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PostPosted: Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:59 pm 
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Hi folks-relatively new to the forum, and this is my first significant posting. There are some incredible and inspiring build-logs here, and I hope to make a small contribution with a modern-ish commercial vessel model. I will start like many by introducing the ship that I intend to build.

I am building the roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) carrier MV AMBASSADOR. She and her sister (MV DIPLOMAT/SENATOR) were 554 feet (169 meters) long and built in 1980 for the US to Caribbean and Central/South America trade. The shallow draft, handy size and stern ramp made these ideal ships for serving the smaller ports of those areas, allowing for the benefits of containerized freight in ports with limited infrastructure. They could also carry almost anything with wheels or treads, and the SENATOR was “drafted” to carry military equipment during the first Gulf War.

Why the AMBASSADOR? Just over 30 years ago I walked up the stern ramp carrying a seabag and a sextant to serve as Second Mate. I ended up sailing on the AMBASSADOR for a number of years, mostly as Chief Mate, and finishing as relief Master. It was a good ship, with a good crew, and perfectly suited for that trade.

This is my first scratch built scale ship. I worked in HO scale train projects for many years, built (mostly) an r/c Sterling AMERICAN SCOUT some years ago, and a number of r/c sailboats and smaller static boats. Over the years I have seen some great scale ships and boats of all types, and was inspired by some truly skilled craftsmen.

Attached is an un-dated picture of the AMBASSADOR later in her life, when she was the CROWLEY AMBASSADOR and had a black hull, red-anti-fouling paint and a huge “Crowley” painted on the side.
Attachment:
CROWLEY_AMBASSADOR.jpg
CROWLEY_AMBASSADOR.jpg [ 49.24 KiB | Viewed 1222 times ]
The other picture is of the SENATOR during the mid-late 1980’s—the period that I was working on the AMBASSADOR—and the general look that I will be going for. Blue hull, grey anti-fouling, no huge name on the side (and a smaller detail, no bow thruster or stern thruster symbol, either).
Attachment:
SENATOR 80s-revc.jpg
SENATOR 80s-revc.jpg [ 72.2 KiB | Viewed 1222 times ]
The AMBASSADOR and SENATOR are not identical twin sisters. Most of the differences at the time were fairly cosmetic (different vent arrangements on the stack, different color decks and deck equipment) but you may be able to pick out the one significant structural difference, although it is tough with the resolution and lighting of these photos.

I hope to document my progress as I go along, and also hope that putting this online will keep me on track and making progress. I might also throw in a sea story or so if it helps explain why I chose to do things a certain way. I think that I have a good idea of how I intend to build the AMBASSADOR, but welcome suggestions as we go. I apologize in advance for my slow build pace, and if I don’t make an entry for a while or get to any questions right away. Thanks for reading—I will add more shortly.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 3:31 am 
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Always great to see models the hard working stalwarst of the sea being created

its a welcome contrast to naval ships
I shall be watching!

JIM B :wave_1:

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....I buy them at three times the speed I build 'em.... will I live long enough to empty my stash...?
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2017 5:59 am 
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Welcome KmmerWerft, nice, very close to my ship in design, going for what you say she has being scrapped, making it easier to get ship plans and even better you worked on her, what was your job.

Be interesting to see the stern doors open and seeing the rams, I will have to guess mine or your =, could be the same size, does your plans give the ships measurements.

Yes will be keeping close interest of your build.

Tony from down under


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:30 pm 
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I am building the AMBASSADOR in 1/100 scale, which matches the standard prints. This yields a model roughly 5 1/2 feet (169cm) long and 8 ½ inches (21.5cm) wide. As Chief Mate I had a filing cabinet full of blue prints, and had a full-sized copy of the General Arrangement plan made at a copy shop ashore (even then I was planning to build a model some day).
Attachment:
IMG_4115rev.jpg
IMG_4115rev.jpg [ 54.03 KiB | Viewed 1121 times ]

The Lines Plan for the hull shape is not in the set of plans carried on the ship, so over time I made copies of a number of different frame shapes. Even so, I don’t know that I could get an accurate hull shape with what I copied. I recently e-mailed the builder Jos. P. Meyer (now Meyer Werft) and asked for a copy of the Lines Plan. The good folks there provided not only the Lines Plan, but also a different GA plan (with some details my copy did not have) and some other information.
Attachment:
IMG_4118rev.jpg
IMG_4118rev.jpg [ 54.72 KiB | Viewed 1121 times ]

Sadly, they also confirmed my expectation that the AMBASSADOR, like all but a few lucky or historic ships, has been scrapped.
Oh, and if you were wondering, the structural difference between the AMBASSADOR and the SENATOR was that the SENATOR had an extra “penthouse” cabin on top of the bridge deck. My understanding was that this housed an owner’s stateroom and cadet stateroom (s), but as we were almost never in the same port at the same time (and we were usually quite busy) I never had the chance to check it out.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:37 pm 
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Here's the stern.
Attachment:
IMG_4123rev.jpg
IMG_4123rev.jpg [ 49.21 KiB | Viewed 1121 times ]


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:00 pm 
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Hi John, wow have rank like you had come in handy being able to get access to the ships plans, what I am after for my ship and the trouble modelling a modern ship, I don't know if I would be able to contact the ships builders or owners,my ship was built by a Chinese ship yard.

