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Author Topic: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam  (Read 3737 times)

Mugsey

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Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« on: August 04, 2016, 02:32:05 AM »

Greetings all,


I have been a member here since 2007 but have just recently raised my head above the hedge. My business keeps me very busy without much time for modeling so I have been building vicariously through you fine folks!  :-))  I figured it was time to get something on the stocks, so I broke out the Rotterdam that I had gotten a start on several years ago.


I know this model has been converted many times, but I thought I would post my efforts in case there was any interest in seeing one more go.

Of course one begins with visions of full lighting,g, independent motor control, bow thruster, working fire monitors, cranes, sound system and winches, whereupon the box is opened and reality begins to set in. All of that might be a bit ambitious in 1:200 scale... It was decided to begin with twin motor control, lighting, rudder of course, and decide on the bow thruster as the project progressed.

I decided to use the kit props, korts and rudders, suitably modified for operation.  To that end, the A-frames and hull entry bits were cut away from the kit shafts and drilled to accept the brass shaft tubes. It is all very conventional, just smaller. The rudders were enlarged slightly, though not enough to look horribly out of scale. Evergreen I-beam was used as it had the bonus of forming a 'gurney' on the trailing edge of the rudder. Probably insignificant at this size but looks the part.

Orders have been placed for speed controllers for the main drives and several dozen minuscule LEDs of varying colors that will find their way into the many dark corners of the ship. While waiting for the post, I have begun to detail the bridge with the help of a Youtube video by David Trillo Gallego (I believe) who toured the vessel and provided many nice photos of the bridge and interior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7FOoRGlR68

Still not sure which livery it will end up with, I was even thinking of just making one up as if she had survived to serve yet another master. I would be interested in you thoughts on fictional liveries in general, by the way. I know there are those who frown upon such things... ("C'mere son, we need t' talk about yer paint job... <*< )

Here are a few pics (I hope) of the rudders and propulsion, as well as some of the bridge detail. The bridge desk was fun to do, and yes, I will be blind by the end of this one! %%


Cheers,


Mike













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Cheers,

Mike

Brian60

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2016, 08:05:44 AM »

Looks like a good start Mike and I commend you for making up the bridge interior at that scale!

hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2016, 09:57:23 PM »

What a coincidence! I have one of these that I converted many years ago, it performed excellent with two hacked servos for propulsion and a micro servo for steering. All kit props and rudders and she had a good turn of speed as I remember. It's been sitting on a shelf for years now collecting dust and loosing parts and more than once been on its way to the bin. BUT, just yesterday I took it out and started another conversion by rebuilding her into a anchor handling tug. Don't know when or if she will ever be ready but the layout is there.
Your build looks great and I will follow with grea interest!
Hama
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Mugsey

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2016, 10:10:16 PM »

Thank you for the comments gents, much appreciated!


Hama there are even more coincidences; I was thinking I might convert this on into an anchor handler as well. As I said, not too sure if it will actually finish up as a "Rotterdam" at all at this point. I kind of fancied the idea of building an elevated helo deck and aft deck with a roller, but I'm still wavering. On one hand Smit Rotterdam and London were icons of their era, on the other something somewhat fanciful would be fun to build. I'm even considering building it as is but painting in the old bright yellow Mammoet scheme like the Robbe Happy Hunter. Or maybe Viking black and yellow, or...  {:-{


As an update, my LEDs arrived today and they are TINY! I'll try to post some pics when I get home this evening. Many of you may be familiar with these things, but this is my first experience with LEDs this small, less than 1mm! Can't wait to see how bright they are and what the colors look like.


One question too, if I might. I made the assumption that the overhead bridge lighting would be red at night, but the (very few) night time pics I have seen seem to indicate that standard white lights are being used on this type of vessel. Can anyone shed any light on this? (Sorry, that WAS awfully bad...)

Mike
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Mike

hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2016, 11:40:17 PM »

Hello!
Well as I'm an merchant marine officer I can tell you that on a bridge at night there are no lights other than the instruments so save that LED for something else! That bridge console you built is tiny and looks awesome!
Keep up the good work!
Hama
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hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2016, 09:40:30 AM »

Oh, before anyone else point it out! Off course there is a dull lamp over the chart table and one at the coffee machine but they wouldn't be visible from outside. At least that's how it was on the ships I served on. Red or white ceiling lights were only used in port when moored.
Back to the build!
Hama
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Brian60

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2016, 09:56:21 AM »

Hama what is true for the merchant marine is somewhat different on anchor handlers.

