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SD-14 Cargo ship - middle section - by Kevin -1/70 - Card stock - MkII


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Sometimes known as the replacement for the famous "Liberty" ship, the 14,000 ton SD14 general cargo ships are found under many different names and flags in most of the world's ports and all of the high seas. The designation "SD14" denotes "Shelter Deck 14,000 tons". The shelter deck is the second or tween deck in the cargo spaces and, when the ship is loaded down to her plimsoll line, she displaces 14,000 tons.

By the mid 1960s, there remained some 700 Liberty and other war-built cargo ships still trading. Even the youngest were 20 years old and the question of a replacement was exercising the minds of ship owners and builders around the world. the emergence of bulk carriers and container ships pointed to the end of the "shelter Deck" design which had been used with little alteration since the turn of the century. Many felt that this design was no obsolete and that the future lay with containerisation.

It was, therefore, something of a surprise when ship builders all over the world unveiled their plans for the "liberty Ship Replacement", almost all of which offered a two-deck vessel of 14,000/15,000 tons deadweight. Doubtless this choice was influenced by the requirements of potential customers. Most of the war-built vessels were, by this time, being operated by Greek ship owners of limited resources to whom these new designs, for a type of vessel with which they were fully experienced and priced at about £1 million with cheap credit facilities, were very attractive.

A total of 30 designs were put forward as the "Liberty Ship Replacement" in the early months of 1966. Of these, the most successful was the SD14, developed by the Sunderland shipbuilders, Austin and Pickersgill. The first SD14 keel was laid on 8th. June 1967. Unusually, this was not at Austin and Pickersgill's own yard, but nearby at that of another Sunderland shipbuilder, Bartram's, who were building the ship under licence. The first ship, named Mimis N. Papalios, was launched on 1st. December 1967. She was also very nearly the first SD14 to be completed. However, Austin and Pickersgill managed to make up the leeway in their own building programme to hand over the first completed SD14, the Nicola, on 14th. February 1968, the Mimis N. Papalios following the next day.

Between 1968 and 1988, a total of 211 SD14s were completed and it is interesting to note that, by 1990, only 10 had been scrapped for commercial reasons, a further three going to the breaker's yard after marine accidents. Of the dozen vessels reported as sunk, at least two fell victim to missile attack during the Iran/Iraq conflict.

Like the original Liberty ships, which many thought would be scrapped as soon as the war was over, the SD14 was not ascribed a very long life by some early critics. Nevertheless, these ships are still in demand in the charter market, with average daily rates of $5,200 for a one-year time contract, and in the second hand market with prices ranging from $2.5m for an early seventies ship to $5.75m. for a newer example.

One guide to the success of the SD14 is to look at the movement of the 211 ships through the second-hand market. Most of the ships now sailing are with only their second owner, a few remaining with their original purchaser. The oldest SD14 in service is the Wave Crest, the vessel which, as the Mimis N. Papalios, missed by one day the distinction of being the first completed ship of her type.

  SD142.JPG The Model

In 1978, while attached to Manchester Docks, George Robinson, a retired Merchant Navy captain, hit on the idea of providing the port fire brigade with an easy-to-build model of the SD14. In this way, the trainee firemen could easily and quickly become familiar with the layout of the ship.

So, originated a 2-foot long, 1:70 scale model kit of the Forward section of the SD14. This first attempt met with such success that kits if the Midships and After sections followed in 1979, the complete model measuring an imposing 7 feet in length. Professional and international recognition followed in 1982 when the model won the "Shipwrights Model Competition" at the Guildhall in London.

Quite apart from sheer size, the kit is remarkable, for it is, in fact, put together in much the same way as the original was in Sunderland. Space here permits no more than a brief glimpse of what awaits the builder of this miniature leviathan.

The instructions, which, for the complete kit, run to about 60 pages, first explain that the model will be built by the dry dock method rather than on the slipway - the difference is clarified.

You then proceed to lay the shell bottom plates of the Forward section to form the double bottom, between the outer surface of the hull and the inner surface of the holds. On the original, the space in between in used for water ballast, necessary to keep the propellor submerged when there is no cargo and to maintain an even keel. This last expression, in such common and, I suspect , often unwitting, usage, is precisely defined.

