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 Post subject: 1/96th USS Alaska (CB-1)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:03 pm 
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Hey guys,

Here's a build log of a 1/96th USS Alaska- I started this... Oh, about three years ago?
This has been posted previously, on Warship Models Underway, but I added some pictures to get everyone here caught up :)



Here's some pics from building the hull:
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This knuckle at the stern was particularly bothersome..
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Heres a picture of machining the armor belt:
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Last edited by Brad Newland on Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:13 pm 
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Heres a couple pics from making the mold. Hint... never. ever. do this inside in a basement workshop :)

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And this is laying the first hull in. Not as easy as I had thought :Oops_1:

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And Finally, pulling the finished hull out:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:19 pm 
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And that's where things stood for a couple of years. Until, A couple of very good friends stopped by this fall and we dug her out of the rafters. (we had all been at a 1/96th event in Rocky Mount North Carolina. If your at all interested in the scale- or RC warships, its a must go)

so.. after they had been at my house about ten minutes (or so it seemed) we hit the lake to do flotation test to come up with a center of buoyancy, and to see how she react to the planned weights for batteries and such

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after poking around the internet for a bit, we came up with around 18 pounds for batteries (if we used one main battery and one receiver battery- may just be able to fit two- but that's TBD)

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then it was back to the house, and time to start planning the layout-

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important lesson here folks- always check the dimensions of the plans.  The TFW plans from floating drydock came 2% larger than they should have been. which led to way more math that James and I would have liked - and frankly, without Lees help we may never have gotten that one sorted out.

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after that nightmare was over- it was on to the floor plate-
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James talked me into screwing right through the floor plate- into what was to become our building board. Now- putting holes through a brand new hull doesn't exactly make me all warm and fuzzy...  but seeing the results did.  made the bottom all nice and straight- and more importantly kept the thing from moving all around, which was very nice.
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heres the finished plate after we poured the gaps on the sides full of resin and sanded it flush:
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while I was on one of the many trips to town for supplies, James made a gantry crane for placing beams. when I got back, we where ready to starting putting the beams into the hull- using the plotting and math we had done earlier.  here is the first beam going into place:
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and more going in (maybe not quite in sequence, but you get the idea:
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I have to put this picture in here just for James. He got to use a torch in the infamous green shop- and was all too happy about it.  (more on that in another of my builds) but this beam wasn't in the right place, so we relocated it)
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this picture, shows a jig that James made to hold the bilge keels in place during the shaping of them.  I still had the template I used when I built the hull- so it was a fairly (well- not really... nothing is fun with those damn things) simple exercise to get the shape right.  
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seen in this picture are the tubes to insert the stuffing tubes through.  Never did this before- so far I really like this-  I think its really sharp, especially given the recessed stuffing tubes this hull had (more on that later)

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here are the Bilge keels after final profiling:
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and- placing the deck so we can plot where the superstructure goes
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test fitting the "battery" which we made during arts and crafts hour
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While James and I where playing with all this- Lee made an absolutely stunning set of shafts and struts.  here they are seen with Keith Benders props.  (if you don't get your props from him... you are seriously missing out)
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and- last one for the day.  heres that recessed stuffing tube I mentioned earlier:
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so- one more thing.  I wanted more than anything, to learn something new.  sometimes its not so easy to give up old habits- especially when you thought they worked... however- there wasn't many of my methods that went into this model, and its much much better for it.  This was a lot of fun! for those of us old enough to remember Lee and Loren Perry building The builders model for the Burke, there was a lot of that happening here.  The near non stop modeling- the panicked calls to find materials- Traci driving halfway across the country to get them- The headaches from the seemingly gallons of kicker and superglue we used.  and it all came together in a week!  

 


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:21 pm 
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I had to go back to work- so until I get back home I'll be working on the superstructure and pieces to make things go quicker once I get home. The majority of these things I'll Send to Lee, so they will be available through him.

So- to that end, I built the 'Midship 5" Handling Rooms.  Soldering up the Railing proved to be one of the more challenging things Ive soldered to date..  

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:22 pm 
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Ive made up the O-2, O-3 and O-4 deckhouses, and started on the decks that go between them..  and soldered up a Mk-51 Tub or too as well.

