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New to the Forum... and to Subs

Place for general submarine conversation

New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Lash151 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 6:57 pm

Hi my name is Lee, I thought I would say hello. I am essentially a model boat builder who has decided to get involved with submarines. I know I am more or less clueless when it comes to subs but I am learning as fast as I can! At this point I shall own up to my master plan, which I know will be met with a certain amount of scepticism, and in some respects will prove I haven't learned anything yet... I want to build the Surcouf... using wood. I know all the reasons why this is not the best of ideas but owing to a tight budget and a certain attachment to plank on frame boat building... I am going to give it a go! Obviously the wooden hull will be completely coated with resin. I am drawing plans at the moment and its going to be 1/80th scale, which will make it 1375mm long. I haven't decided on a ballast system yet as I am still reading everything I can find.

I hope I am still welcome on the forum, inspite of what I have just said!!! I am looking forward to learning a great deal here and hopefully in the future I will have something to offer... (even if it is just a good laugh at my model building... :D )

Lee
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Boss subfixer » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:07 pm

Welcome aboard Lee. Surcouf is definitely an ambitious project. If it would help you I have actual ship builders plans I could email to you and some pictures. I found them on a French government website. Let me know.
Take care.
Don
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby salmon » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:19 pm

Lee,
You are always welcome! Glad to see that you narrowed down your choice to the Surcouf! I look forward to seeing your work and learn together from your work.
Peace,
Tom
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Thor » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:29 pm

Lee,

OTW currently markets the most fantastic model of SURCOUF. Check out their website and take a look. The latest issue of the SubCommittee Report has some information on it and tons of pics! It would save you a ton of time.

Matt
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby PaulC » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:41 pm

Lee,

Welcome aboard. Matt's right, you should check out the build articles on Ken's OTW Surcouf. He wrote three articles for the SCR chronicling his build. The final installment is in the current issue. Lots of images and construction insight.
Warm regards,

Paul Crozier
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby JefftyToo » Wed Mar 06, 2013 11:28 pm

Lee,

Good to have you standing watch with the SubCommittee crew! By all means, go for your Dream Build. If the rest of us had listened to naysayers, we'd never have gotten anything built!

JeffP
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Thor » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:49 am

Hey now, Jeff! I'm not a naysayer. I'm just saying it would be easier to start with the OTW model. Bob spent years documenting this boat and drafting his plans. Information is not exactly easy to get for this boat! I've seen Ken's beauty close up and personal at the 2012 Regatta. OTW really did their homework on this one!

If you want to pursue this project on your own, we stand ready to help you in any way.

Matt
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby JefftyToo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:01 am

Matt, Matt, Matt...

That naysayer comment wasn't directed at you, ol' buddy! (The OTW boat and all its documentation would make WONDERFUL resources!) It was directed at the phantoms obviously flitting around Lee's mind, making him question his own intentions. Sometimes you just gotta say the heck with the doubts and go for it!

Sorry about giving the wrong impression...
JeffP
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Lash151 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:07 am

Hi... Thanks for such a positive welcome! I shall explore the site for any pictures and builds of Surcouf. Yes, I know its an ambitious first attempt but I have got my heart set on this one so i am going to go for it. I would really appreciate any plans you have, I'll PM you my email address. I am drawing up the hull at the moment but what you have maybe a lot better than what I have found to work from. I did consider the OTW hull but i am not that well off... I also like building hulls from scratch so I'm hoping if I can keep the deck and superstructure nice and light it will work. Anyway I shall keep you all posted on progress and thanks again for such an enthusiastic welcome.
Lee
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Sub culture » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:39 am

Weight is a factor, but you do also have to consider displacement with subs, something you don't need to worry about to the same extent with surface vessels. A superstructure made of solid foam would be very light, but you would need an enormous ballast tank to get the boat to submerge. If you make the superstructure from thin sheet metal, the tank volume will be minimised, but you'll need plenty of buoyancy below the waterline to support the extra density of metal (which will usually be in the range of three to eight times denser than the surrounding wet stuff), and stability could become a problem.

This is why plastics and GRP are very popular in model submarine construction. They are waterproof, offer high strength to weight, are relatively close to the density of water and can be made thin in cross section thus minimising displacement.
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Lash151 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:59 am

Hi Sub Culture...
I know you probably think I am a bit mad/stupid for sticking with this idea... but I have kind of got my heart set on doing this. I know there is a lot of science I don't understand but I am listening to everything and hopefully I won't completely fall on my a*se. Thanks for the input it is really useful... I am making notes all the time!
Lee
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Chuck Chesney » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:14 pm

Lash,
Welcome to the world of model submarines. You have one of the very best resources that you could possibly have...right there in the UK. It's Andy, in London, who goes by the avatar of Sub Culture. He is very experienced, rational, logical, and helpful. It would be very much worth your time to contact him, and pay close attention to his advice, which always seems to help make sure that you won't waste time and money by re-inventing the wheel.
Good luck on your new adventure, which will be frustrating, exciting, and ultimately, satisfying.
Chuck
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby JWLaRue » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:55 pm

Hi Lee,

Welcome to what we believe to be a very enjoyable and interesting hobby. There are (also) a lot of very talented people here who, as you have already seen, are willing and able to help.

I'd like to pick up on a comment that Andy made about using plastics. Since you are considering making the hull from wood (bread & butter or plank on frame?), you may wish to consider using sheets of plastic like Sintra instead fo wood. It'll cut, shape and bend like wood but is already waterproof so you wouldn't need to worry if your resin coating really completely coats and seals the wood.

Also, once you do join up, let me know and I'll be glad to point you towards the issues that have useful scratch-build content.

-enjoy!

Jeff (Managing Editor, the SubCommittee Report)
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Sub culture » Thu Mar 07, 2013 1:49 pm

I believe Sintra is sold under the name of Foamex here in the UK.

It is rather expensive, and I imagine a large hull would cost quite a bit to make using this material. A more economic material would be polystyrene or polyurethane foam. Either tends to work like a very soft balsa, and if skinned with resin and glass becomes extremely tough. It would lend itself well to bread and butter type construction, but not at all well to plank-on-frame methods, as the material has negligible tensile strength.

It's worth remembering what I said in an earlier thread in response to your posts elsewhere, that with a wet hull type sub, the hull is really just a 'posh frock' and you can largely employ traditional model building skills that you would use in conventional model boat construction. What goes on inside is very different however.
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Re: New to the Forum... and to Subs

Postby Lash151 » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:04 pm

It is hard to shake off the impulse to think like a surface boat builder... I had been imagining the hull as a dry space but that is going to create a lot of buoyancy which will require a lot of weight to counter... If i make large areas of the hull wet then I'll need to add less weight... So what you are saying is the sub is just the WTC essentially... with an outer skin that looks like a scale model which has neutral buoyancy.... but in my case, the outer skin is wood so it has a degree of natural buoyancy which i will have to counter with weight.... is that correct?
Lee
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