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Scratch build HMS Resolution Class SSBN

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  • Scratch build HMS Resolution Class SSBN

    Hello All,

    My name is David Hughes. Several years ago I built a model of the Royal Navy Astute class SSN. I entered the competition that was for builders on the Caswell site and subsequently my efforts got trashed by he who shall not be named. At the time I thought that rather harsh and moved on. A couple of weeks later I received a nifty little box in the mail full of Goodies. So there’s a sunny side to getting trashed by Dave.
    Anyway, looking back over that episode and re-reading Dave’s comment on my work I understand where he’s coming from. I look back over it myself and oouch! I still love my Astute, it’s cool in a really boxy way. As my friend John Slater said, it really is a ‘muscle submarine’. She runs really well.
    Anyway I’m throwing my hat into the ring so to speak and starting another build. Heck, sure I’ve got enough on my plate with retraining and going back to Uni as well as holding down full time work but the creative urge will not be deterred. So I’m sure dave will trash my efforts, He may even call me a freaking 72 scale fiend from Oz land, Except I don’t do 72nd. I can handle it. Actually I don’t really do any scale and that probably drives people up the wall. So don’t ask what my next boats scale will be because I don’t know!
    Enough about that. The boat that I’m doing is one I’ve wanted to do for years. I am finally getting around to building the HMS Resolution Class SSBN. I’ve always liked British boats. I think they have really interesting character. The Whale like bow in particular gets me. This feature has evolved over time through both SSN’s and SSBN’s and I’ve always though some of the subtle curves are so cool.

    I have picked a challenging design. In this I mean that information is actually hard to come by. I have trolled the internet for hours looking for good photos of this boat. There are a few really good pics available but not a lot. I have a bit of a conspiracy theory here… Most of the photos that I have of Resolution and her sisters of which there were three more HMS Renown, Repulse and Revenge are taken from the bow aspect. There are very few amidships pics and almost no close up pictures of the rear.

    There is a photo here that shows Revenge during her launch. All the launch pictures that I have seen are from this aspect of from ground level. There is not one showing the rear. Is this a deliberate policy? Other than launch photos there is one pic of Revenge in Dry dock which I think was taken after she was decommissioned. This is a useful pic, but once again is taken from a similar angle.
    Just last year I was over in Edinburgh and walked over the Forth Bridge. Rosyth, in the distance. So close yet so far. 6 years earlier I was also there and contacted the shipyard telling them I would love to have a look at the R class boats. I was told it was out of the Question…
    It’s easier to get hold of better dry dock photo’s of Vanguard that reveal more, than it is to get pics of a boat that has been decommissioned for almost twenty years! Pic the logic out of that one!

    Enough for now.

    Davidh
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Davidh; 09-22-2014, 09:15 AM.

  • #2
    You're killing yourself using junk-lumber.

    That's gotta be the uglies, pitch infested, nasty piece of wood I've seen this side of a foot-ball locker room!

    Invest in some proper kiln-dried, seasoned, Sugar Pine or Basswood -- start your search at pattern supply houses. Or contact a model boating club that specializes in scratch-building and beg for some end-cuts.

    Better yet, get some dense RenShape. http://www.freemansupply.com/MachinableMedia.htm

    Keep posting -- we'll get you through this task, Dave

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Good luck with this one Dave. Before I started the Akula I was having a go at a HMS Vengeance, reason being, a Resolution was so challenging just getting enough info. I did do a fair amount of research, got the plans resized and everything but a Vanguard is just easier.

      Good luck,

      Peter

      Comment


      • #4
        Over on the Dive-in Facebook page, we have at least four Resolution class modellers. Ron Perrott produced a really nice 1/96th scale kit back in the early nineties, and quite a few of them are still happily swimming about.

        Ron along with Steve Pryce are super detailing the masters for a reissue with a cylindrical WTC and twin piston tanks.

        Here's a pic of the fin with anechoic tile detailing.

        DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Subculture View Post
          Over on the Dive-in Facebook page, we have at least four Resolution class modellers. Ron Perrott produced a really nice 1/96th scale kit back in the early nineties, and quite a few of them are still happily swimming about.

          Ron along with Steve Pryce are super detailing the masters for a reissue with a cylindrical WTC and twin piston tanks.

          Here's a pic of the fin with anechoic tile detailing.

          Stuningly good work! When will this kit be available?

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

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Guys

            thanks for the feedback. I'm actually a couple of months into it so the pics you see are really early efforts. The overall shape is done, but sorry no peeking.

            however, Wow! That sail blew me away. I have contacted the. HMS Resolution association to try and get their members to contribute and I've had a trickle of pics which has been good but I'm really after more. I would love to see more pics of these R class boats in the UK.

            Dave.

            Comment


            • #7
              The honest answer to date of availability is, I don't know.
              DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm afraid information on our missile boats especially is always tricky to come by. A lot of information is protected under a 50 year rule, and as these boats were extensively refitted throughout their service life, it's likely to be another three decades more before information flows freely.
                DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello all,

                  thanks for the feedback. As I have mentioned I have backlogged this write up. What I'm posting now I did almost two months ago. So, sorry dave I battled away with the pine I had. That detailed Fin / Sail is an absolute cracker! Wow...