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and, been working on the vents that go in between the hangers:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:23 pm 
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just the one picture in this one.  Ive been busy working on the stack and the tower.  Today I managed to do some soldering and got the Mk-51 Director tubs and bulwarks done for the O-3 Level. A word of warning, if you are building Alaska later in the war, or if you are doing Guam at any time- do NOT follow this example as they are very different on this level.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:24 pm 
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so... thought for this post  is there anyone here who HASNT Bled during the building of one of these things?? a chisel blade made damn sure that theres enough of my DNA on this model that I could surely be identified should I ever go missing  :D

so- On the O-2 deck, the after pair of 40mm mounts (ont he fwd superstructure piece)  are elevated- as are the flag bags.  then.. the flag bags are tied to the 40mm shield by an enclosure (thank you Lee for helping me sort that out) (I thought it was totally enclosed- but its just a bulkhead with a door, and a roof overhead)  so.. heres the flag bags all made up:

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then.. here they are all tied together:

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and then in place on the model:

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I was originally going to make these out of styrene..  but, wanted to see if I could do it out of brass. and, I had lots of brass scrap materials around so figured id give it a shot.  I'm wanting to pose at least one, if not both of the doors open- so I still have to make the opening for that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:26 pm 
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Here is the platform that sits on top of the O-4 Deckhouse.  it was one of those things that I looked at and thought, hmm, couple hours should wrap that up- and here two solid days later...


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so- in keeping with the theme of me pointing out the differences between Alaska and Guam for anyone interested, apparently this piece is one of those things.  the plans show the rear of this bulwark angling in to meet the Mk-51 tubs.  However, There are a couple of pictures In Classic Warships Alaska book that show the rear of the Bulwark to be straight. However,  I see a picture of Guam that shows the shape to be as shown on the plans.  

finally- since it looks like it'll be the last nice  day on the lakes for a while...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:27 pm 
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decided to change gears today- I was a little tired of soldering :)  so, I started doing the wood decking.  Man, I forgot how long this stuff takes.

Ive been asked quite a bit how I do this, so heres a couple pics to help explain.  for this version- I'm using a 3m product to replicate the black caulking line.  It self adhesive- and sticks to the wood fairly well. its also subtle enough that it isn't glaring.

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when I do this- I always have many sticks that I'm working from (more than 15), to provide a "random" pattern due to the differences in coloration.  

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I use 2" long pieces, staggered 1/2" in this picture you can see the layout lines for the ending points of the planks:

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and this... is the product of about three hours work:

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it still has to be sanded..


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:28 pm 
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The planking saga continues.  I'm oh so looking forward to doing the main deck :)

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And finally.. all done.  
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I didn't keep a stopwatch to check my time.. but I'm guessing this took around 40 hours.  not something that goes fast by any means.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:29 pm 
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the platform for the 0-7 level:

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and the next sections of the tower:

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In keeping with my pointing out the differences between CB-1 and CB-2, CB-1 didn't have the walkaround platform on the O-8 level as the Guam did.  Looks like she received it shortly after getting to the pacific.. but not during the shakedown cruises.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:31 pm 
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Made up a vent set- as James said... it would be nice if there where some common parts between the Alaska and the other ships of the fleet.  The vents are no exception... so, here's what I came up with:

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and, Been working on the 40mm clipping room, and the Mk-51 tubs that connect to it:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:32 pm 
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Made the forward clipping room-

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then, I started working on the bow 40mm tub.  which, ordinarily wouldn't be that big of a problem, but... due to the rake of the bow, and the cut out portions under the mount it got a whole lot more complicated. so- First I built the clipping room, and the Mk-51 director tub.

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Then, I talked a good friend of mine that is extremely talented with computers, to help me with the shape of the shield. this was the first attempt:

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I ended up making a second one, because I cut out the missing pieces below the deck of the tub, and when I rolled them around the form, the lower portions didn't bend like the shield. (should have seen that coming) but, here is a couple pics with the supports, grab irons and access ladders soldered on:

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Finally, here it is with a 40mm mount and a MK51 director- obviously shapeways..  still need to be cleaned up some..

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:33 pm 
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So, if you've stuck with me this far... This brings up to present time. Ive been working on the aft superstructure- which, is interesting to say the least.

