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Jeff Porteous's Repair Yard

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Jeff Porteous's Repair Yard

Postby JefftyToo » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:07 pm

Gentlemen, I'm back. With SCR duties now comfortably dispatched to last quite awhile, I'm way past due to return to the boats. First order of business: a long-neglected Blueback refit.

Yes, my poor ol’ banged-up baby has seen some hard patrols and could really stand an entirely new paint job -- belay that: a whole new upper hull AND a paint job. But with other neglected boats long on the ways whining for attention (you know who they are), she's going to receive neither. Instead, this week I delivered only some dabbed-on touchups to her worst scrapes and dings. I'm claiming her unsightlier-by-the-season "natural" weathering just adds to her character -- that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

However, Blueback's essentially trashed sail and hull numbers were in definite need of replacement. I've just completed this and weathered them with pastels so they wouldn't stand out too artificially against the background of her cracked and flaking hull paint. (See photos.)

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Far more important, however, was a bug hunt in her lighting system. You may recall my major running light casualties at both Carmel and Georgetown last summer. SanFran too. I was ticked! Especially after investing in a custom-made 12-volt battery from Gail's friend Kirk Massey of New Creations R/C in Willis, TX. (You guys/y'all should definitely check out his services.) This new battery was constructed to the same size and shape as a 9-volt transistor type so it could comfortably fit within the small confines allotted deep inside Blueback's diminutive WTC. The goal was to take full advantage of my onboard 12-volt incandescents, which formerly burned only dimly under 9 volts. On the bench, of course, they worked fine last spring, but on patrol they failed miserably every time.

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So testing began earlier this week, and the culprit was soon discovered to be a couple of too-dainty but otherwise "perfect" solder joints performed by my engineer sub buddy Neil Schmidt -- who is definitely going to hear about this after the disparaging remarks he's made about MY soldering skills! Actually, I'm kidding: Neil's an expert, and my skills are non-existent. But there's no arguing the fact that his solders couldn't stand up to blue water patrol conditions in this case. As of yesterday, these joints have been replaced with big, ugly, robust Porteous versions happily covered over with shrink tubing and/or glopped-on Liquid Electrical Tape. Pretty? No. But check out these results:

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Not only bright, but now tested for a full 35 minutes of run time (approx. the length of our typical night ops) per a full charge of that tiny battery. (Note Blueback's likewise lit-up 1/96 static friend in the background.)

So -- I'm back in the Night Run business, gang, ready to light up the world. And Blueback's proudly back on the shelf. Next up: likewise long-overdue Nautilus' pre-assembly rivet repair. Stay tuned.

Jeff
Last edited by JefftyToo on Fri May 02, 2008 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby PaulC » Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:36 pm

Jeff,

That's great! We're back in the night run business for our next event. Will post details soon.
Warm regards,

Paul Crozier
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Postby dietzer » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:35 pm

Awesome job, Jeff! Nice work, buddy!

And this on top of another outstanding job on the March SCR! Many thanks, sir!

Are you planning on going to the Regatta this year? I'm not sure if I can make it or not, but I'm not giving up on it yet! :)

Carl
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Postby JefftyToo » Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:58 am

Carl,

Many thanks for the compliments, buddy. Glad you like the lights -- and the SCR work too! If you enjoyed Sub Books in March, wait'll you see June! A GREAT review from our mutual bud Boomerfunker Kisler, plus the Big Finish to my Slade Cutter piece -- a relief for many, no doubt, but still one of my better efforts (if I do say so myself).

No, I won't be doing Carmel this year, unfortunately, though I do have my periscope crosshairs on '08, wherever it may be. Paul and I are headed to Hawaii for the Wahoo Memorial in the fall, y'see, and that pretty much kills my travel budget for the year. Except for the SubRon 5 Fun Run, of course! I already have my airline tickets for that first weekend in June, and I'll be there with bells on -- General Quarters bells, that is. Can't wait!

Green Board,
Jeff
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Postby JefftyToo » Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:11 pm

Imagine a David Letterman show serenade as background music to these lyrics:

"Rivets! We got rivets! We got LOTS and LOTS of rivets!" (Etc.)

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Yup, as the photo shows, I'm into marking and drilling where missing rivets are to be replaced upon my Nautilus hull. Many originals were destroyed in the process of grinding/filling/sanding (repeat) the ill-fitting seam where the removable deck meets the hull, roughly along the waterline. In my zeal to get it right (filled seam photos will come sometime after the first primer coat), HUNDREDS of rivets were ultimately lost. Hard to reach and smaller-sized ones will be recreated using the classic lacquer-thinned JB Weld/syringe method. I actually got pretty good at this technique earlier. The rest of the MIAs are to be replaced with the cool plastic railroad variety Paul discovered a few months back. They're PERFECT for the larger and more obvious replacement rivets. A short row of such newly installed plastic wonders (requiring pre-drilled holes) is visible in the above photo. They're the brown ones; the dark gray ones below them are dots of JB Weld used to fill pinholes in some of the remaining original rivets—due to the less than perfect molding of the original hull pull. The white ones at the upper right are likewise holed rivets filled by Jim Key at Custom Replicas before I picked up the hull.

