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Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

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Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:07 pm

Okay, Where to start? More than a few of you guys out there know that I was an active duty submariner for the last 23 years. As of August 12th of this year I started terminal leave and job hunting for my new civilian career. I had 80 days to burn through and after going home to Pittsburgh for a week twice, and sitting around the house searching the internet for a job for a while, I got bored out of my skull.
I ran through all of my overdue and put aside "hunny do's" that have been piling up for the last three years while I rode all up and down the eastern seaboard and northern Europe on the USS New Mexico. That took me about 3 days, then I repair and painted my neighbor's fence, seeing as he won't do it and it was dragging down my property value. If he would have spent the money when he put it in, it would have lasted for a long time. Not so much. After that I started looking around at my models. I got my OTW Molch ready for the Subron 4 fun run at the Subbase, and got the bug back. I looked at what I had and what what needed....trying not to spend too much money until I get a replacement job.
My eyes laid upon a Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha which I had gotten off of Ebay for like 30 bucks back in 2010. Since then Kevin Price made me a appendages upgrade kit for it and I had bout a 1/8", a Prop-shop Prop, and 1/8" collared oilite bearings for it. I z-cut the hull and put epoxy in the tail cone, and attached the lower bow dome. Then I put it in the corner for the next 3 years. Time to get started again! I am terrible at remembering to take pictures and by the time that I decide that I am going to post it, I am already how far along. SO, This is where I am at now. :D

I took the hull out and fitted the two halves together, the alignments were horrible! so I made up an indexing system to get the hull halves close to each other before I put the filler in.


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I Attached each 1/8" thick brass bar piece with a 2-56 thread undercut countersunk SS screw to keep it from popping off.
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:41 pm

Alright, Multiple posts to keep the size of each down.

Now that the hull doesn't move as much when aligning the halves, now to move on to fairing and filling. That means sanding too.....nobody likes sanding. So the hull is definitely out of round and needs filling. I use Bondo products, they work for me. For big fills and builds, I use Fiberglass resin jelly.

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This stuff is hard to sand when dry, need to use 120 or 150 grit paper to get it moving. It comes with Talc and Styrene Monomer already added for body, no need to mix micro bubbles into liquid resin. And yes it is a polyester resin. I know that Epoxy is so much better, but it also sooo much more expensive. once primed and painted, there really isn't too much of a difference.

For filling the large area lows after that, I use the normal pink Bondo. It spreads nicer and sands easier that the fiberglass resin jelly. 180/220 grit sand paper for roughing in.

Then I use the tube of red Glazing and Spot putty for finishing and small holes, and filling in minor divots after priming the hull to highlight the flaws.

Where i am at right now is at stage 2 prior to priming the hull.

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When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:43 pm

Time to drop in the Oilite stern bearing for the shaft. I measure out the diameter of the stern with a micrometer from every conceivable direction to see how far out of round it is back there. I came up with .48 inches all the way around, give or take a thousandths here or there. I make a pencil mark at the end of the depth gauge with the micrometer set on .24 inches. This makes a asterisk shaped mark that the center is the center of the stern. I am sure there are easier or better ways, but I like this one, it is accurate. I then take a finishing nail and indent the hull at the center point.
SO here is the doozy, typically I drill a pilot hole with a drill bit that is the size of the drive-shaft. As it turns out my 1/8" bit was bent, how? I don't know. So I used my 7/64" bit to start. It was going good , then the bit started slipping in my drill chuck. I stopped, and then tried to back the bit out, Murphy stepped in and my drill bit broke off in the stern of my boat, and not only did it break, it broke off flush! :shock: :oops: What to do?!?! :x

:idea: I have a brand new set of fine bur tips for a Dremel. I haven't used them and this seems like the best use so far!

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I broke them out and started scarfing out around the broken drill bit. After using two of the different sizes to get all of the fiberglass resin and material out from around most of the drill bit, I grabbed the drill bit with a needle nosed set of pliers. A little twisting and pulling and the bit came all the way out. This left a decent cavity in the stern, but it was still smaller than the bearing.

Now, I used my 5/32" drill bit to finish drilling shaft alley, and used my 1/4" drill bit to open up the stern to accept the oilite bearing. During the scarfing out, some of the filler and fiberglass broke away leaving a large chunk out of the stern. I cut out a aft bearing bulkhead from 1/4" lexan and set the other Oilite bearing into it.

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I then set up a line bubble on my drive-shaft and set the bulk head in the boat. I press fit the aft Oilite into the stern and then align the shaft using the bubble. Once everything is in place, I set the stern Oilite in place using Gorilla super glue.

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Once the glue dried I mixed up a batch of Fiberglass resin jelly and started to fill in around the Oilite.

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Now back to sanding it! :roll:
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby ssn705 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 6:55 pm

Pretty cool. Can't wait to see some more.

Cheers,
Dave
The Underwater Menace

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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:51 pm

Okay, the Fiberglass has set and I sanded it down using 120 grit.

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I apologize for the blurriness in the next pictures, but I didn't catch it until after it was too late. I will explain what I did here. The Prop has a 14mm hub on it, which means that the stern of the boat has to be 14mm. The conversion into imperial makes this .551" so what i did to build up material around the bearing was to gob a lot of pink bondo around the bearing. Then after it had set up enough to be pliable but not sticky, I jammed a 15mm craftsman socket over the bondo and shoved as much in there as I could. I use bees wax to coat anything I do not want the filler to stick to. Now I know someone is gonna say the hub was 14mm, I did a 12 pt 15mm so I would have something to sand. :)


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the above one is the socket on the stern......

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After that batch of filler cured, i sanded it down using 150 grit sand paper.....

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Now more bondo to fill in the big divot on top and to form the squared off stern.

