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1:72 Iowa Class Mark-7, 16"-50cal Turret #1 with Custom Interior Start-to-Finish

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, June 11, 2022 1:27 PM

Thanks for the nice words! Re: pipes, I do a lot of them on models with wire (example: my recently completed Kitty Hawk 1:35 Seahawk), but I'm on a quest to see just how far I can push the 3D printing envelope. As you'll see, some of piping on the pumps are just too small to exist. I will englarge the diameter in the future for this scale which may work.

The center section print(s) were 95% successful and I'm using it. I made two so I can choose the best. Here's the support scheme. As comprehensive as it appears, I missed one surface that failed to form: one of the lobes of the hydraulic manifold. I am in the process of sort-of restoring it with Bondic. It's buried in the assembly and will not be visible regardless of how I cut away the walls. You see the missing lower part of the cylinder. The slicer shows susceptible failure areas by highlighting them in red, but this one was hidden from any angle that I tried to view it.

Here's the finished print cleaned, and post-hardened showing the Bondic rough filler. Some careful Dremel sculpting will make it presentable.

This section nestled up into the pan deck floor perfectly especially around all the stiffening ribs in the pan deck floor. By using one shape to cut into another in SketchUp, you get perfectly aligned and matched surfaces. This view also shows the manifold piping is non-aligned with the hydraulic training motors. I will remove the resin lines and pipe with solder wire or bent sprue of the correct diameter.

Viewed from the top you can see where the pipes should actually go.

This next view shows the fragility of the tiny piping that I drew. It's a bit more than 1 scale in, but that's only 0.014" in 1:72. I think 2" piping would work. Just becasue I can draw it doesn't mean that it should be printed that way. BTW: I added stiffening ribs in the passageways on the left of this image. That added the stregth needed to keep the walls together in that very weak spot.

Meanwhile, I got a near perfect print of the entire electric deck. The revised support scheme did the trick and there were no collapsed or distorted areas. Here's the forest of supports needed to print it. I had already removed the massive group of them holding the bottom to the printing raft. I couldn't get it into the Ultrasonice Cleaner with the raft still attached.

Here it is de-suppoorted (word?) with the center section test fit before post-curing. After curing I remove all the nubs with the sanding tools. Semi-cured resin doesn't sand well since it's too soft and pliable. You can see the trainer's station at the top of the center section. Those are the hand wheels that "supposedly" can manually crank around a 2,500 ton turret if the hydraulics failed. As I noted before, it must have been like Hell on earth sitting in that space surrounded by whining electrical and hydraulic machinery. I imagine being in the engine room of a diesel sub would be a similar experience.

With a successful electric deck print all the equipment for it printed, I'm ready to start painting and assembling it. I do see some interference with the center section of the projectile hoist trunk holes. I will open that up before moving along. It's blocked by more false flooring on the center that I added to support the big motor. I will remove some of that.

I made a vertical screen print showing the equipment placement. I also made 1:1 scale prints of the six partitiion walls that extend from the gun house roof to the pan deck floor. Some of these will be cut from 0.040" styrene and others will be thin clear acrylic to be see thru.

The electric deck was a huge milestone! It was one of the aspects of this job that had me most concerned since I had no photos of anything taken directly in this space.

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Friday, June 10, 2022 2:37 AM

You have done an incredible job of using 3D Printing. It is an amazing accomplishment showing just how far home printing has come and while it may not be the end all be all. It certainly is showing the way of the future of modeling. Bow Down

WinkBy the by, for the various pipes that are giving you printing problems, I hear some modelers use wire of various sizes to replicate tubes, pipes, etc. Big Smile    

  --pay no attention he's late for his nap--- ed


Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:48 PM

I look forward to reading every post! This is just some terrific work when I'm over for the Louisville IPMS show I'll have to try and catch up with you. I hope you bring it out to a show sometime so we can see it! Although I know it's probably still months in the making based on all the trial and error and detail work that you're doing. The fine detail like the piping you've done is insane. Awesome work! Looking forward to hearing about your trip to see the ship for sure. 

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, June 9, 2022 7:15 PM

Thanks for ALL the input. I rescheduled the Big J tour for the last week in this month. The way things are going I won't be beyond the point of no return, so if I'm making any horrific errors, I will be ale to fix them. Meanwhile, So much of what I'm modeling is off-limits to the public, whatever I detail is far more than they'll ever see for themselves and if I can't decipher just what's going on in some of the line drawings I have with the hours and hours I've spent reviewing them, not too many other people will be able to discern any errors either. At least I hope so.

Much of my work of late has been print, fix, print again, fail, and print again. With prints lasting 7 to 11 hours, I print them overnight when I can and then see what I got in the morning.

I finally got the powder trunks sized reasonably close. They were too big and when I added the various decks, if I moved them forward, they would stick out through the wall and if I moved them back, they would stick out there. They were interfering with equipment that had to be placed in the various decks. It took hours of trial and error to keep changing their size (and angle) to get them to work. They don't just go straight down from the gun house to the powder flat. They proceed down in an angular path that changes as it goes down.

Changing the size changed the opening in the various decks. SketchUp can be a complete pain in the butt. It has the nasty habit of closing opening in surfaces when you add a line that shouldn't actually do that. And then you can't seem to get the surface to open again. This gets exasperating and can eat up hours of fussing on what should be a simple task. I used the "Interact Faces" with the trunks and decks to have the surfaces in which I want the opening to be. The result is a bunch of rectangles that are shapes that should be actionable. So then one trunk's rectangle works perfectly, but the other is still attached to the existing surface and no matter what I do, I can't get it to behave separately. Often I mess with it so long that I screw up other aspects of the part that have to be redrawn.

I had a couple of weird failures. The roller track assembly had some support failures that caused distortions, but it didn't matter because I created the assembly with the wrong roller track. It should have been the lower, plain track. Instead, I combined the rollers with the track with the ring get, which BTW printed very nicely as a single piece, eliminating the out-of-round creation I made with the four-part gear.

