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An Aircraft Carrier What If WIP

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  • Member since
    January, 2015
An Aircraft Carrier What If WIP
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 7:48 PM

Hi,

A few months ago I picked up an inexpensive Lindberg USS Shangri-La model to use as a basis for a What-If that I ad been thinking of.  I've finally ha a chance to make a little head way on the model so I thought I'd post some in-process images.

In general the design is meant to represent a semi-modern (1980s to today) medium sized carrier, kind f along the lines of my thoughts on what a newbuild replacement for the old angled deck ESSEX class conversion ships may have looked, if such a design were ever undertaken.

As a start to the design I made some rough estimates of how the flight deck might be layed out and how big an airwing it might be able to support.

The donor model that I was using was box-scale and was about 1ft long, which I think equates to abou 1/888 or so.  Looking at data on modern carriers and my rough flight deck sketch it looked like an overall length of about 900 ft would be suitable, so I decided to make my model 1/900 scale (which would allow me to buy some suitable airplane models off Shapeways).

Unfortunately I don't have much in the way of pictures early on the build, but my 1st step was to clip off all te sponsons, appendages and hull fittings from the base hull.  Next I filled in all hull openings, especially in way of the hangar deck, lifts and gun decks.  I also did a little sculpting to the bow, to try and flatted the flareabove the waterline a bit, and also filled in the aft end a little to make a transom stern.

I then built up new sponsons to support the angled flight deck.  On the starboard side I used some Evergreen plastic sheet and rectangular rod to build up the shape.  For the port side though, I decided to try and 3D print the sponson.  Unfortunately when I was manipulating the 3D CAD file before printing I inadvertantly "flipped" the shape so that I could print it upside down, rater than "rotating" the shape.  As such, I ended up printing the piece backwards, with the broader section being aft instead of forward.  Fortunately it was fairly easy to cut and re-glue the printed plastic.

Below are some images of where I currently am in the build.  The 1st image shows the upside down hull alongside a CAD printout of the flight deck.  Here you can see the starboard "built up" sponson in gray, and the port side 3D printed one in white.  And you can also see a bit of a stern overhang, built out of Evergreen sheet, being held partially in place with blue tape, as the glue dries.

Overhead view

Although the CAD image may be a liitle faint, you can kind of see how the flight deck is intended to be layed out, with a bow catapult and a waist catapult, with an E-2 type aircraft shown ready for launch, a port side deck edge lift aft, and a small aircraft park forward the island.  I think that the flight deck angle is 6.5 degrees (but I need to double check), and the island is currently modeled after the one on the Early Nimitz class ships.  I will probably need to modify this, before I get to working on the flight deck, since this will probably be a conventional steam powered vessel, and will require exhaust uptakes.

Te other two images below just show the hull right side up from two different angles with the CAD drawing ontop the deck, to give an idea of what the final design will hopefully look like.  I will try and take some more pictures as I mak further progress.  Right now though I just need to finish cleaning up the port sponson, do a little extra work on the stern overhang, maybe touch up a few spots on the hull, and then reprime the hull and paint it.  After that I am thinking of adding some Evergreen angle bar around the deck edge to represent catwalks, and then I can start on the flight deck and island.

Regards

Pat

Stbd side

Port side

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, March 30, 2017 12:09 AM

Looks like a really interesting conceptual project there, Pat. I look forward to seeing how it shapes up!

Greg

 

George Lewis:

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

 

"

  • Member since
    December, 2003
  • From: 37deg 40.13' N 95deg 29.10'W
Posted by scottrc on Thursday, March 30, 2017 1:06 PM

Not a bad idea, and you are not too far from what the Navy actually did to upgrade and extend the service of the Midway.  

        

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 4:16 PM

Hi,

Thanks ScottRC & GregBale.  Here is another image of the deck dwg I did.  Unfortunately I have currently misplaced the file so I can't reprint it in B&W, but hopefully this scan might be a little clearer.

Pat

Flight Deck

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:00 PM

Will she have AAA?

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 5:13 PM

Oh wow,

Thanks GMorrison, I hadn't thought of that yet.  I may have to give that some thought.  Let me know if you have any recommendations.

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, March 30, 2017 7:39 PM

Hi,

I've started trying to clean up the port sponson and build up the aft overhang, as shown below.

The yellowish color of the port sponson is because I smeared it with some balsa filler I picked up at my local hobby store and then coated it with sanding sealer.  Once it dries I will lightly sand it and see how it looks and whether I need to touch up any spots.  I have found that this has worked pretty good for me in helping fill in small dents, gaps, or steps, especially for 3D printed stuff where there is initially noticeable layering steps, or where I am trying to glue two surfaces together that aren't 100% flat and have paper thin gaps along an edge.