The scale you are building is the plans draw to that scale 1/100, very close to 1/87 scale, am I on the right track to get the length of my ship to the scale I am modelling I divided the length by 87 and width and height.

How are you going with the construction any progress, mine is at a stand still, we are in election mode here in Queensland, in helping out, got a good job going out with a friend driving the sitting MP's ute around her electorate.

Tony from down under.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:02 pm 
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Tony,
I am mostly done with the "paper" part of the hull planning, and hope to start cutting frames before long. I will put up another post in the next day or two.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 am 
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Hi John, looking forward to seeing progress pics once you make a start on your ship.

I am on a high, stumbled onto a site that had very good pics of my ship and the actual technical drawing too, going to contact the person on face book tomorrow,hope to get a closer pic of the drawing, has the measurements as well be a big help.

That was a great find so saved the link as well, amazing what is out there in the net.

Tony from down under


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:47 am 
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I am using the Body Plan portion of the Lines Plan for the frame shapes. There are 24 stations on the Body Plan, yielding 24 frames. I may have to create my own intermediate station lines near the bow and stern to get the correct shape, but to start will just use the 24 from the plan.
Attachment:
File comment: Body Plan
IMG_4124.jpg
IMG_4124.jpg [ 52.38 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]


Only the “zero” Body Plan station (at the after perpendicular) has an equivalent on the GA plan, so I had to carefully transfer the station locations from the Body Plan to the GA plan to be able to work between the two. In addition, the “A” deck (the upper-most deck on the stern, which essentially runs the length of the ship to the bow) will form the upper limit of my frames and has a significantly rising sheer towards the stern, resulting in about half of the frames having a deck height different from any other frame.

I combined a reverse image with the normal image of the Body Plan to come up with the full frame shapes. The “A” deck height was taken off of the GA plans for each station and marked for each frame.
Attachment:
File comment: Stern frames Master (rough)
IMG_4128.jpg
IMG_4128.jpg [ 67.77 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]
I then reduced the dimensions of each frame to account for the thickness of the planking and coating that I intend to cover the hull. Modifying each frame plan by hand with dividers was more tedious than I expected.
Attachment:
File comment: Frame 15-marked up
IMG_4266.jpg
IMG_4266.jpg [ 80.82 KiB | Viewed 940 times ]



(For a more modern—and no doubt more accurate—approach, see the current build log on this forum for the 1/24 Clyde Class Lifeboat, using building plans created with CAD and ribs and keel cut with a CNC router—nice work!)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:44 am 
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Location: brisbane australia
well.. i done a few merchant ships..tried warships out of my league!

might get this tanker done..photo to big see link..

http://www.shipspotting.com/gallery/pho ... id=2388377
cheers matt


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:38 am 
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I made a working copy of each completed frame station in the event I ever want to do this again or, more likely, that I tear or otherwise damage the paper pattern while working with it. I then cut each frame station pattern to roughly the same size with a horizontal cut at the bottom of the frame and vertical cuts at the extreme width of the frame.
Attachment:
File comment: Frame stations cut to size
frame stations cut to size.jpg
frame stations cut to size.jpg [ 80.63 KiB | Viewed 763 times ]


Each frame plan was then glued onto ¼” plywood using white glue (Elmer’s in the US) thinned 50-50 with water.
(When first considering scratch-building a ship from hull lines I thought that I would have to trace the completed lines onto the wood before cutting, which I was not looking forward to. Some years ago I got to look inside a beautiful scratch-built RMS LUSITANIA and saw the remains of the paper hull lines glued onto the framing material and immediately thought--Aha-that’s how it is done!)
Attachment:
File comment: Frame stations glued to plywood
Frames glued on plywood.jpg
Frames glued on plywood.jpg [ 98.89 KiB | Viewed 763 times ]


I pre-cut the plywood into uniform smaller pieces to make gluing, handling and cutting each frame easier, although it no doubt was not the most efficient use of the wood. I also marked the lines that I need to cut with a high-lighter pen so that it is easier to keep track while cutting.

Another tip—you might also consider using heavier than regular copy paper for this step. When I first started gluing I found that I had to be very careful to keep the paper from getting bubbles, creases or distortions. I then copied the remaining frame stations onto slightly heavier paper (28 pound rather than 20 pound) and it was much easier to glue the frame stations to the plywood without problems. I might try slightly heavier paper than the 28 pound for this step if I make another scratch-built hull in the future.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:37 am 
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Hi KimmerWerft, coming along nicely those plans you have of your hull is what I need, for my second model, am waiting for DFDS to send me hopefully drawing and measurements of my ship.

Good idea what you are doing print the sections on thick paper and glue them on the ply, saves a lot of double work, what are you going to use the to cut the framing.

Rest day for me tomorrow be a full on day Election day on Saturday state Election, at polling booth at my local school, long day indeed looking forward for the big party afterwards.

