Build log 2014-12-30 : Handrails, paint & fenders

The first Microspringer is now almost complete.

Shabby paint job

Shabby paint job

TX in the background for scale



3mm rubber cord all round - Tyre inner tube on push-knees



1.00 and 1.50mm brass wire

Paint - Color scheme

The overall look and color scheme is based on an actual towable tug from pictures I googled when working on the Sequana. Bright colors all-round!

I reused leftover paint from the Odin (red, yellow/orange) but used a new brand of spray cans, Kobra Paint which is geared toward "street art" and is much cheaper than the cans I used so far (3.20€ vs 12.00€).

While the paint is supposed to be matt I ended up with some gloss. I have to play with the different nozzles/caps and "learn" how that paint works. At 3.20€ a can it's cheap enough to experiment.


Windows were cut from self-adhesive opaque black vinyl (glossy). As there's a wire salad inside the wheelhouse I kept everything opaque. Another option was to use clear styrene and then obscure it with Tamiya "Smoke" paint. I kept it simple this time.


Handrails are made of 1.00mm (push-knees) and 1.50mm (wheelhouse) brass wire.

Handrails on the push-knees are plugged into the base of the knee and CA-ed in place.

Handrails at the weelhouse poke through the floor and are held upright by a dab of Methyl-methacrylate glue.


A piece of 3mm rubber cord runs around the hull acting as a fender. 3mm rubber cord can be had on eBay from China for a few bucks. Mostly sold as jewlery making supplies (bracelects, necklaces I assume).

Push-knees fenders are small pieces of rubber cut from an old bicycle tyre inner tube.

Fenders were glued with CA. I first tried Neoprene glue (which is usually best for rubbery materials) but I only ended up dissolving the paint underneath ... CA doesn't give the best bond but it's good enough.


Lights are 3mm "flat-head" LEDs with their bodies painted: three coats of white acting as a "reflector" and then multiple coats of matt black to get the right "sectors" (~112°, ~225°, ~135°).

Hooked them to 120ohm resistors and power them from a single 3V CR2032 battery. All four LEDs draw slightly less than 9mA. That should get me at least a few hours from a single battery.