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A Random (Ship Model Related) Eureka Moment

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  • Member since
    January 2021
A Random (Ship Model Related) Eureka Moment
Posted by PFJN2 on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 8:03 PM

Hi,

Yesterday a thought crossed my mind that made me wonder whay I hadn't though of it much sooner. 

Basically, several years ago I bought a copy of the 1/350 of Trumpeter's LCS1 model.  I knew that the kit had some accuracy issues, but all I really wanted was the decals and miscellaneous fittings for a 3D printed model of the new US Navy Frigate that I bought from Shapeways.  It turns out that buying the full Trumpeter kit was less expenive for me than trying to buy separate 1/350 scale helos, guns, missiles, photo etch and flight deck decals.  Anyway that Frigate model is currently on hold, but I was left with the (incorrectly shaped for the LCS) unused Trumpeter hull and superstructure that I didn't have a use for.

Trumpeter LCS

[Mark Up of Trumpter LCS Figure showing shape issue]

FFGX

[Partially Complete 1/350 Scale FFG(X) from Shapeways]

More recently (last year) I got messing around with my new 3D printer and 3D CAD, and tried my hand at making a notional "What-If" fire support vehicle model suitable for use by the USMC, since they had decided to get rid all of their heavy armor.  In general the vehicle is meant to be kind of like the US Army's Mobile Protected Firepower vehicle but with some potentail amphibious capability (see the image below for an early mock up that I did, with a Cockerill Turret that I found on the Interenet).

Fire Support

[Partial Build of a 3D Printed What-If Amphibious Fire Support Vehicle with a Cockerill Turret]

Anyway, while looking up information on potential USMC future missions that might require a direct and/or in-direct fire support vehicle, as well as information on some of the new artifical islands that China has been building in the Pacific, I came across a proposal from some country for an alternate idea where a tank turrt was fitted to a boat hull to provide near-offshore fire support (as shown below), which also sounded kind of like an interesting idea.

Tank Boat

[Boat with Tank Turret - from Wikipedia]

Antasena-class combat boat - Wikipedia

For some reason though the thought never crossed my mind to maybe take my spare 1/350 scale misshapen LCS hull and use it instead as a basis for a 1/72 scale "Near Shore Fire Support Vessel".  If I have done the math correctly, the 1/350 scale hull of the 387.6ft long LCS1 should scale to about 79.75ft in 1/72 scale.

I'm not fully sure yet whether I should fit a normal Tank turret, with a conventional tank gun onboard the vessel, or maybe go a slightly different path.  In researching stuff for the vehicle model that I mentioned above I read somewhere that some 90mm guns and vehicle turrets can be configured for both "direct fire" using standard tank rounds, or that the can also engage in "in-direct fire" like a Howitzer.  In addition, there is some Eastern European country that has also developed a barrel launched anti-tank missile that can be fired from standard 90mm or 105mm tank type guns.

An additional though we also be to maybe augment the main "tank type" turret with a second mount aft on the ship capable of firing maybe a 20-40mm type high rpm cannon for instances where a high volume of fire may be of more use than a heavy round.

30mm

[Possible Twin 30mm AA Turret for also Mounting on Vessel - from Wikipedia]

US_Army_photo_160803-A-VV548-006_Standing_Watch_together.jpg (2250×1500) (wikimedia.org)

Anyway, although I am currently busy with a group build airplane model right now, I may keep playing around with this idea and try and see what I eventually come up with.  Maybe if all goes well I can start actually trying to "kitbash" the build in a month or so.

Pat Smile

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, August 10, 2022 8:35 PM

That sounds like fun.  Throw a Gepard turret on for AAA

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Thursday, August 11, 2022 6:52 AM

Everything old is new again.

Didn't the Soviets during WW2 have whole classes of river assault boats with tank turrets mounted on boat hulls?

In any case...cool project! YesCool

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, August 11, 2022 7:42 AM

Oho!

      Now you have me intrigued! I'll be waiting!

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, August 11, 2022 9:31 AM

OR .  .  .   an Oto Melara rapid fire gun (you pick the caliber) and a goalkeeper / vulcan multi-barrelled mount. You really shouldn't need the heavy armor of a tank turret, but suitable marine gun mounts are 'aplenty' to choose from

Have Fun. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, August 11, 2022 11:26 AM

Hmmm!

 How about a pair of CIWS staggered like they did in the twenties. Oh, and the same with  Mortars on Port and Starboard side. One mortar each side. Or how about two Oto-Melara fast fire guns, Is that what you mean? I have never learned the Calibre of those guns.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Thursday, August 11, 2022 8:19 PM

Hi,

All those ideas are really good food for thought.

Originally I was thinking that the ship would act like an "offshore" tank engaging targets ashore like tanks and other armored vehicles, soft sided vehicles, weapon stations, electronics sensors and antennas and such, and possibly both reinforced and non reinforced buildings like hangars and warehouses.   As such, my original thoughts were toward fitting a tank turret and "tank gun" capable of firing standard high-explosive and anti-armor rounds.  And from what I have read, some guns (of about 90mm) can actually be used to fire in both a direct and in-direct mode (for targetting things hidden from off shore).