Now the confession: In using photos of the original 11-ft. "hero" Disney filming Nautilus to help me ascertain numbers and locations of missing rivets needed, I wound up drilling multiple holes along the bottom of the forward raker arch to match "The Master." But idiot that I am, I then discovered that a row of these rivets was already PROVIDED along the bottom edge of the separate raker piece itself—I hadn't sanded off that particular row after all!

Okay, out comes the putty again. (Mumble grumble pinhead grumble mumble...)

RIVETS, RIVETS, EVERYWHERE—WHERE THEY GO WE SURE DO CARE!
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Postby BoomerFunker » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:22 am

Trouble right here in "rivet" city

But it looks like you are smoothing through the rough spots. And if not smooth exactly then you are lending "character" to your craft.

Those aftermarket rivets are a great idea. I think it will look better with a few out of line a bit. More like it was hand built by little tiny Nautilus crewmen with hand tools.

Tom
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Postby JefftyToo » Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:19 am

Many thanks, Tom. You always know just what to say, buddy.

This next thought represents an e-mail rerun for a couple of you, but for the rest, I wanted to report that one of the coolest aspects of building this big Nautilus model is how utterly forgiving it's already being. I mean, I'm finding I'm ever more grateful that with every scrape, gouge and misdirected spot or smear of CA, I know it'll all simply be more fodder for her ultimate weathering job. By the time this baby's done she'll REALLY look like she earns her living smashing into things—and I'll be adding a lot of streaks and globs of marine growth for good measure!
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Postby JefftyToo » Sun May 27, 2007 3:23 pm

r i v e t s - r i v e t s - r i v e t s - R I V E T S - R I V E T S - R I V E T S - RIVETS - RIVETS - RIVETS - RIVETSRIVETSRIVETSRIVETS!

Rivet Update:

While others at this stage are no doubt dutifully prepping for next weekend's big SNF soireé, I, on the other hand, rather than fine-tuning Blueback's trim and boxing her up as I should be, remain at this moment ensconced in Vulcanian Rivet Rapture!

Here's a shot of some the latest progress:
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This shows recent work on Nautilus's forward starboard side (obviously). Out of curiosity, I just did a quick count of the packages of plastic rivets I've already gone through and was stunned to discover I've actually drilled and installed OVER 1200 OF THE LITTLE BUGGERS! Happily, I'm now very near completion of this effort—whereupon I can start repairing and/or installing MORE rivets using the thinned JB Weld method. Will it never END?!

Final note: to test out the capabilities of my brand new digi-camera pre-SNF, I plan to attempt this week a brief "Get Acquainted with My Rivets" video: lucky fellow SR5-ers may soon find this masterpiece hogging space in their e-mailboxes. Hark, is that Nemo I hear in the distance, barking: "Mr. Porteous, I'm ready for my closeup!"

Happy Memorial Day fellas! Remember to include our fallen submariners on Eternal Patrol in your thoughts this weekend.

See you Friday!
Blueback's skipper
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Postby PaulC » Sun May 27, 2007 4:00 pm

Wow, Jeff. They look really good! Looking forward to this coming weekend.
Warm regards,

Paul Crozier
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Postby JefftyToo » Sun Sep 09, 2007 10:28 pm

RIVET MADNESS

It occurs to me, fellas, that it's been too long since I've updated this thread. No need to go into too much detail, but know I finally appear to be within spittin' distance of finishing up my "riveting experience." Those who've followed along above may recall many of my Nautilus hull's molded-on rivets were destroyed as I worked to clean up the major seam/joint between her removable upper deck and lower hull. These were replaced with a nifty .80 plastic variety Paul C. discovered at a model railroad source (literally many hundreds of them), these being the brown ones seen along the top of the hull in the photo below:

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Said perfect little round drill-and-install rivets are much higher in relief off the hull than the remaining originals adjacent to them however, necessitating "building up" the nearby non-replaced ones with lacquer-thinned JB Weld to achieve more uniformity. In the photo above, the dark grey rivets are of the "built up" variety. They're definitely not perfect, but you'll see they much more closely resemble the brown replacement rivets in size and shape than do the originals still remaining lower down the hull (look closely and you can really tell).

I'd originally intended to end all this rivet replacement nonsense here, but while working closely with the "buildups" I soon realized there really was no way around it: for a consistent look, I had no choice but to build up the rest of the rivets over the ENTIRE remainder of the hull. (A quick review of the Disney DVD confirmed this: the rivets showing clearly on the 1:1 exterior deck set definitely appear in greater relief than do the molded scale rivets of the CR Nautilus kit. Building them up throughout the hull will undoubtedly make for a more striking model in the end.)

