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Thread: Sloop of War Constellation c.1856 in 1/36 RC

  1. #21
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    George, lowering the ballast on struts that way also gives the ballast the leverage it needs to open the hull like an oyster. Grab 50 pounds and hold it in front of you with your elbows at your sides and tell me how long it would be before the deck is sprung and the keel's twisting out.

    That doesn't even address the idea of handling a 100 pound model with a spider's web of sticks and strings on top and a 50 pound weight dangling a foot below it.

    The SC&H model of HMS Surprise carries about 40 pds externally in the same manner I plan and the model's almost exactly the same dimensions as mine except my rig is slightly shorter. My external weight will be 4" tall at 50 pounds, and 7-7.5" below the LWL.

    Here's a rough sail plan, that's proportionally scale. The model's dimensions are in an earlier post.


  2. #22
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Here's the hull with a wooden mock-up of the ballast keel attached.
    The keel will be 48" x 3-1/2" x 3/4" and allowing for the rounded front end and some relief of the corners should weight in at about 50-1/2 pounds.
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  3. #23
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    Default As of 6/28/09

    Well, a month later and here's where things are:

    A deck was put in for the battery to rest on. 4 Velcro tabs hold it in place.

    Blocking was added in various places where the braces and jib sheets will pass through the deck.

    Two 4 inch PVC female adapters and caps were cut down to become access hatches that will be disguised as pivot guns.

    A mount for the rudder servo was made and installed on the mizzen deck.

    A step for the bowsprit was framed and installed - today in fact.

    And a great many brain cells have given their lives in the quest to figure out the bracing of the yards as it's handled below decks.
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  4. #24
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    Default The rudder

    Here some developments on the ship's rudder.

    The rudder is made of acrylic (Plexiglas). The 1/2" tube in the hull is filled with J.B.Weld (a two-part epoxy filler) with a 3/16" i.d. tube centered in it. The 3/16" rudder post slides into this tube. The woulden rudder head approximates the scale rudder head and serves as a stop against the JB Weld fill to prevent the rudder riding up. A gudgeon plate at the heel of the keel steadies the bottom of the rudder post.
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  5. #25
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Rudder nearing completion - just have to add the pintle straps.
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  6. #26
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Looking at various ways to handle the braces for the yards (spars the square sails hang from), by all sorts of modelers, I've decided to go with a direct winch set-up.

    All the lower yards will be controlled by braces as well as the topsail yards (second from bottom) of the fore and main masts (front and middle) - 5 in all. The ones above that will be handled in a future episode.

    All the braces will be doubled aloft - that is, they will be attached to a fixed point, run to a block (pulley) at the end of the yard and back to a block fixed in the rigging, then down, through the deck where it will turn forward to a block on a spring mounted on a post. From here it goes through a fairlead and onto the winch.

    With the yards square across the boat and the braces snug, there comes a geometry problem when you turn the yards. The brace runs from some fixed point to the end of the yard. As it turns, the tip of the yard moves in an arc, but at any given point in it's travel the brace is a straight line from the fixed point to the end of the yard. If you charted the length of the brace at every couple of degrees, you'd get something like a sine wave pattern.

    Using a circle (winch drum) to handle the braces means the brace with tension and slack at various points as the yard turns. THAT is why there are going to be blocks on springs mounted on a post inside the model. The springs will take up the slack, and give to the tension like a shock absorber - keeping the braces taught and preventing snags or the line from falling off the winch.

    There's various ways of doing this. weights, bungee, specially shaped spools (in that mentioned sine wave), and other set-up that don't use braces at all. I happened on a box of assorted springs for $5, so it's springs for me.

    The image (con072509c) with the servos is looking forward and shows the two posts the spring will be mounted on. They fit into sockets on the deck beam up top, and will have a set screw at the bottom allowing for removal if need be.

    The image with the disks (con072509p) is looking aft and shows initial mock-ups of the winch drums. The flanges will be 5 inches with the largest drum surface for the main yard being 4"

    The cut-away drawing shows the general routing of the braces. Only one side's braces are shown.
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    Last edited by JerryTodd; 07-27-2009 at 01:30 PM.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Fascinating thread. Keep up the good work.

