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USS MAINE's 63-Foot Steam Torpedo Launch (paper scratchbuild)

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  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
USS MAINE's 63-Foot Steam Torpedo Launch (paper scratchbuild)
Posted by gregbale on Friday, July 31, 2020 1:00 PM

My earlier build of HMV's 1/250 USS Maine paper model led me to fall in love with the 63-foot Steam Torpedo Launch design that was originally intended to be a part of her fighting trim; a pair of these 'hornets' was to be shipped aboard the Maine and another contemporary to provide an extra tactical 'sting' in battle.

A single prototype was built at the NY Navy Yard...and proved a pretty dismal failure, missing her proposed top speed of 18 knots by a third. (Apparently the design was pretty bow-heavy even before the single torpedo was loaded. It tended to 'plow' more deeply than expected and wallow dangerously.) The torpedo-boats-aboard-capital-ships project was shelved...and the prototype ended her days as a utility and training hull at the Navy's Newport Torpedo Station.

But for all its faults, the design is sleek and elegant in appearance...and pretty archetypal of the host of similar designs built by navies world-wide in the late-19th and early-20th centuries. It has a sort of 'Jules Verne' look to it with its twin stacks (a coal-burning double boiler), its odd oval-shaped bridge cupola, and its American-designed 3.7cm Driggs-Schroeder rapid-firing cannon mounted aft of the engine 'whaleback.'

I was hooked. I found a great set of drawings online...and decided it was a perfect small project to do up in paper as well. The drawings scaled easily to a manageable 1/72 scale (while still fitting nicely on a legal-sized sheet for my printer).

I started with the profile- and plan-view drawings I found, but basically re-drew everything as I went along. I didn't have any hull sections so I had to reach back to my junior-high drafting class to 'loft' suitable lines; it took a bit of tweaking, but it wasn't as hard as I was expecting to get a workable shape. Materials were a variety of weights and thicknesses of paper, cardboard, and manila folder stock...sometimes laminated to multiple thicknesses using mostly CA. Colors and detail and were added in my old stand-by MS-Paint, with some additional textures captured from internet images.

In fact, she's all paper or cardboard except for the porthole rims, handrail and the torpedo-handling davit on the bridge cupola, the steam whistle on the whaleback, and the vent line on the port stack...all from copper wire. (And the support stay on the funnels, which are elastic EZ-Line.) I even experimented using paper for the stanchions and the railing cable...though this is one application -- a single-line railing -- where having the stanchions a bit more rigid would have helped keep the railing straighter. My error entirely: I may go back and coat the stanchions with CA, and re-tension the line a bit.

All in all a fun project...small enough not to be daunting, complicated enough to be challenging as a scratch-build...without the tedium of having to make two-dozen of anything. Big Smile

Enjoy the photos!































Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, July 31, 2020 2:11 PM

Oh Boy, GREG!

 You got bit by the Terrible Paper bug din't ya? That is awesome looking .What's next?

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Friday, July 31, 2020 2:16 PM

Tanker-Builder

Oh Boy, GREG!

 You got bit by the Terrible Paper bug din't ya? That is awesome looking .What's next?

PLASTIC. Big Smile

I've got a backlog of projects piling up.

[Although I am contemplating a few paper a/c models....]

Thanks, TB!

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 9:35 PM

Now that is modeling! Anyone can stick bits of plastic together, but scratchbuilders are the real deal, whatever the medium. A magnificeent model my friend. I have sometimes wondered about card models, maybe one day.

True Blue

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 9:53 PM

Many thanks.

By all means, give card models a go. You might find that 'dream' project in paper that the plastic manufacturers won't touch. There are a lot of interesting ones out there...many of which are free or only a few dollars.

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, September 17, 2020 1:36 AM

Hello Greg!

Somehow I cannot reply to your posts - did you block me at some point or what? :-) The "reply" button is missing from your posts, but it's there in Dodgy's post, for example. Otherwise I would have commented earlier!

And it's a fine job you did here! I agree that this boat has style - too bad it didn't work as advertised. You have built a very nice representation of it here. Did you have some help from the HMV Maine kit?

Lookin' forward to your next builds! Thanks for sharing and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 17, 2020 5:31 AM

Thank you, Pawel.

The only 'help' I had from the Maine kit rather comically didn't work out. I enlarged one of the 3.7 cm gun mounts from the cruiser...but it was so misshapen I could only use it as a rough pattern to redraw the part myself. Similarly, I enlarged the flag...only to realize (some days after the fact) that HMV had given it the wrong number of stars! Big Smile

As for the "reply button" problem, Tankerbuilder has reported the same thing. I have no guess and no answer...other than that I have actually occasionally had the same problem, when trying to get back in to one of my own posts to edit something.

It never happens on the PC, just the phone...so I assumed it was a "phone thing." Sorry for the difficulty in any case.

(BTW, just to be certain, I checked my account settings. I've never 'blocked' anyone, that I know of, and it still shows as being open to all members. [It would have been funny if I'd managed to accidentally block myself!])

In any case, thanks for taking the time to reply. Be safe, my friend!

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:09 AM

Hi Dodgy;

       Like GregBale says-Give them a Go! There are so many subjects.  Lite on Armor and Autos, but fascinating items. I right now am Building " Digital Navy's " LILLI WENEDA".Some difficulty with the build sheets.But I have spoken to Roman about this.

 Best Aircraft Model I ever built was a large D.C.10 by Schreiber I believe. Even had the bare metal areas Foiled! Everyone that saw it actually thought it was Plastic!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:10 AM

AHA !

     I betchya it's a Phone Thing. Uhuh! You noticed the flag thing too! I got a kit of a Light Cruiser from WW2 and the star count on the flag was wrong there too. Maybe they couldn't fit them in the area for some reason. I keep an envelope of scale flags around for that reason. Got them from a model R.R. supplier!

      NOTE !!

 When I came on this thread the reply blocks were there. After I formulated this reply they had ALL disappeared Greg! I believe it may be F.S.M.site related. Ask them! Wanna laugh? After I adjusted this post with the Note, They came back!

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:20 AM

Think About it!

      Although sleek and Beautiful for the time. I would NOT wanted to be a Steam Engineer on that Vessel-No Way!

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, September 17, 2020 9:34 AM

Tanker-Builder

Think About it!

      Although sleek and Beautiful for the time. I would NOT wanted to be a Steam Engineer on that Vessel-No Way!

Given the layout, it would surely help if you were about 4'2"! Not much 'headroom' in that whaleback.

By the way, TB, what's the issue with the DN Lilla Weneda? (I've got the same kit, but haven't started it yet.)

 

Greg

 George Lewis:

"Every time you correct me on my grammar I love you a little fewer."
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