The building progresses aft as the cargo holds are each constructed with transverse watertight bulkheads, hold pillars and centre line plates. There are even properly runged ladders on which to descend to the bowels of the vessel. In the After section, as well as a cargo hold, there is the engine room together with the propellor shaft tunnel and, by lifting up the after deck house, access is provided to the steering gear flat and the rudder stock.

In the bridge superstructure, containing the crew's accommodation, every cabin is accounted for. The crew's mess room, galley and smoke room are each separately delineated as are the linen locker, baggage room and officers' smoke room to mention but a few. The model also incorporates the correct ventilation trunk ways, the significance of which for cargo handling is explained.

In the course of construction, the instructions are supplemented by sections which explain the actual fabrication of the original, so that, as you work through the model, you learn about the SD14, how it was assembled and how it works.The operation of such components as MacGregor hatch covers, the keelson and camber in the original are fully expounded and you can then reproduce these to scale. Step-by-step diagrams illustrate the sequence of construction.

It is perhaps worth remembering that ships are machines, the largest ever built by man. So it is fascinating to see how this great machine works and to reproduce it in miniature at the same time. The correct nautical terms are used and explained, showing how each part of the ship functions and how the whole design draws on centuries of experience to produce the modern ocean-going vessel. If, like me, you have wondered what exactly is a "Tween Deck" and what is its purpose, you need wonder no more. All is revealed after which you can actually build one.

The kit is printed on 184 A3 sheets of top quality manilla card, there being approximately 4,500 pieces, and the modeller can choose to paint the model with an authentic colour scheme or one of his own choice. The three sections can be fixed together or left dismantled and the aft superstructure can be removed to give a glimpse of the various deck levels inside the hull. naturally, all the cargo hatches open to show the holds.

. The model can be made either for display or, with suitable waterproofing (see "Cutting Remarks" no. 3), can be sailed, there being space for R/C gear.

Although the original SD14 models were all sold out about 10 years ago, Marcle Models, under licence from George Robinson, reissues the SD14 kit. The complete kit, weighing over 17 lbs, is supplied in 6 cartons, complete with a tool kit and costs £280 including worldwide surface mail. The three sections, Forward, Midships and After, are each available separately at £105 each.

Should you decide to have a go, this, the "Non plus ultra of card (and perhaps any other type of) modelling, should keep you busy for about a year.

 

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Christopher Cooke and Thomas Pleiner, with acknowledgements to George Robinson, John Lingwood and Ships Monthly. Article first appeared in "Cutting Remarks" No. 4, September 1992.

 

Edited by Kevin
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On a previous attempt to build this, we had a disaster, which resulted in the whols lot going to land fill, even though it was only fractionally completed, but I vowed to attempt again in the future

To be worked on alongside the Victory build space permitting (this is over 7 feet long, when built as a complete vessel and the Victory must take priority 

intentions are to build as 3 static displays with weathering, and led lighting

 

The sheets 180 of them are well printed and the instructions are very clear,, here are a few photos as she arrived today, having been ordered yesterday from Model Dockyard 

 

 

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I the shelter deck idea was a successful gimmick to minimize tonnage (a measure of internal volume used as the basis for calculating certain operating costs such as canal tolls, port charges, dry docking charges, etc.) without actually affecting the vessel's cargo carrying capacity.

 

Tonnage is calculated in accordance with internationally accepted rules and these rules exclude areas of the ship "open to the weather." The shelter deck was penetrated by one or more tonnage openings-small hatches that were not sufficiently watertight to meet the definition of a watertight closure for tonnage purposes but sufficiently robust to not affect freeboard calculations. For tonnage purposes the shelter deck was therefore considered to be open to the weather.

 

Roger Pellett

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Thought that the Triple Expansion Steam Engine powered Liberty Ship was replaced by the Steam Turbine powered Victory Ships with 3 Holds forward and 2 aft. There were quite a few Victory Ships steaming around the world in the 60's when I was in the Navy, one was ahead of us Transiting the Panama Canal in 66. :pirate41:

jud

Edited by jud
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Count me in!

