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Author Topic: HMS Rupert  (Read 10916 times)

ballastanksian

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HMS Rupert
« on: August 31, 2014, 11:30:39 PM »

How do chaps.

Months ago I mentioned that I was building a model of HMS Rupert, the Turretted steam Ram and seeing Bob's topic on Polyphemus and the recent upgrading of my hosting account spurred me to get the ball rolling on a topic concerning my project; giving something to the forum to demonstrate that it isn't all about asking questions:O)

I make models for a living though not large models of ships and so this is a learning curve for me in shaping such a large form, and electrics are an arcane science akin to alchemy in creating blue sparks and funny smokes!

So, The model will be in 1:96th scale approx and based on a fibreglass hull created from a plug made by me and sent to Deans for moulding and casting assuming they accept it.

I obtained some images from the web and an old two view drawing from a Jane's book which I subsequently found may not be 100% accurate, but images of the builders model show the drawings are not way off course so I have accepted them as my basis.

I do a lot of my work by measuring smaller scale plans or photos and using a scale formula to get the final dimentions I want. This avoids innacuracies creeping in due to the enlargement process of copiers and allows me to compensate for discrepencies in scale between different views on the same plan! Beleive me, I have found some shockers.

Therefore, I marked out the side view of the hull onto a piece of 1/16th ply giving me a central spine onto which I then fixed blocks of pink insulation foam





The inner blocks had sections removed to accomodate the deadwood cut from pieces of hardbpard to the shape predicted based upon the builder's model. PVA wood glue was used throughout for the plug as cellulose and styrene based adhesives readily attack the foam as can some CA glues.


This stern view shows the deadwood. It is thicker than it should be but I considered strength was more important in this area.


My bandsaw was too small to accomodate the depth of the hull blocks in one go, so I had to fabricate it from several pieces of foam.


I do not want to get too 'Granny's holiday photos' here, but I thought it would be worth showing this image of the ram snug in its cocoon of foam.


Once the adhesive had fully cured (something to consider when using PVA is the fact that it takes longer to dry within a non absorbant material like styrene foam so give it a week or two before attacking it with your arsenal of tools) the plan of the hull could be cut. I had marked the plan view of the drawings with a series of lines equidistant dow the length of the hull from which I took the widths of the hull at these points. This I then scaled up and marked onto the block. The points were then carefully joined by a line drawn using a method similar to the one Bob K mentioned by using flexible strip.


I used a sharp carving knife to do the surgery taking care not to calve chunks off at the bow as this area would be more difficult to reestablish with foam, though that did not stop me from dinking the form and having to repair and re carve one or two areas:O( This stage also saw a move from Sussex to Somerset so there was a short hiatus at this point while I sorted my space out.


The stern has yet to have the run of the hull carved but it gives you an idea of the shape I was after.
The shape was refined with coarse abrasive.


The plan view showing the bow and stern plus the datum lines. The top and bottom have been sanded flat which explains the missing ends to the datum lines. These were reinstated so that I could mark the top of the hull so that I could form the tumblehome.


Here you can see the Ram bow in all its glory. it is still a bit chunky as the hull has yet to be fully shaped and you can see why it is critical that you do not get too 'Sweeny todd' with your cutting implements:O)


The Stern, again chunky.


The plug is definitly becoming recognisable as a ship.


Here I have carved the hull further shaping the plug curves and all.


The bow needs a little more work. I do not have the hull lines, so I had to be a bit sculptural and thus I am not 100% sure about the way the bow fares into the bilges.


Upper view showing the shape nearly completed. I will add the bulwarks to the stern as a block including the cutouts for the 64pounder RMLs.


Views of the bow and stern. A little asymetry has crept in and so as part of seting up the position of the propshafts, I am thinking of cutting into the plug at several points perpendicular to the keel and then inserting thick card. I will then draw around these pieces to get the profile of the hull then cut the shapes out and compare one with the other so I can get the hull symetric. I just haver to be careful I do not and up with a wiggly hull as it meanders from bow to stern, each segment being symetrical but not aligned to its neighbouring sections!




I await propshafts. I have two 8inch shafts on order from a friend who had a model shop in Bognor before closing down so I am raiding his stock!

