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Woodstock74

1/350 Norwegian Ula class submarine

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At this high risk of falling onto the shelf of doom, as about 90% of what I work on does, especially when I go public (ironically, I do this as a means to motivate me to finish)...

This has taken an unusually long gestation time.  Started the CAD about a year ago.  Then got distracted by ironclad Monitors and US Civil War naval artillery, then the work-in period for the new 3D printer, then large caliber coastal artillery as a project to check out the printer...yeah, all over the place...

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With the holidays I've spent some time working on the actual parts, sticking them together finally.

So used the home printer on the prototype parts, and at first wasn't 100% convinced it would work at this scale given a lot of detail is discerned via embossed/engraved features:

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I played around with depths, etc., and initially wasn't convinced it was going to work.  Maybe 1/350 was a bridge too far?  Ported it over to Shapeways and had them do the initial print.  

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In retrospect, the home printer isn't far off at all, so I probably could have gotten away with printing the entire kit at home.  In fact, I decided at the last minute to add a few more detail (conformal sonar array, lower hull, modifications to liber homes, enhanced torpedo doors, and correcting the prop spin direction, whoops!) and indeed printed those at home (the lower hull was an 18 hour print at .02 mm step height).  In this regards, the printer pays dividends as it reduces the time (and cost) of the prototyping phase.  Plus, it started to give me more confidence in the printer's abilities.

Shapeways periscope, ESM, and radar masts:

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The issue with printing those at home is that I'd have to attach support structure to those tiny parts, possibly obliterating the details.  That being said...the Shapeways print arrived with one of the radar masts missing entirely.  So on a whim I stuck it in the print que for some of the other reprints/updates I did and it worked!    

Some primer:

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Comparison with my other shelf queen, USS Parche:
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That's very impressive work there Woodstock, I wish I had the time and skill for such a quest.

I have a couple of 1/350 British waterline subs that I'd like built, a Churchill Class and HMS Dreadnought but nothing exists kit wise and as to plans... I wouldn't know where to start if I am limited to photographs, etc.

 

Stuart

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Thanks Courageous!  It does fill the time in my day, to be honest.  Many, many CAD hours go into something like that.  But I quite enjoy it, ultimately I'm designing for myself.  I too have a wish list and would love to see a Churchill and Dreadnought in 1/350.  I chose the Ula, initially, because it was small, something that hadn't been done, and I was looking at marketability for my Shapeways store.  Pricing there is determined by material, footprint, etc., and then I put a small profit on top.  And naturally, even if no one ever purchased, I still had to contend with that base price from Shapeways.  Now, with the home printer, I don't have any of those limitations.  The only limitation I have is build box, and with clever design I can work around it.  The Ula was also chosen because...drawings existed online, images (high resolution too) existed online.  The only areas I had to speculate were the prop, and the below the waterline details (conformal sonar array).  But I've speculated before (USS Parche--a lot of that research came from HI Sutton), and I'm OK with that as long as I have a solid dimensional basis and I'm not guessing at the general basics like shape and look.  But most of what I needed for the Ula was out there already.  Something like the Churchill (I'd love to do the Courageous myself), the issue is that there aren't many photos online and I haven't seen any drawings.  So that would be a real slog I think.  For now at least.   

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Going on what you have just said, manufacturers who produce more modern sub kits must be speculative as in most cases, the plans are just not available. I do have a 1/700 Churchill Class from OKB, I could use that as a master and scale things up, they do a 1/700 Dreadnought too. :hmmm:

 

Stuart

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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Going on what you have just said, manufacturers who produce more modern sub kits must be speculative as in most cases, the plans are just not available. I do have a 1/700 Churchill Class from OKB, I could use that as a master and scale things up, they do a 1/700 Dreadnought too. :hmmm:

 

Stuart

Indeed.  However, the kit manufacturers certainly have motivation to do bespoke research and generate drawings as needed given the better marketability of the leading edge designs.  But, I also suspect there's an element of help coming from within the ship builders?  Looking at something like the USS Virginia class, online you can find some tremendously detailed pdf drawings of variants of the class.  Now, I suppose we don't know if they are accurate to the actual article.  Though I suspect they align well with the published overall dimensions.  And the actual sub manufacturer has released enough (CAD renders showing side view) to probably get a decent start on creating a document like that.  But, I guess I'm unaware of how much of that was online back when HobbyBoss developed the kit?  So maybe it goes back to needing to interface directly with EB/General Dynamics/whomever builds these things saying, I work for TamiyaHobbyBossTrumpeter etc. and we're a model making company that would like to make a model of your submarine?  Considering how bad the Hobby Boss kit is in regards to exterior hull detailing one wonders.  At this point I'm just talking to talk, I really don't know the process.

I wonder from where OKB started with the Churchill?  

Edited by Woodstock74

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5 minutes ago, Woodstock74 said:

interface directly with EB/General Dynamics/whomever builds these things saying, I work for TamiyaHobbyBossTrumpeter etc. and we're a model making company that would like to make a model of your submarine?

But wouldn't the shipbuilders be under some ' Top Secret- Squirrel' protocol not to divulge?

I generally don't have much faith in accuracy in what the kit produces produce anyway, you can have a jet sitting in a museum and with all the scanners and technology about, they still get it wrong, you can imagine what can happen with something like subs and stuff...

I'll let you crack on with your Ula.

 

Stuart

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With a foreign model company, yes, I can imagine it's an awkward situation.  But how much can be learned?  So maybe in the end it's down to pictures and MkI eyeball?   

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It's quite remarkable what you've achieved Woodstock.

I'm hugley impressed at you having your own personal printer and the results you've obtained.

Rob

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Gidday Woodstock, I know little about submarines and nothing about 3D printing, but you seemed to have obtained excellent results here. Your USS Parche looks interesting, if a little ungainly. I thought it was a whiff until I looked it up just now. Regards, Jeff.

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Yeah, Parche is a weird one and I wouldn't have believed it until I saw the pictures!  Thanks for the compliments everyone!

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