In 1983 after a long absence from model building, I decided, as a real challenge, to construct a radio controlled model of one of the newest ships of the Royal Australian Navy. The model originally started out as HMAS DARWIN, FFG-04, but during construction was altered to HMAS ADELAIDE.
Construction began with a plank on frame hull of ply and balsa and then finished off with fibreglass chopped strand matt and resin. The deck was cut from a single piece of 3mm Perspex. Due to the large amount of superstructure I decided to use a sheet styrene in place of the traditional ply. I found the styrene a breeze to work with and with a little work could be made to look very much like the sheet panel aluminium the real ship was produced from. All other details such as the tall lattice masts, railings, weapons and fittings were also produced from plastic.
A single Hectoperm 12 volt motor originally powered the model, but the model underwent a number of "refits" since that time and was later powered by a Sagem 12 volt print-head motor as used in many of my other models.
The model had run very successfully for many years even though she has a number of periods where she has had to undergo refits or major reconstruction. One of these incidents was a collision with the wharf at Wentworth Falls, when in darkness she was accidentally driven under the wharf by an unnamed assailant. Most of her upper-works had to be constructed, but that is another story (See TENIX FFGUP).
Unfortunately in early 2001 she was on loan to the Navy display team along with several other models and was involved in an accident where she was very badly damaged. It was always intended that she would be repaired when time was available. In 2012 it was decided not to rebuild her with her hull delaminating and cracking. As many parts as possible were removed and stored in case I ever got around to building another one.
In early 2014 several past members of her crew started to organise a reunion for 2015 which will be the 25th anniversary of ADELAIDE and her crew leaving for operations in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-91. I decided that this was the opportunity to build a new ADELAIDE model. I managed to get a fibre glass hull and with the fittings I already have from the original model she is starting to come together quickly. She will be completed in time to be the centre piece for August 2015 crew reunion.