The Ship Model Forum

1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)
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Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:39 pm ]
Post subject:  1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

It has taken a considerable amount of effort to pluck up enough courage to post this scratch build as I am well outside my normal comfort zone.

This is my first effort at posting a complete scratch build so if I fail to make myself clear, or appear to be talking out of my elbow at any point, please let me know.

A few years ago my son bought me the Mirage Hobby 1/400 kit of V106 and this was the sum total of my "stash" at the time, as I am not normally a kit builder. I studied this little model carefully and having checked the measurements thought it would scale up nicely to 1/48 (my normal chosen scale). I doubted if I could scale up from the kit without ending up with some major discrepancies so I started looking around for more information.

These 4 small torpedo boats were ordered by the Royal Dutch Navy and manufactured by Vulcan, Stettin, Germany. They were launched between August and December 1914, but as hostilities broke out the unfinished vessels were pressed into the Imperial German Navy, their designation changing from Z1-Z4 to V105 –V108.
V105 and V106 saw service in the North Sea on escort duties with the Hochseeflotte, while V107 and V108 were transferred from the North Sea to the Baltic, where they operated against Russian forces in the Gulf of Riga, intercepting coastal vessels and providing support to troop movements.

My file of information and pictures grew, taking over the dining room table for a while! A small set of (British) plans emerged but they seemed to have been drawn up possibly during, or soon after the first war, and a lot of detail did not match up with contemporary photos. Some of the deck layout was just plain made up.

Then I struck lucky and found a small set of finely drawn and well reproduced plans in a German book. These matched very closely with the photos of the actual vessels so now I had a good starting point.

I scanned them in on hi resolution and took the file off to a trained computer "geek" I know. He scaled and vectored
them, and printed them out on A3 sheets with location marks. After pasting them onto a board, out came the tracing paper and I traced off the lines the old fashioned way, removing internal detail (boilers, turbines etc) and adding additional external detail gleaned from the growing collection of pictures I had gathered. I now had a good set of model makers plans to work from.

The hull profiles were transferred to 4mm plywood in the time honoured way (photocopier).

Here is where things get a bit different. From this point on I start to use my own idiosyncratic way of doing things.

I knew from the outset that the only way I was going to make this a stable working model was to build a plug and mould, to giving me a lightweight GRP hull with as much internal space as possible.

File comment: New working plans drawn up at 1/48. Additional detail added.
002.jpg [ 95.7 KiB | Viewed 5446 times ]
File comment: Hull profiles cut from 4mm ply. Backing board thickness has been removed.
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File comment: Hull shape profiles added to shaped 4mm backing board with internal spine. This will form half of the hull plug.
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File comment: Note the edge of the backing board has been carved to the correct profile to accept the hull planking.
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Author:  johnny canuck [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)


I too have the 1/400 torpedo boat and have thought of building one in 1/72. I will be watching your build with great interest. If you have any questions, ask as there are tons of people here who will help. I now they have helped me a great deal in my build(DDE 234).

Good luck,

Author:  steviecee [ Sun Mar 03, 2013 9:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

would you please tell us the the name of the book you are using as your reference?

Author:  Neptune [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:25 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Looks like an interesting subject!

What is "4mm backing board"? I mean what kind of material and where did you get it?

Love to read that first part of the research, that's pretty much how all models come to shape and one of the things I like to do the most on this hobby (most of the time even without going to the final step of actually building a model)!

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

The backing board is 4mm MDF (medium density fibre board). Wear a mask when cutting and sanding the stuff!
Two pieces were lightly pinned together then they were cut out on the band saw. When separated they give identical port and starboard profiles. This material has little or no longitudinal strength (it's bendy) so the shaped softwood (internal) spine was glued and screwed (from the back) in place. Another slightly deeper spine is temporarily screwed onto the rear of the back board. You will see this in the next post. This makes it super rigid and gives you something to clamp into the work bench while you work on each plug half. The material is easy to shape along it's edge using a small "spoke shave". All will become apparent.