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Then sanding using 150 grit first, then 180 grit.

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The next picture shows that I am close to the .551 outer diameter. After I fit the screw to the shaft, I will fair in the little bit that remains.

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Here are the pictures of the stern i am working with.

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Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby Thor » Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:22 am

That is some very nice work, Tim! It is really great to have you back and active.

Thanks so much for your 23 yrs of dedicated service to our Country!

Matt
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:35 pm

Thanks Matt, It was a long hard road, but I wouldn't change anything if I had to do it over again.

All that sanding and filling has worn away or filled in some of the scribed detail on the hull. Before I prime the hull halves, I need to highlight the damaged scribings or they will become obliterated by the sandable primer. The black gel coat had settled into some of the scribe lines leaving an outline to follow.

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I went with the Dremel grinding bits that saved me with the broken drill bit in the stern. The set contains many different shapes and sizes and i selected one of the thinnest to do the work.

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Here is the results of the work I did with the above bit.

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Now to do some spot glazing and attach the appendages.

Tim
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:04 am

Okay, I have not dropped of the planet again....Just been a busy week for me at home. Also has anybody else had problems upload images using imagepost lately?

I am using a Rogue Subworks SSY 1/96 Alpha upgrade kit for the appendages. If nobody has seen these before here is a picture of them. Kevin makes them up to augment the SSY hull because the upper rudder was not right, no seawater scoops, and there were no creeper motors on the dive planes. I also believe that there was an issue with with the scale factor on the bow planes, but I am not sure. Kevin? Any thoughts on this. Due to the small size of the planes surfaces for this model, Kevin also modeled the lower rudder to be correct but the whole appendage is used for turning to increase performance.

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I want to get all the appendages on and somewhat faired in before I shoot the first coat of primer. First up is the seawater scoops. I laid out where I felt that they should be based on the plans that I had and several pictures.

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I ten super glued them to the hull in the penciled in outlines. I used a flexible metal rule to lay out where the fronts and tails of the scoops were in relation to the center line of the lower hull. To ensure that the scoops won't pop off during a patrol, I 3 way pinned each scoop to the lower hull.

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I then started to fair in the scoops to the hull. I first smeared pink bondo into the corner between the hull and the scoops. I then used the glazing and spot putty to fill in the lows. I had to do this several times to fill in to make a smooth transition.

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So these are seawater scoops for whatever heat exchangers on the boat that they are using on the boat, What to do with them? Drill them out! I used that very useful bit set again and dremeled out water flow paths in the resin and through the hull.

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In the pictures there is a grating across the mouth of the scoops to prevent debris from fouling the inlets. I could not find brass rod small enough yet strong enough to exactly mimic the exact grating in this scale, and I have not ventured into my own photo-etching as of yet. Once again, trying to conserve how much I spend on this project at the moment. The picture shows at least 7 angled bars across the opening, I went with three.

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And one final shot of both sides complete.

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Next up is going to be the rear appendages.
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
SC #3116
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby Scott T » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:11 pm

I know you already did the grill work, but what about threading fishing line through some holes next time
for the grills? Just a thought. Not sure how super glue effects fishing line though.

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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Fri Oct 11, 2013 4:54 pm

I didn't think about that.....I have some 15# test in the basement, I might have to experiment with it.
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
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Re: Scale Shipyard 1/96 Alpha Build

Postby SubICman » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:39 pm

Appendage update.

So I went looking for my 15 pound test line....I found it, in my shed with the rest of my fishing stuff. Unfortunately I had to clean my way to it to do some testing. The fishing line was not receptive to being glued and it was kinda flimsy for the type of duty I wanted out of it. Good idea tho..... Anyway after three days of cleaning and organizing my shed (16' x 8' x 12'), I took stock of the electrical situation out there and decided it needed to be up-graded. I had about 25 ft of 12 ga wire in the basement and some extra outlets & switches. I added a light switch, and 2 outlets to my workbench for my scroll saw, band saw, sander, and grinding wheel, while retaining the original outlet by the door for my table saw, compressor, and shop-smith as needed. I also took my shed off of the outdoor lighting circuit and gave it it's own dedicated 20 amp circuit breaker in my box. The guy who owned the house before me was a real Rube Goldberg when it came to electrical! Now that the workshop was back in business I re-engaged with the Alpha.

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First on the plate was laying out where the appendages should go. I cut a section of the upper hull off and glued it into place on the lower hull. I made this section just as long as the fillets on the appendages. Makes for easier access in this tight space.

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I then laid out the center lines with a laser level and wood blocking to keep the hull in position. I don't have any pictures of this process, but there are plenty out there in other posts. I then traced the outline of the upper rudder and one horizontal stabilizer as a starting point. The lines in the pictures may be hard to see. I then marked and drilled a 1/16th inch hole where the plane stock will go.

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I then went to my drill press thinking that it would be the most accurate way to line up either side. Attempt #1

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Attempt #2:

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Attempt #3: third time is a charm!

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I finally got it to where it wasn't so cocked that it was off level. I took the 1/16th rod and put it into one of the stabilizers. Before I did this I sanded down the filet to fit the shape of the hull by taking a piece of sandpaper and spay adhering it to the hull in the location of the appendages and then rubbing the appendage back and forth to get a better fit.'

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I then mounted the one stabilizer on the hull, and then the second. There is going to have to be some adjustment of the planes stock for better rotation. I am just putting the stabilizers on the hull right now.

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Now to let the epoxy set for a day or 2 before I start fairing in the fillets.
When surfaced, the bridge access hatch can be optionally open or shut, however, when submerged it is required to be shut. (Really a no s***t precaution from a procedure in use in the sub fleet today.)
SC #3116
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