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Thistle17

PBR Mark 1 River Patrol Boat by Model Shipwright Guild WNY - Scale 1:6

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On 6/22/2017 at 9:37 PM, jud said:

http://www.navyhistory.org/2012/01/brown-water-navy-in-vietnam/

 

Might take a look at the 30 minute film River Patrol within the above address.

Jud,

 

Enjoyed the video, should be mandatory for high school history and 1st year college history students. Lot of information packed into a short video, narrative was very good. I love the saying "LEST WE FORGET".

 

Again thank you for your service it was a bad time.

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On 6/22/2017 at 9:37 PM, jud said:

http://www.navyhistory.org/2012/01/brown-water-navy-in-vietnam/

 

Might take a look at the 30 minute film River Patrol within the above address.

Jud,

 

Enjoyed the video, should be mandatory for high school history and 1st year college history students. Lot of information packed into a short video, narrative was very good. I love the saying "LEST WE FORGET".

 

Again thank you for your service it was a bad time.

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Finally we have been given the drawings from the Naval Surface Warefare Center for the PBR Mark I. We have been given 3 of the 4 the drawings suggested to us by our design contact. I suspect the drawing held back was the armament detail. The drawings given to us are configuration drawings of deck, mid section and propulsion subsystems. There is more detail than the Maryland Silver drawings. They, along with the Maryland Silver plans should facilitate our build. We are thankful to the Navy Carderock Division for their generous support.

 

We have some study sessions to compare the plans but finally it appears we are on our way.

 

Joe

Edited by Thistle17

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Work has begun on the 1/6 scale model of the Mark I PBR. Using the body plan obtained from Maryland Silver, the bulkheads were fashioned for the waterline model. A keel like former was milled (its height was determined to be the floor of the aft gun deck minus the actual simulated deck plating) and slotted to receive the 3/16" plywood bulkheads. The stations were slotted to fit onto the "keel" in the fashion of today's kit manufacturers. The base plate, 3/8" baltic birch was laid out with the corresponding stations and water line contour. This will be a permanent substrate when cutout and will mount to the display base. At this stage the transom is missing as it has some slight contour and detail not yet worked out. The stem was made out of basswood and awaits the rabbet for planking. 

 

One gets a pretty good idea of its size by the shop cart it is temporarily laid on. Yet another large modeling project of awkward size! Just can't seem to escape them. When we are confident in the bulkhead shapes, thickness and fairness we will move the model to the museum for further participation in this group build.

 

At this stage of construction I find I am always conflicted with plank on bulkhead construction. I can imagine the end point but the crudeness of this stage always dismays. I guess it is because it is like the human, a skeleton with no character. Oh well onto the next steps which will be fairing the forms, drawing up the forward gun tub , pilot house, engine compartment and transom. Getting those correctly located and determining further work on interfering bulkheads. Then we can begin fastening the assembly down. At this stage we can start a BOM for planking and decking materials and missing parts needed. The museum has purchased some excellent accessories so we do have a head start there. At this point we are of a mind to use Alaskan Yellow Cedar for the planking. It is a denser wood than Basswood and has a very tight grain that does not produce "hairs" when sanded.

 

Joe

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Edited by Thistle17

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Jud, I can't detach myself from those who served when participating in this model for the museum. You all were cut from some special cloth! Your words will be repeated to our group especially if we get bogged down. Thanks.

Joe

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Jud we have been collecting photos from any sources we can find since both the Maryland Silver and even the Navy releases to us don't tell it all. This is especially true for some of the deck details. For instance the forward gunner detail isn't that apparent. We just realized yesterday that the gunner sat in that tub and we are trying to figure out how the "twins" were mounted. So any deck photos are especially important. 

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You might want to consider picking up the 1/35 scale Tamiya kit of the PBR as the kit's pretty darn accurate and the gun tub details are very crisp and very detailed.

Kurt

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Here are some photos of a PBR that is at a "military museum" on the IL/WI boarder.  Might be some details that help.  The last 2 photos show the Tamiya PBR front gun tub so you get an idea of the detail in the kit.

