Krusenshtern, 1:66 four master - RC Groups
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Dec 13, 2012, 05:05 PM
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Build Log

Krusenshtern, 1:66 four master

I just posted a comment on DanL’s Syren thread. As soon as clicked “post” I decided that it was time for me to start my own build log, and share my own experiences. I am not a very accomplished modeler, and I am sure I can benefit from the combined genius, talent, and experience of all the masters here.

So, I’ll start. I always wanted to model Kruzenshtern. From childhood I had a connection to this vessel, even though I have only seen it on photos, or TV screen. The problem was that I had no idea of how to control the square sails. I knew next to nothing about how the squares really worked, and what is needed to make them move a ship, full size or scale. But a few years ago I started reading RCGroups, and, gradually, I felt I could tackle a project like this.

I started over a year ago, when I found a complete scan of a paper model of Kruzenshtern made by a Polish company called Fly Models. The size was pretty impressive: 114 cm (about 45”), 1:100 scale. The level of detail was pretty good, too. However, the scale was too small for my tastes. I knew I would need a lot of space for servos, drums, rollers, batteries, motors, ESCs. I would also need a lot of room for errors. So I scaled up the model by 150% (by the way, that is where my weird scale comes from, about 1:66).

I wanted to fully (or almost fully) design all the key components before I made any cuts in actual materials. I also wanted to make sure that templates designed for card board and paper translated to plywood without problems. So, using Adobe Illustrator and SolidWorks I traced every relevant component, enlarged it, and built a computer model. I also figured out placement of drive motors and a servo deck.
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Dec 13, 2012, 06:00 PM
Damp and Dizzy member
Brooks's Avatar
She will be very beautiful on the water. Are you planning a scale model like DanL's, or a pond sailer like I build?
Dec 13, 2012, 06:04 PM
Shanghai'd Expat
herrmill's Avatar
Nice! I'll be watching this.
Dec 13, 2012, 06:35 PM
Registered User
I'll be out of my league trying to do a level of detail like Dan's. My plan is to find a place somewhere in the middle between a pond sailer and a museum model. I am planning to hide the servos, avoid obviously unscale solutions and provide some level of scale detail. My primary goal is sailing, so if she sails acceptably, I will add detail. I am planning to have a possibility ro add working lights, anchors, etc in the future (far future).
Dec 14, 2012, 08:57 AM
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DanL's Avatar
Yalex -Wow, really beautiful.
The Kruzenshtern (Барк Крузенштерн) - TSAC 2009 (0 min 30 sec)
Dec 14, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Brooks's Avatar
I got to go aboard her in Bermuda. The Bermuda govt., and private entities, had sponsored a tall ship race to the island. I arrived as a navigation student aboard the US schooner Harvey Gamage. Most of the tallships were accepting visitors while tied up at piers.

The Kruzenstern was huge, with acres of very nicely holystoned decks. I felt like a Liliputin among the Giants :-). Our navigation instructor took passage on her from Bermuda to NYC (they were selling passage to raise money). He later wrote that the food on the trip was atrocious, he was glad he'd stocked up his own stash of food before boarding. He'd had an inkling this might happen: all the Russian cadets roaming the island carried black plastic garbage bags, which they filled with food and treats scarfed from the numerous parties held by islanders for the visiting sailors. At the time (2000), the USSR was really hurting for money, and they'd obviously skimped on the food.

Wikipedia says she is still sailing, Hurray! She and Pamir were sisterships owned by the Laeisz company of Hamburg. It will be Great to see a model of her cutting the waves :-). DanL, did you notice they are setting Royals in your video? Nice find, thanks!
Dec 14, 2012, 02:35 PM
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I am continuing my story.

After the model was complete (or mostly complete) on a screen, I started the actual build. I transferred the individual parts from SolidWorks back to Illustrator. In Illustrator I assembled parts into cut-sheets that I took to a friend with a laser cutter.

Most of the structural parts were made of 6mm birch plywood. Strangely, that is the only kind of plywood I could find in LA area that was decent quality and consistent thickness. I figured, if I am engineering my model using some pretty sophisticated CAD, and cutting parts with high precision laser, I might as well have my parts fit properly. But local plywood suppliers give sizes that are at best approximate. 1/8” can mean 0.1” or 3mm or 3/16”, or anything in between.
Last edited by yalex; Dec 14, 2012 at 03:13 PM.
Dec 14, 2012, 03:22 PM
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Due to the limitation of the laser cutter, the keel was cut in three separate pieces and that glued together. The same was done to a waterline element. Most of the frames were made of foam core board. They were removed after the hull shape was finished and covered with one layer of fiberglass. I used plywood frames at the bow and stern, where curves get complicated and extra strength is needed. I also left a couple of plywood frames amidships, also for extra strength.
Last edited by yalex; Dec 14, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
Dec 15, 2012, 03:27 PM
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More pictures, and more story.

