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GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

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GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Wed Dec 18, 2013 1:22 pm

Well, I figured it was about time to start a building thread. Granted I still don't have my work area set up...and probably won't until February, but starting the thread will force me to make what progress I can. This will be a static model (don't do the R/C thing although it is pretty cool). So, some background on why TIRU. First of all I have always been captivated by the Fleet Boats and even more so by the postwar conversions/upgrades/testing platforms. My intention had always been to use the old Lionfish kit to model as many different forms as I could. Well, the Trumpeter 1/144 scale kit just kind of spoke to me for this build instead. TIRU came to my attention because there was a gentleman who worked on one of our upgrade/installation teams and he came to every planning meeting with a USS TIRU fleece on. I got to talking to him and he served onboard TIRU as a JO. That caused me to start researching her more. So, TIRU is a true "one-off" as the "prototype" for the GIII conversion. She got some upgrades but not all, had some equipment removed that wasn't removed on others, and she only had a 12.5 ft extension to her hull vice the final 15ft extension every other GIII had. She was commissioned after WWII and actually was completed as a GUPPY II and later extended and upgraded to GIII. She obviously saw no service in WWII, but did patrols during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. The gentlemen and his friends graciously provided me with a set of her plans and after scrounging through a ton of pictures, I have a plan for the 12.5ft extension and am now confident enough to make the hull cut and move forward. I'll post pictures as time permits.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:41 am

So, I had ended up at a halt before I even got to cutting plastic... working a deal to send some of the parts of my kit (Trump Gato 1944) to another guy (who is a plane builder, not a sub guy) who has the 1941 boxing so that he can build his father's boat without having to buy a whole new kit. So, I can either wait on the mail or dig through boxes and find my second Trump Gato. We'll see if I can be patient. I'll probably be digging through unpacked moving boxes shortly.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sat Dec 21, 2013 2:29 pm

Just FYI, some resin conversions for the 1/144 kit are here:
http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/Csets3.htm
Unfortunately, no Guppy III set.

He does carry conversions, including Guppy III sail, for the Revell Lionfish kit at 1/178 scale.
He also has a Guppy bow converter piece for the kit as well.
http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/Csets.htm
Tom Dougherty
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Tom Dougherty wrote:Just FYI, some resin conversions for the 1/144 kit are here:
http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/Csets3.htm
Unfortunately, no Guppy III set.

He does carry conversions, including Guppy III sail, for the Revell Lionfish kit at 1/178 scale.
He also has a Guppy bow converter piece for the kit as well.
http://ibs.eastcoastarmory.com/Csets.htm

Thanks Tom,
I have seen those. I'm just a bit more of a do it myself type of guy. I had actually bought conversion stuff for a couple past projects and ended up just making stuff from scratch anyway because it was a bit more fun to do it that way.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby Tom Dougherty » Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Dave,
Yep, sometimes home made is the best way! I didn't want you to find out after the fact that you could have saved a lot of time by buying the conversions.

Tom
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:09 pm

I certainly appreciate it.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:26 am

Actually making progress now. Modeling old-school with nothing more than a knife and saw and sanding stick while I work in my BOQ room during command leadership school. I have been taking pictures as I go but I can't post them since I am confined to my tablet right now. I'll post pics when I am through with the course. Just happy to be making progress now.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:24 pm

New and improved with pictures...

I struggled with my plan for how to stretch the hull by 12.5 scale feet...luckily, the Trumpeter kit has a long cylinder that runs down the middle. It is long enough that if I slide it forward some, it will stretch all the way across the extension with space t add multiple attachment points for the bow section that is moving forward. First I broke out the old contour gauge and started making some "ribs" for the inside of the hull with appropriate cutouts for the "pressure hull" cylinder to use it for alignment.

Image

I ended up making six copies of the largest one to allow two on each side to provide internal structure to the extension and then one on each side at the after end of the bow section. These three stations are the same because the extension that was inserted was a continuous section piece that didn't blend into the form of the hull at all. The next station forward also has the cutout for the cylinder to control alignment. The two forward most stations are just to provide structure for the rest of the work that needs to be done on the bow.

