Jump to content
schooner

Liberty Ship SS Stephen Hopkins by schooner - BlueJacket - 1/192 scale

Recommended Posts

Sanding the main deck

 

It’s time to start making sawdust.

 The first step is to sand the main deck smooth. I’m no fan of sanding so I do it in 10 minute increments or I get careless and sloppy - those who don’t mind it would make much quicker progress.

After using a sanding block and getting what looked and felt like a nice smooth surface I sprayed some primer on to see if if everything was good to go - it wasn’t. There were still low spots and some machine marks so it was time to break out the Bondo auto body filler which is my preferred wood filler since it dries quickly and sands well. My only problem with regular Bondo is the cost since so much of it is wasted. It comes in quart cans but has only 2 small “pills “ of the hardener mix so you really can only mix it twice and a half a can is far more than you can use on an entire model and it can’t be saved because it hardens quickly. Fortunately somebody on this site mentioned Bondo’s Glazing and Spot Putty, which is also sold in auto part stores. It works just like regular Bondo but you can mix just as much or as little as you need since the hardener is in it’s own resealable tube - pretty neat. 

post-484-0-06981200-1463912152_thumb.jpg

 

After applying the filler it will just be a matter of getting a smooth deck then it will be time to play with glue and scissors when I cut out the hull form templates and get ready to bring the deck to it’s prescribed dimensions.

post-484-0-99220700-1463912170_thumb.jpg

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great progress Tim and thanks for the tip on the Bondo Glazing and Spot putty.  Have done my share of body filling, cars as well as on aircraft but this stuff was not available then.  Hey, I'm talking 40 years plus ago.

 

Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Laying out and shaping the main deck

 

After marking the centerline down the main deck the stations for the templates are marked, I’ll show how the templates are used when I get to that point. The deck outline is then traced on both sides of the centerline. As you might be able to see below, there will be a little to take off around the bow and stern but along the majority of the hull almost nothing needs to come off, which is fine with me since I hate to sand.

post-484-0-69977000-1464356449_thumb.jpg
post-484-0-58369700-1464356459_thumb.jpg
post-484-0-25446500-1464356477_thumb.jpg
post-484-0-08045800-1464356491_thumb.jpg
 
Next step will be sanding the deck edge to shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Historical note: The real Stephen Hopkins was governor of Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War, who signed the Declaration of Independence. Hopkins suffered from Cerebral Palsy, and his signature is seen to be large and very shaky on that document, he wrote only "Steph" before he had to move on to his last name. His one great quote was "My hand may tremble, but my heart does not." In the famous painting of the signing, he's the guy in the back wearing the Quaker Oats hat. His brother was Esek Hopkins, the controversial commodore in the Continental Navy.

 

His great, great grandfather - also named Stephen Hopkins - was a passenger on board the Mayflower, and he was also on the Jamestown expedition, and even once survived a shipwreck.

Edited by uss frolick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Main Deck in Final Shape

 

 

The main deck is now in its final dimensions, so far only as much of the sides of the hull were done as needed to shape the deck.

post-484-0-69306900-1464443655_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-76180200-1464443665_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-09621500-1464443677_thumb.jpg

The directions next call for cutting a rabbet around the deck circumference where the bulwarks will be fastened but before I do that I’m going to think over a little kit bashing associated with a couple of the cargo hatches - work that would best be done before the bulwarks are attached and exposed to damage while handling the hull.

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tim

 

Thanks for sharing the amazing story of the Stephen Hopkins.  I remember as a kid driving along the Hudson River and seeing rows and rows of the liberty ships a few years after the war.  I think at the time they were being used to store surplus grain.  I'll be following your interesting build.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going to try to plate it. I've never done it before. The plating on the Libs was pretty subtle compared to a riveted hull, or even to a welded warship hull. On some photos it is invisible but on most you can at least see the strakes, although the vertical weld lines are hard to pick out since they were butt welded with no overlap.

