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SS Andrea Doria 1952 by shipmodel - FINISHED - 1/16" scale

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Good day to all, especially those who followed my build log of the Queen Anne's Revenge (1710).  I hope you will enjoy this one as well, and I look forward to your comments and critiques.


This project is another large jump across time and techniques.  It is the ocean liner SS Andrea Doria, the pride of the postwar Italian Line. Her likeness will be built to the scale of 1/16” = 1’ and will reflect her appearance at the height of her service life, the fateful night of July 25, 1956.




This is my fourth liner model and it uses many of the techniques that I have developed for this type of ship.  Some, I hope, can have broader applications, so even if you are only into sailing ships you are most welcome to pull up a chair and grab some popcorn.


The essential elements of the model will be scratch built.   This includes the large components such as the hull, decks, superstructures, and funnel, as well as the complex and unique elements such as the cargo cranes and swimming pools.  But for some simple fittings aftermarket castings are acceptable as long as they are accurate or can be made so.  Likewise, photoetched brass pieces such as railings will be used.


The ship herself and her tragic story are known to many.  SS Andrea Doria was the pride of the Italian merchant marine in a country struggling to renew its economy and reputation after WW II.  Launched in 1951 she began service in 1953 for the Italian Line (Societa di Navigazione Italia).  For more than three years she led her country’s liners as the largest and fastest ship in the fleet and one of the most elegant, with an outdoor swimming pool for each of the three classes of passenger.




On the night of July 25, 1956 all that changed.  Sailing towards New York City, eight days out of Genoa, she was running in heavy fog in the Labrador Current just south of Nantucket, Mass.  Coming towards her was the liner SS Stockholm, outbound from New York for home.  She was not in fog but in the dark night could not see either the fog or the Andrea Doria




Although both were spotted on the other’s radar, this was still a somewhat new technology and the positions and speeds of the ships were incorrectly plotted on each bridge.  As a result, the ships turned towards each other rather than away.  At 11:10 pm the icebreaker bow of the Stockholm sliced into the starboard side of the Doria and into dozens of passenger cabins with families asleep in their bunks.  More importantly, it sliced into the engineering spaces below the waterline.




SOS calls were immediately put out by both ships and soon a number of others were racing to the site of the collision. The Stockholm was still seaworthy, although her bow was completely crushed.




49 people, many of them children in third class, died immediately aboard the Andrea Doria, and five crewmen aboard the Stockholm.  Yet, miraculously, 14 year old Linda Morgan was lifted from her bed and deposited into the wreckage of the Stockholm’s bow where she was found with only a broken arm and some scrapes.





Andrea Doria soon began to list.  This might not have been fatal because she had been designed with eleven watertight compartments with bulkheads that extended well above the waterline, only one of which had been breached in the initial collision.  But five of the starboard fuel tanks were located there and they quickly filled with water.  On the port side the tanks, which were empty at the end of the crossing, acted like balloons to raise that side.  Even this might have been survivable, but a design flaw in an access tunnel allowed water to blast into one of the lower control rooms, and then into the generator room, cutting off power.  Without power water ballast could not be shifted to port to compensate and the list steadily increased.




Thirty minutes after the collision Captain Calamai ordered that the ship be abandoned.  The list made it impossible to launch the port side lifeboats, but by reusing the starboard ones all of the passengers and crew were eventually evacuated to the safety of the rescuing ships.  All, that is, but three who were fatally injured or died during the evacuation, bringing the final death toll to 57, the greatest loss of life in American waters in over 40 years.


All through the night the list increased, and in the early morning hours she turned over and sank.  The aerial photography of the sinking won a Pulitzer Prize for Harry Trask.




Now she sits in about 190 feet of water, on her starboard side.  This is too deep for the recreational diver but easily reachable on a mixed gas technical dive.  It used to be a fairly well-visited site, but the deterioration of the wreck is so severe now that only the most experienced should think about trying it.




The model begins, as all models do, with the plans and research.  I was fortunate that a set of plans was available from Taubman’s Plans Service, a division of Loyalhannah Dockyard.  Expensive, but if they were as advertised, they would be worth it.  While waiting for them to arrive I went on an internet search.


