Step 37 : "Atlantic Bow" rework.
Time to complete : 6
Total time to date : 126 hours.
The reworking of the Atlantic Bow was an excercise quite unlike any other molding/shaping experience I've had. What might appear to be a reasonably simple look to the front bow of the VIIc/41, is not. It is a very complicated shape with the difficulty in reproducing it only being harder by the fact that both port and starboard sides need to be symetrical. I was having a hard time visualizing the actual 3d shape of the bow from the many pics I had received from subcommittee members Davie and Gantu (thank you gents). As can be seen, many hours were spent with the sandpaper on this thing trying to get the look correct. I discovered one of the reasons why the bow had initially been done wrong. The tops of my formers do NOT represent the deck surface of the Atlantic Bow. However, the plans showing the upper deck do take the hull into consideration with the extra width at the extreme tip of the bow. Why I didn't realize this until now, I don't know. I never claimed to be a PRO U-Boat builder or expert U-Boat historian. ....that....and just being careless are my excuses. Using the plan as a template, I cut a piece of 1/8 " hardboard to match and secured it by tacking it directly onto the bow of the plug using very small 1/2" finishing nails. I had to dig deep into my old stash of model railroad scenery materials to come up with some molding plaster because I felt that there was too much material to fill using the drywall mud. What the stuff is exactly, I don't remember. It was in an unmarked container and has been in there for years. The plaster was applied to the bow using the now attached hardboard template as the top edge, which added about 1/4" to each side of the old bow. Once the plaster had dried, it was sanded, and sanded, and....sanded, ...then more plaster in places....then some drywall mud, then sand, and sand......until I felt I had the proper profile of the Atlantic Bow. I had to draw upon every shred of sculpting skill to get this thing into form and symetry to even look close. I feel this "new and improved" Atlantic hull is much closer.
Comments / opinions on this new bow ?
More to follow.