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A U-Boat In Ireland

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  • The Boattrainman
    started a topic A U-Boat In Ireland

    A U-Boat In Ireland


    This build thread will detail the building of a R/C static diving 1/40 scale U-Boat with working lights and sound.


    Following my build and test bed for ideas detailed in my 'A Skipjack in Ireland' thread, I'm commencing a 1/40 (ish) U-Boat build using the old warhorse of a Robbe 1/40 'semi-scale' kit.......

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    ..........long out of production, I found this perfect example on Ebay for 380 Euro.

    Combined with a 900ml Engel Piston Tank and their Bayonet Lock with Accurate Model Parts decals and the Modellbau-Wikinger upgrade parts.....................

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    ............ which includes scale decks, flood/drainage holes, conning tower, railings (Wintergarden), scopes, and a 'Tech Rack' designed for Engel internals (total 320 Euro).


    Now before anyone chimes in with the comments about the Robbe U47 kit and it's flaws, let me quote from the staggeringly researched work 'The Wolf Pack: A Collection Of U-Boat Modelling Articles' free to download from:-

    http://amp.rokket.biz/docs/the_wolf_pack_compr.pdf


    The Wolf Pack




    ''This semi-scale kit is an ideal starter kit for radio-controlled submarine modellers, and fulfils this

    remit successfully. It bears a passing resemblance to its intended subject the VIIB U 47 but is

    inaccurate in almost every respect to the real boat. This effectively precludes the building of an accurate

    replica''


    This is a harsh and mostly accurate verdict, however having built one of these kits into a fairly decent U-203 in 2006/2007, time has moved on and we have a huge amount of assistance from small suppliers with accurate upgrade parts. Also, this is the only large scale U-Boat I can get into my vehicle as it breaks into two smaller parts.

    So I will be disarding the Robbe decks, tower, flooding slots, props, prop shafts, tech rack and other parts for better commercially available versions or scratchbuilt items.

    Two major hurdles have to be crossed before I can begin, firstly choosing a boat from over 700 examples at an exact time period and trying to get a handle on the details contained in the above book. Using this source and other material I will narrow the choice over the next few weeks based on the available research and hopefully some good images of my chosen boat if discovered.

    I expect I will need 18 months to 2 years to complete this project.

    Secondly, as no good deed goes unpunished I recently fractured my hand helping my niece fix up her new house........


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    ............so it's mostly parts acquisition and research for the moment!!!!


    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 07-27-2017, 08:02 AM.

  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Thanks guys.

    Always an issue when the inlet is facing the rear, and it's such a large single tank, I've squeezed every cm of space to give me the biggest volume possible. I looked at all the options, 2 X 450ml tanks counter firing towards each other, trying to route the inet hose to the front but then the problem is the spindle firing towards the end cap with issues there etc. etc.

    Anyway, I have a trick or two if there is significant issues with the aft section going down first..............!

    Rob

    Leave a comment:


  • reddevil
    replied
    Neat and nice. Keep in mind that as the tank intake is ASTERN, the tank starts filling from STERN, and that will affect the way the sub dives because the stern gets heavier first, so starts to dive sooner at that head.

    Leave a comment:


  • HardRock
    replied
    Very well done.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    This is what a 900ml Piston Tank looks like.

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    It's the spindle that's scary, it adds considerably to the length.

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    To set the Piston Tank anchor tightly, a 12mm by 15mm brass bush is made.

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    It matches the diameter of the raised piece at the end of the motor, and butts up against the battery tray plate.

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    I discarded the Piston Tank holding surrounds and made my own, there's fours holes for the full length threaded rods, and four for the holding rods a bit further out so that they can take 4mm bolts.

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    I'm using a feature of the tank, the three metal longitudinal straps, I've cut three notches per plate to hold the tank in place. The plate at the inlet end has a matching 10mm hole drilled.

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    The plate is screwed towards the tank jamming it up against the brass bush at the motor end.

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    The inlet hose is attached, and led through the receiver tray and through the motor plate.

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    And finally the end cap, all fits so far.