I quickly found a poster in quite high resolution on a public site which had been printed as an advertisement for the ship and which showed the cabins on the passenger decks and the layout of the upper decks and deck structures.  Although I did not need to know the cabin locations or layouts, the poster was clearly copied from the engineering plans and was quite exact.  However, the deck plans did not go below “C” deck just above the waterline and had no lengthwise or midships cross-sectional plans, so the shape of the lower hull was still a mystery.   





Also, due to the many times it was reproduced, I guess, the deck plans bent to starboard, a defect that had to be corrected.




When the Taubman’s plans showed up they were a good news, bad news thing.  They were clearly the engineering drawings, imprinted with the logo of the Bologne Society of Marine Architechts, the name of the builders and the date in 1952 when they were drawn.  They included a longitudinal cross section that showed many of the deck house details including window and doorway locations, mast details and the interior of the large single funnel. 




An exterior illustration showed the locations of most of the portholes, doors and windows. This was supported by another illustration, this one in color, that was located on the net.






But there was a plan for only one deck below the “C” deck, the “D” deck, although it had some indication of the hull shape of the rudder post below the counter.  There was still no midship section, so the lower hull shape was still questionable.






I did find some section plans on the internet, but they were redrawn for a model kit from Amati, and I had some questions about their accuracy, although they did show the bulb at the bow below the waterline, which did not appear on any of the other plans.






However, when in doubt I always refer to photographs, if available.  Here is one of the ship being launched, which I used to compare and contrast with the plans in hand. 




This was one of several thousand images that I viewed on the net.  These were culled to about two hundred after eliminating duplicates and those that were of such low resolution to be useless.  Of those, about three dozen were saved as the most relevant, useful, and detailed.  Here are a few, and more will be posted as the areas of detail are built.








More posted soon





Edited by shipmodel
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Dan, I don't usually tell other members of my interests but this is especially of note. As a young lad of 13 when the ship sank

I built my first ship model of her. I was really into drawing ships especially the Queens, but The Andrea Doria  was very much in the

news and I thought that she was the most beautiful liner built. I shall follow your build with considerable interest. Best wishes, Nick

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Hi Dan,


I just read your introduction to this ship, very interesting to get an Impression of your intensive research (well done !) on this ship and it`s last fatal journey.

Trust this will be a very ambitious and by no means easy Task, but certainly you shall be keellaying this italian Beauty asap, Will stay tuned and watching to this interesting build log and wish you all the best with your ongoing research.

BTW. I share your doubts for the Sub waterline hull shape, it`s a bit too much "Pear-shape" cross section in my opinion on that Frame plan, whereby the pic of the launching from the slip Shows a much more slender hull like it must have been for 1951 fashions



Edited by Mirabell61
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Greetings Dan,


Excellent preface to your project and a damn good history lesson. I was very young at the time, but I remember the sinking. Being from the northeast, her sinking was a big deal for a long time. I am looking forward to seeing how you do with her. Nice to see a build without masts and guns for a change.



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Too pity that I discovered it now.

The plans you own are a copy of the ones that are currently sold by the "Associazione Navimodellisti Bolognesi", which owns and sells the originals.

So probably there was a multiple passage on that selling of those plans.

They sell them at 115 euro, including VAT, excluding shipping cost.

The sheets are 13.

below the link of the Andrea Doria plans page:



If the sheets that you have are 13, everything is Ok, otherwise something has been missing...

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Yay, another liner to add to my watch list! This is a ship that my grandmother told me about - she remembered when it sank - and as a young kid interested in shipwrecks, it captured my interest. There is a very good, thorough analysis of the sinking - how, precisely, she progressively flooded - published by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME). I'll see if I can get a copy of it, if you're interested.


Looking forward to following along!

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Hi all - 


Glad to have you with me.  


Christiano, yes, those seem to be the plans that I have, and I paid about the same in USD.

Nils, you spotted the "pear shape" too.  It makes so much more sense to have a straight sided hull, and the photo seems to agree.

