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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 5:01 pm 
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Hello fellow Forumites...

Against my better judgement I have yielded to my inner 12 year old and begun yet another project in 1/700th scale. :woo_hoo: I know I already have an active thread, as well as two others that are not exactly dead, but, on the other hand, I have seen guys do blogs here that span a year or more, and sometimes pick up a thread that is already two or three years old, not to mention lots of guys who start things and never finish them. :heh:
For the record, I do plan on wrapping up the Solferino within the next six months or so, the Carracks before the end of the year, and the Colossus within a year... :big_grin: So, hopefully I won't be accused of flooding the forum with projects that never reach fruition. :Mad_6:

However, I thought it might be fun to try a change of pace. And, just to warn you, this is a BIG change of pace. The 'O.D.E' in the title refers to 'Off the Deep End.' :big_grin:

So... Is anyone out there a fan of the Mega Yacht?
Know what I mean?
Here's a few samples:
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I'm not what you'd call a 'society type,' but I do think these boats (ships?) are cool. From a purely aesthetic point of view I find them appealing and graceful. They make me think a little bit of space-ships, and they also make me think a little bit of James Bond thrillers... :cool_2: I never developed my skills at painting or drawing, and have no expertize with 3-D design, so the easiest thing for me to do in pursuing a fascination with such vessels is to actually build models of them.

That's the thing about scratch building. Once you've taken the plunge, you realize you really can model whatever you want to; and the more you think about it, the wider the horizons become. I look back on the days when I was wishing for this or that kit to come out (most of which are now announced) and I remember the nail-biting anxiety of being dependent on an amorphous model company to deliver me my next dream-build. Things are so different now. It's sort of like the difference between being a zoo-lion and a lion in the wild.

And while we're at it, why not design our own? That would be more fun than trying (probably unsuccessfully) to track down the hull lines and specs for one of the above beauties. As I am waiting for a number of parts for the Solferino and Magenta, and the Carrack PE situation is still unresolved for the moment, I thought, why not? Let's take the plunge! Once I actually started it, I began to realize that I might possibly be able to build these rather quickly, as they are not generally studded with details the way a typical (pre stealth) warship might be. BTW, I haven't lost my taste for warships, just want to throw some variety into the mix.

I actually got the idea for this right after I got back from the Nats in Omaha (still intoxicated with inspiration) did a google search, got very excited, and immediately made the following sketches.

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Hmmm, not too inspiring, actually.

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This is better. It looks 'yachty...' :cool_1:

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Went ahead and sketched an overhead view, just to be clear in my mind.

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This one got me really excited. What if we had a yacht where there was a kind of suspended superstructure pod with clear windows showing the interior, and the whole thing supported by two arches that rise from the stern and come down at the bow? And what if these arches were to continue through the form of the hull, right down to the waterline? I couldn't decide if I wanted an extreme clipper bow or a ram bow... and finally decided on both... sort of. The bow would be raked like that of a clipper, but there would be a centerline plate stem that would project out from the bow down into the water, supported by a substantial bulbous forefoot beneath the waterline. This would help support the weight of the fore-arches. As a further bizarre touch, the centerline stem plate would have one or more lightening holes in it, to add to the organic quality of the whole. The transom stern would be split in the back to accept a personal submarine bay, which will be serviced by launching and recovering cranes. The entire superstructure pod would be suspended above deck by the arches, with only an access ladder underneath to permit access. The whole thing looks crazy and bizarre and... well, I kinda liked it. It will (probably) scale out to less than 300ft, and believe it or not, there are actually yachts built and building that are substantially bigger than this.

I will attempt to make the pod with open windows at the top and with open galleries on the side, and also to create an interior for the pod, including bridge and lounging areas, etc. I will also be building a submarine, which will be roughly ovoid in shape with (hopefully) manipulating arms at the front. The bow of the submarine will be made from the vacuform plastic bubble borrowed from a discarded pack of vitamin pills or aspirin or something of that sort. There will also be two or more 'oculi' mounted horizontally from the middle of the pod from the same material, and perhaps a bubble-topped pilot house made from the same.

I mean...it's crazy, and I know it's crazy, but it kinda looks cool. I don't think anyone would ever build such a boat, but, at the same time, I don't think it's absolutely impossible, maybe very improbable... anyway, what the heck? :big_grin: All in all, it should be a fun build... or an embarrassing admission of failure if I am unable to pull it off. Wish me luck! :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 11:29 pm 
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Interesting proposals... ;)

I prefer a slightly more conventional, yet no less graceful, look:


Attachments:
File comment: The one with the blue hull, not the Coast Guard boat having fun :P
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:26 am 
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What is that, Tim?

Is it a ferry or what?