More soon.....
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rob

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 07:40:26 AM »

First of all, welcome to Somerset Ian,
Secondly, lovely subject
Watching with great interest.
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spooksgone

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 09:19:30 AM »

Hi Ian. This looks like it is going to be a real good build. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Cheers Ian
Phil
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2014, 09:30:43 AM »

Taa gents, I am in a logistics bottleneck as I await prop shafts so we might have a wait of a few weeks for a progress report.
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2014, 08:06:58 PM »

Wow that looks good, don't forget to keep us up to date with your build when you get your prop shafts.
Lovely work on the hull, just wait to you get to the painting phase, I'm having a real challenge ensuring nice clean black, white and red lines on a rounded hull. :-))
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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2014, 08:29:09 PM »

Hi Ian
Instead of cutting into the foam to check the symmetry you may be able to use a profile tool as in photo, just a thought. I'll follow with interest. :-))
Joe
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2014, 09:08:19 PM »

Hi Joe.

I have one as well! Silly sod that I am, I forgot I had it. It is a bit stiff whch worries me as I do not want to indent the surface. Mind you, the hull will be plated so this will be less of an issue.

Taa Nick, I have all that adventurous activity ahead of me! I do look forward to sculpting the hawse hole and figurehead detail. Bring on the Milliput!!!
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joppyuk1

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 09:17:54 PM »

You could always run some masking tape round the right areas to help stop the pins digging in.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 10:31:07 PM »

Thanks for that suggestion Joppy, two thicknesses will compensate for the pencil line thickness as well. You star sir!!!!
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2014, 09:59:07 PM »

Having used Joppy's idea with the masking tape, I took profiles of the midship, propellor section and the curve of the bows as they approach the meeting point on the bow and found that midships and latter curves are spot on despite my images suggesting otherwise, while the port section where the propellor shaft enters the hull is sharper than that of the starboard so this has been marked and will be sanded and further profiles taken.

Once the prop shafts arrive, I can set them in the hull plug. Once satisfied, I will make a two piece bulkhead from ply that incorporates the wide part of the shaft housings that taper towards the propellors. I plan to cut into the hull plug either side of the keel former at this point and insert the bulkheads.

If this goes to plan, I will remove the shafts, fair the bulkhead into the hull ready for plating.
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joppyuk1

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2014, 02:50:26 PM »

I'm pleased to know it worked (at least, I assume it did) without damaging the foam. I've not tried it on anything that soft before.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2014, 05:26:35 PM »

It spread the pressure so that it did not dig in so I consider it a success because the dent is so slight.

Taa muchly Joppy!
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2014, 11:08:09 PM »

How do.

Now the propellor shafts have arrived I am in a position to continue the build of the Hull plug.

The shafts exit the hull thought what are called stays (Do please correct me if I have got this wrong!) that are in this case conical.
As the stuffing tubes are 8mm wide, the stays have to be this diameter minimum.

I decided to make it easy on myself to fit these when the time comes by creating flat faces that are faired into the bilges. The wider end of the stays are 18mm as this scaled about right, and so from this dimention worked out how far from the point the shafts enter the hull these faces should be.

Once I knew this, I drew a line across the hull bottom across the deadwood 75mm wide and made a slot using a hacksaw followed by a wood saw to widen the cut.


I then took a piece of aero ply cut to size, and placed it in the slot. Drawing the hull profile onto this ply, I then marked the centres for where the shafts will enter and described the curve of the curve of the stays and also the slope or 'Draw'.

When making a master for moulding in a rigid mould, you have to make sure there are no undercuts. Also to ease the removal of the master and subsequent castings, all flat surfaces that have to slide out of the mould must slope a little to make removal easier and less damaging to mould and casting. Therefore to prevent undercuts inboard of the stays and to ease removal, the bottom of the 'Stay face' is sloped each side towards the keel.


Today, I began to fill the area between the 'stay plate' and keel with bits of foam. Once the glue is cured, I will fill large gaps with bits of foam and then get shaping.
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kpnuts

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2014, 10:14:15 PM »

This is all great stuff, will have to keep an eye on this.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert: updated 13/11/14
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2014, 11:14:50 PM »



Above you can see the plywood former in place and faired into the hull with foam and filler.



No, I am not converting Rupert into a Steam punk aircraft carrier but I am applying a layer of foam to form the protected quarter deck (see below) and keep the plug level for the mould maker. If I can get the dimentions spot on, I will use the spare surface area along this extra layer to give the detail for the forward bulwarks that cllose the gap between the sides and the superstructure including any surface details. I presume there was no doors in these but just ports?

The funny shaped piece of foam in the foreground will form part of the surround for the anchor slopes that will be carved into the hull plug proper.



As mentioned, the quarter deck has armoured bulwarks and angled bulkheads.



