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U-91035 "PROTEUS" Build Log 2020-04-17: Hull

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  • U-91035 "PROTEUS" Build Log 2020-04-17: Hull

    Been a while since I posted progress on the PROTEUS, so I think it’s past due.

    The short of it, she’s at about 75% completion.

    Before I go on I need to say something, remember the old Estes Model Rocket Skill Levels? 1-5 Beginner to Expert?? This sucker is pushing a 9 lol! I would not recommend this for the beginner, at least not my approach! I haven't even begun the part that's my Achilles heel, finishing!!

    Power, Command and Control, Propulsion and Ballast systems have all been designed, fabricated, tested and partially installed. What’s left to do is completion of the Hull, mostly the upper hull section (Dome, Halo Light, Practical Snorkel Induction), upper & lower rudder fabrication, as well as dive plane installation (Stern/Bow).

    I’m at the point I can start finishing and priming the lower hull, complete the upper Hull and do the same. As it’s all modular, final assembly doesn’t really apply. Final fitting and test of everything, then trimming can begin.

    If you remember from an earlier post, the Engines are custom made Pumpjets using Turnigy 2205/34 1500KV Brushless Motors coupled to NQD-757 757T-6024 RC Boat Nozzles. A bit of machining was required for the custom Aluminum/Chrome steel water cooled housing as they can deliver a 130W at WOT. Put THAT light bulb in a confined space!

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    Starboard Engine Mount

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    Port Engine Mount

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    I fabricated coamings to aid in alignment of the upper hull when installed. You can also see the Port ⅛” dia. Stainless steel midship hold down pin. These (P & S) hold a mating latch pin on the upper hull assisting in holding it down as well as maintaining shape and alignment.


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    View from astern.

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    Internal view of the upper hull where the adjustable midship latch pins are located. A simple “L” shaped ⅛” pin pointed fwd to grab the lower pin and pull the upper hull close as it’s moved fwd into position.

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    Underside view of the lower hull top half showing the pins glassed in.

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    The time has come to fish or cut bait. Over the years (since ‘03) the hull had warped. SO I really wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing, as well as what I was in for when I got to this point.

    Here I am mixing the epoxy and filler together to bong the lower hull upper and lower sections together. As you can see I’m using the West System product. What’s important was in using the 209 Extra slow hardener. I wanted plenty of time to apply it , and adjust fit. No rush here! I added the 403 filler until the epoxy consistency was somewhere between mayonnaise and peanut butter.

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    I used a large medical catheter syringe to apply it. These things are great for many uses in our hobby, but I can say in all honesty never had to use one for its intended purpose! (TMI?)

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    It allowed me to put the “cake batter” exactly where I wanted it!

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    After everything was checked and aligned, the Hull was clamped and I left it alone for 24 hours. Very happy I elected to use the extra slow cure for final adjustments. The consistency held up great where vertical surfaces were of concern.

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    At this point a sanity check with test fitting everything that gets mounted in the lower hull. You can see Power Control forward, Command and Control, very large Ballast tank, Propel EB System, Ballast Vent system, as well as the linkages for the bow planes. The Clippard Gas Solenoid as well as the diaphragm pump Low Pressure Blower is located below the tank, aft of the 2 6V 7Ah SLA’s rigged in series.

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    I decided to create my own upper and lower rudders in lieu of using Rick’s for several reasons. First and foremost for weight. I’m using the Moebius 1:32 plastic model as my “Golden” Prototype, we’ll call it the G-proto for reference. Rick’s come in a ” thick, scaling up from the G-proto tells me they should be ~ 3/16” in thickness, which actually works lessening the weight, but also for the second reason, the “vertical blind” rudder detail.