The reference book is "Z-vor!" by Harald Fock. I don't think there is an English language version. A great but not cheap book. My German is non existent so I bought a German/English dictionary at the same time. Google translate helps. That provided the main plan reference but I can't list all the reference books and sources there is not enough space.

More references will follow though.

Thanks for showing interest.

Author:  Dave Wooley [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi Steve good to see you posting up details here on your V105 .
Dave Wooley

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

I forgot to mention in the previous post, but I suppose its pretty obvious, that the individual hull profiles (bulkhead shapes) need to have their outer edges reduced by the same thickness as the hull planking one intends using.

For the planking, whether its for a plank on frame hull, or for a plug construction, as in this case, don't skimp by using poor quality timber. Avoid timber that is hard, wavy grained, resinous, oily, damp or full of knots. I use either Canary Poplar (tulip wood) or choose some from my supply of 150 year old yellow pine!
Having run a load of strip timber off in the workshop (4mm by 1.5mm) I started glueing the planks in place having first added a roughly shaped block at the bow and stern of each plug half. I use aliphatic resin glue and hold the planks in place with dress makers pins inserted with pliers, and removed when the glue dries. I worked from the keel and the deck edge at the same time. It's at this point you realise why the outer spine was screwed in place as you can clamp each hull half solid while you work on it.

While the glue was drying I kept the research up and discovered a load of interesting info at viewtopic.php?f=13&t=55067 where Yevgeniy was building the same vessel at a much smaller scale. The contributors were a great help.

File comment: Don't forget to reduce the bulkhead profiles by your hull plank thickness.
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File comment: On another plug you can see the outer spine screwed temporarily to the rear of the back board.
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File comment: The planking stops at the bow and stern block.
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File comment: The planking might look a little rough but this is only a plug I am building. The inside looks EVEN worse.
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Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi All

After completing the planking process the plugs was sanded down with quite course sand paper to remove blobs of hard glue and other raised areas.

The external spines on the backing boards were temporarily removed and the two plug halves were offered up to each other. Four holes were drilled so they could be bolted together and they were sanded so that they matched together well. They were taken apart again and the wooden spines re-fitted.

One coat of cellulose varnish was applied to seal the surface.

At this point the plugs still looks pretty rough. Next a thin layer of car body filler was spread over each half of the plug. I used a flexible metal spreader for this to keep the layer thin and consistent. When set, this was sanded smooth before the first coat of (yellow)filler primer was sprayed on (from a spray can). At this point you start to see the real shape of the hull and you realise the hull lines in the plan must be accurate as they show up all sorts of interesting detail, for example the bulge in the hull to accommodate the turbine room, the upward curve of the keel (forward of amidships) and the cut outs for the forward torpedo tubes. About four coats of the filler primer were used, sanding down and filling between each to work up a smooth surface.

File comment: Not V105 but the same process, with a layer of car body filler applied to get a good finish on the plug exterior.
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File comment: The first of four coats of filler primer start to build up a smooth finish. Small marks and scratches are filled between coats.
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File comment: The plug halves are now smooth ready to add the fine detail.
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Author:  russclark [ Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

hello picket boat,hull is looking good, if this is going to be your main hull and not a plug for a fiberglass hull ,i would paint the inside with resin that way even if your glue lets go the resin will hold it together.i have done this with all my plank on frame hulls and it make a very tough hull.

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Tue Mar 05, 2013 3:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)


Yes that's pretty much correct although I would also suggest applying some glass fibre tissue in panels between the frames/bulkheads.

The resin is waterproof and hard on its own, but has a low tensile strength. The timber planking can expand and contract (very slightly) with changing temperature and humidity, and result in a seam opening up. This minute movement will still crack the layer of resin if it is not reinforced. A lot of modellers apply a layer of tissue on the outside of the hull too, usually before skimming it with filler. I would normally do that too as I question how water resistant a layer of filler applied straight to the wooden planking actually is! If the outer hull paint gets chipped, water soaks unseen into the planking and it expands, pushing off more filler, DISASTER.