Ben, I would like to read the SNAME article, just for completeness, so no rush and no pressure.  Thanks.


Be well



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Take a look at the attached. A presentation based on this paper shows a cross section that looks similar to the one you posted; I don't know what the source of that image is since it isn't in the actual technical paper, but it may indicate a bit of tumblehome like the drawings you have suggest. And, I can see the tumblehome a little bit in the pictures of the ship's launch. I don't know if the model kit plans you found are exaggerating the form, but it does seem the ship is not straight sided. 


The presentation file is too large to attach here, but it doesn't really contain more information, just some more graphics.




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Hi Ben - 


Thanks for the SNAME article.  It detailed and confirmed what I had read before.  It will not affect the actual building of the model, but more information is always better than less.


I looked again at the plans and the photographs.  Some of the photos look like a straight sided hull, while others could have some slight tumblehome.  But the deck plans do not show any indication of tumblehome.  The breadth of the ship on the D deck is the same as on A deck.  That may be from my digital manipulations (more on that in build log 2), but seems to be consistent.   Also, each deck plan shows with a dotted line how the ship widens as it goes up at the bow and stern, but there is no corresponding line inside the outer perimeter amidships to show any narrowing.


Here is the plan for C deck, separated into bow and stern so they would be larger in this format.  You can see that the outer line shows the hull amidships as a single narrow line, with no indication of doubling, which there would be if there were tumblehome. 






I feel pretty confident that if there were any tumblehome it was so slight that it could not be seen on a model at 1/192 scale.  In any event, the hull is completed and can't be changed at this point, so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.   ;)


Thanks to all for being a second, third and fourth pair of eyes to keep me on course.







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Hi Dan,


good decision,


the dash-dotted lines shown in the deck plans usualy indicate position (width and length on outer skin) of the outer portholes to the corresponding deck, so that the booking passengers can see if their cabins have  1 or two portholes.

I had a look at the Andrea Doria deckplans on the web and only for the "Upper Deck"  it shows  thin lines next to the porthole positions. My interpetion of these lines is, that it`s the birds view on the bilge keels in this case.





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No problem!


Titanic had some degree of tumblehome, but it doesn't show up on the deck plans. That said, it was pretty slight - only 1' over 70'. So, the AD's tumblehome might be just as slight. Either way, you're probably right about the scale masking it anyway.


Can't wait to see the hull you built!

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Build log 2 – plans and lifts


Thanks for joining me and for the likes and comments.  She is an elegant liner and should make a sweet model if I am careful. 


Now that I had the paper plans in hand I took them to my local blueprint copy shop.  For not a lot of money they digitized each sheet at 300 dpi.  Since the sheets were 4 feet long and 2 feet wide, this made for some pretty large files, but well within my computer’s capacity.  It did mean that they take a while to open in Photoshop, but that was a minor inconvenience.  I also took some of the plans from the internet and used them for planning.


The first of these was the exterior hull with the deck locations indicated in both French and English.  This was taken from the deck plans poster, so I did not completely trust it, but it served as a rough guide to the overall appearance for preliminary planning purposes. 






First, the drawing had to be resized.  I used the known LOA dimension of the Andrea Doria which is 213.80 meters, or 701.5 feet.  Scaled down to 1:192 this meant that the model would be 1,113.54 millimeters, or 43.84 inches long.  There is a ruler function in Photoshop and it was used to enlarge the image until the drawing was the same size as the model would be.


Once adjusted for length it revealed that the individual decks were, with one exception, just under 5/8” tall on the plans (15mm), or 9.5 feet in scale.  This would work out well, as I could build the upper decks up from ½” tall deckhouses and 3/32” caps or roofs.  The lower hull would be built up from just the ½” layers since they did not have to match the actual height of the decks.


With that decided, I could start to see where and how to divide up the hull into lifts.  I began with the longitudinal cross section from the ANB plans.  It was measured in Photoshop and adjusted as needed. Then it was overlaid with lines indicating the individual lifts. 




