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Working on Revell Brass - I finally got off the couch...

Static Submarine modelers unite!

Postby safrole » Sat May 15, 2004 1:10 pm

Here's a couple pics of this afternoons trial pieces. I don't know if all this detail can come out cleanly, so later this evening I'll give you a little recap of success/failure.

I still have a little rework on the art, too. They tell me I need to move the UZO, whatever THAT is. (kidding)

The 'Hello Kitty' is from my daughter's birthday sleepover last night. 11 little girls, all 7-8 yrs old. I'm glad that only happens once a year!

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Postby safrole » Sat May 15, 2004 7:46 pm

Well, good news, if you can see beyond the immediate. The prototype "problem" is that the prints from the laser printer are not as "dark" as real film is, so the plates cannot be exposed for the whole time that's necessary. That means that the resist is weak, and you can't burn it as long as necessary. All that to say it's "underburned" and there are some spots that are still heavily connected. With real film, proper exposure length and a spray etch they should be top notch.

The good news is that detail looks like it will fly, as it is. The grates that cover the air intakes on the conning tower will probably not be through-holes. I don't think I can register tightly enough for front and back holes to meet consistently. But if you paint it flat black, then go back and dry brush on the grey, it will give a nice look. The grates on my Revell kit showed hardly any detail at all, but that may have just been mine. The grates on the deck will probably just be etched in as well, not through holes.

Next I'll knock the parts out and see how the shapes fit.

It's getting close...

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Postby safrole » Sat May 15, 2004 11:34 pm

The shapes are winners, too, so now I just have to get some films printed.

I have also made a deal to farm out some of the work to my local PE shop, with whom I am getting to be better friends all the time. I will have to rearrange the pieces for a more convenient plate size, and still try to meet the size for the lower of the two German tariffs. Then I can get costs.

There are few little pieces that I did not place on the deck which dress it up quite a bit. There are "frames" around the fore and aft grates, and the bollard plates and heads as well as some other little buildups. I am just not going to have time to do instructions for it. A printed sheet with handrail templates and a diagram showing the intent of each part will have to suffice.

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Postby sam reichart » Sun May 16, 2004 5:16 pm

Jason-
please let us know when you begin taking orders, and what the cost will be for the frets again.

If a buildr wants to do a static model only - do they still have to buy a fret with R/C pieces?
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Postby JWLaRue » Sun May 16, 2004 8:50 pm

Jason,

Any chance on correcting the hole size for the conning tower deck so that the width of the square holes are closer to being the same width as the wood 'cross' pieces?

-Jeff
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Postby safrole » Sun May 16, 2004 9:56 pm

Sam, the only truly "RC-only" piece will be the brass rudder support, which will be ugly but stronger. This will also need to be run from .020 brass, since the .010 just doesn't have enough meat. RC folks need only the slotted deck, which you also want. Everything else is for the static modeler. Of course I put everything I could onto the negative spaces of the deck's sheet just to maximize that one, too.

You know, another thing to think about is that the deck is a lot thinner than the stock one, so it will need to be shimmed all around. This was pointed out by a friend a long time ago and is no trouble, really. But the conning tower may be a different story. (Jeff, this may address your concern as well) It might not be worth it in brass. My pull of the stock plastic floor is very clean, and painted with a black base and drybrush grey over the top should look really good. I am not an authority, but I'm not sure the brass would look much better by virtue of its through-hole nature. Forgive the roughness. The prototype resist lifted and ate the edges a little funny, but here's how it fits together.

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It would probably also need to be shimmed to make the tower's interior parts fit correctly.

I have also been advised to round out the drainage holes around the torpedo doors and the large pattern just aft of the forward planes.

Jeff, correct me if you think I'm wrong, but I think the problem is reversed. I've got Robert Stern's "Type VII U-boats" and it says the deck planks were spaced about 1cm apart. (p41) That is about 5 thousandths of an inch in scale. (absolutely not going to happen!) So the slots in the deck are actually too big, I think, and the CT floor may be correct, or at least closer to correct. Let me know if you think that's possible. Also when I'm eyeballing a lot of pics, it looks like more than half on inch of spacing, but shadows can play tricks and I can't corroborate that precise measurement anywhere else.

Oh there's also a little set of pieces to redo the line loop on the aft deck.
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I am planning on people cutting out their hatches from the stock deck, so the holes in the deck are the same shape as the blockish depressions aroung those stock hatches. Other little things like that rear line loop would be better served by cutting off the Revell piece and fixing it in place.

The saddle tank top vent plates are too tiny to guarantee they will come out clean. They are at the limit of "doable". But since they're not even present on the Revell kit, I can't feel bad about trying. After painting, they would still make a good impression.

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I think that all the drainage hole plates will be available separately, which would truly be the dividing line between the two variations of the kits. They would be an order of magnitude more difficult to install, and they eat up a lot of brass, so I don't want to bog down the majority of sales with items that most modelers may not use. Everyone's thoughts on that are appreciated. They all line up great, except I messed up a measurement on the top rear ones around the diesel exhaust so I'll have to fix that. All the other little trinkets line up very well.
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Postby safrole » Sun May 16, 2004 9:58 pm

Jeff, after re-reading your suggestion I misunderstood what you were saying. Were you saying I should make holes smaller, or larger? (In other words, I'm still too dumb to figure out what you said, so could you say it more clearly?)

(Wife says it's movie time, so I have to scoot.)




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Postby sam reichart » Mon May 17, 2004 9:07 am

Jsaon,
I understand what you mean about the conning tower floor- mine is pretty clean as well. But your brass version will allow the inaccuracy of the UZO location to be fixed, without surgery by the builder. Plus, even though the brass needs to be shimmed, it's still cleaner with the open holes. I would still take one.