First I built the Clipping rooms that connect the the aft superstructure- which also serve as a base for Two Quad 40mm mounts apiece:

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Then I worked from aft to forward with the main piece:
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I'm including this picture, just because I like it... went through all that work and I end up with something that looks like it could be a stand in during Disneys "tugboat mickey"

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The Bulkheads are angled, my guess is for the boiler uptakes- and there is two separate angles for the forward end.  where it all comes together got really complicated.

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and, my batteries showed up the other day and actually fit (yay!!)

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Finally, I decided to put some parts on her, and see how things are taking shape:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Wow, very impressive! What great progress on this project! I really look forward to updates.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:57 pm 
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This is definitely one to follow. Excellent work, to all of you!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 1:22 am 
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Beautiful work! I have a few questions.

1. I like wooden decks. All three ships I served on in the Navy had wooden decks.

I really like the detail work where you are cutting the planks into the margin boards. Right now I am planning exactly this type of detail for my USS Oklahoma City CLG-5 model. It would be nice if you described your technique for mating the planks and the margin boards.

2. How do you use the 3M series 1080 Wrap Film to create the caulking between planks? I have seen several techniques and have thought about using some type of plastic between boards to avoid pigment bleeding into the wood.

3. What type of wood are you using? What is your source?

4. What do you use to make the wood adhere to the deck?

5. What soldering equipment do you use - iron (pencil) or resistance soldering unit?

6. Looks like you are using Plexiglass and brass for much of the construction. What other materials do you use?

7. Are you using photo etch? If so, do you design your own?

****

I know what you mean about the stern knuckle! The Clevelands had this and the Table of Offsets and hull lines just don't give enough detail to figure it out. However, while digging through thousands of blueprints I found a Table of Sight Lines (I had never heard of it) that was used to position the hull plates during construction. It gave the edges of every hull plate and that really helped to get the shape of the knuckle in the stern. Even so, I have modeled it three times already in my CAD model and I will have to redo it once more - I think I have finally figured it out!

Phil

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 7:22 am 
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Phil,

1. I like wooden decks. All three ships I served on in the Navy had wooden decks.

I really like the detail work where you are cutting the planks into the margin boards. Right now I am planning exactly this type of detail for my USS Oklahoma City CLG-5 model. It would be nice if you described your technique for mating the planks and the margin boards.

I shape the plank to match the angle of the margin plank, then put that piece on top of the margin plank where I want it to be place, trace around it with my exacto, and cut it out.

2. How do you use the 3M series 1080 Wrap Film to create the caulking between planks? I have seen several techniques and have thought about using some type of plastic between boards to avoid pigment bleeding into the wood.

Ive played with many different methods for this- by far my favorite was black construction paper. however, just as you said... get it wet and it bleeds. My last build I tried using .010 Black styrene, which worked well.. but was a little clumsy to work with. a good friend of mine has had great success using a sharpie marker. (while I have had miserable results with it) so.. I decided to try this... mainly because of (I may mess up his name) Kiwimedics 1/72 Bismarck on this board. As for using it, I just cut a strip off a little less than the thickness of my wood, peel off the backing paper, and stick it on. really simple- though, a bit clumsy to get used to.

3. What type of wood are you using? What is your source?

Ive used 1/16x1/16 basswood on all my builds, and always got it here.

http://www.northeasternscalelumber.com/


4. What do you use to make the wood adhere to the deck?

Just superglue. nothing fancy

5. What soldering equipment do you use - iron (pencil) or resistance soldering unit?

I was going to try one of those resistance units once upon a time.. but a good friend talked me out of it. turns out he was much wiser than me.. I use a simple 25W weller iron. one that you can change tips in... I use a ST-6 tip, and can solder anything from PE to rod with it.

6. Looks like you are using Plexiglass and brass for much of the construction. What other materials do you use?

I wont touch Plexi with a ten foot pole :smallsmile: what you're seeing is 1/16" lexan. I also was gifted a couple sheets of fiberglass sheet, and I fell in love with the stuff. that's what is making up the all the decks for the superstructure. very light and damn near unbreakable

7. Are you using photo etch? If so, do you design your own?

the only thing that's photoetched so far is the ammo rings in the 40mm tubs.. and I get those from John Haynes. Havent stepped of the cliff and done my own yet :)

All the best
Brad


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 12, 2017 8:42 am 
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Hi Brad nice model you showing us. :thumbs_up_1: :wave_1: :smallsmile:


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:33 pm 
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:big_grin:

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