This and some of my other models are long, slim and shallow so I knew I needed to keep weight down and do away with hull frames (to gain internal space) hence the plug/glass fibre method. The hidden advantage is 100% hull water tight integrity. The disadvantage, a lot more work and expense!

For those modellers who asked about reference books, I should add that I discovered a little book which helped a lot with deck detail a little later on. This was "Warship Profile number 27, SM Torpedo Boat B110". ISBN 0 85064 103 9 . It was printed around 1973, but I picked up a good copy on Abe books. The B110 vessel was a lot bigger, but about the same date, so assuming a lot of deck detail was standardised on these vessels the book contained a lot of good reference photos. Good reading too.

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

As I said it's handy to be able to put the two plug halves together now and then, to make sure they are (and stay) an accurate match. The other alternative to building a plug in two halves is to build it complete, but with an additional 3mm in the centre. When complete you can cut it half lengthways with the band saw. The extra 3mm allows for the blade kerf. A bit nerve racking! I have done it this way but the end result was not as accurate.

I have added a photo of the internal bolts. There are four in total.

Now the less dusty, more interesting work starts. I marked onto the hull where the plate lines were. I did not have a plate expansion plan for V105, but the photos showed the lines above water and I used a plate expansion for a contemporary British destroyer below waterline. The plates are joggled in and out and would have been flush riveted so no rivets to mark. I used self adhesive aluminium foil cut to shape/width for the raised plates and simply stuck it on. With care you can work it round curves and only one or two relieving cuts where required near the stern. The foil tape should be rubbed down hard. Don't trap any air bubbles.

Fine wooden strips were used for the deck edge and other rubbing strakes. For any tight curves (eg the torpedo tube cut outs) I used lead wire. All these were stuck in place with CA (super-glue). I discovered that it melts into the primer and holds very solid, although the drying time slows somewhat.

I also added other hull detail but better pictures of this next post.

File comment: Four internal bolts temporarily hold the two plug halves together, to check they match.
0012 (2).JPG
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File comment: This is not V105, it's an earlier Russian vessel, but this is the same process of matching the plug halves together.
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File comment: The raised hull plates and rubbing strakes are added to the plug halves.
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File comment: The remaining external hull detail is added and the surface is again sprayed with filler primer.
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Author:  doog_k [ Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Looking very good Steve, I'm looking forward to the rest :)

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:28 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all.

Thanks for the encouragement from Edinburgh.

I wanted to get as much detail as possible moulded into the hull. As V105 was designed as a "wet" model from the outset, I did not want bits "dropping off" after prolonged sailings, when adhesive started to fail! It also seemed sensible to add the detail at this stage (the plug). Handling, measuring and locating the detail into the plug was so much easier than working on a full hull, as I could handle one plug half at a time and clamp it down to the work bench. It was also possible to lay the plug halves along side each other and mark across locating positions for detail like the port holes.

When the port hole positions were marked, a metal template was used to control the drill bit when each hole was carefully drilled, with a newly sharpened bit. Short sections of brass tube were then inserted into each hole. It's not shown in the picture but short lengths of plastic rod were then inserted to the correct depth to block the tube. The rigoles (eye brows) were formed from soft brass wire wrapped around the correct size of drill bit shank, and snipped off with side cutters. CA glue holds them in position.

The same self adhesive aluminium foil was used to mark location positions for the prop shaft "A" frames. This will be seen in subsequent pictures.

At this time I also turned my attention to the fore deck. A template was taken from the plans and the basic shape for this was cut and carved (initially with the trusty spoke shave) from a piece of lime (bass wood). Having smoothed and prepared the surface of this, I again added as much detail as possible, deck lights, plating, chain runs, location positions for the gun, breakwater etc. The chain stoppers were moulded in completely too. This fore deck plug was used to manufacture a silicon mould, which will be supported in a glass fibre cradle (not shown here) when in use.