But there was a problem.  The lifts would be exactly horizontal, while the deck map showed a substantial amount of sheer for each deck, especially at the bow.  The number and shape of the lifts had to take this into account.


Amidships this was a simple process.  Seven half-inch lifts would bring the model hull up to the level of the Upper Deck where the color scheme of the ship changes from black to white.  This is an important line, visually, so I based my construction sequence around it.




At the bow the rise in the sheer line meant that the color separation line was now eight lifts high and tipped up at a shallow angle.  The plan shows my  solution, which was to add a wedge shaped lift (Lift 8).




At the stern the problems were a little more complex.  It turned out that the rudder post was 2 ½ lifts tall.  Above that the hull expanded quickly to the rounded counter and stern.  This came up only 6 full lifts, then there was the open working deck, also tipped up by the sheer line.  You can see how I planned to piece it all together, with the third lift divided into a 3A and 3B lifts of ¼” each, and a wedge shaped lift 7A.




Now that I had the number and thickness of the lifts set, I had to determine their shapes accurately enough to cut out the wood.


The first step was to resize the deck plans to match the cross section.  For each deck the overall length was measured on the cross section.  This was then used to adjust each deck plan as needed.  Interestingly, I found that some of the paper plans were a little small and some were a little large.  Without this step I might have ended up with some serious conflicts down the line.


Once each deck plan had been resized they were combined in one master plan.  Each was located using internal landmarks so I could scroll up or down to see what was above or below the adjacent deck.




This would later be printed out by the blueprint people and used to build the upper decks and their details.   


But the deck plans did not match the lift plans.  The rise in the sheer meant that deck C was located halfway up Lift 5 at the bow, but only halfway up Lift 4 at the stern.  Although the lifts would be somewhat imprecise, this was too much to adjust during construction.  So I took the master deck plan apart and, for Lift 4, married the forward section of the deck B plan to the aft section of the deck C plan.  The combined lift was then adjusted to the measured length of the lift from the cross-section.  This was a lot of work, but at the end I had a set of lift plans that I was confident were close to the dimensions and shapes needed for the hull.






You can also see where, for the two lowest lifts, I penciled in some extra material at the bow for the bulb at the keel.  This was done by eye and would be shaped according to the photographs, as I never did locate an acceptable plan that showed this feature.




Next time, I start cutting wood.


Be well



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Build Log 3 – laying up the hull


With the lifts set and adjusted in the computer I took a disc with the files to the blueprint shop and had them print out two sets – one to use and the other as backup for the inevitable mistakes.  They were done on the least expensive paper in the shop, so getting two sets was easily affordable.  A word of caution for those who use this sort of service -  although their printouts are quite accurate, their usual customer does not build directly from the plans, but from the listed dimensions.  Since I would be cutting directly from the drawings, I had them check.  The first page was about 2% off.  This is not much in a printed document, but in a 43 inch model this is about an inch.  They corrected the problem and the rest were spot on.


I had already determined that the maximum breadth of the model would be just over 5 ½ inches (90.25 feet at 1/192 = 5.64 inches), so I ordered a number of planks of seasoned and dried basswood  ½” x 6” x 48” from National Balsa, a reliable supplier in Massachusetts that I have used before.  I also ordered a number of ½” planks only 3 inches wide, together with 3/32” sheets for the decks.  These were all left in the shop for a week to acclimatize.


The 3” planks were something of an experiment.  On previous liner models I had created hollows in the lifts to lighten the model and give the wood some space to move rather than cracking the exterior of the hull.  But I was not happy with the process.  I would cut out the center of the middle lifts on my tabletop band saw, but its small throat meant that I was frequently turning and backing the blade.  Also, there was always a small kerf in one side of each lift that had to be filled and sanded and which created a weak spot.  This time I tried using two half width lifts that would make up one already split along the centerline.   I would have access to the center of the lift without going through the outside.




Here you can see the process.  Each lift plan was cut from the sheet and sprayed with Scotch spray mount, which allows some repositioning during adhesion, and removes cleanly with mineral spirits.  For the solid lifts a centerline was drawn on the wood and the plan pasted down along it.  For the split lifts the two 3” planks were held together with clamps while the plan was laid down along the line where they abutted each other.  While still clamped the plan was split along the line with a sharp hobby knife.


