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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 3:20 pm 
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Location: Hoboken, NJ
I'm planning my first scratch-build, a 1/96th scale City Class ironclad. The most famous ship of this class is the USS Cairo, but I'm leaning towards building the USS Carondelet as the Cairo is all anyone ever seems to build, and Carondelet was the only City Class involved in ship-to-ship combat.

I have 1/96th scale plans in sheet form, and digital files made from National Parks plans of the raised Cairo in Vicksburg, so hull lines, frames, etc. are not an issue. This is a completely flat bottom hull, so minimal learning curve for a newbie such as myself.

Building materials: I like working with styrene. For that reason I'm shying away from the bread-and-butter method of doing the hull - which would make the most sense as it is flat bottomed - and I want to cut the frames out and then sheet the hull with styrene; this will also allow me to have an open hull for some internal detailing. How thick do I need to make that hull sheeting so that I don't get distortion and waves in the plastic sheeting?

Besides the thickness of the sheet styrene, is there anything else I should be thinking of, looking out for? I know I should sheet the hull and deck twice, once for the initial build and then a second time for the planking detail. Should I be concerned with the edges of the frames where the hull curves and fare them close to what the hull lines show, or just cut them and sheet as-is?

Not sure if any of my questions make sense. Normally this type of thing I just start cutting and if I screw it up I start over, but a project this size is going to take quite a bit of styrene and I'd like to avoid obvious pitfalls and expense if I can.

Thanks for any input.

-Devin

p.s. Moderators feel free to move this to the Scratchbuilding section, I wasn't sure if it should go there as it's not an in-progress build.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 6:43 pm 
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Location: Ogallala, Nebraska, USA
Devin,

Are you intending to plank it with individual strips? If so, or even if you intend to use scribed sheet, you need to be aware of the butt pattern used on the hull. What I am referring to is the number of planks in between rows of planks that have butt ends that line up: these are often at 1/4 length intervals, but the pattern varies, as it does between hulls and decks. On hulls, you also have chine joints, or spacers, to take up the curve of the hull at bow and stern.

On decks, most often the difference between full planks and partial ones is around the margin of the deck. The idea of butt pattern applies here too, but the pattern may well be different from the deck.

I used to guide tours on a wooden hulled (and decked) Mississippi River steamboat. This boat used margin planks at the outer edge of the decks, and I would imagine your "Pook Turtles" would, too.

If you can get ahold of a copy of "Advanced Ship Modeling", the author explains it (with illustrated examples) much better than I can here.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 7:30 pm 
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Good points. I hadn't considered margin planks. The drawn plans I have don't show them, or the hull butt patterns, either. I'll dig deeper into the CAD files and see what they show; they were made off of the actual parts of the Cairo so the info might be there.

The good news is that I don't have to worry about hull planking and sheer. The deck and keels of the City Class are perfectly parallel through the entire length.

I think my best bet for planking would be scribed sheet. I like the idea of individual styrene "planks", but that poses the problem of how to create the slight gap between planks, something that scribed sheet will take care of on its own.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 8:13 pm 
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Devin,

If your hull and keel are made up of straight planks, and you are using scribed sheet, you have half the battle won before you begin!

It should be fairly easy to establish the butt pattern. This should show up fairly obviously in photographs of the hull and deck.
I wouldn't trust CAD images very far here. It is not a detail the maker is likely to be concerned about, so even if it is shown, it may not be accurate.

Once you ascertain what the pattern is, just scribe in the plank ends and you have it sacked.

One other consideration: The plank ends, in all likelihood, will end on a frame (so the ends of the plank have something solid to attach to). Thus, your frame spacing will be closely linked to the length of your planks (or vice-versa). So, if you use frames, and especially if they will be visible in the finished model, make sure your plank ends occur at frames, or the result might look a little strange (may be hard to pin it down, but something just doesn't look right here).

The same, of course, applies to planking on the main deck.

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PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 10:16 pm 
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Good point about having the planking end on the frames. I can guarantee that's one of those things I would have figured out after it was too late.

Another thing I have to consider is that the City Class have the casement frames directly attached to the hull frames (easily visible in THIS photo). I have to decide if I want to do the frames in one piece for the hull and casement where applicable, or build them as two different structures. I'm thinking the latter for simplicity, and also since the only thing that I really want to open up in the lower hull is the deck over the tube boilers.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 4:14 pm 
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A couple more questions now that I'm cutting out plans and doing a poster-board mock-up:

I should be okay using any type of spray adhesive to stick cut out plans to styrene for cutting, correct? I'm printing the plans on a PC laser printer and gluing it to sheet styrene to cut out the deck and frame profiles.

I'm still considering planking the model using strip styrene, rather than scribed sheet. In the photo below are the rough beginnings of gun carriage sides that I built by stacking styrene strip. Gary Kingzett and I decided that the originals were probably built by stacking wood in the same manner. In order to get a hint of definition on the individual strips I knocked the edges off of each piece with a sanding stick before gluing. After dry and sanded I could then go through with a scriber and make the lines more or less pronounced as I saw fit. I can do that with the hull and deck planking on the entire ship, but I was curious if there's an easier way. For instance, does someone make strips with more of a trapedoidal cross-section? I'm still leaning towards the scribed sheet, but I want to investigate all of my options before I commit.

Thanks!


Attachments:
carriage.jpg
carriage.jpg [ 84.98 KiB | Viewed 871 times ]

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:06 am 
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How're things advancing Devin, we're eagerly waiting for an update?! Looks like a nice ship you're building.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:20 pm 
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Things are progressing, but slowly. I'm in the "measure twice, cut once, realize you still screwed up, cut two more times" stage. I'm hoping to get some photos together and start a thread in the Scratchbuilding forum within the next week. I have the main deck cut from styrene, am now cutting the bulkheads and frames.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:33 pm 
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So I finally got this thing going: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=50309

I'm ready to start cutting the planks for the hull and decks. Does anyone have a guess as to what the length of those planks should be? 10 feet, 20, 30? I honestly haven't a clue. It seems that after a certain length they'd be too unwieldy to work with and move about, but that's just my 21st century rationalizing on an 19th century and prior issue.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:15 am 
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If you don't find something definitive, suggest you call the Cairo park and ask them.
Vicksburg Park visitor contact: 601-636-0583


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