Author Topic: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced  (Read 1459 times)

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pnolan48

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Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:40:21 PM »
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The Fitzgerald-class Algosteel freighter is here in Z Scale! I've decided to go ahead with this model, and make improvements over time. This model represents the Algosteel Great Lakes freighter as it was before 1990, when a self unloader was added. The Fitzgerald class was 730' in length, 75' in beam, with a draught of about 27', and a capacity of about 27,000 tons. Many of these ships are still operating.  A feature missing from this prototype is the  hatch lifter, which will be adapted and improved from my N Scale Lakers. The self unloader is a project for my Alabama winter stay in 2014-2015. Here's a good port-side view of the prototype model.

The model has all the features you'd expect from N Scale Ships, only this time in Z Scale: custom Z Scale railings and stairways, precision cut styrene, cast resin stack and lifeboats, finely ribbed coamings, custom-built winches and windlass, and accurate details throughout.
Here's the bow house. All of the hatches are removable, showing the six holds. The owner and guest lodgings on the forecastle decks are accurate, and the navigating bridge could be detailed.

The stern house is equally accurate and detailed. The prototype was photographed before the exact location of tanks, vents, lifeboats and other poop deck details were determined, but these will follow our customary detailing practices.

The basic styrene kit, which includes hull, superstructure, cast resin parts and non-brass details, is $275.  The photoetched brass detailing kit, which includes about a half mile of railing, is $150. A built-up model is about $2350., depending on custom details and decals. These are preliminary prices and may change. The kit is fairly easy to build (it is a simple hull), but does have many repetitive parts, and is quite large. See my website: www.nscaleships.com or contact me at peterknolan@gmail.com
 
« Last Edit: October 10, 2014, 10:43:43 PM by GaryHinshaw »

ednadolski

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 11:38:14 PM »
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Does it come with a scale-sized Gordon Lightfoot figure?  ;)

Ed

pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 11:39:46 PM »
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For the right price, I presume that could be arranged.

nkalanaga

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2014, 01:47:10 AM »
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This IS the "Edmund Fitzgerald" and its sisters?  I always assumed it was a one-off design, never having heard any mention of similar ships in any of the "historical news" stories.
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pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 08:20:26 AM »
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The Edmund Fitzgerald was the first of a class of Lakers that were built for the new locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway. I forget if it was one foot or five feet shorter than the locks. I believe it is only a foot less wide than the locks. I'm not sure how many were built, and if they should be called sister ships, as they were built by different shipyards, but there were (and still are) quite a few. They are very similar in length, width, draught, tonnage, cargo holds and hatches, power, and general layout. Most if not all had guest quarters.

Scottl

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2014, 08:38:24 AM »
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These type of ship are still very common.  We see them steam by in the river and Lake Ontario.  I don't know if they are this class, or just that they all look similar because of the dimensions imposed by the locks.

Pretty exciting to see one of these up close in a fishing boat!

nkalanaga

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2014, 12:05:20 PM »
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Thank you!  It sounds like the "class" is more like the Panamax ships, which simply means they're the biggest that will fit through the Panama Canal locks, rather than being (nearly) identical, like Ford F150s or EMD GP9s.  Maybe that's why the rest have had better luck than the first.
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pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2014, 03:35:23 PM »
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They are very numerous. Boatnerd.org is a great site to track them. 23 of Algoma Central's fleet of 27 are this class, for example; all 23 of Canadia Steamship Lines; with others scattered among smaller companies. The 1000-footers can't get through the Welland Canal. Lots of exports go up to Montreal, where they are transferred to ocean-going bulkers. Many have been scrapped, or sold "off-lake."

nkalanaga

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2014, 02:30:16 AM »
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Have any of them ever been used for ocean service, or is there something unique about the "lakers" that keeps them on fresh water?
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pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2014, 08:28:57 AM »
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They can, but for various reasons usually don't. So-called salties often enter the Lakes, but only with a partial cargo, due to the 28-foot draught of parts of the rivers. Lakers are long and narrow, and not really built for open ocean conditions. Long exposure to saltwater shortens their life.

Yet some are used for ocean duties and nearly always have an ocean-going bow and less length. Some venture offshore to load/unload from giant bulkers. And some have been built on the East Coast and sailed into the Great Lakes. I suppose there are some minor buoyancy issues between fresh and saltwater but none more complicated than seasonal issues and the draught problems. The whole idea of the St. Lawrence Seaway was to open the Lakes to the world.

SeawayMax is indeed a term used for Lakers. What I'm seeing in harbors around the US is the Handy size. Might just be the most economical size for the Jones Act.

nkalanaga

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2014, 01:13:44 AM »
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Not being a ship fan, "long and narrow" still doesn't sound ideal for ocean ships.  Just like a canoe, not stable in cross winds and waves.  I hadn't thought about the shape...

Buoyancy shouldn't be an issue, since saltwater is denser than fresh.  Any floating object will float better (higher) in salt water.  I can see where the lakers might be more corrosion prone, if they're built with less expensive, and less salt-resistant, steel.
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pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2014, 07:59:45 AM »
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The problems with long and narrow are the height and periodicity of waves--the ship may not be strong enough when bridging two waves or two troughs. Long and narrow certainly worked for WW II destroyers, because it does increase speed.

Bow shapes have changed with the incorporation of the ugly protruding "bulb" just under water, which apparently does wonders for stability and penetration. Many very large bulk carriers now have bows that look very much like old Lakers.

The bouyancy issue is more for ocean ships coming into the lakes. They are usually deeper than the 28 feet depth of some of the Seaway. The load factors for large ships are usually well known, and one can always watch the draught markers on either end of the ship.

Corrosion from salt water shortens the life of all boats. Fresh water Lakers often last for 50-60 years, where 20 years is getting old for a merchant salty.

lock4244

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2014, 06:58:10 PM »
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Welcome to Ontario... we've got a tax for that.
My train pics:
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pnolan48

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Re: Z Scale FitzGerald-class Great Lakes Bulker Announced
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2014, 08:57:43 PM »
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That's not to say that the upper lakes did not (or do not) have North Atlantic-like seas during severe storms. We've developed much more advanced radars, communications, and weather forecasting techniques, as well as a somewhat better understanding of hull behavior, in the 40 years since the Fitz went down. Still, ships are lost or nearly lost frequently due to weather.