This is a section of the foam cut to 11mm thick and will be stuck down with PVA.

There will be more soon! Thanks for looking.
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Bob K

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2014, 07:01:58 AM »

This project is really fascinating, especially in techniques used to build a plug for moulding.

Ships of this era are so interesting, caught on a wave of rapid naval development where new ideas were being constantly superseded by ever more audacious innovations.
Considering HMS Rupert was designed just after the Battle of Lissa the focus on ramming as a main offensive armament makes her a uniquely attractive subject for modelling.

Great job so far, I am looking forward to watching how she progresses.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2014, 01:49:02 PM »

I think she is a good starter project for a capital ship build as she has one turret allowing less complex servo control, some rigging but not on a par with HMS Victory, and a simple superstructure.

Time to sharpen the carving knife and get shaping.
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2014, 08:11:06 PM »

Looking good Ian :-))


Just bought a book about all the battleships built for the Royal Navy, over 700 pages long with drawings and old black & white photos. The chapter on armoured rams like the Rupert and Hotspur were particularly interested about the mistaken value of the ram. I found it on amazon for about 17 (I thought very cheap for such a good book) considering it was printed in 1973 but originally printed in 1956 after almost 25 years of research shows the dedication the author had!
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2014, 09:00:25 PM »

Ooh! If only my loving family were computer literate as this would make a great christmas present.

Are there any good photos of Rupert?

I stuck all the extra styrofoam in place today. I will get carving and begin planning the hawse holes and plating process.

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joppyuk1

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #19 on: November 19, 2014, 08:39:56 AM »

Looking good Ian :-))


Just bought a book about all the battleships built for the Royal Navy, over 700 pages long with drawings and old black & white photos. The chapter on armoured rams like the Rupert and Hotspur were particularly interested about the mistaken value of the ram. I found it on amazon for about 17 (I thought very cheap for such a good book) considering it was printed in 1973 but originally printed in 1956 after almost 25 years of research shows the dedication the author had!


Which book would that be?
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2014, 09:52:32 PM »



Which book would that be?

Hi joppy

The book is called 'British Battleships' by Oscar Parkes. It starts with HMS Warrior and ends with HMS Vanguard with chapters on some of the proposed classes inbetween including the G3 and M3 battleships and battlecruisers, and the Lion class battleships that were proposed between the KGV and Vanguard.

Ian- I'll have a good look at the pictures to see what there is of Rupert: definitely ones of her sister Hotspur I remember seeing. I'll upload them if they are any good.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert: Updated 19/11/14
« Reply #21 on: November 19, 2014, 10:22:45 PM »

Very kind Nick.

Recent progress shots:

The bulwark layer has been stuck on and sanded to conform with the hull and to be flat.

These shots show the cut outs from above and show their shape.









The image below explains the reason for these cut outs at the stern showing how the 64pounder RMLs could be manouvred from their broadside position to fire astern. Basically, after the 'scare' with early breech loading rifles, the navy returned to an earlier epoch but with the benefit of rifling.



And for now, an image showing the bows and the anchor slopes cut in the plug.


Now I am ready to move onto plating the hull. I need to look at how many layers of plate the ship had, how many and the style of portholes, and also design the hawse holes.
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joppyuk1

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #22 on: November 20, 2014, 09:06:59 AM »

Hi joppy

The book is called 'British Battleships' by Oscar Parkes. It starts with HMS Warrior and ends with HMS Vanguard with chapters on some of the proposed classes inbetween including the G3 and M3 battleships and battlecruisers, and the Lion class battleships that were proposed between the KGV and Vanguard.



Ah, it's already on my shelves. I think I must have bought it in the 70's and seem to remember it was a very expensive book for the time.


Another title worth seeking out is 'The Black Battlefleet' by G.A.Ballard. This covers the early ironclads of the Royal Navy in some depth.
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raflaunches

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #23 on: November 20, 2014, 07:41:20 PM »


Ah, it's already on my shelves. I think I must have bought it in the 70's and seem to remember it was a very expensive book for the time.


Another title worth seeking out is 'The Black Battlefleet' by G.A.Ballard. This covers the early ironclads of the Royal Navy in some depth.


I certainly agree, another excellent book, I particularly like the sail plans of HMS Captain, I didn't realise that that was a collection of smaller works joined together.
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ballastanksian

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Re: HMS Rupert
« Reply #24 on: November 20, 2014, 07:55:36 PM »

Two titles to look out for next year.

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