Most aht's have their bridges illuminated with white light at night, don't ask me why, possibly due to the amount of reliance on electronic station/watch keeping they have fitted nowadays. It must play havoc with their night vision when looking into the darkness but they all seem to do it. Just thought another possibility is that they have so much external deck/floodlights going at all times it destroys night vision anyway, so a bridge with lighting would make no difference.

I'll ask one of my contacts and get back on this subject.

Brian60

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2016, 10:25:02 AM »

Got an answer and I was mostly correct.

In the working environment there is so much light from other close in ships and of course the rigs themselves it renders no bridge lighting as a waste of time - they might as well have it on (its like daylight outside!)

During navigation to and from the port to the work area however, bridge lights are definately off to maximise night vision.

hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2016, 02:05:07 PM »

Thanks for the clarification Brian! Should have thought about that it's been 10+ years since I was out on the oceans, things change!
Hama
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Mugsey

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2016, 01:47:35 AM »

Thanks for the great information guys!  :-))


I must admit that I felt a bit foolish after I read your replies, it seems like it should have been obvious! I think I will install white overhead lights on the bridge and wire them to a separate switch so it can run either way.


I have managed to get a wee bit more done on the bridge details, mostly on the forward console. There is still a bit of cleanup and painting to do, but for the most part it is ready to go. It isn't particularly accurate, but I feel like it is a good representation of what can be seen in the pics from the Youtube video. There will be LEDs installed under the forward console that will illuminate switches and panel lights as well as the two monitor screens from below.


Speaking of LEDs, here are a couple of pics to illustrate how small these thing are. I got the smaller of the two in "cool" white (looks like fluorescent lights), and "warm" white (incandescent), also red and green for the navs. The larger are just about the perfect size for the rear deck work lights, four on the funnel bridge (don't know the real name) and two on the lower deck.


In some of the research I did I discovered that there was a discrepancy in the placement of the bridge wing doors. The kit has them molded into the sides of the bridge, but on the actual ship they were on the rear of the wheelhouse just aft of the second side window. I sanded off the molded doors and used plastic card to put them in their proper place. Of course, just after I finished I discovered that the actual doors appear to be the swinging type rather than sliders, and that the windows are smaller that the other wheelhouse windows. >:-o  I promise not to tell anyone else if you don't!


The other little bit done was to carve the top of the ship's boats to look a bit more like actual tarpaulin covers. I'm going to try PVA soaked tissue as a covering to see if I can get some realistic wrinkles going.


One thing that I am trying to figure out is how to access the running gear once the ship is finished. There are several ways to build a hatch under the accommodation, but that still leaves the motors and rudder linkages hidden under the aft deck. Hama can I ask how you handled this on your build?


Thanks again for the help guys! here are the pics...





























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Mike

Brian60

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2016, 08:04:48 AM »

Coming together nicely. The tissue and pva works, I use it often. Just remember not to use toilet tissue, but kitchen roll (for mopping up spills in the kitchen) toilet tissue dissolves and just makes a mess, the kitchen tissue/roll is made to soak up liquids so can be manipulated better when pva is applied.

I'm impressed with your leds, I have 200 of this size and over the last two years and 40/50 attempts have failed miserably to actually solder wire to them (40/50 into the rubbish pile!) what is your technique?

I see you have a map unfolded on the table. If you are doing this you may as well take the next step as well. It is regulated that a 'all decks' plan be on display and easily visible attached to a bridge wall someplace, like the one I have attached for your guidance. This is for fire fighting/emergency purposes.

This is regulated for offshore/tugs/anchor handling vessels, I don't know if the same applies to other ships..

Easiest way of doing one of these is to reduce your plan in paint or whatever, then print it and just stick the paper to the bridge wall. If the paper needs thinning, spray a couple of coats of laquer/varnish/polyurethane on the surace, allow to dry, then soak in water for a while. You will find most of the paper backing can then be gently rubbed away, leaving essentially what  is a decal.

hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2016, 09:46:07 AM »

Wow! Amazing detail, very impressed! It's so tiny!
Hama
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Mugsey

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2016, 06:23:38 PM »

