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1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:33 pm

Thanks Scott! This picture is very similar to the one I based the design on, and probably was taken at the same time.

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It still has the old mast configuration though, and I decided to do the new one, because that is the way she looks at the museum. Do you suppose the mast transformation and freemantle (is that what it is called?) being cut happened during the same refit?
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby Tom Dougherty » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:18 pm

This proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be, and studying the photos revealed some definite design changes between the two ships, besides the mast arrangement. The first thing I noticed was that the aft end of the fairweather on Batfish goes straight down, and does not have the jog that Pampanito has. The next thing I noticed was that the ends of the bridge platforms are different. On the plans I have, both ends have sloped support structures under the ends. Batfish has no such structure on the forward end and a differently sloped structure on the aft end.


Welcome to the Wonderful World of Fleet Boat variants. There were several designs of Balao conning tower fairwaters. Here's a Nautilus Models 1/72 resin kit specific for Batfish
http://nautilusmodels.com/Gato/72Gato.htm This was a "short base Balao". Later Balao class boats had slightly longer conning towers, so the fairwater was also longer.

PS. Freemantle was a sub base in Australia. You are speaking of the fairwater, I believe. Also, the earlier Gato class started out with large, enclosed bridge structures and were "cut down" in several stages. The later Balao class were built with a more open, three sided fairwater and were not "cut down"; they were built that way. The other big difference between Gato & Balao class is the hull steel for the Gatos was 9/16-inch mild steel, which gave them a test depth of about 300 feet, whereas the Balao class employed 7/8-inch high tensile steel plating for 450 feet test depth. The late war Tench class looked like Balaos (although some had longer fairwaters; the big change was below the waterline where the bow was redesigned to a longer and then sharper upward turn, which increased torpedo capacity for the forward tubes from 16 to 20.
Tom Dougherty
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Thu Mar 28, 2013 9:40 am

COOL TOM D! That’s a really neat model, and WOW, at 1/72 scale. That’s a large model; 4’3”to be exact. I guess you RC’ers are used to that scale, but again, WOW! At this scale, SLA could detail the heck out of it, but it would have to be in like a bazillion pieces.

You always provide interesting scoop. I love it! You have taught me a lot and obviously when it comes to submarines, I really need it, as you can see. I thought that it was the fairweather, but got misled because the photo Scott posted was titled Freemantle, which I assume he renamed, which led me, for some reason, to think I might be wrong about that. Anyway, I knew there was a Freemantle in Australia, but I had no idea that it was connected to submarines. That must be where part of the fleet went to when they left Manilla, which they have just done in “Silent Victory,” as I just finished reading Chapter 3 last night. It’s a great book so far, and I thank you for recommending it Tom D.

Interesting about the hull steel, that the thickness increased 33% and so did the test depth. I can’t imagine how they must creak and moan when they go deep. And I can’t imagine the sheer terror of having depth charges exploding around you, knowing that any second could be your last.

As for my model, I said from the beginning that this was my first stab at it, and the more I look at pictures, the more changes I see I need to make. Scott T sent me some great close ups of the windshield and that is going to take some time to do. He also sent some great shots of the bulge on the forward, starboard side of the fairweather and that was timely because I was wondering how I was going to make that feature, but thanks to the photos, I know how to make it. Thanks Scott!

Scott also mentioned in his e-mail that they added the rear gun deck back after it arrived at Muskogee because it had been removed and that he did not know if it is the original correct length and size round. The confusion continues…

This would at first make me think that the Pampanito plans may be accurate, but since the front gun deck appears to have been lopped off (or moved aft), the fairweather was cut, and the mast configuration was changed, I have no idea what the real configuration was at the end of the war. Tom D has said how you need to pick a time period and go with it. I think my best bet is to go with her museum configuration because that is what I have pictures for, and will soon go see.
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby Tom Dougherty » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:43 am

they added the rear gun deck back after it arrived at Muskogee because it had been removed and that he did not know if it is the original correct length and size round. The confusion continues…

The subs were built with foundations (attached to the pressure hull and extending up to the deck)for mounting both forward and rear guns. Initially these were 3 inch 50 mm guns (not real powerful) on Gatos and the Captain had a choice to mount forward or in the rear. A 4 inch 50 mm was mounted mid-war, and the final development for deck guns was the 5 inch 25 mm caliber, a gun developed specifically for submarines. When enough became available, some subs had both forward and rear 5/25 guns near the end of the war. A quick primer is here: http://www.fleetsubmarine.com/guns.html

Many subs had their guns removed postwar, because the guns caused underwater drag, and the postwar period doctrine did not envision subs engaging in surface gun actions after WWII. The ultimate conversions were to the streamlined Guppys, which did not have any guns. But even subs that remained in WWII condition often had guns removed. Batfish had a 4/50 forward in 1944. There is a blurry photo on Navsource that shows her with an aft mounted 5/25 at the end of her career as an AGSS.
Interesting about the hull steel, that the thickness increased 33% and so did the test depth. I can’t imagine how they must creak and moan when they go deep. And I can’t imagine the sheer terror of having depth charges exploding around you, knowing that any second could be your last.

