I decided to go to town, quite literally, with these. Off to a Coventry model shop went I , and there purchased brass wire, some large gauge balsa dowel and some tins of paint, including a fluoro green as a change from the usual fire orange.
I like the brass stems very much. Visually better than alloy, and heavier too, so the shotting required won't be quite so bulky as it would have been otherwise. I also added brass wire eyes at the shoulders and the top of the wire stem too, so large diameter float rubbers won't be necessary with these floats. I don't know if the eyes will catch weed. They might, we'll see. If they do, then of course the eyes will be optional. They make them look like large pole floats, and I suppose they could be used as pole floats too. There's no reason why they shouldn't be useful there...
They were laborious to create first time though. Lots of mistakes were made, as you'd expect. I don't have a lathe (yet!) so the bodies were turned in an electric drill, which was an interesting process! I persisted with it though, and eventually mastered it well enough to turn out this pair.
Painting them was a bit of a faff. The 'Ice' version went really well first time but then I had to paint the tip with a band of black and the orange sight tip too, and that required mounting the float in the drill tip first, because wire first made the float body flail about dangerously. This marked the tip with impressions left by the chuck. Not good.
With the 'Rush' version, all went well until I tried the new tin of black paint out and found it would not behave itself. This finish requires an exact consistency of paint to work properly, get it wrong and the paint simply won't form the surface pattern I want. Eventually I sorted this out and it worked OK, but for a very brief moment, before it all went wrong again. I'll have to go to town and get the original paint in, as it worked better.
As always with making float types the first time, there is a lot to learn, and a lot of ingenuity is required if good results are what you are after. I'm very pleased with these, and can't wait for the river season to start so I can try them, and their offspring, out.