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MBD British WWII "U" class sub Build

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  • MBD British WWII "U" class sub Build

    To everyone in general,

    And now for something completely different - a man building a MBD "U" class sub without a whole lot of experience in subs and depending on a little (or lot of) help from my friends or anyone else who has an opinion.

    Here's the background:
    I have talked to Mike Caswell about a build thread idea I had in mind that I hope will turn out to be a win-win situation for both Caswell and me. I have some experience building surface fiberglass boats but, aside from putting together a 1/96 scale USS Blueback kit, no experience in fitting out a large sub starting from basically just a hull.

    I have purchased a 1/32 (approx) "U" class hull from Caswell. It's made by MBD from an old Darnell design. I have also purchased a lot of other items from Caswell to complete the build such as a 3.5/2 Sub Driver and lots of Kevin Mc's electronics.

    Here's where y'all come in. Frankly, I need your help and guidance. I have some ideas on how to do this but I figured, "Why wander down the wrong dead end road when there's so much talent and experience right here on this forum."

    Here's the plan:
    1) I keep everyone fully up do date on all progress, or lack thereof, by posting lots of pictures and associated data and then ask everyone, "What do you recommend I do next?"

    2) As many as cares to chimes in with advice or direction on the next step and,if some sort of consensus can be reached, to the best of my ability, I go do it. Please don't be offended if I don't choose to exactly follow your idea (or ignore it all together) for I have some of my own ideas on this as well. On the other hand, I'm certainly not going to ignore the advice from those who have years of experience.

    3) There a only a few "givens and druthers." a) I shall to the best of ability and budget use only products sold by Caswell, b) I would like to use WEST System Epoxy whenever possible as I have experience with it. Beyond that I'm open to just about anything.

    4) I live in Michigan which means that right now it's cold and snowy which means I don't have a lot of ventilated areas to work in - hint - I don't want to gas me nor my family.

    If, at any time, you think I need to purchase some new supply, tool or other gizmo, just let me know and I'll get it, budget allowing. At this time I have a reasonably well equipped workshop consisting of Dremels, scroll saws, files, drills, sanders and lots of other "stuff".

    Criticism of my work is required and encouraged. I guarantee you that you will not hurt my feelings. After several years of marriage, I'm used to being told I did something wrong.

    And please don't leave out any steps or warnings because it's obvious. Obvious to you, maybe, but perhaps not to somebody else and almost certainly not to me.

    One more point that probably doesn't need to be said but I'll say it anyway - I have absolutely no commercial ties with Caswell nor anyone else associated with Caswell. When I finish this build it'll be a win for me because I'll have a nice model and a win for Caswell because they'll have a thread utilizing a lot of products that they sell and that they can use as they see fit - or not.

    I'm doing this because I would like to end up with a very nice model of a "U" class sub but I need some experienced help. My first goal is to get something that functions in the water and surfaces as many times as it dives and comes back to the shore. That's it. Long term goal is to add "little bits" as I see fit to add more detail to the model. I am all for a fully rusted, tired looking sub half covered in seagull guano, but that's phase two.

    I'll start posting pictures of what I have now in about 2 weeks time or sooner. Thanks for your attention to this long post and I hope to be hearing from a lot of you soon.

    Dan
    Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

  • #2
    First here are some pictures of the hull. Some pictures show slight damage - no big deal - I'll fix them later. The forward dive planes have some bubbles in them but I don't intend to use them anyway as I'll make the planes out of sheet brass.
    Dan
    Attached Files
    Last edited by roedj; 02-13-2010, 10:04 PM.
    Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

    Comment


    • #3
      Next I'll show some of the supplies acquired for the build.
      Dan
      Attached Files
      Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

      Comment


      • #4
        Finally some pictures of the sail and a group picture of the running gear.
        Dan
        Attached Files
        Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

        Comment


        • #5
          OK, that's the starting point - what do I do next?

          Please be specific. If supplies are needed list the brand name or generic type.

