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1/25 Type VIIC/41 Scratch Build.

This is the place to post your submarine build- ups.

Postby sam reichart » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:09 pm

Mylo wrote:[b]

More to come......I'm not about to stop now.


Mylo the driven.


fixed. :lol:
what were once vices are now habits
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Postby Mylo » Sat Jan 13, 2007 7:56 pm

.......to insanity.

Sam, I'm afraid I've created a monster.....an 8'9" monster.

I have two options :

1) Put in some serious time in order to meet my "next summer" deadline.

or

2) Turf the deadline. (but I want to play with it this summer *sob*)

Initially, I gave myself 6 months to build this thing to completion, in the water, running properly. I had "guestimated" that the project would take about 500 hours but it didn't take long to realize that may have been a bit on the thin side. So, I bumped the build time to 9 months, which takes me to July 20 for the launch date. I can't push it farther. BdU is expecting this boat on patrol no later than that. I've got 242 hours in to date, and I REALLY don't feel I'm halfway through the build. I'm just hoping that I'm kind of through the "time consuming" / do a lot of stuff over, phase. I simply have to keep the screw ups to a minimum.

The thing is, if I had it my way, I would spend pretty much every waking hour in my shop. That is where I enjoy spending time. Working on my sub is pleasure, I take that back, for the MOST part, working on my sub is pleasure, ....it's all the other crap in my day that gets in the way, like work and stuff. I battle with the whole prioritize my time issue non stop. I'm sure I'm not alone. A sane/normal person would say the sub project is rated too high on that priority list. ....I never did care much for those types of people.

I really hope all my going on about what a time eater this thing is isn't scaring anyone away from doing a scratch build. Yes, it eats time, but time is there to spend on things we enjoy. Work eats time, sleep eats time, .....eating...eats time. Now THAT is a waste. My intent from the beginning was to give builders an idea of what it takes. This is what it takes.

Just more commentary from Mylo
"I don't have anything else planned for this afternoon." - Lt. Col J.O.E. Vandeleur

A Bridge Too Far (1977)
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Postby Mylo » Sun Jan 14, 2007 5:51 pm

Step 50 : Pressure Hull / Outer Hull separation

Time to complete : 12 hours.

Total time to date : 254 hours.




One of the things I like about WWII era submarines, U-Boats, and in particular, Type VIIs, is how they look with the combination of the pressure hull and the outer hull being visible. It's easy to see that these were surface vessels first and foremost with it being obvious that all that extra construction / material of the outer hull was to make the sub fuction primarily as a surface boat.....that could submerge now and again. I really wanted to capture this look somehow with my VIIc/41 and I didn't feel that simply adding a weld line was going to do the trick. To me, where the outer hull and pressure hull meet look like two completely different components of the sub coming together, which is exactly what it is.

I decided that what I would do is make the pressure hull / outer hull joint be a raised seam on the side of the outer hull, which would more accurately represent how the outer hull plating would be added onto the pressure hull in the actual construction of the U-Boat. In the photos I've researched, I have found examples of U-Boats where this seam is quite pronounced, and as well, the opposite where the seam blends quite smoothly, so I felt I could "get away" with modeling this seam and still have it be an accurate representation of the real deal.

I wanted this seam to be noticable, yet not out of scale. I decided that a thickness of 1mm would be a good compromise. This would be a scale 25 mm (1"). Probably thicker than actual but again, I thought it was a good compromise. If I modelled it any thinner, I didn't think there would be much point.

I started by masking the area of the pressure hull off with 1/4" masking tape. I had to cut rounded corners of tape out of 3" masking tape for the corners, as they were too sharp for me to work around with the 1/4". I 'could' do it, but the tape would "bunch up" from making such a tight radius. I had to have the tape perfectly flat as I would be applying the putty over top to make the outer hull panel. I had to apply 4 layers of this mask to build up to the 1mm thickness. This tape was nothing more than a guide for the application of the putty, to make sure the thickness was uniform.

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Once masked, the putty was applied. For this whole plan to work, I had to have an absolute seamless transition from the putty to the plug, which is why the putty was spread on as far away from the tape as I thought I could. The "effect" I was looking for was that it would look like the pressure hull area was actually carved into the plug, instead of material added.

