It’s one heck of a long time since I’ve done an update on this project and I figured it was about time to get one done.
I haven’t been idle on this project what with being so close to finishing all the retooling. All moulds have pretty much been done withstanding the long Jack hull and a very special part that has grown very close to my heart...Not! It’s the redo of the scope rack and man what a challenge. The reason for the remake here is because I didn’t like how my initial 4 piece assembly worked as it was just too hard for the modeller to get the scopes aligned and straight within the sail, a task that might require the modeller to have 3 or four hands! The goal with the new one is to make it one piece for easy slide-in installation into the new one piece sails, a feat very much easier said than done.
To begin (again) I had to decide what method I wanted to accomplish this task. Cutting multiple sheets with the shape of the inside of the sail and the mast holes was out, just too hard to do so here was my solution. But before I begin I must relate to you all that this was finally done with a clear mind and desire to work on the Permit, both of which have been severely lacking over these summer months due to all the other fun distractions and obligations. When trying to do model stuff when you don’t feel like it presents sub-par results (doing things over 5 times) and that just ain’t fun.
First thing was to produce the base material that held all of the scopes perfectly straight and aligned properly in every axis in relation to the sail. First I poured a sail using semi transparent urethane plastic with no re-enforcement. I figured it would be a good idea to be able to see what I was doing. The clear sail was cut just slightly below the sail plane shaft holes so that when put on a flat surface the front and the back were perpendicular with the table. Great care was taken when looking at the front of the sail to make sure it was 90 degrees as well. Final trimming was carried out on my circular table sander. The mast holes were cut out as close to possible, plus the bridge fairing as well. The sail top was tacked to a thick styrene board using CA and baking soda to hold it in place at four points.
Care was taken to align my drill press table with the bit using a speed square and brass tube held in the chuck so that they were 90 degrees exactly. When you assume the table is square and it isn’t, guess what that means? The project will have to be redone as you can rightly guess what happened to me! The press was used to drill into the styrene board using the sail caps’ holes as guides. Lots of bit changing was done here, in fact I did so much that I was able to master changing bits with the machine turned on…Just kidding! Don’t try that at home! Ha.
With the holes transferred to the styrene board the sail cap was removed and I cut out the faired holes using a file. Long brass rods (ensured to be straight) and the faired antennae were put in place through both the sail cap and the styrene board. Theoretically straight and that is what the long rod’s jobs are; to make sure of this. The clear plastic really helped getting the rods into their respective holes too.
With things found to be straight (finally!) the long rods were replaced with shorter versions of their appropriate diameters. Note that everything is greased with Vaseline like the inside of the sail cap, brass rods, plastic antennae fairings etc…
The base was sealed with modeling clay and white plastic was then poured in through the clamshell opening in the sail cap, filling in almost completely. Another wonderful thing about the clear sail cap, I could see if the plastic filled in all the gaps that it should have. Then, into the pressure pot to try to get rid of bubbles.
To get the plastic work piece out of the sail cap I first removed the rods then I pried between the clear and the white using old Exacto blades leaving two in place. These two blades were used as guides that would tell me where to stop closing my vise. With the clear lips placed on the vice I tapped out the white piece using a hammer and a dowel that fit into the clamshell hole.
It doesn’t look impressive in the picture, but now I have the base material in which to make a nicely aligned scope rack!
More to come on this thing tomorrow, I’ve already typed enough for one day…