Printing the rollers as a single part saved me a lot of very difficult work if I were to go with my original idea; assemble the roller assembly from separate rollers and pins, which I actually never figured out how I was going to.

This side image shows the distortion from the localized support failure.

I've re-drawn this assembly with the correct race and set it up a bit differently to prevent the support weakness.

The diamter of the parts for this project are literally at the limits of my Mars 3 printer. This is the ring gear when it finished. If I tilted it or rotated it in either direction some portion of the part was out of the print range. It's lucky I'm doing 1:72. Any larger scale would not work. There are bigger LCD printers on the market now, so if there's a 1:48 in the future, it would require a completely revamped shop situation.

Here's the gear flopped on top of the pan deck base with it's pinion gears on the bottom.

A complicated print was the machinery on the electric deck AND the center two partitions, the training machinery and the angled projectile hoist pump assembly for the middle gun. The machinery itself almost printed... the partition walls failed and distorted terribly. The little separate machines (other pump systems and two of the Pointers stations) printed quite nicely and are usable.

Here's a down-the-line view of the partition assembly. You might notice that the big 300hp motor that supposed to be in the foreground, didn't print either. Two factors were at play. I didn't use enough heavy supports and relied on the light ones to do more work holding it all up too much. And the partition walls themselves were too frail at the tiny portion over the too passageways on the foreground end. The walls themselves couldn't withstand the pulling forces in play in this printing process. I redesigned the walls at those weak points and used more heavy supports especially on the bottom end of the big motor. In the foreground is that smaller pump unit. While it was somewhat usable, I scrapped it along with the rest.

The side view shows the massive distortion and the break at the passageway.

It's on the printer now and will be done sometime in the middle of the night. I'll know tomorrow if my solution was the correct one. You can see some of the fine piping didn't make it through the support removal process. I also lost some seats so I'm printing a whole bunch of them with the job that's now on the machine so I'll be able to replace them. They're very delicate.

I printed another batch of machiness. This included the center pointer's station with it's long drive shaft separating the motor from the hydraulics. This is necessitated becuase the port side powder trunk passes through that area. I also printed the re-designed hoist machines complete with their motors, pumps and pipping. I'm finding, that while beautiful, using scale 1 to 2 inch piping is almost too small to work in 1:72 printing.

I had two failures in this print, again due to supports that were too frail. I need two of one hand and one of the other for the hoist machines. I made six, but the two I scrapped were both of the opposite hand. So I have four of the same orientation. I'll pick the best two.

Here are the hoist machines and the center pointers system. You wanted something to show scale. That's my finest point tweezers in the image. All four of those hoist systems are the same orientation.

Wish me luck. I have to print and new electric deck, new pan deck base, two projectile flat inners and one outer, the powder trunks (multi-part due to their length) and the hoist operator's stations.

Here's the hoist station. It is not completely accurate. The operating handle isn't right, and hopefully, I'll be able to view inside that compartment when I take the tour.

  • Member since
    October 2007
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by pordoi on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 5:14 PM

First, let me echo the kudos from everyone else regarding the complexity of the project and the 3D printing that you are doing.  Really top notch and I'm looking forward to seeing the next steps as you finish construction and begin to paint.  

Builder 2010

We moved here 13 years ago.... The kids were little (7 & 5), and we thought that it would be good to be in a place where we could be part of their growing up.... Our son, and family (two granddaughters) live in State College, PA, but Louisville offered us more. It was probably the best strategic decision of a lifetime (besides marrying my wife of 54 years). It worked out exactly as we would hope it would and we were an integral part of their growing up and they became terffic young adults. 


What a parallel.  We move from Philadelphia to Lousiville in 2003 when our kids were 5 and 8 yo.  I started my job in Phila in 1986 as the junior member of my Department and left 17 years later, still as junior member.  No growth.  Louisville offered us an opportunity to get involved in a project from the ground up and like your move, this was the best strategic decision that we made (besides the marriage exception, of course).  The move was very successful for me but also allowed us to transition from a two income to a one income family; thus more family time as they grew up.  I can't convey how much that influenced our family, and our two girls are now also terrific young adults.


But sorry; back on topic. I'm really looking forward to the last stages of your project.  As the assembly progresses, can I request some photos that include a size reference?  I see all of the intricate 3D printing but I think that showing some scale would be very impressive.


  • Member since
    December 2014
Posted by bigjimslade on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 12:09 PM

Builder 2010
Last week I experimented in printing the entire electric deck with all the partitions as an integral unit.

Hopefully, being helpful----there is an opening to the pinion gear area on both the left and right sides. The supports for the pinions block moving across.

There is a hatch in the pinion gear area on the right side to access the C and R layer's positions (you've labeled them backwards :-))

 There is also a hatch at the rear in the area to the right of the centerline.

  • Member since
    December 2014
Posted by bigjimslade on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 11:56 AM

Builder 2010
So I careful measured the kit parts... there are two differently shaped bulges based on whether they were positioned fore or aft of the gun house side crease. And they were right and left handed. 

The trainer and pointer periscopes are different because they are on different angles. The left and right sides are not mirrors so it sounds like the kit got that right.

THey have a 4.5" radius at the sides and corners and a 2.5" radius at the base.

  • Member since
    December 2014
Posted by bigjimslade on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 11:47 AM

Builder 2010
There also appears to be steps from that door to the operating floor and I'm not certain about their height or placement.

There are two ladder rungs, rather than steps down into the gun pit.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 10:54 PM

Thank you very much! This model is nothing unless it's a massive experiment in the limits of 3D printing and small scale modeling. I am on a continuous learning curve having been at it since June 2019. Even now, I'm figuring ways to draw differently and translate those drawings into printable objects. 