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Once cured, the putty was sanded juuuuuuuust so that the 1/4" masking tape could be seen, yet not sanded through the putty. The putty was sanded and tapered out to the plug using a combination of many different grits, finishing with 220. I then used a file to clean up the 1mm raised edge between the outer hull and pressure hull. The result was that I could not feel any seam between the putty and the plug, yet the outer hull now had the appearance of having a pressure hull inside it due to raised seam. I wasn't completely sure if the "theory" I had in mind for this was going to work in practice when I started. Once finished, I was happy with the result and was glad that I took the time to try and model this feature that I like so much.

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If I was doing it again, I would do this step BEFORE drawing all the weld lines / flood holes. In the process of doing the outer hull / pressure hull separation, I had covered portions of the lines up with putty, or had sanded them off.....which........of course...............I will have to ......fix.

More to come.


Mylo
"I don't have anything else planned for this afternoon." - Lt. Col J.O.E. Vandeleur

A Bridge Too Far (1977)
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......

Postby Jeffrey J » Sun Jan 14, 2007 8:43 pm

Mylo,
This is without a question the most interesting thread I have seen on the SC boards. Thanks for taking the time to share all of this with the rest of us. Very, very nice work. The type VII is my favorite sub of all time, I just think its design makes the best looking models when they are finsihed out. What an awesome eye you have for the details,, WOW... OK, my next BIG question to you,,,, how do we get one of these.... ???? !!!! :shock: Thanks again, VERY nice work, with the model, and step by step build sheet your doing with the process of the whole project. Jeff Jones
one things for sure, they won't be expecting us......... S/C#258
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Postby U812 » Sun Jan 14, 2007 9:52 pm

I'll second that. Excellent.

steve
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Postby Mylo » Mon Jan 15, 2007 12:42 am

Gents,

As always, I appreciate any feedback. Compliments are always nice. Kind of lets a guy know he is at least on the right track.

I was glad that I finally ended up doing the type VIIc/41. I would have to say that it was just a nose ahead of the II and IX in terms of appeal for me. .....AND......the NEXT one I do will seem easy. (likely a type IIA). The type VII is a geometrical basket case with every angle and curvature under the sun. .....but coooooool. With the way my VIIc/41 is starting to take form, I can just SEE it in the water.....the thought drives me to do crazy things like....put in 18 hour days.

There is VERY LITTLE that I have done in this project that isn't documented in this thread. Pretty much all of it just being repeats / fixes / do overs. The intent is that someone with NO experience in scratch building could read this thread and at least get a real good start to his project....with some knowledge as to what lies ahead. A person could probably shave quite a few hours off if they just weren't as........"particular"....and the sub would still look just fine but I know how I am, and I'm not happy (with a hobby project) when I know I could do better. ...that point has probably been realized in this thread by now. The EXACT same thing happened with my little model railroad. It was supposed to be just this little train set to play with at Christmas time, you know...set up under the tree and stuff. 537 hours and about $7000 later, I have a 3/4 finished 12' x 7' layout in my garage that I'll finish "some day". ....did I mention that I'm divorced ? .....same thing is happening with this sub in that I find myself doing little extras here and there, making sure that what I do, is done well...., except there is no stopping on this one till it's either working in the water, or I've busted it into a million pieces in some sort of rage attack. You haven't seen it in any pics, but I have a 10lb sledge hammer in my shop that would likely do the job. If I was smart, I would move that hammer so it wasn't so convenient.

As for getting a type VII, ....I don't know how many still exist and if they do, if the museums will sell them. ....THEN.....how do you transport the thing much less launch it. Probably more headache then it's worth. ...but would that be a cool thing to have. As for this 1:25 type VIIc/41, I will be making kits as I already have a couple spoken for, PLUS...I just thought it would be a neat thing to do. How many ?? ....I have no idea. How much money ?? ....no clue. When will they be produced ?...on THAT, I plan on producing a prototype that I will build to make sure it goes together well, which will be the one I would really like to launch this coming up July (I'll get video footage of it in action AFTER I make sure it doesn't just sink, don't worry). It'll likely require tweaking and refinements before I "put it into production". In other words, MAYBE you can get one for yourself for NEXT Christmas. (Get yourself a big tree) .....and that's if everything works out. There are a ton of obstacles to clear yet. I really haven't put much thought into the kit thing, other than making the decision to build some. What a great sense of accomplishment it must be for other modellers to enjoy building and operating a kit that was scratch built. That's what motivates me to do it.

