Jump to content

USS Cairo 1862 by MPB521 – Scale 1:48 - American Civil War Ironclad - First Scratch Build


Recommended Posts

Thanks for the info Roger. I just finished “Grant Wins the War: Decision at Vicksburg “. Fantastic read. The first chapter was primarily on the northern gunboats and most of those were the City Class “Pook Turtles “. I’ll definitely add that to my list of books to get. 
 

I’m loving my renewed interest in the American Civil War. Certainly more appreciative of it now than I was in my youth. 
 

-Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again everyone,

 

Work has begun on the boiler room walls this go round. 

 

So I finally decided that in order to show the interior of this model, I am going to leave one side partially open and complete the exterior of the other. In order to show some of the details I will also be installing LED lighting hidden behind lanterns and such.

 

I took some ideas from the St. Louis build on how the boiler room walls were constructed. Since none of these walls survived the salvage and the plans are pretty vague on the true construction, builders liberties were taken in my interpretation of them. I installed louvered windows around the boiler walls, under the assumption that these were used for cooling and warming purposes. Air flow from the forward gun ports and funnels mounted on top pf the Hurricane deck was forced down to the gun deck, through the louvers and up through the skylights. Again, this is just my assumption as to how this worked, and I could totally be off base with this.

 

Rough sketched plans of the fore and aft walls used as a template for the louvers.

1349617059_BoilerHouse2.JPG.b5145425515eeb84a56fc42b7fb2d7e3.JPG

 

Bottom framework of the walls.

1315197950_BoilerHouse1.JPG.304d337330f60400866b0a589af797e8.JPG

 

Construction of the windows.

905768953_BoilerHouse3.JPG.6828cb913f0b329dbc66c6e0f67cba21.JPG

453306475_BoilerHouse4.JPG.b79f605794c09897e431b064a615c160.JPG

 

Forward and aft wall in place.

1176983812_BoilerHouse5.JPG.9079ec8b76dd808882792493ddd84c59.JPG

215324275_BoilerHouse6.JPG.68cdd46936ff3ba52848bcc8cc0ead07.JPG

 

Construction of the starboard windows.

748275980_BoilerHouse7.JPG.26fcfefc9f844319dfd4209f055a1c33.JPG

 

Starboard windows in place.

281042861_BoilerHouse9.JPG.fdff67fc103c1c48de7e2973abf4f8a0.JPG

 

1144758157_BoilerHouse8.JPG.18f3507a7178ef18612c0f8872ad435c.JPG

 

Coat of white paint and the boilers set in place to get a view of what it will all look like.

1159358481_BoilerHouse11.JPG.6a2fcfd46a4aa0edfbb42180e4e03b60.JPG

 

2146160888_BoilerHouse12.JPG.1c5047d31f1dff25600d3361cf38ad48.JPG

 

595076872_BoilerHouse10.JPG.c9a165b1dac64440cd302a2b9b356920.JPG

 

 

Not much else was done. I have been dividing my time with other projects around the house, trying to take advantage of a few cooler days. I have some micro LED's and 3-D printed lanterns on order for the lighting, hope fully those will be in some time this week and I can get started on the lighting and wiring.

 

That's all for now. Enjoy, and thanks for the kind comments and likes.

 

-Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Vaddoc/Don, Thank you both for the kind comments.

 

Vaddoc, these boat were actually fairly sturdy for being built on a short schedule and a shoestring budget. Their flat bottoms, triple keels and heavy framing helped support their heavy armor. Thankfully they only had the western rivers to contend with and not the seas, so they weren't tossed around that much, just swift river currents and enemy bombardments.

 

 

 

Time again for a brief update.

 

While I still contemplate work on my engines, I started working on the paddle wheel frames. I was having a difficult time deciding on what types of material to use for them. At first I wanted to use brass strips for them, but I was having a hard time finding strips of the right size and length. The thickness and width weren't as difficult as trying to find strips longer than 12". While walking around the house looking for ideas, I happened upon the Admiral's sewing supplies. In her spare time she makes face masks for the elderly and donates them to local retirement communities. While I was looking at her her supplies, I discovered the aluminum wire that she uses for the nose pieces in these face masks. This had the correct dimensions that I needed so I borrowed some from her. I did order more to replace hers though, so hopefully she won't be too upset with me.

