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Thread: Building a Tamiya Missouri with Super-detailing

  1. #316
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Onward and Upward... no really... Upward!

    The mast manufacturing has begun. And of course I made my first screw up. The little Eduard PE intermediate platform that sits on top of the lower main mast has a 0.070" hole in the bottom. The brass I'm using is 1/16" (0.0625") so I needed to enlarge the top of the mast so it had a nice fit in the platform. This wasn't as much for appearance, but more to ensure a good fit for the soldering that was going to hold it together, and to help align the whole thing.

    So I put a small piece of K-S telescoping brass tubing (with a 1/16 i.d.) and CA'd it to the end of the mast. Then I turned the o.d. down to 0.070". I also had filed the half-circle to fit into the same-shaped hole on the plastic lug on the forward funnel. Here's the first attempt sitting in this location before I machined the fat end.

    Name:  Main Mast 02.jpg
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    To mount the angular braces, I first filed a small notch into the mast to locate the holes and then prick punched the location. I then drilled it with a carbide drill. Problem number 1 occurred when the carbide drill broke through the other side of the mast and then promptly broke itself leaving a chunk of solid tungsten carbide in the hole where I was going to insert the brace. I had forgotten that drills routinely catch in brass just as they're breaking through.

    Lucky for me, carbide is so hard and brittle that I was able to crunch it out and clear the hole. I soldered the brace it and it looked great. Then I drilled the hole on the other side (this one at 45) and soldered that one. I clamped a hemostat on the already-soldered one as a heat sink so it wouldn't remelt.

    I was so proud. It looked terrific. Then I had to try it on the model to admire my work. No, no... I didn't drop it on the model and break another radar. But what I did do was forgot that the half-circle end aligned the mast fore and aft and set the direction of the bracing. I simply drilled the brace holes just where I wanted and disregarded the flattened end.

    This was the ridiculous result.

    Name:  Main Mast 03.jpg
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    The braces were going off in the completely wrong direction. And it was already cut to length so I couldn't cut the end off and refile the end in the correct orientation. So it was on to trial number two.

    This time I soldered the enlarged end instead of CAing it. I didn't use carbide to drill the brace holes AND I didn't form the other end yet. I left the piece long and will cut it to length and file the half-circle when I know that the alignment is correct. It sure makes me mad when I go off half-cocked and have to do things over.

    Here are the two attempts and the plastic part they will replace.

    Name:  Main mast 01.jpg
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    It's plain to see how sturdy the brass appears compared to the plastic part. In fact, the lower brace is already deformed. You can also see how off-kilter that half-circle lug is... duh! And you can see that the smaller sub-braces on the long brace will require a 0.020" drilled through a 0.031" bar. I've done this before. And while I'm writing this I am wondering if it wouldn't have been wiser to drill these holes before soldering the brace into main mast. BTW: I used a pin vise to clamp the parts while I worked on them. This worked well and kept things very stable while messing around with them.

    In addition to the fore and aft bracing, there are also port and starboard braces that are not in the kit. I had put plastic pieces on the ship I built 26 years ago. This time I'll attempt to make them out of brass also.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 19 Jan 12, at 04:18.

  2. #317
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Main Mast Part 2

    Here's the mast with the top platform soldered on. There are still seven more under-braces that need to be installed. And I was not happy with how the process of putting holes into the mast to give the braces something to grab onto.

    Name:  Mast trial 2 - 01.jpg
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    I was attempting to drill the holes into the 0.062" mast with 6 evenly spaced holes and have those holes drilled at the angle the brace should sit. Not only was this difficult in concept, it was difficult in practice. The holes are not in an even plane, and it's hard to get the little pieces into place.

    I have lots of brass rod, but only have two of the Eduard PE upper platforms so it has to be right.

    I woke up this morning thinking about dealing with these holes. Oh... did I mention that I've received my carbide drills and already have broken 4 of them. The really small ones are almost too thin to handle without a sensitive drill press (which I don't own).

    I remembered from one of my live steam books that English model engineers create an object with evenly spaced flats (like a miniature bolt head) with a filing jig which consists of a way to secure the lathe chuck at evenly spaced increments, and a set of rollers that flank the work piece on either side. The rollers are adjustable as to height to control the filing depth.

    I realized that I have a way to space six sides (which is what I needed) by chucking the rod in my pin vise and clamping the pin vise in a drill vise. By resetting the 6-sided chuck I can file 6 flats. I needed to make small flats so I could make a punch mark and drill the holes without the drill wandering and slipping off the curve. Once all the pieces are in a little CA will round it all back out.

    Here's the filing setup.

    Name:  Making six flats.jpg
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    I first tried it with the bare 0.062" rod, but quickly found that the 0.021" holes wrapped around the circumference left almost no brass left and the holes started to run into one another ruining the work and breaking a couple of carbide drills.