Stay tuned. .....I'm cracking out the tape for some weld lines.

Mylo
"I don't have anything else planned for this afternoon." - Lt. Col J.O.E. Vandeleur

A Bridge Too Far (1977)
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Hi Mylo... COOL boat!!!

Postby spitfiremk3 » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:57 pm

Hi. Your pics are COOL!!! For your slots in the "fairly" flat sides of your boat, have you ever though about machining all the slots in brass sheet metal on a milling machine. And then cut a hole in the hull the size of the row or rows of slots in the brass "plate" using the butt joint method. Then just fiberglass the brass piece in from the back. Just an idea. A solid brass door kick plate works good for sheet brass.
THANX
Scott
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Postby Mylo » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:40 pm

Scott,

That's definately an idea. I'll be assessing that situation when I come to it. Great idea on the door kick plate thing. I'll bet a lot cheaper to buy that at Home Depot than a similar piece of sheet brass at the hobby shop.....just a guess.

Mylo
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A Bridge Too Far (1977)
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Postby Mylo » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:08 pm

Step 51 : Taping / Masking hull details

Time to complete : 16 hours.

Total time to date : 270 hours.



Since I knew I was going to need my hole punches for this step, I decided to repair (not fix) those first from the damage they sustained from punching the heavy guage paper of my plans. If I ever build another hole punch, I will make it out of steel. The brass is just too soft to hold up to a good shot with the hammer. I thought I would go into some detail as to how I built these, since I would be basically redoing the process.

A piece of brass (steel next time) tube is used that is the right size. If you need a punch for a round hole, you're basically done and can move right onto the sharpening phase. If you need an oval hole, a little more work is required. Using a hammer, I pounded it into "roughly" the right oval shape. You will never get a nice semmetrical shape by just doing this, I tried. Pound the shape a little "thinner" than the oval that you need. Put a piece of brass rod (not tube) in your vice with about 1/4" sticking out. This piece of brass rod had to be the same diameter as the rounded ends you require of your oval hole punch. Pry your "slightly thinner" piece of brass tube open just enough to allow the brass rod to slip in. Place the end of the tube to be shaped over the brass rod. Pound....no, TAP...with your hammer until the end takes the nice round shape of the brass rod. Do this for both ends. The reason that you make it a little skinnier at first is that the process of rounding the two corners kind of pulls the sides the right shape and quite straight. Once you do the corners, just some fine tuning is needed by tapping with your hammer here and there. When you have the shape down, clean out the inside edges with a round and flat file, then sharpen the end with a grinder so that it cuts the mask easily. No rocket science involved, just some "blacksmith" work.

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See, not very difficult at all. Now onto the taping / masking part.

I used 1/8" mask to do the outer hull brace lines (the heavier lines on the outer hull) and 1/16" mask to do the weld lines. I just masked right on top of the lines that I had drawn on earlier. The mask had to be applied 3 times in order to build up enough tape to make a nicely raised ridge. There is 280' of masking tape on this plug. ....I know....I couldn't believe it either. The 1/16" stuff worked great, but it's not cheap. I have about $60 invested in masking tape.

Image

The purpose of masking the details like this is that once another coat of primer is applied, the mask will essentially be raised lines, representing the details of the hull, most notably, the weld lines. This raised detail on the plug will be transferred to the female mould, which in turn will be transferred to the casted hull piece. In short, putting these details on the plug at this point saves having to do all this detailing on every casted part. Hopefully, this proceedure will become more clear to those unfamiliar when I get to the step where I'm casting the parts.