I like it. Actually I like the coast guard boat in the front as well. :big_grin:
:wave_1:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:04 pm 
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First step for a waterline model in 1/700th scale is to make the waterline plate. I do this by taping two roughed out pieces of styrene together with double sided tape. (very useful stuff :thumbs_up_1: btw)
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Both are trimmed together. The tape holds them securely in place so that you can produce exactly the same shape with two pieces.
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Once they are pried apart and the tape removed, you have two halves of the waterline plate.
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The pieces below belong to an additional yacht that I'm going to attempt to make at the same time and put in a dio with the first one. (well why not? :huh: ) I did not sketch this one out, but it will have a basically conventional 'fast boat hull' with the sort of scalloped or faceted hull sides that are reminiscent of WWII American PT boats, etc. However the superstructure will consist of three 'bubble platforms' round decks on raised pylons connected by walk ways and partially or completely covered over with clear bubble tops, which I will attempt to make from medicine vacuform packs. I'm calling this one 'Triad' and the other one 'Qantara' which means 'bridge' or arches.
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Triad will have a double stem with some sort of intake between them.
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To create a symmetrical deck, I proceeded with the same method as with the waterline plate. This is the 'under-deck' for Qantara. I will glue pre-scribed 'wood deck' styrene on top of this and trim to match.
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I glued the two halves of the waterline plate to a piece of strip styrene.
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Deck plate complete.
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Waterline plate glued to deck plate with hull material roughed in. Time to start shaping!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:12 pm 
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Shaping the forward arches...
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The same method is used in creating the arches as in creating the waterline and deck plates.
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Shaping the Hull.
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Roughing the shape with a dremel tool.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:18 pm 
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More shaping...
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:33 pm 
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Stbd is shaped and smoothed. The process was; first rough with a dremel, then carve with a curved blade (very challenging to carve the concave shape I was wanting) then rough sand, then more light carving, then rough sand, then progressively lighter sanding. As the shape became more refined I used the shape of the shadows from the weather deck edge to show me where the imperfections in the hull shape were and then sanded accordingly. I found that back & forth sanding only magnified imperfections, and resorted to a circular 'buffing' kind of motion with the sanding. This seemed to give better results, although there is still work to do. Still, thank God the styrene is holding up and I won't have to muck on the filler like I was afraid I would. I hate putty. Hate it. :heh:
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Proceeding to shape the Port side now.
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The styrene rod that makes up the hull makes an interesting pattern in the surface of the bow once shaped. I'm really happy that the amount of filler needed will be minimal. My goal with these hulls is the opposite from that of a warship model— I want a featureless, mirror-like glossy hull. That's one reason I'm doing this project is to work on hull fabbing skills. Many of these new mega yachts have hulls made of fiberglass and have huge seamless sides polished to a high gloss. I'm wanting to achieve the same. I still haven't settled on a final color for these two, although I'm thinking the Triad boat will be a grey or black, and I'm leaning towards a light color with the Qantara. However I'm open to suggestions. :big_grin:

That's all I've got for now. More soon. :wave_1:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:42 pm 
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callen wrote:
What is that, Tim?

Is it a ferry or what?

I like it. Actually I like the coast guard boat in the front as well. :big_grin:
:wave_1:


Either SeaDream I or II - mega-yachts that one can book a trip on like a cruise ship except with a purportedly much more intimate atmosphere due to its smaller size. Appears to go all over the world.


If looking for something a bit more unconventional, perhaps this guy:


Attachments:
File comment: Wind Star
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:42 am 
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More news from Mega Yacht land. This has been an interesting project so far, and a definite departure from the usual fare. It's challenging, but so far, we're holding it together. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. Ok. Here we go! :thumbs_up_1:
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Shaping... here a combination of carving and progressive sanding. Tedious and difficult.
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checking symmetry on white smooth styrene is quite challenging. No hull details to guide the eye. I found myself using the fall of the shadow as a guide to matching the volume and flare of each side. Later I ran my fingers very carefully over each side to see if I could detect asymmetry in flare or volume. It's difficult because although you can correct anything you've convinced yourself is wrong (keeping in mind that you're always removing material) you can never be sure that you've matched the other side.
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In these shots you can see the port side is sanded smooth, but the starboard side is still both too rough and too full.
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Shaping the transom sub-bay. I have plans for the little mini-sub... tempting to get started on her now, but I'm forcing myself to see the mother ship through first.
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In carving out the bay, the planked deck was destroyed a little too far in from the edge. Two options, face the edge with a raised step to hide the defect, or cut down the stern deck slightly and add new planked sheet. I chose the second solution, as I felt it would add interest and look nicer. It helps when you're designing your own ship. :big_grin:
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Old deck removed. Dremel cuts in the hull block to aid in planing the quarter deck down.
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Quarter deck sanded and ready for fitting of new planking material.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:46 am 
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Transom and Sub-bay work. These pics are fairly self-explanitory.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:06 am 
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Stern shaping up...
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I found myself really struggling with how to proceed with the construction and painting of the superstructure 'pod'. The interrelationship between the supporting arches and the pod itself would be critical both in terms of building and in terms of painting strategy. The color scheme is planned to be the following: The pod will be a very high sheen gloss black, but with windows opening into a lighter colored interior. The hull itself will be a gloss white, and the arches will be gloss white. The weather deck and quarterdeck will be finished in natural wood, though I may give this a matte or gloss finish as well to simulate some sort of highly polished surface, etc. Still mulling that over... All this high gloss surface with minimal detail is not going to scale very well, but I have a strategy to add certain elements to the completed diorama to help create scale.