Kurt

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Jud and Kurt thanks for the photos especially the Mark 1 photos they all help. As you might guess we are starting a library of photos, documents etc etc to advance the build datum. One question that just came up today was did the Mark 1 have 2 or 1 50 cal forward? Seems to be some confusion here. Also we haven' gotten to the point to determine if we are replicating an as built version or one with field upgrades at some TBD point in time. Knowing the Navy there was always some upgrade program afoot.

 

Joe

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Kurt,  Driving from Milwaukee to Chicago South on I-94 near Racine on the right hand side of the road there is some property with a lot of military equipment.  It could be called a military junk yard.  Is that the “museum”?

 

Roger

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Roger:

Yes, it's the Russell Military Museum accessed from Russel Rd.  I always called it the military junkyard until I found out it was a "museum" of sorts.  There are some real gems in the collections, some of which are enclosed, while others are just out in the weather.  The one PBR is operational and is occasionally operated on the IL Chain of Lakes - thus the IL registration number on the bow shown in the first photo.  A neat place to visit - in good weather as it gets muddy if it has rained recently - only $10 admission.

Kurt

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Many thanks Jud and Kurt we are beginning to pull together a decent reference library. Jud I had misinterpreted the first and last photos in your Sunday post.

Joe

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A good deal of prep work has gotten us to a stage where the group build with "volunteers" in the club can participate. Thanks to our very able, retired Navy member, bulkhead patterns were drawn up that included a size reduction to allow for the 1/16" planking to be applied. These have been affixed to the over sized bulkheads and are ready for initial trim and fairing to the pattern outlines. Shown in the attached photo are bulkheads 9 through 15 which all require a cutout to the pilot and aft deck level. Note there will be some preliminary "off keel" cutting out of the bulkheads, but saving some stiffener material until the hull is fully planked. When it comes time to remove the stiffeners earlier scoring, as shown, will ease removal. The transom requires special treatment due to its convex shape and slanted rise. At this point a jig is being considered that will support a vertical "stave" construction that can be carved and sanded to shape and attached much as the stem has been treated. I believe at this point the hull material will be bass wood as the team thinks we should be resin coating the entire hull.

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Edited by Thistle17
grammar mistake

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We haven't posted in some time due to some setbacks. For one we had to rethink the use of Alaskan Cedar as its availability from our favored supplier isn't going to happen in time. We have reverted to basswood and will deal with the finish problems that will arise. Secondly weather and member availability have hampered work time. We have assembled the majority of bulkheads to the keel and will be working the fairing, stiffening and planking over the next 2 months. We found our constructed table and the space allotted just isn't working for us. Our benefactor has provided casters and we will be building a new mobile work table in the next 2 weeks.

I personally thought we would be well into the build by now but everyone has a life outside of model building so it is going a bit slowly. We will see as we ramp up to planking if it doesn't peak member interest.

Joe

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Yes we are still intending to build this model for the museum. We made incremental progress between March and today. A new mobile bench has been built and we finally started fairing the bulkheads. We are about 70% complete with the effort. As I commented before it still looks ragged in this state but I am sure once the skin is completed it will begin to look more respectable. The director of the museum has been collecting fittings and artifacts at the 1:6 scale that are just so realistic it boggles the mind. In later posts I will be showing some.

 

Here is the model mounted to a substrate with a stiffener shown within that has aided in sanding the bulkwarks. Drawings on the rear board (these are the Navy's drawings) are not to scale but aid in our build needs. We have drawing to the 1:6 scale that we reference for the model as well. As you will note lighting is less than adequate at this point so we will be working on that as well.

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Edited by Thistle17

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In the prior post I had indicated there were some incredible scale accessories which we can use on the PBR model. In the attached photograph here is a sampling of the items. Note the 50 caliber machine gun with its associated ammo belt. Two of these are to be mounted in the forward gun turret. One will have to be slightly modified to change the "handedness" of the cocking mechanism. These should lend much interest to the final display for the museum.