For each lift the material to be removed was drawn on the plan and then cut out on the band saw.  A central bar was left solid for rigidity and to make sure the hull did not shift.  That may have been unnecessary, but I felt more comfortable with it there.  In the photo you can see that Lift 5, at the bottom, has been split and the voids cut out of the port side.  


I started with two full width lifts to make a solid base for the hull.  A pair of T-nuts were fitted into the lowest lift in holes drilled through from the outside in to minimize any chipping around the visible hole.  A matching pair of holes was drilled in the second lift so the mounting bolts could come through into the hull and be as long as needed.  This second lift trapped the nuts so they could not shift.  Each lift was painted with glue and positioned on the one below.  When the glue set up enough to prevent movement the top lift was clamped down with three cauls and left to dry.




You can see that I have used black glue.  It is simply made by adding a few drops of acrylic craft paint to wood glue.  Doing this gave me a set of true horizontal layout lines that would never disappear no matter how much material had to be removed in the shaping process.  These lines could be viewed from any angle to get the curves accurate and symmetrical.  Also, in the past I have had some trouble laying out and keeping a level waterline and I thought I could rely on the lift junctions as a guide.    


Here are the first four lifts cut out and glued up.  The angled sides of the center bar were necessary to accommodate the shallow throat of the band saw, but these would be hidden deep inside the hull.




Here is the bow with the extra material added to the bottom two lifts.




And the stern with the third lift split into the two half layers to match the plans.




After the sixth flat lift had been glued up I had to make the first of the wedge shaped lifts, the half height one (7A) at the stern.  It was cut to the shape of the aft end of the Foyer deck and the length as taken from the lift plan.  Then I tapered it down and forward with a block plane until the front edge was feathered to next to nothing.  It was glued down and would later be sanded to a gentle curve to match the sheer.




With 7A installed I could add the forward section of lift 7.  Here is the hull painted with glue and ready for it.  This lift was made solid since it would be the last (almost) full lift below the color separation line.




The final lift for the lower hull was the wedge lift at the bow.  This was roughed out and installed and the rough hull block was complete.




Now it was just a process of shaping the exterior to match the plans.  The boxy midships areas could be brought down with a palm sander.  To reduce the dust generated I attached one of the small hose ends of the shop vac to the dust port on the sander.  Whenever I sanded I had the vacuum sucking up as much dust as possible.  There was still some, so I wore a dust mask.  Ear protectors too.  Running both machines at once was quite loud.




Using the sander, a sanding drum in the Dremel, wood rasps, and whatever else would remove wood, the hull was brought down to a rough but close approximation of the hull shape.  In this view from below the two mounting holes can be clearly seen.




At the stern the rudder post and counter are approaching their final shapes.  The working area of the Foyer deck has been sanded to the gentle curve of the sheer.




At the bow the split line of the half lifts gave me an indelible line to shape the knife edge at the waterline and the bulb below.




So here is where this segment ends, with the lower hull laid up and approaching its final shape.




Be well












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Build log 4 – finishing the lower hull


Thanks to all for the likes and comments.  I was only five when the accident happened and I did not realize how memorable it was to so many of our community.  I trust that I will do her justice.


Here is where the last segment left the model – all of the lifts for the lower hull have been laid up, then shaped until the hull was smooth and close to the final dimensions and curves.




From there it was simply a process of continued shaping and making educated estimates for how the curves would fair into each other.  I had the longitudinal cross section plan so I could make templates for the bow and stern, and I did.  But these were of limited usefulness since I did not have any station lines to guide the shaping of the rest of the hull.  Nonetheless, I used the curves from the deck plans, the photographs I could locate, and my experience with other liner hulls to get a pretty close match.  Sanding rods of various diameters and grits did the final shaping.


