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Author Topic: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer  (Read 9104 times)

Brian60

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EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« on: February 04, 2016, 11:37:43 AM »

 First a little background for this build. After the last epic I wanted something quick, easy and simple. I had already set my mind on one of the three island tramp steamers from the turn of the 20th century, circa 1906. I had a photo but without spending lots of cash on line plans I had just one similar set I managed to get from the internet. So I based my build around these resized plans and the faded photo of the Marie Elise shown in my first photo.
 

Brian60

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2016, 11:39:47 AM »

  I was also recycling lots of stuff I have had in storage for donkey’s years, motors 545 Mabuchi, 40meg Sanwa radio set and matching Traxxas esc. As it happened on fitting the servo for steering it didn’t work. After a bit of hit and miss thinking it could be the receiver it actually turned out to be duff servo’s. Up to now my money saving excersize has cost me 25€ in balsa and 10€ for two servo’s –at the price why buy one?
The intention was to build a plug and then a grp mould my favoured way of building – the reason for the balsa wood, it could be destroyed easily for removal from the mould. Then as the finished ship was going to be primarily a static model but with the ability to sail under r/c if the water was calm (1000mm in length but depth and width are only 140mm with a freeboard of about 25mm) I pushed that out the window as a waste of materials. It will be a balsa wood hull sealed and sanded and then plated with card to simulate the steel plating.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2016, 11:41:36 AM »

 SO, on to the build……
 I had bought a laser cutter and decided to use the build of this ship to practice using it, so I designed the frames on the computer and cut them out of 5mm ply with the laser, these frames can be seen already assembled in the next couple of photos. To see the laser in action, I uploaded it cutting frames in card as a demo on this Youtube link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfOjScSavKs
 
I was asked why it jumps all over the place while cutting, this is due to how  the laser ‘read’ the cut file, there are several ways to set the cut sequence this was just one of them, there are quicker ‘routes’.
I had done away with the keel when considering grp mould as the keel would have been 3mm wide and would not replicate well in a two part mould, the square hole in the frames was the answer, I slotted the frames in sequence on to square rod from the bow to stern. And the prop tube from stern to abaft of the centre island. I will add the external keel once the hull is complete and before plating.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 11:46:04 AM »

 Next began the sequence of strengthening the build by adding the hold internal walls and floors, this added the needed rigidity and squared everything up, these can be seen in the next photo’s, held in place with clamps while the glue set up.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 11:47:48 AM »

 I’m having to think on the go with this build, certain things can and can’t be done. For instance the prop tube is in place but the aft end including the rudder mount can’t be installed as the prop shaft hasn’t arrived yet (its 16 inches long and I’ve not been able to source any 3mm stainless rod to make my own over here) Of course I realised this after I had glued the stern plate to the hull, meaning I had to cut it away again to allow the prop shaft to slide in. The stern plate can be seen in the last photo’s before removal, giving an idea of where the prop is located.
 
Also notice I'm once again building on my wife's arts and crafts bench - she is not happy and I have been ordered to build a 'shed' outside :}

Brian60

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 11:49:10 AM »

 Next up I cut all the decking, again on the laser. Using coreldraw I drew the planking pattern, which is a true 20th century pattern sequence, then used the laser to engrave the plank lines on to balsa sheet before the laser cut out the deck shapes as well. A couple of photos to show the decking laid in position but not attached.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 11:50:55 AM »

 A quick note here about the laser, some of the wood looks grubby/sooty, that is because it is. I have used some cheap 3 ply 5mm plywood and the glue burns too easily giving off the sooty finish. For a neater job 5 ply birch plywood is recommended as the glue is superior and resists burning. You can see how clean it will cut, just look at the decks! I have learned a lot in a short space of time and the next build will be much neater and cleaner.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 11:52:11 AM »

 I began the hull planking next, I wanted it up to the level shown so that I could add ballast under the hold decks, I’m going with a poured ballast that will set up hard, otherwise known as cement with the addition of Zahora, pronounced thee-ora (marble dust) which weighs quite a lot! This will be supplemented by some lead sheet in the hold bottoms should it be required. The all up displacement is around 8-9 kilo’s, so far with no ballast but with battery and radio gear I am about 1.8 kilo’s. So the finished ship will be about 2.5 kilo, needing the balance adding.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 11:53:15 AM »