    On a side note, Ray Mason as unsuccessfully suggested I make these operational or at least movable by manual input. Mmmmmmm, ye….NO! I’m NOT that super detailer guy when it comes to my running boats. A serious BRAVO ZULU to those that do! I’m the “weird” guy Bob Martin speaks of who does NOT weather his boat and makes them look like every other “cookie cutter” boat out there. Fling opinions at will, as I have my own too, but I save THAT level of detail for my static builds. Especially since my running boats get their fair share of abuse, natural weathering and whisky dings from the other morons on the pond that aren’t qualified to operate their toys much less adhere to COLREGS Nav Rules. My boat, my opinion. Seriously, I’m not a anal about it as some out there!

    However, since I’m laying up three 1/16” thick layers of FRP, the window where they’re located will be over-sized to fit the separate vane pieces and give them the visual effect of being movable even though they are fixed. The center layer will also have the “tabs” that penetrate into the hull and provide a very firm support when mounted. The frame I will most likely 3D print from ABS to create a single piece. I plan to do that for the AFT window frame as well.

    Finally, The plan is to separate the upper and lower rudder at a horizontal line ~ ” below the plane of the stern plane, the outer layers will separate higher than the middle layer. This forms a “tongue and groove” style joint and with a small and indiscreet pin which will securely hold the upper hull section to the lower hull when it’s slid forward into place. This, along with the aforementioned midship latching pins and other pins beneath the fwd windows will keep everything securely together.

    I also plan to fabricate the stern plane this way. Cutback on the middle section along the leading edge will provide a nice slot for the hinge.

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    Did this outside...cough....hack...cough...dust...who bought all the face mask's??

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    Next up comes repair of the fwd windows on the upper hull. I don’t really mind this having been damaged in storage as it will actually allow greater build flexibility here. What is it said about eggs and omelets?

    After that I can focus on the windows, Halo Light assembly and the dome. Can’t forget the Snorkel either! No lung walls to provide much needed air, but the plan is a small burst of propel gas to get the top deck at the surface, then the LPB (diaphragm pump) will draw air into that ballast tank bringing her up to that midpoint waterline seen in the movie. Definitely a boat that likes to ride high!

    You can see the Gproto sitting there. For the record I am very happy with Rick Teskey's work here. I took measurements and compared between the Moebius 1:32 PROTEUS and Rick's ~1:14 scale beast. He is within a 2% error margin of the G-proto. Well within tolerance for me. Aside from that, if it wan't for him actually doing it, I would never have gotten to this point. A heartfelt thanks Rick!

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    As I said earlier, this definitely is not a build for the faint of heart. Quite a bit of Engineering and custom fabricating to get what I want here. So definitely an Expert level, the only thing preventing it from the Master (Roshi) level is I didn’t fabricate the hull. Another place I draw the line at as I know I’d never get anything done lol. Thankfully I had the 3D printer to shave time and rapid prototype ideas.

    I do truly love this build, even if it’s a complete flop (or anchor) when she hits the water. I’m trying some “out of the box”ideas here, but that’s how we learn.
    Understand PROTEUS to me is what Disney NAUTILUS is to Bob Martin, both of Harper Goff pedigree! It’s my ultimate boat, hopefully she lives up to my desires.
    Attached Files
    v/r "Sub" Ed

    Silent Service "Cold War" Veteran (The good years!)
    NEVER underestimate the power of a Sailor who served aboard a submarine.

  • #2
    That is looking darned spanky, Ed! Wow. Nice work.


    • #3
      Great work Ed.


      • #4
        Ed do you want me too try a window area layup? I still have the molds , last time I tried a layup the sides and rear deck came out dished in over top of Rachel's work station.
        what ever happened too Rays hull?


        • #5
          Is zoom meeting still on books ? Scr site is still in dry dock


          • #6
            Excellent fabrication technique and problem solving on display here, Ed.

            This project has stepped up your game significantly, pal.

            Resident Luddite


            • #7
              Really nice work "Sub" Ed!

              A total scratch build! Your design, and fabrication is really expert work!

              Thanks for sharing!

              A real beginner!!

              "Firemen can stand the heat"