Actually, they were built a lot tougher with more depth leeway than the test depth would indicate. In 1969, the USS Chopper made an uncontrolled excursion well below "test depth". Keep in mind as well that Chopper was 25 years old at that point with thousands of dives on her hull. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Chopper_(SS-342)
I thought that it was the fairweather
Well, no, it's the FairWATER.
Tom Dougherty
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:59 pm

Oh man!

I just read the wiki article on Chopper. What a harrowing experience that must have been, sinking stern down then shooting to the surface. I can’t fathom the terror the crew must have felt. Thanks for the link Tom. And thanks for the pix Tom and Scott. You are both too kind.
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:31 pm

UPDATE 12 - 3/28/2013
Greetings Everyone,

Well my AutoCad file is up to 35 MB and is getting really sluggish, so I decided to segment the model so that it is easier (meaning faster) to work on the different components. First I created a good datum to copy everything from and to, so that the various parts can easily put in the correct locations.

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I cut the hull into three parts so that I could more easily slice off the bridge, but it will require further segmentation later. For now I focused on the upper components, the bridge, the conning tower, the periscopes and the SD mast.

Starting with the bridge, I redid it because the original one somehow got slightly off vertical. The image below shows the part positioned on the gridlines and the datum lines.

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I decided to go with the vertical forward edge and designed the aft gun platform based on the Batfish photos, rather than the Pampanito plans. The images below show the completed bridge. OK., not the completed bridge perhaps, because I plan on detailing it at some point, but the major shape is complete. The first image shows the top, deck side. Note the two posts for the periscopes, and the notches cut on the sides and the hole drilled in the deck to accommodate the fairwater.

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The second image shows the underside of it. Note that it is hoolowed out. I did this using the shell command setting the thickness to 1.125’, which when scaled will provide 3/32” thick sides. Also, when I lofted the bridge outline, I lofted it slightly taller than it is, for connecting it to the hull.

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When I finished it, I copied it into the model using the datum as reference then subtracted it from the model. The result is a groove in the hull that the bridge will fit into.

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The design of the conning tower didn’t change and the knobs for the periscopes and the hole for the antenna are clearly seen in the first image, and the holes for mounting to the bridge deck are seen in the second image.

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Next was the fairwater. Note the pegs on the sides, at the aft end, and the post forward, in the middle, for attaching to the bridge deck.

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No changes were made to the periscope assembly and it fits with the conning tower, like shown previously.

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The SD mast has been positioned where I think I’m going to put it, but I haven’t drilled the hole in the bridge deck yet because I’m not sure that’s where it goes exactly.

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Separating the parts like this had to be done at some point for printing. Doing it now will make life a lot easier, and less frustrating as I start putting details on the various components. Like the fairwater that I’m getting ready to modify.

CHEERS!!!
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:57 am

UPDATE 13 - 3/29/2013
Well, I think I won the battle of the bulge.

It was not particularly easy. It took me a while to figure out how to do it, and I certainly couldn’t have done it without the excellent pictures you all sent me,but I think I replicated the bulge fairly well.

Here’s the scoop…

I started by tracing the outline on the plan view…

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…And copying it to the fairwater drawing.

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I then traced the lines of the bulge on the side view plan…

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…And copied them to the fairwater drawing.

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I did the same for the front view.

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At this point I moved the plan view tracing to the bottom and copied it to the top.

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I then lofted between these sections, and extruded the upper lines of the section views.

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The Intersect command was then used to start carving the bulge.

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This was looking encouraging but it wasn’t quite there yet, so I used the Projectgeometry command to project the lower line on the side view section to the new bulge.

I then drew multiple lines between this projected line and where the bulge joins the fairwater. Next, I scaled each one around their center points by a factor of two, to make sure they extended beyond the bulge. The lines were lofted together to create a surface…

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…That was used to slice the bulge.

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Being satisfied with the way it looked, I joined it to the fairwater.

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I think I will venture the Venture next.

CHEERS!!!
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:02 pm

OK, I know I'm probably too old for this, but OMG!

I just studied some of the pictures that I was sent me of the venture (venturi?), AKA, the windshield, and it looks like making this bad boy is going to be a bear. If you look at the pictures below, kindly sent to me by Scott T, you will see what I mean. (If you don’t want these posted Scott, let me know and I’ll take them off.)

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To start with, the shape is quite complex. Then it is open underneath with support brackets, and at the top there is a gap. The gap looks to be 3-5” wide, which at 1/144 scale would be 0.02-0.03”, which is doable, but the real deal is sheet steel and the thickness of my model will be somewhat thicker scale wise, so I’m not sure how well I will be able to model this, but I guess we will find out later.

Russ
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby Tom Dougherty » Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:41 pm

Then it is open underneath with support brackets, and at the top there is a gap. The gap looks to be 3-5” wide, which at 1/144 scale would be 0.02-0.03”, which is doable, but the real deal is sheet steel and the thickness of my model will be somewhat thicker scale wise, so I’m not sure how well I will be able to model this, but I guess we will find out later.

