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Update on Capt Salerno’s 1:48 Scale SSRN SEAVIEW

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  • Update on Capt Salerno’s 1:48 Scale SSRN SEAVIEW

    A continuation of "...that’s not an RC Sub...THAT’S an RC Sub! "

    Frank has been busy on his 1:48 Scale Ray Mason SSRN SEAVIEW hull since I posted about it this past May. Those of you who made the trip to Groton this past September got to see her in all her unfinished glory. And though not running, Frank was still able to demo most of the features described last May.

    So I decided to visit his shop and see where he was in the build process. He’s shooting for this coming 2020 season. (Psssssst…..We all have a pool going, Bob Gaito has “Summer 2024”, I have “Never gets wet”, and Ray Mason has “Rolls on its back, submerges and disappears forever” What can I say, we’re a tough crowd here in NY...you know it.)

    Before I go on, I’d like to mention a word about the scale, and why we came up with 1:48 for this particular model. Many of you who remember Ray Masons original boat, it was shortened by some 16 inches or so in order to fit in the “Mystery Machine” (his blue Mitsubishi van that took this starry eyed author to an from Groton). Frank added the missing length to the Mason hull get to the right proportions.

    Now there are different sources, giving different LOA’s for this fictional Sub, some as low as 400’ and high as 560’. Frank is using the 1:128 Moebius SEAVIEW, reported to be one of the more accurate kits as his “prototype”, taking all measurements and details off that. He is adding some modern US Nuc details for deck detail, IE Rescue Buoy, but that’s for eye candy and an attempt at “What if she were real?” The builders prerogative.

    Anyway, the Moebius hull is 39” as stated on the box (I didn’t actually measure it, but what the heck). So simple math gives us 39(128)/12=416’. So Franks prototype gives us the SEAVIEW at 416 ft LOA. I do believe that’s nose light to tail light, boat design terminology, Length Over All (LOA). His boat is 102” so 12(416)/102=48.9411…… We’re calling it 1:48. My favorite scale. FWIW, the watertight doors (the NAVAL kind with dog’s on ‘em) on the side of her sail match in size those on my 1:48 scale Nantick Naval Harbor tug. Coincidence?? I think not!

    Anyway, it’s a good scale that affords plenty of resources to obtain details for. Can you say Model Railroad “O” gauge? It makes for the larger boats which have their own issues with storage and transportation, and my lower back. But they do have “presence” at the pond. Frank is digging that, and so am I.

    So on with the fun stuff.

    Frank is using a combination of Water Tight Boxes and Water Tight Cylinders for this build. Such systems as Command and Control (RCVR, ESC), Power Distribution, Ballast Control, Missile Control (Yep!), Torpedo Systems, Lighting, Pneumatics, etc are in their own pressure housings. He plans to use Wet Servos, after insuring watertight integrity of course. Main Drive motors are brushless motors kept in the wet as well. No worries regarding shaft seals or mechanical thru-hulls!

    Speaking from experience this allows for a highly flexible, accessible system lending itself to easy troubleshooting, maintenance and repair. Isolating electronics goes a long way to isolating glitching and chasing gremlins. Sure more boxes may lead to greater locations for leaks, but the systems are isolated, not everything will be exposed at once. Also, pushrods and shaft seals are a thing of the past. Watertight Risk assessment plays in here.

    Here are two of the boxes he is using, one controls pneumatics, the other is Missile Fire Control (Yep!)


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    Here is Frank’s Main Ballast system, in this case a cylinder. Center section is that tank itself of course, the fore and aft ends house the electronics. He’s using a home made hybrid of the “Pressure Ballast System” and “Gas Ballast System”. It has extra valves and what not that I’m not comfortable with me being a “Keep it Simple Stupid” guy who prefers the simple LPB Diaghram pump to snorkal in air and “Gas Ballast System” for backup like the 1:1 boats do it. But hey, everyone can do as they please with their boat! Even if you don’t agree.

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    Machinery room of his Ballast System, plumb baby plumb!!

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    Another view, Nice machining!

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    Frank also feels to get the surface trim proper, he’s adding fore and aft ballast tanks. For those of you who ran a SEAVIEW, one tends to trim her stern heavy at rest. As you move fwd, the bow goes down and the tail comes up. He wants her to sit HIGH and level at rest, then trim down when surfaced underway. In doing that he’s losing that beautiful Control Room internals after the Lounge Crash doors. FS1 plans to still be operational at this time. He may make a duplicate of this section to display alongside the running model.

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    Here we see the pneumatic plumbing, and electrical to his sail, you can also make out the 4 missile launchers aft. Note that rod with the silver disc atop it sticking up from the hull just aft of the large opening and to the right of the exposed missile system, more on that in a moment!

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    Speaking of that rod with the disc on it, that’s the aft one, there is one fwd as well. Yes, they serve a purpose. In my 30+ years of doing this I have NEVER seen anything like it. Watch this short video and judge for yourself.

    Frank Salerno: SSRN SEAVIEW (102" Mason Hull) Pop-Top!!

    Frank is outta control!

    Here are the Propulsion units Frank is going with. These Brushless Motor Pods are commercially available through Amazon. The green housings on the first set he got were obviously 3D printed. The 2nd set were smooth, either being cast now or perhaps Acetone treated after printing. Franks reports they’re very difficult to hold onto underwater with power lol!.

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    Aft view:

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    WHAT is a Sci-Fi sub without Cadillac fins? NOTHING I say! Savvy?!?! Operational lights of course. Dudes an artist, all hand made!

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    Finally, some sail lighting! Hard to see in this lighting, but that starboard NAV light IS green!

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    All I can say is 25 years or so ago, Ray Mason put what looked like a Watermelon with 4 duck feet and a Permit (the fish) tail that rotated and acted as a screw in the lake at Groton. It had a working light and sailor with spyglass pop up. The “feet” word as both propulsion on the surface, and as planes submerged. It worked like a charm and was amazing to behold!

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    That taught me anyone can build and get operational anything they want.

    Franks’ gonna win the pool.



    v/r "Sub" Ed

    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.
    USS ULYSSES S GRANT-USS SHARK-USS NAUTILUS-USS KEY WEST-USS BLUEBACK-USS PATRICK HENRY-K432-U25-SSRN SEAVIEW-PROTEUS-NAUTILUS

  • #2
    Holy heck! He's engineering the engineering there! Beautiful work!

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