Once I was happy with the result, I sealed the surface with Minwax Wood Hardener.  This product goes on as a thin clear liquid, but dries to a very hard solid.  It is used to stabilize soft and rotted wood so new repairs will have something to grab onto.  In modeling it makes a wood surface that will not move and is highly resistant to dings and dents.  It is also a bear to shape, so I always get the part as close to final tolerances as possible before painting it on.  It raises the grain a little, so once it was dry I gave the hull another sanding.


But the hardener does not fill grain or any voids between lifts.  To do this I painted the model with a slurry of thinned plaster of paris.




Here it is on the stern while it was drying.  While I could still see the black glue lines between the lift layers I took the opportunity to lay on a 1/16” vinyl tape at the waterline, just above the top of the third lift.  




When the plaster was dry it was sanded with several finer and finer grits until the surface was completely smooth.   At the bow the sharp entry is clearly seen, although I have left it a little thick to allow for final adjustments.




At the stern I have laid on a separate piece which housed the salon and stairways on the Foyer (Vestibule) deck.  This has been faired to the outer hull, leaving open the area that will become the aft working deck for handling the stern lines.




From the side you can see how the wedge shaped lift is tilting up the deck house along the sheer.  The tape for the waterline runs around the counter just above where the rudder will hang, as the plans show.




With the lower hull almost fully shaped I roughed out the next layer, the Upper Deck.  It was started on a continuous sheet of 1/8” basswood that fit on the lower hull and took the curve of the sheer quite well.  Then there was a ½” layer that extended almost all the way back along the length of the hull.




The thicker wood took some persuading to accept the sheer curve.  It was wetted down with water on both sides before being clamped to the work surface amidships.  Wedges were used to lift the bow and stern ends further than the sheer curve required.  This was left to dry for several days, and even had to be repeated before it held the required curve after allowing for springback in the wood.


You can see how it lies on the lower hull snugly without clamps or other force.  The aft deck house for the Upper Deck salon has been added as well.  




The mating edges were shaped to each other, with a small allowance in the upper layer for the plastic sheathing to come.  I also did the final shaping of the lower bow which would fair into the upper overhanging bulwarks.  The upper section was set aside and the lower hull was primed with Krylon spray sandable gray primer.  This exposed some additional roughness, which was sanded smooth before priming again.   Then the hull was sanded and primed three more times.  It can't be seen, but the tape is still there, marking the waterline for later.




The fit of the Upper Deck was tested again, this time with it painted white for contrast.  It is starting to look like a hull at this point.




It was by looking at this photo that I realized I had made a pretty big mistake.  Without any guide from a section plan I had left the curve from the flat bottom of the ship to the vertical side (the chine) too sharp. Although it was hardened, plastered, and primed I got out the power sander and rounded it till it matched the curve in the launching photo shown in build log segment 1.  Sanding, hardening, plastering, and priming got those areas back matching the rest of the hull.


Now I could fashion and attach short bilge keels amidships on either side, as well as tapered propeller shaft housings secured by solid webs to the hull just forward of the rudder post.




The surface of the lower hull is highly complicated, although the elements are quite subtle.  The major ones include the portholes, exterior doors, and the well for the anchor.  But the first one to be addressed was the most subtle, the plating strakes.  These do not show up at all in photographs of the ship after it was painted, but close examination of a number of construction photos convinced me that it was built with several strakes of in-and-out plates.  These also looked to have been welded, since no rivet heads were evident.




These strakes followed the lines of the decks, which meant that the portholes followed the same lines.  To get them located I had the exterior deck plan to work with.  I knew that I would have to have separate plans for each side of the ship, so in Photoshop I mirrored the plan and flipped it vertically to make one plan that could be printed out.




This was printed and trimmed before being tested on the hull.  It turned out that the curve of the hull meant that the plan had to be slightly lengthened to match the photos. 




When I had it sized correctly I had the shop print out another one onto acid-free art paper which was a bit thicker than their usual stock.  This was taped to the hull and the location of each of more than 700 portholes was set by piercing through the plan and into the hull with a sharp awl.  Then the plan was sliced up and the three ‘out’ strakes were glued to the hull with pH neutral PVA glue.


