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After a very long absence, I'm back building again! The new house was a considerable refurbishment job, back to plaster and boards plus complete garden strip out so it took a little longer than I had hoped. New workshop is on the top floor so for the first time, I'm not in a shed, nice to be warm... I've been planning this thread during that time and I believe I've assembled enough information to do the subject justice, scratch-building the original 70ft Vosper MTB with a wooden hull and metal fittings as is my style, in 1:48th scale making a nice neat model 17.5 inches long. Along the way I will produce my own drawing set for this type to 1:48th scale, available to anyone who wants copies. 1:48th scale naval crew figures are available on Shapeways so it can be populated Now the challenge, volunteers needed... And before anyone mentions it, I know the old joke about the navy calling a volunteer, someone who misunderstood the question...." I've long considered creating my own "bare" kits using my techniques for others could construct. By "bare" I mean drawings and all the hard stuff will be supplied but basic materials (tube, strip wood etc) won't be This relatively simple project is the first such kit I intend to develop and I'd love it if one or two others could follow me building their own copies and providing feedback. This idea is that I'll do all the artwork, drawings, etc for etchings, laser cut and printed parts, anyone following with their own copy would only have to purchase the etched or laser cut copy. 3D drawing for the printed parts would be available for free, if you want me to print them, I'll take a small donation towards the cost of resin only. This is certainly not about me making any money, its about seeing if I can produce the information and components for others to build museum quality wood and metal models. Of course I will post the whole build here, but others following can also post their progress and reactions to the final form becomes a collaborative effort. If no one joins in, I'll still carry on, but I felt it would be more fun if a few of us went through the journey together and I get direct feedback on what I can do better. I realise that not everyone is into silver soldering so brass-etched assemblies will also be available as resin components. Budget wise, I'm hoping those collaborators can get this done for around £100 all in spread over the next 6 months or so. Any laser cut parts and etchings will benefit from my correcting my mistakes and re-doing the artwork (I make loads of mistakes) before other copies are made available. The hull construction will be wood. I intend to use 1/64th ply strips and double diagonal plank the hull. I've done this once before, its actually easier than tapered planking and the same as the full size practice for this vessel. No one need commit until I've shown this idea works I've assembled the following reference material I have three plans, the John Lambert one, a 1991 plan from Model Shipwright with lines and this drawing from IWM that I believe the other two are based on As this is a Vosper drawing, I'm using this as the master coupled with the lines from the model shipwright plan. From these I will produce my own 1:48th scale drawings. This drawing is applicable to MTB's 31 - 40 only. MTB57-66, 69-70 and 218-221 were also 70ft boats but the hatches and engine room vent look like they changed over time so I can't be sure the drawing is applicable to those. If we assume it is, then MTB61 could be constructed which was a conversion into a MGB mounting 3 Breda cannons which looks very cool. Depending on how purist you are, its probably close enough. One distinctive feature of this drawing is the wheelhouse shape and the curved wind break as you can see clearly on these pictures of MTB34 MTB74, the St Nazaire raid conversion, was a 72ft 6in boat, don't know where the lines were stretched for that sub-type. It's a shame because that is a very cool looking one-off Still Coastal Craft History vol 1 has colour renders of 32, 34 and 35. For my model, I'm leaning to MTB34 as shown in the image below So that is the plan. Any one who fancies joining me on this little journey (wood for wood, metal for metal), reply in the thread or PM me Cheers Steve
