04, the paddle wheels alone were £49.96.


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