Last week I experimented in printing the entire electric deck with all the partitions as an integral unit. I didn't include the machinery. It printed about 95% good. The 5% bad was so bad that I sraped the part. But it taught me what needed to be done to make it successful. The very lowest supports on this massive part were too short to properly form well and provide the correct mechanical strength. For the next attempt I'm raising the part 5 mm more off the build plate and adding more supports in some strategic areas. 

I chose not to print it again... yet... since I just finished drawing ALL the machinery and chose to print some of the machines integral with the center to partitions. I'll explain later on. The machinery load on this deck is freaking awesome. I can imagine that being a sailor having to work at the four stations on that deck must have been driven nuts. There were 7 electro-hydraulic systems whining away. One of them, the training drive was powered by a 300 horsepower induction motor. It had a main hydraulic variable displacement pump and two auxilary pumps. Some of the other pumps also had scavenge pumps in addition to the main pumps. In addition to the noise, the overwhelming smell of hydraulic oil would have been overpowering. It wasn't a job for wimps. And through all that bedlam, they had to pay very strict attention to instructions and matching dials that elevated and traversed the big guns.

Here's the entire machinery suite on the electric deck.

The key is: 

1. (3) Projectile Hoist motors and a-End hydraulic pumps (B-ends are at the projectile flats at each hois)

2. (3) Elevation System motors and a-end hydraulic pumps (B-ends are up one deck on the pan deck)

3. (1) Travese System motor and a-end pump (twin b-ends are up one deck on the pan deck)

You will notice on the above the pressure manifolds from the travese pump in the middle compartment. Once again I was challenged with the dilemma to get the printed motor system into those openings in the partitions. Also, the center projectile hoist lies across one of those partition openings.

To solve the problem, I extracted the two middle partitions and will print them with all the machinery attached. I will then just be able to drop them during assembly. All the rest of the pump systems will be printed separately and which will facilitate painting.

So the main print will look like this.

In addtion to the pump machinery I also finished the crew stations. These are the jobs I was lamenting as being plug awful.

That covers most of the hydraulics. What was left was the machines to drive the powder hoists. I had previously draw the hoist drum and b-end, but neglected to draw the a-end motor and pump. These lie together as a single installation in the spaces between the main guns.

Here's how they're positioned.

And here's what I'll be printing. It's not 100% accurate, but it gives the flavor.

I'm also going to reprint the projectile flats. After further study, I've got the hoists positioned improperly and the central rotating part needs taller partitions. I just have to keep ordering resin...

We're rescheduling our Philly visit to before (or after) July 4th and I want to reschedule the Big J tour also. I'd like to have more to show Ryan by that time. What's left to do is probably about a solid week of printing. Painting, lighting and assembling will take time too. 

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Thursday, May 26, 2022 11:19 PM

Your Detail work just astounds me. That is some of the best Printing I have seen and your work is wonderful. Can't wait to see the finished result.....Cheers Mark

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, May 26, 2022 5:40 PM

Yes! It is priceless! We moved here 13 years ago when I was laid off from the building industry in 2009. The kids were little (7 & 5), and we thought that it would be good to be in a place where we could be part of their growing up. Staying on the East Coast, while being a more expensive place in which to retire, was also 11 hours away from the kids and grandkids. Our son, and family (two granddaughters) live in State College, PA, but Louisville offered us more. It was probably the best strategic decision of a lifetime (besides marrying my wife of 54 years). It worked out exactly as we would hope it would and we were an integral part of their growing up and they became terffic young adults. 

Here's Jack with the finished and (non)working Tesla Coil. The used flyback transformer was defective and produced no voltage, but burnt out the 22ohm 2W resistor. There was no way to test this device. One of the TV repair shops near us closed down two years ago, and another, which we did find, no longer had any test equipment to test such a device. Flyback transformers got their name from providing the high voltage to the electron beam inside CRTs and drove the beam back to the starting position for the next raster, ergo "flyback to the start". They're an obsolete technology, and while they are still readily available on eBay, their wiring is a mystery with 10 to 12 pins at their base all leading to different configurations of voltage taps driving a lot of the CRT requirements. But the project looked great! Jack learned how to do precision soldering, cut and glue acrylic, read schematics, build circuits, wind coils, etc. He didn't care if it worked. It was fun and probably out last project together in the shop.

Here we were doing the two-man job of winding 1,000 turns of 32 gauge magnet wire. you can't have any gaps or cross-overs so it's quite a finicky operation. Took about 1.5 hours to wind. You put down a coat of clear uretahne first, let it set until tacky and that holds the wires from unraveling when you let off the tension.

I was turning the drum while pressing the last loop tight while Jack appled the wire with one hand and provided resistence on the wire spool so it wouldn't unravel and kept the strand running tightly against the previous one. I found a video where a guy built an Arduino computer controlled winder using two stepper motors. You just dialed in the wire gauge and number of turns and voila, a perfect coil. Great if we had an unlimited budget and lots and lots of time. We built this in four days.

When I left public school shop teaching in 1975 to start a career of industrial and business training, I really didn't know the effect I had on my students. I knew that my shop(s) were kind of a lessez faire environment, where the kids could relax a bit and we did some great things, but I really didn't know if I was making an impact. Two years after I left some former students visited me at the company in which I worked and explained what a personal loss it was for them when I left. If there was a way of conveying that before I left, I may have made a different decision. As it was my decision to leave was a good one.

I realized that I forgot to open up the powder hoist access holes on projectile ring that contained the hoists. These didn't have to be nicely done since they're out of sight, but they need to be able to pass the powder trunks through to the powder handling flat. I traced the opennings from the center rotating piece and cut the openings with the Dremel with a carbide 1/16" router.

I realized that I can print every deck, the roller ring, and the ring gear ring in their entirety on this new larger printer. I decided that making an operating roller bearing ring was an excercise in futility since no one should ever be in a postion to rotate it. I could then, thereofre, make it as a non-working assembly saving a lot of grief in figuring how to build an operating one. By making this and the ring gear each as single parts solves the problem of them being out of round.

