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Material for control surfaces... - what to choose.

Post your favorite modeling 'tips' and 'tricks'

Postby Robse » Fri Feb 13, 2004 8:58 pm

Hi, fellow subbers.

In the process of scratch building my 1:81 SSBN Ohio hull, I have gotten to the point where I need to build the control surfaces. They are, due to the scale 1:81, rather big. I had planned to take nylon blocks, and then cut, file and sand them info shape, but research prior to starting has proved that nylon is impossible to glue. (I wanna build the control surfaces in something solid to avoid them breaking later on, and because the solid weight will bring the hull in even better ballance. Also, solid objects support the shafts / hindges better.)
I then thought of using plexi glass... but it's too brittle, I fear..

Now.. is the best approach really to make'm in plaster, then make a mold, and then cast them in pure epoxy resin?

Any ideas / comments?
Yours Sincerely, Robert Holsting, Denmark
1/81 SSBN Ohio Class scratch builder, more at www.robse.dk

"Never be afraid to try something new; remember that it was amateurs who build Noah's Ark, and professionals who build the Titanic"
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Postby kd6hq » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:29 pm

How about wood, it cheap, needs no special mold, easy to replace if you don't shape it correctly and easy to waterproof.

-- just a thought --
Don

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Postby ThierryC » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:36 pm

I used lexan for a 1/100 LA, it worked perfectly. Easy to work with, non-brittle and gluable
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Postby Art Broder » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:42 pm

How about sheet Lexan polycarbonate, which comes in different thicknesses. Much less brittle than plexiglas, sands and shapes/machines easily, and takes paint well. I made some bow planes and skegs that worked out well.
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Postby Art Broder » Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:44 pm

Our minds work in the same way.
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Postby Robse » Sat Feb 14, 2004 8:35 am

Hi again.

Thanks alot, guys! I now have a few ideas to take into early tests. :-)
And Art: I didn't know my mind WAS working.. :D
Yours Sincerely, Robert Holsting, Denmark
1/81 SSBN Ohio Class scratch builder, more at www.robse.dk

"Never be afraid to try something new; remember that it was amateurs who build Noah's Ark, and professionals who build the Titanic"
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Postby USS Silversides » Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:31 pm

I like to save a buck where I can, so I have used plexiglass for all of my control surfaces. The kind of plexiglass I am using (if there are different kinds) is not brittle at all, and even though I have not tried them out yet, they seem to be very durable.

Just my two cents worth :)

Jon
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Postby Art Broder » Sat Feb 14, 2004 5:19 pm

Jon,
I guess I'm not the best driver, but I have run my subs in some tight places around docks and in test tanks that have interior metal beams to support the glass walls, and have broken quite a few "original equpment" control surfaces.
Plexiglass is a brand name for acrylic. I have broken and repaired many acrylic products including an acrylic WTC, which fractured when I tried to insert an end cap.
I still recommend polycarbonate, like Lexan, for these uses, in spite of the additional cost.
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Postby USS Silversides » Sat Feb 14, 2004 6:43 pm

Yeah, you're probably right.
One problem I have with the translucent and transparent materials is even when painted they let an unscale-like bit of light through. What do you do about that? Just live with it? :D
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