 

1752259800_PWIron1.JPG.e567ca8707b88c2b6e957caef1a5e567.JPG

 

I then made a couple of simple jigs to wrap the wire in to get the proper sizes for the inner and outer frames.

 

187265102_PWIron2.JPG.9c951913f4809b3ffac1a59a78642bf6.JPG

 

828719169_PWIron3.JPG.ddbcd1b126a22348db52d7d5ffdcad38.JPG

 

I started with alternating the spokes, bending them around the rings as I worked my way outward. For the center hubs I found some 1" brass discs and drilled out the centers for the axle. 

1541258250_PWIron4.JPG.3bbd3296e4b3893fd507dc8dddd9c633.JPG

404587569_PWIron5.JPG.066fad6b57762e0fa22de74f49f97366.JPG

 

 

All of the spokes and rings were held in place with 5 minute epoxy at the cross points. A second disc was placed over the top of the spoke ends and epoxied into place. I again simulated the rivets on the hubs with aluminum tape and my ponce wheel.

 

677280880_PWIron6.JPG.164d00e42904fe85a6378502af710cc9.JPG

 

Once the pieces were dry they were removed from the jig and the ends of the spokes trimmed off and filed down.

114563902_PWIron7.JPG.ca8d81c912f010db3d65ee9c08a498cf.JPG

 

Next step is to drill all of the rivet holes and fill them in with brass nails. That and three more wheels to go. Slow progress, but I'll get there.

 

 

Also this week I received my lanterns from Shapeways and decided to throw one together to get an idea of how it was going to look.

 

Lanterns on the sprues.

1410749721_Latern1.JPG.591dcffc7f4f028931f3bf8d6a11792b.JPG

 

The three part that will make up the lanterns. Globe, reflector/base, and micro LED.

304433947_Latern2.JPG.78a0b25f837144e4d67191a9be74d599.JPG

 

The three pieces together.

1528399403_Latern4.JPG.46ff17aa4642fa9b769c1a678123fbad.JPG

 

...and lit up.

941143713_Latern3.JPG.d13d00dad812ca84f9eab519cdd285a6.JPG

 

Painted up the bases.

1099186464_Latern5.JPG.b0c7ebf5dfd987c122e7ea744fd18416.JPG

 

Finally one mounted into place. I think I nailed it. I may take a small disc of aluminum tape and put it on the reflector to give it a little better look, I just need to find my hole punch to do this.

1891443284_Latern6.JPG.729339ce8f56fbc2aa6b3587895327ef.JPG

 

 

Things will slow down for the next couple of weeks, I'm off to Wyoming this weekend for a much needed vacation. Going to attempt to decrease the Antelope population by a few and while I'm up there I'm going to knock off another bucket list item and visit Yellowstone NP.

 

Thanks everyone for looking and all the kind comments.

 

-Brian

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/7/2020 at 10:35 PM, mbp521 said:

Hello again everyone,

 

Work has begun on the boiler room walls this go round. 

 

So I finally decided that in order to show the interior of this model, I am going to leave one side partially open and complete the exterior of the other. In order to show some of the details I will also be installing LED lighting hidden behind lanterns and such.

 

I took some ideas from the St. Louis build on how the boiler room walls were constructed. Since none of these walls survived the salvage and the plans are pretty vague on the true construction, builders liberties were taken in my interpretation of them. I installed louvered windows around the boiler walls, under the assumption that these were used for cooling and warming purposes. Air flow from the forward gun ports and funnels mounted on top pf the Hurricane deck was forced down to the gun deck, through the louvers and up through the skylights. Again, this is just my assumption as to how this worked, and I could totally be off base with this.

 

Rough sketched plans of the fore and aft walls used as a template for the louvers.

1349617059_BoilerHouse2.JPG.b5145425515eeb84a56fc42b7fb2d7e3.JPG

 

Bottom framework of the walls.

1315197950_BoilerHouse1.JPG.304d337330f60400866b0a589af797e8.JPG

 

Construction of the windows.