One of the biggest pieces to make is the Pan Deck floor. I was just able to fit its diameter  on the machine. I was assembling the traversing machine in my head and was having trouble figuring out how that was going to go. Then I realized that there was sufficient capacity to have the machinery attached to the part for printing. I also able to include the gun pits in the print solving another fabrication challenge.

It's a huge print as seen in this shot of it hanging on the machine when it was finished after 11 hours of print time. Just for comparison, my old printer (which couldn't fit this part) would have taken 44 hours to print this part.

The part cleaned up nicely and after some minor sanding and post-hardening, here's the finished floor. I will have to wrap the slightly tapered skin to finish it up. Inside go all the partitions, the projectile and powder trunks, a ladder, and lighting. Topside view: Notice there are three floor hatches to the Eletric Deck that lies belore. One is in the center compartment floor, but the two side entries are in the gun pits themselves.

 Bottom view: showing the massive pinions that drive the entire turret around the traverse ring gear.

The 16" projectiles needed painting. After a quick Google search I found that the high-explosive rounds were O.D. with yellow tips and silver fuse tips, the armor-piercing were black with yellow tips and silver fuses, and the training rounds were all light blue. I airbrushed the first colors.

I then filled a small container with yellow to a level corresponding to the depth of the tip paint and dipped the projectiles into the yellow to paint the tips.

After doing the same to paint the silver I tried them on in the deck. I chose to dip instead of masking because it just seemed a more efficient way to go.

I'm getting itchy to start painting and building all of this, but there's still more to do. With the success of printing the big parts, the build phase is coming sooner rather than later.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Friday, May 20, 2022 11:16 AM

You're a lucky man to hear that before they're 26 or older! You can be proud of that for sure!

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Thursday, May 19, 2022 8:54 PM

I agree with you. That would bepriceless. Great job on that.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:01 PM

I finished cleanup of the projectile flat core. I also made the first cutaway of this assembly. Some aspects did not print as well as I would have liked, partially due to my efforts to print as much as a single part as possible. Even splitting out the machinery (which helped) wasn't sufficient to make a perfect print. But, I'm not one to let the perfect be the enemy of the good and made it work. I am making changes for Projectile Deck #2. The two mating decks had some roundness issues and I'm afraid this is an artifact of the printing process. Printing creates stresses in the part and this can be expressed by warpage. I can't chuck the parts in my tiny Taig lathe so I can do a truing cut to round them out. I had to remove some stock from the inner piece on the disc sander and this was FAR from perfect. I also had lots of supports which created many blemishes that I had to deal with.

Regardless, I'm going to use this assembly. Very little of it will be seeable based on where it is in the stack, and the 16" projectiles that wil surround it except for the cutaway part (which I'm making in the same places as the hoist structures.

I will have to put some of the LED lighting in these spaces since they will be in the dark.

While working on this project I'm assisting my HS graduating senior create his capstone project. In this case it's a small Tesla Coil being driven by a high voltage power supply constructed from a TV flyback transformer. Today we wound the 1,000 turns of 32 awg magnet wire onto a piece of 2" PVC pipe. It took almost two hours with me turning the spindle and apply some slight pressure sideways on the advancing turns as he guided the wire onto the spindle and kept tension on the wire spool. We first tried to power it with big DeWalt, but found out very quickly that it was impossible to control. By turning manually I was able to stop immediately if we got a crossed conductor. You can have no overlaps or gaps of the voltage will jump the gaps and it will not function.

He and I built the winding rig out of parts left over from another school project with his older brother a few years ago.

He told me something today that made me very happy. He said that his choice of engineering at Washington University of St. Louis was the direct result of all the time we spent working in the shop. His older brother is also going into his senior year at U of IL in engineering and says the same thing. Pretty darn cool! It's all because we decided to move to Louisville when they were little kids. It was a great decision. Priceless!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, May 16, 2022 5:13 PM

Moving along...

Started the print for the interior cylinder of one of the two projectile decks. This is a complex five-hour print that will determine the process going forward. It will be done before 8 p.m. tonight. While that was printing I cleaned up the projectile hoist prints and installed them on the previously printed rotating middle projectile ring. 

I'm not certain about the placement of the hoist control stand. In the one detailed image I have of one of these appliances, it was facing perpendicular to the ring's circumference. 

Now let me give you some details of how I did this part. There were no marking on the finished ring to show the precise location of each hoist. The entry point of each hoist must be facing forward towards the outer ring's walls (I think... I could be completely wrong in this assumption. Like I said, I have no good reference information of the full arrangement of all the hoists and may not be able to visit this deck in June.

I made a paper pattern of the ring's face and scaled it correctly. I then marked the center of each hoist chase to give the hoist frame locations.

I drilled some shallow depressions to locate each hoist and drilled the same kind of holes in the center of the hoist channel. I applied Bondic the bases of each hoist and fastened them down centering the two holes. Here's the alignment looking straight down the hoist frame.

I had to make sure that the hoist didn't extend too far inward since it would make fitting the internal cylinder very difficut. As it is, there is overlap on the outside and I will have figure out what to do with the outer ring's fitting.

I also fit the screws that are holding the gun house together. I'm using some nice brass wood screws. After doing all the drilling and fitting the four screws, I took it apart and applied some thin CA to each now-threaded hole to harden the threads so the screws can be taken out and applied multiple times without stripping the threads.

After the projectile flat center cylinder print I will print the machinery that lies within plust the ring of projectiles themselves, and that will equal one deck. There is another of the same design, although I am led to believe that some aspect of it might be of a smaller diameter since the barbette stack narrows at the bottom corresponding the the reduced ship's width as it nears the keel.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, May 14, 2022 5:53 PM

I think you're correct in that analysis. The ony thing that stopped me from scratch-building the whole deal was the odd angles in the turret gun house and being to turn the barrels in my small lathe.