In trying to work out a building strategy, I finally decided that I would need to create a 'working deck' on which I could make a trial construction of the superstructure, both arches and pod. These elements would be temporarily glued or fixed to plain styrene for the short term, and then carefully removed once the structural relationships had been properly worked out. This would have the double advantage of protecting the planked weather deck until time for final assembly.
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Double sided tape would attach the working deck to the final planked deck.
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Now that this was done, I could finally start work on the pod itself, which measures out to something like 165 scale feet... so 'pod' is a bit misleading a term, but I can't think of what else to call it.
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I had originally intended that the pod be entirely suspended from the arches, with only a PE companionway ladder providing access to the pod, but I finally realized this was both unrealistic and problematic in terms of building the model. Were this a real ship, the crew would need to have sheltered access to the pod in times of inclement weather or rough seas. Even if this yacht were intended to avoid both by means of gps and radar, etc. it would still need these features worked into the design as a safety measure. For this reason I chose to create a cylindrical pillar at the extreme back end of the pod, which would be partially hidden by the rear arches on either side. I imagine this cylinder would have some sort of lift inside of it to provide access from the hull to the pod. In terms of the model, the completed pod itself will actually be supported by the pillar before final instillation of the arches.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:21 am 
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Pod construction...
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The pod will consist of a single deck approximately ten scale feet off the weather deck, containing a chamber with approximately ten scale feet of ceiling.
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Although the pod is only a single deck in height (not counting the open top deck) the windows in the pod will be at three different levels, to give the impression of greater size and also to add style to the interior... Yachts are all about style, of course, and doing things that are unusual.
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Pod posed on top of hull with arches glued to the working deck. The pod is only affixed by double sided tape and just barely hung on sufficiently for these photos to be shot.
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These give an idea of the final configuration, if you can imagine a second pair of large longitudinal arches meeting the forward pair over the pod and creating a kind of archery bow over the hull of the ship.
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I decided I didn't like the shape of the curved forward arches following the flare of the bow. I will re-work these later to be in a straight line fore and aft, slightly offset from centerline and widening to the extremes of the quarterdeck aft.
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The 'working deck' cover aft hides the sub bay at the moment, but this is temporary. Going to bed now. More tomorrow. Comments welcome. :wave_1:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:37 pm 
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QNA44.jpg
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Difficult to see here, but in building the pod up out of various sizes of rod, I made sure to use a generous amount of glue and even let the excess squeeze out of the joint. I did this so that the plastic would fuse completely and leave no gaps in the seam. Knowing that one can then begin to sand and shape with confidence and (hopefully) a minimum of putty and filling. I will have to use putty on this build to perfect the hull, because I was still learning these techniques, but it looks like the pod will not require putty. :woo_hoo:
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Now beginning the process of sanding the roughed out shape of the pod into a symmetrical lozenge or 'pill shape.'
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With the surface sanded smooth the gaps in the rods now take on the appearance of long windows set flush in the surface. My hope is to cover these over later with either clear styrene or 'window making material.' I bought some 'clear styrene glue and window maker' from Testors and am currently testing it to see the results.
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Sheet styrene to fill out the extremities, cut and sanded to shape.
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Test fit with hull & forward arches... starting to look a little more like the initial drawing.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:20 pm 
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Checking the height of the pod in relation to the arches. If these arches don't have sufficient height I can always add more, but the more height I add the more top-heavy the ship will appear. Always a fine balance between the two dimensions.
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Pod sanded smooth now, progressing.
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Access for a companionway ladder which will be PE. The 'wings' that appear in this photo are additional strip I added to the rear windows in order to narrow them to the same height as the mid and fore windows.
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Creating a test bed for the window making material.

