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  1. Hi Gary - Thanks for the quite relevant information. I was hoping someone would know the actual name of those things. Now that I know how they work it will improve my construction of the rest a bit. Dan
  2. Hi all - Another Sunday – well, Monday – another building installment, after a nice diversion into engineering. Working now from the middle funnel down, I began with area between the middle and forward funnels. Here is the relevant section of the plans. Photo analysis provided the rest of the information needed. I started with the bases of the funnels themselves. Here are shots of the middle funnel and the forward one. The colors changed from the troop ship to the liner, but the fittings were the same. There are two types of small vents that had to be made, one with two tapering round plates, the other with a flared cross-head. Of the two, the flared head of the second made it harder to make, so I started with it. After a bunch of failed experiments, I found that I could make a flare in a tube with a pencil. A tea light gave me enough heat to soften, but not melt, the plastic. I held the pencil steady about two inches above the flame and rotated the plastic for even heating. The picture is a bit off, since I found that heating more of the pencil gave me a flare just on the very end of the tube. The flare was cleaned up a bit with sandpaper, then cut to the desired length on the Preac. A short length of brass tube was cut and glued into the flared tube, then a shaft was dished at the top and attached. There are two sizes for these vents and lots of different heights. After measuring and cutting the shafts to length the open ends were filled with toothpicks which also acted as handles for painting. Then the wood was cut off flush and drilled for a soft iron wire that will secure it to the model along with white glue. The round top plates of the other vent were made by punching out three sizes of plastic disc and stacking them so it looks like there is a gap between the top and bottom plates. This was attached to a length of dowel, which was used as a handle to sand down the top plates to a flat angle. Here are those fittings at the base of the forward funnel. I am a bit unhappy with the slightly crude look of the round vents. I could not get that edge as sharp as I wanted, since thin plastic will not take the same detail as metal. But to worry about that level of detail I would have to have 9 years to finish the model, not 9 months. All of life and art is a series of tradeoffs. Next was the area of deck just forward of the middle funnel. Here is the plan. There are a number of structures, but they are all too short to show up on any profile plan that I have, although an artist’s rendering of the cross-section of the ship gives some idea of their shapes. Photos of the area were studied closely to make out the shapes that fit the plans. But most of them are from the liner period, and some seriously creative interpretation had to be done to fit what was seen in the few troop ship photos showing this area. For the most part, the structures here are rectangular, though of different heights and a few with sloped roofs. Most have rectangular or square skylights which will be represented with dark decals. However, in the center of this photo there is a ducted fan that I call, for obvious reasons, a snail. This and other photos show this type of machinery in lots of other locations around the upper deck. They come in several sizes, with varying details, but they all follow a similar pattern. There is a round flat body with a motor on one side sitting on a motor mount. There are intake and exhaust ducts coming off at various angles, with various end caps or fittings. I experimented with styrene and resin, but I am basically a woodworker. Each body was sliced from a hardwood dowel, as was the motor. I did not try to do any detailing of the motor except in the largest sizes. When lying down the disc has its grain running vertically, so it is easy to line up a knife blade and press down vertically. The wood splits cleanly away. Ductwork the width of the body is glued to the cut face and rounded to curve into the disc. It is topped, in this case, by a rounded square cap. After priming, sanding and painting these snails were located, secured and attached to the ductwork shown on the plans or photos. There are two here, along with my best interpretations of the houses, skylights and vents. More than most other areas of the ship, this one shows the changes from the troop ship to the liner. I try to check my progress regularly against photos to be sure that I am not getting too far away from reality. Here is the developing troop ship from a low angle. I think I am on the right track. Just forward of this area there is a large belfry. This houses the largest of five bells on the ship, and the one left over from the SS Vaterland. It was built up from 1/16” scale I-beams. The pieces were gently bent around a form and rubber banded there. A dip in simmering water and a dunk in cold set the U-shapes which were joined at the top at an angle. Cross supports were added and welded in place with liquid plastic cement. After painting the bronze cast bell was mounted. Forward of the belfry is the curved roof skylight over the Social Hall with the individual lights represented by a custom decal. The camouflage scheme was carried up and over since it could be seen from the side. Photoetched railings and ladders were fitted in place as seen in the photos. From the angle of the port bridge wing the model closely resembles the ship and is starting to get the busy look that she had. Nothing draws my eye as being off and, as they say, “If it looks right, it must be right. . . “ Another segment next Sunday, god willing and the creek don't rise. Till then, be well. Dan