    So I figured, since I have to enlarge the top to fit the hole in the bottom of the platform, and the prototype mast has enlarged rings around the portion of the mast that all these braces attach that it would be okay to enlarge the diameter a bit at the upper end. With the forest of braces coming out, the enlarged diameter will not be noticeable. I soldered a piece of 0.062" i.d. telescoping tubing to the upper end.

    I filed the flats, made an initial punch with a divider point, and then deepened the punch mark with the scratch awl and a modeler's hammer. Then I used a slightly larger carbide drill in a pin vise to expand the punch mark and make a good spot for the 0.021" drill in my Dremel's flexible shaft.

    Here's the punch marks around the perimeter.

    Name:  Mast trial 3 - 01.jpg
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    And here it is with the 6 holes drilled. They're not deep. I may have to go back and make them a bit deeper, but as you can see here, they're deep enough to support the 0.021" rod that's going to be the brace.

    Name:  Mast trial 3 - 02.jpg
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    One other decision I'm going to try... drilling the holes at 90 and bending the rod to the angle, cutting the rod just a bit away from the bend. I think it will produce a more manageable assembly and probably more secure.

    If the rod bend isn't sharp enough so that it looks funny, I can make a slight cut with the razor saw so the bend will be a little tighter.

    Next time, I'll turn the end down to 0.070 to attach to the platform. I'll machine in up to the area where the braces attach leaving a ring, not unlike the real one.

    Don't be afraid to do parts over until you get them the way you want. This model's going to be displayed in a very prominent place and should be the best I can make. I find I'm the most creative just when I waking up in the morning. I'll build something several ways in my head before doing it for real. Like Jack Nicholson, I will visualize what I want to do in my head many times before executing. I will build the entire model before I even start (not on this one...)

  3. #318
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    And now for something completely different...

    Through the help of some of our faithful WAB members, Dreadnought and Rusty Battleship, I've been in communication with the curator of the USS Missouri Museum at Pearl Harbor and they would be willing accept the model for display. It is very possible that the model will go on display in the Captain's Cabin.

    There was a large model supposedly displayed there while in service that is missing. My model would take its place. This is predicated on a) that the missing model stays missing, and b) I finish the model to the same quality level that it currently is. I intend to live up to my end of the bargain.

    Now comes the biggest challenge... how to get the model to the museum in one piece. I'm working on some shipping ideas now, but I will accept any and all suggestions/ideas on how to pull this off. If anyone knows a source of information or a service that could do this, please let me know.

    It would be an incredible honor to have the model displayed on that ship and even more so in the Captain's quarters. I will do what I must to get it there in one piece.

  4. #319
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Congratulations.

    I think there is no better place for a model to be, then inside the original.
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  5. #320
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Thank you! Now all I have to do is make those masts and figure out how to ship it without it turning into a re-kitted box of parts.

  6. #321
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    Amazing work!

  7. #322
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    From you, that is an absolute complement!

  8. #323
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    You must have the best patience in the world...

  9. #324
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Mast trials cont.

    I contacted Gary Kohs at Fine Art Models asking about packing ship models so they arrive in the condition that they left. He said that you make the crate large enough that they have to use a fork lift truck and make absolutely certain that the model is unable to move at all inside of all of this. I'm thinking I'm going to hand carry the ship on the flight to the islands.

    If you don't know who they are, Fine Art Models produces some of the finest commercially produced scale models in the world. They are generally in museum scales, e.g., trains at 1/32nd and ships at 1:192. His Missouri models sell for $12,000. I've drooled over his stuff for years, but it is simply unattainable for me. I've even visited his place of business in Birmingham, Michigan. Here's a link to their site so you can all drool too.

    Fine Arts Models: Welcome

    Now back to the masts:
    I continued on trial number three by machining away most of the added diameter leaving some of the ring left where the holes are. The holes look much better as seen in this picture. So this part of the experiment is a success.

    Name:  Mast trial 4 - 01.jpg
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    The second part of the experiment was to go straight in with the brace rods, and make the bend in the rod. This worked successfully... sort of. It wasn't the bend that was difficult I filed a small notch in the rod where the bend was going it was keeping one side from melting off while I soldered the other. Then when I did get both successfully installed, they weren't in line with the center line of the mast or each other. I resorted to clamping a wet rag around the one that was already soldered. This kept that side cool enough so it didn't fall off (most of the time). This cycle repeated itself more times than I'd like to remember.

    Once I got the two main braces in place, I soldered on a new read unbent mast top. This step went well. I first had to level the braces with the top of mast. I used a diamond wheel in my Dremel flex shaft with the shaft clamped in my Panavise. I sure wish I had a resistance soldering unit...