However, since most tank turrets seem to have limited magazine capacity and sensors located very close to the gun, I'm beginning to think that maybe a more typical naval gun mount, or even a mortar, for indirect fire coupled with a small number of anti-tank missile box launchers, might potentially be more suitable.

Either option above could potentially then be coupled with a 20 to 40mm mount aft (including possibly a Phalanx 1B mount or some other typ of weapon), to provide suppressive fire and maybe even some self-defense capability.

I guess there aree a lot of options to be considered, and I'd be really happy to hear anyone elses suggestions.

Pat Smile

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Thursday, August 11, 2022 9:06 PM

If I were to build something like that .  .  .

From long range to direct fire - 25 cell, mixed bag VLS (modular, of course, for easy swap-out), 1 or 2, 57mm Oto-Melara guns (again, mixed bag on ammo options), Gamekeeper 30mm gatling gun with HE, depleted uranium, and tracer mix ammo), and 2-20mm vulcan mounts for close-in (comparitively speaking). Then, 1- HH-60, and 2- Predator drones.

Make all the weapon systems (other than the CIWS's) modular, again for quick and east swap-outs. AND, (contrary to the present LCS boats) a solid, bulletproof propulsion system. ( I'd go diesels vice gas turbines).

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, August 12, 2022 8:21 AM

Hey, Hoo Yah!

     Second that Motion  on the Diesel propulsion!

  • Member since
    August 2013
  • From: Michigan
Posted by Straycat1911 on Friday, August 12, 2022 11:30 AM

A modern version of the Vietnam era quad .50 mount (or two) should be in there somewhere. 

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, August 12, 2022 11:45 AM

Anything less than 20mm is considered 'small arms', and therefore dependant on the mission profile. Besides, putting your 'boat' close enough to the beach to effectively use the .50 BMG, is 'hazarding said 'boat'.

Actually, it kinda depends on just how big (or small) the craft is, and how much water it draws.

Despite it's reputation, the .50 BMG is only good for short duration use. It is manpower intensive to reload / restock after the initial 'loadout' is burned up, especially in multi-gun applications.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Friday, August 12, 2022 1:31 PM

Hi HooYah!

      I was wondering, after working with wildlife folks in Florida and Oil Spill folks in the Sloughs and Channels in Northern Cal.Waters. Why not a Jet boat or Air boat kind of hull profile, Almost flat bottomed but also fast if need be? Plus the boats I speak of have hulls similar to landing Craft so they are  already Shallow Draft.

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Friday, August 12, 2022 6:02 PM

Well, if you want a landing craft, you build a landing craft. But, if you want a coastal gunfire support / littorals op area ship .  .  . that's what you build.

I'm just not particularly impressed with the two designs the navy came up with.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    March 2022
  • From: Twin cities, MN
Posted by missileman2000 on Saturday, August 13, 2022 9:07 AM

Remember, tank turrets originally were inspired by a ship design.  Most early ships that used turrets were called monitors.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, August 13, 2022 11:26 AM

This gets complicated in real life.

Tank gunfire in direct fire is limited to about 4km, which is getting you very close to shore (as in suseptable to man-portable anti-tank missile fires, which necessarily have a similar range to tanks).

Now, sawp the tank turret for a Paladin of M-109 or the like, and you get the 4km direct fire (just not with specialized AP rounds per se).  And, you get the 10-15km indirect fire 155 rounds can provide.

Ammo capacity and protection of same becomes an issue, though.  It might be less weight than a bof-standard 127mm(5") gun mount.  The latter, though does convey a considerable anti-aircraft (and anti-helo especially) capability.  Something the 155 artillery willl not.

Realistically, once over the littoral, CAS becomes a simpler solution.  Vertical envelopment using existing "airborne" assets also takes a great burden off the need to move things by landing craft.

So, a hgh speed, necessarily lightweight, vessel with a 57mm or 76mm DP gun could be at a disadvantage versus one with with a turreted 90mm.  But, a simple destroyer with a 5" gun could stand off well out of range of the 57/76/90 guns.

Ther used to be a notion that one could "swarm" larger ships with smaller ones.  But, sadly, modern economics do not "scale" very well.  The LCS ships are the same cost as a small frigate, and for less capacity (above and beyond all the "systemic" failures of that Class).

The notion is sound enough, and modeling it would be cool.  Mind, fitting up a multi-ton turret into a plywood or aluminum hull can have other engineering issues.

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Saturday, August 13, 2022 2:00 PM

You Know!

 That is what always puzzled me. It seems they lost common sense somewhere along the line,trying to re-invent what was already in front of them. The Buckleys if cut down in size and weight could easily still accomodate 5" guns. One forward one Aft! Still a pretty good punch! The Brits proved small ships could make a difference!

