December 13, 2017

Down to the Waterline

The newly cut waterline hull alongside the wharf at Aquia Landing. It's hard to photograph as it is so big. 


Tonight, I glued in the plywood deck to the styrene hull. I used a combination of CAA and Wellbond. Before I did that, I reinforced the area of the hull where the deck meets the hull sides with a strip on 1/8th by ¼ inch basswood. The area near the paddlewheel in particular needed some stiffening.

Marking the waterline. 
Once the CAA glue had a few minutes to set, I marked the waterline using various thickness boards to get the hull at the right attitude with respect to the nearly flat bottom keel. The deck at the bow is about 1/8th inch higher than the stern.  Before cutting, I double checked the dimensions along the hull with my calipers. I needed to re-mark one side. It was easy to wipe off the incorrect line with an alcohol soaked rag and then carefully redraw it.

With both waterlines the same,  I then  used a utility knife to cut the styrene hull  along   the marked line.  I made multiple light passes with the blade and eventually the styrene snapped open.  I actually had to change blades as the knife edge quickly wore away.

With the bottom cut off, I had access to the interior.  I ran a thick bead of Wellbond along the deck hull joint.

Tomorrow I'll add some lateral stiffeners inside the hull, but I was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy the hull was even now without them. Then I 'll sand the cut edges and get it all squared up.

This was the toughest part of building this model. The rest of the ship is not much  different than building a land structure.   Using the styrene hull saved a lot of time. So far I've worked on this hull about 4 hours and it is nearly done. If I had cut my own bulkheads and planked them, it probably would have taken me about 30-40 hours of work.

It really looks cool sitting alongside the wharf as it dwarfs the trains near it.

9 comments:

  1. I guess you are not "going to need a bigger boat."

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    1. That is how we got here, we realized that the space I initially allocated to the harbor area was too small. These ¼ inch scale ships are big.

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  2. looks nice! humming Dire Straits now...

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  3. How did you decide where the waterline cut should be made?

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    1. It is shown on the plans.

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    2. Well, that's helpful! I've been contemplating a scratch-built N scale Mississippi steamboat with a waterline hull and trying to figure out how much of the hull would be above the water.

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    3. There are N Scale (or very close to N Scale) kits available. Amati makes wooden one and Lingberg had a plastic version. Google them and you will easily find them.

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    4. I had seen the Lindberg Robert E. Lee recently, but not the Amati. For whatever reason, model kits just don't capture my interest the same way that pondering the possibilities of scratch-building does. That Amati model sure is pretty to look at though -- as are yours.

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