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PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2018 11:45 am 
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After a long hiatus, I am getting back into the WIF model building game. As the USN continues to play around with an FFG replacement for the long decommissioned Perry-class FFGs, the selection process is now looking at FFG versions of both the Freedom and Independence-class LCSs, the Spanish F-100 (a more survivable Aegis evolution of the Oliver Hazard-class Perry FFG and possibly the most expensive option) and couple of other designs. One proposal that was only a momentary blip on the radar was an up-gunned version of the Legend (Berthoff)-class National Security Cutter. Of all the cheaper options available to the USN, the Berthoff was the one non-FFG ship that was the closest to meeting the Navy's desired goals. In addition to my eventual contribution of the upgunned LCSs, I will be configuring what I believe is the most reasonable variant.

Here is areal beauty shot of the Stratton, a Legend-class cutter:
Attachment:
Strattonsmaller.jpg
Strattonsmaller.jpg [ 98.06 KiB | Viewed 1064 times ]

and a higher resolution:
https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4482/36888334064_92b8e93d7b_b.jpg

What should a new FFG do? Well, the missions for an FFG really have not changed since the development of the OHP-class FFG in the 1970s. Convoys/resupply ships still need some kind of protection from surface, air, and subsurface threats. That's easy enough. The only new mission to be added to that is "littoral support" which can be defined as providing cover for anything operating in the littoral environment, ie.supporting MCM, SOF, or coastal interdiction operations.

Modern FFG Mission Areas:
Area AAW
Area ASW
ASuW
NGF Strike/Support/Counter Battery

Base-line:
Attachment:
PatrolFFGsmall.jpg
PatrolFFGsmall.jpg [ 69.91 KiB | Viewed 1065 times ]


So, let's put some parameters on this project. We are trying to make a "relatively" inexpensive ship but retaining the greatest "bang for our buck". We are staying away from anything approaching the cost of the next ship up, an Arleigh Burke-class DDG ($2-2.3 Billion drive-away cost). We have seen that the stripped down (US) version of LCS is minimum of $637 (Freedom)-$704(Independence) million. Even in their full "mission module" configuration, they still cannot fill the roles of an FFG.

Keeping in mind the above, let us figure a “payload” appropriate for LCS’s size:

Large weapon systems include:
1x main deck gun
32x Mk41 VLS arranged in 2 16-cell clusters
2x SeaRAM
1x21-cell RAM

- AAW
    Driven by TRS-3D/4d and SPQ-9B
    Primary: 64 (16 cells) ESSM
    Secondary: 8 SM-2
    2x SeaRAM
    1x 21-cell RAM

- ASW
    Bottom mounted hull and stern mounted towed sonar
    8 VLA
    2 SH-60
    2 Mk32 SVTT (internally mounted)

- ASuW (missiles and guns)
- NGFS
- Counter battery fire (guns)
    Harpoon/NSM
    Optioned Mission Specific Guns:
    Mk75 Mod 4SR
    Mk45 Mod4 5"/62caiber
    Mk45ModX(or BAE FNG) 155m/55-602caliber gun
    Mk38Mod2
    -or- Millennium Gun

- EW/C4ISR
    SLQ-32(v)3+
    Modern Overboard collectors
    ScanEagle/Shadow UAV

- SOF support
    Above described naval gun
    Harpoon/NSM
    ScanEagle/Shadow UAV
    CB90
    11M RHIB
    7M RHIB

It is estimated that a Legend-class FFG with phased array radars, additional survivability (shock hardened engine mounts and side and underwater protection), 16 Mk41 VLS, a 76mm gun, upgrade of CWIS from Phalanx Block 1B to SeaRAM, and several other "warship" modifications would costs $800million. Keep in mind, phased arrays are very, very expensive, and you typically have to buy at least 3 of them per ship.

I will proposed the modifications I have suggested can be afforded with a reduction from phased arrays to the best rotating radar combination in use, the SPQ-9B and TRS-3D/4D currently on the Legend-class. In addition to the previously accounted for improvements, the cost savings by deleting the more expensive arrays, added deck house and internal support structure, would provide the cost and weight margin needed to lengthen the hangar to accommodate the installation of a 16-cell VLS between the stack and the hangar face, lengthen the flight deck and aft deck (and overall length without adding to the ship's waterline length) by angling the transom outward instead of inward.

