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Old Sep 20, 2006, 07:45 AM
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P. Tritle's Avatar
Albuquerque NM
Joined Oct 2003
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Build Log
Building the Robbe U-47

Being somewhat of a novice in submarines, the oppertunity to build the U-47 came as quite a thrill, and running it will be even better. The only two subs I've done so far were the Dumas Akula -- which is still running well, and the Hunley, which was built around Akula internals, and also worked well -- that is until I put it in the water with the WTC cap off and sunk it. Fortunitely it's been repaired and is also running well again.

Since those two were finished, our new pond with a sidewalk all the way around its perimitter has been opened, making it possible to run the subs submerged along the perimitter for as long as you want to keep it down. So far, my best run was 20 minutes without a breech.

Anyhow, back to the business at hand. The U-47 kit looks good at first glance, and is certainly a box full of parts. Upon inspection, it all seams quite straight forward, though it appears that there will be a lot of building to do. A study of the plans and instructions revealed that the very best way to build the model will be to follow the instructions, step-by-step, starting with #1 and not skip around or try to second guess the assembly sequence. So far so good.
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 07:50 AM
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Cutting Out the Parts

It all began by drilling all the holes in the dye cut parts, labeling each and removing them from their sheets. The parts were only punched about half way through the plastic sheets, and became obvious early on that breaking them out wasn't going to work, so they were all sawn out using the baldsaw and scroll saw. Getting all the parts prepped used up the better part of the first day.
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 07:56 AM
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Construction Begins

Construction began with the equipment tray. Parts fit was good, and it all went together well, but it appeared that the instructions stopped before the tray was finished, which later proved to be true. It didn't cause a problem, just a bit of confusion when it came time to slip the whole assembly into the tube and set up the guide rails.
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 08:04 AM
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Starting the Center Hull Assembly

The hull shells were cut from the carrier sheets and prepped for assembly. A bit of care was taken to be sure nothing was cut away that shouldn't be. A good bit of trimming was needed to fit the slot masks, but all went basically without a hitch. Finally, the 34 drain holes were drilled into the hull and the assembly glued together.
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 08:08 AM
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Prepping the Preasure Vessel

With the hull sub-assembly together it was onto marking the centerline on the tube. Lead ingots and the keel weight were used to steady the tube while the top and bottom centerlines were drawn on using a home made fixture that was actually made for marking waterlines -- but hey, whatever works!
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 08:17 AM
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Fitting the Tube Into the Hull

The centerline and deck were used to properly position the hull formers for gluing. With everytrhing aligned taped in place, the assembly was glued together.
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Old Sep 20, 2006, 08:26 AM
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Fitting the WTS Caps and Equipment Tray

Fitting the equipment tray guides reguired a bit of head scratching, but once I figured out what they wanted, it was easy. With those in, it was time to glue in the first cap. For that, silicone was used, and allowed to set up befor any more work was done that might effect it's alignment while drying.

It was here that I discovered that the equipment tray needed to be finished up before the rear cap assembly could be done and installed. So, while the glue dried on the front cap, the tray assembly was completed, and finally the whole assembly finished and installed in the tube.

PAT
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 08:15 AM
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Building the Aft Hull Section

The aft hull section was next. The basic section went together good, but didn't mate up to the middle section well at all. Will have to do something about that later.
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Old Sep 21, 2006, 08:22 AM
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Fitting the Drive Shafts

The motors were mounted and the drive shafts installed next. The kit provided jig was used hold the prop shafts in position while the work was done. A slow process for sure, but once it was all in and tack glue into position, the alignment was right on the money, an looks like it will work well once it's all hooked up and running. The next step will be to seal it all into the WTC endcap.

PAT
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 12:33 PM
Tabledancer
Butler Pennsylvania
Joined Sep 2005
39 Posts
Very nice,I will follow this tread with interest as I have thought about doing one of these,but I thought about adding a WTC with some sort of ballast system.
TD
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Old Sep 22, 2006, 01:27 PM
Registered User
Sweden, Gothenburg
Joined Aug 2005
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Hello!

agree With Td, very nice work, love the Robbe U 47, especially when modified
to static and the late conningtower!

Keep up the good work!

Cheers jack
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 08:31 AM
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Albuquerque NM
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Thanks Guys, this has really been an interesting -- and challenging build. So far all is going very well, but one does have to pay close attension to the assembly sequence. In my experience, the Robbe and Graupner designs tend to be pretty complex compared to others. I think part of it is that there is something lost in the translation, and the drawings and photos offer almost enough info to see what's going on. The rest is left up the the builder to figure out, but with a little modeling experience it's definitly do-able, and I'll bet this boat is really going to run well.

I think a static diving system would be great for the U-47. The model is large enough that it would really be an impressive thing to see slowly lurking around the pond just below the surface.

PAT
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Connecting the Stern Controls

With the prop shafts in and firmly tacked in place, the end cap was removed and the shafts secured to the equipment tray and sealed into the end cap.

A word of caution here; Set the lubrication tubes almost vertical when you tack the tubes in place or they'll interfere with the dive plane pushrods!

The dive plane pushrods were bent to shape using the provided drawing, which the instructions said were full size, though they did not agree with the dimensions given on those drawings, and in fact are NOT full size. Then once the pushrod went in, it didn't line up with either the servo arm or the control horn, so a bit of "creative tweeking" was done to get the system hooked up and running. In the end, it worked fine, but it took awhile to get set up properly.
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 09:04 AM
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Setting Up the Rudders

Setting up the Rudder linkage assembly is about the same situation as the dive planes in that alignment is poor and needs to be approached carefully as well. But once things are twisted and turned appropriately, the system also works very well.

From here, the only potentially tricky part will be setting up the forward diving planes. If it goes anything at all like setting up the stern, it will be interesting as well, but once done, it'll simply be a matter of finishing a "large, highly detailed plastic model".

PAT
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Old Sep 23, 2006, 09:10 AM
jim
United States, AL, Bessemer
Joined Jan 2005
322 Posts
Pat ,sub looks great. I have a question ,what type of batteries are you going to use?
If you plan on using sealed jel cells beware of storing the sub with the batteries in the hull ALWAYS take the batteries out. If the hull is sitting where the hull can get warm or hot the batteries will leak a vapor and the epoxy will release and you will get to build it all over again.I have been there done that several times now. I used the same batteries in all the 47s I have built and have had to rebuild all but one .
Jim
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