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1/60th 688 Build

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1/60th 688 Build

Postby SubICman » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:30 pm

Here we go, I actually got up off my duff and decided to start a post instead of just following along with everybody elses. Although lurking around here has given me alot of good tips and tricks to try out during my build. Everybody here has done a wonderful job with their boats and documenting how and why they did certain things.

My hat goes off to Mylo and his Type VIIC/41 build and Pirate's tackling of that behmouth SSBN build. I used a combination of the methods they employed, and documented to build their boats to get mine underway. Unlike Mylo tho, I picked something very easy to start with, but at the same time something I wanted to build. It's not that I am scared of doing difficult things, but a combination of awakening old skills and trying out new ones.

My goal is to model the three boats that I served on so far: USS Baltimore SSN-704, USS Boise SSN-764, and my most recent command, the USS Augusta SSN-710. The first being a straight forward second flight 688 build, the next a straight forward 688I build, and the last a interesting build, as the Gussy has the prototype for the Wide Apperature Array (WAA) installed.
Owing to that piece of gear, the newest sonar system, and the skill of my sonar friends, we are known as the "BAD Rabbit" for exercises........we never let the good guys win. :D Not bad for a boat that's headed for the scrap pile next year.

After that, I am planning on modeling the Zwaardvis class in a decent scale, 1/40 or 1/32ish. I am currently working on my plans for that in the dead time in my 688 build.

Currently the progress of my build is fairly strong and steady. I started back in September with my research and planning phase. Being stationed onboard a operational 688 at the time was very helpful, due to obvious reasons. I didn't buy any plans from anybody for this build, I adapted the knowledge I have in my head from being qualified in submarines for the last 17 years and my ability to gather information from different drawings and books to draw out on DRT paper a full size plansheet for my model. This took about a week and a half and took up most of my dead time on duty days during post deployment standdown.

I started the actual building of my master about a month ago and using 1/4 inch threaded rod to index my hull formers (1/4" hardboard) and foam insulation (2") in line. I cut my formers out after pasting templates to the sheet with simple white glue watered down and spread on with a brush. I left the templates attached to the formers after assemble as the paper added no significant length to the model, if anything it made up for any slight in-accuracies in my build. I cut the foam discs and attached them to the the formers using elmers wood glue, I then sanded all the sections to shape, drilled and tapped the guide hole and assembled the hull shape on the rod over a period of about a week.
After assembly of that shape was complete, I checked the center parallel hull with a 48" level for round, and started filling in the divits with joint compound. Several applications later I sprayed the whole thing with shellac to seal the joint compound and protect the exposed foam. (Thanks guys for the tips for testing stuff on scraps, turns out that Rustolem sandable primer will melt Extruded polysterene foam) and gave it the first primer coat. I then wet sanded , spot filled, and repeated the process 2 more times before I called it good.
I am currently doing the same for the bow section with a curve jig that I made buy pasting a copy of my plan onto some wood and cutting it on my scroll saw.
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When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Rogue Sub » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:59 pm

Good luck sea warrior. I cant believe you have time for this while attatched to a sea going fasty. At least they allow you to take time and plan every step. Thats the part that makes me crazy. Nice big boat though have fun at the base lake!
Kevin
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Postby SubICman » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:29 pm

Kevin,

Thanks alot!, though I have to admit that I detached from the Gussy the day before Thanksgiving. I am headed for a nice cushy shore billet over at Submarine Technical Support Center. More time to work on my boat!!!! As far as a seagoing Fasty, that's an understatement. I was assigned to the Gussy 4 years ago and despite two 3 month Drydockings in that time, I have spent every summer at sea or deployed for that time period. The rest of the time was spent on work-ups (ORSE, TRE, BSA,etc) and up-keeps. What I wouldn't have given for your set schedule. That was my main reason for lurking over the last 2 years, not enough time.
I saw on the other posts that you are up for orders and looking at here. If you come, I would like to check out your Akula and your Seawolf. Good luck with the orders! 8)

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Rogue Sub » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:39 pm

Yeah you got it dude. I was supposed to find out today where im going but when I called my recruiter all he said is oppss. Hmmmm. Not sure if you can define my type of angry easily. Maybe he will redeem his anchors tommorow with good orders.