Next I added the decking to the forward well deck, then the bulkhead to the forward face of the centre island and the face of the forecastle. Adding the decking to the forecastle is when the first problem arose. I added the plans to Coreldraw and scaled them to 1/92, but the difference between the well deck and the top of the foredeck seemed to be too small for this scale. Going back and taking more measurements in Coreldraw, showed up that it was actually scaled to 1/100, so the model was 75mm too short and the depth between the two decks was 4mm to short, in real life this would give 15 inches or so less headroom, ah well. Don’t know how the error crept in but at least I can compensate now. In hull terms it won’t be noticeable, but If I’d got to the door and window stage it would have been well out of proportion.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2016, 11:55:00 AM »

 Next I made the hold access surrounds and hatch covers, these are not plates but individual planks. From what I have read, in real life these were most probably recycled railway sleepers. I used stripwood glued to 2mm ply for the forward hatches, the aft hatches will be separate planks as I want to have one of these partially open showing the cargo inside, another reason for calm sailing only!
Now I had the forecastle deck in place, I built up the bow in solid balsa and carved to shape. Once the hull is finished I intend using card to simulate hull plate, not too sure about showing the rivets or not, I’m thinking at this scale, would they actually be visible?
So that brings me up to date so far, let’s see how the next few weeks go, I started this between xmas and the new year with the intention of spending no more than a month or so in the build while collecting info on my next major build, hmmmmm.
 

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 03:15:14 PM »

Things are progressing more slowly than I wanted on this build but I'm still on track to have it finished by April hopefully. All the outer hull is now complete, the stern shape took some doing especially to get the rudder linkage installed. The prop shaft was installed before the blockwork to make the aft end. If I was doing this build again from the beginning, I would have gone with a shorter shaft and installed the motor in No. 4 hold (one closest to the stern) this would have alleviated many of the problems, including building the stern as a block and carving to shape.

I've installed a 50mm 3 blade screw which were common around the 1880's to 1920's on commercial shipping, but I do have a 4 blade in case it proves futile in moving the ship. The rudder was built up in the time honoured fashion of brass tube as a shaft through a shorter section of brass tube as the bearing in the hull. The long brass tube was slotted where the rudder blade was, a piece of brass sheet soldered into it and then two pieces of plywood epoxied to the brass sheet to form the rudder blade.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2016, 03:26:30 PM »

All the decks are now in place with a couple coats of laquer on to protect them from paint and glue once work begins on superstructure. No3 and No4 holds at the stern need to be boxed out and have their timber battens made like No1 and No2 holds. The brown stuff on the hull sides is wood filler. I might have mentioned earlier, I haven't used balsa wood since my teens and this has brought home why. It might be quick to use, but it is too soft and gets marked way too easily, the filler is to cover some of these imperfections and level up the sheeting.

The centre island has the motor and batteries underneath with the electronics on a removable plate over the top. I'm using my old out of storage 40mhz FM set and esc for this, to try and keep it as cheap as possible.

I have also got the crew and 1st class passengers now, these need painting which is going to take some doing. I did mention in the last update that I had got measurements wrong. I finally tracked this down to MY mistake, this is the second build that has come out at the wrong length and I figured out what I had done wrong...

I had got measurements fouled up when taking length over all  and length between perpendiculars. I had substituted the first for the second so the build in both cases came out shorter than it should. At least I know what I have done and will be more careful in future

So thats it for now, next time the hull should have all its plating complete and move on to topside building, maybe even have this part in its final paint even!

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2016, 05:32:08 PM »

So far so good Brian. It has been interesting to see how quick the build has been though I am sure this is illusory as the drawing must have taken a good while to do.

I have read that a medium grade balsa is the best for working and for resilience.
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Brian60

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2016, 07:40:18 PM »

Probably true Ian about the balsa. Trouble is mine came off the shelf in a nearby diy store similar to B&Q! Some of it is vert soft and some quite stiff. Karen won't stay with me when I'm selecting it - possible due to me putting back all the sheets that split instead of flex :}

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2016, 09:37:14 PM »

Well, the vendors only have themselves to blame if they stock rubbish! What do they sell Balsa for? Is it in long lengths, or do they have a hankering to be part model shop???
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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2016, 09:33:25 AM »

Well, the vendors only have themselves to blame if they stock rubbish! What do they sell Balsa for? Is it in long lengths, or do they have a hankering to be part model shop???

