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Author Topic: Bob's H.M.S. Polyphemus  (Read 209692 times)

Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Decking
« Reply #450 on: January 31, 2015, 04:59:44 pm »

HMS Polyphemus (1881) Deck Planking

After the very successful sea trials at Deans just before Christmas, proving the hull waterproof integrity and updated ‘diving’ controls, planning to complete the superstructure and detailing could commence.

First up is the deck planking, which has an inordinate complexity of S curves and intricate twiddly bits to fabricate.  (See decks below).

   Dec 18 at Deans Marine.

It increasingly became clear that I would need a suitable power tool to do much of it, and am greatly indebted to Tony H for the use of his Vibrosaw.  Much of the fine detail required a spiral blade, although an edged flat blade could be used on the wider curves. Once the edging around the decks and curved superstructure parts could be completed the actual planking would be mainly straight scalpel work.  Major caulking in thread, the rest felt tip on plank edges.

From photos the actual plank widths look highly variable, but the optimum plank width should be 3.6 mm, I went for 3 mm as 4 looked oversized.  Using a plank length of 125 mm with a 1/3 step pattern.  Some chunky lumps of timber on the f’o’c’sle (from the plans) took some doing, but after that the edging and planking was fairly straightforward.



After the first few hours I could not help thinking how much easier planking a springer tug would have been, but without the challenge involved.  Sanding down then a couple of coats of strong tea to give a realistic even patina.  The solid sections at the bow will be for the anchor chain entries. A couple of coats of matt Polyurathane exterior varnish to finish after detailing added.

The long main deck will be next, with several armoured citadel bases to edge around, then the various flying deck sections are likely to be the most challenging. This is where the Vibrosaw will be invaluable.


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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #451 on: January 31, 2015, 09:12:00 pm »

I am so pleased to hear that your hours of rebuilding and effort in general paid off, as I do not think I could stand a third attempt to get her water tight despite the old adage.

The planking will only reinforce the success of the work so far and I wish you a sharp blade and plenty of strong tea!
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Deck Planking 2
« Reply #452 on: February 04, 2015, 04:47:52 pm »

Thanks for your kind comment  :}


HMS Polyphemus (1881) Deck Planking 2

I am gradually getting the hang of the Vibrosaw.  The main deck has numerous circular or curved armoured island bases which all require 3 mm wide edging planks. Key tips learned are to start the cut away from the intended cut line start, and If you break a blade (expert!) don’t try to restart the cut where it ended (twang again!).  With all four bases edged I then started the straight planking from the stern, fitting and nibbing into 4 mm margin planks as I went.



I have scribed guide check lines parallel to the ships centre line to reduce any cumulative drift.  For the plank end joins I am laying long lengths, and when set ‘creased’ at intervals with a blade then lined with a fine black marker.  Keeps the runs looking straight.  I found that 1/48 compared with 1/96 gets tricky as at this scale as errors are more glaring. I could get away with a lot more at 1/96.  It will look better after sanding.
It'll take a few more days to complete this deck, having to come up for air every few planks.

PS:  The 30 mm clear tube for the ‘sectioned’ turrets has arrived, which I will need to make up before planking the flying decks. 
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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #453 on: February 04, 2015, 09:45:39 pm »

Very neat work. I remember the clear turrets now!
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Deck Planking 2
« Reply #454 on: February 04, 2015, 10:32:14 pm »

Having just circumnavigated the first circular citadel base, I was highly relieved that the planking lined up with the start position.  This is only my second planking effort, the first was a much easier narrow 1/96 WWI destroyer.

The turrets will be painted, but some with a 'sectioned' clear area so you can see the Nordenfeldt guns inside.
I will use the turret base flanges as a guide to position the wood deck edging around them.  Not sure whether to ABS heat-mould the semi-domed tops, or shape them out of balsa.
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #455 on: February 04, 2015, 10:38:50 pm »

I beleive that EMA do a small range of full and semi domed ends for their range of tubes, as again they do cater for model makers who are building miniature oil rigs etc often toting several tanks and pressure vessels. It might be worth looking down this avenue?
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Deck Planking 3
« Reply #456 on: February 06, 2015, 05:19:49 pm »

If you mean Plastruct (HMA), I use a load of their ABS sections, but the various domes etc although in their catalogue I have never seen stocked in the UK.


HMS Polyphemus (1881) Deck Planking 3

Going round the citadel islands is getting easier, as long as I keep the planks aligned to the parallel centreline guides. I dare not think of how many planks, it seems endless, but I will not rush as the ABS deck base gradually disappears under wood.

