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.
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.
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.)