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Ray S

SS Ophir Steam Coaster +++FINISHED+++

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Hello all!

I have decided to give a scratchbuild a try again. I have done two and a half scratchbuilds so far, but this will be my most complex.

Back in August I had a secondhand book for my birthday, Steam Coasters (by CV Waine). It has a number of ship plans in it, and this one took my fancy.

SS Ophir was built in 1908 by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Co in either Ayr or Troon. That is the sum total of my knowledge of the ship, google is not my friend on this one.

In true Britmodeller tradition, here is the 'kit - what's in the box' shots:

23661434429_46c9ca7ef3_z.jpg

24003181476_949bb6e940_z.jpg

23402512843_61df4ea20a_z.jpg

23661438939_ae7a4ea532_z.jpg

23661440079_6ec6f22ac6_z.jpg

As you can probably see, it will not be a total scratchbuild, I have some injection moulded lifeboats and some etch for ladders and railings.

I may not get it finished in time, but if not, I will carry on after the closing date!

It looks like there are a lot of great builds in the pipeline!

Roll on the start date!

All the best,

Ray

PS - Two things!

1- I still have to work out what scale it is, but it will be the same size as the drawings - there is a scale on the drawings but I have to figure out what 1/??? it is!

2- This build has been inspired by one of our colleagues on BM, namely Shipbuilder MN, who has done a lot of superb scratchbuilds, and has a few e-books about the process, although my build will use different materials to the way he does.

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I was about to ask how on earth you go about scratch-building a ship but then again we're going to find out after the 2nd :lol:

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Amazing indeed - watching with interest!

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Hello all.

I need some advice please:

I have minimal information for this ship, I cannot even find out the Company that sailed/leased it, so when I get to the finishing stages, I do not know the correct paint scheme. If I paint it in 'neutral' colours, it may well be wrong so could be thought of as a 'what if'.

I do not want to fall foul of the GB rules, so can you please advise? I am perfectly willing to move this to Maritime WIP, and have a perfect alternative for Made in GB GB in the shape of an EE Lightning T mk4, British through and through and totally factual!

Cheers,

Ray

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Hi Ray,

ss OPHIR - Actually completed/built at the end of 1907 by Ailsa Shipbuilding, Ayr but probably taken up by the new owner in 1908.

Scale of plan = 1:170

Colours - hull black, upperworks brown, Funnel buff with black top section, masts brown, Lifeboats white, Ventilator outside brown, ventilators inside red. You wouldn't be too far out if you used the same colours as the similar ss SHOTTON on page 79.

Names and owners:

1908 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1917 - OPPULENT - Fleet Messenger (Y4.75)Royal Navy

1919 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1943 - ELDORADO - Cable Sip/Armament Stores Carrier, Royal Navy

1946 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1954 - broken up at Llanelli, Wales by Rees Shipbreaking Co. Ltd.

HTH

Mike

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Not sure I'd know where to start!! Hence, I shall be watching and learning :)

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Hello all.

I need some advice please:

I have minimal information for this ship, I cannot even find out the Company that sailed/leased it, so when I get to the finishing stages, I do not know the correct paint scheme. If I paint it in 'neutral' colours, it may well be wrong so could be thought of as a 'what if'.

I do not want to fall foul of the GB rules, so can you please advise? I am perfectly willing to move this to Maritime WIP, and have a perfect alternative for Made in GB GB in the shape of an EE Lightning T mk4, British through and through and totally factual!

Cheers,

Ray

Hi Ray,

ss OPHIR - Actually completed/built at the end of 1907 by Ailsa Shipbuilding, Ayr but probably taken up by the new owner in 1908.

Scale of plan = 1:170

Colours - hull black, upperworks brown, Funnel buff with black top section, masts brown, Lifeboats white, Ventilator outside brown, ventilators inside red. You wouldn't be too far out if you used the same colours as the similar ss SHOTTON on page 79.

Names and owners:

1908 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1917 - OPPULENT - Fleet Messenger (Y4.75)Royal Navy

1919 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1943 - ELDORADO - Cable Sip/Armament Stores Carrier, Royal Navy

1946 - OPHIR - Zillah Shipping and Carrying Co. Ltd., Liverpool

1954 - broken up at Llanelli, Wales by Rees Shipbreaking Co. Ltd.

HTH

Mike

I'd personally feel satisfied if you were following the colours Mike has kindly detailed as genuine. When it comes to such matters 'best guess' is all too often what we modellers have to rely on in absence of definite information. Go for it :thumbsup:

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Mike and Col, thank you so much for the info and go-ahead!

I am relieved that I can do this for the GB, although I think I will also add the Lightning to this Made in Britain GB too and do both.

I am off to start cutting paper templates very soon!

Cheers, Ray

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Righty ho, off we go!

Thanks to Bootneck and Col I can get on with SS Ophir.

