Author Topic: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans  (Read 7564 times)

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pnolan48

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N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« on: February 25, 2012, 10:21:31 PM »
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I plan to introduce a line of N-scale ships in the coming months, perhaps as early as July. I am about six months behind my original schedule due to family health issues. So here's an update on what's coming. The following are in various stages of production, from the most ready to the least ready:

210' Reliance Class USCG Cutter (1960s--Present)
   1965-1980s: No stack
   1980s-Present: stack

173' Aggressive Class Minesweeper (1950s--Present)
   Resin-cast hull

173' Bluffton Class Subchaser (1940s--1970s)
   Resin-cast hull and superstructure

125' Active Class Cutter (1930s- 1970s)
   This will also be available as a full hull model
   Resin-cast hull and superstructure

110' Subchaser/Patrol Craft (1917-1970s)
   Resin-cast hull

110' Island Class Cutter (1990s-present)
   On hold; master destroyed in molding accident (I forgot the mold release)

348' Benson Class Destroyer
   Prototypes built
   1945 4-gun destroyer
   1958 ASW/mine warfare

381' Fletcher Class Destroyer
   Prototypes built
   Original bridge
   Low bridge AA

497' Fast Freighter Beavercove
   Drawn and cut; awaits first assembly

450' C-2 Freighter Seawitch
   Drawn and cut; awaits first assembly

All parts are cut by a computer program for accuracy. They are built in true N Scale at 1.95mm to 1 foot. They are hand-built or casted entirely by me.

They will be fully detailed. I do not claim they are museum quality, as that 400-year quality standard would require a tenfold increase in the cost. But they are detailed beyond most offerings, and equal to the level shown in my own ships.

I've made the molds and cast the smaller ships, and am pleased with the accuracy and detail level. I'll have pictures and more details after March 9, when I return to my workshop. I might offer some of these as kits, depending on how hard they are to build. The Reliance Class cutter's hull is fiendishly hard to get right, so that won't be a kit. The subchaser has two basic cast parts, hull and superstructure, so it could be a kit.

And there are some other ships in the works, based on models I built for my railroad. These are small freighters, tugs, and fishing boats.

As in the real shipbuilding world, there is some modularity: a subchaser's superstructure also works on a fishing boat. A minesweeper's layout and gear are not all that different from a trawler's.

So production is gearing up for March 9. I'd like to hear what folks might want and buy.

Thanks for your patience.




rogergperkins

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2012, 07:59:15 AM »
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Pete,  I am not familiar with the size of any of these ships.  It would help me and others to know the length and width to determine space needed to incorporate a dock area on a layout.  Thanks.

sixpakpop

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 12:47:28 PM »
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Is there any pricing yet? Would love a Fletcher class and some tugs.
OOO
OOO <~~~the SixPak sig~~

Bob Bufkin

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 12:55:28 PM »
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Can't really use one on my small layout but if the price is right I might be in for an Aggressive class minesweeper since I spent 3 years on one of those back in the 70s.

Hyperion

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 03:55:34 PM »
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Sucks about the Island-class molds.  I really, really want one.  Depending on the pricing might even be in for more than one if it would help it get made.  And if you ever went small and made a 41' UTB or a 47' MLB (not so much interested in a 45' RBM) or I'd be down for one or two of those as well.  Don't care if they were 1/160 either, if you ever wanted to branch out to other scales, as I wouldn't be using any of them on a layout.

Ever want to go super-modern, I'd be in for a Sentinel-class.  Not for any sentimental reason like the others, but because it's just a flat-out beautiful boat.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 04:00:33 PM by Hyperion »
-Mark

Ian MacMillan

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 08:20:27 PM »
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I'd go for a Cutter. I don't have a water scene, but I like them.
I WANNA SEE THE BOAT MOVIE!

pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 08:26:30 PM »
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Pete,  I am not familiar with the size of any of these ships.  It would help me and others to know the length and width to determine space needed to incorporate a dock area on a layout.  Thanks.

Roger,

A 173' ship is about 13 inches long. A 125' ship is about 9 inches long. They are between 1.5 and 3 inches in width. So these ships are not very large in terms of layout space, and not very high either.

Sixpakpop,

I'm still working on pricing. They will be pretty expensive, though. It all depends on how much I can cast, and how many details have to be made by hand.

Hyperion,

The Island-class will be rebuilt. The 110' SC came out really well, but the Island-class has a much different, fuller hull. I didn't stir one part of the two-part mold mix, so ended up with a gooey mess. I also forgot the mold release, so I had a gooey squared mess. Easier to rebuild than to clean off. I'm using new, less-forgiving materials for the molds and castings, so I'm making mistakes. The new materials are more accurate, but fussy.

Bob,

I'm doing the Aggressive class because they are so long lived, and the hull shape is adaptable to other ships like trawlers.

Dave Schneider

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 05:48:02 PM »
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Pete,

Any interest in doing a Great Lakes car ferry? The  S.S. City of Milwaukee is a favorite (http://www.hnsa.org/ships/com.htm) and plans were published in Model Railroader in 1978.
This would almost be enough to make me turn my back on the Beer Line!

Best wishes, Dave
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 07:54:15 PM by Dave Schneider »
If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

Specter3

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 08:04:58 PM »
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Your mentions of ship classes got me googling around to see what they were. But for every well worded google search there are a few results that lead you off into directions unintended. This one was amazingly so. Check out this rescue report.

http://www.cg36500.org/history_pendleton_rescue.html


pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #9 on: February 29, 2012, 03:20:24 PM »
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Pete,

Any interest in doing a Great Lakes car ferry? The  S.S. City of Milwaukee is a favorite (http://www.hnsa.org/ships/com.htm) and plans were published in Model Railroader in 1978.
This would almost be enough to make me turn my back on the Beer Line!