I'm going to try to use aluminum tape for the "out" strakes and leave the hull bare for the "in" strakes and then scribe the weld lines. If it doesn't work I'll just strip it off and paint it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bet Kevin. Your Victory and Bismarck are impressive, especially to have both going on at the same time. Wish I could tackle something that big but I'm afraid the wife would tell me "There is room for you or the model but not both ...  "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You bet Kevin. Your Victory and Bismarck are impressive, especially to have both going on at the same time. Wish I could tackle something that big but I'm afraid the wife would tell me "There is room for you or the model but not both ...  "

lol - that conversation has been discussed many times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kevin at the scale you are working in using tape for the strakes would be fine but do not scribe the vertical ones.  At this scale it would be overkill and not look good.  

David B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tim,

 

With respect to plating your 1:192 scale liberty ship model the following points might be considered:

  • Depending in the shipyard some liberties were fully welded, some had welded hull plating with riveted frames, and some had rivited hull plating with riveted frames
  • At 1:192 scale 1" shell plating (.75" might be more typical) would be .0052" in scale, so I would suggest keeping the plating sutle 

Regards,

Pete

Shipbuilder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the input Pete & Dgbot, that's great stuff about the differences between building yards and it helps explain why the plating is easily seen on some photos but invisible on pix of other ships, even with good photo definition.

 

I'm going to play around with the tape on some scrap lumber and see how it looks after priming and painting. If I end up doing anything on the model I will keep it subtle.

 

thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Opening up some cargo hatches

 

In thinking about how I want the finished model to look I decided that rather than have each of the 5 cargo hatches and their associated booms looking basically the same I will try to rig each one with a different style of rig and also show at least one hatch with the hatch covers removed. I decided to open up the #2 and #4 hatches.

 

Each cargo hold consisted of an upper and lower hold, divided by the Tween deck. I will only go down as far as the tween deck since anything below the tween deck hatch would definitely be too dark to see. As you can see in this drawing the upper holds were only about 1/3 the size of the lower holds:

post-484-0-80959800-1465140583_thumb.jpg

The hatches were relatively small in comparison to the size of the holds so in order to give them some depth I wanted to remove as much wood as needed horizontally so that the holds are visible when looking down through the hatch at various angles (this is assuming there is enough light to see in there, if not then no harm done - at least as much as can be seen will be somewhat realistic). In order to figure out how far back from the hatch combings I would have to “excavate” I made a simple mockup from cardboard with the upper hatch cut out and 4 straws cut to the scale 10ft length to separate the decks. The graph paper on the lower piece allowed me to figure out how much of the Tween Deck could be seen.

post-484-0-75357500-1465140596_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-55946600-1465140609_thumb.jpg

 

After getting my estimates and adding a little fudge factor I marked the deck in red with the areas to be excavated:

post-484-0-34198900-1465140625_thumb.jpg

Fortunately I already had a router attachment for a Dremel tool so it was much easier than chiseling, although it will take multiple passes since it can’t handle taking off much more than 1/8” of wood at a time (the final depth will be 5/8"):

post-484-0-78345600-1465140641_thumb.jpg

Here’s the progress so far, both holds are at about 1/3 of their  final depth:

post-484-0-56702300-1465140651_thumb.jpg

 

 

I’ll hopefully be taking off a few days for a fishing trip. When I return I’ll bring the holds to their final depth, add the tween decks and lower hatches, add the fore and aft bulkheads (if they can be seen) and then start fitting 1/16” ply to cover the openings, cut-out the upper hatches and then move on to other things.

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cargo Hatches at final depth

 

The # 2 and # 4 cargo hatches are now at their final scale 10ft depth and a 1/16” deep rabbet has been added around the edges for the ply deck replacements to sit in.

post-484-0-74178900-1465726399_thumb.jpg

The paper mockup resting on the deck gives some idea of how much of the interior will be visible. Since a little of the fore and aft bulkheads can be seen I will detail those with stiffeners, the sides on the hull are not visible so I won’t have to do anything there. The wood square on the deck is a placeholder for the Tween Deck hatch that I will make to match the main deck hatches.

post-484-0-83306800-1465726412_thumb.jpg
post-484-0-44645000-1465726424_thumb.jpg
Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tim,

 

Will absolutely follow along on this one as I'm currently working on the hull of Bluejackets Portland. The kit is

way, way over my head but I needed a challenge. Giving myself two years to build her. Do not intend to start

a build log as I often go for weeks between work sessions especially during the summer months. 

