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yvesvidal

U-552 Type VIIc Submersible by yvesvidal - Trumpeter - 1/48 - Plastic

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3 hours ago, lmagna said:

But with the giants they are making now with all the PE and 3D printed aftermarket it is a whole new game.

That's what's happening with most plastic kits. Details are becoming more important, and since we have the technology to do it ...

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Posted (edited)

A little update: It has been a lot of delicate work but it does not seem like a lot of progress. It is just a tedious phase of the construction, where the time is spent opening ports and vents in a very delicate and brittle material.

 

Finally, it is at the point where I do not see anything else and need some primer to figure out where some fine sanding must take place, and that is true for both half-hulls. On the clear hull, all the flood holes have been carefully drilled, grinded from behind  and filed to the correct shape.

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A coat of primer helps locate the numerous issues: 

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You will notice the two holes on the bow, on the starboard side and three holes on the port side. It is the proper way, instead of the mistake that most kit makers do every time, when trying to replicate early Type VIIc submersibles. 

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Yes, lots of fine sanding and puttying must take place, I fully agree. I am afraid Archer rivets are going to be necessary..... too.

 

Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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A few little progress. I opened up the three flood holes above the ballast saddles, holes that are missing from most Type VIIc kits on the market. This was done on both sides: 

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I then added a pair of strong magnets, under the torpedoes doors as the hull was slightly apart at that location, due to the length and some inherent warping. The enchilada is starting to come together: 

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A close-up view of the only module I have assembled so far:

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This is how I want to represent the submersible: all four shutters open, with a torpedo coming out, a tube open and the remaining two tubes closed: 

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The decks, so far. I am waiting to be completed with the torpedo inner doors before making any other progress on the deck. The PE is so fragile and delicate and I need to manipulate a lot the two half-hulls. The torpedo doors bulkhead is waiting for the PE kit from RCSUBS and that may take a few weeks.... I will have to find something else to do in the meantime, which should not be too difficult.

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To finish our presentation, the claustrophobia picture: 

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Hope you enjoy.

Yves

 

 

 

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While waiting for the torpedo doors to arrive, I started the nerve wracking task of cutting the delicate stern section: 

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I am missing a few openings, but I am not going any further. The material is way too brittle to take any risk at this stage. Once the PE will be glued, I hope to regain more sturdiness. I still have to open the side flood vents and the large openings below the propulsion shafts. Most likely, the next module to be built, will be the rear torpedoes and electric motors room. 

 

Yves

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I was wondering, Yves, couldn't you melt the openings with something like a soldering iron. Probably stinks like hell, but you do not have the forces on the plastic, with which you run the chance of breaking it ...

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Cog,

 

I thought about it but the stench of melted plastic and the fact that it is even more brittle when heated (and cooled) turned me off. I developed a technique with a  very small grinder and files of different width, that works rather well. It is slow though, but as you can see it creates nice and clean cuts. I am almost finished with this piece: side flood holes have been opened and I am working on the PE pieces that are going under the transmission shafts and propellers. After that, the final and big cut will be the side opening to show the rear torpedoes and electric motors compartment. It takes time and a lot of prayers.....

 

Yves

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Posted (edited)

A few updates: I am getting close to finish butchering the stern piece. I have drilled all side flood holes and finished the delicate and acrobatic cutting of the area under the shafts and propellers: 

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Two pieces of PE have been glued. I really love these RCSUBS PE. They fit so perfectly, it is a pleasure to install them.

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For the section under the shafts, I am going wild.... and open! It is going to look good once the PEs are glued. And NO, I am not cutting anymore that what you see. Let's not forget the massive opening on the side, too.....

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To finish, our now traditional claustrophobic picture: 

DSC03650.thumb.JPG.98565bcd33ef9fb61470e4099e7b7a0a.JPG

 

 

Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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And we are coming to an end with this delicate phase of the construction: 

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The side cut has been completed without any damage: 

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The other side and underneath of the stern have been treated in the same way as the rest of the hull, replicating this rough appearance of the foundry: 

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With the PE: 

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and from the inside: 

DSC03656.thumb.JPG.694efc12bbbec64b15d9ae8156555781.JPG

Yves

 

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I am reaching a point where decisions must be taken. It is also a point of no-return with the hull.

