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Old Jun 02, 2014, 02:16 PM
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Balao class submarine

This is a build of a WWII US Navy Balao class submarine. It will be a surface runner only, so I am not posting this thread in the Submarine forum. The scale is 1:35, and the model will be approx. 8 feet long, built in two 4 foot sections to fit in my car.

The hull will be built-up from balsa and covered with fiberglass similar to other warship builds. There will be some ballast tanks to allow the sub to float low in the water without adding so much lead that I can't lift it.

I have my frame templates created and I'm about to get started. I'll post pictures when I get a chance as the project continues.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 03:26 PM
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Sadly with the trouble those guys are having getting transmitters they all might be surface runners soon. I look forward to your pics and progress
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 03:52 PM
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dwalker999 this sounds like a very cool project. Some years ago we had a club member who had the 32nd Parallel Type VII. He carried it on the roof of his Toyota down the freeway. It turned allot of heads. With hazegry on anticipating photos of your progress. Are you doing a particular Balao boat?

hazegry Futaba still sells the 4GWD 4 channel in 27mhz so the sub guys are not totally out of luck quite yet. http://www.futaba-rc.com/systems/futj45.html
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prins Willem View Post
dwalker999 this sounds like a very cool project. Are you doing a particular Balao boat?
My plans are from the Pamanito, and I have spent some time inside that boat, so I will probably model it.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hazegry View Post
Sadly with the trouble those guys are having getting transmitters they all might be surface runners soon. I look forward to your pics and progress

I wouldn't mind building a boat that will submerge, but my local pond is saltwater.
There are technical ways to get around the radio problem, but I don't want to see what the saltwater does to the diving system.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 04:36 PM
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The Drawings

Here are the drawings I am using:

http://www.maritime.org/tech/drawings/index.htm

Be careful if you print out these drawings!
They are not scanned to scale.
When I printed them, the 1:96 drawings measured at 1:72, and
the 1:16 drawings measured at 1:12.

Otherwise, they are all there.

If I were to start from the beginning, I would use the Balao drawings from
Floating Drydock. I think the product number is TFW-SS285/8. It has the hull lines.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 07:31 PM
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I buddy of mine is one of the crew on the Pampanito museum boat. Let me know if you need any close up photos. I had the pleasure of touring the boat after hours in February & have a large number of shots myself but probably not of any detail you'd be be seeking.
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Old Jun 02, 2014, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by herrmill View Post
I buddy of mine is one of the crew on the Pampanito museum boat. Let me know if you need any close up photos. I had the pleasure of touring the boat after hours in February & have a large number of shots myself but probably not of any detail you'd be be seeking.
Thanks for the offer, herrmill!
One reason I chose the Balao is there is so much documentation available. The Pampanito web site is great, and I visit the sub every time I go to the city.
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Old Jun 08, 2014, 07:15 PM
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Bulkhead patterns

The prototype has over 136 frames. The model will start with frame 10 and go to
frame 132. Frame 70 will be the dividing point between the two hull halves.

I tried to include every fifth frame, but I couldn't find clear drawings for all of them.
Sometimes the gap is every five, or eight or four frames.

Here are the bulkhead patterns cut out of manilla folders. The 1:35 scale profile is unrolled on the table. This will be a big boat!
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:24 PM
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I cut the bulkheads from 1/8 ply, and constructed a keel from 3/16 pine.
The building board is made from chip board and 2x4s. It's about 8 feet long.
I attached the keel to the board. The hull is for scale, it is a Dumas Carol Moran.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:31 PM
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It would be neat if it was set up as a 'partial' dynamic diver, whatever that means.

Operating dive planes and a way that you could induce a slight neutral buoyancy just for shallow dives at periscope depth (maybe some removable weights on those days you felt like diving). Use radio trim to keep the periscope above water; release the dive plane controls and she surfaces. I don't really see the attraction of a full diving boat, especially in the water I'd rather sail in (murky, green water; a realistic body of water). I guess the sub disappearing from sight is great fun for some people. Swimming pools don't get me out into the great outdoors the way I like... Just a few ruminations.

Great first start here
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:33 PM
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I installed the bulkheads on the keel, careful to get everything square. This is a tough hull to build, and I'm glad this isn't my first scratch build ship! The bulkheads only go as far forward as bulkhead 10. The front of the boat will be made from a fiberglass mold. You can see some gaps in the frame sequence. I couldn't get a usable scan from the original plans for those frames. It really didn't make a difference, though.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:39 PM
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The hull separates at frame 70. Two copies of frame 70 are held together with
four bolts. Dowels brace each frame to its neighbor to add strength. These dowels along with the 1/8 balsa planking and fiberglass cloth should provide enough strength for the rough handling during launching and retrieval.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Harquebus View Post
It would be neat if it was set up as a 'partial' dynamic diver, whatever that means.
I might do that with the next boat, but this one will have ballast tanks between some of the forms that are open to the sea so that I won't have to put in too much lead (bad back here). Wouldn't take too much to make it dynamic dive, though.
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Old Aug 18, 2014, 11:26 PM
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Nice pick for THE sub. I did one in 172 a few years ago . Mind is surface only. OK a speckrum 2.4 works grate for a radio. Mind is set up with a 3 channel and I have no problems at all. From what i have been told in the pass if you use a 2.4 radio as soon as the sub goes under it will loose radio contact and come right back up . If you us a none 2.4 with the christal it works grate . Just be sure to use a 75 band . Surface / water . I will try to dig up some shot of my SS 383. YOU do know that our subs was use in a few movies in the pass. I am sure you do. OK keep us posted on your build Don the Rustbucket.
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