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Newbie no more - Building the Revell 1/72 Gato

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  • Newbie no more - Building the Revell 1/72 Gato

    I am making the plunge....I am entering the build contest. My goals are simple, 1) complete the submarine and 2) complete the submarine.


    I do not think I will dazzle you with any techniques or super detailing, it is too easy for me to chase rabbit trails and get boggled down in the details. I have read so many posts that my eyes are crossed, but I did see some trends....many start, a lot do not finish. I will follow the directions of people that have built submarines that work, including 5 DVDs of instruction by the wizard, posts from others, and help from you as I go. This build will come from the perspective of one who is building his first submarine - Revell 1/72 Gato.


    Welcome brothers to my 12 step accountability group - you.


    Normally I try to have everything in hand before I build, but this time I do not. I am saving up and selling off old models. I need to purchase the innards (D&E Sub driver for the Gato, ESC, Angle Driver, and TX, RX). I have an old Futaba 4 channel, but I need to get that converted to the new ground frequencies - I will need more than 4 channels for the Gato. So, Later AFTER I BUILD MY SUB, I will convert it and build a sub for my boy to play with. He may want to help with this build (does a 7 year old disqualify me in the build contest if he helps?)


    Nervous, me? It has been 15 years since I last built a model. Maybe I will post some photos of work I have done, but in the meantime I pray it is like a bike - once you know how you do not forget.


    Certainly I am open to suggestions and input. In the next day or two I will post photos. Every build of the Gato that I have seen have some of the same shots - I may not be any different, but then again - mine might be. I went to my friend Joey at HobbyTown here in Las Vegas. He remembers me and was excited to see me get back into building. When I mentioned what I was building he was genuinely interested, maybe I can get some others interested in this wonderful hobby. Who knows... One step at a time.

    Peace,
    Tom
    If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

  • #2
    Go for it TOM, Hay if the only thing you do is follow the instructions on the DVD's you will have a winner.

    Take your time, take lots of photos, and NEVER be afraid to ask for advice or help.

    Look forward to your posts.

    Cheers Chris,

    Comment


    • #3
      Good luck...be strong
      Doodah
      If you ignore the problem long enough, it will go away. Even flooding stops eventually!

      Comment


      • #4
        Just build the damned thing and stop whining!

        David
        "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

        Comment


        • #5
          @Chris - your work is an inspiration.
          @jlday1256 - Thank you!
          @David - Ahhh, my first kick in the pants. Whining stopped.
          If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

          Comment


          • #6
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            What an impressive model!
            The blue resin castings (upper left) are the Gato D&E Fittings Package from http://www.caswellplating.com/models/gato.html
            First impressions of the Gato: Big, not too big, but decent. There are a lot of nice touches and details. Included are your mission papers with a code to see Charles Stewart share some his experiences aboard the USS Cobia in WWII.
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            The amount of detail LOOKS good and for the most part relatively accurate. Compare the edge of the bow on the left to the flood ports. They thinned it out for me!
            Nice touch.
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            Time to get clipping. I trimmed the sprue trees to remove major parts, protect the delicate ones and group into areas of building. That way I am not hunting for parts as much.
            There are a bunch of pins for bow, hull, and stern alignment. I put these in a 35mm film canister.
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            Speaking of delicate, look at this railing. Nice detail.
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            Created a tent to protect it. Tempted to build this in brass. Any of you that have built this, how has the plastic survived the years?
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            This radar reflector looks O.K. from the front......
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            but from the side or back it is too thick. I might have to detail this out.
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            A majority of the larger pieces were easy to identify, but the bulkheads were too close in shape and to prevent a mistake, I placed the part numbers on them. Once installed a coat of paint on the inside will cover the writing.

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            Trimming the parts took some time, the more delicate items were left on the sprue, but trimmed to group by like kind.
            Speaking of sprues, I keep several just in case I need to plug a hole or using heat from a candle, stretch a sprue out to create an antennae or railing.
            Time to watch one or two of the DVDs and see what might be the next step. The bow is aching to have the doors cut out for D&E torpedoes....Would it make sense to cut them out now and worry about purchasing them later? I would assume it is easier to remove now before the halves are put together, but have Dremel and blade, nothing can stop me from hacking at it later :-)
            If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes get stuck in. You can do it. I look forward to watching this kit come alive.

