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Well, almost as soon as I wrote that I should have used 0.1 mm plate, I decided to change to that thickness, which means tearing the starboard plating off and starting again.  Luckily, the impact adhesive is quite easy to strip off with cellulose thinners.  However, before I went ahead and destroyed most of last weekends work, I decided to do the port side to make sure I was right.

 

0.1mm aluminium plate comes in sheets and almost anything marks the surface.  Placing a tool down on it makes a mark, it drives you mad.  Still I know from experience that these can all be dealt with later on while painting using fine surface filler and wet&dry paper.  However, impact adhesive cannot be used as it is impossible (well for me anyway) to put it on thin and even enough not to show through the plate once stuck.  So I've used Gorilla superglue with the brush applicator, but its very easily damaged and comes away when caught.  Also, it needs holding in place with tape to flatten the joggling.  Anyway, enough moaning, its actually quicker to use the thinner sheet so here is the port side ready for the keel plate

DSCN1623

    Its had a light rub down with superfine wire wool to take the sheen off.  As I said, this is the worst it will look (I hope) but I'm much happier with the lap joints on this side.  There are quite a few stepped plates, working out how to plate a hull is an art....

 

I mentioned earlier that I intend to use propellers to my own design and have Shapeways cast them in brass.  Drawing a propeller in 3d is an interesting challenge but after a few attempts, I'm happy with this design (right and left hand of course).  They will cost $20 each plus P&P but where else could you get 54" propellers at 1:48th scale that have the right body shape?  The image shows the final cad drawing and one of them loaded into Shapeways site for casting.  They 3d print the wax and cast it with lost wax technique, $20 seems cheap really.  They have a 2.1mm hole to suit a 7ba thread which is the size I need for the shaft

 

prop design

 

I've also done some work on the midships gun platform in copper, if I get a chance tomorrow, I post a couple of wip pics

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In case anyone was wondering, I've not given up, we're away on holiday so not able to make any progress.  However, before we left, I managed a day in the workshop and spent it on some superstructure detail.  

 

What is clear on the admiralty drawing but much less clear on the commercial ones is a very distinctive engine room intake vent just forward of the mast.  This is obscured by the searchlight platform so easy to miss, but at least one picture shows its form and then the drawing makes some sense.

 

Below is my attempt at making it in brass, a bit rough close-up but I think it will do once painted etc.

 

DSCN1625

 

You can also see the midships gun platform with a brass angle trim (which looks a bit small here).  The extension to the rear for the RUL has 4" tubular corner supports, still to be made

 

I also made a start on the bridge sides in copper, not terribly clear in this picture.  The copper will continue all the way round the bridge including the semi-circular lookout wings

 

DSCN1626

 

I also found some spare old etchings of the right size water-tight door,just visible in this picture

 

Anyway, meant to post this before we left but time ran out, will be back at the end of the week and should be able to make some progress the following weekend

 

Meanwhile, for the plane buffs, Palm Springs Air Museum offers 20 minute flights in a 1944 C-47 (actually a Dakota as she served with UK forces).  I couldn't resist, such a treat and some great views of the mountains...

 

DSCN1646

 

 

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Very nice Steve, another brilliant build in the making :thumbsup:

 

Regards

Richard

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Hey, you're in my part of the world. Hm, it was cold and rainy yesterday here in the OC... <_<

 

If you're still in the Palm Springs area, check out Rare Plane Detective.

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38 minutes ago, dnl42 said:

Hey, you're in my part of the world. Hm, it was cold and rainy yesterday here in the OC... <_<

 

If you're still in the Palm Springs area, check out Rare Plane Detective.

Yup, we're here til Saturday, not the weather we hoped for but a nice rest, will check them out, look interesting, thanks

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Steve - there's not a lot rough that I can see with that intake vent!!

Nice Flight!!

Safe journey home

Rob

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20 minutes ago, robgizlu said:

Steve - there's not a lot rough that I can see with that intake vent!!

Nice Flight!!

Safe journey home

Rob

Silver-soldering the half-rounds should have been better, but I decided to leave it this time, I get too fussy sometimes.

 

The flight was great fun, they flew right up against the mountains and let us walk around and up to the flight deck, really an excellent experience!! 

