Hi, welcome to my buildup thread for my 1/60 scale Phase 1 Albacore. By way of introduction I am completely new to most of this hobby. I say most of because I do have a certain amount of molding and casting experience. I have no drafting training or experience working with fiberglass or vacuformed parts. I have no experience painting with an airbrush. I have no experience dealing with foam or casting molds from that medium. Given that stellar resume; I decided that the best way to start in this hobby was to do a scratch build with a loose timeframe for completion of one year. That would give me enough room for error in technical mistakes as well as financial concerns.
I'm hoping that this thread may inspire other completely novice builders to try a scratch build themselves. I don't think this hobby is one that only "expert" model builders should be in or control. I believe that with a modicum of common sense, some attention to detail and a true interest in the subject matter anyone can build and do it well. I also believe that this is part art and part craft. The line between the two is so blurry that it's ridiculous to draw lines in the sand over it. The tide will eventually role in, erase your line and take you with it. I am deeply indebted to the people on this site, which I have been lurking on since 2003.
I am a firm believer in first doing what I know and then building from there. I know how to research so the first step was to learn about the boat and amass a pictoral knowledge base that I can use for refining the model. It also gave me an appreciation for this boat's role in the history of submarine technology. With that in mind I've decided to attempt a Phase 1 model of the Albacore with all control surfaces functioning the way they were intended. That means the bow planes have to be able to function as well as the sail control surface. I think my only saving grace is that Phase 1 didn't have dive brakes. Now that would be hard to pull off.
I'm, in fact, considering limiting my models to exactly that kind of submarine. I am prejudiced in favor of the US Navy so I'll probably stick to that country. Possible builds in the future I'm considering:
ASR 22 Ortlan
Here's the half assed drafting table. It's a student one from our local University. My dad let me use one of his old drafting machines. The initial drawings were the Subtech ones. These do not have sectional projections on them. So I'm having to extrapolate the hull shape from only two dimensions.
I started by doing some basic measurements to get an idea of the sizes and shape of the hull. I'm going to start by just doing the part of the hull that doesn't include any superstructure or sections that are not symetrical. That will be added later. I then traced the hull and demarcated it into two inch sections. The pink foam that I picked up at the local hardware store is two inches thick. I've decided to work the bow and stern as seperate resin pieces. So I'm dealing with just the part of the hull that has a nice gentle curve and is thus more forgiving of error. You see the sections out of graph paper. Later I switched these out for 1/16th thickness paperboard. They made much better ribbing.
Here's the ribbing pasted down on the pink foam. I used 3M 77 for this job as well as pasting the traceing of the hull on to foam core to function as the base for the sections.
Here's what it looks like on the baseboard prior to me doing the initial cutting and shaping with the coping saw. Yes I said coping saw it's in the foreground. I do have access to a bandsaw and disc sander but I prefer to do the intial cuts with the coping saw. The center of the hull was cut down by my dad prior to me getting ahold of it. The bandsaw is his. He's helping out here and there. Mostly knowledge and experience though. It's nice having an Industrial Designer with 30+ years of experience sharing a studio space with you.
Here's what it looked like after the coping saw and before the 60 grit sandpaper. You really have to be careful with this stuff it's softer than it seems and tears like crazy if you aren't careful. I've got some divits to fill in.
Here's how I left it today. Post 60 grit and a carded on layer of Vinyl spackle. I had a big ass bucket of it left over from the house I was rehabbing last year.
So that's where it stands right now. I'll post more later this week I hope. I'm sure you'll all get frustrated with how slow I am on this thing. But I want to take my time and learn my lessons rather than just running over top of things. Any constructive comments are certainly welcome.