As for everything else no problem. You can always visit my local chapters web site or you can visit any of my build threads.

Im also on the waiting list for Pete's Ohio and have helpped out with it a bit as well.

Currently I trying my first scratch build of a 1/74 ssn575 if that goes well Im going to do a 1/72 ssn571.

Do you plan on producing a master fir this or are you making a one off?
Kevin
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Postby SubICman » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:53 pm

Kevin,

The plan is to build a master, so that I can build my three boats. If I do good enough, and I get postive feedbacks from my completed boat(s), then I will entertain selling kits for a reasonable price. I have been doing model railroading for a long time, so I have some skills, I just don't know how it will rate compared to some of these guys on here. Although, I did notice a distinct lack off quality 688 kits out there......mostly all discontinued. Anyway, If the more that peopel are interested, the more likely I will produce a kit.
I have been checking out your threads, and all I can say is, man.....that is some good work. But nothing beats seeing the real thing in action. As far as your level of angry, I understand. Back when I was looking for orders, the detailer wouldn't return any of my phonecalls, and email reply took weeks. Believe me when I say I was livid, but it worked out in the end. I got what I wanted and am very happy, maybe, just maybe there will be anchors for me next year.......you know what they say, 8th time is a charm :? Good luck again.

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Rogue Sub » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:23 am

I have an idea that could save you time. When you lay up the sail put a thin piece of steel in it. That way when your done all you have to do is make magnetic number for the side of the sail and it can be any boat you want that day. Har har har
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Postby SubICman » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:21 am

That's a good one. Actually, a pretty good idea if you were making identical hulls. Sadly, all three of these will be slighty different. 1 standard 688 with fairwaters, one 688I with bow planes, and a 688 with fairwaters and WAA panels on the side.

My plan for the WAA panels are to make castings of them and then epoxy them onto the hull in the appropriate positions, then fair in with bondo. This way I don't have to make a special hull mold for that boat.

688's are pretty varied when you look at them, they are almost like the Gato's when it came down to being built according to plans. No 2 are alike for the most part. You have 3 or 4 adapted for Dry Deck shelters, 1 with split stern planes, 4 with VLS and Fairwaters, 2 with WAA's, several of the 688Is don't have dyhedrals, one has a pumpjet, Memphis has a weird step in front of her sail (hull stiffener?). That's just on the outside, inside, might as well hang it up. None are the same. And the funny thing is they are only built at 2 yards, but 2 from EB can be as different from each other as 1 from EB and 1 from Newport News. Kinda opens up the possiblities from a modeling standppoint though.

Anyway, gotta keep on charging. It's been a long day, and not alot of headway on the master today. Helped my wife with her delivery route today, and that took a chunk outa the day. Then picked up my girls from their after school activities. Pretty much was rnning all over creation since 8 this morning. Final got to relax just a little while ago. Luckily I'm on leave until the 20th. Take it easy, let me know what the detailer says.

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby SubICman » Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:22 pm

I have spent the last couple of days applying thin layers of joint compund to the bow and combing them with the bow curve jig. I finally gave the bow its first primer coat today after a coat of clear shellac to seal the joint compound. The shellac helps keep the joint compound from absorbing the primer. Here is a picture of the jig I am using.

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I marked the first frame where the parallel hull starts, and use the arrow on the jig to follow that around. I gave an extra little bit of room after that on the jig to help follow the hull flat.

After the primer dryed for a couple of hours, I did the inital sanding. Here is the results of that.

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I then filled in the lows with more compound. I have found that If I use a wetted paint brush, I can feather the filler and give it a smoother surface, resulting in less sanding. While I was waiting for the filler patches to dry I made the aft hull section jigs. I had to make it in two pieces because I didn't have a board that was long enough.

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In the first picture you can see the smaller piece of this jig from the Aft most point to the first step in the hull. I then gorilla glued these two pieces together and clamped them. I will undo them tommorrow and hopefully start on the aft hull.