Finally completed the main deck. Leaving 24 hours before sanding then staining with tea, as the felt marker caulking needs time to dry properly.  Decks are secured with hidden magnets.



The three flying deck sections will be more challenging to plank, but I have the turrets and stanchion holes to do first. 

One area I am greatly looking forward to is the two huge 'float off' lifeboats and their complex girder-work launching frames.  They will be located in the two gaps in the flying decks in photo above.

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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #457 on: February 06, 2015, 07:27:07 pm »

She is coming along strong. I can really see her final shape in those decks and details.
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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #458 on: February 19, 2015, 08:43:12 am »

Bob


Just wondered what adhesive you are using to glue down your deck planking? It might be in your text but I can't find it.


Enjoying the build.

Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #459 on: February 19, 2015, 10:46:56 am »

Thank you Picketboat. 

I am using Canopy Glue ("Formula 560' by Pacer) to glue the planks to the ABS / Styrene lift-off decks.  Clear fast drying intended for model aircraft canopies "and plastic parts to almost anything".  Worked well on my HMS Amazon planking too. 

Next update shortly.
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Deck Planking Completed
« Reply #460 on: February 19, 2015, 11:22:26 am »

HMS Polyphemus (1881) Deck Planking Completed

Almost a couple weeks since my last update, but this stage is quite time consuming.

The flying decks involved by far the most intricate curved and circular planking challenges on this ship.  I am getting good at replacing broken vibrosaw blades.  But, I first needed to make up the basic clear acrylic turret tubes plus various other deck island structures before I could start.  ie anything to be planked around.  I had started shaping the big float-off life rafts in balsa.  However, Marmoi has now created 3D printed life rafts for me on Shapeways.com, now on order

    edging done

Around 24 sections of flying deck edging required vibrosaw fretwork due to curves.
It worked out easier to cut each island edging in one piece to get them consistent, then cut into constituent segments whilst fitting. 
I am learning as I go.

From here I could start the straight planking, nibbing in as I went.  Much quicker progress.   
Sand down, stain with tea.  Satin exterior varnish.

    nibbing detail.

    planking completed.

All directions of what to do next are inviting.  Upper deck superstructures, life raft handling frameworks, deck furniture . . . Yum yum !    Beginning to look like a lake-going model boat.

( PS:  The blue character is the crew member for my other current build project. )

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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #461 on: February 19, 2015, 07:23:42 pm »

Excellent news Bob. I am impressed with the nibbling especially the rings. I would start the superstructures to give you that slingsot of enthusiasm to do lifeboat fittings before finishing off.

Are your blue colleagues to con an extraterrestrial flying Novgorod?
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #462 on: February 19, 2015, 07:39:46 pm »

In fact I have started the figure 8 shaped forward armoured citadel.  As most of the 1/60 fittings will have to be scratch built I am trialling suitable materials. Various types of wood from balsa to oak, lithoplate detail, etc.
I have converted 16 Deans diecast round hatches to coal shute covers.

The blue feller is Iggle Piggle for my CBBC television "In The Night Garden" boat, but I did like your idea  {-)
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #463 on: February 19, 2015, 08:06:31 pm »

Re domes, I ordered some Plastruct rod from EMA the other week and while on site, I looked for their selection of plastic domes. They do a hemisphere as well as a flattened dome. The latter might do for your turret roofs? http://www.ema-models.co.uk/ I recall you saying they were ABS and do them in clear, clear coloured and grey.

I had a quick look and assume the boat you are building is the dinghy in the opening credits? Interesting. is this for a child or (excuseing my potential cheek:O) a grandchild??

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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #464 on: February 20, 2015, 09:26:25 am »

Ideally I'd need dished domes, but sizes only start at 1 3/4" (44.5).  Elliptical domes need a lot of modification.  Tons to do though, skylights, hatches, doors, various ships boats, chart house, anchor cranes etc.

The other boat is for myself, although my 3 year old grandson watches the programme here.  At our lake a steady stream of families with very young children pass by, interested in our model boats.  Amazing the ingenuity of so many parents who have converted model boat transporters into child carriers  %%
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #465 on: February 20, 2015, 09:47:09 pm »

Get the kids to walk and put a decent boat on the carrier!
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), Skylights
« Reply #466 on: February 21, 2015, 12:04:34 pm »

HMS Polyphemus (1881) Skylights

Yesterday I made up some deck-ware fittings, built from hardwood, ABS and brass wire for glazing trim.
Four sliding skylight housings.  I also fitted the 16 coal chute hatches, modified hatches.



