Boat Installation

Being a fairly new business, trading since July 2012, it is quite clear that we found quite a niche within the model train and boat communities! There have been lots of questions as to how we can install the Master Blaster unit in model boats for maximum effect, and here I am sharing my experiences as to how I did it my way, although I appreciate this may not be your way.

As with all things sound-based, there is a trade-off between having the unit visible, so it outputs the maximum volume without muffling caused by the hull, and having the unit visible, which potentially could spoil a scale model. Well, with sound, there is a simple fact, the sounds need an avenue to escape.

So, if you place the unit into the depths of the hull on your boat, you simply can’t expect it to sound as loud, as if, say, you had the speaker visible, and more audible to the outside world. Dropping the Master Blaster sound unit into your hull is the easiest and simplest way of getting sounds emanating from your model. But remember, the more it is buried in the hull, the more diminished the sound will be. This is true for even the most expensive sound units costing as much as £100, if not more.

One way I choose to mount my sound units is to cut a hole of diameter 50mm into the highest part of the boat. You can either draw around the unit to act as a template, or use the cardboard tube inside a toilet roll as the diameter is approximately the same. If you have the smaller model of Master Blaster (the blue Super Improved unit), its diameter is 30mm, about the same as the lid of a spray can of WD-40. Once you have carefully filed around the edges of the hole, you will find that the unit is a tolerance fit into the circle you have just created.

Here is another view, and you will notice I have painted the chrome speaker surround in matt black to help disguise its appearance. One other place you might look to squeeze the Master Blaster into is the funnel of your boat, provided you don’t have a working smoke unit! This works really well for the Caldercraft Imara and Marie Felling boats, as if you slightly pinch the funnel on these models, the Master Blaster slots into the funnel very snugly indeed!

So, to get the best sounds from your unit, you need to provide air for the speaker to ‘breathe’. What I have done on my Model Slipway model of a Loyal Class Fleet vessel is to mount the speaker on the top deck, nearest to the aft of the vessel where the engine sounds would emanate from. Don’t forget (as with all things modelling) the four-foot rule applies: yes from a top-down view the speaker is clearly visible, but as we adults are five to six feet tall, when we view the model with a 30 degrees viewing angle on our lake or pond, we really won’t see the speaker once the boat has left the quayside, but we will definitely hear the sounds!

If you do choose to mount your Master Blaster in this fashion, it may well be worth your while purchasing the optional mains charger for only £12.99 as I doubt the included USB charge lead will stretch from the superstructure of your model to your PC or Mac. And for when you are out by the lake, and away from any power source, you may wish to consider our car lighter socket charger.

I hope this little explanation of what I have done to ‘keep making the right noises’ has been of some interest.

Mark Thatcher
Model Sounds LtdTM

And have a look at the pages below. Three of our customers have kindly taken the time to send us explanations with photos to show how they have fitted their Master Blasters:

Boat installation by Brian Rogers

Duck installation with servo operation by Chris Rigglesford

Double servo operation by Mick Jefcoate