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I found that the hardest part of this stage has been forming the curve on the bow dome. Even with the jig, it has been an exercise is sanding, filling, and sanding again. By curving a strip of sandpaper around the bow and sanding lightly, then rotating the hull, I have found that it works fairly well. Here is a picture of the semi-final shape.

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For anybody wanting to know. I sand the first time with 100 grit paper, then the next couple of times with 150 grit. I plan on wet sanding with 320 grit after the final primer coat for the whole hull.

That's about it for tonight. Tommorrow is hopefully the final sand on the bow, and start on that aft hull section.

Have fun guys
Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Mylo » Sun Dec 09, 2007 1:11 pm

Tim,

Congrats on taking the leap to scratch building. I had never scratch built anything before my VIIc/41, but like you, have some experience in HO scale model railroading. I have found that the similarity I discovered between the two is ATTENTION to DETAIL. If you have refined that ability from your model railroading, it will serve you well. I have found that scratch building a sub is VERY unforgiving when attention is not given to even the most minute detail.

First and foremost, it's important, no, it's crucial, to have a real interest in the model you are building, regardless of it's level of difficulty, whether it's a U-Boat with all it's odd shapes and parts, or a wooden barrel that sinks and surfaces. If I served on a 688, you can rest assured I would have done a 688. Your interest in the topic will keep you motivated not to mention the wealth of knowledge you must have about these boats. Good choice, I really like the 688. Love the scale.

Your 1/4" ready rod spine looks familiar and works well as a referencing tool since you can drill a nice 1/4" hole in the exact middle of your formers (I'm sure you discovered that) as well as having the ability to put nuts on the rod to tighten in all the formers, ...but.... I had to cut square notches on the flat portions (upper deck) of my formers in order to insert a spine board to keep the formers perfectly aligned, so that the formers wouldn't rotate around the spine rod. I'm not sure if that's an issue with a 688 hull or how you addressed that in your build, but your plug looks like it's coming along nicely.

Ahhhh.....you tested some product on material first, ....I wish I was smart enought to do that when I started.

Might be a little late to say this now, but I find that nothing works better for attaching a paper plan to hardboard than spray adhesive. Elmers, 3M, ....whatever. Quick, easy, dries fast, no mess and best of all, it doesn't distort the paper as a diluted solution of white glue *might* (I sense that is an old habit from your railroading days). I've spray glued a lot of plans to hardboard/MDF for shaping and I think it's the way to go.

I like the little sanding jig for the bow.

Looking forward to seeing this one completed. Like I said, I like the 688, it would be my choice for nuke boats.


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Postby SubICman » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:52 pm

Mylo,

Thank you for your compliments, and thanks again for the "lessons learned" sections of your posts. You are correct when you guess that diluted glue is a hold over from my model railroading. I thought about the spray adhesive after I had already pasted everything down. I use alot of spray adhesive when pasting targets up on the rifle range, and it works great there. I don't know why I didn't put 2 and 2 together and used it here. I will definetly be using that method next time around.

To address the deforming that can occur using the diluted white glue, I place weights ontop of the patterns to keep them flat. It worked fairly well, I had to redo a couple of formers due to wrinkled patterns, but not too many.

Rotation of the formers wasn't a real problem for me. It is a round hull to begin with, but I wanted the formers to stay put. I actually drilled the formers and tapped them to 1/4 - 20 then threaded them onto the rod. I then used each former/foam section like nuts and jammed the together. I did the assembly in 2 section increments, one on each end of the previous two. The Bow section and the stern were assembly seperate from the center hull section, then screwed onto the rod sticking out of each end of the middle section.

As for unforgiving, I can relate. I found out today that I over-sanded the foam in the stern section, and I am going to have to build up alot of joint compund to fix the problem and get it to the right contour. The bow jig worked great tho and that part is done and primed. After I fix the stern and get it to where I want it, I will wet sand the whole plug and wrap it with some 3 oz fiberglass cloth.

Keep on trucking, that first boat is looking great! I can't wait to see the R/C version being posted.

