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The launching of the USS Puffer (SS-268) diorama COMPLETE.

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  • Member since
    July 2014
The launching of the USS Puffer (SS-268) diorama COMPLETE.
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 8:57 AM

Call me crazy…go ahead you won’t be telling me anything new. Especially with all the other builds I have going on.
Well here goes.
I purchased a 1/144 Trumpeter Gato a little while back specifically for the Submarine Warfare GB coming up in Aug.

but there is an IPMS contest in Salt Lake City in Sep. and I would not have the time to complete it for the contest if I waited. So with many apologies to the other members who were looking forward to the Gato build during the GB, I will need to get a jump on it if I have hope of completion prior to the contest. Not to worry guys, I have several other subs to do during the GB.

So with that being said, here is my usual crazy off the wall idea.

BOOWA!

I’m calling it “The launching of the USS Puffer (SS-268)”. The Puffer was launched in Nov. 1942 at the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company in Manitowoc Wisconsin.

Now you may be asking yourself, what is he thinking? Well here it is. From my understanding the Trumpeter kit has its flaws. The gun is a mess as well as a few other cosmetic issues that need AM to make it a passable Gato. If I pose it during a launch it won’t need all that extra stuff to worry about.

This is going to be a very large water display with lots of acrylic gel and cotton. Even now as I write this I am formulating just how I will form the enormous splash and wave caused by the launch.
The build itself should be easy and quick, the water, well that’s a different story. It will be great looking if I can pull it off.
So stay tuned. I will be purchasing materials and get crackin on this very soon.
Steve

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:35 AM

Great idea. The flags going sideways, genius.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

fox
  • Member since
    January 2007
  • From: Narvon, Pa.
Posted by fox on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 11:43 AM

You said to call you crazy. OK. Your crazy, but you do such great work.  I've got to watch this build. This wil be very, very interesting.  Good luck.

Jim  Captain

 Main WIP: 

   On the Bench:  1/48 Tamiya - Vought F4U-1A Corsair for Group Build 'Absent Friends' 50%                                                                   1/48 Encore Models - A-37B/OA-37B Dragonfly 50%

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:12 PM

Thanks GM and Jim,

 

I went out at lunch today and purchased a 2X36 foam board to start with as well as a thin transparent plastic sheet. I'm thinking of using the sheet as a stiffener inside the wave and building up acrylic gel over and around it. Otherwise the gel itself will sag and go limp.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    May 2013
  • From: From the Mit, but live in Mason, O high ho
Posted by hogfanfs on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 1:15 PM

Steve,

This will be epic! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

 Bruce

 

 On the bench:  1/48 Eduard MiG-21MF

                        1/35 Takom Merkava Mk.I

 

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 2:28 PM

hogfanfs

Steve,

This will be epic! Can't wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

X2.....Got the chips, dip, cola and Jack out for this oneBow Down

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 3:33 PM

I just pulled the Puffer out of the hat because of the launching date (early enough to justify the 1941 fitting to match the kit) and interesting launching style. I always do some research on my build subject and I found that the boat does have a tie to me. It was sold for scrap on the day I was born, Dec 3 1960. HA, now how about that?

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 3:48 PM

Hello!

I sure would like to see you work on this - I always wanted to make a dio of a Vietnam river boat in a high speed pass, and your techniques could help me do just that...

Good luck with your build and have a nice day

PaweĊ‚

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

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    October 2003
  • From: Canada
Posted by sharkbait on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 4:11 PM
From the photo it looks like no guns will be required. Great idea looking forward to see this one!

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

  • Member since
    January 2016
  • From: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Posted by Hunter on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 4:26 PM

Alright sir, I'm here and ready to learn. This is going to be an amazing dio. Your water builds just keep getting better, better and more indepth. The sheet of clear plastic your going to use to create the splashing effect. You know what....I am not going to ask the question I had on my mind. I am just going to sit back and be amazed. I really hope you enjoy the build. I'm here until she is done.

Hunter 

      

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 4:50 PM

I’m super psyched to get started on this. I believe I’ll put glue to plastic tonight.
Thank you everyone for your confidence.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 6:07 PM

Wonder if any VIPs got clonked by those beams!

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 7:11 PM
GMorrison

Wonder if any VIPs got clonked by those beams!

 
I wondered that myself. They are awfully close to the grandstand.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    October 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 9:30 PM

The Manitowoc 28 were all side launched into the river.  The ManShipCo. built and launched all of their ships with the bow pointing up river.  Tradition or historical rumor was that ships launched with their bows facing up river always returned home.  The maximum angle of heel was 48 degrees. 

A good book on the sublect is: Fresh Water SUBMARINES, The Manitowoc Story by Rear Admiral William T. Nelson, USN (Ret.)

An interesting USCG side note is that the USCGC TAMARACK (WAGL248), also built at ManShipCo,  was outfitted with a submarine rescue bell and additional air compressors; she was used as a submarine rescue vessel.

 

Another interesting diorama idea would be the sub loaded on the floating drydock, on it's journey between Lockport, IL., and New Orleans.  Two different tow boats were used for the trip.  Due to piloting errors or cross winds, there were several times that the bow of the sub was several yards into a cornfield.

  • Member since
    April 2005
  • From: Roanoke, Virginia
Posted by BigJim on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 10:27 PM

"I’m calling it “The launching of the USS Puffer"

Hmmm....

 

The "Yellow Submarine Operating Launch Car", well it looks puffed up. Wink

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 10:53 PM

Bob,

This is such an interesting story to me. I never gave thought to were subs were built. I’ve always assumed they were built along the coast and I was interested to learn of some of them being constructed along the shores of Lake Michigan. I assume they were transported along the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans.
The scene is so striking to me that it seemed like a perfect diorama subject.
I would like to find that book and do a little reading.