Will you be building the super structure the same way, I have found some more pics, will redraw the stern section of my ship.

looking forward to more pics of your progress.

Tony from down under.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:30 pm 
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I rough cut the frames today using a scroll saw. Still a number of steps yet before they are ready to attach to a keel
Attachment:
Frames-rough cut.jpg
Frames-rough cut.jpg [ 80 KiB | Viewed 678 times ]

Stacking the frames in order gives some dimension to the hull lines and provides a bit of a preview of the shape of the hull. It also shows me that I may need another frame or two in the stern area (the left stack of frames) in order to accurately model how the hull fairs to the propeller shaft.

It's funny, the profile and waterline views of the hull lines show two additional frame stations in that area that do not appear in the body plan (which was used to make the frames).
Attachment:
IMG_4123rev.jpg
IMG_4123rev.jpg [ 49.21 KiB | Viewed 678 times ]
The vertical lines are the frame stations and from the left they are zero, one half, one, one and a half (and then on). The body plan part of the hull lines omits the one half and the one and a half body stations.

Theoretically there is enough information in the three views of the hull line plans to allow me to create a frame station anywhere on the hull. I have not done that before, so I will let you know how it goes!

Happy Thanksgiving tot he US-based modelers and readers.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:07 am 
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Hi KimmerWerft, nice a lot of work having to shape the hull stern and bow, will you be using wood planks for the hull, mine be different want to be able to see into the hull deck levels with the stern door ramps down, the hull sides of my ship is quite wide, Tank deck be the same I think, still waiting for the ship plans, my ship is a water line model.

Scroll saw much easier to use to a jig saw, my first water line ship be out of 1 mm cardboard sheets.

Busy day tomorrow rest on Sunday, need to redraw the stern upper deck, I don't know what size containers to use being an European ship, the American ones are higher than the Australian containers I used for the pic of my first drawing, pics to follow on my post when I fix up the drawing.

Tony from down under


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:53 pm 
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I apologize for the gap in entries. I had a very busy December at home and at work, and holiday events filled many of the weekends.

I was not idle with this project--I did some “paper” work on the bow and stern portions of what will become the keel and also cut and marked a ¾ inch piece of plywood for a building board. As you can see, after cutting to width I drew a centerline “keel” down the middle of the board and then transferred each of the frame stations from the lines plan.
Attachment:
IMG_4280.jpg

Attachment:
IMG_4284.jpg


My hope is that this preparation will make it easier to keep everything square when I start gluing frames to the keel. Somehow marking the frame stations on the building board really made me appreciate how long this model will be (although nowhere near the size of the 1:96 USS NEW JERSEY or 1:72 BISMARCK that friends in Oregon built).

Perhaps the most important progress was deciding (with my wife, of course) that the building ways would best be placed on a long desk in a spare room inside the house, rather than in the garage as I originally had planned. It’s a small thing, but in the long run I think that having the project indoors will help keep me on track and making progress—even if it is a little bit at a time.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:01 pm 
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Not sure why the images did not load with that last entry. Here they are:
Attachment:
File comment: Transferring keel centerline and frame stations from lines plan.
IMG_4280.jpg
IMG_4280.jpg [ 49.41 KiB | Viewed 536 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Building board with keel centerline and frame stations marked. I used my navigation triangle for any number of drafting aspects of this project--who knew that it could be so handy outside of chart work?
IMG_4284.jpg
IMG_4284.jpg [ 48.56 KiB | Viewed 536 times ]


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 6:44 am 
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Hi KimmerWerft, good you had a great December, do well with Santa.That is a great idea to keep the lines square using a set square, it is getting the right size.

How is the weather your end of the world sen some cool weather my way, it has being dam hot the last few days, yesterday the hottest 41c degrees in the sun
and 39c degrees in under the pergola, is what I go by, cool change coming in tomorrow dropping down to 31c degrees.

Better to have the ship inside where you can work on i an time, my ship when built will sit on top of the cupboard in the spare bedroom, was going to start on my ship today have got far enough in the drawing to do so, figuring out what to use for the keel, there is 24 mm's between the main deck and water line

Look forward to seeing more pic progress.

Where we were on our holiday over Christmas was a great view of the ocean and main shipping channel , saw lots of ships container ships other cargo ships and cruise ship, plus car ro, ro ships, forgot the SLR camera going back again in August when it is cooler. if you was to see those pics let me know.

Tony from down under


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:13 pm 
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Thanks for the encouragement, Tony. I may have enough progress this weekend to justify another entry.

Glad that you got to the Ocean for the holidays. We are fortunate to live near a deep-water port where there is all sorts of marine traffic. Even though I spent a number of years at sea, and have spent the remainder of my adult life doing maritime-related work, I still enjoy seeing ships sail by.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:29 pm 
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Hi KimmerWerft, no worries, I hope to make a start today on doing the same thing marking out and cutting the framing of the bow section today, can't do any thing out side on the layout too hot, was 32C degrees at 8am in the sun,pergola heating up could feel that having the first morning coffee.

Year there were some good ships that cruised past all different types, sad I didn't have my SLR digital camera has a very good zoom lens, next time.

Tony from hot down under.


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