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Patrick Matthews

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Everything posted by Patrick Matthews

  1. We RC'ers model FUNCTION as well as form... the boats get moved around too much to bother with display cases. Get your boats wet! Keep those models out and ready to use:
  2. Well, since I already started, I finished one outrigger in cherry. Satisfyingly strong and light, but I'm sure a false step could see it crumpled. The tip is a real fiberglass fishing pole... well actually, an ice fishing rod blank... perfect size! 3 feet of outrigger, light as a feather:
  3. Well, not really spars... but the stringers in a fishing boat's outriggers. I'm building "Pilar" in 1:12 as a functional RC model. Not for real fishing, unless a carp happens to jump in the back... but the enormous outriggers Hemingway installed on Pilar translate into 39 inch long assemblies of 0.083" (2mm) square stringers. Actually, the box-girder section is only about 23" long, but it's still likely to bang into things. I'm about to start building them in cherry, but I wonder if something else would be more appropriate?
  4. I just changed the drum for the first time on my Micromark thickness sander, after years of light use. Whaddapain. Now, the machine works well enough for me, and it's solid and heavy. But the designer knew nothing of "design for service". What should be an easy abrasive change operation requires fiddling with a number of too-tiny screws, exposing the wire box, removal of TWO snap rings (the correct snap ring pliers must be in your kit), pulling a pulley off a shaft (need a small pulley puller), and the use of a special spanner wrench for the nut on the sanding drum- I lost the one which allegedly comes with the sander, but happened to have a suitable spare but only due to my having other machine tools. But I did find that the sanding drum doesn't actually have to come out of the machine as the instructions show, which saves a few steps. Not easy, but the old abrasive can be worked off the drum and pulled out one side of the machine... still busted my knuckles doing that.
  5. Another option, which I *hardly* regret making- the once very inexpensive and now not so much anymore, Chinese mini mill and lathe. As offered by Micromark, Little Machine Shop, Harbor Freight and others. I'm happier with the MASS of these cast iron machines, as sometime I need to machine something a bit bigger. And yes I've added many tools over the years... some 20 years I've had these things. .
  6. It takes acrylic and enamel just fine. But for either (and Shapeways will not tell you this), you MUST post cure with UV light to complete the solidification process. Shapeways happily ships parts with an incomplete cure, and the traces of uncured resin WILL leech out and ruin the paint.
  7. Nylon- smooth nylon is not so good for painting. But this is fused powder, so primer/filler paints lock on mechanically. I have had no problem at all painting it... but again, I would prefer the "fine detail" plastic for this sort of work, which takes painting just fine, even on its smooth surface.
  8. First, kudos to those who can use handwork to create beautiful shiny metal parts from real metals. Me- I'm lazy, and will go to 3D Printing every time! I have previously shown that 3D Printing can be used to create waxes for lost wax casting of real metal parts in a variety of alloys. As one might expect, it's not a low cost approach, especially for larger parts. But a modeller in the UK shared some results that offer another approach. He's working on a large scale Admiral's Barge, which features a polished brass stack and cowl vents. I designed the parts for him, and he procured them in the lowest price 3D Printed plastic, sintered nylon (grainy porous stuff, "fine detail plastic" would cost twice but be much easier to work with). Anyway, he filled the grain, polished that, then applied silver-bearing conductive paint. Next, brush plating of copper (which can be further buffed), followed in this case with brass plating. One can also brush plate nickel for the look of stainless or a fair-enough chrome, or invest in rhodium plating for a more convincing chrome. Pictures show the raw plastic parts and the final product.
  9. Yep, the products are offered by market... in this case, for the builders of the very common 1:350 battleships. The smallest stud link chain I ever printed was 13 links per inch, suitable for the new 1:200 plastic battleships. It couldn't be produced reliably, so I gave up on it. I still get plaintive calls- "do you have any more chain???" This PE chain could be available for 1:200 BB's, would be a little easier to work with!