Sponson clean up

I was also going to post a picture of the stern overhang, but it came out a little fuzzy because I think my camera foucused on the plastic tub I was using to hold the model up rather than the model itself.  Maybe tomorrow I'll take a better one to show how that part of the model is coming out.

Pat

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, March 31, 2017 9:15 PM

I was thinking of trying to order some aircraft off Shapeways since they had E-2s, S-3s and SH-3s in 1/900 scale.  Oddly though they didn't seem to have any Hornets or Super Hornets in that scale.  Hoever, I remembered last nite that I have an old 1/800 scale Admiral Kuznetsov model I had bought that I was going to use as a basis for another what-if.  It looks like the 1/800 Mig-29Ks in that kit might be convertible to a reasonable 1/900 scale F-18 E/F Super Hornet with a little work.

Pat

1/800 Mig-29Ks

F-18s

Mig-29K

From The-Blueprints.com

If I did the math right, at 1/800 scale the Mig-29s should be about 0.87 x 0.59".  At 1/900 scale a Super Hornet should be about 0.80 x 0.60".

Pat

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 02, 2017 8:07 PM

Hi,

I didn't have as musch time to work on my models this weekend as I would have liked, but I did do a little priming, filling and sanding, as shown below.  In general if I am doing a lot of work with cutting, pasting and puttying, I tend to like to add a layer of primer every so often, to get everything back to the same color and to allow me to better pick out dings, dents and areas that still need a little work.

As seen on the pictures below, I believe that most of the hull, the starboard sponson and most of the transom are close to ready for final clean up, priming and painting (hopefully).  However there is still a spot of the port bow, a couple spots on the port main sponson, a spot on the port side transom/lower hull and the small aft port side sponson that I believe still need a bit more filling and sanding.

I'm hoping to get that done in a day or two.

Pat

Bottom

Transom

Port

Starboard

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Wednesday, April 05, 2017 8:30 PM

Hi,

Progress has been slow on this build and the car model that I am also currently working on, because both have pretty much reached the stage of sanding and buffing at the same time, which seems to take a fair amount of time.

Anyway here area couple images.  The 1st shows on overall view of the hull as it currently stands, along with a couple of the buffing sticks that I have been using, and a penny for reference.  I really like these buffing sticks because I have found that with a bit of time and patience they can really help bring you surface back pretty much the same as a kit straight out of the box.

Current view

The 2nd image may be a little fuzzy, since I am just using a point & click camera without one of those close-up "macro" lenses, but it kind of shows a close up of the bottom of the ship, which is pretty smoth, though you can still see a few small dents or divits that I am still working on, in the red ovals.

Close up

Pat

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Oak Harbor, WA
Posted by Kolja94 on Thursday, April 06, 2017 12:21 AM

Looking forward to seeing this come together!

Karl

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Friday, April 07, 2017 8:38 PM

Hi,

Thanks Kolja94.  I managed to paint the hull botom last nite, and the upper hull today, as shown below.  Unfortunately every time I paint I usually find a spot that still needs a little filling, or I end up getting a loose brush hair or dirt or something on the paint.  So I will probably try and do some clean up this weekend, and then hopefully get started on the boot topping.

Pat

Red Bottom

PS. The bottom looks a little glossy right now because I used Mr Color Russet, which is a gloss paint.  But I plan to add a coat of flat clear later, which has worked out pretty well for me on other models.

I also have started using Tamiya Masking Tape that has also worked out pretty well on this model.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Sunday, April 09, 2017 10:09 PM

Hi,

Based on some potential promising results with something I've experimented with on my car conversion build (that I'm posting about on the Autos part of this forum) I decided to try and use Mr. Dissolved Putty to try and finish off some of the remaining small surface deformations on the hull of this ship and to also try and clean up the joints where the sponson join the hull.  If it turns out well I'll try and post an image tomorrow.

In the mean time I've gone ahead and cut out a piece of sheet styrene for the flight deck of the ship and have glued it into place, as shown below.  Looking at the picture now I realize that it probably doesn't show much, since I used 0.010 inch White "Plastruct" sheet.  (I knoiw that in the past I have mentioned using Evergreen plastics, and some of the shapes that I use are from them, but I just looked at the original packaging for the sheets and some of the opther shapes I have been using I realize that they actually came from a company called Plastruct).

Anyway, I used 0.010 inch sheet since it was easy to trace the outline of my ship onto it and then cut it with just a pair of regular scissors.  Tomorrow, after the glue dries I hope to double check to see if there are any problem spots that mau need another touch of glue and then I hope to use a sharp Exacto knife to do the final trimming, followed by a small bit of sanding, then priming and painting.

