Victoria Model Shipbuilding Society > FAQ's

There are questions and there are questions.....

The first type of question is usually very specific and detailed. The Internet source of answers for these questions is the
Model Ship FAQ which was maintained by John Kopf. We are sorry to hear that John passed away March 2, 2010.
John was with The South Bay Model Shipwrights club since its inception and was the clubs Webmaster. You can find
much of John's legacy and much more at South Bay Model Shipwrights Club.

Another source that may answer many questions for the ship modeller may be found at the Model Shipwright's Database which is part of ModelShipWorld.

The second type of question is more general.
We answer both, following are the general FAQ's we answer at pondside or lakeside most often:

Can anyone use Harrison Pond?

Yes, it is a City of Victoria park for all to use, not just members of the Victoria Model Shipbuilding Society. Please bear in mind that you share radio frequencies and time with everyone else, and a certain amount of courtesy is required to keep everyone happy:
* Please ascertain the frequency is clear before you switch on your transmitter.
* Please share time with other operators on the same frequency.
* Please don't touch a model without the owners permission.

How much does it cost?

Many of our models operate on a two channel ground frequency radio which costs about $120 for the transmitter, receiver and two servos. If the model is larger than 15 inches, a $50 electronic speed control is required. The cost of the model is variable. Some members with advanced skills can make a model from materials found around the workshop, while others like the convenience of a kit. More complex models require more complex electronics, which is more costly.

Should I buy a kit or scratch build?

If you are new to the hobby, a kit is probably the best way to start. Many kits have everything needed to finish the model except glue, paint, motor and electronics. The staff in the local hobby shops can advise you. If you want to model a ship for which there is no kit, then you have to decide whether to build a kit first to learn how they go together, or just jump in and learn fast

Is there help available?

Yes, the primary purpose of the society is to help each other by sharing experiences. The hobby shop where you purchased your radio and kit are always willing to help as well.

Can I use an old aircraft radio?

No! It is illegal and you may generate radio signals which could destroy someone's model aircraft. VMSS members actively discourage the use of aircraft frequencies. We share surface channels with cars, so a radio control unit from a car is OK.

Won't it go any faster than that?

Probably not. Our members build scale models of real ships and operate them at scale speeds. The fastest of these are the navy's destroyers and frigates, and a brisk walking pace is about scale speed. Like the real ship, high speed consumes more fuel than cruising speed, so we get less time from a battery charge if we operate at high speed.

I want to build a submarine/hydrofoil/hovercraft!

These models require large amounts of knowledge, patience and cold cash. We recommend you start with something more conventional.

How many hours did it take to build?

Using a kit, the modellers skill and experience, availability of tools and the quality of the finished model are all factors effecting the amount of time to build. Many of our modellers have invested 1,000 hours or more in their models. The model can be a big commitment for several years. Often the model is considered an heirloom and members of the family would like to display it when the builder moves on to another model. Sometimes the radio gear is removed and the model is converted to a display model and donated to a museum.

If I see one I like, can I buy it?

Probably not at the pond. Local hobby shops often have used models for sail.

How come you won't let my kid play with you toy boat?

See the proceeding answer. The society has a boat for the public to use at some events, but parents are expected to supervise their children.

Was Harrison Pond really built for model boats?

Yes, a former Mayor of Victoria, Claude Harrison had the pond built for model boats in the 1950s. In those days modellers used free sailing sailboats because radio control was not widely available. The trees between the pond and the ocean were not there, so there was some very invigorating sailing as the ocean breezes swept the pond!

Why can't I feed the ducks?

The modellers using the pond didn't make the 'don't feed the ducks rule', but we support it! The City Parks Department and the Naturalists have good reasons for telling you not to feed the birds. They are posted. These are a few common sense reasons based on our observations:

1. Ducks aren't garbage eaters, but that is what many people feed them. White bread products are full of preservatives, not nutrition for ducks.

2. The ducks stay through the winter if they are fed, but nature intended them to migrate.

3. None of the ducklings hatched at the pond survive. They are gobbled alive by seagulls because the pond is not good habitat for raising baby ducks.

4. If this isn't enough, the scofflaws who fed the ducks frequently throw the bread bags and other garbage in the water. The taxpayer pays to clean up behind these people.

Remember, don't mess with mother nature!