905768953_BoilerHouse3.JPG.6828cb913f0b329dbc66c6e0f67cba21.JPG

453306475_BoilerHouse4.JPG.b79f605794c09897e431b064a615c160.JPG

 

Forward and aft wall in place.

1176983812_BoilerHouse5.JPG.9079ec8b76dd808882792493ddd84c59.JPG

215324275_BoilerHouse6.JPG.68cdd46936ff3ba52848bcc8cc0ead07.JPG

 

Construction of the starboard windows.

748275980_BoilerHouse7.JPG.26fcfefc9f844319dfd4209f055a1c33.JPG

 

Starboard windows in place.

281042861_BoilerHouse9.JPG.fdff67fc103c1c48de7e2973abf4f8a0.JPG

 

1144758157_BoilerHouse8.JPG.18f3507a7178ef18612c0f8872ad435c.JPG

 

Coat of white paint and the boilers set in place to get a view of what it will all look like.

1159358481_BoilerHouse11.JPG.6a2fcfd46a4aa0edfbb42180e4e03b60.JPG

 

2146160888_BoilerHouse12.JPG.1c5047d31f1dff25600d3361cf38ad48.JPG

 

595076872_BoilerHouse10.JPG.c9a165b1dac64440cd302a2b9b356920.JPG

 

 

Not much else was done. I have been dividing my time with other projects around the house, trying to take advantage of a few cooler days. I have some micro LED's and 3-D printed lanterns on order for the lighting, hope fully those will be in some time this week and I can get started on the lighting and wiring.

 

That's all for now. Enjoy, and thanks for the kind comments and likes.

 

-Brian

fantastic Brian . like it very much :) Vlad 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Hello again everyone,

 

It has been a while since my last update, but I have finally returned from my hunting trip and vacation. Needless to say it was well needed and I saw some of the more beautiful parts of this country that have been on my list for a long time. Unfortunately, the wildfires that have been plaguing California, Oregon and Washington halted my trip to Yellowstone. The smoke was so bad that the air quality and visibility would not have made for a very fun trip, so I'll hit it next time. I did se a couple of other fascinating places though, as you can tell by the pictures the smoke was even bad in eastern Wyoming and South Dakota. 

 

Devils Tower was a little cloudy, but you can tell from the haze that the smoke was still a factor.

DT2.JPG.ce2a478b3c6f5c749873fdbfc2aedbef.JPG

 

Mount Rushmore was just a smoky haze, but at least it was visible to. The farther west you traveled the worse it got. Even North Texas had a smoky haze to it when I got home. I do have to give an immense amount of credit and praise to the firefighters working their tails off  and putting their lives on the line containing the wildfires to protect as much as they can.

RM1.JPG.8291a7f86d9be3c89736d431cfcd4eb5.JPG

 

 

 

We'll enough of that, on to my update. While most of the past week was spent playing catch up at work, I managed a little work on my paddle wheel.

 

Having assembled the remaining three wheels, it was time to start building up the hubs. To simulate the hubs I used a couple of different size flat washers, stacked on top of each other to give them some depth.

PW1.JPG.6d2eef99311b7c97851b45d228556f13.JPG

 

I used a piece of brass tubing filed to an edge to help center the washers around the paddle wheel shaft. 

PW2.JPG.aa84f9c337b73c9334d248f1c1c243e2.JPG

PW4.JPG.d76ed5ea8e8c52c2cd454378a005abf1.JPG

PW5.JPG.bc148239d3a3b683e52a22a6c3d209b2.JPG

 

Once the glue had dried I had eight perfectly spaced washer "Hubs" .

PW7.JPG.afd393289030061010f0951bb5e26bcd.JPG

 

Next I placed each of the wheels in the assembly jig and with the sharpened brass tubing installed the washers on the wheel assembly.

PW8.JPG.7aa5a615bc73bfca6c0df44f99a0fb70.JPG

 

Once that was done they were all ready to install on the paddle wheel shaft. I used the same brass tubing cut into 1" pieces as spacers for the wheels assembly and notched out a few scrap pieces of wood to keep the outer edges of the wheels spaced evenly.

PW9.JPG.33025f60ece0bd82138e2bf744759ec4.JPG

 

Wheels installed on the paddle wheel shaft.