File comment: A template tool was used to drill the port holes accurately. The rigoles (eye brows) are formed from soft brass wire.
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File comment: All the exterior hull detail is now in place. The port holes have yet to be blocked off.
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File comment: The fore deck plug is here seen complete with detail. The red oxide primer makes a good surface for the silicon mould.
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File comment: The silicon mould for the fore deck, having been removed from the (master) plug.
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File comment: The silicon mould for the fore deck (close up). The pale colour of the silicon does not show up the detail well.
0020.JPG [ 132.85 KiB | Viewed 5245 times ]

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

I guess some of you out there are thinking "this seems like a heck of a lot of boring preparatory work, and old PICKETBOAT hasn't even started building the model yet! For heavens sake hurry up"

Well you are right. This first bit is a slog, and I wouldn't blame any of you who have glazed over or gone off to look at something a bit more interesting in the model making line. But bear with me as we are getting to the more interesting bits now. I did however think I should include this beginning section, so that anyone new to the hobby could get their head round different hull/plug construction techniques.

Having finished the plug preparation each half is attached to a two part wooden fence. It's important that any small gaps between the plug and the fence are filled (I used Milliput). The surfaces of the wooden fence are prepared and made smooth, the same as the surface of the plug. Release agent is applied to the plug and fence and allowed to dry before applying 4 coats of RTV silicon rubber (6 hours drying between each coat). Finally two layers of GRP constructional mat are applied on the outside. When set this forms the support "jacket" for the silicon mould.

With a fine steel spatula and some small wooden wedges it is now possible to ease the mould off the plug.

The two mould halves are carefully matched together and temporarily clamped before drilling through the edge flange at about 60 mm spacing and fitting bolts with wing nuts and washers. Your mould is now complete. I usually add a wooden cradle to stop it moving around while you are using it.

Again I apologise that the pictures of the finished mould are of another vessel not V105 (camera malfunction), but the techniques are all the same, only the shape is different.


File comment: The hull plug half attached to its wooden fence. The silicon rubber has been applied.
0021.JPG [ 161.32 KiB | Viewed 5210 times ]
File comment: Not the V105 mould and hull, but the same techniques.
0022.JPG [ 170.21 KiB | Viewed 5210 times ]
File comment: The ability to mould in detail is a great plus. Moulded into this hull are the keel,all the rubbing strakes and the carved trail boards.
0023.JPG [ 124.67 KiB | Viewed 5210 times ]

Author:  sandy [ Wed Mar 06, 2013 7:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Fascinating stuff, Steve.

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

Glad you find it interesting Sandy. I now class you as my main (only?) fan!

Just before I talk about the first hull out of the mould, and start to describe the first stages of the (actual) V105 build, I thought you might like to see some pictures of a mould with it's support cradle. The fore deck silicon mould is held in a GRP jacket, which is just fastened down to a square wooden panel. This can be clamped to a work bench while applying the Gelcoat and "laying up" the GRP.

The split hull mould has a wooden frame type cradle. The whole cradle is in two halves as well, so that when the mould is split the cradle splits too, each half being permanently fixed to the mould. The open framework means you can get easily to the wing nuts to split the mould. Again it's good to be able to clamp it all to the bench so that when laying up the GRP, the whole thing is not wobbling about.

The close up of the interior of the mould shows the port holes and eyebrows in reverse.


The laying up was straight forward, (black) Gelcoat followed by two layers of CSM (chopped strand mat). The hull came out of the mould very easily, no release agent being required for silicon moulds.

The end result a very nice and accurate 1/48th scale V105 hull and fore deck, ready to start building. The pictures show the hull and fore deck after the 20mm of waste have been carefully trimmed from the edges.

Next post "Fitting the fore deck and bulkhead".