              Best
              J
              John Slater

              Sydney Australia

              You would not steal a wallet so don't steal people's livelihood.
              Think of that before your buy "cheap" pirated goods or download others work protected by copyright. Theft is theft.



              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                You can cut out the shutter doors anytime. Proceed!

                David
                "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Watched the first DVD and there is a lot of great information and tips packed into it.


                  The hull was packed with card board separating the halves and bound in three areas with a plastic covered wire. The wires were not tight and I did not see any drastic bowing or curvature in the two halves.
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                  Once it was removed from the packing, I checked the fit. There is a little gap. Not too bad. With just the lightest of pressure they matched up real nice.
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                  Time to do some quick sanding before I glue, but let me share a tip/tool I use (I hope this is a helpful tip). I learned about this when I was a jeweler and have applied it to modeling. I like to make my own sanding sticks of different grits (who does't), but maybe this is different. These are easy to make and when you wear out the sandpaper, just peel the layer and off you go creating more dust. Here is how I make them. First you need sandpaper. I like 3m wet and dry it scores well. Other brands may work, so try it out and see. A paint stick from your favorite hardware store or paint supply. Some sticks are very thin, I avoid using those. Check around, you will see one company uses a thicker stick. The thicker sticks are the ones I like because it is easier to staple into. Next, something to scribe the paper with like a scratch all or a punch. Lastly, a stapler. Just a simple office type paper stapler.
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                  Line up the stick along the edge of the sandpaper(sandpaper facing down). You may need to trim your sandpaper if the mixing stick is short. I save those strips for another tool I will talk about later.
                  Score the back of the sandpaper lightly (the object is not to cut through the sandpaper). This will give the paper an edge to bend on.
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                  You are going to be rolling the sandpaper and stick together. At each edge of the stick you will want to score the paper. So, bring the mixing stick and the sandpaper up and score along the edge.
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                  Roll to the next edge of the stick and score the paper.
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                  Keep rolling and scoring the paper until you run out of sandpaper. Then run some staples into the edge of the mixing stick. You will need a stapler that allows the bottom half to swing back of course.



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                  Whatever is left over, scribe the paper a couple of times to make a deeper cut into the sandpaper. Then peel it against the edge.
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                  Back to the hull. I sanded the edges to clean them up and remove any oils from the injection release agent. As a side note, in the past I use to wash my plastic in a mild detergent to remove the oils. I had not seen it mentioned on any of the posts, so I did not do it. It is not too late to do it, but Is there a reason people are not? Is it necessary anymore? or is it so common knowledge that there is not a need to mention it?
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                  Placed the pins in and fit the hull together. Using painters tape to bring the halves together, I bound the hull together for a close fit.




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                  Then applied liquid glue made for plastic along the edge avoiding the tape. I will give the hull several hours to dry. Then remove the tape and place glue where the tape was.
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                  The next step is to mark and cut the super structure that is underneath the deck and dreaded hull separation.
                  I have seen two camps. One cuts along the waterline and another cuts just under the deck.
                  Here are a couple of examples:
                  Waterline: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SSDLLYrg-o
                  U
                  nder the deck: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1135331
                  O
                  r here is another under the deck (different sub): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r27INRGIYhE

                  A
                  ny reason I should not go under the deck? It looks like I have room if I plan to put in the
                  D&E Sub driver for the Gato.
                  Last edited by trout; 07-28-2012, 01:40 AM.
                  If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It's been done, but I like to have plenty of room for my fat fingers. Your call.

