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Pappy

1/350 RAN Oberon SSG - HMAS Ovens

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G'day,

 

I am starting a new submarine build, it is a subject I have been wanting to do for quite some time as it fills a gap in my RAN submarine collection. The six Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Oberons were built between 1965 and 1978. The subject of this build will be HMAS Ovens. RAN Oberons underwent a fleet Submarine Weapons Update Programme (SWUP) during the 70's and one of the  noticeable changes was the larger teardrop shaped sonar housing above the bow. HMAS Ovens also became the first Oberon and only the second submarine to launch a Harpoon anti-ship missile from underwater in 1985 off the coast of Hawaii. The Oberons were some of the quietest submarines in the world at the time and there are periscope photos of US naval carriers taken by RAN Oberons during exercises demonstrating that they were able to penetrate the escort pickets of the carrier groups and close to within torpedo range. The Oberons were retired in 1990 and replaced by the Collins class submarines.

 

Flankerman recently built this kit (As HMS Opossum) here  so I apologise in advance if I cover some of the same ground again

 

The 'kit' comprises only a few parts and I am not exactly sure who the manufacturer is, I simply followed the link in Ken's build. Suffice to say, the kit was delivered quickly and arrived in excellent condition. The kit comprises only a few parts and the hull is cast as a single piece and in general it is well cast

 

006_zpsadg5jdoo.jpg

 

However, just like Ken, there is a casting seam or mould flaw laterally along each hull side

 

002_zpsjnitqiqj.jpg

 

003_zpsil8jsamo.jpg

 

The resin itself is also the hardest type I have ever come across, it is really quite hard although it still sands well and takes filler. The surface also has a slight pebbly finish which benefits from a light wet sanding with some medium sanding sticks.

 

Two types of bow sonar (early and late) are provided so I decided to add the bow sonar dome early as I didn't want to lose it and it would mean that I would not mistakenly add the incorrect one later. There was a raised key that the sonar dome parts sits on but I found it was slightly misaligned so it was easier to remove the key entirely and eyeball the fit instead

 

004_zpsp9zuncuh.jpg

 

005_zpsx977bfxe.jpg

 

Liquid filler was applied and smoothed off with a cotton bud to neaten the join

 

I sanded off the hull seam and checked for any imperfections. That is when the real fun started. It turns out that on the port side of the hull, lots of tiny little pin holes (and some quite big ones) were lurking waiting for their chance to be released as the hull seam was sanded. The ensuing days comprised of everyone's favorite game - fill, sand and repeat!

 

026_zpso12e7hsu.jpg

 

027_zpsvekdyjbn.jpg

 

Perseverance seems to have paid off eventually however, following a quick blast of paint (it is olive drab because I was painting some aircraft bombs) shows a satisfactory result

 

028_zpsepjb5hsq.jpg

 

The ventral fin/rudder and the prop shaft fairings were now ready to be attached. Again these had locating keys however the keys were too large (or the key ways too small?) for these to have an acceptable fit.

Interestingly, the rear dive planes are supplied already installed onto the ventral fin. The two dive planes are attached with a length of steel rod and are 'workeable'  however, to ease handling and painting I removed the aft dive planes from the ventral fin by simply pulling one of the dive  planes off the steel rod and put these aside for safe keeping. I shaved down the ventral fin key and completely removed the locating keys on the prop shaft fairings. Once attached, more liquid filler was added and the joins neatened. The prop shaft fairings had their support struts molded on however these looked a little crude and overscale so I removed these before hand and replaced them with some aerofoil section plastic strip cut to length

 

029_zpsumpn34up.jpg

 

030_zps6nifctnm.jpg

 

012_zpswf5x9xrs.jpg

 

013_zpsmhdfxkid.jpg

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

Edited by Pappy

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Nice one Pappy - I'll be following this with interest - to see how you solve the many minor issues with this kit.

 

You have already made a great start on those seams and the rear end - much better than my ham-fisted efforts... :thumbsup:

 

Ken

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1 minute ago, Flankerman said:

Nice one Pappy - I'll be following this with interest - to see how you solve the many minor issues with this kit.