                  Anyway getting back to the write up.

                  Iíve emailed heaps of contacts around the UK. Iíve even re-contacted Rosyth dockyard. (why did I do that?) Iíve only had one contact get back to me. The HMS Resolution association in the UK finally responded and I am appealing to the vast membership of this association. Surely there is an ex Ėcrewmember who would have lots of stuff to talk to me about.

                  Anyway the contact there got me some extra rear deck pics that were quite good. There is very little detailed information on the refits of this boat and only the one dry dock pic that I can make out. There were several subtle design modifications over her lifespan and trying to find out when these occurred and what exactly was done is once again, difficult.

                  Just this evening my contact at the HMS Resolution Association gave me the contact details of an ex-Resolution crew member who now lives just outside Melbourne, Victoria.

                  For my boat I am going to develop a wooden master with the stern and bow turned up on a lathe initially and stuck either side of a PVC tube. At least with the PVC pipe the midsection should be precise. Gluing two blocks of pine together and getting on the lathe I came up with the basic shape of both ends reasonably quickly.
                  The stern of this boat is really a body of evolution and doesnít need a lot of body work done. However the bow is where I will probably be spending weeks. Getting this right will either make or break the whole project.
                  The R class boats do not have a particularly complex bow shape, not compared to the Astute class, that was a nightmare. But do have some subtle curves that blend their way as they head sternwards. You really need to concentrate on these really subtle curves and evolutions of shape otherwise they simply won't look right and the shape changes down the length will be out.
                  As you can see from these pics I turned up each piece and made sure they fit within the PVC tube. I would them screw them in place.
                  The first major task was to get the Bow section looking ballpark. This would require using a spoke shave to shave around the sides of the bow to start getting that roughly oval shaped cross section that is needed. Then creating the forward sloping box section that is characteristic of British Nukes.
                  This would take some subtle work with the spoke shave and a light bit of sandpaper here and there. In the meantime making sure that the oval shape then blended smoothly with the round section of the PVC pipe.

                  As you can see here I have used some cardboard to get an idea of the transition from the bow section to the PVC pipe section. It is in this section that you get the gradual transition from oval to a more flat topped section eventually leading to the missile deck.

                  Getting the immediate bow section right has also taken a while as the only clear photos that I have of the full bow of an R boat is the one in drydock. The launch photos although good show the bow sonar array covered over by a box like structure which really throws the bow section detail. From this drydock pic you can see that the bow array really doesnít protrude all that much from the main surface of the bow. Itís a slightly raised section that wraps around the immediate bow section above the torpedo tube section.
                  I would do the bow array later. Now Iím still trying to shape the bow section and get the overall shape just right.

                  Thats enough for now

                  david h
                  Attached Files

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Looking good. I would say the hard part is behind you. The missile deck/superstructure will be straight-forward as will be the sail and appendages. Keep plugging away, Dave.

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We have a few ex-resolution sun dodgers over on the Dive-in Facebook page. Also Ron Perrott knows a lot about these boats, as he's toured the 1:1's at Rosyth. You'll rarely get direct answers from ex-serviceman, but they will often help with hints that will get you most of the way there.
                      DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hello all,

                        Thanks for all the comments. Yes it seems as though I am running up against the MOD official secrets act and not a 30 but 50 year rule for these boats. That really does what a Vacuum cleaner does. Anyway, getting back to the write up,

                        The last photos show the structure from the back of the wooden bow block to where I would have to build up a structure to eventually meet the missile deck, proper. Where this section ends (about half way along the sail) would be where the long divided section where the missile deck is separated from the hull. I don't actually know what this is called. Anyway I will be building the missile deck section as a separate detached section that buts up against the fore superstructure that runs down to the bow.

                        I made a series of templates to get the symmetry right. I also made the two side pieces out of pieces of plywood that I had cut grooves in the back of. Then steamed them with a slight warp in them. As these side pieces transition backwards they actually become more vertical. They were steamed and then clamped for about 2 days but still didínt behave ,so I then fibre glassed the side of the pieces and they behaved after that. Then I simply had to the glue them to the side of the main deck that runs forward to the bow. I bevelled the bottom edge that glues onto the PVC so that It would limit the amount of filler needed and also would make for a smoother transition. I then would glue the back of the piece to the end profile that would meet the missile deck proper and then the front would be glued to the back end of the bow block and finally the top would but up against the underside of the forward deck as it slopes up and back to the sail.
                        Then, once again a truckload of filler and heaps of sanding. After this a cover of primer which really helps to show just how much more sanding I need to do. From the photos the bow looks quite long. When you look at the class from the side at the front, it doesínt look that long but when you are perpendicular to the side you actually see that it looks like it is quite long. This boat throws up a few illusions.
                        davidh
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Davidh; 09-25-2014, 07:50 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hello all, Back again.