    Name:  Mast trial 4 - 03.jpg
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    I don't intend on soldering the sub-braces. I'm going to CA them. I can't put any more heat on the assembly or the whole assembly would fall apart... again!

  10. #325
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    Through the help of some of our faithful WAB members, Dreadnought and Rusty Battleship, I've been in communication with the curator of the USS Missouri Museum at Pearl Harbor and they would be willing accept the model for display. It is very possible that the model will go on display in the Captain's Cabin.

    There was a large model supposedly displayed there while in service that is missing. My model would take its place. This is predicated on a) that the missing model stays missing, and b) I finish the model to the same quality level that it currently is. I intend to live up to my end of the bargain.

    Now comes the biggest challenge... how to get the model to the museum in one piece. I'm working on some shipping ideas now, but I will accept any and all suggestions/ideas on how to pull this off. If anyone knows a source of information or a service that could do this, please let me know.

    It would be an incredible honor to have the model displayed on that ship and even more so in the Captain's quarters. I will do what I must to get it there in one piece.
    Congratulations.

    It looks to me like a fine piece of work. I tip my hat to your ingenuity and attention to detail.

    As for getting the model out there, I suggest you contact the nearest Naval air station to you and get a hold of someone in the commanding officer's office and explain what you're doing and what you need. Chances are you can hitch a ride out there on a transport. At least in my day, you could do those kinds of things. Worth a try.

    Best of luck.
    Dreadnought likes this.
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  11. #326
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    Through the help of some of our faithful WAB members, Dreadnought and Rusty Battleship, I've been in communication with the curator of the USS Missouri Museum at Pearl Harbor and they would be willing accept the model for display. It is very possible that the model will go on display in the Captain's Cabin.

    There was a large model supposedly displayed there while in service that is missing. My model would take its place. This is predicated on a) that the missing model stays missing, and b) I finish the model to the same quality level that it currently is. I intend to live up to my end of the bargain.

    Now comes the biggest challenge... how to get the model to the museum in one piece. I'm working on some shipping ideas now, but I will accept any and all suggestions/ideas on how to pull this off. If anyone knows a source of information or a service that could do this, please let me know.

    It would be an incredible honor to have the model displayed on that ship and even more so in the Captain's quarters. I will do what I must to get it there in one piece.
    Outstanding! Congrats, Thanks Dread and Rusty!

    I would be more than a little sad to see her go if she was at my house - but it is going to a better place...
    Dreadnought likes this.
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    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  12. #327
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAD_333 View Post
    Congratulations.

    It looks to me like a fine piece of work. I tip my hat to your ingenuity and attention to detail.

    As for getting the model out there, I suggest you contact the nearest Naval air station to you and get a hold of someone in the commanding officer's office and explain what you're doing and what you need. Chances are you can hitch a ride out there on a transport. At least in my day, you could do those kinds of things. Worth a try.

    Best of luck.
    That's a great idea. Who, but the Navy would really care if it gets there in one piece. I don't know what Navy is near Louisville, KY, (Chicago?), but I will find out. What's the harm? The most they can do is say "no". When I was teaching high school power technology in the early 1970s, I wanted to get a gas turbine in the class for the kids to work on. I asked the Navy, and after a couple of letters and phone calls, I had a turbine from a start cart delivered to my school for free. All you have to do is a good story and ask.

  13. #328
    Global Moderator Defense Professional JAD_333's Avatar
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    Builder:

    This might help. Glenview outside Chicago is closed. I don't know if Great Lakes has a strip. There may be a strip at Millington near Memphis. Good luck.

    List of United States Naval Air Stations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    To be Truly ignorant, Man requires an Education - Plato

  14. #329
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Thanks, everything helps!

  15. #330
    Defense Professional ArtyEngineer's Avatar
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    Model Transportation

    Builder,

    I have done several Defense Industry Trades shows such as Modern Day Marine, Association of the United State Army Convention etc. I am always there on the set up and break down days moving equipment in and out and we and all the other big defence guys use Mil Spec Cases with either custom cut foam or simply "Pluck Foam" interiors to transport some of our extremely high dollar models of vehicles and equipment.

    When the time comes for you to transport this absolute masterpiece I cant recommend strongly enough looking into SKB series of injection moulded cases.

    Here is a link to the vendor site I use to get my cases to carry, survey instruments, optics and other high dollar pieces of gear I haul around the country/world.

    SKB Injection Molded Military Standard Protector Carrying & Shipping Cases

    Ok, these are not cheap, but considering the effort you have put into this I dont think your are going to take a "Cheap option" when it comes to transport. These guys wil also do custom inserts for you.

    Regards

    Arty
    "Admit nothing, deny everything, make counter-accusations".- Motto of the Gun Crew who have just done something incredibly stupid!!!!

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