I know that sometimes trying to glue a large sheet of thin plastic in place can be tricking since too much glue can cause the thin sheet to deform a little, but for now I think everything seems ok.  Though I did manage to get a little glue on my them, and then I accidentally stuck that to a spot near the forward end of the flight deck.  Fortunately I think that I was able to clean it off and lightly sand down the spot so that it hopefully doesn't look too bad, but I;ll have to wait and see.

Pat

White deck

 

  • Member since
    April, 2006
Posted by armyrn on Thursday, April 13, 2017 8:24 PM

Love the idea and love these projects.  Every since I was midshipmen in the early 80's.  Before you get too involved I would look at the Midway or Coral Sea they would excellent references for CIWS and Electronics (Radars).  Also what types of aircraft they had stationed on board.  First If you are thinking F-14 don't they did not have the CAT's that could launch them.  Stick with F-18, A-6, S-3 and KA-3B along with E-2.  Hangar deck Height was issue so stick with the sea kings or few Sh-60's.  These are just a few facts. Since you using a Nimitz deck layout remember that essex only had two elevators not four.  I would do a hybrid island sort of stretch out the island like on the midway.  look at Shapeways one vendor Model monkey aka Steve has done marvelous islands for many essex including the lexington in final configuration in the 90's.  But it  is your build.  Have fun ...

 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, April 13, 2017 8:45 PM

Hi Armyrn,

Thanks for the feedback.  For the most part I was thinking wither Hornets or eventually Super Hornets and maybe S-3's with a few E-2s and helos thrown in.  I've seen 1/900 scale S-3s, E-2s and Sea Kings on Shapeways but for some reason no F-18 variants.

I'll take a look at the armament outfits of the Midway and Coral Sea like you suggest to see if I can come up with some ideas for this model.

Thanks again.

Pat

  • Member since
    April, 2006
Posted by armyrn on Friday, April 14, 2017 6:23 PM

If you find 1/700 aircraft  and stuff (ciws deck gear...) ask the vendor to re scale  to 800. Also you can fine some  800 kits out their. 800 would look  better. 

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 9:14 PM

Hi,

I unfortunately got tied up with some stuff at work (and a family wedding) and hadn't had a chance to work on my models for awhile.  But I did get a chance to tape off the flight deck and 3D print a couple shapes to help me score the outlines of the lifts into the flight deck prior to painting, as shown below.

Once I trace out these shapes into the flight deck with my scoring tool I can hopefully start into painting the deck.

Pat

Lift Templates

PS.  I may also use the aft shape as the basis for the aft lift structure too, since I need to add something there in way of the deck to represent the movable portion of the lift.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 7:44 PM

Hi;

    I think that over time , you will wish you had used .020 or thicker for the deck . I did a lot with the .020 to avoid sags , which will become apparent , Unless , you used good support underneath , .010 needs good average support to prevent low spots over time . T.B.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, April 26, 2017 11:39 PM

Those "For Sale" signs at the hardware store.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, April 27, 2017 12:02 AM

Tanker Builder,

Hi.  You're probably right about the decking.  Though I'm hoping that since the top sheet was glued directly atop a thicker base sheet, that the two together will be stiff enough.

Below is an image showing the "scoring" I've done around the elevators, and a 2nd image showing the 1st coating of deck paint (which was still a bit wet in spots when I took the picture).  I intend to try and clean things up a bit before doing a final coating of this dark gray paint, but I wanted to see how it looks in comparision to the lighter gray that I am using for the hull, so I took an "in-process" picture.

Deck - no paint

Deck - 1st coat

Pat

PS.  Thanks for the suggestion GMorrison.  I hadn't thought about using those signs as building material but they do seem like they could work out well.

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Thursday, April 27, 2017 7:45 AM

Oh ;

 Sorry , I didn't see a mention of a thicker sheet . Now lets see more T.B.  P.S. I use those signs and a lot of throw-away signs from elswhere too .

  • Member since
    January, 2015
Posted by PFJN on Thursday, April 27, 2017 10:44 AM

T.B.

Hi,

One problem I typically run into trying to glue (or laminate) multiple sheets together is when the glue deforms the surface of one of the sheets.  I tried to be careful here, but you can kind of see in the unpainted picture of the deck that I posted yesterday, a dark spot at the corner where the forward centerline "neck" of the flight deck and the starboard side sponson meet up, forward.  Because the thin top sheet "melted" a little here, I had to do some sanding and filling.  I suspect that if I had used a thicker top sheet, like you suggested, the top surface hopefully wouldn't have gotten noticeably messed up so much by the glue. Smile

Pat

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