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"What is it" by Jonathan11 - scale 1/4=1' (1/24th) - working from authors historical drawings and correspondence

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Posted (edited)

"The Sea Miner" By Chuck Veit had intrigued me for a American first design during the Civil War of a actual torpedo launcher and how it was developed in secrecy and test fired along with the demise of the Engineer whom had brought the idea to reality. This wasn't the first of Human torpedo designs as there are a few before this one. 

 

Since no one had made a actual model of the "What is it" as it was named by the public when is was in full view on the docks as it was being built and tested and no one new how advanced of a weapon it was they were looking at. Simply incredible when you think of all the confederate spies whom were also present at that time. I decided to tackle a basic representation of it.

 

Image of the book:

20190612_091820.thumb.jpg.6aa12f053c46e3ec1ece8f4fc750363c.jpg20190612_091859_001.thumb.jpg.39fea4ac2041fcf31a873bed5987a292.jpg

 

Images of a few early torpedo's:

 

9a432b2c-dd62-4c34-80e6-761e4267572c.jpg.b6ac0af922337f869f0cf8827fe0f975.jpgF2.large.thumb.jpg.898b86233314940d833eef610c060ed6.jpgcongreve.jpeg.5883431e5b1acde8068ca5bf4f35738a.jpeg

The build images for the first design in testing and perfecting the torpedo itself then later developing the launch tube. Also the historical drawings provided by the author which he had discovered in archives.

 

SeaMiner-1.thumb.jpg.14024333d263b14a6d8bfa8f60607450.jpg

 

SeaMiner-2a.thumb.jpg.e101973e92afc4a73f4ceddfc79a62c7.jpg

 

SeaMiner-3.thumb.jpg.272606d0ccb63cedfb739f2f21bbeac4.jpg

Build images phase one:

 

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I'll add more images of the finished phase one design next as not to overwhelm the blog system for one day, enjoy and feel free to ask quotations along with the updates for phase two which will be a few months as my CSS Alabama build is taking precedent for awhile.

 

Jonathan11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Jonathan11

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I am definitely aboard for this. A very unusual and interesting project. Civil War subjects are fascinating to me, I guess because so many of my long past relatives fought in that terrible conflict.

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Interesting subject, but there is some confusion on the scale. 1/4" to the foot is actually 1/48th scale. 1/25th scale is closer to 1/2" to the foot (1/24th). Judging from the size of your construction, I'm guessing the latter scale is the correct one.

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12 hours ago, CDW said:

I am definitely aboard for this. A very unusual and interesting project. Civil War subjects are fascinating to me, I guess because so many of my long past relatives fought in that terrible conflict.

Glad you like it. It seems a lot of information on both sides was lost and has been recovered. It's a wonderful feeling to bring history to life. 

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11 hours ago, ccoyle said:

Interesting subject, but there is some confusion on the scale. 1/4" to the foot is actually 1/48th scale. 1/25th scale is closer to 1/2" to the foot (1/24th). Judging from the size of your construction, I'm guessing the latter scale is the correct one.

Yes and thank you ccoyle I hadn't noticed my typo. :default_wallbash:

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Here's some of the completed images of phase one along with the phase two problem in assembly which needs to be resolved and I think I have the solution as I have gone back to the torpedo tube launcher doing this build blog. 

 

Mr. Veits diagrams:

1515817343_WhatisitA.thumb.jpg.02308a775a0f08e4846c6f031ab5ad38.jpg695430773_WhatisitB.thumb.jpg.0917695bbfcf3f0c44d21c9259f17fd1.jpg554991997_WhatisitC.thumb.jpg.9d8a684cde9610254a797b808b2cc050.jpg

Completed model phase one:

 

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The launch tube problem is loading the tube from above and working out the mechanism to do so without damaging the tubes front water tight seal, then lowering the tube down without smashing the tube frame, seems a set of pulleys at certain locations would do the trick. Alas it's such a small space inside theoretically a two man operation. the torpedo couldn't be loaded from the back of the tube as it sits, it's to long for that per historical dimensions.

 

Mr. Veits images:

 

1490444442_WhatisitD.thumb.jpg.60e0d59afc41834daf9d1902be6391a9.jpg1898882254_WhatisitE.thumb.jpg.e73a0eb024939b988b2fcc08c4457bac.jpg1033683212_WhatisitF.thumb.jpg.033dcc8414a49b01d5631a86d4117b52.jpg

 1613695594_SMTColorPeriodModern.thumb.jpg.7654f67c7fd9b75213e76eddbdf58645.jpg

My in progress build for phase two and simple drawing to extend the frame work:

 

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I will update this blog in awhile as I get back to the design on a working model on the tube. Any suggestions or ideas to help is much appreciated as long as it stays as close as possible to Mr. Veits original concept from historical documentation. Up to a little challenge in history?

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Well I couldn't put it out of my mind and came up with a simple solution to the problem which would easily be implemented for the design historically. This would be the only working solution to the historical documents found.

 

1) Pull handle.

2) Pulley bar put across the opening of the access hole.

3) Hook and hook latch.

4) Locking bar for tube hatch plates handle bars. Lock first hatch plate in open position to allow loading.

5) 6) Removal of tube hatch plate handle support bars.

7) Increase hole in oblong shape and seal with cotton and pitch to allow movement of launch tube. Keeping water tight seal.

 

129302374_Possibleconfiguration2.png.a6959e66a785d3678f345966bd110385.png

 

Problem is solved and can be operated from one man inside the box. This seems the only logically way they could have done it per historical information. So I'll get to work on the phase two model soon and then I will have both "What is it's" test torpedo launchers completed which will be the fist time these have every been modeled. I do encourage anyone else to tackle phase two model using my examples, please feel free to make a working model.

 

 

1839932765_WhatisitF.thumb.jpg.04e9d48f40aa8b17ee0e82a60e09631d.jpg

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Unfortunately, too often the case with people who pioneer new designs. The designer of the turret ship HMS Captain comes to mind - lost with the whole crew when the ship turned turtle in a mild gale in the Bay of Biscay.

 

I'm looking forward to progress with this build. Looks really good, and your problem solving is fascinating.

 

Steven

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How very true, the H.L. Hunley also comes to mind. Thanks for the appreciation on the build along with the problem solving. Funny because I had racked the old noggin for months trying to come up with that possible historical solution and backed off of it till just recently working with the build blog. Sometimes it's good to just back off of a problem then in time the answer presents itself.

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