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  1. #1

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    Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    While work’s been keeping me from my models (I have three jobs and, since one increased my hours, have been doing 70hour weeks), I’ve managed to nearly complete the (heavily modified) Lindberg ‘Southern Belle’ model I’ve modified into a towboat named the ‘Logsdon.’

    I’m now torn between two projects I want to start, one to build the battleship ‘Iowa’ during her years as a target ship and the other to build a Crowley railbarge, named the
    ‘Birch’, for this towboat to haul around the lake.

    Just to aid in this decision, IF I were to attempt to build the 1:64th scale railbarge, I’m almost positive, I’d need to build it from scratch. Would any of you be able to give me suggestions on scratchbuilding a barge hull, or direct me to a website/article/book with techniques for doing so???

    Thank you in advance…

    PS. Here are pictures of the Birch;

    http://www.alaskarails.org/historica.../RB/index.html


  2. #2
    Apismelifera's Avatar
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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    Just build a generic rail barge out of plastic or wood whatever you feel comfortable with. Build in the major details of the Birch as you go, dimensions to suit. Looks like there is enough detail in those pictures to enable you to do the job.

    Check this out for an article on how to make the top. Aught to be good for some ideas at least.

    http://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/m.../railcar-barge

    http://cdm15323.contentdm.oclc.org/c...CISOBOX1=Float

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    John KaBang

  3. #3
    Deathwish's Avatar
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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    You can get the plan's for an Iowa class on my post. http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/m_64...tm.htm#8446714 it's 1/192 scale but i tihnk u canfind a way to scale it down.

  4. #4

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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    Deathwish,

    Thank you for the offer, but I was just saying that I’m deciding whether to build the USS Iowa BB-4 (the first Iowa) from a kit OR to build a barge for the towboat I’m currently finishing after I finish that towboat.

    In order to even consider building the barge, I need to look into hull building techniques since this project would require this skill and haven’t scratch built a hull before.

    For the Iowa project, I have a Glencoe model of the USS Oregon BB-3, the Iowa’s near sister, and intend to modify her to create the Iowa.

    This is how I’ve been building ships up to this point, using available hulls and modifying them to suit the project which explanes why I don't have hull building experience.

    Apismelitera,

    Thank you as well for the additional pictures and mechanical drawings (!!!) of railbarges. These will definitely provide me with future projects!!!


    What I need for this project though is advice on how to build a hull.

    Here’re the questions I can foresee but have no idea what other issues are lurking around that I can’t see;

    What material would be best to make this out of?

    I usually use styrene to simulate metal but have found that sheet styrene tends to warp along long straight sides (such as those on the barge) and will actually warp and deform around any internal support I attempt to install. So while it’s fine for superstructure elements, I don’t think it’ll work on such a long straight hull.

    I’ve used wood on some of these long straight sides and used balsa fillcoat to give it the appearance of smooth metal. However, this has only been on superstructure elements that are above the waterline.

    What kind of wood should I use on the hull which will be below the waterline?

    What kind of glue should I use to make sure it stays together?

    What kind of fillcoat should I use to give it a smooth metal-like appearance that is also tough enough?

    What should I apply over it to make sure water doesn’t soak into the grain?

    How should I make sure that the joints are waterproof?

    Remember, I’m used to beginning with a pre-formed hull, so this is new to me.

    Thank you both for the help you’ve provided and for any answers to these questions.

  5. #5

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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    Larry - Cape Coral, Florida
    http://www.rseahawks.org

  6. #6
    Apismelifera's Avatar
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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    First you have to relax, remember this is supposed to be a fun hobby. Once you start reading the forum you'll see that a lot of the builders say they enjoy the build experience every bit as much as running the model once its done. A barge is even easier since you're making such a basic shape, and you don't need to install radio and propulsion.

    Sagging of the surface material is a function of how strong it is vs the length of the span. With wood it has a definite grain that makes it naturally resistant to bending along the grain. If you pick up a piece of thin pine plank you can bend it by hand if you flex it with the grain, but much harder if you try to flex it against the grain. Now try flexing a piece of plywood. Over large spans you can use birch plywood or you can use two or more layers made from strips of wood laid at some angle with respect to the previous layer. This is is effect built to suit plywood. This can even be done over simple and compound curves that you'd have a hard time getting with plywood.

    For wood I would recommend Titebond III wood glue and CPES sealer.

    Build your framework cover it with wood strips (I like basswood over balsa, remember you'll end up having to ballast it anyway.). Then once you have the exterior wood work done sand it lightly, apply some filler material of your choice, (I like bondo, cheap and easy to sand) then sand again. repeat fill, sand till you have it suffucently smooth then apply the sealer inside and out. I penetrates the wood and bondo both. Then sand and paint the exterior with automotive auto body primer, and sand smooth with some 600 grit paper. Repeat paint and sand till you're happy with it then final paint.

    http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...arm+CPES+Epoxy

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    John KaBang

  7. #7

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    RE: Building my 1st hull from scratch, suggestions???

    To build a barge, I'd use 1/16 birch ply with 3/32 or 1/8 ply framing. This would be more than strong enough and, if built with marine epoxy, will never come apart. I've used 1/16 birch as the primary material to build 40+ inch hydroplane for years and have never had a problem with strength. If I felt more strength was needed, 1/8" square spruce stick stock or heavier plywood was used, depending on the application


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