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1/96 Albacore (after Phase III coversion 1961)

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  • #16
    As I need multiple copies of the stern control surface, I made a rubber mold. Same with the two propellers -- each requiring a number of identical blades. The control surfaces will be eventually cast in resin, and the propeller blades cast from white-metal.

    Here's a shot of a 1/60 ALBACORE I did decades ago, to give you an idea how bizarre looking this type running gear is:

    To the right you see RenShape masters for the forward and after propeller hubs and the stand-off piece between them. Illustrated here is the extreme propeller distancing first employed with the counter-rotating, concentric shaft running gear. I've also produced a propeller stand-off master representing the eventual five-foot distancing of the two propellers.

    Extracting the propeller masters from the rubber tool that will be used to cast white metal blades -- these assembled around their respective hubs to form production masters.

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


    • #17
      Finished the propeller hubs and the two different lengths of stand-offís that fit between the hubs. Only thing I worked on today were the propeller masters. Which started with casting white-metal blade blanks.

      The forward and after propeller blade masters can be seen at the top. These were used to give form to the RTV tools used to cast up the required number of blades that would make up the two propeller masters.

      Most marine propeller pitch measurements are taken at the 70% blade span point. And thatís where I set an inclined piece of plastic to set the pitch on the propeller blade blank, that one-of-a-kind blade sized to fit to the surface of the hub. This is not permanent Ė the blade there only long enough to create the blade assembly jig crutch. This crutch later used to set the pitch, rake, and skew of the six permanent blades Ė all set into depressions cut into the hub. The crutch was formed from Bondo.

      That particular blade would later be used to mark off the hub where the permanent blades would have their roots insert into opening cut into the RenShape hub.

      The completed crutch. Before slathering on the Bondo I first waxed the underside of the temporarily mounted blade Ė making it easier to pull the blade off the Bondo once the filler had cured hard.

      With care the entire mandrel-hub-blade assembly was lifted off the propeller assembly jig. This particular blade was then broken away from the hub and the hub cleaned up, readying it for the job of assembling the six permanent blades around it. The removed blade would later be used to mark the hub were the depression had to cut to receive the roots of the permanently mounted blades.

      Tomorrow I hope to have all blades mounted on the hubs of the two propellers.


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


      • #18
        This is wonderful. Meanwhile I have been filling and sanding; filling and sanding; filling and...oh, sanding.


        • #19
          Beautiful work from two master builders. This type of collaboration is pretty cool, and it makes me wonder at what other opportunities there are for other kits if we break up the work into manageable bites between the membership here.

          I'm going to start a new thread and let my thoughts wander there rather than clutter things up in this thread.

          Great work, guys!



          • #20
            Took all day to get one and a half propellers done. Will finish assembly of the forward propeller tomorrow, the rest of that day dedicated to cleaning up the glue smears on the hubs and building up CA fillets between blades and hubs. Concurrent with that Iíll cast up the four stern control surfaces production masters.

            Work starts as a blade is cut so that its root sits flush with the surface of the hub. Using clay and an inclined piece of plastic Ė the blades angle corresponding to the angle of the blade at that radius point Ė the blade is carefully positioned and then temporarily glued to the hub. This will become the forward propeller. The assembled after propeller is to the right.

            This single blade will be used to give contour to the eventual blade support crutch, formed from a two-part filler (Bondo). Here Iíve built up a clay containment dam to confine the gooey filler under the blade as the filler changes state from liquid to solid. A coating of way to the underside of the blade insures an easy parting of blade from crutch when this task is done.

            The Bondo pushed into place and left to change state. Then the propeller and hub are pulled away. The propeller broken off and the hub cleaned up. From that point on longer blades, that fit the slots machined into the hub, will be mounted atop the crutch and glue and grout applied to fix them permanently to the hub.