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5 hours ago, Steve D said:

The flight was great fun, they flew right up against the mountains and let us walk around and up to the flight deck, really an excellent experience!! 

That sounds magic. I've just added Palm springs to my RTW* Intinery. :)

*Round the world tour of aircraft (& tank & warship) museums & aviation attractions. (In my dreams)

Steve.

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4 days work, not a huge amount to show for it.  I've carried on with the copper work on the superstructure, some of it quite tricky

 

The bridge wings were interesting to say the least and of course I had forgotten to allow a space in the wall for the chart box, sigh!

 

DSCN1671

 

That's 1mm x 0.5mm half round around the bridge wings, v touchy to solder, still I got there in the end.  one of the benefits of using metal for metal is that it gets knocked about a bit (well it does when I'm working it...) and that also happens in real life, so the surface has a realistic look to it.. The curved wings have 1mm round soldered to the open vertical edge for strengthening.

 

The tabernacle on this ship is unlike anything I've seen in the past.  its an aerofoil shape. The picture below shows the core piece before the wood was added and shaped

 

DSCN1670

 

Those gaps in the aluminium will be filled before painting of course

 

Then came the compass platform and the funnel...., you can also just see the tabernacle shaping in this shot

 

Remember this is a steam gunboat, so the funnel is a steam vent with an outer casing, super fussy to make, I've been at it all day.  As I write this, I'm wondering if I need to add a casing frame to the funnel top.  These support the rain cover and are normally convex.  None of the picture or drawing show anything, but I does look rather open.  Anyone with any thoughts on this topic, they are most welcome

 

DSCN1674

 

It still has the base casing to make and of course the conical skirt that hides the holes for the casing updraft.  Those are sooo tough to make, I've left it for next weekend.  There's also some distinctive rivet bands (I have some old etchings that will do that) to be added but they just get glued as I'm done with soldering that outer casing.  Again, this is all raw before filling and painting, it will turn out OK and once painted back, it will be hard to see down it where the firebox vents are not modelled...

 

As a last little job, I added the radial anti-slip bands to the midships gun platform

 

DSCN1675

 

Obviously, lots more detail to go in here, not least the wind deflectors and the inner step pieces, wheel, telegraph, handrails etc etc etc but the big pieces are getting sorted.  Another weekend on this and I'll go back to the hull plating.  Also, I ordered my custom propeller in bronze from Shapeways (coming early March), very much looking forward to seeing how that turn out, a major first for me.  If I can make decent propellers that way, it really helps.  

 

I've also put quite a few hours into drawing for the first etching set which will cover the hull fittings and the torpedo tubes.  I'll share that art work as it comes together

 

Steve

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Very excited today to receive a parcel for Shapeways in America, the propellers have arrived. :yikes:

 

Given this is my first attempt at a 3D drawing for a bronze casting, the result really exceeds my expectation, how cool are these?...

 

DSCN1676

 

That's how they come, and I didn't pay extra for polishing. I'm totally amazed that they can print wax so finely, those blades are super thin.  For once in my life, the first time worked :yahoo:

 

If any of you have a problem needing bespoke propellers, I'll be happy to help

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1 hour ago, Steve D said:

Very excited today to receive a parcel for Shapeways in America, the propellers have arrived. ...

Those props look awesome, Steve.

 

Does Shapeways 3D print the mould & then send it to the casting people, or does Shapeways do the casting & polishing, as well as the mould?

 

 

John

 

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1 hour ago, JohnWS said:

Those props look awesome, Steve.

 

Does Shapeways 3D print the mould & then send it to the casting people, or does Shapeways do the casting & polishing, as well as the mould?

 

 

John

 

They turnkey the whole process, print in wax, cast and finish, how cool is that?

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Those look amazing, so, 3d printed wax master then lost wax casting from the master, that is incredibile to my mind, but the look is brilliant.

Steve.

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4 hours ago, stevehnz said:

Those look amazing, so, 3d printed wax master then lost wax casting from the master, that is incredibile to my mind, but the look is brilliant.

Steve.