I got the third gun reprinted and finalized. it wasn't without its challenges. Again I had to cut the counter-recoil cylinders off one of my rejects, surgically remove the distorted ones  and graft the replacement in. I also had to replace some segments of the airpipe that got whacked in the clean up process. It is now correct with the foot rest on the left side to receive powder bags coming from the right partition.

In this instant it was easier to remove part of the slide along with the two cylinders and glue it in (with Bondic) as a unit. There was some chipping that I had to fill along with the joinery.

Here are the pipe repairs.

I added the hand holds and the gun is now ready for priming and final paint with the other two.

I got all all the mounting blocks epoxied into their respective locations; the front two into the forward corners of the gun house uppper section and the rear glued to the base shelf.

The fit is so nice that the top holds to the bottom on its own.

I printed the entire middle projectile flat that rotates with the gun house.

It was a massive print for my small machine, but did reasonably well. That is, except for the gun hoist frames which actually were in contact with the base in the drawing and therefore printed rather poorly. I decided to salvage the base since it used some much resin, and would print the hoists separately. There were some remnants of the hoists which I sanded off.

This gave me an opportunity to spend more time detailing the hoist frames and I did thusly. I printed them separately and they game out perfectly. I printed six since there are two projectile flats that need detailing.

I've subsequently edited all the rest of the drawings for the inner projectile flat cylinder, the machinery therein (separate print) and the array of 16" projectiles printed in four groups. I will start printing these on Monday. The outer stationary ring is too big to print and I'm either going to make it out of styrene sheet of have it laser cut out of ply or MDF. I can do the cutting at University of Louisville's First Build Makery, but need to reseerve the time. The outer projectile array will also be print in four groups.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Thursday, May 12, 2022 2:12 AM

Oh yeah, it's a pleasure to look at such a first rate work!

By the way, looking at your last drawing... You might say:

Takom - 10%

Builder2010 - 90%

You could officially call it full scratch at this point!

Good luck with your project and have a nice day


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

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Thursday, May 12, 2022 12:07 AM

As I know nothing about Naval Guns and or turrets, this WIP is fascinating to me  on so many levels.  Your ability’s with the computer and 3D printer are first rate.


Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 6:56 PM

work continues even though today is the day I would have been on the actual ship. I got a final officer's cabin print that fits in all the right places, has two entry passages (although I'm still not sure of the positioning of the narrower on). I lost a couple of the seats and the large handwheel, but careful surgery and transplant from the reject ones that were still floating around the shop and I have now have a fully complete and successful print. I also added the sprinkler system cisterns. The system in the Iowas works by gravity and these tanks would flood whatever space that was afire.

Another view:

I finished up filing the cut edges of the gun house roof. Nothing really to show, just lots of craft work.

I got good prints of the upper two sections of the powder hoist trunks. I printed some keys that would attach the sections since I ended up making two female joints and forgot that one had to be male.

And here's the separately applied assembly key.

I cleaned up and attached the four aiming station bulges to the gun house.

There's a curved bridge girder that supports the cradle and shelf deck at the rear of the gun pits. I drew this and printed them, and put them on today. Again, I used Bondic as the adhesive. When possible, it's the best possibel one to use since it literally welds the UV resin together with the same material. The fact that it stay completely fluid until the UV hits it (5 Seconds) is another benefit allowing adjustment. With CA, and the action of the UV resin acting as a catalyst the working time can sometimes be ZERO!

The ladder that comes up from the pan deck floor attaches to this part at its top.

The last item today was preparing the parts to screw the upper and lower gun houses together. It's a bit more complicated than I envisioned due to the interference of the officer's cabin floor and sprinkler tanks with the mounting blocks. As a result, the blocks aren't all that big and I will have to be careful in drilling and screwing the parts together.

I had to shape the blocks to conform to the rise of turret house floor rear. I then had to carve them to conform to aspects of the cabin floor. These will be epoxied in on a roughed up surface.

When I'm not in the shop, I'm probably on the computer (much to my wife's chagrin). At least I'm doing it on a laptop sitting in my Eames chair in the great room keeping her company. I've got the projectile flats detailed with projectiles and all of the equipment therein. There is a motor-hydraulic pump-hydraulic motor arrangement driving a pinion which drives a ring gear that rotates the independently rotating inner projectile storage deck. This is controlled by a crewman to bring ammunition around to be par-buckled into the projectile hoist. The inner ring is for active storage. The projectiles on the non-rotating outer ring are secondary storage. That ammo would be moved inward as needed. This is necessary to keep up the 30 second firing rate of these guns.

The projectiles are slid across the smooth metal decks with ropes wrapped around gypsy heads thar are also driven by a motor in the inner circle of the projectile flat.

This is my rendition of the part of the flat that is connected to the gun house rotation. This keeps all the hoist trunks in line with the guns that they feed.

Just for fun, here's what the cutaway looks like now. The work remaining is: Electric Deck Machinery, Pan Deck Finalization and Powder Handling Deck. Of the three, the latter is the least complicated (I hope).

Little by little, day by day, this monster is coming together.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, May 7, 2022 11:46 AM

Looking good.

That roof looks a tad thin for armor thickness, which suggests, to me, appliying a sheet to the inside and giving yourself a built-in rabbet for the clear roof.

Or not.

Was thinking about turrets in to-scale construction at this scale.  18" frontal armor is going to be 0.25 inch thick--which would be both, 1, eye-catching, and 2. a pain to work with for being so thick.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, May 5, 2022 7:09 PM

Really starting to come together.  I can't wait until you get some paint on there to bring out all those details.  Sure would be something to see the real thing operating with the turret top off like you have there.



  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, May 5, 2022 5:25 PM

UGH! We're going to do the first test tomorrow. My brother in law (the pediatrician) says we won't catch it. I'm not sure I share his optimism. But we are double-boosted, so there's that.

