Author Topic: WWII USN Sea Mule  (Read 1306 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2020, 12:40:37 »
A bit of progress to report...

The supports for the steering gear/rudders and the propellor shafts was all steel tubing bolted together. Simple but complex if you know what I mean. Easy to assemble and repair in real life but a bit of work at 1/50 scale.

The shafts and bearings for the propellors and rudders are brass. The supports and struts are styrene tubing. OK for a display only version but would have to be soldered or braised brass if it was a working model. The steering would be tricky to arrange on a working model.

The props are home made.

The nuts and bolt on the locking brackets are quite small and I made a lot of them expecting a high failure rate. Never happened and I have plenty left.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2020, 12:52:59 »
Most of this was quite fiddly work and it all took longer than planned. Another 6 hours.

The propellors are not permanently attached yet. The end of the propellor shaft is attached to the foot of the rudder support strut. unusual but quite simple to assemble and maintain in the field.

In hindsight (which is always 20/20) I should have made the blades much wider. I can fix this next time I get some etching done but they will do for now.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2020, 11:58:05 »
I haven't put in much time on this since the last post, but I did manage to pretty much finish the below the waterline details.

The PE brass has a few parts for this boat and the next 2 builds. here you can see the console dials, wheel and steering quadrants. The quadrant wheels are made from 2 of these soldered together. There is a small lip etched out of the rim to leave a groove in the assembled piece. A job for good eyesight, a steady hand and a delicate piece of soldering. None of which I have, so I rely on good luck and lots of filing.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2020, 11:59:35 »
and a few more...

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2020, 12:01:25 »
The rudders and propellor shafts are connected in an usual way. Probably made sense for on-site assembly by unskilled men and for easy maintenance but quite complex at 1/50. The rudder attachment points are quite fragile. Painting this will be fun!

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2020, 12:02:49 »
Last ones for today.

So far so good another 4 hours.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 00:33:02 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2020, 00:42:51 »
Reasonably quiet weekend. Managed to get a little more done between painting the house and making the most of the sunny days.

Planked the wooden deck area and added all of the lifting eyes and base plates for the railings.

The deck planks are styrene strips and sit flush with the chequer-plate steel deck.

Each pontoon has 4 lifting eyes. They were used to manoeuvre the seperate pontoon sections into position for assembly. I've put the eyes in now so that I can arrange the deck equipment around them. it'll be too tricky to attempt to put these in place when the deck details, railings, splash guard, push knees and control consoles are attached. The radiators and exhaust pipes for the under side of the hull aren't done yet. I've been avoiding thinking about the radiators

Only 2 hours for this update.

Next up the 6 deck hatches: 2 engine bay, 4 fuel tank; and the consoles 1 steering station and 2 motor control stations. A bit of work there.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 00:53:42 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2020, 10:56:01 »
The hatches were pretty straightforward to make. All styrene.

In the end I only needed 4. Two that I had thought were hatches are inspection plates, so the 2 small ones are now discarded.

The latches were very tedious and time consuming. They are tiny and I'm not sure why I bothered. Sometimes you start down a rabbit hole and there's no going back. Next time I'll get the handles photo etched in brass.

3 hours for that lot.

des

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 501
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2020, 12:19:51 »
A lot of effort for those latches and wingnuts!  I've used similar method for the hinges on WT doors & hatches, but I've not bothered with all those latches - at 1/50 scale, sometimes you've got to decide what tiny detail bits to leave off.  I know nobody sees those small bits, but also, everyone notices when they aren't there.

Des.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2020, 10:59:57 »
Yes, I know that feeling Des. I'm that way with my hull finishes. I know not many fellow modellers give too much scrutiny to the hull but for me it's the benchmark of any model. Any tiny, slight bulge, dent or wonky bit distracts me until it is fixed and, in my view, correct.

Paradoxically, by the time I'm working on the last stages of any project I start to get lazy and take short cuts. Those are the bits that always disappoint me later.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #25 on: February 14, 2020, 13:32:22 »
The next stage of this build is all of the larger deck equipment: 2 x engine bay hatch towers, steering console, bitts, railing, push knees and splash-guard in no particular order.

First up is the splash-guard.

I planned to make this by laminating 3 layers of 0.2mm styrene and forming the shape around a template. I made a very simple jig out of off-cuts and made sure that it fitted in where it should on the deck and looked right. This was then used it to make a paper pattern for the basic guard shape. after a couple of adjustments the pattern was used to make the first /inside layer of styrene. This was held onto the jig with a few strategically placed pieces of double-sided tape. Then the next layer, about 2mm longer was glued on, then another.

I leave plenty of excess all round and sand everything down flush to the jig once the glue has completely dried.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #26 on: February 14, 2020, 13:33:33 »
Works a treat. Maintains its shape well and is quite robust.

It still needs the end sections of the guard, a rolled lip at the top edge (styrene rod) and I might add a couple of small foot-plates to secure it to the deck.
The residue from the tape will wash off.

This bit only took 2 hours so a success all round.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 13:35:05 by sea monkey »

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2020, 11:33:21 »
... and done. The lip and tips added. Another hour.

Was also able to get the railings made. Quite a simple job, no tricky angles or curves, and only 2 rails. The rails are quite a bit beefier than on a normal boat rail. On the real Mules they were steel piping bolted together. I've gone for a simpler approach.

I enjoy soldering, it's very satisfying when it turns out well. The top rail was longer in length than the longest piece of rod available so it had to be joined at an unsupported place. This can often cause a weak point in the rail but this time it is solid and flush. It's even hard to spot the join.

This little section took 2 hours to complete but I was working quite slowly and making the most of it.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #28 on: February 18, 2020, 11:14:47 »
Had a day of solid rain yesterday, so no chance to do any painting on the house. Instead I was able to get in a solid stretch at the bench and knocked off a few of the remaining big jobs the consoles.

They came together surprisingly smoothly and quickly. I had been thinking about how to approach construction for a couple of days and luckily it all went according to plan. I love it when that happens.

sea monkey

  • Site Supporter
  • Admiral Poster
  • *
  • Posts: 1307
Re: WWII USN Sea Mule
« Reply #29 on: February 18, 2020, 11:17:26 »
As usual, they are a mix of styrene and brass. The dials are PE brass. The steering cable sheaves are very tiny and soldering on the brass rod for the cable section without flooding the little wheels with solder was a delicate job. I held my breath, crossed my fingers and closed my eyes.

Worked out OK. With a bit of paint everything is Ocean Grey 5-0 you'll hardly even see them.

All 3 consoles took a total of 8 hours. I'm managing to stick to the time-line. So far everything, including these consoles adds up to 36 hours.