PW10.JPG.cd709f5a42428fb2c3cd099f81394431.JPG

 

Outer spacers installed.PW11.JPG.a84373caf8162175c627edcfc3f64cdb.JPG

 

And everything held neatly in place with rubber bands.

PW12.JPG.2a2783808e15daf53518201b4f95c1d0.JPG

 

Then it was on to one of the more complex assemblies that I have done so far on this build. Installing all of the cross bracing between the wheel assemblies.

PW13.JPG.d66a844a0119e3315ffb8937f6352b70.JPG

 

My first attempt was to use 24 gauge wire for the bracing, but I couldn't get the wire to bend one way and then the other and still remain straight. Given the tight quarters between the wheels, it was next to impossible to work the wire back into shape. So I decided to use .20 black rigging thread instead. I managed to weave the tread between the wheels, applied a dab of CA on one end, let that dry, then pulled it tight and placed a dab of CA on the other end to hold it in place. Once the CA had dried, I brushed the entire string down with a coat of CA to stiffen in up and the end result came out looking a little bit like hammered iron. Couldn't have asked for a better result.

 

PW15.JPG.86c84d9ab0d5559eb18eb5bf1e428e5b.JPG

 

While the CA was drying on my cross braces, I went ahead and cut out my buckets and sanded them to length.

PW14.JPG.0e918763470b8e5311bffa77dbf1250f.JPG

 

Taking some tips from the St. Louis build, they have four buckets that are double the thickness as the others and spaced every other spoke for the counterbalance of the cranks. These will be installed on the opposite side of the cranks to keep the paddle wheel properly balanced. I am going to have to do a little research on how the buckets were attached to the wheel arms though. Normally they would be nailed in place, but since these wheels are iron, I don't think that was the way these were mounted. On the St. Louis build, it looks as though they tied the buckets in place, but I'm not sure if that was just temporary or if that was how they were actually done. I'll do a little digging to see if I can come up with how they were fastened.

 

Anyhow, that is where I am for now. This week I will work on trimming up the cross bracing string, cleaning things up a little bit on the paddle wheel assembly and getting the whole thing painted.

 

As always, thanks for for looking and all the comments and likes.

 

-Brian

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant work on the paddle wheels Brian, the cross bracing works a treat. Nice holiday shots, you remind me of a trip some 20 years ago when my wife and the kids started in Denver and then followed a loop around, Mammoth, Wind Cavern, Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, Cody, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Arches NP, and Back to Denver.  Some of the best scenery in the world. Good luck with completing your trip and lets hope the wildfires are kinder to you next time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Keith,

 

Thank you for the kind words.
 

You are so right about that being some of the best scenery (minus the smoke of course). I was a little disappointed that we didn’t make it to Yellowstone, but I’ll definitely hit it on my next trip up there. Nice to have friends up there to go visit every so often. 
 

We spent most of our trip in Cody, WY where, if you are a gun enthusiast like I am, they have one of the best collections in the world. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West has over 7000 guns dating from the 2000’s back to the invention of gun powder. They actually have the entire Winchester collection from every model they ever made, experimental and production, to ones the Winchester family collected and traded for. We spent about five hours perusing just the gun section alone. The museum also includes other exhibits from the natural history of Wyoming and Yellowstone to artifacts from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Truly a must see if anyone is ever in Cody, WY. You may have to set aside a couple of days to see the whole thing, that’s why your admission ticket is good for two days. I would also suggest the exclusive tour of the gun museum, the cost is quite a bit more than general admission, but they take you to the vault where you get to handle some rare guns that are not on display (with white gloves of course). Truly an experience. 

This was just one of the rooms in the museum. Each of the pull outs has rifles and all of the drawers below have hand guns. 
A71E4B3C-B09A-411A-B3A9-9DE38562C582.jpeg.566d73691a09f983e614dfe47484aca0.jpeg

 

 

-Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Roger,

 

Winchester has some truly beautiful weapons. One of the guys I hunt in Wyoming with uses a true Winchester 1894 38-55 black powder cartridge and is deadly accurate with it. I am more of a traditional cap and ball black powder person. I have way too many hobbies to start reloading. Not to mention the Admiral would blow a gasket if I picked up another one. 
 