  3. Hi JD - The rigging is coming along beautifully. The baggywrinkle is delightful. Dan
  4. Hi Roger, Lou - If you send me your email addresses I can send the file with the entire cross section plans. Reproducing it here will not have the kind of resolution that you want. Dan
  5. Hi Roger - Thanks for the info. I may never use it, but it is interesting nevertheless. Lou - Don't worry about hijacking my build log. I find these little diversions, whether in my log or another's, to be one of the better features of this site. Nils - Thanks so much. I only wish that I was on the final lap. There is a huge amount of detailing to be done, even before I get to the 70 boats with their davits and pulleys, plus over 100 life rafts on the troop ship side. Then there are the masts, and the cargo cranes, and and and . . . Dan
  6. Hi Michael - Thanks for the warning. I haven't had that problem yet, and maybe the boiling and cooling will limit it. I will think twice before using the technique again. Dan
  7. Hi Lou - I looked at the plans again and found two large drinking water tanks all the way aft and down near the propeller shafts. Near them are several washing water tanks, while the bilges aft of midships are all labeled as tanks for either washing or boiler feed water. These would have to be pumped up for use, so the small tanks in the funnel would probably only be called on when the power went down. If they used salt water for anything, it might have been pumped in directly from the sea, but salt deposition would be a major problem in pipes, I would think, so I am not sure that it was used. I am anything but an expert on ship design or maintenance. I mostly concern myself with outward appearance only, so I could be completely wrong here. Dan
  8. Lou - Your question got me wondering just what was inside. According to the refit plans there is a large vent pipe that runs up along the aft side and reaches all the way to the engineering decks near the bilges. It services the restaurant galley, among other spaces. Other vents at the forward end do not have a separate pipe, they just open into the funnel at its base. That's why the Vaterland had the openings, I believe, During the war there must have been other arrangements made, but the plans don't show them.
  9. Hi Lou - I probably agree with you, because I know that the last funnel on the Titanic was a dummy, as you say. However, although the plans indicate that there were water tanks inside the third funnel, they also indicate a smoke or steam pipe in it. In the absence of anything definitive I opted to make the top of the funnel pretty much match the other two. Dan
  10. Keith, Druxey - thanks for the compliments. Carl - it turned out to be less difficult than I expected. The funnels were pretty smooth at that point and the Frog tape that I used is very good at masking a straight edge. I also aimed the paint spray from the masked areas over the edge of the tape, and not against it. There were only a few spots that had to be touched up. Any curved edges, and all of the pipes and details, were painted freehand without masking. Thanks for asking. Dan
  11. Hi again, and thanks as always for the likes and compliments. Druxey, those are stealth funnels. . . Continuing with the build, now that the uppermost deckhouses were framed out their sides were detailed. First the camouflage scheme on the troop ship was carried up and over the sides, even over the angled louvers and the rounded cover over the large salon. Doors, windows, portholes, moldings and handrails were added with their locations taken from the plans and photos. All of the large structures on the ocean liner side were left or painted white with brass handrails. The decals for the double-deck height windows of the Winter Garden were carefully lined up, even though it is difficult to see the lower windows unless the light is just right since they are deep under the overhanging deck. Railings were added to three of the open spaces that house boats on the troop ship. The next elements to tackle were the three funnels. Size and location were taken from the plans, but they are not very detailed, and what they show is confusing. I work better from photos so here they are. They are oval cylinders with no taper and rake back at 8 degrees. The liner funnels were painted red up three quarters of their height, with the top quarter divided equally between a lower white band and an upper blue one. The forward two have four ancillary pipes spaced equally around them, though the third funnel does not have them. Other photos show that the last funnel has one pipe that runs up the back just to port of the centerline. In this close-up you can see that there are two reinforcing bands for the attachment points of the guy wires. One is halfway up, the other just below the white band. There is a rounded lip at the top of each. A steam pipe runs up the front of the second funnel to a platform where a foghorn is mounted. This does not appear on the last funnel. Other photos are a bit unclear, but seem to show a double foghorn on the front of the first funnel and ladders leading up. Construction began by carving a mold out of pine. The best image of the plan view of a funnel was cut from the plans, then resized to be 1mm smaller than full size in both width and length. I copied it six times and printed them on one page. Two were cut out and glued to the top and bottom of a rectangular billet that was a bit taller than needed. Care