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 Post subject: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:38 pm
Posts: 15
Location: New Mexico, USA
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The French RV Le Suroit (“Sou’wester”). I build this model using an old Heller kit (1/200 scale) that I had been dragging around for 20+ years. The original kit was configured as she would have been prior to her extensive refit in 1999. I modeled her in her current configuration using photoetched parts and scratch built components.
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Le Suroit is operated by the French oceanographic insititute IFREMER. (The Institut français de recherche pour l'exploitation de la mer that translates to: French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea). The vessel was commissioned and built in 1975 by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Manche in Dieppe, on the northern coast of France. She was the second research vessel build in a series, the first being RV Le Noroit (“Nor’wester”) which has been withdrawn from active service.
Homeported in Brest on the western tip of France Le Suroit is 184.8 ft. (56.34 m) LOA, has a beam of 36 ft. (11 m), a draft of 13.5 ft. (4.10 m) and displaces 1,132 tons. She is equipped with A frame and gallows frames and numerous winches for deployment of various underwater survey equipment. The large gallows frame on the stern is used to deploy the small, highly maneuverable submersible Cyana. This DV was included with the kit but I added extensive detail to it.
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The real vessel is equipped with a range of devices. The computers run IFREMER's CARAIBES mapping software. The coring cable is 5.0 mi (8 km) long and is made of Kevlar. It has a safe working load (SWL) of 8 tons. The ship also has a 3.7 mi (6 km) steel winch, with an SWL of 2.1 tons. The average cruising speed, and the speed at which surveying is undertaken, is approximately 10 knots.
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In 1985, the ship was equipped with the new System Acoustique Remorquè (SAR) sonar device and then in early summer of that year she undertook a 10-day sonar mission in an attempt to find the wreckage of RMS Titanic. Aboard Le Suroit on this mission was Dr. Robert Ballard. Le Suroit was able to rule out large sections of a pre-determined 150-square-mile search area – between 26 July and 6 August, 80% of the area had been searched. It later transpired that on one of its first passes, Le Suroit had come within only 3,300 feet (1,000 m) of Titanic. The mission ended on 6 August, after which RV Knorr travelled from the Azores to concentrate on more specific areas using different strategies.
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The back story of Le Suroits search for the Titanic was only recently released to the public. Ballard met with the Navy in 1982 to request funding to develop the robotic submersible technology he needed to find Titanic. The Navy told Ballard they were interested in the technology—but for the purpose of investigating the wreckage of the U.S.S. Thresher and U.S.S. Scorpion. Since Ballard's technology would be able to reach the sunken subs and take pictures, the oceanographer agreed to help out. He then asked the Navy if he could search for the Titanic, which was located between the two wrecks. The Navy emphasized that the mission was to study the sunken warships. Once Ballard had completed his mission—if time was left— Ballard could do what he wanted, but never gave him explicit permission to search for the Titanic.
The Thresher and Scorpion had sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean at depths of between 10,000 and 15,000 feet (3,000 and 4,600 meters). The military wanted to know the fate of the nuclear reactors that powered the ships. This knowledge was to help determine the environmental safety of disposing of additional nuclear materials in the oceans.
The Navy also wanted to find out if there was any evidence to support the theory that the Scorpion had been sunk by the Soviets. (No evidence to support this theory was ever found). Ballard's data showed that the nuclear reactors were safe on the ocean bottom and were having no impact on the environment.
While searching for the sunken submarines, Ballard learned an invaluable lesson on the effects of ocean currents on sinking debris: The heaviest stuff sinks quickly. The result is a debris trail laid out according to the physics of the currents.
When Ballard had completed the Navy portion of the underwater search he had just 12 days to search for the Titanic, using the information accumulated to track down the ocean liner. He speculated that the ship had broken in half and left a debris trail as it sank. And that’s exactly what happened and it was the bottom debris field that, once located, lead Ballard and his team to the grave of the Titanic.
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Le Suroit has an unusual asymmetrical bridge. There is no open starboard bridge wing because the navigation bridge is built to span all the way to the starboard side of the ship. However on the port side the enclosed bridge portion of the superstructure stops short of running the full width of the ships beam and there is an open port bridge wing area.

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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 5:45 pm
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Location: Abu Dhabi
Superb job Joe !!

Very sharp and good looking ship ,must confess that I am not very fond on non warship vessels ,but You did a fantastic job on this one , thanks for sharing it ,a very enjoyable experience.

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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:55 am 
Miguel
Tks for the nice comments. Glad I was able to get you into a different modeling "zone" other than naval. I'm just the opposite from you in that I prefer non-military type hulls to build.


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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:54 pm 
Very good job! :thumbs_up_1:


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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:34 pm 
Online

Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:23 am
Posts: 2279
Location: Copenhagen
Very nice model! :thumbs_up_1: And nice to see a model of a research ship!

And thank you also very much for the details about the real ship!

I would also like to built one of the IFREMER ships - but in 1/700. Your model is a nice reference!

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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:10 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 9:19 am
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Love that paint job!


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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:03 am 
Appreciate the kind words. This build did present some challenges especially with the paint scheme since I use rattle cans. The masking was "fun" to say the least.


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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 2:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2015 1:46 pm
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Very well done! What set of photoetch did you use? The 1/200 from L' arsenal for ladders? Railings?


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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 12:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:12 pm
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Location: Up The Street From Sam Wilson's House
Nice!!!

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 Post subject: Re: RV Le Suroit
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:28 am 
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Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 6:01 am
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Location: St. Catharines Ontario Canada
Well done. :thumbs_up_1:

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