First up, how to interpret the drawings. Here is a better view of the rigging plan:

24150330525_f67f502063_z.jpg

It gives me frame shapes to gradually build up the shape of the hull, but the ship has a high freeboard fore and aft, but a lower one amidships. There is a curved line shown on the plan, which I think may be a deck line, but it appears to slope too much from the centreline to the sides. I have cut out the shapes from the mid-section foreward, but marked on the curve too for future reference. Each frame line is marked on the plan with a frame number, so to prevent issues, I have marked each piece of plastic accordingly. The numbers start at 0 amidships, and increase fore and aft, so I put a B on too, indicating Foreward (of course!). I just have to remember it does not mean Back!

Basically, I measured out the maximum width of the hull and marked that on some 20thou card, drew an accurate(ish) centreline, then traced as carefully as possible the frame diagram, then transferred that to the centreline drawn, then turned over the tracing to complete the frame, trimmed it out and sanded it to shape. I have also tried to take into account the thickness of the card skinning I will be using so the ship will not be too broad in the beam. I ended up with:

23523545233_4eebca28d3_z.jpg

As you can probably see, I am going to build SS Ophir as a waterline piece, so a base will be forthcoming too.

Oh yes, just one other thing, the inspiration for this build was a fellow BM'er, Shipbuilder MN. He has posted a lot of wonderful scratchbuilds in the Maritime section of Merchant Navy ships, and that has prompted me to have a go. I had already built a German River Monitor (SMS Rhein) a few years ago from scratch, but that was based on a paper model kit so I had 'parts' already worked out for me to make, but this is going one stage further for me.

Any advice, or if you see me thinking of doing something that is patently wrong, PLEASE let me know, won't you?

All the best,

Ray

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I have a feeling some of us are going to learn a lot about ships and ship-building while following your progress Ray.

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Col, I am not sure about learning about ship building, more like what NOT to do! A few examples may appear during this post!

Mess up No 1: I mentioned about the deck camber and how I thought it was too pronounced: well, here is the drawing that made me think that

23865354039_06b5b8c861_z.jpg

The series of dotted lines were what made me interpret this as deck camber. Well, there I was cutting out the second batch of frames when I thought 'Doh!' (or words to that effect), when it suddenly hit me that it did not show the deck camber, but the POSITION of the deck at the various frame points. I needed another plan. So I decided to cut out the 'keel' of the ship. I used 40thou card for this, as I wanted something fairly sturdy.

24125113732_cde66fa04d_z.jpg

I traced this out again using the higher definition plan I had copied, then stuck it to another spare plan and marked off the major frame line points onto one side of the card. I had cut the keel slightly short at the bow, to take into account the area where the hull sides converge at the bow.

Next up I rough cut out a base plate for the ship. I tried to get it reasonably close to the correct size, but will trim it up when the hull sides are attached. Then I fitted the keel and ensured it was vertical, and straight (not two of my best skills), but a steel rule and some Humbrol Liquid Poly soon sorted that out.

24233184185_bafe6089be_z.jpg

Do you see the frame line near the bow that I scrubbed out and redrew another just behind it? Well, that was a consequence of reading the lower definition plan rather than the hi-def one. A 4 and a 6 look quite similar! The crossed out line is the correct one!

23865348859_8b5cc3b041_z.jpg

I then started to add the cross frames. I had added one or three, when I had another epiphany, and realised that there was a reason my frames were a bit low against the keel. I had trimmed them according to my curved line taken from the plan (see frame 18).

I thought 'why not measure the height from the side plan? So

24150625041_b0eba88b7b_z.jpg

I laid the frame on the plan, and just marked the height from the waterline, and then got a much better match to the keel height when I added the frames trimmed this way.

24233186435_f7b9ebecc6_z.jpg

I eventually ended up replacing completely four frames at the bow which were way too short, and with my new found skill made three or four extra frames near the centre section to help the deck fit and slope better there. This is where Ophir sits at the moment, all but two frames added.

23606365273_63e1dcc81b_z.jpg

I removed the rearmost frame that is visible in one of the earlier pictures, I had added that to the base plate, but it should be under the deck as the rear of this ship is actually clear of the water. I still have to figure out how to do the stern, as the shape is quite involved, but that is part of the fun.

Thanks for looking, and please give advice if you see anything going wrong!

All the best,

Ray

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There looks to be a lot of work gone into making the skeleton of your project already Ray so you're off to a great start :goodjob:

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Think we need a 'Kudos button' for this build!

I tip my hat to you :coolio:

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Hello all. I have not not much done over the last couple of days, but I had an hour or two this afternoon spare, so I sanded level the rear frames and keel so I had a level base for the rear decking. I traced out then cut out from some twenty thou card that had .75mm V-grooves embossed/scribed in it, to represent the wooden deck that this ship appeared to have fore and aft. I tried a technique that was mentioned on the Evergreen packaging that came with the card, namely using coarse sandpaper 'wiggled' over the grooved surface to try and give the impression of woodgrain. Time will tell if that worked.

24217043231_8e7afebd99_z.jpg

I used plenty of glue to fit the deck to the keel and frames, then put some relatively heavy objects on it to settle it down onto the frames. I need to tidy up the outsides of the frames, but will do that once everything has set thoroughly.