So, since making this decision there's been no turning back: I've been re-riveting like crazy, and I'm finally nearing completion -- photographic evidence is submitted below. Note that not just the hull now required this attention, but also the riveted parts to be attached later: side keels, dive planes (not shown), scoops, rakers, dorsal fin, wheelhouse, etc. Soon I'll finally be able to move on to some real BUILDING on this kit, and I can't wait!

More photos then,
JeffP

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Postby greenman407 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:31 am

hi jeff, your attention to detail is incredible, and the sub is looking good. by the way how can i get a hold of one of those. i hear that ray mason is not making them anymore. :( surely someone else does. :) talk to you soon. mark
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Postby U812 » Tue Oct 23, 2007 1:10 am

Jeff,

first rate work my friend!

Steve
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Postby JefftyToo » Wed Oct 24, 2007 1:35 am

Wow, thanks for the compliments, guys! And Mark, here's the link to Jim Key's "Custom Replicas," the outfit I ordered my R/C Nautilus hull kit from (now some years back). I see the price has gone up significantly since then, but when you consider all the goodies included and especially the considerable pre-build conversion labor Jim puts into it, I think it's well worth the cost. Be sure to check out the amazing modeling work on the rest of his site too!

http://www.customreplicas.com/66_RC%20Nautilus.htm

Best,
JeffP
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Postby JefftyToo » Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:44 pm

Hi guys!

I'm WAY overdue to update this thread. Thought I'd toss a few pix up here while I was thinking about it.

First, for those of you just joining us, I'm slowly tackling a Custom Replicas 1/32-scale Disney Nautilus for r/c. Same kit that Paul Crozier's building, and also the same one "Bob the Builder" Martin just completed. (Bob built his up as a static however, because he'd already scratchbuilt his own successful r/c version earlier.) For great photos and mini-videos of what this kit is SUPPOSED to look like when finished, check out Bob's latest Nautilus build thread in the TV/Movie Subs section of the forums. Wonderful work, Bob, as usual!

Okay. When last we left our intrepid adventurer, he (yours truly) was ensconced in building up rivets with thinned JB Weld. The whys and wherefores of this process are explained in great depth above -- no need to cover that real estate again. Just know that this effort is now as complete as it's gonna be. Here's an example of "buildups" around a salon window:
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And here's a view of some recent rivet re-do's on the after section:
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As mentioned (far) above, for consistency, all separate hull parts required new built-up rivets too. Here's a comparison between an old wheelhouse (foreground; eventually to be used as a paint test bed) and a new version with rivet buildups:
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Smaller parts required this treatment too. Here's the skiff: its rivets were barely visible before. Now they're striking, just like on the 1:1 version. These rivets were very small and difficult to render uniformly by hand, but required the thinned Weld method because those pre-manufactured railroad rivets seen in other shots and mentioned earlier in this thread were just too large for this purpose. My syringed Weld results were decidedly mixed, as the closeup shows, but, I believe, still better than how the skiff came to me. (Note: this skiff was purchased separately from a talented vendor on the DisneySub website; a less detailed skiff is included in the kit from CR.)
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I did use the manufactured rivets to replace the indistinct ones surrounding the ventral divers' hatch, however. They are actually too big in scale for this use as well, but the area was too tight to employ the thinned JB Weld versions: the arc of the hatch seat simply did not permit the drops to keep from running into one another, and I didn't want to take the days required to cure a couple at a time then "rotate." Actually, I think these rivets look pretty good even if they ARE too big. Besides, they'll be camouflaged somewhat by paint and weathering later.
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With rivet repair out of the way, the next job became filling the channels behind the various dive plane positions along the side keels. Paul was the one who informed me of this necessity. The static version side keel parts cover up these spots along the hull, but building an r/c configuration leaves them unsatisfactorily exposed, requiring filling if they're not going to be unsightly. Paul chose Evercoat "Metal Glaze" as his filler for this task. I have that too, and will likely use it for the major seam work necessary on my Seaview (obviously another story). But for this application, I preferred Milliput epoxy putty from Micro-Mark, since I'd had decent luck with that already. You just roll it into skinny little Play-Doh-like snakes and press them into the depressions, forming it into the correct shape by force. The putty smooths along its top with water and finger pressure. Great stuff! Here are dive plane channels masked for filling:
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And here are some filled channels, curing, waiting to be sanded smooth (though a little Nitro-Stan body filler will likely be required first).
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My badge of honor for today's work: a quick self-portrait of the splatters and glob of Milliput putty on my iron-on transfer "20k"/Nautilus T-workshirt. (Sorry so blurry.)
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More to come!
Last edited by JefftyToo on Fri May 02, 2008 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JefftyToo » Fri May 02, 2008 11:21 am

Quick update, fellas:

Here's a shot of a couple of my recently filled dive plane "channels"—all six have now been completed. As mentioned above, their Milliput putty filling was topped off with Nitro-Stan auto body filler, then wet-sanded smooth (careful to avoid damage to any more priceless rivets!).
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Next up: prep work on all the major side keel pieces shown below. The blue tape marks flawed spots requiring puttying/filling/sanding and/or more rivet repair work. Oh boy!
Image
More later...
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