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Author Topic: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels  (Read 435 times)

plastic

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WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« on: March 02, 2019, 06:38:09 PM »

Hi All
Quick question - did all British WW2 destroyers have bilge keels?    I can't find any information like hull photos or detailed plans to confirm or deny them .  All the information seems to concentrate on the above-water views.


I've seen lots of models without and some with them in all sorts of sizes & shapes and positions - so I'm not sure what's correct.

If they are fitted, what's the best material to make them from and what's the best fixings to a fibreglass hull to stop them getting damaged or knocked off because of their vulnerable position?
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Akira

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 06:53:53 PM »

I believe so. as for shapes, sizes, and locations, they would vary according to the class of destroyer. One point that I believe was consistant, was that they would be mounted equidistant from the keel line, throughout their length.As for the best way to attach them to a F/G hull, there isn't one. Numerous techniques have been used very successfully. The same can be said for the materials they are made from. I have used thin 1/16" aluminum sheet as well as 1/16" FG sheet to make mine, with equal success.Attaching can be achieved in different manners as well, depending upon the style of keel, whether it is a triangular shaped keel or a flat sheet metal style. I personally prefer the latter because I make mine from a sheet material. When I do so, I add tabs to the inner surface of the keel. The tabs project thru the hull and allow the keels to be fixed to the hull from the inside. Drilling a hole or two thru each tab allows the insertion of a retaining rod, and I liberally cover the rod, tab and hole with thicken F/G resin and or choppings. As I said before though, there are many ways to achieve this so hopefully someone else will chime in.

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plastic

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 06:57:56 PM »

Thanks for that - where do they normally start & stop?   Are they just on the straight parallel-sided part of the hull?
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raflaunches

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2019, 07:44:48 PM »

Hi Plastic


Hope these help, they are from Norman Friedmanís books British Destroyers From Earliest Days to Second World War and British Destroyers & Frigates The Second World War and After.
They are drawn by A D Baker III.


7-CDCC4-DB-5-B95-4767-9489-28-D96-D52-CF10" border="0 67-B71278-71-CF-4-B47-8148-B24-B6-E0-F96-EC" border="0 07-E90-E4-C-91-AC-4814-8678-39-ED99-F4-F997" border="0 E171-B975-9212-493-B-9-EBF-306-EB8037-EBE" border="0 D6-C3-BC6-A-F070-46-EE-8-A70-294-E6-C82-CED3" border="0
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plastic

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2019, 07:50:29 PM »

Perfect - that's what I'm looking for!
Thanks for those pics - I think I can replicate that.  I'm thinking 1/4" brass angle bolted to the hull with M2 screws with the screws & nuts sealed into the hull with a blob of fibreglass body filler on the inside.   Would that work?  Would the paint crack at the joint?
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gerritv

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 11:15:03 PM »


Here is the detail of bilge keel for Tribal Class (this drawing specifically from HMCS Athabaskan).
I wonder if all the bilge keels were laid out the same way? Drawing also has detail on what the keel was built up.


On my dad's 1:72 HMCS Athabaskan the aluminum sheet bilge keel was cyanolated on (super glue). It has never come off in 30 years.
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Akira

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 11:54:44 PM »

If the bilge keel has to bend significantly to follow the hull line, angle is a hard material to make work. As in the attached of the USS O'Bannon, an early Fletcher class DD, there is significant curve to the bilge keel. If the RN ship you are modelling does not have keels that sweep so much, you may be able to get away with using it. best of luck and so us you build, please.
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Jonty

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2019, 11:58:36 AM »

  I seem to remember reading somewhere, may have been American practice, that the bilge keel was formed from a rolled I-beam with one edge cut off.
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Akira

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2019, 02:10:40 PM »

Jonty, I believe that you are correct, but I think that it depended upon the class of ship, as well as when it was built, ie, attached with rivets rather than welded. I enclose a photo of the USS Kidd, which is a memorial ship ship here in the States. She is in almost exact late war configuration. It illustrates the sweep of the bilge keel, which again varies per class, as well as its apparent means of attachment, welded. it does not appear to be an I beam, although it could be a L beam, although with that sweep, I doubt it. I found that US "four pipers" of which 50 were sent to the RN during the war, used T beams which were 12" x 5" x 31.5" in dimension. Being applied in sections would allow the T beam to appear to bend to the necessary curve of the hull. ( Info from "Anatomy of the Ship: The Destroyer Cambeltown", by Al Ross.
As for using this or a similar approach on a model, the joints of sections could always be soldered to fill the small gap created between sections.
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plastic

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2019, 02:21:27 PM »

The hull I have is very straight in the position of the bilge keel - the keel will only need a slight bend to fit snugly.

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Akira

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2019, 03:57:06 PM »

GREAT! Then your idea should work splendidly! Please post your results. It will certainly be much easier than what I have had to do.
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NickelBelter

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2019, 06:32:27 PM »

I used styrene L-angle to reinforce the bilge keels on my River-class.  The keels themselves were drilled through once in position and pinned with brass rod. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1i7EAKtxAmAdomANLW5O5Zn9RH5Ko9VJw/view
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plastic

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #12 on: March 03, 2019, 06:39:06 PM »

What glue fixes styrene to fibreglass for that application?
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NickelBelter

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Re: WW2 British Destroyer Bilge Keels
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2019, 06:08:35 AM »

Thick CA glue, I have some that claims to be 'rubberized' but I don't know if it makes much difference.  The keels are reinforced on both sides with angle/square strip.
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