 

Let's consider a few things: 

 

1) The stern section although perfectly matching the main hull is to be assembled last, according to Trumpeter's instructions. The Stern section is in fact the locking mechanism to the entire hull, keeping all internal modules/compartments sandwiched between the opaque and clear sides of the hull.

 

2) On the PE set (designed to be the most accurate possible with the prototype), one deck piece is overlapping the junction of the main hull and stern section. It means that this PE piece can only be installed after gluing the Stern to the main hull.

 

3) To finish the painting of the hull, the stern section should be permanently glued to the main hull, otherwise it will not look right and the seam will show, albeit slightly, on both sides of the hull.

 

In light of the above, and trying to keep an access into the hull, I have thought about the following: 

 

a) Verify that the rear torpedoes compartment can be inserted from the main open hull into the stern section, and locked into place on the port side of the main hull. This is delicate as the propeller shafts will be attached to the rear torpedoes/electric motor module. I am once again departing from the Trumpeter assembly that glues the shafts and propellers to the stern section.

 

b) Glue the stern section permanently to the port side of the hull and verify that the starboard side of the hull, can be delicately inserted into the stern section and locked in place with all the magnets I installed.

 

c) Finish the cutting of the clear side, to show all modules, inside.

 

d) Proceed with the caulking/puttying, painting and aging of the main hull and stern section, all at once.

 

e) Install the various modules later on, starting by the insertion of the rear torpedoes room and moving forward.

 

f) Seal the beast by magnetizing the clear (now painted) section to the rest of the hull.

 

I think that may work, while leaving access to all modules for refinements.

 

Yves

 

 

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A few progress on the stern and studying the feasibility of my solution. The whole enchilada:

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Trying a mock-up of the rear torpedo room. It does fit. I may have to file the bulkhead to allow the insertion of the clear half-hull. It should work.

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More PEs on the stern. Perfect size as always: 

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And the stern deck: 

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Yves

 

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Posted (edited)

A couple of details on the stern. Preparing the propulsion shafts positioning. I will not be using the plastic shafts provided by the Trumpeter...:rolleyes: Instead I will use metal axles of 4 mm diameter.

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Then the retractable bollards on the deck. I use small optic fiber plugs that fits tightly into a 3 mm hole. The plastic of the plugs allows me to insert them inside the deck or keep them in the erected position. I just glue the PE hat on top of them.

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Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Yves, the weeks spent playing a fully modded Silent Hunter III, complete with authentic US, British French and lesser, military, tunes soundtrack. You could calculate an interception using a child's protractor set and fire a couple off manually -from an initial reported distance of hundreds of km - to the poor men onboard the target. Incredible adrenaline. What an incredible sim that was, but it made you think about how absurd war really is.

 

Good luck with this beast, Herr Kaleun. [Cue Andrews Sisters' Rum n Coca-Cola]

 

Nika

Edited by Nikiforos

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Posted (edited)

I installed the two propulsion shafts, made of 4 mm brass tube. The sacrificial anodes have been applied to the shaft holders as well as some more PE rivets around the stuffing boxes:

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With this, I am coming pretty much to a conclusion about what can be done on the stern section. Introducing the diving planes and rudders would be foolish at this stage, as they are by far too fragile.

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Folks,

 

This is the point of no-return: The Stern has been glued to the Port side. There will be a lot of work of puttying and sanding to make a seamless transition. It truly is a big hull, when it is all put together: 

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This will allow me to install all the PE decks, now.

Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

I started puttying the seams and after a while I just could not tell if it needed some more or not. So, I sprayed some Vallejo Acrylic primer to reveal the imperfections. Not too bad, still a couple of places to refine: 

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Yes, it is a monster but what a pleasure to work on something that does not strain your vision: 

DSC03668.thumb.JPG.f7e763642959ca5e886e38c87b1dcbfe.JPG

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Another piece of PE deck is glued onto the hull. You can clearly see that this section of PE is longer than the stern and sits across hull and stern. This is one of the reasons why I glued the stern to the hull, departing from the Trumpeter instructions. On the other hand, that PE reinforces the connection Stern-Hull and makes the deck a lot sturdier.

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Here it is, glued with two components epoxy glue. Most of the glue seeping through is removed with isopropyl alcohol. Finally, it is sanded with 1000 grit and cleaned with alcohol.

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You can see how much cantilever this PE offers: 

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And a view from underneath, showing the numerous openings: 

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Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Et voila! All PE decks have been glued with epoxy: 

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This reinforces the "laced" plastic deck considerably. 

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And our typical claustrophobic pictures: 

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I should get some ordered PEs from Czech Republic tomorrow and it will allow me to resume the work on the front torpedo doors. I also need to think about how I will present the model and design the anchoring points for the stands.

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

I have to say that this PE deck from RCSUBS, changes the model considerably. It brings a different flavor to this huge model, by shifting the dominance of plastic to metal and turning a simple (although big) plastic model into something a lot more valuable and unique. 

 

Despite the enormous amount of work to properly install this PE set, I just cannot imagine having that beautiful submersible with the simple and so grossly molded plastic deck, provided by Trumpeter. I see a lot of very beautiful models of that kit on the Web, but very few people takes the energy and time to install this specific PE set. In my humble opinion, it is today the best PE set one can find for the Trumpeter kit. I am always pleased with the precision and accuracy of the different parts and how they fit together.

 

Now another question for the PE experts: I noticed that the Vallejo Primer tends to flake and peel on the brass parts, when you lightly sand it. I wonder if the Tamiya primer may work better or if I should go with an automotive primer. Any suggestions?

 

Also, what kind of stands do you guys use to present such a model? Where do you find the brass or other metal parts used to display our models ? And NO, I am not going to use the ugly plastic stands provided by the Trumpeter.

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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With a model of this size, I would probably use an automotive primer from a rattle can. First, prep the surface to be painted with a light sanding then a wipe down using something like naptha or lacquer thinner to remove any oils or residue. 

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1 hour ago, yvesvidal said:

 

Now another question for the PE experts: I noticed that the Vallejo Primer tends to flake and peel on the brass parts, when you lightly sand it. I wonder if the Tamiya primer may work better or if I should go with an automotive primer. Any suggestions?

 

Also, what kind of stands do you guys use to present such a model? Where do you find the brass or other metal parts used to display our models ? And NO, I am not going to use the ugly plastic stands provided by the Trumpeter.

 

Yves

 

I've been sucked back into the plastic realm due to watching some of incredible plastic models being built on here recently (still need to finish my Syren/Triton/Nina, but that's beside the point :)).  I was in the hobby store the other day debating what type of primer to apply to my 1/350 Fletcher.  I've stayed away from Vallejo due to the experiences that Greg has relayed in his log; the guy in the hobby store (who actually seemed extremely knowledgeable) said that he loved Mr. Surfacer, and used it for all of his work.   Other's might chime in if they've used this product.  

 

For brass parts.. I picked up a package of 2 small brass rods at Lowe's (in nuts and bolts section) for around 8 bucks, and copied Greg's method of inserting them into wood blocks in the hull.  It was extremely easy!  (I used a 2-part epoxy to secure the wood blanks into the hull).

 

Alan

 

 

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The Vallejo airbrush primer is a definite DON"T, and I really mean don't even try it on brass. There are Vallejo rattle can primers, but I haven't tried them on brass yet, so you'll better steer away from those too for the time being. I will try it soon. Tamiya rattlecan primer is currenty the best available primer for brass. Maybe expensive, but it even sticks on unclean brass parts. I have hands on experience for the latter. Advantage of Tamiya primer: You can use most acrylic (airbrush) paints on it too.

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