Image

So, there you have it for now. That is what you can get done in a BOQ room on TAD with no power tools or major equipment.

Cheers,

Dave

Image

I also have to fill the limber holes and redo ones appropriate to TIRU as a Guppy III. So, some plastic card was put in place (for backing of the eventual fill) as well as some internal stiffeners (spare sprue). The "stiffeners" are to maintain the shape when I cut out most of the deck and replace it with plastic card. Only about 30% of the kit deck will remain (maybe even less).

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Here's a look at some of the work on the forward decking. I am trimming wider of the plans to leave space and material for eventual sanding of the curvature of the deck edge. I will also have to transplant a piece of the kit deck from the after section up to the rear ed of the forward section to get rid of some detail lost to an alignment part.

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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby steh2o » Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:15 am

Hello ssn705,
just a comment:
as a Guppy III, the limber holes of Tiru are different because all of the side plating is changed: while in Gatos/Balaos/Tenches it is vertical or slopes slightly inwards, In Guppy III it slopes outwards to provide a better streamline with the saddle tanks, see f.ex.
Image
I did not check it very well, but I believe that this change of camber was obtained narrowing the whole deck, so the conversion becomes quite difficult.
I'm thinking about a 1/700 Guppy III and I feel that the best way to adjust the side plating is create a new plating with sheet styrene, then adding limber holes before gluing it to the hull.
Cheers,
Stefano
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 8:22 am

Oh, I agree. While the deck was narrowed, remember that Tiru was an odd duck as the first GIII so her section form looks a bit different from others from my research. From looking at pictures of Tiru in drydock, the after section is near vertical so I will adjust the structure just by sanding (the Trump kit is thick enough to support I think). For everything forward, all of the sides are being cut away and I'll do all of it in plastic sheet over some ribs. I'll also use the cutdown/narrowed deck on top. Should be interesting. It'll become clear as I move forward and post more pictures.

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:48 am

Ok, here are a few more shots...

I puttied in the aft limber holes and used a coat of liquid cement to flood it into the holes. I have to run another thin layer over them to smooth it out and then sand to the desired angle. You can also see where I have cut a chunk out of the bow's upper structure. There is more to go, but this is all I got done before the youngest (who is being potty-trained this weekend) woke up from naptime. The red shows my original intentions for cuts, but now I am gonna drop down to a line just across the top of the forwardmost limber holes. I am gonna keep the cutouts for the bow planes, but I will score the bottom and tip them inwards as well as filling some of the holes. On the aft deck you might also be able to make out a new piece of decking from plastic sheet. Wider than the plans but narrower than the current section to account for sanding and shaping.

Image

Here you can see a closer shot of the cut. See that I left the bottom and sides of the limber holes for structure. I'll sand the top of them to match the curve of the lower set of limber holes and sand them to the right shape. A square rod on top will provide the separation for the second set of limber holes which will be cut out of the plastic sheet that will form the rest of the superstructure sides.

Image

And finally a look at the bow to show where I will cut out the area forward of the TT doors and I will also sand out the rest of the opening so that it is sharped edged and flat. For the forwardmost set of limber holes I will fill the first one and add an extra one at the rear.

Image

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:08 pm

So, while I am doing all of these nasty things to the hull, should I open one of the torpedo tubes up? Thoughts? Comments?
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby steh2o » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:37 am

Hello Dave,
it is a hell of a work! Still I doubt if it would be easier to build an entire superstructure from scratch than try modifying the Gato one...
Sure an open torpedo hatch would be a very nice addition!
Cheers,
Stefano
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:15 pm

steh2o wrote:Hello Dave,
it is a hell of a work! Still I doubt if it would be easier to build an entire superstructure from scratch than try modifying the Gato one...
Sure an open torpedo hatch would be a very nice addition!
Cheers,
Stefano


Well, I am known for doing things the hard way. I built a 1/48 Revell MiG-25 Foxbat by reworking almost every piece... 6 1/2 years later it was done...


Cheers,

Dave
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Re: GUPPY III Conversion - USS TIRU - 1/144

Postby ssn705 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:34 pm

Uggh, sanding and shaping, can we move on to something fun?
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