In thinking about the upper deck (roof) of the pod, I decided I wanted as many skylights as possible to show into the interior of the pod. Thinking about this I got an idea... what if there were additional clear spaces ('floor lights'?) in the bottom of the pod, so that one could look down from the top, see completely through the pod in places all the way down to the deck? That might be fun. :thumbs_up_1: With that in mind, I decided to cut a large circle in the base of the pod. To ensure structural integrity I glued a piece of Rod centerline behind where I wanted to make the hole. This will represent some sort of 'shelving' or a wet-bar, or something, but more to the point, keeps the pod from falling apart in my hands as I work it. You can faintly see the knife cuts where I have begun to open up the floor for the circle.
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Circle roughed out. Quite challenging to keep it both on center and carve it into a reasonably satisfactory shape. I found it best to work in terms of 'quarters' and wherever I thought there was a bit of flatness to the circle, I would carve a bit with the knife and then reappraise. Took a while to do. I think I might have gotten lucky with this. There are a couple of options with this large open area. This could represent an 'open' area of the pod, ringed by railings, perhaps with a walkway running longitudinally across it, or even a cross of walkways... Or I could create a sort of screen from spare PE that would represent the fittings of various clear panes to cover the window, a sort of 'glass floor' idea, or I could even create a swimming pool in the weather deck and put diving boards inside the pod, making all of this visible by creating a second large circular hole in the roof, either directly above or slightly offset... Haven't decided which to do yet, still mulling it over.
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Creating additional 'floor' lights.' Notice I broke through into the circle because of a knife slip. :heh: No fun, but fixable. These floor lights will be filled with either styrene or liquid window material, and may or may not be mirrored in the upper deck. I think the multiple openings in the bottom of the pod, with light coming through from the top will make for some interesting shadow patterns on the weather deck and hopefully add to a sense of realism (surrealism?)
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The Testors Liquid Window stuff turned out to be too thin to cover the window test bed. I deliberately made it larger than the side windows on the pod in order to test its limits of coverage. Proceeding now with dividing the large window on the test bed into two smaller areas to see if I can get better results. I'd prefer to use this stuff if I can, as it will be easier to use and require less effort than fitting bits of clear vacuform to shape.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:38 pm 
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circular port and first set of floor lights finished.
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Liquid window applied to the window test bed. Nothing to do now but wait for the results...
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Here I've added the final layer of rod to the pod outer bulkhead, completing the enclosure of the aftermost windows. These windows will include an 'oculus' (large round window port) which I will have to free-hand carve into the side of the pod.
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Carving the oculus. :heh:
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Looking decent...hopefully the window itself will help to hide any irregularity in shape. Very difficult to carve this, because of the open area where the flat rectangular window continues.
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Google eyes!!! I bought a whole bunch of these at Hobby Lobby just for the purpose of these two Yacht models. (thought they have application in Sci Fi modelling as well :big_grin:) Google eyes give you very nice clear hemispherical bubbles in assorted sizes in thin vacuform plastic. The only thing you have to do is cut the bubble away from the base. I think the 'iris' inside the eye might work for a cannon ball in certain scales, so that's a plus too. :thumbs_up_1:I will use the clear part of this eye for the oculus window ports on either side of the pod, and possibly a larger one for the dome window over the open circular gallery inside the pod.
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Testing the idea for the first time with a 'dry fit'. I was not able to cut this bubble away cleanly, so I will have to use another, but I think the idea looks sound. I also think the symmetry of the google eye bubble will help hide any imperfections in my carving... At least that's what I'm hoping. :big_grin:

That brings us up to date. Hoping to get some more work done on her today. After that I will need to shift to other (promised) projects for some of my friends for the upcoming week. I don't anticipate this project will take a long time to complete. So far no major roadblocks, but lots of hurtles still to come. Happy Modeling! :wave_1:

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2011 2:54 pm 
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Nice scratch work. Impressive!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:35 am 
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reigels wrote:
Nice scratch work. Impressive!


Thank you sir! Much appreciated. :wave_1:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:42 am 
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Happy New Year!
I thought I'd give everyone an update on the Mega Yacht effort. :thumbs_up_1: Creating the Ram Bow.
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To offset the weight of the suspended superstructure placed on the bow, a ram with an extended forefoot is necessary to help prevent plunging in rough seas... I realize of course this is not a very realistic or sensible design, but I did want to make an effort to minimize the insanity. :heh: :big_grin:
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The forefoot piece will be painted the lower hull color and will actually be beneath the 'water' when the model is finally mounted on the base. Creating lightening holes for the ram bow. Why not? It's all about style. :cool_2:
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:47 am 
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I thought the lightening holes would be interesting, but now that I see them they seem toyish and 'un-scale.' I am pondering how to proceed with this feature.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 3:52 am 
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Time to create the arches in earnest. Here is the roughed out styrene blank.
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Gradual process of matching the curves of the arches to that of the hull, now that we have the bow and stern lines established we can proceed with getting all of the elements to blend together, finally. :cool_1:
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Testing all three components together. The arches must be high enough to pass well over the superstructure pod, but low enough to retain a sleek look to the ship as a whole.
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Roughing out the arches.

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