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Dec 03, 2012, 07:37 PM
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The 110' Sub Chaser from Dumas

I'm late getting started posting the review on the Sub Chaser, but better late then never, right? The kit has been here for awhile now and am just coming out from under a very long stretch of customer work and am finally able to get serious about the build.

The model is done in 1:35 scale with a length of 37.5" and a a 4 3/2" beam. The kit contains several laser cut ply and balsa parts along with dye cut Sintra sheets and a very nice assortment of cast metal detail parts. Also included is everything you'll need to add the railings, a vac-formed life boat, and a nice set of vinyl decals..

The plans and instructions include a full size top and side view as well as a full size keel assembly drawing. The 56 page instruction book is complete with step by step assembly instructions, building tips and notes. Also included is a full set of detailed assembly drawings -- 70 in all -- that work in conjunction with the building instructions to clarify each step in great detail. I've built a number of Dumas kits over the years, and as time passes the instructions continue to get better -- these are by far the best I've seen yet.

So with that. it's time to get started.
Last edited by P. Tritle; Dec 26, 2012 at 03:21 PM.
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Dec 03, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Assembly begins with the main Hull Frame

The build actually began with the basic hull frame a few months ago. I know I took pictures then, but I can't find them! Somehow they got lost in the shuffle!!!

Construction beins with the keel assembly, ont which all of the hull frames are attached. The formers come in halves, which are glued together with a bass wood stiffener glued in place accross the top of the former. The formers are then aligned and glued in place on the keel. Once all the formers are in place, a basswood strip is glued in place at the deck level to keep the frames aligned.

The basic assembly was removed from the board, sanded to shape to prepair for planking. The photos shown already have the first two planks in place, but it's as close as I can get to the basic structure, and still lets you see how the frame is done.
Dec 03, 2012, 10:47 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
I'll be following this with interest.
Dec 04, 2012, 01:33 AM
Taking care of the pond.
Me to.
Dec 04, 2012, 07:39 AM
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Nice boats those SC, it will look great
Dec 04, 2012, 07:46 AM
"day ain't over yet-"
der kapitan's Avatar
Long and kinda narrow, these boats should appeal to the nostalgia buffs, with their crow's nests, planked decks, open guns, etc.
Dec 04, 2012, 09:28 AM
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Planking begins.....

In the instructions Tom suggests starting at the top and working around toward the keel. Now I know he built at least one of these, so I know it can be done, but my hull frame had a natural twist in it that I didn't want in there after it was planked, so here's how I handled it:

I began at the keel, but first I glued the frame back onto the building board with hot glue, aligning each frame to the centerline working from the middle out in both directins. Once the frame was nice and straight, the first plank was shaped and glued in place. The plank was cut and fitted around the keel doubler and beveled into the keel. This was no doubt the trickiest one of the bunch. From here it gets a lot easier.
Dec 04, 2012, 09:33 AM
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Continuing On.....

The second plank went in just like the first. It went in full width at the front but required tapering at the rear. Then once it flowed the length of the hull nicely the maiting edge was beveled and glue in place. Straight pins were ued to hold the edge alignment while the carpenters glue dried.
Dec 04, 2012, 09:40 AM
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The Third Plank and Beyond.....

The third plank was laid in full width all the way along. However, it didn't want to conform to the second at the bow, so it was allowed to take a natural path, then a stealer was fitted into the gap. Again, carpenters glue was used along the edge, pinned along the edge to hold its alignment.

The forth plank went in full width also, but the fifth required a taper at the rear. And as things flow around the hull, less beveling is needed to mate with the previous edge. It's really getting easy now.....
Dec 04, 2012, 09:47 AM
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Removing the Frame from the Board

At this point the hull is about 2/3 planked, and with the first 6 planks in place, the frame will hold the shape just fine now. Meanwhile, adding the planks was getting a bit cumbersom, so the hull was broken off the board and the remaining planks added free-hand. When the frame came off the board it was dead rigid and straight as a dye.
Dec 04, 2012, 10:03 AM
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Adding the Last of the Planks.....

The remaining planks were fitted and glued in place, then trimmed at the top to conform with the deck level. Spring clamps were used to hold things in place while the glue set up near the bow.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention along the way: the planks are 36" long, but need to be a bit over 37" to make the full distance, so I selected a bad stick from the bundle that was mis-cut and used it to lengthen each plank from #5 on. A 3:1 scarf joint was done and the joints stagered randomly as the planks were glued in place.

For those new to the game and don't yet understand how to make a scarf joint, look in on the web site here:
Dec 04, 2012, 10:12 AM
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The Plaking is Done.....

At this point the planking is basically finished. The top was trimmed along the stringer at the deck level, then the feet were cut off the frames and the edge sanded.

From there, a sharp chissel was used to trim the edges of each plank at the joints and the hull block sanded to basic shape using 100 grit sandpaper. The stern was planked using the 1/8 X 1/2 stock and sanded to shape to complete the basic assembly.

Now would be a good time to mention that of all the planked hulls I've done, this one was no doubt the easiest of the lot. With the basic frame assembled and glued to the board, the actual planking was done and sanded to basic shape in just one day's work. It also remined me a bit of planking a canoe in its long slender form. So far, so good.
Dec 04, 2012, 10:22 AM
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Filling the Gaps

With the surface rough sanded to shape the entire hull was given a coat of filler to close up any gaps between the planks.

For this task I use "Drywall Mud". I use the dry mix because the consistancy can be easily manipulated as required for the task at hand. I bought a 50 lb. sack of the stuff many years ago, and am still looking at nearly a lifetime supply. The bag is stored in the shed where it stays dry, and a working supply is kept in the shop in a Tupperware container so it can be mixed in what ever quantities are needed for the job at hand. Old plastic Fruit Cups are used to mix because they're nice and stiff, and clean up nicely when done.

When the putty had dried, the surface was block sanded with 150 grit and then given a final pass with 220 to clean up the last of the scratches.
Dec 04, 2012, 10:28 AM
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"Hardening" the Hull

With the outside basically done, the inside of the hull was painted with a coat of West Systems epoxy resin cut about 10% with denatured alcohol. The resin soaks in nicely but isn't so runny that its hard to handle. Not only does this process harden the wood, but it also fills any minor gaps that might turn into water leaks later.

At this point the basic hull assembly is finished and ready for fiberglass. Tom recomends using 2 oz. cloth for this task, and since the boat is going to require a fair amount of ballast anyway, I'll go ahead and glass it rather then going with the lighter option of silkspan and dope. So stay tuned, we're just getting started.....

Dec 04, 2012, 11:53 AM
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Gravman's Avatar
Looks great. Are you going to use a triple drive trian like the original or just a single screw?
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