Work on the topside has taken much longer than I thought it would. It would have been easier had I been working from a detailed set of cross sections for the superstructure but I’ve not been able to find any. So, with several pictures of SSBN’s of this class and Outboard Profile and Main Deck drawings I set out to shape the superstructure as best I could.
My plan was to cut pieces of 3/16” scrap MDF to shape, glue them to the hull along the centerline and use Plaster of Paris to rough in the shape. BIG MISTAKE! Yes, the material was cheap but not easy to shape when wet and a bear to sand not to mention the mess. So the solution was to start over using a polyester glazing putty called “ Easy Sand” by Evercoat.
This shot shows the aft end of the superstructure as I began to chip away the Plaster of Paris.
After roughing in the aft end I glued some pink foam filler pieces in place to start shaping the missile deck. The foam was painted with some left over latex paint to prevent the polyester putty from attacking it.
Here you see the beginnings of my “Yellow Submarine”. You can also see the roughed in fore and aft ends of the superstructure with the centerline and main deck tangent lines layed out with a black “Sharpie”. Finally, you can see how I’ve used blue painter’s tape to mark the intersection of the superstructure with the hull.
At this point the rough in is covered with Evercoat “Easy Sand” and the superstructure is ready for sanding and shaping. But how to get the correct shapes?
In my research I was able to find several pictures on the web to help me with the shapes. Following are some of them. The first is the Casimir Pulaski on drydock followed by the Francis Scott Key, both showing the forward end of the superstructure.
Next are after end shots of Kamehameha and Andrew Jackson.
Using the shot of Casimir Pulaski I estimated the angle between the side of the superstructure and the vertical somewhere between 15 to 20 degrees. I split the difference and made a tool for sanding the curve at the main deck tangent line as well as the side.
If anyone out there knows for sure what the angle really is, I’d like to know just for the heck of it. Meanwhile, back to the workbench for some more sanding and shaping.