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Mylo » Sun Dec 09, 2007 7:34 pm

Tim,

If you are making rubber molds for your boat (which I assume you are so that you can make duplicates given that you are making at least 3), I found no need to glass cloth the plug, since you really don't need that kind of strength. If you're doing a "one off", obviously that's different since you literally cut the actual hull off the foam, and so need to build it accordingly. I only used two coats of fiberglass resin after I had my foam plug all sanded to the right shape (but if doing another, I would use West System Epoxy since the epoxy will not "eat" the foam. With the resin, I had to first paint my foam plug with an oil based paint, garage floor paint to be exact) and found that it worked real well. After applying the resin, sand until smooth, then apply the details/scribing. (if you have lots of deep scribing to do, I would apply more layers of resin/epoxy so that you have something to cut into without hitting your foam core). NOT putting the cloth on the plug saves you money, time, and most importantly for me, losing any intricate detail of the plug with all it's tight nooks and crannies.

My thread is ALL ABOUT lessons learned. Hopefully you will save yourself the same mistakes I made. As for you thinking of spray adhesive afterwards.....at least 50% of the time I think of a better way to build something AFTER I've already got it done. I'll be glad to get my first boat out of the way. My next one will be walk in the park.

If you have to build up an area quite a bit, something like bondo spot putty filler would probably work better than joint compound. I have found that if I go much more than 1/8" with the joint compound, it doesn't dry very well. .....yep, 2 seconds too much with the sander and it costs you 2 hours to fix.

Main thing is, keep motivated, keep at it, and see it through. I have to remind myself of those words all the time.

..........got any pics of your railroad ? PM them to me if you do, would love to see. I'm still a TrainHead. Wooooooooooo wooo Woooooooooo !

Mylo
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Postby Pirate » Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:58 am

Way to go Tim! The model is looking awesome. I love the LA class. Keep up the good work.

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Postby SubICman » Sun Dec 23, 2007 1:24 am

Evening Gents, it is time for a status update.

As of my last update a couple of weeks ago, I had discovered that I was a little happy with the sander when I rough formed the foam to the hull shape. This was back in the stern area of the plug. So after a couple of weeks of building up and sanding to shape, I was ready to wet sand the hull today. I gave to entire hull a healthy coat of primer and let it dry for several hours. :)

Earlier this evening I went down to start wet sanding, I got the top portion done and went to rotate the plug. During the rotating, I heard a sickening crack from the plug. :cry: I looked over and exactly where my frames 97 and 100 come together the plug had cracked and broke. (This is where the parallel hull starts to taper to the stern). This was the planned joint for the center hull and the stern. There was another planned joint at frame 25 forward for the bow dome (this one didn't break). The 2 pieces didn't totally seperate from each other due to the threaded rod through the center. I swore at my self repeatedly. :x

I had a discussion with Mylo about the simularities in modeling trains and building a model R/C sub. The one thing that we both had mentioned was that attention to detail was key, because the result could be very unforgiving. Well this is true here. After I investigated the cause of the failure, I found that I had forgotten to glue those two formers together, and the weight of the tail section caused it to fracture. A 1 minute lapse in judgement has now resulted in who knows how much time to fix.

I gathered my wits and decided that it was fixable. I backed the two parts away from each other far enough to gain access to them. I then sanded the two faces to get rid of the rough edges, then applied a liberal amount of Gorilla glue to the one face and wet the other according to the instructions. I then joined the two faces and supported the stern in order to maintain a straight joint. To aggrevate me even further, I bumped the bow dome on my scroll saw and put a nice gash in it. Something else to fix! :(

Time will tell how far off round the hull is and how much more sanding I will have to do to get it back to where it needs to be. I will post the verdict tommorrow after the glue sets up real good. Here are some recent photos.

Tim


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When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Postby Sub culture » Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:30 am

Something you can try if this happens again is to put a bit of fabric reinforcement in there. This could be a b it of scrim, stocking etc. something which the plaster can soak into.

This will give tensile strength, the same way that the glass fibre gives the resin in a GRP laminate.

Andy
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Postby SubICman » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:18 am

Thanks for the tip. I will have to utilise that during the repair process!

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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