 

You have already made a great start on those seams and the rear end - much better than my ham-fisted efforts... :thumbsup:

 

Ken

G'day Ken,

 

Don't sell yourself short mate, your build looked pretty good. There are lots of details missing, I will only be correcting the worst. I don't have any decals so I am not sure how I will resolved the 'waterline indicators'  (I don't know the right word for these) the XX marks that indicate how floaty or not the boat is (spot the jet builder!) but my main issue is that the anchor well is missing, or rather it is plated over. My references show that there should be one on the left side so I may have to grind out a recess and then find/scratch an anchor, I would have liked to do Opossum in the temp blue camo, but given the price of the kits, I think I will just build one.

 

Unless someone like Mikro Mir could be convinced to do an injected  one...

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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1 hour ago, Pappy said:

but my main issue is that the anchor well is missing, or rather it is plated over.

From a study of photos, it looks like the anchor and its well is covered by a sliding plate - presumably for 'stealth' purposes ?

 

This image of Ovens shows it quite well.... http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/Ovens-02.jpg

 

Here's another one :- https://c8.alamy.com/comp/GHHM79/hmas-ovens-oberon-class-submarine-on-display-outside-the-western-australia-GHHM79.jpg

 

Happy modelling....

 

Ken

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6 hours ago, Pappy said:

not exactly sure who the manufacturer is

Polar Bear Models. I have a couple of subs winging their way from Russia as we speak.

3 hours ago, Pappy said:

the XX marks that indicate how floaty or not the boat is

Draught marks.

Your 'boat' is coming along great. Will be interesting see what extra detail you'll be adding.

 

Stuart

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Another submarine thread and an Oberon no less. What's not to like!

 

Terry

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15 hours ago, Flankerman said:

From a study of photos, it looks like the anchor and its well is covered by a sliding plate - presumably for 'stealth' purposes ?

 

This image of Ovens shows it quite well.... http://www.navy.gov.au/sites/default/files/Ovens-02.jpg

 

Here's another one :- https://c8.alamy.com/comp/GHHM79/hmas-ovens-oberon-class-submarine-on-display-outside-the-western-australia-GHHM79.jpg

 

Happy modelling....

 

Ken

G'day Ken, that makes sense, I guess the door /plate could be installed when romping around the 'oggin' and removed when the boat returns to dock, hence keeping an acoustically 'clean' profile for patrol purposes? 

13 hours ago, Courageous said:

Polar Bear Models. I have a couple of subs winging their way from Russia as we speak.

Draught marks.

Your 'boat' is coming along great. Will be interesting see what extra detail you'll be adding.

 

Stuart

G'day Stuart,

 

I was hoping someone would seta  porr jet guy styraight, draught marks it is, cheers

5 hours ago, Terry1954 said:

Another submarine thread and an Oberon no less. What's not to like!

 

Terry

Exactly!

 

Now I have noticed that the sail/conning tower has a raised vertical line running down the right side only in addition to one running horizontally around the base on both sides. I don't have a pic handy but I am sure that the horizontal line is the grab rail but unsure about the vertical line.

 

Is this perhaps some sort of waveguide for the radar?  In any case, it is not present on my references for HMAS Ovens so I have sanded both lines off, and will replace the handrail later.

 

I also note that there is a small raised sqare in the middle of each side of the sail which I think is supposed to be the location of the left/right surface running lights. My references appaear to show these as being recessed. Is this correct and like the anchor, would there have been plates that were installed over their locations as well?

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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38 minutes ago, Pappy said:

but I am sure that the horizontal line is the grab rail

Gidday Pappy and Ken, the horizontal line is definitely a grab rail, as I've just checked some photos my son took when we visited the Ovens a number of years ago (the second photo you linked above). Below and parallel that on the left (port) side is a pipe of some sort. It is about half-way between the grab rail and the casing (deck), and points upward vertical for several inches at the front of the sail. I have no photos of the right (starboard) side I'm afraid, that side was not open to the public. This was about 2005.

     Also is a photo of the anchor plate you're discussing. It indeed covers the anchor when under way, but it hinges at the top and when anchoring swings outwards to about 45 degrees. It doesn't appear to slide open.