Next up was the fo'castle/bow deck. This is a lot smaller than the rear decking, but was traced and cut out the same way. On the plans, the wooden part of the deck is surrounded by what looks to be a metal area, and I think the plan says it is a 'gutter waterway' (it is really awkward to see for me as it is just at the size where I cannot read it properly). In order to show that, I fitted some oblong section rod vertically around the edges of the wooden part of the deck. I am not sure if I am going to keep the one I have made and shown here, I may well re-do it, but fit the oblong part horizontally instead, which will widen the 'gutter' and be more in keeping with the plan.

24273406356_5b94f1b745_z.jpg

In the picture, I have fitted the first one of the gutters, but the other has been done now, and I will need to do one at the back too, but being straight, it will be easier to fit!

Well, that is it for now, but hopefully I can crack on in the week.

Thanks for all the lovely comments, they are really appreciated.

All the best, Ray

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If it's a gutter waterway, you may want a channel rather than the plastic strip - for the difference between a waterway, and a gutter waterway this link might help https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=e4D5dhtNoeYC&pg=PA242&lpg=PA242&dq=gutter+waterway+ship&source=bl&ots=M1pmfFIq5p&sig=Rk-uGmJ9QbRLdVL4tABQKzIN9_g&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjq04CGlKDKAhWGcRQKHYDNAsEQ6AEIOTAG#v=onepage&q=gutter%20waterway%20ship&f=false .

Scroll down to figure 188

Edited by Robert Stuart

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Robert, thanks for that link and advice. I have revisited the bow deck, and come up with something that looks better (at the moment) but I still may do a third effort, but I need to get to a model shop for some channel shaped plastic rod.

With my second effort I cut out a reduced size deck, underlaid it with the correct size piece of card, then fitted a thin strip around the top of the outside of the lower piece, which then left a channel around the wooden part. A picture should follow in a couple of days, due to work and model club meeting tomorrow.

Thanks again Robert

All the best, Ray

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Hello all. After a bit of a hiatus, I am back to this ship. I have had some severe headaches over these last few weeks, not all of which are model related, but one problem I have had is with the fore deck. The plan shows a gutter waterway around the planked area, and I have been trying to get something that looks okay. So far I have tried three times, but all are not up to the mark. I have also looked at the curvature I get on the edges of all the decks, and they are not symmetrical. I get one curve different to the other.

I had traced the whole outline of the decks, turned the paper over then re-drew the deck onto the plastic card. My drawing skills are not that hot. Then I had a brainwave (again not the cause of the headaches), and only drew HALF the deck, the port half. I also drew a datum line on down the centre line, traced those onto the plastic, then turned the paper over and used the original lines to put the second half down onto the plastic - result? Two identical halves to the deck so it became symmetrical. Simple I know, but I was dead chuffed that it worked! First up was the cargo deck, so here it is in place

24269031580_a356d68d7d_z.jpg

I then prepped the cross deck superstucture which butts up against the raised rear deck, and fitted some supports for it to glue onto later on:

24538385076_d51148d892_z.jpg

Next up is one section that is going to cause a spot of bother somewhere along the line, the hull sides. I cut out the shape of the hull sides from a spare copy of the plans, and cut out extra length fore and aft to take into account the curvature of the hull at bow and stern (I will sand down any areas which end up too high, as I continued the sheer fore and aft just in case). I used this as a template to cut out the general shape from 20thou card, then used sanding pads and files to bring it to the required size and shape more accurately.

23937741203_4aa892e72d_z.jpg

Then I cut out another rectangle of card, taped the original to it, then trimmed that and filed it so it was identical to the other:

24564567015_5d3035a028_z.jpg

24456247542_4614463f06_z.jpg

As is always required, lessons were learnt during this process, namely:- when using a scalpel to trim your plastic card, when you have your finger on the steel rule make sure the finger is not overlapping the edge where the blade is being used!

I am going to try bow deck number four tomorrow, but I may well end up with just a planked deck, as I don't think I can represent the gutter. I will show you a photo of all four decks when I have done, so you can see the issues!

I have also gradually been tidying up the frames and base plate, so when the hull sides do go on, it should be reasonably flat and not too bumpy. I will need to fit it gradually, as there are some subtle curves at the bow, and then trim at the rear end (transom?) where I will need to think of a different way of doing the hull as the card will not bend to the very complex lines at the back. I want to use the top part of the hull sides at the aft end as they form the solid 'railing' area - there is a word for it but I cannot remember what it is!

I think that will do so far, thanks for looking and for the encouragement.

Ray

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{snip}

As is always required, lessons were learnt during this process, namely:- when using a scalpel to trim your plastic card, when you have your finger on the steel rule make sure the finger is not overlapping the edge where the blade is being used!

{snip}

Ray

Are you adding red colour to the model already? :(

Been there, done that - no tee-shirt, but plenty of sticking plaster & bandages

Good progress on the model :)

Edited by Robert Stuart

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Sorry to hear about your headaches and sliced finger. Perhaps the sacrifice to the modelling gods will ensure smooth sailing for this one.

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