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    Here is the total tech rack, the Piston Tank dominates, and the spindle sticks out through the battery tray by about 25mm, but as the WTC is curved out at the ends, there is room (just about).

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    It's all fitted into the WTC, battery end first........

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    ........Piston Tank and equipment trays................

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    ................to the end cap, which closes with a twist,

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    The Boattrainman

    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 04-02-2018, 05:03 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    So a mock up with the tech rack threaded rods through the round plates is done.

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    The battery tray gets vent holes and styrene pieces to keep the batteries at the correct angle.

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    One of the main problems with other builds is most opt to keep the servos and motors longitudinally away from each other, here by locating the couplers (Cap Maquettes items) under the servos and the servos upside down, it gives a precious few extra mill for the piston tank.

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    The threaded rods come out the end cap, gonna be tricky to seal them once cut to size as the end cap is an angled item.

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    But by trimming and reducing the equipment trays, I've now got a space for a 925ml piston tank in the mid section, not sure if that's enough for such a big sub, but more than any other build I've seen, the 825ml standard large Engel tank being the most popular.

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    The Boattrainman



    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    I've made trays for the equipment that go between the circular plates, here are the rear trays for servos, motors and speed controller. All sizes are transferred to the WTC paper template.

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    And the battery tray with space for the electronic components under.

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    Here is how the motors and inlet tube to the piston tank are configured.

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    All the trays fit into slots in the plates made of 2mm strip, so they can be changed for larger/smaller ones as the build progresses if needed.

    All the pieces are laid out along the paper template, so that fit can be finalised, plus it will determine the final capacity for the piston tank.


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    The battery tray..........

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    ..........the servo and motor trays............

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    .......and the effort is worth it as the template for the 825ml tank sits in the middle.........

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    ...........and it's clear there is 20-30ml of additional room in the WTC behind the piston tank motor.

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    As 1mm of piston tank length equals 3.8ml of water, I may be able to fit a 900ml piston tank, but I don't want to have too much squeezed in.

    The Boattrainman




    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 03-16-2018, 05:52 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    As usual, I always start by making a full size plan of the internals and place the available components in likely locations.Paper templates stand in for parts I'm not sure of, in this instance I've made a template for an 825ml Piston Tank, but with room to spare this might go toward 900-920ml.

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    I'll go with my standard 5000mah 11.1V Lipo for power, two in fact, there seems to be room for them if mounted at an angle.

    The Boattrainman

    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    The last bit of hull detailing for now is the weld seams and doublers, lots of 0.5mmstrips in various thicknesses.

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    And on to the Tech Rack, which I was hoping to construct using the Wikinger parts I bought. It's based on a series of circular mounts with four stainless threaded rods holding it together.


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    But some of them are of different diameter and not in line, strange as they are designed for the 96mm Robbe WTC, but very disappointing.

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    So I'm making precise mounts from 2mm styrene and only using some of the Wikinger parts.

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    First up is the mount from the motors, which need to be set lower in the hull closer to the re-aligned prop shafts.

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    I also want to set the motors further back in the hull to ease alignment using twin couplers on each shaft as per my Skipjack build.

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    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 03-11-2018, 07:02 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    The fore plane tensioners were removed on almost all U-boats before/during 1941, my model of U557 is depicted in early 1941,so I'll add these, no one knows for sure when they were removed.

    Two split pins are used per side as they are 1.5mm in diameter, the size of the wire I will use, one in the end of the fore plane guard......

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    .......and the other into the hull, reinforced on the inside with 2mm styrene.

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    The tensioner runs between the two and is an interference fit, no glue, as I want to add the weld seams underneath, plus I think it'll get dented over time, just chuck it away if that happens. The tensioner is not in line with a horizontal fore plane, but angles upwards towards the bow, roughly in line with the flood drain holes.

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    The holes on either side of the bow in the bulge on the hull are added using rivets with collars.

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    There are a great many round and square holes on the deck, mostly to mount the torpedo loading chute supports and other bits of equipment. I'm adding some of these where I have a photo reference.

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    The anchor is inserted in the hawse in the anchor indent, and held in place with an L-shaped 1.5mm brass pin (again interference fit, no glue), and can be removed for maintenance.

