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Old Jul 06, 2007, 02:13 PM
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Assembling the Equipment Tray


The inner tray fits the equipment box pretty well, but gluing it with Cya is a pain do to the gaps and monor misalignments between the components. So this time, the tray was glued into the box using silicone. The box was then glued into the lower hull, also using silicone.

PAT
Old Jul 06, 2007, 04:02 PM
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Pat... your 1st build thread was most helpful for #1 build, #2 was easier, waiting for the postman to deliver #3. I scribe the hull half's with a sharp pencil, then cut with curved lexan scissors, then sand with 80 and 100 grit paper clamped to a sanding board, checking for high/low areas... with great results
Old Jul 11, 2007, 10:51 PM
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Smart, #2 is definately going more smoothly then #1. On the first one I cut the hull from the sheet by scoring along the inside of the hull. That's for sure doing it the hard way. Your way sounds lots better!

PAT
Old Jul 11, 2007, 10:54 PM
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Doing the "Body Work"


The sail and top rudder were glued in place, then filled with Squadron green putty. I like this stuff better then the red spot glazing putty since it dries a good bit harder and has no tendency to crack over time. The putty was applied by dragging it into the seam with a finger.
Old Jul 11, 2007, 11:03 PM
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Soldering the Dive Planes and Rudder and Setting Up the Controls


The stern controls were added next. The dive planes were soldered in place using a WET paprer towl to keep the torch flame from burning the plastic. I did have one small mishap, which has since been repaired You REALLY have to be carefull soldering the planes. If the paper towl is too far out the shaft it will heat sink and you'll never get the solder to flow. Too far away and the plastic will melt.

Once the stern controls were hooked up, the motor was mounted and the prop shaft installed. Finally, the front dive planes were installed and set up. From here, it looks like it's time for painting to begin.

PAT
Old Jul 11, 2007, 11:14 PM
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Quads & Planes, cant beat them
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Pat,
The sub is looking great, as per all your builds. Is this one completely stock or are add on hop-ups involved?
Steve
Old Jul 12, 2007, 12:38 AM
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Looking good...they are a fun build, something different from the boats... for a change
Old Jul 17, 2007, 10:17 PM
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Setting Up the Internals


One thing that is unavoidable with the Akula is that the running gear must be working properly before the box is sealed shut. If it doesn't, the top will have to be cut open and resealed once the repairs are made. I certainly wouldn't call that a bad design, but care must be taken to get things set up right.
Old Jul 17, 2007, 10:22 PM
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Sealing the Chamber


On the 2 Akula's and the Hunley, when I thought the system was working properly and the lid was ready to glue in place, I walked away overnight and came back the following morning for one last check -- just in case. When it was obvious that the system was working properly, the lid went on.
Old Jul 17, 2007, 10:29 PM
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Paint and Detail


The hull was sprayed gray over rust. A few details were added with marking pens, and the antenna and parascope array added. At this point, the sub is ready for ballast and ballance. Unfortunately, there's not one ounce of buckshot in captivity anywhere in ABQ. Should be available again in a week or so. Then it's into the water for the sea trials.

PAT
Old Jul 18, 2007, 01:52 AM
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Looks very nice, I like the idea to seal the battery box with a charging access, vs. the split pvc tube seal, also good hull colour scheme.
Old Jul 30, 2007, 10:42 PM
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The Maiden Went Without a Hitch!!


Got out early Saturday morning for what turned out to be a flawless maiden voyage. The boat went into the water and cruised around the surface for a few minutes, then removed and inspected for water intrusion -- none found

The first dive was a little tricky, only because the rear dive planes needed a bit of trim. Once set up, it was out for a 6 minute lap around the pond without surfacing. The model handled beautifully, but the pond is getting a bit murky so the depth had to be limited to 12" - 18" just to keep it in sight. After the first lap it was pulled from the water and inspected again for leaks -- still no problem

Now that the model had proven itself trustworthy, several more submurged laps were taken for a total (sumurged) run time of nearly 40 minutes. All told, she took on about a tablespoon full of water -- less then either my Akula or Hunley -- definitely acceptable!

And with that, this project has come to a close. I couldn't be happier with the outcome. And with the second one running as good (a little better actually) I would highly recomend the Akula to anyone who wants to give a submarine a try -- built stock, the system works great, and runs beautifully.

PAT
Old Jul 30, 2007, 11:23 PM
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Nice job Pat! May have to give one of these a try... might have to go American with the "Bluefish" kit though!
Old Jul 31, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Aero, One of our local club members is running a Bluefish. I'd like to do one too, and they run really well, but getting the battery in without getting water leaks is really a pain. The Akula is a much better design, and much easier to build, basically because of its more user friendly shape.

PAT


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