                    David,
                    "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Small detour....darn those rabbits.
                      Those torpedo doors were itching to get cut out and without thinking it through, I cut away. It began simple enough. The blades are 6/0 jewelers blades which has a thickness of .019”. I have small drill bits and selected .021” size. This would give me the thickness needed to put the blade in and if I carefully put two holes next to each other that would cover the width.
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                      Then I realized (DUH) there is not much room in there to make hinges and allow the front of the doors to swing in. And I might be able to do something, but do I have months of playing to see if it can be done? The simple answer is no. Remember goal #1 finish the sub and if that fails goal #2 finish the sub. So, I cut some small strips of styrene and attached the doors back and told myself, it looks more realistic this way (trying to put a good spin on it). While I was working on the bow, I went forward with enlarging the lower hole, above where the bow plan pivots, so the actuator that will raise the bow planes can move. The port half shows the before and the starboard half shows the after. I am not clear if that oval will suffice or if it needs to be larger still. If it will need to be larger, that will not be hard to do.
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                      I mentioned in a prior post that I keep the strips of sanding paper that I trim off the sanding sticks. Those strips make excellent power tool sanders. Take an old broken burr or a piece of rod the diameter that will fit in your drill. You can just roll the sanding paper on the shank tightly then use 5 minute epoxy and sparingly place it on the end of the rolled sandpaper. The epoxy does not get super hard and brittle, but will give enough and disintegrate as the paper wears off. Also like the stick, you can peel a layer off to get to some fresh sandpaper. I do not normally use Super Glue or CA. It will get hard and shatter off. That being said, for these holes I did use CA to adhere the sandpaper and glue the end. Since I was using it immediately, the glue does not get super brittle. The nice thing about this little tool is you can adjust the diameter by using fewer wraps of sandpaper.
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                      I went ahead and bonded the two halves together with a cohesive glue. Now it is time to mark and cut the super structure that is underneath the deck and hull separation.
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                      Last edited by trout; 07-28-2012, 01:33 AM.
                      If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Top of Bow is marked for cutting and using a cutting disk began putting cuts in the deck. Plastic melts quickly, so I have to be careful.
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                        Done cutting out the sections. A little more clean up and it should be done.
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                        Working on the Stern. Cleaned up the inside and cut out area to allow the stern dive plane to move. I glued two pins in one side and allowed that to dry. Doing this allowed me to put the two stern halves together easier and test fit the dive planes easier. Also, as I made room for the dive plane arm to move, I seemed to come at a point were the arm would not go any further forward or backward and was being blocked. I soon realized I needed to taper the raised edge where the arm enters the stern at the point in a V shape.
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                        To get the D&E fittings to work I have to narrow the dive plane bearings. When you look at the picture you can see the bottom half of the bearing was trimmed down to fit the stern dive planes. The skag/propeller strut part needed about 1/32” on each side to be trimmed off to match the other half.
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                        After trimming the skag/propeller struts to match it then was a matter of trimming the actual planes to accommodate the skag as I moved the planes up and down. Certain areas would rub and you could feel and see the bind. I just gently trimmed back areas that would rub against the hull/skag. Try again and trim. Repeating the process until it moved smoothly.




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                        The video is filled with tips. I highly recommend it. One tip that I did not apply was putting the liquid glue in a base or holder. So, when I reached for a bit, I tipped the bottle over and got glue on parts of the stern. One area was were my index finger was gripping the two halves of the stern. I now have my finger print embossed in a portion of the stern. Grrrr!
                        The rudder is being worked on now. I will have pictures later. Not feeling so confident in drilling the rudder by hand, I will get it set up in a vise and use a drill press. It is time to get some sleep. Maybe I will think clearer.
                        Last edited by trout; 07-28-2012, 01:35 AM.
                        If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's looking good, Trout!

                          David
                          "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Well done, good mix of the good, the bad and the finger prints. Like the way you describe what and how you are going about this build.

                            Keep up the good work.

                            Cheers Chris

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Thank you David and Chris,
                              I appreciate your encouragement!
                              Peace,
                              Tom

                              Just some brief updates, I created this drawing to explain the angling if the walls where the stern plane arm enters the hull.
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                              Did not have the tools I needed at hand and tried to make due to get the job done - DUMB. I knew that (Not because I have ever done that before - lol). I used my very old drill press (probably older than the subs we represent) and did not have my vise unpacked. So I just added to my build time. I will post some shame photos once I have overcome the immediate problem and figure out the best fix.....
                              The brief summary is I paused a little too long once it pierced the rudder into the area the skag/support enters - I was looking at alignment. When the heat melted the sides of my rudder. It gooped up the hole as a pulled the drill bit out and left me with a nice divot for me to fill on each side and a questionable hole. It is fixable and I will move forward.
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                              I think I will go to bed early tonight.
                              No, I can't. Got to attack the main hull and I need to take some pictures of the mess.
                              If you can cut, drill, saw, hit things and swear a lot, you're well on the way to building a working model sub.

                              Comment

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