I'm afraid these photos are too large to post I think, being about 2200 x 1700 pixels. My son might be able to shrink them, or maybe you can google the sub at Fremantle Maritime Museum, images. I've just tried this and most photos show the anchor hatch closed (or in shadow) but one I've found shows it open, and also the pipe I was mentioning.   HTH.

     Regards, Jeff.

Edited by ArnoldAmbrose

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34 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Pappy and Ken, the horizontal line is definitely a grab rail, as I've just checked some photos my son took when we visited the Ovens a number of years ago (the second photo you linked above). Below and parallel that on the left (port) side is a pipe of some sort. It is about half-way between the grab rail and the casing (deck), and points upward vertical for several inches at the front of the sail. I have no photos of the right (starboard) side I'm afraid, that side was not open to the public. This was about 2005.

     Also is a photo of the anchor plate you're discussing. It indeed covers the anchor when under way, but it hinges at the top and when anchoring swings outwards to about 45 degrees. It doesn't appear to slide open.

I'm afraid these photos are too large to post I think, being about 2200 x 1700 pixels. My son might be able to shrink them, or maybe you can google the sub at Fremantle Maritime Museum, images. I've just tried this and most photos show the anchor hatch closed (or in shadow) but one I've found shows it open, and also the pipe I was mentioning.   HTH.

     Regards, Jeff.

 

G'day Jeff,

 

All of that is very helpful, thanks.

 

I have some pics that show two steps below the access door at the front of the sail, one immediately below and t'other offset to the portside and lower. There are also what looks like thin sections of waveguide in front leading from the upper deck/casing. Good info ref the achor cover plate hinge, you can also see it in the pic supplied by Ken in his post. It appears that Ovens is missing hers in the ref pic I have,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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5 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

hinges at the top

What about this?

6 hours ago, Pappy said:

raised vertical line running down the right side only

I believe this runs up to a whip like aerial that is fitted when surfaced.

You can see it here. minute 2:50

 

Stuart

Edited by Courageous

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The fin did have an emergency towing line recessed in it and covered over with filler, it ran down the side of the fin and along the bottom of the casing held in place with metal clips and then faired into the bow 

 

48626356168_f4f96e52a1_b.jpg14-03-2015 13;59;26 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr

 

In the photo it starts at the cut out in the top of the fin. On some of the boats the filling was quite rough and would show up as a vertical line running down the side, no fill, sand, check, repeat for that.   

 

The navigation lights were recessed in the side of the fin and would be turned out manually by the lookout when they were required

 

Willy

Edited by dolphin38

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8 hours ago, dolphin38 said:

The fin did have an emergency towing line recessed in it and covered over with filler, it ran down the side of the fin and along the bottom of the casing held in place with metal clips and then faired into the bow 

...and then we knew. :yes:

 

Stuart

 

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On 8/26/2019 at 6:40 PM, Courageous said:

What about this?

I believe this runs up to a whip like aerial that is fitted when surfaced.

You can see it here. minute 2:50

 

Stuart

 

On 8/26/2019 at 8:53 PM, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday all, I had a go at cropping the photo, which seems to have worked.

 

HMAS Ovens anchor hatch

 

Regards to all, Jeff.

 

On 8/27/2019 at 7:34 AM, dolphin38 said:

The fin did have an emergency towing line recessed in it and covered over with filler, it ran down the side of the fin and along the bottom of the casing held in place with metal clips and then faired into the bow 

 

48626356168_f4f96e52a1_b.jpg14-03-2015 13;59;26 by Phillip Wilmshurst, on Flickr

 

In the photo it starts at the cut out in the top of the fin. On some of the boats the filling was quite rough and would show up as a vertical line running down the side, no fill, sand, check, repeat for that.   

 

The navigation lights were recessed in the side of the fin and would be turned out manually by the lookout when they were required

 

Willy

Thanks you so much for all the great gouge, really helpful and interesting as well.

