- Inside of the HMS Invincible -
HMS Invincible Ė by Tyler (refit complete 2011, Battled by Zach since 2015)
4.0 units, 26 seconds, British Battlecruiser
The HMS Invincible was built and battled by the Whitsell clan (primarily Frank) in roughly the early 2000ís and prior. It was thought to be close to scrap yard quality at the time I picked it up with intention to refit. The exterior was fairly clean but there were some major flaws that needed to be overcome. The gun placement was a bit atypical so that was one thing to change. The deck itself was fairly beat up as well and the overlap and seal of the deck/subdeck was insufficient per my preferences. The angle of the shafts was a bit different than what I thought the ship would like. Also the hull was cut way too deep, so I had to build up the hull itself. The ribs were cut to be 3/8 inch wide rather than the typical 1/4 inch, so though they are bigger there are probably too few of them and it makes for flimsy side balsa at times. I debated cutting some of them down and adding a few ribs but that was a little more work than I was wanting to invest. †
Overhead view. The invincible has offset wing turrets.
The hill skin was just good enough to float the ship at battling weight and confirm that it was about where it would float when I was done with it, this allowed me to build the sides up to the proper depth.
Stern super structure and props. The outer dummy prop shafts are a bit in the way of the actual drive props, they block thrust in reverse if they are too close.
There is a lot to see in this picture. It is an overview of the ship in general, which was copied from arguably the highest functioning Invincible in the history of the hobby, built by Steve Reynolds. I will discuss in detail in the article elsewhere most of the important parts. The deck has 3 sections, the stern part below the step, and 2 upper portions that have a cut right at the forward most cross brace. All deck sections are held in place with slides, the stern part slides backwards and the bow two slide forward to lock in. there is a gap in the step that allows the stern deck to slide in and out while the middle section has a block on the under side that locks into that gap to keep things steady. You can see the water channeling from roughly the step do the bow turret area, this is the lowest part of the hull that allows water to flow under the other internal components and feed the pump. The rest is built up with balsa covered by fiberglass cloth and epoxy.
I popped the old deck out and put a new deck in. You can see the positioning of the stern cross brace (just to the stern of the turret) as well as the rudder servo setup.
Similar picture with the tape measure out of the way.
Side profile of the rudder setup.
Side profile with tape measure to show placement. The wood blocks on the bottom of the hull are the prop shaft struts. At about the 11 inch mark you can see a piece of wood that was glued to the inside part of the rib. Roughly every other was backed in this way to add rigidity and to allow for a place to attach the internal armor.
Here is the amidship portion here the decks overlap. The stern portion of deck slides from bow toward the stern to latch in place at the stern most cross brace and the small notches seen by the motor mounts. Motor mounts are seen at 16 inches. The pump motor is at 19.5 inches, batteries in front of that.
Side profile of amidships. You can see where the hull was marked at the water line and the 1 inch below that in black marker. Also you can see how much material was added to fill in the penetrable windows that were cut too deep. I basically glued thin balsa to the inside of the ship and filled in the outer portion with multiple layers of fiber glass cloth and epoxy with multiple sandings to get it smooth. The ribs were very thin as is typical for the older hulls, every rib that wasnít backed with wood was backed with multiple layers of fiber glass and epoxy for strengthening. There are portions of the existing fiberglass that are fairly beat up that have been repaired.
Batteries sit amidships, radio box in front of the batteries. At 26 inches along the subdeck are the slide/latch system for the mid part of the deck. I really like how these work out, they stay out of the way unlike a full cross brace but are strong enough to hold the deck down.
Amidships side profile. The two 6 volt 10 amp hour batteries are borderline under power for this ship, but it is fairly small so it really doesnít draw massive power per sortie and it isnít heavy enough to really allow for more battery power to be added any way. This ship is known for its very good maneuverability and acceleration, partially due to itís small size and weight. The batteries sit flat on the bottom of the hull, which keeps weight distribution low and improves performance.
Radio box includes a servo/mag switch for the throttle, a second servo/mag switch for pump, and three gun firing boards. The cross brace between 32 and 33 inches is where the bow most section of deck is cut.
The bow hoses the bottle. You can really appreciate how every inch of this small ship is used up. The subdeck again has the notches cut for the slide and lock system of the deck.
Bow side profile.
Stern of the ship. The props on any ship should almost touch each other and the hull itself. The rudder setup has various theories. In general getting the leading edge of the rudder close to the prop helps significantly with prop wash control.
Rudder setup, very close to prop. The internal portion of the rudder post is very well supported in all of my ships. Stability of the drive and turning systems is a must.
At full throw the rudders cover fairly well.
Rudders. You can see how the outer drag props are forward enough that they donít interrupt the throw of the props when running in reverse.
HMS Invincible battle ready at Nats 2018. Setup is standard for this ship with bow sidemount, stern sidemount, and stern gun, each with 50 bbís and a single unit pump. Superstructure is ABS plastic.