Funny you mention flying saucers at Devils Tower. I was 10 years old when I first saw Close Encounters and wanted to see Devils Tower every since then. Sad that it took over forty years to cross that bucket list item off. Hopefully you can get to Cody soon, it’s well worth the trip. 
 

 

Gary,

 

Thanks for the kind words. The paddle wheel had definitely been a challenge. Totally different take on the traditional packet steamer paddle wheel. 
 

 

-Brian

Link to post
Share on other sites

Greeting everyone,

 

Small update this week. I managed to get the paddle wheel and pillow blocks completed this week.

 

Here is the wheel assembly painted.

PW16.JPG.ada4f67395a71270fd0f107f918b8618.JPG

PW17.JPG.eb55ccb6bf74e74a1ca316e130809d4b.JPG

 

Buckets cut, sanded drilled and stained. I used a mixture of Ipswich Pine and Golden Oak stains for these. I wanted something that would contrast the black ironwork of the wheel assembly, yet not blend in with the rest of the surrounding wood. 

PW20.JPG.ca81574396aee11210cacc57248916dd.JPG

 

First bucket going in.

PW18.JPG.abe9eb8152d769ac5a2675cc0da8e2a1.JPG

 

More buckets being installed. I threw together a little jig to hold the assembly while I worked on it. This jig made it a little easier to rotate the wheel, and by inserting a scrap piece of wood between the spokes, kept it from rotating it while I was installing the buckets.

PW19.JPG.2c89a035c00e1551cf56f2ddcaa0449a.JPG

PW21.JPG.37addf7f41069d5adc14b4f1ab99bf14.JPG

PW24.JPG.c0c00d4e6417323388740a82364b96c7.JPG

 

All of the buckets installed and assembly temp installed in the wheel housing.

PW22.JPG.1b1f03dab7a93a94b169bb1f0c7f334e.JPG

PW23.JPG.73f743d8474a40c1d474b7e94b487f14.JPG

 

Finally the strings holding the buckets have been trimmed up, a little dry brushing with some light gray to highlight the details of the rivets and a final coat of clear satin and the wheel assembly installed in place.

PW25.JPG.1219431c2080ccb0b7889b3c35aa9089.JPG

 

Then it was on to the assembly of the pillow blocks. This part was a piece of cake compared to the paddle wheel.

PB1.JPG.df7777e4eb81e15f97a71f405b2934ee.JPG

PB2.JPG.7b5d1c27e283c88801c00f2c512bf83d.JPG

 

Pillow block installed.

PB3.JPG.780d5d2b3e5f7a8cf3bc4a1ae6a386f0.JPG

 

Here is the wheel assembly sitting in the pillow blocks. I still need to make the pillow block caps, I'll have to hunt around for some pieces of brass or aluminum for this part. Something that is the correct width and thickness and will also bend around the shaft, but I'm sure I can come up with something.

 PW26.JPG.a1de1e153900e53654b05cfc92ef425e.JPG

 

 

I tried to research on how the buckets were attached to the wheel spokes but couldn't find a whole lot on it. Apparently iron paddle wheels were not the standard back in these days or my search methods were just not up to par. At first I was going to make some simulated iron stirrups to attach them with, but I wasn't sure if this was correct or not. So I went with my gut, and off of the reasoning that the builders of the St. Louis model may have used for theirs in that tying the buckets to the spokes made for ease of quickly changing damaged boards. After all, these were war vessels and I'm sure they took their fair share of damage and in the heat of battle they could not afford to be sitting in the open while maintenance was performed. That and a portion of the paddle wheels on these boats was not protected by the armor plating and could be susceptibly to a fair amount of damage during periods of heavy gun and cannon fire. Just my thoughts, and since there isn't a significant amount of documentation on these, I took my "builders liberties" with it. Also, I think the group building the St. Louis know what they are doing, so I'm going to go with their expertise.

 

That's all for this update. I think I am going try and revisit the engines this week and see what I can come up with. First go-round just didn't come out right. Hopefully this time will be better. Wish me luck.

 

As always, thanks for looking and all the likes and kind comments.

 

-Brian

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.

×
×
  • Create New...