In estimation, this could be an $800million sail-away price. Again, in comparison, that is approximately 15% more than an ineffectual Independence-class LCS and approximately 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of a DDG-Flight IIA.

I will be using a PE kit (railings, ladders, vent in-takes, hatches, mast and surface details). In addition to the NSC itself printed from Shapeways, other parts included will be:
    Veteran SPG-60 STIR(maybe) illuminators
    Veteran SeaRAM
    Veteran RAM
    Veteran Harpoon
    Veteran SH-60
    Veteran 9mRHIB
    Veteran Mk32 SVTT
    Mk38Mod2 25mm (maybe)

Custom:
    11mRHIB
    Mk41 VLS
    76mmSR
    Mk45Mod4 5"/62
    SPQ-9B
    TRS-3D
    COMS domes
    Millennium Gun (maybe)
    Mk38Mod2 25mm (maybe)

Shapeways:
    BAE 155mm deck gun
    COMS domes
    Louvered vents

As always, comments and suggestions are welcome :big_grin:

Standby to get some! :woo_hoo:

See:
https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2014-04/its-time-sea-control-frigate

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:58 am 
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Early progress comes along nicely. I have found my stash of custom resin pieces in my HHG. Thank goodness!

I think I will be lengthening the stern by 1/2" and raising it by 1/2 deck to allow for storage and internal maneuvering of larger boats (RCB/CB-90s ie. same thing) in the stern boat deck.

In addition to the Veteran harpoons, I am considering scratch building a set of Naval Strike Missiles. Does anyone off hand have the measurements for that weapon system?

Stand by for pictures this weekend. :woo_hoo:

-Dave

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:03 pm 
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I've gotten a lot of work done on the project, so here are a few things:

Stack cap:
Attachment:
stackcapsmallIMG_4712.jpg
stackcapsmallIMG_4712.jpg [ 91.28 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]

I have been experimenting on how to punch holes in sheet plastic for the stack cap, but it's not really coming out all that well.
VLS
Attachment:
VLS small IMG_4717.jpg
VLS small IMG_4717.jpg [ 115.3 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]

Helo pad and hangar deck with tie downs.
Attachment:
helopadsmallIMG_4713.jpg
helopadsmallIMG_4713.jpg [ 112.43 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]

Attachment:
helos small.jpg
helos small.jpg [ 106.44 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]

Next for this is the RAST system running into both hangars.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how to better punch holes in the plastic sheet to be similar to the stack cap on DDG-51 Flight IIA's?
Attachment:
StackCapFlightIIA.jpg
StackCapFlightIIA.jpg [ 12.76 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]


Thanks!

-Dave :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:33 pm 
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what are you using to punch the holes? do you have a heat gun & a heavy flat object bigger then the plastic? what thickness of plastic? do you access to a compass that has a point on both ends not just on 1 end with a pencil lead at the other end?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:01 pm 
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DavidP wrote:
what are you using to punch the holes?
I am using brass and aluminum tube in the appropriate diameter. I do not have a heat gun, but I have a hammer! I may simply need to sharpen the tubes so they can “cut” more than “punch” though the sheet. :big_grin:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:43 pm 
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sharpen the inside of the tubes' edge so that it has an inside bevel not an outside bevel so the punched holes have vertical sides not bevelled. the heat gun or hot air gun was to soften the plastic before placing the heavy flat object on top of it to flatten the distortion til the plastic cools. hot water should do same as heat gun or hot air gun.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:00 am 
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DavidP wrote:
sharpen the inside of the tubes' edge so that it has an inside bevel not an outside bevel so the punched holes have vertical sides not bevelled. the heat gun or hot air gun was to soften the plastic before placing the heavy flat object on top of it to flatten the distortion til the plastic cools. hot water should do same as heat gun or hot air gun.
Thanks much! I will give it a try. I think I will wrap sand paper around the brass tubes and sand inside of the punched holes smooth as well.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:56 am 
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As with other surfaces of the model, I am cladding the interior surface of the helo hangar and landing pad with .005" Evergreen plastic sheet. I mapped out the majority of the tie-down pattern with pencil based upon the below pattern.
Attachment:
Berthoff tiedown pattern.jpg
Berthoff tiedown pattern.jpg [ 33.5 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]