            Each cast white metal blade is inserted into a slot drilled into the hub to receive it. The drill bit, in this application, is maneuvered by hand to act as a milling machine. The inevitable gaps between slot and blade are first filled with baking soda to act as a grout, then the mess soaked with CA to form the bond between blade, grout, and hub.

            The crutch and indexing marks insure symmetry of pitch, rake, skew, and spacing of the blades.

            A Ďfingerí holds the blade securely atop the crutch as CA adhesive is applied to fill the gap between blade and hub. Note the blade indexing marks at the tips of the blades. These line up with the engraved lines on the bed of the propeller assembly jig.


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


            • #21
              "The crutch and indexing marks insure symmetry of pitch, rake, skew, and spacing of the blades." Sounds so easy when you write it down; just takes a lifetime of practice to get it right. Outstanding work. I always wondered how you cut the slots in the hub.


              • #22
                Tonight I have to box up the 1/96 ALBACOR work and rejoin the supper-secret Project FFOG. That job for my Overlord, Bob Martin. Iím sworn to secrecy until the Boss says otherwise, so Ö donít ask! This forced hiatus, however, will give Scott a chance to catch up.

                A rubber tool was made to produce four control surface masters, seen here.

                I completed assembly of the two counter-rotating propellers. Here are the two wheels and long and short stand-offs

                Scott wants the kit to reflect the later propeller arrangement, with the distance between propellers reduced to only five feet. But, itís always good to have a choice, so I also built a long stand-off to represent the original installation of the two concentric turning, counter-rotating propellers.

                Starting to give form and function to the sail mounted dorsal rudder.

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


                • #23
                  This is the hull blank ready for scribing - assuming that it matchs the new plans of course. If not, I'll have to start again, groan.

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                  • #24
                    Iím deferring work on project FFOG till I get some consistently sunny weather here. The job entails a lot of GRP work and I need to work from start to finish in a warm (sunny) environment. So, till the clouds depart, Iíll continue work on Scott Terryís 1/96 ALBACORE project.

                    Today I concentrated on the sail with its dorsal rudder. That rudder is more akin to an aileron in function as it was used on the real boat to counter unwanted heeling and inboard rolling as a consequence of radical underwater turns. Iíve assembled a 1/60 ALBACORE kit and made models dorsal rudder practical (its servo slaved to an angle keeper positioned to detect variance about the roll axis) and it worked as advertised. Hereís a video showing that model operation in a local pool:

                    I took the work as far as a coat of primer. Then it was time to catch an episode of Bobís Burgers, and then call it a night.

                    Below is the work as it stands right now: A working dorsal rudder, removable upper sail piece, and a temporary dorsal operating shaft lower bearing Ė used as I worked the clearance between sail trailing edge and dorsal rudders leading edge.

                    As with all my model building I endeavor to keep as many sub-assemblies removable as I can -- vitally important on assemblies like this, that exhibit practical characteristics, such as the functional dorsal rudder. The removable top piece of the sail makes the job of integrating the masts a much easier task.

                    As I cut, filed, and sanded the leading edge of the dorsal rudder I periodically installed it to the sail and rotated it. Initially it was an interference fit. The high spots were revealed after I laid down some pencil Graphite into the concave well at the leading edge of the sail, installed the dorsal rudder and rotated. Once removed, the Graphite that was picked up by the dorsal rudder indicated the high spots needing to be removed with file and sanding block.

                    A piece of #400 sand-paper, wrapped around the leading edge of the dorsal rudder, permitted me to lap grind the clearance between it and the concave trailing edge of the sail. (As a Torpedoman I learned the gentle art of lapping valve seats Ö same thing, but this time with sandpaper).

                    Using Bondo I tightened up the gap between sail upper bearing and the top of the dorsal rudder. The masking tape under and around the bearing prevents the mold-release wax from contaminating the work.


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


                    • #25
                      Today's work on the 1/96 ALBACORE detail parts dealt with the masts and opening atop the sail to pass them:

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