It’s been almost a year and a half since I started actual construction of this model but my research started over 10 years ago. Now the completion is very near and I’m down to “the host of other goodies” I mentioned in my very first post.
This binder contains my research photos and sections of various plans. The photo on the cover along with others was my guide to the various masts I wanted to represent. Each mast as well as all other fittings except for the propeller had to be handmade. I just didn’t have the tools nor the skill to make a suitable prop.
In the photo below you see from left to right: the surface-search radar, snorkel induction/exhaust, AN/BRA 15 antenna (MF/HF), No. 2 periscope (radar/ECM), and No.1 periscope (attack). Each mast was hand shaped using a combination of brass rod, brass tubing of teardrop and circular cross sections, styrene tubing & strips, blue masking tape strips and wooden toothpicks, believe it or not. I followed the paint schemes I found in the research photos as best I could. It’s a good thing there were so many of these boats because although they were not all exactly the same, they were similar in most respects. I also had some help from a former Will Rogers crew member. Thanks Bob.
On the main deck I used model railroad spikes for the retractable cleats and #18 gauge wire nails for the main ballast tank vents. The spikes were painted white and the wire nails painted aluminum. Here they are drying in a scrap piece of balsa.
For sacrificial zincs at the rudder and stern planes I used some small pieces of black cable ties I had left over from another project. I cut them to length, secured them to blue tape and painted them aluminum. Then using one of my carving tools I scored each one three times to simulate four zincs.
I thought they worked just fine. By the way, the stern/anchor light was cast in resin using an LED as the master and pressed into clay for the mold. I drilled a very small hole in the top of the rudder and the light. Then I glued a piece of 26 gauge wire into the light and then glued the assembly into the rudder.
For the cooling water intake screens I found some etched brass at a hobby shop called “Just Trains”. Since my local hobby shop closed a few years ago I’ve been able to find many things I can use that were meant for the railroad train hobby. Hey, whatever works! I found an open punch set at Harbor Freight (thanks for the tip Mike). I used two different sizes to punch out brass screens for attaching to brass tubing.
The challenge was attaching the screen to the tubing. I tried soldering them but that didn’t work as well as I had hoped. In the end I CA’d the screens to the tubes. The final assembly was then inserted and CA’d into the holes I had pre-drilled into the hull way back when.
And now for the last “goodie”. I was able to find one fairly good photo of the Secondary Propulsion Motor on the Henry Clay in drydock. Believe me folks, there are some good pictures of these boats on the web if you are willing to do the research. Anyhow, using the picture and the drawing I made the SPM using styrene, Evercoat filler and CA glue. The Evercoat filler was spread heavily around one end of the tubing and allowed to dry. Then using my vertical lathe, aka “drill press”, and sand paper strips I shaped the SPM. The cover plate and brackets are styrene and the mount is a brad. Here you see it next to the prop in the first and deployed in the second photo.
Each of these fittings except for the “zincs” has a “rod” of some sort to be inserted into pre-drilled holes in the sail or hull to provide support.
In my next post I’ll talk about marks and hull number.