was taken to be sure that they lined up with each other. The excess wood was removed with a coarse sanding drum in the Dremel, then a medium grit belt sander, and finished with a fine sanding block. The resulting cylinder was sealed with several coats of clear finish and sanded smooth. I wrapped it with waxed paper, then two layers of 0.010” sheet styrene. The four total thicknesses of the plastic add up to 0.040”, or 1mm, bringing the outer dimensions back to full size. To make the plastic to permanently take on the right shape I tried a technique I read in FineScale Modeler magazine. I wrapped it all around with several rubber bands, then dunked it in simmering water for 20 seconds, then cooled it in cold water. With the rubber bands removed I could open the outer layer slightly without taking it off the mold to feed in some thin Tamiya plastic cement, which had enough working time that I could close it back together and secure with rubber bands until the glue dried. The exposed edge was ground and sanded smooth and flush. After sliding the plastic off the waxed paper, and despite the boiling and cooling, the funnel returned to a much too tubular a shape. I was a bit disappointed but I always planned to use the mold to shape and stiffen the funnel. However, it had been quite a long process to shape the mold, and I would have to do two more. Then I had the idea to cut the mold into nine pieces. For each funnel I slid one piece into the middle of the tube and glued it there. Pieces were secured in the top and bottom, the top one set down a little. A half-round strip made up the lip at the top and narrow strips were added for the eyebolt reinforcements. The bottoms of the funnels were shaped to the 8 degree angle on a disc sander. All three were primed with dark grey before being tested in place for angle, lean, and symmetry. Once their overall shapes were acceptable a set of tiny eyebolts were twisted up and installed. There are eight evenly spaced along each of the reinforcing strips, a total of 48 on the three funnels. Then the troop ship sides of the first two funnels were sprayed light grey and the camouflage pattern hand painted according to the plans in dark grey. The third funnel was painted with the blue-green color. Then the centerlines were located and masked with the Frog tape. The top of the liner side was painted white, then masked so the lower area could be sprayed with a medium red and the top brush painted Navy blue. The outside pipes were made up from 1/16” brass rod with small sections of brass tube fitted to the top. They are secured to the funnel with five eyebolts. I found some commercially produced ones in my spares drawer that fit perfectly. To line them up I laid on a narrow strip of tape and drew a straight line on it. Eyebolt locations were marked and holes drilled. After removing the tape and gluing in the eyebolts the pipes slid in without a hitch where they were secured with dots of epoxy. On the front face of the first two funnels I added a dark painted PE ladder on the troop ship side and a thinner steam pipe on the liner side of center leading up to a small railed platform to service the foghorn. The top of the funnels does not appear clearly in any photo that I have, so I took some guidance from the interior structures seen in the cross-section plan and gave them a large central ring protected by a PE grating. On the forward two funnels there are also four smaller pipes epoxied to the wood plug, while the last funnel only has one. Then the tops were painted flat black. The external pipes were brush painted to match the background colors. Here are the liner sides. The forward faces. And the troop ship sides. There was one final detail. At the base of the third funnel the photos show a series of flat plates rounded top and bottom. I did not know what these were until I located a photo of the original funnel on the SS Vaterland. There they are open holes, probably for air circulation. They were closed off during the war and left that way later during the liner incarnation. I thought that they made a nice detail, so I made them up out of 0.005” strip. They were painted off the model before installation and the different tones make them stand out just enough to see if you look for them. So here is my usual final double photo. All of the structural elements have been built up from the waterline and in from the bow and stern, finishing with the center funnel. Now begins the fun work of detailing the ship from the top down and the center out. More soon. Be well Dan
  12. Hi Gaetan - A tip of the hat to you and to Vossiewulf for clearing up my questions as to why some of the knives on "Forged in Fire" will not cut. Your dedication to sharpness reminded me of Terry Pratchett's character Death, who hones his scythe on leather, then wool, cotton, silk, and even the wind. He finally gets the edge that he wants with sunlight itself. If you are going to sever the soul from the body you should have the sharpest blade possible. I guess every job has its need for its own kind of edged tool. Dan
  13. I'll be following along as well. I have used it sparingly, but I am more and more fascinated with the possibilities of this new technology. Dan
  14. Hi Dave - I'll follow along too. She is a sweet boat and I know you will do her justice. If it is not too late, I was wondering if you couldn't just scan the laser cut sheets. The char lines from the cut might give you a pattern that you could enlarge. You would not have to punch out the parts at all, and could pass along an unbuilt kit to a deserving young modeler. Best of success. Dan

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