Finally, I've got some time to start the post on my next scratch build, a 1:48th scale Denny SGB, actually S304 Grey Fox, IWM picture below, at 145ft, the model will be ~36 inches long in old money. Warning, I expect this build to take a year or so. This time I really will try to make everything (apart from the split-pin stanchions), but some complex components will be 3d printed, though to my own drawings. I'm also going to have a go at the propellers, printed in wax and then cast, may as well go for it... My aim is to produce full drawings, components and etchings so others could build the same model if they wish. I will document it all here, mistakes and all I have two professional plans, one available on line by G Stone in 1:48th scale and one from model shipwright no 87 (March 1994) But as I do with all major builds, I also contacted the maritime Museum in Greenwich (actually the old brass foundry in Woolwich) who have the archive of all naval vessels since the 18th century. They claim to have an example of every type that served in the navy and they have a number of drawings of SGB's. I chose three drawings of SGB303 (the sister of S304), which include the GA and the shell expansion, a vital piece of the puzzle for plated models. At 36 inches long, the model is too large for my block infill so I'm going to plank it on frames and then plate the outside with aluminium sheet to the shell expansion drawing, rivets included. Shell expansions show stuff other drawings omit, like the water intake and outlet for instance. A section of the drawing is shown below and on it you can see the inlet is rectangular and on the centre line, I've not seen that detail before. This section also shows the layout of the outlet with the doubler plate etc. In other parts of the drawing is it clear that the portholes on port and starboard where not in the same place, again, where else could you find that sort of detail? From a scan of the lines (actually from the model shipwright drawing which looks a higher quality piece of work) I prepared a cutting drawing of the keel and frames. The frames have been set back by 2mm to allow for the planking. The keel is 5mm ply but the stem and the docking keel will be made of brass, inset in the ply as the former is sharp and the latter much thinner than the ply (poor quality copy below I started yesterday by cutting out the keel and setting in the brass, seen below on a temporary building board to keep everything straight. Keeping hulls straight is a real challenge as the planking can frames can easily end up twisted (I know this from experience) so I make a lot of fuss at this stage, sometimes it pays off... The hull will have a large slot in the deck for the deck-house. I'm not going to build a working model, but this could easily be done and then the slot would allow access to the motors battery etc. For me is helps to keep the deck house separate until very late in the build, then is will just slot in The frames were printed and mounted to 3 mm ply for cutting out Much later today... More timber to keep things straight. I've had to slot the build board as the boat does not have an exposed keel apart from the small docking keel at the back. I'll be planking it upside down, more detail later. The platform at the back holds the alignment holes for the rudders, you can also see the holes for the prop shafts (5" dia) After much fettling, I glued it up, tape is holding everything straight (I have a phobia about straightness....) So, we're off and running, sheer strakes going in tomorrow
Following on from my Build Thread here is the model on its shiny oak base. The vessel modelled is S-46, one of only 12 s-boats fitted with the 40mm Bofors (according to table 13 in Fock). The model is fully scratch built from plans obtained from Paul Stamm Modellbau in Saarbrücken, supplemented with other drawings from various publications and some excellent unpublished photographs provided by @Arjan for which I am very grateful The hull is solid wood, built up using balsa infills between ply frames, the superstructures are largely copper, supplemented with etch brass made by 4D to my drawings. Many of the other components are 3D resin printed also to my own drawings. It is painted using Vallejo paints from their Kriegsmarine set and weathered to look like its having a hard war. The following extract is from S-boot net describing how the boat was lost On 10.09.1943 the Red Army landed in the city of Novorossijsk. Six days later the town had to be evacuated. On 11.09.1943 Soviet ground attack aircraft attacked the boats of the 1. SFltl returning home. Not impressed by the defensive fire they pushed down to 10 m height and fired with onboard guns. On "S 46" all engines fell out, the torpedo in the port tube exploded and tore the forecastle off until the bridge. In spite of the ongoing attacks "S 49" went alongside and took over the partly severely wounded crew and two killed in action. The boat was then sunk with a torpedo. She is modelled as she was in 1942 serving with the 2nd flotilla based in the pens at Ijmuiden, as per the picture below. She is equipped for fast minelaying She is mounted on turned brass pillars on French polished solid oak. The name plate is from engraving studios, £12.50, good value and fast turnaround. The oak case is not ready yet, a couple of weeks away hopefully The papier mache canvas sides worked well this time. They sit slightly concave between the stanchions and have a nice level of weathering. The waterline is my own mix oily green weathering, very dilute Vallejo paint, stippled on and wiped off a number of times, resulting in a dark weathered line with a slight green hint The ensign is hand painted and soaked in weak PVA before drying in shape, the transfer was printed on my laser printer on transparent waterslide decal paper, the decks are canvas covered as per real practice View of the rear, note the slop bucket. I read somewhere that the crew had no head, they used a bucket and chucked it over the stern, had to include that detail. The mines are UMC mines, 3D printed with added wire detailing, the Bokors is made from 40 odd brass turned, etched and shaped pieces Midships and bridge detail, the lookout is there to show the help people understand the scale View from the air Comparison post coming later with my SGB Cheers and thanks for the support during the build Steve