I started sheeting the hull using method of my own invention. I am sure some one will find a good reason to criticize it, but so far it has worked for me. I would like to know if there are any serious flaws with it.

The original kit came with sheeting patterns that were to be cut out and glued to the frames. At first, I thought of ignoring them and planking the hull with balsa strips. Just out of curiosity I enlarged some of them, cut them, and tried on my frame. I was surprised how well they fitted, even the bow and stern parts with complex curves. So, I came up with a plan. I have a roll of mat left over from a deck waterproofing project I did in my house. The mat is not fiberglass, but some kind of synthetic fiber, but it holds resin very well, and is very uniform and smooth, and relatively thin. I printed out the enlarged panels on regular paper and cut them out. I covered a flat board with plastic packing tape (very slippery and smooth). Then I fixed my panels to that board. Next, I covered them with my mat and saturated with laminating epoxy. I covered the whole thing with plastic film, and placed another flat board on top. When the epoxy had set, I had a flat, thin, flexible, uniform epoxy-based material. The resin had saturated the paper, and bonded it to the mat. I trimmed the sheeting panels, and glued them to hull frame. I worked with about four panels at a time, because I wanted to affix them to the hull before the laminating epoxy has fully set.

The underwater part was done first, with many small panels.
Dec 15, 2012, 03:42 PM
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TBowman's Avatar
Hi Yalex

Outstanding! Watching with very much interest.

Excellent job.

best regards
Dec 15, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by TBowman
...Watching with very much interest.
As I am watching yours. I am paying special attention to your build, Tim. I am developing two more vessels, one late eighteenth century brig (I should have started with it instead of the four master), and mid seventeen century two-decker (no jibs or stay sails, latin on the mizzen). I will try to use your experience with firing cannon and stereolithography, and, I am sure, many other things

Dec 16, 2012, 11:39 PM
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The topside does not have many curves, so it is done in three long panels for each side, plus two or three more for the stern. Two out of three panels were longer than 8.5x11 standard page, so I had to carefully graft printouts together to achieve the desired result. The upper panels I printed out in color (or rather, black-and-white). I was not sure how the toner will affect the epoxy, so I reduced the saturation of the color to 25%. The image helps to line up the panels. It also gives some idea of how the thing will look when it's a ship. The printing is visible from the inside, so when the hull is fiberglassed, and puttied, and primed, it will be easier for me to locate scuppers and various other openings.
Dec 17, 2012, 08:56 AM
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DanL's Avatar
The hull looks great. I'm always in awe of you guys that do your own hulls. Love the technique of having the printed pattern cast in the hull.
Dec 17, 2012, 12:00 PM
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TBowman's Avatar
Looking good Alex.

Hope to use a laser cutter for the hull pieces on HMS Spartan so very glad to see this project from you.

Very good.

kindest regards
Dec 17, 2012, 12:50 PM
Registered User
Originally Posted by DanL
... Love the technique of having the printed pattern cast in the hull.
I have had no problems with epoxy binding to the toner. After all, it's just carbon, isn't it? I think it would be possible to print the panels full strength. If one is careful about placing and lining up the panels (which I was not) and gluing (which I was definitely not), I think it is possible to just print all the colors on paper and have it show up through the epoxy. This could be great for more modern vessels, such as military ships in camouflage and cruise ships with bright graphics. Or one could print steel sheets and rivets on Queen Mary or Titanic. The epoxy I am using is, certainly colorless and transparent enough for that. I have tested a piece of printed paper with my mat and two more layers of fiberglass, and everything shows with decent clarity.

By the way, I am using epoxy that I buy on eBay. It comes directly from a small chemical company (I think), and is a LOT cheaper than big guys, like West Marine. It comes in different size containers, and has a couple of different speed catalysts. Now, if I was building a full size boat, I would definitely go for a well known and trusted brand. But for a model that will never endanger anybody's life, I figured the savings are worth it. I have used this product for several models and did not have any issues with delaminations of waterproofing.
What is your, guys, opinion?

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