When the strakes were dry, holes for the portholes were drilled with a battery-powered Dremel and filled with tiny brass eyelets.  The exterior doors were photoetched brass items from Gold Medal Models and Bluejacket.




The porthole eyelets are the smallest I have been able to find.  They are used as electrical connectors for dollhouse lighting systems, but work perfectly here.  They come in packs of 110 for not a lot of money, so I buy 1100 at a time.




They measure 0.097” across the outer flange, or 18.6 inches in full scale.  The opening tapers a bit, but visually appears to be about 0.056”, or just under 11 inches.  This is more than close enough for me.




Here in the midships view you can see how the portholes line up along the plating strakes.  After drilling out all of the holes I dabbed glue into each then inserted an eyelet using the tip of a modified wooden skewer.  As you might imagine, this is a tedious and repetitive activity, like tying ratlines, but good music and occasional breaks for a sip of good libation goes a long way toward making it agreeable.  I have to say that the final product is worth the effort.




At the stern here are the strakes, as well as the propeller shaft and the hinges for the rudder which have been cut into the rudder post.  The spot where the primer has been sanded off reflects the ongoing process of examination, evaluation, and adjustment that will go on until the model finally leaves my hands.




At the bow the plating rises with the sheer.  In the upper strake the well for the anchor has been cut out and the hull will be carved out in a shallow box as seen in the photos.  This box extends up into the white upper works, but that is for later.




When everything was dry I gave the hull a final coat of primer and a long, thorough examination.  After a few minor adjustments and an overall fine sanding, the lower hull was painted with Krylon enamel in a medium dark “Farm Equipment Red”.  The waterline tape was removed and the red was masked off, then the upper portion was painted gloss Black. 


White striping tapes were used to lay on the waterline and the upper sheer line decoration.  I use the tapes because my hand is completely inadequate to paint, or even mask, such long lines with any consistency.  The waterline is 1/16” wide, while the sheer line is 1/8”.    I used Detail Master and Super Stripe tapes which are called pin-striping tapes for automobiles and their models.  Using the tapes also allowed me to easily reposition the lines as needed, especially the sheer line which did not have the guide that the waterline had.


A few coats of clear gloss were laid on to protect the tapes and color coats and to even out any differences in sheen.  The lower hull was now ready for the rudder and a few additional details before being mated to the upper works.  I will get to that in the next segment.




Be well





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Hi Nils - 


Thanks, but I'm not really that fast.  I should have mentioned that I have been working at this while doing the QAR over the last year.  My customer was entitled to a measure of progress, so whenever I could find or make some openings in the schedule I worked on the Doria.  Now that the QAR is done I am spending all my time on this and really getting into the details.   Here is what she looks like today.  




For the portholes I just drilled deeper than the shafts of the eyelets.  I didn't see a need for anything more.  It was suggested by a friend that I fill each porthole with white glue to simulate glass, and I may yet do so.  Even without that I think that they look pretty good and have gotten better as the black paint over time has given them dark brass highlights.  







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Build Log 5 – starting the upper decks


Now that the summer is mostly over I can leave the grandchildren behind for a while, lovely as they all are.  Back to the building board and the keyboard.


Thanks for the likes and comments.  Although I am reporting on aspects of the build that have been completed, I am still building the ship, and your responses always give me a boost of energy.


The next segment of the build was finishing some of the last details on the lower hull and starting the first of the upper decks.


When the last episode ended, the lower hull was almost complete, and this was the photo I showed.




However, this skips a few steps that I did not take photos of.  Before the lower hull could be painted and the white sheer stripe applied, I had to make and install the bulwark around the aft working deck. This was the first piece of plastic installed on the model.


A shallow rabbit was carved into the wood of the hull all around the stern lift 1/8” tall and extending 1/8” into the uppermost lift on each side.  A strip of 0.020” plastic was held in place and the line of the working deck was drawn its inside face.  Using this reference the upper edge of the bulwark was marked out, including the two swooping decorative curves at the ends that rise to the next deck level.  The piece was installed with medium cyano then the seams were puttied and sanded flush with the surrounding wood.