An update to the kit.

As I thought, it’s going together quickly and won’t take long to complete. The inner hull was strange. I installed bulkheads in strategic places along with a floor. These bulkheads have holes where the watertight doors would be. This entire assembly is sealed up and installed into the outer hull. The only reason I can think is for a future cutaway version. I do like the fact that the Limber holes are open. I wish Revell would have done that to their 1/72 U-boats

This is where I’m at now. The inner hull, outer hull and deck has been installed. Everything fit well so I just need a little filler for the seams. I need to do a little research on which deck fittings were installed before launch.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 11:11 PM

Big Jim, that is funny!Big Smile

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 11:19 PM

BigJim

"I’m calling it “The launching of the USS Puffer"

Hmmm....

 

The "Yellow Submarine Operating Launch Car", well it looks puffed up. Wink

 

You need help, dude! Wow tht takes me back, to the Beatles I mean. huge fan in the 60's.

 

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    October 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:12 AM

modelcrazy,

I ran the DC Shop at Base Milwaukee from 1983-87, and that's when I learned about the Manitowoc 28.  After launch, the subs would go out to Lake Michigan for sea trials and training.  Some would make practice torpedo attacks on USS SABLE or USS WOLVERINE, two side wheel steamer converted to training aircraft carriers.  Some of the escorts for the SABLE and WOLVERINE were USCG 78' Patrol Boats built during Prohibition.  After sea trials, the completed sub would sail to Chicago. The route was the Chicago River, Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal, Illinois River, and MIssissippi River to New Orleans. 

 

You can get the book from the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc.  Last year the Museum hosted their 1st Annual SubFest.  This year SubFest is July 8-10.  It was a weekend event for the city.  We went for the weekend with 3 of my r/c subs: USS HAMMERHEAD SS-364, in 1:96 scale; USS BARB SSN-596 in 1:96 scale; and the Trumpeter USS SEAWOLF.  They set up a 20' x 40' pool in front of the museum for us to run our boats.  The SubCommittee has a thread about SubFest 2016.

  • Member since
    September 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:31 AM

My own connection is with Mare Island in Vallejo, California. 17 Balao and Gato class submarines were built there during the war.

Notables were the Wahoo, Silverside and Tang.

 Modeling is an excuse to buy books.

 

  • Member since
    March 2005
Posted by philo426 on Thursday, March 31, 2016 11:23 AM

Interesting project!Was the launch botched or was that just the way subs were launched at that ship yard?

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:01 PM

That's the way they were launched at that shipyard. If you  Google "Gato class submarine launching" you will see several almost identical launching images of different "fresh water" subs.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 31, 2016 1:11 PM

IIRC, they didn't have enough water to launch stern first (normal) without running the stern into the other side of the river bank.  Probably not the depth to do it either.

  • Member since
    October 2005
Posted by CG Bob on Thursday, March 31, 2016 2:45 PM

Side launching is/was the preferred method in most Great Lakes shipyards located on rivers.  ManShipCo was located on a bend in the river.

Here's a picture of ManShipCo from 1943.  The view is looking to the west.  Downriver to Lake Michigan is to the left.

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 31, 2016 3:49 PM

Looks like they built to Electric Boat specs rather than Navy Yard build specs.  Navy yard builds had limber holes full length and EB boats were only about a third of the length.  This according to Squadron's Gato booklet.

The '44 I have has full length limbers, might check before you nail down the deck (if I'm not too late).

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, March 31, 2016 4:07 PM
Thanks for the insight GH. The Trumpeter 41 Gato Limber holes look identical to the Puffers launch picture. I was struck by the low number in respect to the later Gato, Balo class and U-boats.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Thursday, March 31, 2016 5:42 PM

Nice, saved a lot of work, not that many outside of here would have noticed, but the judges in SLC might have.  Are you planning on a framed photo of what you have here for a guide pic to go with her on the table?  Or is that allowed?

  • Member since
    February 2014
Posted by bluewavecaptain on Thursday, March 31, 2016 8:17 PM

I'm from Manitowoc so I'll be watching this with great interest!

Shipyard - Revell 1/570 Titanic

Next Scheduled Build - Lindberg North Atlantic Fishing Trawler

"Take her to sea, Mr. Murdoch. Let's stretch her legs." - Titanic (1997)

Captain Charles Nelson

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, March 31, 2016 8:59 PM

bluewavecaptain
I'm from Manitowoc so I'll be watching this with great interest!

That is cool Bulewave.

I started on the base tonight.
First I cut the base to fit the kit, then I drew the outline of the boat. I then carved out the area and vacuumed the area.

 

I then applied medium acrylic gel to the entire base.

Wetted printer was then applied to the entire surface and another coat of gel was applied and stippled using a brush. The paper serves to cover the Styrofoam texture and help add to the water texture.

 

 

Once dry, I will sand the base to remove the peaks and reapply and stipple the gel. After a second sanding, this should result in small ripples that would have been present in the river.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

  • Member since
    July 2014
Posted by modelcrazy on Thursday, March 31, 2016 9:40 PM

goldhammer

Nice, saved a lot of work, not that many outside of here would have noticed, but the judges in SLC might have.  Are you planning on a framed photo of what you have here for a guide pic to go with her on the table?  Or is that allowed?

 

GH

I will probably be showing it in the Diorama and Vignettes class so the judges may not care if all the goodies are attached. I hope to have the USS Johnston at Leyte Gulf and the USS Prinz Eugen at Bikini Island completed for the ship class.

As far as an accompanying picture, that’s a good idea. This will be my first contest so I will ask.

Steve

Building a kit from your stash is like cutting a head off a Hydra, two more take it's place.

 

 

http://www.spamodeler.com/forum/

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