The next step was to make depressions into the plastic with a tiny philip's head screwdriver to represent the pad-eye tie-downs.
Attachment:
helopadsmallIMG_4713.jpg
helopadsmallIMG_4713.jpg [ 112.43 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]

Here is placement of the RAST system on top of the helo deck and hangar replacement. Included is the strip plastic I use for RAST tracks.
Attachment:
helodeckRASTsmall.jpg
helodeckRASTsmall.jpg [ 100.55 KiB | Viewed 993 times ]

As is done on the real flight decks fitted with RAST, once I get the RAST tracks positioned and glued down, I will add a few extra tie-downs around each of the tracks.

Progress proceeds well! :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:12 am 
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what scale is the model?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:19 am 
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Very Nice. Looking forward to this, especially since we have not seen much on the FFGX version of this platform.

I have an idea to modify the LCS-2 class, but that would be on the other end of my Master's program being done.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 1:29 pm 
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:heh:
DavidP wrote:
what scale is the model?
This s 1/350.

The AN/SPG-60 STIR are now on order as well! More photos soon!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 6:10 pm 
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SumGui wrote:
Very Nice. Looking forward to this, especially since we have not seen much on the FFGX version of this platform.

I have an idea to modify the LCS-2 class, but that would be on the other end of my Master's program being done.
Thanks! Indeed, we have not seen a lot from Huntington Ingalls on this proposal, but of what they have shown us, the official offering is almost as underwhelming as the LCS versions ie 1x SeaRAM, either a 57mm or a 76mm, and only 16 Mk41 VLS. What I think is unique and fun about this build is how effectively additional weapon systems can be added to really augment its combat effectiveness.

I will also be enlarging the SLQ-32 deck to fit SRBOC Chaff launchers and Nulka in a believable launching arrangement.

Before I get too far off the hull and onto the super structure, I am going to clad the hull, clean up the bow (and possibly rework the bulwark on the forecastle) and work the stern boat deck to accommodate CB-90 boats and/or 11m RHIBs).

Boats from the top down: 9m RHIB, 11m RHIB, CB90/RCB
Attachment:
hangaboats2.jpg
hangaboats2.jpg [ 101.59 KiB | Viewed 958 times ]

Attachment:
hangaboats3.jpg
hangaboats3.jpg [ 116.68 KiB | Viewed 958 times ]


Attachment:
boats1.jpg
boats1.jpg [ 98.48 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]

Attachment:
boats2.jpg
boats2.jpg [ 87.63 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]

Attachment:
boats3.jpg
boats3.jpg [ 89.79 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]


The breakwater will also be moved forward to accommodate an A-sized weapons module fitted longitudinally to support any one of 4 different bow guns (57mm (yuck) 76mmSR, Mk45Mod4 5"/62, or the BAE Mk8ModX 155mm/52 FNG) in the same manner as the 5" A-sized module on the DDG-51s.

In the below picture, you will note 2 A-sized weapons modules, the 5" and the 32-cell VLS. The 32-cell VLS placed abeam, and the 5" is forward to aft. The bow gun, 57/76/5"/155, will be mounted on each's own 2-3 deck deep A-sized module that will be interchangeable with the A-sized bow weapons pit.
Attachment:
DDG51bowAsizeWeaponModule arrangement.jpg
DDG51bowAsizeWeaponModule arrangement.jpg [ 9.92 KiB | Viewed 958 times ]

Back to it!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 7:34 pm 
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I have had a number of cutom pieces made over the years that I am finally getting to use, but my favorites are the 1/350 small boats. My buddy made an 11m RHIB and a CB90 Riverine Command Boat. These things are awesome. You willbe seeing these in this project and in my upcoming modernized USS Iowa build.

