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Jun 29, 2019, 05:27 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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Build Log

CVE 70 Fanshaw Bay


Most people know me for my workboat models. Others have seen me do warships as well. But this will be my first warship build here. The model is a [email protected] Casablanca Class Carrier. These are smaller than the big carriers, but played just a s big of roll in history. This model will be the CVE 70 Fanshaw Bay of the Taffy 3 battle group (and organization) that made history in WW2 by being in the wrong place at the right time and changing the course of the war. So why some may ask. Over at Warshipmodelsunderway.com came a request for modelers to join and build the ships of this group and bring them to the 75th gathering ( and last) of the survivors and their families to be put on display. This would be followed by running them all the next day with the organization invited to come and watch. For me, this is a unique opportunity to be part of something that is being organized and coordinated by models from across the USA, and that y friends is no small feet to accomplish. In the end, there will be some great models at a once in a life time event and hope it will help teach a little more about history as well as get others involved in the hobby.
The CVE of this class were all built down in Rainer, OR at the Kaiser Shipyards during [email protected] This place was well known for getting Liberty ships built quick and efficiently. Now this alone falls into my connection to the PNW as a requirement for most of my models. But the name also is of PNW interest as most of this class started with names from islands/bays in Alaskan waters.
The model will be started from a 1 piece fiberglass hull from the Scale Shipyard. This hull is strong and clean. It has details such as the shaft exits/supports and bilge keel locations molded in. Full set of drawings also nicely done for ..well you know what. Detail parts and some photo etch were also purchased for the project. Now I am grateful to the others in this group that have sent along some parts to also help speed this build up as the event is in October! Jack Bitters has been a great source of details and thankfully has done a lot of research for us on the subject that was made available too. So here we go, start with pics of the hull as I start cleaning it and prepping for the build.
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Jun 30, 2019, 12:33 AM
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mariner02's Avatar
Great subject- I'm looking forward to this build!
Jun 30, 2019, 05:11 AM
Registered User
Will you be using one of Eric's laser cut decks? I think it is great that all the ships of Taffy 3 are being made
Also like that you provided the historical background of these CVE's
Jul 01, 2019, 06:57 PM
It's a fine fiddly business.
Robert R's Avatar
Interesting indeed.
Robert
Jul 02, 2019, 10:22 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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So here is a little more information on the history of this navel force and why they are important in history:
The Battle off Samar was the centermost action of the Battle of Leyte Gulf, one of the largest naval battles in history, which took place in the Philippine Sea off Samar Island, in the Philippines on October 25, 1944. As the only major action in the larger battle where the Americans were largely unprepared against the opposing forces, it has been cited by historians as one of the greatest military mismatches in naval history.

Adm. William Halsey, Jr. was lured into taking his powerful 3rd Fleet after a decoy fleet, taking with him every ship in the area that he had the power to command. After subtracting Halsey's entire force the only remaining American forces in the area were three escort carrier groups of the 7th Fleet. The escort carriers and destroyer escorts which had been designed to protect slow convoys from submarine attack had been repurposed to attack ground targets, and had few torpedoes as they could normally rely on Halsey's fleet to protect them from any threats from armored warships. A Japanese surface force of battleships and cruisers, battered earlier in the larger battle and thought to have been in retreat, instead turned around unobserved and encountered the northernmost of the three groups, Task Unit 77.4.3 ("Taffy 3"), commanded by Rear Admiral Clifton Sprague. Taffy 3's three destroyers and four destroyer escorts possessed neither the firepower nor the armor to effectively oppose the 23 ships of the Japanese force, but nevertheless desperately attacked with 5 in 38 cal guns and torpedoes to cover the retreat of their slow "jeep" carriers. Aircraft from the carriers of Taffy 1, 2, and 3, including FM-2 Wildcats, F6F Hellcats and TBM Avengers, strafed, bombed, torpedoed, rocketed, depth-charged, fired at least one .38 caliber handgun and made numerous "dry" runs at the Japanese force when the American planes ultimately ran out of ammunition.