 

John Elwood

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard John, good luck on the Portland, I've always thought she works up to a great looking model. Understand how time gets away from you on a build but 2 years isn't really all that long for a ship like the Portland, plus the fun is in the work not the finish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cargo Hatches (cont)

 

Fake bulkheads with stiffeners were added to the fore and aft bulkheads since they can be glimpsed thru the main deck hatches. I decided to just order a couple of extra hatch covers from BlueJacket for the Tween Decks rather than make my own so they would be consistent with the main deck ones:

post-484-0-70921000-1466276642_thumb.jpg

 

The main deck fill pieces were easy to fabricate and fit snug enough that they do not move around.

post-484-0-68646600-1466276653_thumb.jpg

Next steps will be to glue the fill pieces in place, fill the gaps with Bondo, sand and prime.

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cargo Hatches finished and rabbet started

 

After sanding and priming the deck fill sheets blend in nicely:

post-484-0-26960800-1466709641_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-37269100-1466709650_thumb.jpg

 

Progress will be slow for a bit while I cut the rabbet for the bulwarks around the circumference of the main deck (given the size of the hull it works out over 4 linear feet). I was going to try using the Dremel tool but after practicing on scrap wood I discovered that while it can deliver accurate and consistent wood removal in one dimension, the second dimension is not as good so I’m going to go with the kit directions and take it slow with a hobby knife. Another reason for using the knife is that I want to angle the rabbet around the bow and stern so that the bulwarks will "tilt" out slightly and so be fair with the angle of the sides of the hull in those areas. The rabbet is 1/4” high and will be 1/16” deep.

 

post-484-0-20902300-1466709667_thumb.jpg

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard Carl!

As you follow along please bear in mind that this is the updated version of the kit (which happened in 2009 I think) if you got yours before 2009 your kit may not have as much laser cut wood as you will see here. If that's the case you could always order those parts you want from BJ when you are ready.

Edited by schooner

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rabbet finished

 

Cutting in the bulwark rabbet along the deck edge with a hobby knife went OK.

The bow and stern profiles have been shaped using templates (the shaping of the hull itself has not started yet.

post-484-0-79133200-1467136190_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-29260200-1467136201_thumb.jpg

This is a good place to break while I head out of town for a week and a half.

 When I get back it will be time to add the bulwarks and then shape the hull.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bulwarks installed

 

The fore and aft bulwarks have been glued in place and a piece of square stock added to the stem to ensure there is enough wood there when the hull gets shaped. I probably will end up sanding all of it off but it is easier to attach now then when the stem gets narrow so better safe than sorry:

post-484-0-84128500-1468586389_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-05649400-1468586404_thumb.jpg

 

The midships gap (indent) is where the accom ladder will go. Scrap wood was used to fill the unused section of the rabbet:

post-484-0-74889200-1468586414_thumb.jpg

post-484-0-97748700-1468586428_thumb.jpg

 

Wood filler has been added to the seams and everything is   ready for the hull shaping:

post-484-0-94750100-1468586463_thumb.jpg
post-484-0-87362100-1468586478_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David, they were pre-cut, one of the laser-cut improvements to the kit - it would have been pretty tedious to do that many. If you look in the post I did about the kit contents you can see them there.

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

About us

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research

SSL Secured

Your security is important for us so this Website is SSL-Secured

NRG Mailing Address

Nautical Research Guild
237 South Lincoln Street
Westmont IL, 60559-1917

About the NRG

If you enjoy building ship models that are historically accurate as well as beautiful, then The Nautical Research Guild (NRG) is just right for you.

The Guild is a non-profit educational organization whose mission is to provide support to our members in their efforts to raise the quality of their model shipcraft.

The Nautical Research Guild puts on ship modeling seminars, yearly conferences, and juried competitions. We publish books on ship modeling techniques as well as our world-renowned quarterly magazine, The Nautical Research Journal, whose pages are full of articles by master ship modelers who show you how they build those exquisite details on their models, and by maritime historians who show you what details to build.

Our Emblem

Modelshipworld - Advancing Ship Modeling through Research
×
×
  • Create New...