What's even more amazing, is that the total cost was ~£36 including shipping and they came in just 10 days.  £18 for a bespoke bronze prop is not expensive in my book and the finish is great

 

Steve

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Sorting out the searchlight platform today, I realised that I had read the drawing incorrectly and the engine room vent is actually square.  The circle is the searchlight platform, not the vent.  It looks like the platform has 4 legs, two on the bridge deck and two on the lower deck.  The problem is that the vent is a really tight fit between these legs (for tight fit read doesn't fit, not even close...) :wall:

 

 A lot of filing later, it did fit, by then the round rear legs were D shaped, but its OK.  The circular support beam was turned on the lathe with my new boring tool, that bit at least worked.  From what I can make out, the stanchions slope outwards to create a flared look and give the searchlight operator room to breath, but that's for another day.  I keep taking pictures of the worst corner of the vent, that will get itself filled before painting

 

DSCN1677

 

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I'm going to attempt to cast the engine room skylights, starting with resin, but I can also do soft metal using this silicon rubber as it can take the higher temperature.  We'll see which has the better finish

 

I made one in brass and mounted it in a mould box as shown below.  The spray wax is to allow the rubber to release from the wood.  Once its cured I'll flip it over and open cast into the rubber

 

 

DSCN1679

 

Be interesting to see if that detail survives, more tomorrow

 

Meanwhile, I completed the funnel structure with the air intake skirt  and casing and carried on with the aluminium surfacing.  The funnel has three distinct external straps on each side, an unusual detail I've not seen before  It does not appear to have any wire bracing, perhaps these were the flanges of T sections providing strength.  The funnel really helps complete the lines of the ship 

 

There are no rivets on the slope as the builder GA shows that as a Boston's locker, I'm going to add the locker lid to the first etching set so this surfaces will mostly be covered.  Tomorrow I hope to get the time to build the support frame for the rear of the gun platform and cast some skylights

 

DSCN1681

 

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Quick update from today, managed to get the gun platform lower frame in, a bit more aluminium and also in the distance, the first internal framing panel on the bridge walls

 

DSCN1682

 

The skylight mould didn't really work, probably too fine, need to think again....  Anyway, superstructure is coming together one piece at a time

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Outstanding! Not often we see so much copper being used but it obviously works very well. 👍

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1 hour ago, Bandsaw Steve said:

Outstanding! Not often we see so much copper being used but it obviously works very well. 👍

Where there are curves and it needs to be structural and soldered, copper is the best, I find brass too hard.  This is all in 0.3mm which I've not used before, working well so far and you can cut it with a knife, though it blunts it quickly

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7 hours ago, Murdo said:

:worthy:

One piece at a time, 20 years of frustration and nothing is ever as good as I want it.  Somehow however, I feel on the end the model will work out.  I lok at the pictures and just see the mistakes, like the funnel rear edge lifting up slightly, obvious in that picture

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Steve - those props are things of beauty B):coolio:

Fabulous overall progress.  

She really is beginning to look da Bizz!

Rob

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41 minutes ago, robgizlu said:

Steve - those props are things of beauty B):coolio:

Fabulous overall progress.  

She really is beginning to look da Bizz!

Rob

Thanks Rob, I was actually really pleased with how they turned out.  I'm so tempted to use brass casting for the guns as well, metal should be modelled as metal is my mantra and the level of detail they can achieve is incredible

 

Steve

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Some tips for making silicone rubber moulds -

1 - Make the mould box at least 15mm and preferably 20-25mm larger all round than the master.

2 - Pour the rubber into the corner of the box and not onto the master. Also pour slowly with a very thin stream of rubber. This is very important as it burst air bubbles formed my mixing the resin and reduces the formation of bubbles between the master and the rubber.

3 - When casting is poured use a rectangle of 60-80thou(1.5-2mm) plasticard with holes drilled in it to form a top to the casting to give a flat surface. Place 1 edge of this to the rubber and push across the top lowering it as it crosses the casting, so that it wnds flat to the rubber after the casting has been cleared. The casting can be topped up from the holes in the plasticard, but ensure any excess is wiped off before the resin sets.

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Other tips for casting the rubber. Use Leggo to create pour boxes etc. Extremely flexible for sizes. Also spray in mold release agent before you pour the rubber. If you don't have any of that, use WD-40

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