Well, for me, there's a silver lining to staying home... more time in the shop. Can't say that for my patient wife. We were both looking forward to seeing the family and that field trip.

After the realization that fitting the complex stuff inside the gun house with a solid roof would be very difficult, I woke up this morning with a decision to remove most of the roof and replace it with acrylic once all the interior is finished. The acrylic will be screwed onto the model so it can be removed. I didn't want to remove the entire roof for fear of destroying structural integrity.

I marked the plastic with a Sharpie where the cut would go. Then I made a strathmore pattern of the cut to perfect it. I then traced this pattern back onto the roof for the finalized cut line.

I just bought a water color drawing pad that was 90 pound strathmore, which is perfect for crafting in out model world. I chasse to go the tablet way instead of a large sheet becasue it was easier to handle and had lots of pages. It was less than $20 USD.

I have a long-throat jeweler's saw that I bought probably 30 years ago (or longer) to build wooden ship models. You need such a saw to cut out the frames (if you don't have a scroll saw which I now have). I used it very, very rarely, but today it was PERFECT. It's hard to handle and I broke two fine-toothed blades before switching to a bigger toothed blade. I will have to reproduce the locations for the gun house periscopes which I will print.

I made sure I cut well inside the lines so I could sand and file up to the line and get nice clean edges. I briefly entertained the thought to use the Dremel with a 1/16" carbide router, but that thing is prone to going wild and digging in. Besides, when cutting styrene the plastic melts and gums up the bit making it non-functional.

After doing the rough cut I couldn't help but stuff some things inside and see how it all worked. It worked great! I found that the aiming stations do fit okay, but my captain's cabin monster asssembly print needs to be shorter front-to-back and adjustment around the rammers. I also needed to trim the rear bulkhead to fit nicely. I will have to install a lip under the cut edges to support the acrylic. I'm in the process of refining the back assembly's design so finding out all of now is a an eample of good timing.

Looking long-ways with the aiming stations in their respective positions. After I took these pictures I started cleaning up the cut edges, but didn't finish before dinner.

I'm going to install some LED lighting under the remaining roof parts. I'm still going to make the partitions for the left gun out of acrylic to display the sides of the gun slide assmblies. Making all solid partitions would effectively hide all that cool stuff.

I have the aiming bulges in the post-cure box and am printing the powder chases down through the electric deck. I had to split the chases to fit the printer. I was going to cobble these together with styrene, but then quickly realized that this made no sense. Printing them from the drawings lets me fit them perfectly. I hollowed them out on the slicer to reduce the amount of resin they were consuming.

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Thursday, May 5, 2022 4:47 AM

Yeah I know what Covid is like. My Wife tested positive last Thursday and had to Isolate for 7 Days here in Oz. That meant I had to do a RAT Test every 2 Days from last Thursday. Day 1 Neg Day 3 Neg Day 5 Positive. I then have to Isolate myslef for 7 Days which finishes on Monday I hope. Not much fun missing a Week's Work . 

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 6:03 PM

I just found out that our daughter and son in law both tested positive for COVID. We were in their company last night and my wife hugged our daughter today after exchanging Mother's Day cards. They were masked, but… we've now been exposed to active cases and therefore have cancelled our trip back East that was supposed to begin tomorrow. And that means cancelling the New Jersey tour. Bummer. We're had the 2nd booster two weeks ago and that makes us pretty safe, but nothing's perfect and we were scheduled to see a lot of people in Philly.

I wasn't really happy with the rear bulkhead. That's such an important part of the gun house that it was annoying that it was so cobbled together. Then I found that in my master drawing, the bulkhead was updated once more and had better door spacing. So I printed another one. I think that was number four (or was it five). This time I made sure that the supports didn't screw up any details by putting all the supports in as LIGHT and then going back and adding HEAVY supports at the base or on large mass details. This worked great! As you see, after doing 3d printing for almost three years I'm still evolving better techniques.

I tried it on with some spring tweezers holding it firm to the load area components. I had to cut some relief in the corner of load area part on the right so it would seat against the door frame. My door frames are a bit exaggerated so it would seen at this scale.

I'm turning my attention to the gun house shell trying to determine assembly sequencing and how and where to do the cutaway/transparent parts to show the most detail without killing structural integrity. The ports for the training and pointing telescopes needed to be opened and the armored outer bulges needed to be opened as well. Opening the holes in the walls was not difficult, but opening the closed weather hatch on the bulge was not viable. I would have to make a scratch built door in the open position. So I careful measured the kit parts... there are two differently shaped bulges based on whether they were positioned fore or aft of the gun house side crease. And they were right and left handed. 

There are no right angles on the mounting surface since the gun house walls slope in two directions. I used the digital calipers to carefully measure the lengths of all four corners, the overal side and the position and sizing of the opening and the wall thickness. I then drew both versions on SketchUp. I created the right and left hand versions in the slicer using the MIRROR function and printed two full sets. Took a little over an hour to print.

I cleaned up one unit before post-curing just to test it out. We're heading out to Philly over next week and I will finish these up when I return. My homemade version will work perfectly well. Again I used heavy supports on the bottom and light supports on the open door.

I'm struggling with figuring out how to install the pointer-trainer stations in the gun house wings since their scopes have to peek out of the gun house into the bulges. I wish I could make the entire roof removable which would simplify a lot of this assembly work. Some of the roof will be either transparent acrylic or cutaway so those items in that area could be accessible. 

I also decided to install screw blocks into the gun house corners and screw that part down like I did with the base. It will make the insides accessible in case something comes loose.

  • Member since
    March 2009
  • From: brisbane australia
Posted by surfsup on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 2:08 AM

Just getting better and better. The detail is brilliant. My hats off to you mate.....Cheers Mark

If i was your wife, i'd poison your tea! If Iwas your husband, I would drink it! WINSTON CHURCHILL

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Monday, May 2, 2022 10:30 PM

That cradle spanning tray is insane!! And i can tell you I thought that before i even read your "this is astounding " comment! Beautiful work. And don't sell yourself short, i gotta believe you can market the final product. I'll be in line :-)

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, May 2, 2022 9:29 PM

All three plastic bloomers are now modified and I tried all of them in place with the barrels and the rest of the gun behind them. They work!