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Edited by Thistle17

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Today marked the beginning of hull planking. You will note two sheets of (3" X 24") bass have been applied at the waterline (one per side). We have let them run "wild" at the transom as that framework is being developed "off line". This should be integrated at our next build session. The hull shape enabled us to use whole sheets of bass at this point and we will continue to do so until the area defined by station #4 - #5. This starts the more extreme curvature and includes the chine area that is above the waterline. The model spline is the height of the boat floor (minus the deck plating) and that will be added in all the way forward to the gun turret.

 

The bow area as we see it now will be filled in and sanded fair prior to advancing planking to the bow.

 

Of note are the full size drawings mounted behind the model which will definitely support our continued model build.

 

Joe

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Edited by Thistle17

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We just received a windfall of pictures from the folks at Patriots Point in South Carolina. They filled a request we had made for better detail pictures of the PBR they have there. For this we are truly grateful. Here is just one of many showing detail that is not on our drawings from either the Navy or Maryland Silver.

 

Update 5/14/18: After our meeting this week and a review of the recent photos sent to us we have concluded that we need to sort out the configuration of the model we will ultimately build. We realize that there were so many upgrades in the field that we have to settle on some base line and proceed from there. To that end 2 of our members are putting together a library of photos from on line and Patriots point sources to decide on the final configuration. It is all in the details for example the guns shown. There are at least 3 versions: a dual set close together, a dual set as shown and a single barrel version. This decision was easy to make. It will be as shown. However other subtle changes have to be accounted for elsewhere.

 

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Edited by Thistle17

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Modeling work on the PBR has been creeping along this summer with vacations and all. Over the last 2 weeks we have had volunteers come in and work on the transom area and preparing the aft part of the hull for final skinning. The first picture shows the bulkwark excess material cut away from the stern up to station 8. A flush cutting hand saw was used to pare down the bulkwarks to the floor. There was negligible deflection of the bulkheads when the excess was removed. By measurement it was less than a 1/16 inch. This will be compensated for when the deck is in place. The second picture is of the transom frames glued in and trued. We will be "skinning" the transom next visit and move forward to start the bow fairing which has been filled in with balsa blocking.

 

By any standard things still looking a bit "raw" but I predict that that will quickly change as the skin is applied. Hopefully we will have this done for our opening meeting in September and we can get others on board for sub assemblies.

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Edited by Thistle17
spelling

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Here is a somewhat better view of the transom work. The thrust ports have been installed at the waterline and intermediate lateral and vertical re-enforcement has been added to the area. We are nibbling away at the build spending just a few hours each week, currently focused on the transom and fairing/filling the bulkheads forward of station 8 and bow which has been built out with with balsa fillers. This area is still a bit rough but should be "picture ready" next week.

 

The photo doesn't depict the transom gentle contour and vertical angle but hopefully with the skin added next time one will get a better idea of the aft section of the hull.

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There are plenty of reference photos out there showing that the fowrard gun tube did not always have "handed" MGs.  There's room (barely) to reach the right side of the starboard gun.

 

At 1/6 scale, you probably need to start thinking about doing at-home photoetch for the various data plates.  Which may be the only easy way for items like the diesel fillers, which have a prominent "diesel" scast/engraved in their bezels.  A forgivable omission at 1/35 for needing 3/64" letters, possibly less so for 0.125" letters at 1/6.

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CapnMac82 thank you for the input. After a tumultuous summer I think we will be back at the build with more intensity. One of our modelers did convert the scale 50's to a' handed' version. I will pass on your input to the team. In the mean time here is a picture of the nearly completed 50's he came up with.

 

We managed to complete the skinning of the transom and now are concentrating on fairing in the bow and getting it ready to skin. Hope to have some supporting photos soon.

Joe

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Edited by Thistle17

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Ok, finally remembered to go look up the reference photos for the fillers.