Hi Brian,


I wish I could pass along some wisdom on soldering the tiny LEDs, but my personal technique is to buy them pre-soldered! I found a source here in the U.S. that offers many many different sizes, colors and effects (flashing, oil lamp simulating, etc.) pre-soldered and with the proper resistors installed for whatever voltage you would like to use. You pay a bit more than for bulk LEDs, but I don't think they are unreasonable at all and it is well worth it to me to not have to fiddle with soldering something I can barely see!  They do ship internationally (free shipping on orders over a certain amount), so may be well worth a look. They are called Evans Designs, here is a link:


http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/


Brilliant idea on the posted ships deck plan, by the way. I haven't been able to find any actual plan for the Rotterdam/London other than for the Billings kit. I guess I'm being a bit silly as just about any drawing that is even remotely ship-shaped will suffice at 1:200 scale when viewed through a bridge window!  %%
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Mike

Big Ada

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2016, 07:01:42 PM »

I think those tiny LEDs have their wires soldered on with Solder Paste and a Heat Gun, not the sort we use on heat shrink cable, much hotter.

Len.
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hama

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2016, 07:45:19 PM »

Just realised there was a question for me, sorry that I missed it!
I'm afraid I don't have a good solution for access to the hull. I made a cut just in front of the superstructure and then I could lift of the entire superstructure and the decks it sat on. Then I made a small hatch on top of the winch house on the aft deck. My motors where quite close to the middle of the hull. The rudders was the worst part on my boat, I took a shortcut and put the linkage above the aftdeck. Not pretty but it worked. By the look of your attention to detail I'm sure you'll make a much better job of it. I've built the Billing boats version too and never noticed that about the wheelhouse doors!! %%
All the best!
Hama
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Mugsey

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2016, 08:09:05 PM »

Thanks for the reply Hama! There really isn't much room under the rear deck for the rudder linkages, is there? I have a few ideas about how I might handle the rudder controls, but I don't know if I have enough faith in any of them to glue the deck over them without access. Still thinking about it... %)


In the mean time, here is a quick update on my rather slow progress!


The forward bridge console is finished and ready to glue to the bridge deck. The tiny LEDs have been glued to the bridge deck and the wires passed through to the underside. Here are a couple of pictures of the resulting lighting effect. Of course the camera flash overwhelms the lighting effect, but if no flash is used it looks so bright as to give the bridge crew a sun tan from the monitor screens! Trust that the actual console looks quite nice in person when lighted... The "light leaks" from between the console and deck will of course be corrected when the console is glued to the deck.


The other pic is a fire extinguisher that was made from plastic rod and craft thread. It will sit against the port bulkhead of the wheelhouse. May be completely invisible once installed, but I wanted to have a go at making it in the first place, and even if not visible at least we'll know it is there!

















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Mike

Mugsey

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Re: Yet another Heller Smit Rotterdam
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2016, 02:12:57 AM »

Greetings gents,


It has been a while since I have had much time to devote to "The Wee Rotterdam", but some progress has been made.


I've been working on some of the lighting since the arrival of my LEDs, with varying degrees of success. Some was fairly straight forward like the aft deck work lights. These were installed on the bridge bit between the funnels with their positions based on photos of the original. The LEDs are of the "warm white" variety and are pretty close to scale size. Between these is one of the stern lights, in this case the upper yellow one for use with a tow. Making this and the other stern and mast lights was a bit frustrating.


I thought the LEDs used for the work lights looked acceptable since they are about the right size and shape, but I really didn't want to just glue a tiny square LED to the ship where a cylindrical nav light should be, so I tried to cast the LED inside a tiny cylinder using clear resin...


 >:-o


Out of three attempts one was usable, so it was used. More thought will be required for the other stern light and the mast lights!


Speaking of the mast, the two halves were hollowed to allow the wires to be hidden inside. There is one white nav light and a search light on the mast that will be functional. The other search light is on the top of the wheelhouse facing aft. The kit has the aft search light on top of the funnel bridge, but photos indicate that this is incorrect and that the aft light should be located where the kit has an aft-facing fire monitor (That doesn't appear in any of the photos I have found). I had a bit more luck making the search lights than I did with the navs. These were modified from the kit parts with a cool white LED buried under clear resin which was polished to make the lens.


Some of the other work accomplished involved the "hollowing" tops of the funnels and the exhaust stacks for a more realistic appearance and making new,more accurate radar scanners. Oh, and I tried to cast sat-nav domes in resin from a mold made from typical round LEDs. I must have mixed the resin improperly or something because the parts came out rubbery and too soft to sand! Failing that, I decided to just cut the tops off of LEDs themselves. Of course that resulted in the desired bit being shot across the room at a velocity that would have impressed Einstein, never to be seen again.


I took that as a good indication that it is time to stop and go eat dinner...  %) :-))


A few pics:






























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Mike
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