Step 56 : Rivet Detail
Time to complete : 40 hours
Total time to date : 339 hours.
I couldn't do it. I couldn't convince myself NOT to include rivet detail on this sub. I feel that a sub this scale has to have some sort of rivet detail on it to make it complete, so I began experimenting with different techniques to include these tiny details.
After a trial and error period trying out these techniques, I decided that the best way to do the rivets would be to punch out them out of tape, much like the mask for the flood holes, end then place them on the hull. I found that duct tape was the best material as it was thicker than the masking tape, and cut better than I expected.
I built 7 punches out of steel (not brass) with the diameter of the hole (rivet) being 1/16", and then held them all together with hose clamps to make one punch. One good hit with the hammer and I had 7 rivets. With this rivet punch, I was able to make serval 100 rivets in a very short time.
With the rivet punch made, I drew lines on the hull with marker to indicate where the rivets would go. Once the lines were drawn, I removed the flood hole masks by lightly sanding the area first to make sure the mask would pull off cleanly. With the flood hole masks peeled off, it left a nice indentation where the flood hole would be, just as suspected.
The rivets were then placed one by one onto the hull using a hobby knife to peel them off the mat, and place them. This process was the definition of tedium. If you plan on doing this on your build, get into the right frame of mind, turn on your stereo, and just get ready for a very repetitive process. The result is worth the effort.
The rivets really define the U-boat I think. For those of you that count this kind of thing, there are just over 6000 rivets on this hull....give or take a few. Not quite up to OTW standard, but enough to get the effect, which was all I was after. Afterall, I do want to get this build done in my lifetime. MAN I love those OTW boats, they were the inspiration I needed to include this type of detail on my VIIc/41.
I'm gone for the next couple weeks without any expectation to get to the sub. Until then....
"I don't have anything else planned for this afternoon." - Lt. Col J.O.E. Vandeleur
A Bridge Too Far (1977)