  10. That 2nd one is photoetched 0.005" brass... here is the maker's page: https://www.whiteensignmodels.com/p/WEM+1350+Battleship+Stud+Link+Anchor+Cable+PE+35157/10061/#.XsavsWhKiUk
  11. I support the economic principle of "division of labor"- I let the pros do it! This example was from Shapeways.
  12. I have done nickel plating at home, relatively inexpensive and easy. I wouldn't recommend rhodium plating for an amateur, even though you can buy the supplies. A 500ml bottle with 1g Rh costs almost US$500. Here is a video demonstrating an available set-up for a jeweler: https://www.riogrande.com/article?name=How-To-Rhodium-Plate-Jewelry-Video The cost for the plated Rh is small, as there is so little used.... just as with gold plating. But the investment to do it properly is a disincentive!
  13. That fine chain is all very fine... but if you need some chunky stud-link anchor chain, it can be printed!
  14. I have even cut nice strips from 0.005" [0.13mm] stainless steel with a paper cutter like that.
  15. Exactly, Kurt... 'tis easier to "carve" many parts from solid, rather than assembling little bits. A mill is not required... a drill press and a jeweler's saw will often get you 90% of the way. Files and polishing for the rest. Myself, I now 3d print most of these parts (waxes actually, which are fed into lost wax casting). Below: A tree full of printed cleats. The color is misleading, they are unplated brass.
  16. I respect all who wish to make a hobby all in itself of photoetching. Having done some PCBs and etched model parts myself, and having dealt with the nasty chemicals, I decided the better approach was to take the same money and pay a specialist for better parts. I've had good luck with Hauler in the Czech Republic: https://www.etchworks.eu/
  17. No question, this is a challenging part... almost as bad as stainless steel cutwaters! But it is possible, and is easier in larger scales. The pictures here are for a 1:8 scale model, and all is done by hand (by a friend, who has alien powers). The plastic windscreen is sandwiched between brass frame parts, which are secured with very small watch screws. Note that the plastic is curved in a single direction, not compound curved... the cross section is an "extrusion" in the direction of the center frame. The intersection of this extrusion with the deck is tricky! Work with brass... it can be polished and plated... silver and "chrome" paints will never look good. You can do a convincing job with brush-nickel plating. This takes nothing more than clean polished parts, a special solution, and a metal acid brush connected to a 3V source. You may get even nicer results by going to a jeweler for a pro polish job and then rhodium plating... rhodium looks just like chrome, and jewelers regularly replate rhodium rings and such, as the rhodium is a bit soft and wears off over time. The shiny parts shown here were 3d printed in brass (printed waxes, used in lost wax investment casting), and then professionally polished and rhodium plated. I have also used the 3d brass printing process to make older style windscreen frames, see examples below.
  18. I'd use it for... soldering circuit boards! One of my creations:
  19. Thanks for YOUR comments, Bob. By any chance was that big 34 footer "St. Erina"? She's seen some hard times since then. News on that, and hundreds more photos, at my Monterey Clipper site: https://montereyclippers.wordpress.com/ -Patrick
  20. Thanks for the comment. There is a lengthy build thread posted on RC Groups: https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?2601629-Hicks-Engine-Project And of course the Ships in Scale article (Summer & Fall 2017).
  21. Thanks Nils. For more info about the model, see the Gallery page description- including a link to a video of the engine operating!
  22. Fans of San Francisco's "Monterey Clipper" fishing boats know that most were originally powered by Hicks single cylinder gas engines. Since the engine was visible in the semi-enclosed wheelhouse, it becomes a necessary but challenging feature in a model. No complete plans have been published for the Hicks, but I was able to photograph a complete engine's worth of original part blue prints at the library of the San Francisco Maritime Park. This 1:8 scale model was then built in CAD, and most parts were 3d-printed in plastic. Most of the brass and bronze parts were investment cast using 3d-printed waxes. Other parts were machined or photoetched from brass and stainless steel. The model appeared on the cover of the Summer 2017 "Ships in Scale". Search Youtube for "Yuba Hicks" to see the engine's animated operation and authentic sound.

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