Attachment:
boatscustom1.jpg
boatscustom1.jpg [ 97.93 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]

Attachment:
boatscustom3.jpg
boatscustom3.jpg [ 107.33 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]

Attachment:
boatscustom5.jpg
boatscustom5.jpg [ 92.95 KiB | Viewed 956 times ]


:woo_hoo:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 8:52 pm 
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is that new flight deck sitting on the original flight deck or ontop the 2 hull sides?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:24 pm 
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DavidP wrote:
is that new flight deck sitting on the original flight deck or ontop the 2 hull sides?
It is on top of the original. One of the reasons I am using such thin plastic card is to not add out-of-scale thickness to the deck/surfaces while providing a surface to work with/on.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:20 pm 
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I kind of thought it would lay on existing flight deck as that thin plastic is too thin by itself.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:30 pm 
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Here is a picture of the National Security Cutter after it has been cleaned of most of the unneeded surface details and features.
Attachment:
stripped Berthoff small.jpg
stripped Berthoff small.jpg [ 62.73 KiB | Viewed 927 times ]

I subsequently removed the 57mm gun as well, and I plan on stripping the bow of the bits, capstans, and waterbreak. I am not positive yet, but I may remove the mast for easier detailing. The next significant scratch building mini-project will be rebuilding the stern boat hangar. I will extend the stern by 3/4" and build the interior up.
:big_grin:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:05 pm 
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Here I have cleaned up the bow as much as I really need to. Like I said before, the plastic this 3D printed model is made out if is very tough stuff, and it does not sand well.
Attachment:
bow1.jpg
bow1.jpg [ 83.71 KiB | Viewed 921 times ]

Attachment:
bow2.jpg
bow2.jpg [ 97.41 KiB | Viewed 921 times ]

I will be cladding the bow in the .001" sheet plastic and adding the surface detail like bits, capstans, VLS, deck gun placement, and possibly bulkwark ribs later.

Here is the current state of the stern boat deck. As you can see, I will be cleaning out the printed boat frames, making it deeper into the hull, and lengthening the stern by about 1/2".
Attachment:
boat deck1.jpg
boat deck1.jpg [ 91.29 KiB | Viewed 921 times ]

The stern (transom) will feature NIXIE on the starboard side and TACTAS brass-asshole towed sonar port on the portside.
:thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:06 pm 
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Here is a real quick mock up of the parts and pieces. Work on the stern boat deck is a little slow.
Attachment:
FFGmockup1.jpg
FFGmockup1.jpg [ 134.45 KiB | Viewed 889 times ]

Attachment:
ffgmockup2.jpg
ffgmockup2.jpg [ 138.38 KiB | Viewed 889 times ]

Again, the material the hull is printed from is rather tough. Once I get it cleaned out, however, I will begin construction of the stern ramp and boat bay.
Attachment:
BERTHOLF-Stern-Launch-Boat-Ramp.jpg
BERTHOLF-Stern-Launch-Boat-Ramp.jpg [ 271.31 KiB | Viewed 889 times ]

Attachment:
1280px-USCG_long_range_interceptor_aboard_Bertholfsmall.jpg
1280px-USCG_long_range_interceptor_aboard_Bertholfsmall.jpg [ 84.54 KiB | Viewed 889 times ]

The work continues!
:woo_hoo:

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:24 pm 
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After a lot of work, the shaping is done, and here is the bow cladding. Next here will be bitts, weld lines, capstains, etc...
Attachment:
bowclad1IMG_4795.jpg
bowclad1IMG_4795.jpg [ 63.45 KiB | Viewed 858 times ]


Wow, this one took some effort :doh_1: The boat deck is now cleaned out. Thank goodness...
Attachment:
boatdeck1IMG_4799.jpg
boatdeck1IMG_4799.jpg [ 88.93 KiB | Viewed 858 times ]


The stack cap was re-done. Good to go.
Attachment:
stackcap1IMG_4800.jpg
stackcap1IMG_4800.jpg [ 110.89 KiB | Viewed 858 times ]


Moooore this weekend! :big_grin:

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