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Old Jun 19, 2016, 08:02 AM
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Build Log
Micro 'SS Nomadic' (1:325 Scale) 8" RC Model

Hello all,
Thank you for viewing my build log!

I will be building a 1:325 scale radio controlled model of the SS Nomadic from scratch.

Here are the dimensions of the model:
Length ~ 8.12"
Beam ~ 1.36"

Approximate total displacement weight ~ 39 grams.

A bit of history:
The SS Nomadic was a tender for the White Star Line, built in Harland and Wolff shipyards from 1910 to 1911 along side the RMS Olympic and Titanic. The tender was built to service these two famous (or infamous) ships at Cherbourg, where the port was too shallow to allow an Olympic class liner to dock. Nomadic was used to ferry the 1st and 2nd class passengers to the ship; the 3rd class passengers boarded a different tender named SS Traffic. The SS Nomadic is the only surviving White Star vessel today, and is currently on display in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

I have been commissioned to build this model by a customer who owns a 1:325 scale R/C Titanic model and wanted to add this same scale SS Nomadic to their fleet to sail along side it.

Model Construction Method:
The hull will be made from vacuum molded plastic, with added internal reinforcements for strength. It will be powered with two micro-size motors driving the two propellers. Steering is done by shutting down one motor so the opposite motor turns the model.

I am also building a larger model of the SS Nomadic in 1:87 scale, which is around 30 inches long. You can find that build at the following link:
http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2675726

Here's a picture of the real SS Nomadic as it looked in 1911, and as it looks today. Image source 'Wikipedia'.
Also a painting by Ken Marschall depicting the Titanic and Nomadic together as they would have appeared while passengers boarded Titanic in Cherbourg.
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 08:22 AM
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Making the Plastic Hull Mold - June, 2016

Here is the hull mold that will be used in creating the vacuum formed hull. The mold is made from carved basswood, with 1.5mm styrene tips. I've included pictures of the carving process to show how I made it the correct shape.

The mold does not look too pretty with those random wood-filler spots, but it does not need to look nice. As long as the shape is true it will do its job in molding the actual plastic hull.

The next step is to vacuum mold the plastic hull around this block on a vacuum molding machine (which I also need to build).
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Can't Wait!

Looking nice so far...can't wait till she's done and sailing alongside my Titanic
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Old Jun 19, 2016, 09:20 PM
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Awsome!
wish this can be a useful reference, as this one has similar weight and volume limit.
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Old Jun 25, 2016, 02:12 PM
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Completed Funnel - June 25, 2016

Here are some pictures of the completed funnel. I made if from 1/4" aluminium tubing and .020" styrene rods. The tubing was compressed slightly to give it an ellipse shape.
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Old Jul 01, 2016, 05:48 PM
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I finished my vacuum forming table which will be used to mold the hull.
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Old Jul 02, 2016, 06:18 PM
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First Molding Attempt

Well, the vacuum machine worked BUT the mold did not. The sharp ends are impossible to mold without becoming a wrinkled mess.
I'll have to round out the ends so it can be molded properly, then crease the plastic into a point after the mold is set.

This was my first time ever doing a vacuum formed mold, so I'm learning as I go.
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Old Jul 04, 2016, 09:04 PM
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Vacuum-Formed Hull (July 4, 2016)

The vacuum-formed hull is now complete! It took several failed vacuum-forming attempts, but I've finally gained success! This was my first time vacuum forming, so I learned along the way. The hull had to be molded in two bilateral halves, then glued together.
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Old Jul 05, 2016, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue_Pilot View Post
The vacuum-formed hull is now complete! It took several failed vacuum-forming attempts, but I've finally gained success! This was my first time vacuum forming, so I learned along the way. The hull had to be molded in two bilateral halves, then glued together.
awesome! is it tricky heating the sheet?
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Old Jul 05, 2016, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynelson View Post
awesome! is it tricky heating the sheet?
Thanks!

Heating the sheet isn't too tricky, I used a baking oven heated to 335 F (168.3 C) and placed the plastic sheet in for about a minute until the center sagged down ~1" (the height of the mold). I was using polystyrene, other plastic types will require different temperatures to mold properly.
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Old Jul 06, 2016, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue_Pilot View Post
Thanks!

Heating the sheet isn't too tricky, I used a baking oven heated to 335 F (168.3 C) and placed the plastic sheet in for about a minute until the center sagged down ~1" (the height of the mold). I was using polystyrene, other plastic types will require different temperatures to mold properly.
I appreciate the information, which is valuable to me for a try in the future.
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Old Jul 08, 2016, 09:58 PM
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Propellers & Shafts

I made the propellers and shafts today. It will start coming together pretty fast once I get the electronics installed!
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Old Jul 10, 2016, 09:06 PM
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Painted The Hull - July 10, 2016

I painted the hull today! The next step is to paint the windows, then do some detailing work.
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Old Jul 11, 2016, 06:18 PM
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This is awesome! Can't wait to see more! Nice work!
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Old Jul 11, 2016, 10:45 PM
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Detailing the Hull - WIP Update 1 (July 11, 2016)

Thanks fastmax!

Tonight I added windows and the hawseholes in the forward & aft railings.
There are still a few more hull details to add, then I will work on the internal electronics.

I made the hawseholes by heating a bent paperclip in a candle flame, then pushing the hot metal through the plastic. It makes a perfect little hole.
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