Best wishes, Dave

Hi Dave,

Most likely, not. The principal reason is that car ferries pretty much require a layout plan that has a suitable terminal. Or substantial rebuilding to incorporate such a terminal. And that limits the market to a onesy-twosy situation. Of course, it may prove out that all my ships are onesy-twosy situations. Time will tell.

The second reason is that I'm only going to be able to introduce and manufacture a small number of models, in small quantities. So I don't want to promise what I can't deliver.

But a 350' ship is right in my wheelhouse (bad pun!) in terms of cost. It's also in the wheelhouse of others: about the maximum size for casting a hull, rather than building it up. At that size, however, I'm planning to not offer kits.

I will build a car ferry on commission, but that's getting expensive. If someone showed me a terminal on a layout or even a plan for one that begged for a ferry, I'd be more swayed.

In fact, I built a car ferry for my Portsmouth Branch, but could never modify the layout enough to accommodate it in the space I had. Now it's being moved into a larger space, a ferry terminal is a definite possibility. I've never showed the one I built, because it was free-lance, and I thought it was all wrong. The more I study the Great Lakes ferries, I realize it wasn't wrong at all!

If more than one person wanted a particular model, then I would pass along savings, even over a time period of a few years.

I've been very pleased with the first hulls, but won't start casting again until March 9, when I get back to Ohio--we abandoned that house to the workmen installing the new floors! The next mold will be approaching that 350' length, where I hear that problems start happening.


pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 03:33:18 PM »
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Your mentions of ship classes got me googling around to see what they were. But for every well worded google search there are a few results that lead you off into directions unintended. This one was amazingly so. Check out this rescue report.

http://www.cg36500.org/history_pendleton_rescue.html

What a thrilling story! I am from Massachusetts and am familiar with all the locations, even offshore, in the account. Weather and sea conditions can change in a few moments.

Ship classes are another google-induced meander. The Beavercove, for example, is a C-2 freighter at 497 feet long. In every other respect except length, she is a C-3. But taxes and tariffs enticed the architects to chop her off at 497. A ship's rating for tonnage is another meander worth a few hours of reading if interested. It seems nearly every cargo ship or tanker is about the size of the canoe with which I explored Lake Cochituate.

GRSJr

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 06:24:12 PM »
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What tugs are you contemplating?  I'm interested in the Lehigh Valley tugs like Cornell (still operating) or Bethlehem, etc.

Ray Stilwell

pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 09:15:54 PM »
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Ray,

The Cornell looks very much like the prototype for an existing tug available on eBay from Savonart. I've bought two of them for my layout, and they are a good buy. So I think I won't be getting around to that level of ship for a few more years, as I can only convert so many drawings each year. I'm planning on something more modern and a bit larger when it comes to tugs.
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 09:25:42 PM by pnolan48 »

pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #13 on: March 03, 2012, 10:26:25 PM »
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What tugs are you contemplating?  I'm interested in the Lehigh Valley tugs like Cornell (still operating) or Bethlehem, etc.

Ray Stilwell

Ray,

Over the last few days, I've reconsidered tugs. In the past two days I drew up two railroad tugs: the 142-foot Santa Fe tugs (Hayden and Hastings) operating in San Francisco bay from post WWII until the early 1980s, and the earlier Western Pacific 150' Hercules, built in the 1900s, and now an operating museum ship in SF. I won't be back to my workshop until March 9, and it will take a while to make the masters and molds. These are "pretty" ships, fairly simple in details, and I found good plans and references, so the drawings were easier and quicker than previous ships.

I think train car barges may not be far behind. Got to have something to tow!


pnolan48

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Re: N Scale Shipbuilding Plans
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2012, 11:05:34 PM »
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A quick update:

The 142' Santa Fe Tugs Hayden and Hastings will be in the first announcement of my line of N scale ships. The first run is eight tugs, and they are nearly completed. I haven't quite got down this manufacturing planning thing, so I received the anchors today, but forgot to order the decals. Eventually I'll learn. I don't want to announce them until I have a better idea of how much work they will take to complete, and then complete them, so I can ship the first run without delay.

To be in the first announcement are eight 125' Active-class cutters, and eight 173' Bluffton-class subchasers. The Active-class are "handsome" ships that showed up everywhere, and served from the 1920s to 1970s. The subchasers became patrol craft that also fit in most any harbor.

Also, I have just built the master for the Santa Fe's 260' three track car barge, or car float. I will begin casting it next week, when I return from--where else--Alabama. I will design, build and cast a docking port. My concern is that few modelers will try an operating car float due to the interface problems of aligning track. Some will just load the float with cars and stick it somewhere in their harbor. When you see the float, you'll see that it can be used as a static display without rails, or an active display with C40, C55, or C80 rails.

Sorry if this is just a tease. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow. Well, I'll take pictures tomorrow, and try to post them soon thereafter. I'm still working on pricing. I think I shouldn't give pricing without you seeing the product.

One question: how many are interested in a 260' three-track car float?

Pictures will be posted when I get back. A website will be built eventually. I'm still working on the pricing--they will be expensive, as I've said before. I may offer the barge as a kit, as it is hard to know what code rail folks want to use.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 11:55:31 PM by pnolan48 »