While I continue my research and drawings on the SGB I'm about to build, I thought I'd share some information on Turbinia, a model I completed ~6 years ago and entered into the 2014 Model Engineering Exhibition where it won a bronze metal and a cup for the best dispplayed ship model Below are the complete judging notes I prepared for the show: Ship details Turbinia was built by Charles Parsons in 1894 as a demonstration steam yacht to prove the feasibility of using stream turbines to power ships. When she was launched, she was the fastest vessel ever built, eventually achieving almost 35 knots, an amazing speed for a vessel only 100 feet long. Most famously, she gate crashed the 1897 Spithead review where the entire home fleet was drawn up for the Queen’s inspection. Sailing between the lines of battleships, she comfortably outpaced the torpedo boat chasers used as guard ships. I believe that from that point on, all new British warships were fitted with turbines, the propulsion unit that paved the way for the Dreadnought revolution. Her statistics are: Length: 103’ 9” Beam: 9’ Draught: 3’ Turbinia is preserved today in a museum in Newcastle. The model shows the yacht after a funnel rebuild as she was around 1900, generally as she is preserved. Sources The model was built using three plans: A John Haynes plan @ 1:48 scale: contains a number inaccuracies on the lines and the deck-house locations but useful for some details A model Shipwright plan set by Charles Sells @ 1:24 scale: much better, the lines are based on this plan A small plan reproduced in a booklet produced by Ken Smith in 1996, reproduced below, seems to be from original drawings and so taken as very accurate, albeit small Many current photographs of the preserved ship in the Newcastle museum and various contemporary pictures found on-line As with all plan sets drawn by others, once you get into the detail, discrepancies arise. However, the basics start with the frame centres. In Turbinia is was simple to work out that the frames are at 18 inch centres. The enables the deck houses to be positioned exactly as their ends have to rest on frames. It also positions the stanchions (also on frames) and a good guess at the longitudinal breaks in the shell plating. After a lot of thought, as no shell expansion drawing was available, it was decided to use 5 plates at the mid-ships point, giving a maximum plate width just less that 4’. As the keel strake has to be an inner, the bilge strake is an outer and the sheer strake an inner again. This seems to agree with the pictures of her in dry dock following a collision that nearly sunk her. I’m guessing that rivet lines are weaknesses and flush riveting expensive so minimising rivet lines makes sense. The shell plates all meet between frames (often forgotten that they cannot be joined on a frame line) and no two joins are in the same frame space. It may not be exactly as she was built, but it makes sense to construct it in the way. The bilge strake runs smoothly into the top of the flared stern, this can be seen clearly on one of the dry dock pictures. The deck plating is interesting. Three strakes were used as can be seen from the pictures, with a mixture of flush and raised riveting. I’ve followed this pattern from the photographs. The raised riveting makes sense where the jolly boat is as it provides more purchase when handling the boat. I’m not sure why they went to the trouble of flush rivets elsewhere though. Hull construction The basic hull is solid wood constructed around 1/16” ply frames as shown in the drawing below: The frames were drawn on a CAD package with keel slots, printed and stuck to ply with spray mount before cutting out. The keel, also from 1/16” ply was held straight with 2 x ¼” timber sections. After this was sanded to the downward curve of the rear deck, the whole frame was locked together with a flat deck plate from 1/32” ply. The forward deck house was originally designed to be visible and so this section of the hull was planked. In the event, so little could be seen through the desk house windows that extra interior detail here as omitted. Obeche blocks were cut to slide between the frames, glued and then sanded back to the ply frames. This made a very strong and