                          I thought I would have had some comments. I could certainly do with ideas and views that people have. I want to build on the suggestions that people give, so don't hold back....

                          So heaps of sanding and using profile cut outs to get the symmetry right has taken a long time. Weeks have gone by and I might get a little time on Saturday arvo or Sunday to work on the beast. I am finding that the primer has been really helpful in just checking the overall shape and consistency.

                          So after spending a couple of weeks just getting the overall shape of the bow right, I then needed to start taking a look at when I would eventually fit the fore hydroplanes and if there would be any work to do for that. As mentioned earlier, as far as I can tell there were 3 main phases to the structure of the foreplane/ bowplane arrangement. These involved originally the planes sticking out on their shaft , then a curved filleted profile that extended to the hull and finally a box like structure that looks slightly raised and projects outward. This last evolution is the one im going for. I think it looks the most interesting however it does disrupt the smooth lines of the bow. On the earlier versions you can clearly see the gradual shape of the bow move back the the missile deck. With this box in the way it is a little less clear.

                          In order to do this I used small blocks of pine, shape them and then glue them to the sides of the bow at the appropriate place. Once these are in place then it is a case of using heaps of filer to get the right shape. This structure had a flat top surface that extended to where the hydroplanes started rotating. It angles away steeply at the front and less so at the rear. Making sure that the surface that the planes would be attached to would be slightly angled out and not create an 'undercut' would be important.

                          Getting this box section right has also taken weeks of sanding and checking the profile. I really wonder about the hydrodynamics of this shape. Its really boxy and you'd think it would create more eddy and vortex than the last shape which was simply a profile housing the same shape as the plane filleted at an angle to the hull. To me this surely would have had the lowest drag co-efficient.

                          I also needed to look at the area where the missile deck groove starts. There is what looks like a cut in the hullplates immediately forward of where the missile deck starts. ( check pic: Mystery groove) It moves forward and angles downward slightly. It looks like a tear in the hull and runs forward I'm guessing about 2-3 metres. Hard to gauge. Can anyone tell me what this section/feature is called? Another unusual feature that I have also noticed is a cut in the hull of HMS Renown in drydock. I have also spotted a similar photo of the same treatment metered out for Courageous. I am sure it is a post decommissioing thing. Does anyone have any ideas?

                          Davidh
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hello all,

                            Still no advice / comments. It would be really great if someone could clarify the aspects of the Resolutions that I highlighted in my last post.

                            It has taken a lot of time to get the bow looking just right. I have spent many an hour looking over the bow, comparing it against photos and then working out if there were any modifications that needed to be made. The box section at the front breaks up the lines of the bow deck as it heads back to the missile deck so it is a little less clear to see the continuation.

                            Using a knife, files and sandpaper I cut grooves into the side of the hull where the 'Mystery groove' is located. This as mentioned earlier would create an undercut with the mould but this would be only a small one.

                            Now it was a case of making sure that both sides of the box structure are the same width and have the same length, that the fillets on either side go out as long as needed. It has become clear that I will need to make the fillets curve back towards the hull at a steeper angle. If you look at photos of the full size , these look like welded on sheet metal plate.

                            After spending time looking at the foreplane assembly I then would turn my attention to the missile deck. The Missile deck effectively starts where the split line in the hull occurs and runs for most of the lenght of the missile deck. The horizontal separation between the missile deck and the hull.

                            This would be built up with two side pieces and a thicker piece of pine, planed to an angle as the base. The two thinner pieces glued along the planed face and then nailed and punched. Then I would round off the edges where the missile doors would wrap down the side of the hull.
                            The missile deck is slightly narrower than the bow deck as it leads to the missile deck. This is most evident in some launch photos that were taken side on and you can see a differing of light refelcting of the side of the hull. In order to achieve this I have glued small wedges to the sides at the front of the missile deck and will sand it back to meet the wider deck around where to sail is. This will be a really subtle transition that you should hardly notice. This gap between the the missile deck and the bow section at the front occurs right where the sail is mounted. It is also where to top deck then continues flat.

                            One of the photos shows the gear I intend to drive this puppy with. A subdriver has come my way and wow, what great engineering! I've got to say after building my own WTC's for ten years to build a cylinder that works in a very different way to what I'm used to has been a good challenge. I have been building water pump /sheerline type ballast tanks and so to build one that doesnt rely on pressure has been great. To turn the whole unit on / off with the flick of a switch is fantastic.

                            Anyway ,enough for now, as mentioned I would really love some feedback and any advice people have, would be really great.

                            david h
                            Attached Files

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you're on facebook, you'll almost certainly get some answers over on the Dive-in page. I'm not trying to plug my group, just simply that we have a lot of knowledgeable people on that class of boat over there, and I can't think of anywhere else where you will find that.
                              DIVE IN! Go on, go on, go on, go on, GO ON! http://www.diveintomodelsubmarines.co.uk

                              Comment

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