          Thanks for your help,

          Dan
          Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

          Comment


          • #6
            Dan,

            Very good. I'll monitor this thread and will assist. And I'll be equally candid, i.e. if I see a Caswell-Merriman product that is either unsuited to the task or is of questionable quality, I'll say so. I agree with you, this thread must be useful to those reading over our shoulders. And, hell yes, if you find a product from other sources than me or Mike, make use of it ... we'll try to hold back the tears of betrayal and disappointment.

            Oh, and lets get a few terms down straight: You are not 'building' here, you are 'assembling' a kit.

            One ***** of a kit from what I see in photos later on in this thread. Dan, you've got a kit here that suffers from original tool design (limited document availability and/or poor master making skills on behalf of the originator of the tooling) problems, and flaws of GRP and resin part production. You, sir, will be Tested by this kit.

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by roedj View Post
              First here are some pictures of the hull. Some pictures show slight damage - no big deal - I'll fix them later. The forward dive planes have some bubbles in them but I don't intend to use them anyway as I'll make the planes out of sheet brass.
              Dan
              That is one rough looking kit. Fix the damage at the stern and the radial flanges with the epoxy/filler pack provided with the kit. Those resin appendages look like they were mash-molded using left over catalyzed laminating resin. Awful!

              Other than the damaged stuff, how well does the white gel-coat adhere to the underlying fiberglass (which looks like a heavy single-shot of sprayed on resin and chopped glass)?

              I have the feeling that a full-scale boat builder is employing the tools and techniques of that trade to produce model kit parts from much smaller tools -- not always a good transition, as you are abundantly aware of by now, Dan.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by roedj View Post
                Next I'll show some of the supplies acquired for the build.
                Dan
                The ASSEMBLY, god-Damit ... the ASSEMBLY!!!!

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

                Comment


                • #9
                  The ASSEMBLY, god-Damit ... the ASSEMBLY!!!!

                  David,
                  ------------------------

                  And to think I actually ASKED for this,

                  Dan - Assembler 3rd Class
                  Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    He who enters these halls, Abandon All Hope!

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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Epoxy repair parts A and B - required ventilation

                      Originally posted by Merriman View Post
                      Other than the damaged stuff, how well does the white gel-coat adhere to the underlying fiberglass (which looks like a heavy single-shot of sprayed on resin and chopped glass)?

                      David,
                      Well enough, I guess. I don't really know what criteria I should use to test this. None of the gel-coat appears to be flaking off.

                      I have looked at the instructions with the epoxy repair kit and while I'm sure it'll work, I'm not thrilled with all the ventilation warnings. As I said, I'm in Michigan where it's cold and snowy which means I don't have access to an outside area to mix and apply the epoxy. Furthermore, my work area shares a part of my basement with the central heating furnace. I'm not so worried about flammability as I am about the furnace pumping the fumes throughout my entire house when the heat kicks on.

                      Epoxy repair kit part A health warning 3 out of 5.
                      Part B health warning is 2 out of 5

                      Is there another less toxic way to fix the structural damage?

                      Dan
                      Last edited by roedj; 02-15-2010, 12:08 AM. Reason: fixed the Merriman quotation
                      Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by roedj View Post
                        Well enough, I guess. I don't really know what criteria I should use to test this. None of the gel-coat appears to be flaking off.

                        I have looked at the instructions with the epoxy repair kit and while I'm sure it'll work, I'm not thrilled with all the ventilation warnings. As I said, I'm in Michigan where it's cold and snowy which means I don't have access to an outside area to mix and apply the epoxy. Furthermore, my work area shares a part of my basement with the central heating furnace. I'm not so worried about flammability as I am about the furnace pumping the fumes throughout my entire house when the heat kicks on.

                        Epoxy repair kit part A health warning 3 out of 5.
                        Part B health warning is 2 out of 5

                        Is there another less toxic way to fix the structural damage?

                        Dan
                        Dan

                        Then I guess we can safely assume there is no problem with the gel coat.

                        We supply MSDS sheets that are accurate and truthful. If you take the proper precautions, wear gloves, remove material from skin etc. you will have no problems. Consider that MSDS sheets are designed for industrial use, where people could be exposed to these materials all day, every day.The ventilation requirement is minimal as there are no solvents in this material unlike polyesters (car body fillers etc) and many other goops. You're more likely to be hit by a bus than have problems with this.