Foredeck furniture next I think, although the four cranes could prove interesting with loads of overhead handling chains.  Domes from EMA arrived. I will have to trim most down by about 3mm as they are elliptical rather than dished in smaller sizes. Chart house will be a nice exercise in thin ply.

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #467 on: February 21, 2015, 11:15:45 pm »

At least they give you a standard basis to start from. making one dish from scratch would be bad enough, but making all the same would be a challenge. I would have gone down the make one and cast them route if needed:O)

There are lots of models nearing completion what with Joe's Coventry and a couple of MTBs, so we will have a visual harvest very soon.
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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), More detailing
« Reply #468 on: February 22, 2015, 02:10:16 pm »

I had considered resin casting, but with most parts in quantities of 1 to 4 by the time I had set up to fabricate one it was almost as quick to build 2 or 4.  There are 5 sizes of domes, most are one offs.

HMS Polyphemus (1881) More detailing

I am gradually getting into a methodology with this detailing, as otherwise scratch building so many likkle bits would take forever if each were done one at a time.  Make up a list, as if you had a nice ‘kit tray’ full of all the resin and die cast parts laid out and numbered.  Work down the sequence in batches, planning ahead.   
1st Stage:  ‘How on earth do I make that?’.  Think, research, design, source suitable materials. 
2nd Stage:  When you have the materials & method construct several different parts at the same time.
3rd Stage: Paint in batches, and when dry fit to ship.  Leave railings and rigging to last to minimise handling damage.

So, I am researching batches of parts, and where necessary ordering materials. Whilst they are on order I have another batch of things I can get on with on the go.  When that batch is completed I mount them onto boards for painting, finally fitting several sub-assemblies at a time.

   Foredeck, so far

Anchors are from Deans HMS Inflexible. 
The four cranes next, tricky shapes, then loads of tackle and chains.
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #469 on: February 22, 2015, 02:52:11 pm »

Did you order the anchors separatly or have you HMS Invincible in progress, using the anchors with the intention to replace them in due course?
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #470 on: February 22, 2015, 04:12:54 pm »

When I was up at Deans Marine just before Christmas doing a three and a half hour test session in their shallow pond I took a set of fittings tracings from the plans and asked Ron if they could source some of them for me.  The anchors were part of what he found for me.  'Every Little Helps' as they say !
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HMS Skirmisher (1905), HMS Amazon (1906), HMS K9 (1915), Type 212A (2002), HMS Polyphemus (1881), Descartes (1897), Iggle Piggle boat (CBBC), HMS Royal Marine (1943), HMS Marshall Soult, HMS Agincourt (1912)

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), More detailing
« Reply #471 on: February 23, 2015, 09:23:32 pm »

HMS Polyphemus (1881) More detailing

Some days you can steam ahead, others feel like barely making headway. After making up and fitting the aft deck details yesterday it took much of today just to do four hand winches.  I only had to make longer drum core tubes, and create some winch handles.  The latter was easier said than done.

   Lifeboat winches.

What really slowed things down was in trying to reshape the EMA domes. That ABS is almost as tough to work as aluminium.  I will press on for a couple of days, but may end up heat-forming the turret and superstructure roofs instead.  The domes are key to building these nine features.

I have found a solution to the big cranes, which need to be circular section, curved, and tapered.  Knitting needles. The smaller cranes will be fabricated from sheet plastic.  As usual, when temporarily stuck on one bit, get on with something else. 

The float-off life rafts are due to arrive from Shapeways on Wednesday, then I can start fabricating the boat handling structures.
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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #472 on: February 23, 2015, 09:29:59 pm »

I am sorry to hear the material is being so unforgiving Bob. What a damned nuisance.
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Bob K

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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #473 on: February 23, 2015, 10:10:39 pm »

Maybe if I had a linisher, or a grinding wheel, and space to mount one.
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Re: H.M.S. Polyphemus (1881), not quite a submarine
« Reply #474 on: February 24, 2015, 08:28:38 am »

Even if you were to develop a fold away machine tool system, it would still take a few weeks to build, so taking away time to buils ships, and also you need space in the first place to put the contrivance in.

Short of knowing someone local who has the equipment you may be able to borrow, I suppose elbow grease or trying another material are the only options.

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