 

I've wanted to see one of these built for some time. Maybe I'll grab one as well, should the opportunity arise.

 

Andy

Andy

 

I know of only one place that this can be obtained, http://www.model-dockyard.com/acatalog/SD14.html, the price hasnt changed much in 5 years, but it is only carrdboard

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Kevin,

 

wish you good keellaying with this project.

Are you aiming to build one of the three sections or the whole ship. I noticed that its a card model, so you will be facing thousands of pieces to be orgenized logistic wise....., quite an ambitious task... ;)

 

Nils

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Kevin,

 

wish you good keellaying with this project.

Are you aiming to build one of the three sections or the whole ship. I noticed that its a card model, so you will be facing thousands of pieces to be orgenized logistic wise....., quite an ambitious task... ;)

 

Nils

Good morning Nils

she will definitely not be going near water, and I dont have room for another build at 7' long (210cm), so she will be build as 3 completely separate builds, one possiblt as new, another in maint period, and another as a well used dirty hard working sea trader, would like to use some led lighting and find a supplier for some 1/70 deck fittings

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Thanks Kevin,

 

very interesting project and a good idea with displaing different stages of ussage. It could get a bit difficult to find suitable deck fittings in scale 1:70, but there I trust 1:72 would do as well, and provide some finds

 

for ladders  / Stairways I like to use this source  http://www.hobby-lobby-modellbau.com/onlineshop/index.php/cat/c468_Niederg-nge.html

 

Good luck and much fun with your build

 

Nils

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SD14 - Midships Section - Shell bottom plates

 

Total build time 2 hours

 

 

 

Started of by cutting out all the plates from the 1st four sheets, which is the bottom of the ship,  all the frames are numbered and knowing that port is even numbers it is quite easy to follow the instructions, however care is needed to ensure that all the lines do align

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laid out on the work bench, all these make up the midships section 29" long

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and the first plates are joined,there is quite an overlap, presently I am using Elmers PVA

 

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congratz to you Kevin on the start of this mammoth build.   will you be able to join it together at some point,  to show it's size?    that would be so cool to see

The option is there to join the three together, but I am at present (early days) thinking about a life cycle of a sea trader, and have one section as new, one in mid life dockdown/refit and a very tired run down end of life section

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SD14 - Midships Section - Shell bottom plates


 


Total build time 6 hours


 


56 built pieces


 


took a good four hours to get all the plates in the right places, needing to set up longitudinally and transversely, the lines on the card are not perfect, they vary slightly in thickness and, well it even says in the instructions this is by no means an easy task


for info this part of the ship alone is 36.9 inches long


 


 


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this is the next set of cards which are the double bottom longitudinals, each one needs to be be cut out and then removes the slots (all good fun)


 


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Edited by Kevin
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build time 12 hours

pieces fixed into position 112

 

Good evening everyone

 

all the longitudinals, are now in position  with the exception of some of the centre keelsoms, doesn't look much i know but the next plates should start to tie it all, in, all this will then be hidden when the deck plates go on

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Edited by Kevin
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Hey There Kevin.. Am looking forward to seeing this build develop, I've always liked the look of those SD14's since I first saw one in Tunisia  in the mid 80's.. Was actually looking to frame the Plans of one but couldn't find them anywhere,  I must take another looksie shortly  ^_^

 

I saw the bow section many years ago but never realised it was card.. WOW

 

All The Very best

 

Eamonn

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Good evening everyone

looks like again this is going to be one of those projects that does not seam to grow very fast even considering the time put in

I appreciate this is not a race, but I like to  post  my progress as some of you also watch my HMS Victory build

anyway the transverse frames continue to be cut out (two on each frame, a port and starbord,) slotted and moved into position, now up to frame 89  - which started at 50 and the last one on this section of the build is 130

this is a very easy build, but very repetitive, but at the same time it is quite enjoyable, the size of it alone make it a fascinating build

please note that apart from the longitudinal frames  non of the transverse frames have been glued, this at present is just slotted card being held in to position by the fwd to aft frames, the centre line will be sorted towards the end

 

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