At the six spots indicated on the plans the bulwark was pierced for hawse holes.  These were drilled and shaped into elongated “D” shapes with files and scalpels.  They each got a perimeter support of wire, but this detail shows up better in later photos.  When this was all set the hull was primed, painted and the stripes applied.




The layout of the deck fittings for the aft mooring lines was taken from the plans.  Behind each hawse hole there is a fairlead with three rollers.  Nearby each is a large twin bollard to belay the lines.  To work the lines there are three powered capstans. 




The fittings were adapted from commercial Brittania castings that closely matched the appearance of the ones on the plans and in the photographs of the ship.  They were each cleaned up with grinders, files and sandpaper to remove mold lines, flash, and excess metal, then primed, painted and installed with pH neutral white glue.


The decking that they sit on is acid-free paper printed on my computer, but this technique, and several others, will be discussed in depth when it is more central to the build. 


Here, as you can see, not much of the working deck is visible once the next deck is installed so I took the opportunity to do a little experimentation with the salon walls.  Some of this did not work out completely happily, but forgive me if I do not reveal all of my mistakes.




To finish the lower hull all that remained were the bilge keels, the rudder and propellers.  The keels are simple straight stringers with a narrow triangular  profile that are set along the lower hull chine to aid stability at sea.  They come up in some of the later shots, but I did not take any specific photos as I made them. 


The shape of the rudder was taken from the plans.  It had a central plate with reinforcements on both sides at the hinge edge.  This was built up from a piece of 1/16” thick hardwood with reinforcements of 0.030” styrene.




The rudder post was notched for the hinges and filed to final shape.  A hole was drilled up through the rudder and post and a brass rod inserted.  This allowed the rudder to turn about 20 degrees port and starboard.  However, the basswood of the hull turned out to be too weak to support this action and cracked.  It was repaired and the rudder fixed in place.


As for the propellers, I tried to source a pair of 4-bladed props in solid brass, but they all were too large or too small.  A pair the right size were obtained, but in cast Brittania.  They were cleaned up, smoothed and polished, then painted with metallic gold enamel, which gives them an appearance close to brass.  I know that the real ones were probably a dark bronze color, but this seems to be the style for ocean liner models.




In the photo you can see how the upper deck has been temporarily secured to the lower hull with a screw.  There are two others along the centerline that hold the upper deck exactly in place on the hull so the upper decks can be removed to be worked on and then replaced exactly.


This was done a number of times in the process of getting the upper deck to match exactly the outline of the upper hull, but just a fraction smaller to allow for the plastic sheathing to come.  When I was happy with the fit, the upper deck was screwed down and an overlarge piece of 0.030” plastic was held against it around the bow to begin the bulwarks.


Here the lower edge of the piece has been fitted to the lower hull but the upper edge is still overlarge.




A second piece of plastic was fitted to the first and led aft along the side of the upper deck.  It extended back to where the promenade deck overhangs the upper deck.  Again the top edges were left a little large.  This was done both port and starboard.  With them secured in place the top edge all along could be marked up from the deck, then shaped with sanding blocks.  The scallops were cut out in place so I could get a straight and consistent lip for the photoetched railings to come.




A total of nine hawse holes were opened in the bulwarks around the bow, including a small circular one at the very point.  They all got wire reinforcements like the stern hawse holes.  This was done by bending 0.020” soft iron wire to the “D” shape of the holes, but sized to fit on its outside perimeter.  They were secured with cyano initially, but then each was painted with epoxy to smooth the edges and fill any gaps.   Here is the bow from directly ahead in a shot a bit later in the construction process after the first coat of primer.




The sheathing continued aft with pieces under the overhang of the promenade deck.  This extended to the beginning of the salon with some left to carve for the decorative curves later on.  All of the portholes were located, drilled and filled with the small eyelets.   




Then the upper deck was unscrewed and removed from the lower hull so it could get a coat of spray white primer.  Any open joints or defects were filled and sanded, then the sheathing got a final coat of gloss white.


It’s starting to really take on the look of the ship, if only in a partial photograph.




More soon.







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