All three load area prints are done, cured, trimmed and final finished. I then spent a lot of time doing a final fitting of each into their respective slots in the gun girder. I knew during the design process that they would need "field" tweaking. In the two with the spanning tray in the load position I positioned the gun in the trunnion and slide the tray into the breach in the position it would be when loading. I used that position to determine the depth that the part needed to be in the girder slot. It turns out that my design was right; the final position is with the part's bottom level with the bottom of the gun girder's bottom.

lHere are all three in place (not glued).

I explored different ways to fasten the girder part to the kit's plastic floor and decided to screw it in place, not glue. Gluing resin to styrene is iffy. CA sometimes doesn't bond well. I know from experience that Bondic has trouble holding to styrene, and that also goes for epoxy. It sometimes breaks loose from styrene. CA is much more secure on the resin.

I spent a lot of time ensuring that the girder was positioned properly before clamping it for the screw installation process. I used Quickie Clamps to hold it secure. There wasn't much space to actually drill and screw it together. I used a #56 drill for the threads and a #49 for the clearance hole in the plastic. I then countersunk it just a tad so the brass flathead screws would be flush.


And here are two of the four fasteners after assembly. They hold very tightly.

The door frames for the powder hoist compartment impinged on the load area parts and had to be trimmed. I can't move them any more since they start affecting all the other details on that bulkhead in the officer's cabin. Trimming worked and again, folks won't notice.

This view does show the relationship between the bulkhead and the load parts. I printed that false back wall instead of attempting to print all that piping on the bulkhead directly. While this isn't prototypcially correct, but it was pragmatic. I had much more control of the printing process by making it a separate overlay.

I have to decide on the order of assembly and painting at this point. The load area parts have a lot of details that has to be picked out and it would be much easier if they WERE NOT all assembled. But, having them in their raw form makes it much easier to glue them all together. I will accept opions on this decision.

I did one more thing. I decided to NOT install a round filler piece to build up the recessed ring. It was unecessary since in real life it's open all the way to the pan deck between all the partitiions (which I will be installing). Instead, I just put in some strategic pieces of thin MDF to give more base upon which the load area parts can rest and sit squarely.

These will be unseen and I made sure I didn't block the hole for the projectile chase.

I've been 3D printing for three years this June and it still blows my mind when I look at a real part that is a direct 1:1 relica of the drawing that I made. This project could be build old school, but it would most likely lack the depth of detail that it's going to have. As I'm getting some it ready for assembly and it's looking as I wished it would, it's giving me confidence that it will be built and be worthy.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, May 2, 2022 10:55 AM

Had a rare Saturday session and got some good progress. Finally got a good gun girder part with the gun-to-gun spacing correct for the Takon turret housing. Parallax makes the left spacing a bit off. Take my word for it, all three are centered over their openings. 

An additional test with the girder part and guns in place show good centering and I think my gun sleeve length is just about perfect. Later in the day I did a test with one of the bloomers and the gun installed and that worked okay as well.

You can see in this image why I had to reduce the gun's tail diameter so I could shrink the O.D. of the gun sleeve to fit betweens the Kit's opening. There's parts of the bloomer assembly that had to glue to that inner step. If the diameter wasn't reduced, the wall thickness of the remaining gun sleeve would have been too thin to function.

To give gun sleeves access to the gun tail I have to open up the backs of all three bloomers. I did one using the tried and true "Drill-a-lot-of-holes-and-cut-the-stock-that-remains" method as shown here.

I finished all three guns and they're ready to paint (today??). I made the real wire hand grabs for the counter-recoil cover, retrofitted the wire air piping that was now on the other side of one of the guns, and grafted a good breach lever onto one of the open breaches that was missing.

First the piping. After I took the picture I added some wire formed clamps. I'm not going to model the globe valves and swivel joints that are that those bottom curves. They will not be visible in the final model. I did model them in the printed version, but even then, some of it broke off in the cleaning process.

To replace the broken breach lever I did some minor surgery with the dremel and a diamond coated cutoff wheel and removed the lever stump and the rest of the mechanism behind it. It was scary because I had already glued the yoke onto the gun slide and if I screwed it up, wouldn't be able to get it off. I would have to reprint the slide and the yoke again. I did the same surgery in reverse on one of my reject yokes that still had an intact handle. Once remove I trued up the mounting surfaces with some careful filing with a riffle file and diamond coated flat jeweler's file and adhered the job with Bondic.

For the hand grabs I measured the spacing with a dividers and marked the drill spots. I bent the 0.022" Phos-bronze wire using a small needle nose at the point of its tapered jaws that matched the hole spacing. It took a couple of tries to find the exact spot on the jaws, but once found enabled me to replicate all the handles.

Here's the undersides of all three completed guns. You'll notice a pocket to the side of the recoil piston rod. That's going to be the upper junction of the elevating screw. I may hae to adjust the hand-made piping if it gets in the way of the trunnion mount.

I printed all three load area composite parts. Two of three were perfect. The center gun's had a drawing error. The pipe array on one of the side walls wasn't actually attached. It was about 1/16" away. I went back to the drawing and fixed it. The mistake arose when I was readjusting the wall placement vis a vis the new girder spacing dimensions. I had moved the piping group off the wall, but neglected to put it back in the new position. The printer never lies. It prints what I draw, good, bad or very ugly.

The detail on this print is astounding. The new printed is dynamite! Painting all this will be fun. Many of those pipes are actuall standing free of the wall. You can't do that with injected molded parts. These parts would all be relief moldings stuck to the walls or they would have to be glued on separately. Either way, printing is superior. Notice: the powder bags are already in place, ready to be rammed into the combustion chamber.