Russ, at some point I think you have to realize that a model is a representation and just cannot be a totally 100% accurate rendition. At 1/144 scale, you are going to just have to have the bridge venturi attached to the fairwater, otherwise it will just be too delicate. Likewise you cannot replicate actual plate thicknesses; if the real steel of the venture is 1/4", then at 1/144 scale it will be less than 0.002 inches thick, which is impractical as well. Another example is if you wanted to represent the hull thickness of a Balao in a cutaway model, you would have to use 0.006 inch plastic. That would never hold up. It is probably more important to model the object in form and have it represented (albeit out of scale in thickness) rather than foregoing a representation of the venturi altogether because of the resulting scale thickness being too thin to be practical. Polystyrene and resin models make these kinds of compromises all the time.
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:04 pm

Roger that Tom!
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:52 pm

UPDATE 14 - 3/29/2013

Happy Friday Everyone!

I just completed the bridge venture and thought that I would share.

I started by slicing out the top part forward of the venture. I did this by creating a polygon using a polyline…

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…Extruding it (sound familiar?)…

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…And you guessed it subtracting it.

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After this I prepared to make the undersurface (for lack of a better term). I did this using partial circles connected to become polylines…

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And lofting them.

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With this step completed, I started on the venture itself. I started by WAGing the section shape. I should perhaps mention that after I thought I had completed it, I didn’t like it and redid it, and these images are from the first time through. One of the reasons I redid it is because I didn’t leave a vertical face at the top as can be seen in the image below.

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In the image below you can see the shapes I prepared for lofting to make the venture (yellow) and the guide lines (blue) for better lofting. Note that the surfaces don’t extend out to the edges, which is another reason that I redid it.

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The next three image show it after it was lofted.

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At this point I redid the venture and added the support brackets. Obviously, they are over thick (0.3’) but at 1/144 scale that is 0.025”, which is pretty thin, but should print OK. As Tom D said, a model is a representation and sometimes you cannot be a 100% accurate, and “It is probably more important to model the object in form and have it represented (albeit out of scale in thickness) rather than foregoing a representation of the venturi altogether because of the resulting scale thickness being too thin to be practical.”

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I also realized that I had originally made the notch, where the top of the fairwater steps down, too far back, so I cut it off as can be seen in the last two images.

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All in all, I’m happy with it. It was a pretty challenging piece trying to figure out the best way to do it, and I know that it is not perfect, but it doesn’t look bad either.

What to do next? Hmmmmmm….. Perhaps the anchor. After that, the devil is in the details.

But now, since I stayed up most of last night playing with this model, I’m going to get in bed and read some more “Silent Victory”.

CHEERS!!!
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby salmon » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:48 am

On Scott's last photo, I see a three section curve and on your's there is a two section curve for the Venturi. Was this intentional?
Really like what you are doing on this. I am going to build the Batfish in 1/72 using the Revell kit. So, watching what you have been doing is really educational.
If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby rdutnell » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:08 am

Boy! I would really like to say that it was intentional Tom. But, the truth of the matter is, it took me the longest time to even figure out what the heck you were talking about. I was like, “3 sections? What is he talking about?” I was scratching my head, looking at the curves, looking at the brackets, and was about to ask, when WHAM, it hit me. There’s a friggin’ elephant in the room. I don’t know how I didn’t notice it. I mean, it was bigger than Dallas. (OK, Dallas isn’t that big, but it’s an old expression, and in these here parts it’s purty dang big.) Yet another reason that the only thing I know is that I don’t know.

Anyway, it really got me thinking, and I may be behind the eight-ball here, because I have essentially no modeling experience compared to you guys, but 3D printing could be the fleet boat modeler’s dream. With all of the variations on these incredible ladies, one could possibly make multiple, interchangeable segments, and have an interactive ordering service where the customer selects either by ship, or selects their preferred components, to create their own kit. In the short term the kit would be printed, and shipped. In the long term, the customer would make the same selections to receive a file that they could then either print themselves or take to their local Kinko’s, or other print shop, and print it themselves. There may be way too much variation for this to ever be possible, but for components like the fairwater, it seems possible. Maybe?

In the meantime, I have some modifications to make. I’m sure glad that you said something Tom! Thanks!
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby Scott T » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:54 pm

Russ, you are welcome to share the photos. The hatch bulge and windscreen venture looks great.
The only suggestion might be to make the vertical supports all parallel to each other. To me they
look parallel in the picture, and if they were angled the force of water on them when the boat is submerged
would put side forces on the thin metal that would probably damage them. Just my thoughts
though. Edit: look at the photo with the shoe model posing above the windscreen, the rivet lines for the
vertical supports look parallel.
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Re: 1/144 Scale USS Batfish (SS310)

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:23 pm

Here's a look at the fairwater on Lionfish (SS 298) which is also an early Balao class. Note the Venturi windscreen segments are not the same size. The center section is shorter than the side two segments
Note: click photos to see enlarged versions
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Here a couple of photos of the interior of the fairwater cockpit. This view shows the main induction and the starboard side of the bridge
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and this view shows a closer view of the bridge cockpit, and the fact that the exterior "knuckle" in the fairwater accommodates the bridge hatch, which lead down into the conning tower.

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