Sprague's task unit lost two escort carriers, two destroyers, a destroyer escort and several aircraft. Over a thousand Americans died, comparable to the combined losses of American men and ships at the better known Battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. But in exchange for the heavy losses for such a small force, they sank or disabled three Japanese cruisers and caused enough confusion to persuade the Japanese commander, Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita, to regroup and ultimately withdraw, rather than advancing to sink troop and supply ships at Leyte Gulf. In the combined Battle of Leyte Gulf, 10,000 Japanese sailors and 3,000 Americans died. Although the battleship Yamato and the remaining force returned to Japan, the battles marked the final defeat of the Japanese Navy, as the ships remained in port for most of the rest of the war and ceased to be an effective naval force. (Source: Wikipedia)
Jul 02, 2019, 10:34 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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so I have begun some of the work on the hull. First up was to clean it with mild dish soap and water using a steel wool type sand paper to scuff clean the wax off. Next, used the orbital sander on the insides of the hull to remove any high spots of resin so that A) makes better adhesion for the bracing, B) removes minutes amount of excess weight, and C) will help with stiffeners along the top of the deck line to keep the sides as straight and true as could be. Once sanding is done, time to hose out the dust with water. Now with the sides cleaned, I began to mark the sides of the hull with lines for the associated deck levels and the sponsions. Needed this done to cut the opening for the recessed doors in the hull (4 locations). Will also do the same for making the vents along the hull. So cutting the fiberglass where needed was done using trusty Dremel tool with diamond cutting wheel (small) and drilled holes. This cutting tool makes some nice fine and straight cuts for this work. Also shaped the bow area, drilled starting holes for anchor hawsers and lines holes. While making a mess, also ground out the shaft openings and located the rudder stem hole.
Jul 03, 2019, 12:22 AM
Registered User
Well Keith, we know what you will be doing during the next three months. What are your tug and fishing boats going to think? I know you will work everything together for the build and regattas. Great project. jerryj98501
Jul 09, 2019, 12:02 AM
r/c ships and workboats
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Jerry, the work boats can wait a bit as will be back on them soon enough. Tug regatta also needs attention at this time.
But in the mean time a little work accomplished in the last 24 hours. Strengthened the upper part of the hull where it will meet the flight deck by attaching light weight aluminum angle to the top of the hull. This will help stiffen the sides up and keep them straight as well as help in giving the flight deck a true level surface to be mounted to. G-flex is the glue of choice for this. So while the last piece is setting up, decided to work on one of the detail pieces that was ordered for this project. The whale boats are a small kit in their own right that were cut down, sanded, and assembled from the plastic and cast parts. Man, I got 2 boats built in just a couple hours!!
Jul 09, 2019, 10:19 PM
Registered User
Keith:

I mailed you the bow and stern decks compliments of Jerry Gavaldon. You should get them soon if you haven't already.
Jul 09, 2019, 10:47 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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Quote:
Originally Posted by admiralbb62
Keith:

I mailed you the bow and stern decks compliments of Jerry Gavaldon. You should get them soon if you haven't already.
Received them today! thank you and Jerry Gavaldon.
Jul 10, 2019, 07:56 AM
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mariner02's Avatar
Looking good. Are the whaleboats from SSY as well?
Jul 10, 2019, 09:28 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariner02
Looking good. Are the whaleboats from SSY as well?
Yes they are.
Jul 14, 2019, 10:56 AM
r/c ships and workboats
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Had a slight detour on this project when my younger brother passed away suddenly a couple weeks ago. But now that we have taken care of most of that, I can get my attention back onto this. Working on the acrylic decks for the bow and stern that were sent to me from CNC Models and Jerry Gavaldon. Being clear and fitting well saves time cutting and locating items on them. I find it is easier to marked those spots for fittings and other extensions by laying this directly over the drawings. I also like to "frost" the bottom side by sanding it to be foggy so as not to confuse which side is up. I stiffened both pieces up by using plastitruct I beams glued with all purpose PVC glue. This stuff works great and sets up in about 10 minuets solid! Now also working to get the rudder built up by using brass tube and sheet. Once soldered, glued some scrap aircraft ply wood to them so that I can shape out the correct thickness on it. Making the bilge keels out of brass by heating it up to make a little more pliable to shape along the hull grooves. Then cutting/brazing some rods it help hold onto the hull when placed. That's all the work for a Saturday afternoon when you stop to go out and see if the whales are still in the bay here and try and get photos.
Jul 23, 2019, 10:55 PM
r/c ships and workboats
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update 07/23


As work progresses I finally got the bilge keels made out of brass strip and screws. I cut/shaped the brass strips to fit the slots in the hull. This required heating the strips up to "red hot" so to soften the thick metal so I could bend a curve into it along the length. This was accomplished by bending the heated metal over a round hammer head and working it to get the shape. Once cooled I cut slots into a couple of locations and brazed in some brass screw rod to use to help hold against the hull. Cleaned up, sanded and holes drilled, then G Flex epoxy mixed and applied to the brass edge before attaching to the hull. Used the screw/nuts to tighten don the brass and let set for over night for best adhesion. Also took the time while I had the epoxy out to attach the front deck into place using tape and a battery for weight. With the epoxy cured and solid, cleaned all parts up and applied Evercoat filler to help clean up the gaps and smooth in every spot that needed it at this time. Sanded and ready for the next step. Also making the rudder assembly between epoxy and filler. Not your standard tug rudder as it has a pivit point that is in the middle of all of this ( sorry--no photos yet as shipyard super keeping it hidden from public).
Jul 24, 2019, 03:52 PM
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mariner02's Avatar
Great job- those definitely aren't going anywhere...


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