No idea mate, I think its a new thing it certainly wasn't on the timber section 6 months ago. I was actually after some hardwood dowelling at the time and noticed it in the next section, so whenever I go in there now I have a look to see if there is any worth putting into storage! It's 1 metre lengths 75 and 100 mm witdhs various thicknesses from 2mm up to 30mm they do 10mm square section as well. But as I say a lot of it is terrible, warped and split. You can get select a 1mtr length and one end will be very soft and flexible but as you move along the length it gets to the point where it no longer flexes but just splits and fractures.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #16 on: March 07, 2016, 09:05:00 PM »

Eeek:O( They seem to think their customers are daft :(( No right thinking customer would choose that sort of quality.
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Brian60

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2016, 12:22:03 PM »

Bit of an update because I seem to be going around like a headless chicken at the moment....

I'd reached the hull plating stage, this being a steel riveted hull. I'd lined out where I wanted the plates and read various articles on how this was accomplished in 1/1 scale. It was after I had my first couple of inner plates glued to the hull I had an epiphany.

Yes my friends, when plating a hull with card you cannot proceed as in real life or indeed using litho plate in models! You cannot have an inner and an overlaying outer layer. The reason being when you install the inners, there is a gap between the rows which the outer plates would normally cover. However being card that gap is a potential water trap if any sealing fails, also any pressure on one of these outer rows would leave an indentation.

Sooooo while I got my head around how to proceed I made a start on the wheel house structure...

Brian60

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2016, 12:26:42 PM »

I made the structure in 2mm balsa but when it came to the wheel house itself which has rather large openings it became obvious that the balsa would be way out of scale. So I recut the wheelhouse in card and used balsa on the inside to reinforce it. The window frames and doors were also cut from card all of this cutting done with my laser cutter.

I'm rather proud of the ships wheel, I wondered if it would actually cut at this size, its just 8mm across the pins so really tiny. I made it due to not being able to source a commercial item at this size.

I had also formulated a plan for the plating.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2016, 12:35:02 PM »

I decided to carry on as I was as it was a good guide as to the join lines, but then go back and fill in the gaps with more card to support the outer layer when it goes on to the hull.

So that brings us almost up to today. I have made up the engine room telegraphs, 1 to each bridge wing and one in the wheelhouse. The wheel is mounted and a crew member painted and glued in. The wheelhouse can now be dropped over him and glued down once the glass is added to the window reliefs.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2016, 10:17:10 PM »

Go careful there Brian, doing all that 'Eppiphing'! She definitly has character.
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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2016, 07:05:14 PM »

Hull now has all the card plate on. This was done by applying pva glue to the balsa hull, allowing it a minute or so to gel then offering up the card in strips. Where I had compound curves I used narrower strips that were then burnished into the curve with the bowl of a teaspoon. I did them in odd and even strips then when the glue had set I overlayed a fresh piece of card in the space and rubbed along the already placed card to find the resulting shape to be cut out.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2016, 07:11:36 PM »

As I always seem to end up doing, I now jumped over to making the lifeboats (go figure!) made from two blocks of balsa carved to shape. I made tarpaulins for them by covering the painted blocks with cling film (saran wrap for the americans) then giving the top and sides a coat of pva glue I laid on two sheets of toilet tissue and then dabbed on more glue. 24 hours later and they had stiffened completely, easing them off is helped with the cling film, throw the cling film away and then trim to size. Once painted green the ripples in the tissue show up and look like real tarpaulin covers.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2016, 07:13:52 PM »

The superstructure is mostly complete and just requires detailing, the funnel was donated by my wife. Its a tube that vitamin C dissolvable tablets come packed in, apparently these are available at Tesco.

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Re: EMMA ROSS - 3 Island Tramp Steamer
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2016, 07:16:29 PM »

Front of the bridge with the captain berating the 2nd officer for not wearing his cap on duty. I'm glad about these photos the macro facility on the camera shows where paint needs to be touched up, not always seen with the naked eye.
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