                        How did you come up with the 'ratings'?
                        Stop messing about - just get a Sub-driver!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kazzer View Post
                          How did you come up with the 'ratings'?
                          Mike,

                          The ratings and all the warnings are the label Caswell applies to the cans. I'm a retired Chemist and after several years of inhaling fumes that would drop a horse I tend to read labels a little more than the next guy.

                          I'll give it a try although the label mentions an instruction sheet for application techniques, ets. Is this a .pdf file available for download?

                          Dan (still breathing)
                          Born in Detroit - where the weak are killed and eaten.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by roedj View Post
                            Well enough, I guess. I don't really know what criteria I should use to test this. None of the gel-coat appears to be flaking off.

                            I have looked at the instructions with the epoxy repair kit and while I'm sure it'll work, I'm not thrilled with all the ventilation warnings. As I said, I'm in Michigan where it's cold and snowy which means I don't have access to an outside area to mix and apply the epoxy. Furthermore, my work area shares a part of my basement with the central heating furnace. I'm not so worried about flammability as I am about the furnace pumping the fumes throughout my entire house when the heat kicks on.

                            Epoxy repair kit part A health warning 3 out of 5.
                            Part B health warning is 2 out of 5

                            Is there another less toxic way to fix the structural damage?

                            Dan
                            Stop whining! I'm sure you have not gotten your daily minimum dose of carcinogens from the basement Radon, Dan. So, suck it up, crack the lids to the epoxy and breath in the fumes. Get to work! And share the hobby with the rest of the family, you selfish so-and-so! Crank up that heater.

                            Here's the gel-coat test in one simple operation: break out the drill and Dremel bits and open up some of those limber holes. If the surrounding surface gel-coat does not chip next to the holes you're punching, then the gel-coat is good. Simple.

                            Listen, you only have to worry about epoxy toxicity when you start evidencing neurological damage which presents as unreasonable aggression, sarcasm, mean spiritedness, and a total disregard for the feelings of other. From your writings I see none of that. So far.

                            Listen, pal: I've been working with this stuff for decades and it hasn't done me any harm at all. So ... stop *****ing about the epoxy ... or I'll go over there, kick your ass, then make posts about how funny you dress. Don't make me do it, Dan!

                            David,
                            Last edited by He Who Shall Not Be Named; 02-15-2010, 08:38 AM. Reason: forgot to insert cuss words
                            "... well, that takes care of Jorgenson's theory!"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by roedj View Post
                              Mike,

                              The ratings and all the warnings are the label Caswell applies to the cans. I'm a retired Chemist and after several years of inhaling fumes that would drop a horse I tend to read labels a little more than the next guy.

                              I'll give it a try although the label mentions an instruction sheet for application techniques, ets. Is this a .pdf file available for download?

                              Dan (still breathing)

                              Aha! That chemist thing explains a lot! :-) I'm glad you brought this up as most people don't even look at the labels. The MSDS is for a Ciba Geigy resin system and they tend to go overboard with them, as they make a lot of products used in body implants, contact lenses etc. The 2 & 3 rating, if I remember correctly, is a fairly low assessment. I'll have to do some homework, because I forget. Maybe it's the paint fumes from remodeling my house?

                              The Instruction Sheet is really for use as a Fuel/Gas Tank Sealer, and refers to the techniques we have developed to deal with that problem. You only need to mix the material together 2:1q ratio and then add Cabosil until the material turns to a paste that is consistent with your requirement. ie: On vertical surfaces, make a stiff mix, on shallow areas, make it a little sloppy, so it wets out the substrate properly. Use it in a room at 70f or more for best result. I often place an illuminated 60 watt light bulb close (6-9") to the repair to speed up the cure. It will set in about 15 minutes like this. Depending on the heat applied, you could be sanding the repair down in 30-60 minutes. I usually leave it overnight. If you think the repair may slump, place a piece of polyethylene sheet or Gladwrap over the are, to hold it in place.
                              Stop messing about - just get a Sub-driver!

                              Comment

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