Time to mask the flood holes. The moment of truth as to whether these hole punches are worth the effort. I put 3" masking tape down on a self healing mat and then just started punching away with the hole punches to punch out the "holes" out of the masking tape. The reason this is done is a little different than the weld lines. The flood holes are masked off on the plug at this point. When the following coat of primer is applied, the mask will then be removed from the plug, leaving a very slight indentation in the primer in the shape of the mask, which is the going to be the shape of the flood hole. This indentation, like the weld lines, will be transferred to the female mould and then onto the casted part. These lines on the casted part will indicate where the flood hole is, with the modeller using the lines as a guide to drill and file the holes from the casted part. Once I had the weight I needed to use with the hammer figured out, these punches worked excellently. Hit too hard, you damage the punch, not hard enough, you don't cut the masking tape all the way. I was able to punch out masking "holes" from the 3" mask very quickly and easily. Punching them out like this ensures that each "hole" is identical and accurate. Once the holes were punched, I just peeled the masking tape back. The "holes" remained stuck to the mat. I then picked each "hole" off with a hobby knife and placed it on the hull, using the previously painted on markings as a guide. I was very happy with how smoothly this process was going. If there is a better/faster/more accurate way to mask off flood holes, I don't know what it can be. Quite simply, if you are doing a build that requires the masking of flood holes, build these punches. Having said that, if I do it again, I will build these punches out of steel and not brass. The brass is just too soft to really give 'er. You have to be careful, it doesn't take too much of a hit with the hammer to distort the cutting edge of the punch. All in all, very happy with the punch idea. Thanks again Steve Neil for the idea.

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The plug was now lined and masked, which gave an indicator of the kind of detail that the final boat was going to have. I was only becoming more motivated to keep working at this project the farther along I get.

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More to come


Mylo
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A Bridge Too Far (1977)
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Postby Mylo » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:07 am

Step 52 : Masking Tower Flood Holes

Time to complete : 2 hours

Total time to date : 272 hours.



The same proceedure was followed to mask the tower flood holes as the hull holes.

Image

Image


More to come


Mylo
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Mylo... On that sheet brass thing...

Postby spitfiremk3 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 5:14 pm

Hi Mylo... If you do make some slot in sheet brass... Cut 2 peices of brass sheet the appropraite size and glue them together with super glue (laminate them together). Now super glue them to a piece of FLAT wood large in size than the sheet brass. Now clamp the assemble to your milling machine table or drill press (must have GOOD bearings) vise. Now you can cut the slots in the brass for both sides of the boat at the same time. 2 birds with 1 stone... LOL... When done cutting... Seperate (OUTSIDE) with a propane torch by burn the glue away. DO NOT BREATH THE FUMES!!!
THANX
Scott
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Postby Mylo » Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:39 pm

Excellent tip.

......just need a milling machine.

On that topic, are those 3 in one milling/drill press / lathe units any good ? To rephrase, is there a good one on the market or is this something that does 3 jobs, but none of them particularly well ? I've been looking at getting some machining equipment.

Mylo
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Postby Boss subfixer » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:53 pm

Mylo,
I don't want to sound like I'm preaching here but when you were showing us how to make the punches you used out of brass I noticed you used a bench grinder to sharpen them. You should NEVER use a bench grinder on any soft non ferrous metal, the wheel can load up and explode in you face. I have seen this happen and it's not pretty. A disc sander or any tool that uses emery type paper (bench top belt/strip sander) is far safer.
On a brighter note, You boat is looking amazing. Please keep up the good work and keep posting your progress.
Don Evans
SCM# 2733



Put your heart into it, well done is better than well said... Ben Franklin
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Postby Mylo » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:43 pm

Don,

If potentially saving my life is "preaching", ...PLEASE....preach. Obviously, I had no clue. I'm glad I posted the pic, ...and that you mentioned something. I believe I've made my point on how little I know about what I'm REALLY doing.

Ferrous, ....non ferrous ?? .....and here I thought it was all just metal. Time to crack out the metalurgy books. The learning curve just steepened.

Don, really, thanks again.

Mylo
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......

Postby Jeffrey J » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:11 pm

hey ,
Somebody take this guys coffee pot away, he needs to get some sleep ! LOL,, Geezzzzzzzz Mylo, I never seen anyone ever take on a project like this and make this kind of progress. Holy Cow !!!!
Just another idea, you can score the inside of the brass tubes with an ex-acto blade to sharpen a razor edge on them this way. This works great and is easy to to do with the soft brass.
Buy the way, I see your sledge hammer in the photo, why not send that to me until the project is done..... :wink: Jeff Jones
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