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, August 13, 2022 3:57 PM

There are a number of DE and frigate hulls 'back in the day' that were great at this sort of mission. It's just a matter of getting your priorities straight. The problem lies in that with the cost of big gray things these days, nobody wants to overly limit the mission, or build too specific for just one area of operations / mission profile.

'Near the beach' requires speed and maneuverability (smaller hull), but limits firepower and range. Deep blue (bigger hull) permits heavier firepower and longer range, but places maneuverability and speed on a lower priority.

To clarify; when I say speed and maneuverability here, it also implies quickness. 

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Saturday, August 13, 2022 4:34 PM

Not speaking for Pat, but I assumed this was bordering on absurd what-if type of a build - correct me if I'm wrong.

I say put a german 88mm gun on the bow and the gepard turret with it's own rangefinder on the stern.  Maybe a couple torpedos and depth charges to round it out.

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, August 13, 2022 6:00 PM

Yeah, kinda went off on a tangent didn't we .  .  .     But, then again .  .  .

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Saturday, August 13, 2022 7:10 PM

Hi,

Interestingly enough, the more I have thought about this the more I've been coming round to maybe an M109 or Abbott type Howitzer turret at one end and an M2 Bradley Turret at the other, for alot of the reasons others have mentioned here.  Specifically a howitzer would probably be better for dedicated  indirect fire, while the Bradley turret seems like it should be able to provide a resonable amount of suppressive fire, and the two TOW missile tubes would hopefully provide some sort of dedicated back line of site fire.

If I take the 1/350 scale hull as it is and assume that it is instead a 1/144 scale hull then the 115.5m long ship would then be about 47.5m long (or about 156ft long) which isn't too far off the size of the old Asheville class PGMs.

PGM

Asheville-class gunboat - Wikipedia

Since I already have a Flower Class Corvette and a Type 143 class Fast Attack Craft model in this scale (and the old Revell 1/142 scale fishing boat) it might help me make sure that things like ladders and lockers etc look right for my vessel, since I would be able to copy some of the details from these otther ships.

In looking at some of these new artificial islands being built in the Pacific, it looks like a small vessel nearshore could potentially provide some direct and indirect support to a landing force across a wide swath of the islands (for reference, the runway on Fiery Cross Atoll, shown below is listwd as about 3,125m long, and Firey Cross Atoll appears to be possibly the largest of the artificail islands built to date)

Fiery Cross Atoll

Fiery Cross Reef - Wikipedia

Pat

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Central Oregon
Posted by HooYah Deep Sea on Saturday, August 13, 2022 8:04 PM

Personally, I'd go with using the 350 scale hull and call it 192 or 200 scale. Then .  .  . set it up like I was saying previously.   Should be fun!!!!!   Heck, we could make it a group build or something.

"Why do I do this? Because the money's good, the scenery changes and they let me use explosives, okay?"

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Saturday, August 13, 2022 9:57 PM

Hi,

Here is a rough sketch of my idea (I need to double check to make sure that I scaled everything right).  I just dropped the PGM deckhouse for reference right now, since it is a similarly sized ship.  I was also thinking it might be useful to put a small platform somewhere to launch and recover small UAV/drones to assist in surveillance ans targetting.

Pat

PG Idea

PS. 1/200 scale might not be a bad idea either as it would scale out to a ship about 221ft long, which mightt give some additional extra room onboard.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by PFJN2 on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 10:25 PM

Hi,

I pulled down a couple free 3D models off the internet to see what the M109 and M2 turrets might look like @ 1/144 scale (if I did the scaling correctly).

Pat

Turrets

PS.  The grey blob is an explosion model that I printed out awhile ago, but onyl recently found whie cleaning my room.  I originally printed it out to see how smoothly my 3D printer might print round-ish object.  I'm still playing around with trying different things with regards to paint and shading on it.

  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Canada
Posted by sharkbait on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 9:16 AM

Looking at the "Boat with Tank Turret" photo in the opening post of this interesting post.

The first thing that springs to mind is that the hull resembles a PT Boat hull split down the middle and the tunnel added between the 2 halfs and wider upper deck and superstructure installed thereupon.

A PT boat model could be a good starting point for a scratchbuild project. 

Just an observation.  

Cheers to all.

Sharkbait

You have never been lost until you've been lost at Mach 3!

  • Member since
    June 2007
Posted by jrb53 on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 3:16 PM

I agree with Gregbale on this, "Ivan" made good use of this concept.  http://www.wio.ru/fleet/ww2armorb.htm

Also agree with Sharkbait. A variety of 1/72 tank/AA turrets on the inexpensive Revell PT boat might be awesome! Smile

Jack

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by lurch on Wednesday, September 7, 2022 6:24 PM

You all have some great ideas. I am curious what someone might come up with. It is an interesting concept of a 'what if' boat. I think you should have a group build on that topic and see what everyone comes up with. It would be very interesting to see all the concepts that you all have. 

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