Fun Fact: The operating pressure inside the combustion chamber reaches 40,000 psi at peak pressure. That means the projectile is being accelerated with 8 million pounds of total pressure on its rear end. Awesome!

More work will be done today on fitting the girder, bloomers, and cleaning up those load area prints.

I've put together a detailed list of questions/details i need for successul project completion for my USS New Jersey field trip. It's a once-in-a-lifetime visit and I have to make the most of it.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, April 30, 2022 10:46 AM

It's been a week, but I've been busy; mainly reprinting things that weren't right or fixing things that broke. I'm printing the fifth iteration of the gun girder. It seemed I could never get the spacing correct. I also realized that it could be wider to better fill the plastic parts. This time I think I've got it. 

I had to reprint the back bulkhead because each change in gun spacing changed the spacing of some of the doors in that bulkhead. The bulkhead print looked great until I started removing all the supports. The Slicer auto-positioned it almost completely vertical which reduced the supports just to the edges of the raised details. I use heavy supports and then go back and delete those that are on small details, not needing the beefy supports. Except I missed one set. These were attached to the individual lights on the gun-ready panel. The supports clustered together on such tiny details formed a solid resin mass whose removal also removed all the details. 

Rather than reprinting another nine-hour job, I decided to try and fix it. I had all the scrap bulkheads so I cut out the good part on a scrap one and grafted it to the area needing replacement on the good one. I really didn't matter the shape of the insert piece as long as I made the opening in the good bulkhead to fit it.

Again, with the help of Bondic I fused the new piece into the bulkhead. Even though you're not supposed to use Bondic on blind joints where the UV light won't get to it, it works great on UV resin parts since they almost transparent to 405nm UV light.

Here's the piece fit in place with Bondic.

And here's the bonded graft before finishing. I also had to replace the port hole cover since it too had heavy support damage.

On this iteration I chose to not print the open portholes (to accept glazing). I was going to drill them out. I used a couple of small drills to start the holes and then used drills of the correct size. I was having trouble using the #20 drill for the large portholes so, like an idiot that I sometimes am, I chuck the drill into my DeWalt monster drill. When the drill grabbed the resin as it was exiting the hole, It fractured the wall completely through. Another repair!

Again, with Bondic, the joint was made with almost the same strength as the base material.

And here it is after final finishing with the portholes open. After painting it will look just fine.


I also had a mess fixing one of the guns. I was working to get the yoke to fit tightly against the rear of the slide portion, when, after applying too much force in removing the un-cemented part, I fractured off both counter-recoil cylinders AND the gun captain's foot pad. I first tried to drill and pin the broken cylinders and glue them back on, but it wasn't working well. Again, since I've been keeping all the reject prints, I had an ample supply of intact cylinders which I could surgically remove and graft to this particular good gun. I was "good" becasue it was not warped.

I cut off the sacrificial cylinders just aft of the support clamp, and using a diamond burr, removed any material on the good gun so it was an even surface at the bracket. I then spent a lot of time preparing the yoke so it fit nice and tight and square and glued it in place. I then glued the graft cylinders on top. I was also able to glue the foot pad back using Bondic alone. I had to trim the back of the foot bracket since it was pressing on the breach spring assembly. That contact point was probably stressing the foot bracket and may have contributed to its breakage. Whew! Dodged another bullet.

The only problem with the above is the air feed pipe on the yoke is on the wrong side for this particular hand of gun. I will add some actual wire piping to correct this. My thoughts of making this stuff available for others is rapidly waning. It's much too finicky to be sold commercially.

The new gun girder is in the ultrasonic getting cleaned up. I'm anxious to see if I've finally corrected the errors.

Right now I'm attempting to print two of the complete loading sections of the turret compartment. It took a ridiculous amount of fussing to get them reasonably close to what it should look like. Lots of piping details to print and support. Each compartment's is different in both orientation and where the piping runs go.

That's all for today... Happy Spring!


  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, April 21, 2022 9:08 PM

Pavel, I've seen that too. It's the Yamato turret. I haven't seen any of the Iowas. Mine could be the first (and only??). That does give some ideas on how to display. I'm thinking of skinning part of the gun house with clear acrylic. For the circular items, I would like to do the barbette armored portion in clear acrylic and the rest of them as selective cutaways. 

I now have the open yokes complete... not perfect... yet, but complete enough to use. The T-handle and operating lever, while they printed didn't hold up in the cleaning. I'm going to replace both of them with metal substitutes. It's this kind of stuff that makes me think a commercial version of all this is probably a non-starter. 

The yokes printed with a drawing error... at least I thinks it's one since it occurred exactly the same on all three. It was an easy fix with Bondic and some careful sanding. As I've said before, since Bondic is chemically the same as the resin being printed and therefore makes strong and completely integral patches.

After sanding, you can see the Bondic patch, but after painting it will disappear. I believe the color of the yoke looks like Haze Gray.

Here's a look into the breach. I really like that all the little details that are attached to the yoke face resolved beautiffully, including the very fragile Salvo Lock and the gas ejector control valve. You can see the yoke on the left still has its operating lever, but no T-handle. The one on the right has half a lever and no T-handle.

I got nice prints of all three powder doors; one open and two closed. I originally drew these about 30% too large and it was causing problems in 'decorating' the rest of the gun compartment rear. 

Here's all that detail. I'm going to print the whole deal in one part minus the cradle/spanning tray. It will help in controlling support placement and removal. There's more smaller diameter wiring/piping than this, but in 1/72 it won't be seen nor paintable.

For the above, I really am going to wait until my field trip to finalize it. I'm not sure about the side entrances in the outer two gun rooms. There also appears to be steps from that door to the operating floor and I'm not certain about their height or placement.

The modified gun girder is finished, washed and waiting for final sanding and cleanup. This new printer is just doing great.


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