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    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 03-04-2018, 04:27 PM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    The lower vents on the saddle tanks, two each side came with the Wikinger deck, I removed the vents themselves as it looks better as per photos.

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    There are ten inspection covers on top of the saddle tanks, five each side, the Wikinger items are strangely totally wrong, so I did them out of 0.5mm styrene.

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    There are two different types, three oblong and two round per side, each with three bolt holes, these run length wise on the round covers and port to starboard on the oblong ones.

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    The Boattrainman

    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    Hi buddy.

    The etched stuff was a pain to get stuck to the deck, lots of very thin superglue, I laughed when you mentioned the heat in Las Vegas, Ireland is normally in a temperate weather zone, but we are having a snow and ice blizzard, hence lots of work getting done, Dublin City is totally shut down at the moment.

    The rudders, and dive plains all get weld seams from 0.5 x 0.5mm styrene strip.

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    U557 had unusual engine vents with shrouds, 1/4 pieces of half inch plastic tube were used.

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    Now for something I had not looked forward to making the remaining mount for the S-Great on the bow, the mount is complex, going from curve to square to a round fitting. The left photo is the mount with the round piece removed, on the right is what I am after.


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    First an area to be removed is marked as per the photo.

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    This wedge is removed by a small saw.

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    A piece of 1mm square styrene is glued as a base, and then lots of odd shaped bits added behind

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    The odd bits are surrounded by filler, and a circle drawn on the square to the diameter of the round fitting

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    Four 1mm brass rods are inserted within the drawn circle.

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    The round piece is half inch styrene again, bit is an offset circle, stuck to the four pins and set in line with the hull.

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    A 2mm x 5mm countersunk screw secures the round piece, the screw will be filled and invisible.

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    The important bit is that it's tough, as it's in a dodgy spot for dings and bangs, hopefully it can take a bit of a bang especially with the screw fitting.

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    It's actually small, but it's one of the absolute must haves for U557, and while not as good as an etched brass fittings it's much tougher.


    The Boattrainman



    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 03-02-2018, 04:01 PM.

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  • trout
    replied
    I have shied away from most etched brass attachments for fear of them popping off in the hot Las Vegas sun. I know many people have it added to their subs and it seems to stay on. You are inspiring me to try it. Nice work.

    Leave a comment:


  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    The last deck details are fitted.

    The thread pattern around the deck gun and capstan from an etched brass kit.

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    The bar fitting on the starboard forward deck from 2mm brass rod and styrene tie downs.

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    The additional fairleads on the bow behind the large central one.

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    The four cleats under the railings, and various attachment pieces for the torpedo loading devices plus the railings get attachment points for the safety wires.

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    That's the deck sorted, onto the hull (the railings are just resting on the deck, will fit them down into the holes later).


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    The Boattrainman
    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 02-28-2018, 09:52 AM.

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  • The Boattrainman
    replied
    More small details are added.

    I had to remake the rear aerial supports, I had them the wrong way around, the double bar should be on the inside!

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    For the deck hatches, 2mm discs of styrene are sanded to a dome shape to fit the recesses.

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    Lifting arms are from 1mm styrene, and 1.2mm holes are drilled in the bases.

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    A mounting block is made from a square of 3mm styrene, and a small spring is cut in two and locking pin from 1.2mm round styrene inserted. Two small pieces of 0.5mm brass wire are used as spring arms, and two small square bits of 1mm for hold down pieces with a 1mm piece of styrene rod on top of the mounting block as the spring tensioner.

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    From photos, one of the rear hatches has a slightly raised surround, 1mm styrene is used.

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    The deck is a super bit of kit from Wikinger, put it's a bit featureless, so I'm adding the hinges for every hatch from 1mm styrene rod, 2mm in length.

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    The lifting bollards are on a very shallow plinth on the original, I'm re-doing all the scribed bollards with 0.5mm styrene and small pieces of tubing.

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    All very fiddly, but it lifts the deck a bit.

    The Boattrainman


    Last edited by The Boattrainman; 02-23-2018, 03:34 PM.

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