What will the cost be for your frets?

thanks,
Sam
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Postby safrole » Mon May 17, 2004 11:32 am

Cost is not looking good, it's also not set up yet. I am always very pressed for time, so I'm hiring out some of the work to my local PE shop. Being a unique kind of customer, they don't have good mathematical pricing for me, so I will have to explain my case to them, tell them how much money I can afford to pay them, and see if they will accept for the deal to fly. I really don't want to direct sell all these, so I'm trying to keep "dealer money" in there.

So I'm going to try to gang them up, about six kits on one "sheet" so their people have less handling to do. Their machine runs 30" wide by continuous feed, which means I should technically get the same price for the spraying, even using a wider sheet. I can fit all the pieces into the lower sized German tariff, and still get two up on their machine using wider, shorter arrangements. This also means there will probably be just one kit. This is because the three deck pieces arrange into a nice rectangle, but when you add in the conning tower, there is then created a nice space for the drainage hole plates on the workpiece, so there might as well be just one kit. We'll see.

All that long story to say I don't know, but I'm going to try to make them as cheaply as I can. Half the price means five times the sales, so we are all on the same side here, in a sense.
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Postby JWLaRue » Mon May 17, 2004 1:48 pm

Hi Jason,

I'm referring to the conning tower deck...not the main deck. (the main deck has a whole different set of problems, but I suspect that it's not easily 'fixable' unless you were to do this from a CAD drawing.)

The holes in the conning tower deck should be smaller. The width of the hole should be as close to the same size as that of the width of the 'wood' that surrounds it. They should also be perfectly square, without rounded corners.

Hopefully this makes sense!

p.s. and yes, a properly done etched conning tower floor is really necessary if the etched main deck is used.

Jeff
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Postby safrole » Mon May 17, 2004 3:09 pm

I understand what you're saying now. I can probably shrink them a bit, but I don't really want to. They are .020 x .020 right now, which is already annoyingly small, but I could probably drop them a little more, just for you.

The corners may be a little sharper out of the $100k spray etcher, but there is a maximum clarity for the PE in general, even if each step is fully optimized, a benefit which these protos did not enjoy. I have the Amati brass in the same scale. I will take a look at their corners to see if better things can be expected from a regular run. In .020 brass it's impossible, but this .010 is a LOT friendlier on detail.

Don't get too worried about the deck art. I'm actually going to go through that tonight or maybe tomorrow and make it match to a couple photos I have and then call it good. Jeff, I'm sure you're the most discriminating guy on the planet for deck art, given your knowledge of it, but if I can make 95% of the people happy without a signed blueprint from Karl Donitz, I'll consider it a raving success. :)
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Postby safrole » Sun May 23, 2004 10:49 pm

Well I got the art done. Once I posted pics of the prototypes, I was flooded with corrections and additions via email and there's one guy in particular to whom I owe a great deal, a lot more than a free kit!

Here's the pic, followed by current inclusions as well as what is going to be included on a later upgrade. Kind of an upgraded upgrade for those who really want to cut up that hull...

I sent the vector (CAD) file to photoshop so I could show which things were debossed and which were through-holes. It's a limited medium.


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Included:
Deck
CT Floor
Flood Patterns for around Planes, Fore and Aft
8 Handwheels for Guns/Sail Hatch
Saddle Tank Top Vents, 10 Large, 4 Small
Periscope Fluting/Rings
Circle and Cross for CT Sides
Same Symbols for CT 'Nose'
Intake Screens for CT, Both Types

You would probably do better to get a little piece of fine brass screen to do the CT intakes. It's available as a smoking accessory for pipes: lots of them for cheap.

As if I had not wavered on this issue enough, I decided to do a second kit which will have all the flooding holes' patterns. There are so many different patterns that I am going to make a kit that has all of them. You, the expert modeller, can fill in the holes not used on your particular boat. This means the kit will not 'be' any particular boat, but will suffice for many different ones. Documentation will be provided so you can basically look up your boat, (or pick one from the list) and proceed. This idea is not mine, it's the brainchild of one of the gurus to whom I owe so much.

I figured that anyone willing to cut up the hull would of course be willing to fill in some extra holes. I expected that the majority of modelers may not want this, especially in light of all the filling and redoing the rivets. So to keep the cost down I skipped it. I did include the patterns around the planes, since those are more difficult to open up, have fewer rivets to redo, and yield the most improved look for the amount of labor involved. Once again, that decision is the result of good advice from another.

The CT floor was fixed per Jeff's prompt, also the deck was reworked extensively to match a couple good photos, and a lot of little details were added in from more photos.

I should have the first run done by June 1st or 2nd, with sales available to the public a week later. The first ones are almost all going to grease the palms of the guys who helped bake the bread, so to speak. You will see good pics of those as soon as I get them in my hot little hands.
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Postby sam reichart » Mon May 24, 2004 12:02 pm

Jason-
I'll write you a check for a set as soon as they become available to the public. Thanks for condensing it down to one basic sheet.

Sam Reichart
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Postby Nautilus » Mon May 24, 2004 12:47 pm

Hi Jacon, Brian Starkes here I want two sets as soon as they are ready! Thanks Brian S.
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Postby safrole » Mon May 24, 2004 1:34 pm

I will try my best to get a hold of you when they are available.

Another thing I forgot to mention - I tried to add in the "sad duck" mascot from U-94, per an email request. It was evidently hung inside the direction-finding loop. I cannot say if it will come out well enough to be worth using, but I went ahead and threw it in for the final art, just in case. You can see it and its three hangers as a blob just right and below the center of the sheet, off the nose of the CT.
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