It is rare to see the US and Australian navy darting between each other so quickly. It is even more rare to see World War II couriers working alongside current serving destroyers.
Most of the time, they would not be able to fit together in a commercial outdoor swimming pool. But they can when they are built to a 1:72 scale for Wagga’s annual Task Force 72 radio controlled model demonstration.
At the weekend, 120 model remote controlled carriers and escorts jetted about the Oasis Aquatic Centre outdoor pool.
Wagga’s Task Force 72 club has been running for 20 years, and now has eight members who build several ships a year.
“They’re made to scale so that, if you see them in the water from a distance it should look no different to if you were actually watching the real navy vessels in action,” said event organiser Brian McCrawe.
The models are mostly home built from fibre glass, high-impact plastics and polyurethane resin. On average, each boat takes with 12 months and two years to build.
“Some of them can take years to build, depending on how much research needs to go into getting it right,” Mr McCrawe said.
“There are a few of our members who have been in the navy, and the last thing you want is for them to start poking at your model saying ‘that’s wrong, that’s not right, it doesn’t look like that in real life’.”
Mr McCrawe joined the group when it started in 1998. At the time, he was more interested in building model airplanes but an injury in his hand made it hard to control the fast flyers.
“Boats are slower, they take more time to turn so you don’t have to be as quick on the controls to be able to maneuver it,” he said.
“But I think it’s a pretty addictive hobby anyway. As soon as you see it going around the water, you’re hooked really.”