File comment: The fore deck mould in it's GRP support jacket.
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File comment: The hull mould in it's support cradle.
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File comment: A close up of the mould interior showing the port hole and plating detail in reverse
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File comment: The first 1/48th scale V105 hull and fore deck out of the mould. All the effort pays off.
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File comment: The first V105 hull is trimmed down to the deck edge ready to start building.
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File comment: The detail on the hull exterior has transferred nicely from the mould. Sorry about the dusty finger prints!
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Author:  setori [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Another madman !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :woo_hoo:

I waiting for the rest which surely will be impressive

Author:  JIM BAUMANN [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hey Picketboat!

that is a very impressive piece of home mouldmaking!

It certainly picked up the eyebrow detail rather well

well done!!

Jim Baumann :wave_1:

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)

Hi all

Thank you setori, I consider that a great compliment. I have always been a bit of a "square peg in a round hole", and revel in thinking outside the box. One of the greatest compliments I've received was from a fellow modeller, who said about one of my models, "you do realise that is impossible".

I have already given a few historic details of these German Torpedo boats (V105 to V108), but I thought it might be interesting to insert a few more, for anyone not familiar with them.

During their war service two vessels were sent to the Baltic and the remaining two served in the North Sea. The two Baltic vessels were employed supporting troop movement in the Gulf of Riga. Russian retaliation in the area took the form of extensive mine laying, and V107 lost her bows after hitting a mine near Liepaja on 8 May 1915, subsequently sinking. The other vessels of the class survived the war, V106 being broken up in Britain in 1920 and the other two vessels being transferred to the Polish Navy. V108 (Re named Kaszub) was destroyed in a still unexplained boiler explosion, whilst dry docked in Gdansk in 1925. V105 (renamed Mazur) appears to have undergone at least two refits, with the foredeck being extended back to meet the bridge, and the torpedo tubes being removed. This vessel survived until 1 September 1939 before being bombed, also in Gdansk shipyard, by Ju 87 bombers, becoming the first naval vessel destroyed by enemy action in the Second World War.

But after that little historic interlude back to the model making.

Fitting the fore deck involved making the fore castle bulkhead first. This was marked out on plastic card. There would appear to have been three doors into the fore castle, the centre one also being used to winch in and out reserve torpedo re-loads. The timber (cambered) deck support shelf was also fixed to the bulkhead at this time.
The edge of the fore deck and hull were filed to a 45 degree mitre fit and then held in place with masking tape. I found CA glue sticks the raw edge of GRP very well, so I simply inverted the hull and ran the glue down the joint from the inside.

Some of the more observant of you will have noticed that the curved cut-outs for the torpedo tubes (formed as part of the hull) are at the wrong angle to meet up with the underside of the fore deck. I had to do this to make it easier to mould the hull. These curved pieces were easily cut off and glued back in place at the correct angle under the fore deck.

The hull was also pierced for the A frames and the stern tubes, and the positions marked internally for the stern tube support bulkhead and engine mounting bulkhead.

More of these fittings in the next post.

File comment: The fore castle bulkhead with door detail added. Wooden strips have been fitted to the hull to support the bulkhead.
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File comment: The edge of the hull and fore deck have had their edges chamfered and matched.
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File comment: The stern tube support bulkhead cut from 2.5 mm plastic card. It's fitting position has been marked on the hull.
0030.JPG [ 173.45 KiB | Viewed 5140 times ]
File comment: The hull is pierced for the stern tubes and A frames.
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File comment: V106 towards the end of World War One.
0031.png [ 109.3 KiB | Viewed 5140 times ]

Author:  PICKETBOAT [ Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 1/48 German Torpedo boat V105 (1914)


Thanks for your support Jim. This is my first on line scratch build, and although I was a bit nervous to start with, I think I might be getting the hang of it.

Its a pity the RTV silicon is so expensive. The material for these 1.3m log hull moulds costs "the Bolivian National Debt!"

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