<img> https://static.rcgroups.net/forums/attachments/2/6/9/2/3/0/a5222381-102-PICT0054.jpg,/img>

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Edited by CapnMac82
Add photos

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Hmmm. I believe I am looking aft towards the stern, am I correct? If so that curved metal works shown do not show up on the Patriot Point Mark I. I will confer with our member who has the archive of photos they sent to see if we can respond. I have not seen tha configuration before.

 

We just heard from a member of the 720th MP Army Battalion, 180th Company which gave fire support to the 458th Transportation Company that had PBR's. He alludes to the many in-country mods that were made to these craft. Hence in my opinion the "as built" craft didn't hold up over time.

Joe

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Yes, photos are from a Mk II.

The fuel filler bezels were middling common across USN small craft, as it made it easier to not uh-oh at a fuel dock.
At Little Creek, there was always a funnel stashed nearby, usually with its nozzle in a coffee can.

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We haven't gone down a "rat hole" on this project it just has been a slow and somewhat frustrating process to get the hull skinned. We have as of today come to a point where the bow is skinned above the chines. I must say I am hesitant to post this picture because it looks pretty ugly. Using 1/16 Basswood has yielded mixed results. In retrospect strip planking of some nominal width may have been a better strategy than 3 inch sheets. Adjacent sheets where one lies atop the other tend to not lie in the same plane in part due to the relatively large spacing of bulkheads. We can fix this by gluing in stiffeners on the inside of the hull once we turn it over.

 

We are still optimistic that we can make this ugly duckling look much more acceptable by applying a surface application of an automotive body glazing to fix any imperfections. I stopped at an auto body supply house nearby and I was delighted that the owner was willing to work with us to this end. He is also willing to work with us to get the right color of the hull. That was great news. We are also mulling over use of a model weight fiberglass cloth and resin to skin the hull. It is pretty messy but may give the hull a rigidity we may need.

Joe

 

(The open area is the chine area to fill in. It does disappear between the 2nd and 3rd bulkhead so there will be some hull contouring there. The light blue compound in the bow area is Rage, filler. It sets up too fast even with a minimum of hardener so it is not suitable for any external hull finish coating.))

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Edited by Thistle17

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There just might be a Wood Duck in here after all. Today we added more bow skin on both port and starboard. This area was broken into 2 segments as the chine area goes from dead flat aft the terminating bulkhead to a twisted contour forward. It was reasoned that this would be easier to gain conformance. The remaining, dead flat, chine area will be infilled after we turn the hull over and add some backing braces.

 

In contemplation of a finish surface today I explored our local hobby shop and priced out fiberglass and resin. The cost is to run about $50 but may be the right direction given the skin weakness. There is enough material to do the entire shell, deck included.

 

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Edited by Thistle17

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Joe,  if your budget can stand it, I highly recommend West System Epoxy, along with the metered pumps that they sell.  I have used gallons of the stuff building a glued lapstrake canoe and repairing sailboats and wood canvas canoes.  Unlike some of the big box store auto body fiberglass resins I have never had a batch that did not cure properly when mixed in the proper ratio using the pumps.

 

Roger

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We are only able to muster 2 to 4 hours a week on this build so indeed progress has been less than impressive. Today was somewhat of a milestone however. The "skin" is complete and the sheer line fairing has been made. We are now concentrating on some smoothing and fairing of the hull prior to fiberglass treatment. This seems a most prudent step as one can see the application of Nitro Stan glazing and 3M filler has been required to modify flagrant imperfections. The starboard side is clear evidence of that. Again the use of the 3 inch basswood sheets was thought to be a time saver but it turns out strip planking would have yielded better results.

 

What can't be seen is the inside of the hull. There are many wood braces spanning laterally laid sheets at their junction to stiffen the skin. Luckily this will be hidden once we skin the inner hull. The backdrop is the 1:6 scale Maryland Silver drawings. The photo is from the good folks at Patriots Point South Carolina.

 

Joe

 

 

 

 

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