straight hull with the fine stern deck slope correctly featured. The hull was then painted in a clear liquid epoxy to harden it, allowing for further shape refinement and to act as a firm base for the Aluminium hull plating. The cambered deck was added as a superimposed additional 1/32” ply section on top of a central strip of wood sanded fore and aft to simulate the complex compound curve of the deck. The superimposed deck section contained cut-outs for the funnel and deck houses, allowing them to have flat bases. The three propeller shaft tubes (in brass) were set into the frames before the blocks were added. The hull plating lines were marked out on the hull, with the plate butt lines marked to ensure stagger. Each plate was then cut from Aluminium sheet (4 thou for inner strakes, 8 thou for outer) and bonded to the hull with contact adhesive. With the exception of the stern, all plates are single curvature. The stern plates were heated and beaten to shape. The deck plates were similarly marked and cut out, however, on the deck, the frame lines had been drawn so that the rivet detail could be worked out where non-flush riveting is used. The rivets here are made with a wheel from the back of the plate, again remembering that deck plates do not join on frame lines. Deck houses and fittings The deck houses are made in wood and then plated in Aluminium with rivet detail marked out on the reverse as with the deck plating. The wheel house is made from sheet Copper over a wooden buck, silver-soldered as are the wheel house sliding doors. The funnel is made from sheet brass (for strength) and mounted on a wooden Aluminium lined buck. I included the two smoke stacks inside the funnel casing, the boiler is double ended and I assumed two stacks were used. The fittings are built up from custom etched parts (produced by 4D Model Suppliers) from my artwork (shown below) This contains: Deckhouse rivet flanges & rivet strips Steering quadrant pieces Window frames (2 parts each) Stanchion bases Hatches Deck lights Coal scuttles Wheelhouse portholes Propeller blades The 9 left and right hand propellers are a key feature on the vessel. They were made by turning the hubs in brass and then silver-soldering the blades on in a jig. The outer circle holds the blades, which have been turned through 45 deg, for soldering. After which it is cut away. The window frames were soldered together over an Aluminium jig which held them centred. The Perspex glazing was then snapped in. Using relief etching provides the opportunity for including all rivet detail, quite distinctive on some of the hatches and of course the deck-house flanges. The sheet illustrated was etched in 22 thou brass and produced ~300 pieces from an A5 sheet. The colour code means; Red is half etch from face and; Cyan is half etch from rear. The 10’ ships boat was made with tissue paper and dilute PVA over a wooden buck containing the planking lines. This was then lined on the outside in card when dry and then fitted out in the normal manner. The mast and flag yard are scratch made in brass as are the other minor fittings. I’ve fitted her with an Admiralty pattern anchor, not the Hall’s anchor she has today. This type of anchor is shown on some contemporary photographs and looked interesting to me. I’m guessing she could have carried either. Studying the photographs, the life rings were stored on the outside of the handrails, which seems unusual practice, but is probably due to the limited width on deck. Colours and display The colours follow the pattern of the preserved vessel with the exception of the hull below the water line. This has now been painted black, but contemporary references talk about dark green. Early models also show the hull in green and this colour was used on the vessel before it was moved to Newcastle. This illustration shows a model from the Science Museum. The hull is dark green below the water-line (which is set too low on this model, see contemporary pictures showing a much higher water line). I decided to use this colour for the model, there is plenty of evidence of a green hull and it lifts the model as it would have the actual vessel. The name on her side was a custom water slide made based on a drawing of the ship as preserved. Display is always a difficult problem. For this model, I decided to display it in a simulated dry dock to set it off and add scale to the model. Turbinia is a strange model to scale in your mind as there are no natural scale clues that really help. Adding the dry dock and the figure touching up the paint anchors the scale well. I took some hints from pictures of her in dry dock after a collision but the actual dry dock is not a true model, more a complex stand. She is shown finished and ready to re-float with all her paintwork bright, though age on the deck houses show she is not new. The bright paintwork is set-off by the dull grey dock. No flags are flown as she is not yet floating. The next post shows the completed model