    John
    John Ball
    CRYA #895
    IOM CAN 307 V8

  8. #28
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    With the method of bracing determined, it comes down to setting it up.

    The posts that carry the springs were moved out-board of their original position to help keep down the clutter below. The springs were also move higher on the posts to better line up the braces with the disk, cutting down friction on the fairleads. A deck beam had to be removed to allow me to get a drill inside to make the holes in the servo deck beam for the threaded inserts. With these installed, the deck beam was replaced and the posts now held in place by stainless socket head screws.

    A bit of CDX 5/16 ply prepainted and left-over from another project was used as a platform, or tray, for the servos. The servos are held by 8/32 stainless machine screws into brass threaded inserts in the plywood. The fore mast winch is mounted about 1-1/2 inches higher so the disk stacks will overlap and to keep the braces from interfering with each other.

    The disk stacks will be just that. The drum portions will be styrene built up to the correct diameter with flanges made from old compact disks. 11 CDs will be sacrificed to become two reels for my brace winches.

    The brace line will pass through a hole in the drum and be fixed to the top with a screw/washer - something my fat fingers can handle.
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  9. #29
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    Default Making the winch drum for the Main/Mizzen

    The stack of disks that are the winch drums are made of alternating disks of wood and compact-discs (CDs). The wood disks are the "drums" and the CDs serve as flanges.

    The wood is scrap, resawn on the bandsaw then run through the planer till it's 1/8" (3mm) thick. A square is cut to size, the center found, and then it's cut into a circle on the band saw using a simple jig. Each wooden disk had a 1mm slot cut from the rim to the center to allow the brace line to be threaded into it later.

    The CDs had a raised ridge on the write side that was sanded off. They were old game CDs, so I had to sand off some paint where glue was going to go.

    I put a nail in a board, cut the head off, and stacked alternating CDs and wood disks on it with the slots in the wood disks all lined up together. The nail acted as a spindle and kept the wood disks lined up as I glued the stack together. The CDs I lined up by eye. The important thing here is that the rim of the wood disk is tight to the CD on either side so there's no gap for the line to get wedged into. The glued up stack stands about 1-1/8" (29mm) tall.

    To allow access to the screw that will hold it to the winch servo, and the lines threaded through it to it's center, a 1" (25mm) hole was bored down the stack's center. The stack was clamped between two boards and that was clamped to the drill press table. A 1" Forstner bit was used to get a clean hole. I think a spade or paddle bit may have torn up the mixed material layer cake. I drilled a little, raised and cleaned off the bit, and drilled a little more to keep down the heat, which would melt the plastic of the CDs.

    Three pan-head sheet metal screws were sunk around the center in pre-drilled holes to reinforce the glue holding the stack together. They were 2" long, and I cut off the excess. Machine bolts would have been better for this, but I didn't have any.

    The red servo horn that came with my rudder servo was attached to the bottom of the stack with 4 3/4" (19mm) pan-head sheet metal screws. Besides holding the horn on, they reinforce the stack from the bottom the way a nut on a bolt would have.

    I used a bit of wire to clear the slots in the wooden disks and made sure I could get lines through them. Then I attached the stack to the winch and strung up a line to give it a try.

    Now! - all that said and done: The largest drum is 4" (10cm) is diameter and meant to haul in about 40" (102cm) of line over it's full travel. The bigger the disk, the more leverage it has on the winch. HiTec says NOT to increase the drum size from the one that comes with the winch for that very reason - SO, if you burn up your winch servo following a fool - it's your own problem - understand?

    Furthermore, the stack is tall and the lines pulling on it make it want to teeter and cant. I'm probably going to need some sort of bracing at the tops of the drums to combat that - stay tuned to see where that goes.
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    Last edited by JerryTodd; 08-09-2009 at 01:42 PM.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: USS Constellation in 1/36

    Some wiring done to fix what turned out to be a faulty DPDT switch and applied pintle straps to the rudder.
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