 

G'day people,

 

I decided to sand off the raised details from the sail and add my own

 

003%202_zpsvsze6vib.jpg

 

002%202_zps5mcjgesg.jpg

 

I have also made a start on the anchor well. The hatch area has been milled out with a motor tool

 

010_zpsw4buk3ou.jpg

 

I will scratch up the cover plate/door but first I will have to find something suitable to use as an anchor,

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

 

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G'day people,

 

So, I have blown the cobwebs off this project and it is moving forward again,

 

My references showed that there were several details missing or that could be improved

 

The anchor is covered by a plate, I ground away the recess for the anchor well and then fashioned a suitable shaped door from some scrap copper sheet

 

006(5).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

I also added  grab rail to the base of the sail. There was one provided as part of the moulding but I felt that it was a little overscale and I sanded this off and replaced it with with stretched sprue

 

007(4).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

There is also a slightly raised fairing running up the stb'd side of the sail. I used some airframe tape to simulate the panel

 

009(6).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

Finally, I noticed that in photos of RAN Oberons taken later in life there was what looked like an external waveguide running along the forward deck between the bow sonar dome and the sail

 

007(4).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo


006(5).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

Just about ready to paint

 

005(6).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

thanks for looking,

 

Pappy

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Thirded. Looking great. 
 

Maybe a follow-on Collins to compare the two?

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look what happens when o build a trawler, someone starts and build of a Oberon class boat, 8 brilliant years i had on Odin as a back aftie

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On ‎6‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 2:01 PM, Romeo Alpha Yankee said:

Nice to see this one getting attention again Pappy.

 

16 hours ago, Courageous said:

Yep, I agree with Ray. Good show.

 

Stuart

G'day ray and Stuart, thanks very much, it feels good to get this one going again. The trick will be to try and make an all black scheme inetresting without looking like a zebra

12 hours ago, GMK said:

Thirded. Looking great. 
 

Maybe a follow-on Collins to compare the two?

G'day GMK, I have already built a Collins, I was planning on putting it alongside when the final pics are posted up, otherwise, you can search for it in here somewhere....

7 hours ago, Kevin Aris said:

look what happens when o build a trawler, someone starts and build of a Oberon class boat, 8 brilliant years i had on Odin as a back aftie

It seems a lot of ex-O boat peeps get a bit weepy when they recall their time aboard them.  There used to be a well known ad for the RAN  when 'I were a lad', it was basicaly a montage of boaty type activities with the hook line being 'You'll be wet, you'll be homesick and firghtened but the pride of the fleet will be you!", apparaently this was the most successful RAN and Australian Defence Force recruiting campaign  evr run

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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G'day people,

 

Well, I have managed to add the topcoat and I am in the process of adding modulation by adding varying amounts of white and brown to the basic colour.

 

001(9).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

007(5).JPG?width=590&height=370&fit=boun

 

006(6).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

I am keeping the modulation coats very thin and it is a little hard to see in the pics but it is definitely there

 

003(10).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=b

 

004(9).JPG?width=1920&height=1080&fit=bo

 

These boats looked pretty well maintained in my reference pics but I will still add a few more effects for interest before adding the final detail items.

 

Does anyone have any pics for the locations of the draft markings?

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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Posted (edited)

They are just aft of the foreplanes. Seen some in Roman numerals and some just as dashes (both in white or red) - doesn;t help much i'm afraid.

This might though....

spacer.png

 

Edited by gibbo99

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G'day Gibbo,

 

Don't sell yourself short, the pic is useful and along with Arnold's earlier post  both indicate the markings are behind the fwd dive planes and fwd  of the aft dive planes. My next problem is where do I source red draft markings from? The kit did not provide any instructions let alone decals!

 

cheers,

 

Pappy

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No idea where to get/buy them from. I'm only just getting back into things after a good 30 or so year break lol

Waiting on a Resolution and Florida (SSGN) to turn up :)

 

Some other pics to give your more options...

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Looking great Pappy. You'd be surprised the effects that can be achieved with different varnishes. I tend to paint my Brit subs overall in a satin black, matt varnish the decks to achieve the non-skid effect and glass varnish the sonar arrays with other little details.

As for draft mark decals, I know nothing except the kit options 'cos I looked for my own builds. Draft marks can be white, red and as above, blue but I never saw blue in my 9 years on boats.

 

Stuart  

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