Category: Miscelaneous

Shelterdeck, part III

One of the issues that complicates any HMS Hood build is the area below the shelter (or boat) deck; the main deck parts should be fully painted before securing as the region cannot be accessed. The number of photographs of this region is modest and I made post earlier here. The ceiling of the shelterdeck was populated by structural elements, mainly a few larger longitudinal girders A & B). Some transverse girders appear perforated (C); I copied this style to multiple locations while playing with my milling machine. The outer girder appears to be placed where the shelterdeck used the end before it being widened in 1938. The bottom-right image is reproduced with permission from the HMS Hood association and shows the area below the boat deck quite clearly; other images from this 1940-41 album indicate a few minor changes to the model were in order!  A few details could be seen on other images: the hammock rails (D) and support stanchions (E)  placed below the boat crutches on the boat deck. These pillars have a white center, covered by a sewn-on canvas gaiter (painted stanchions are also observed on other ships). Now we can also find the ammo lockers for the UP launchers that according to Northcott were stored below decks (4 lockers per launcher, F) . A series of Denton rafts is found (G), a very large vent trunk (H).  At (I) a Dan buoy is found stored against the ceiling as identified on the Britmodeler forum; these buoys were used to mark a channel swept of mines. All warships were fitted with mine sweeping gear (paravanes) that was only effective only against contact mines and useless against magnetic, acoustic, or pressure mines, and there’s something counter-intuitive about using HMS Hood as a minesweeper and having her carry danbuoys. But once noticed I started spotting them in more places, see e.g. Jonhston’s & Buxton Battleship Duke of Yok, page 161, with a buoy next to the engine room vent. More on a small model of these buoys in a later post.

I bought a few original plans of HMS Hood earlier showing the shelterdeck and the structural details; these support beams are spaced 4 ft apart.  I previously added some random detail to the ceiling of the shelterdeck when my favourite modelling tool apparently was putty and everything was glued with Uhu plast (bottle with a small needle); I switched  to bottle of Plastic Magic and Tamiya (ultra) thin cement last year and this was really a step up in build quality. Some damage was collected during handling so the girders were readded in the form of strips. I had some fun with the milling machine and added a few larger perforated beams. I can only see one of these clearly on one image though but why not. I also changed the angled outline of the deck slightly, letting the angled parts end exactly on a beam end; the original plan set that I have does not seem to follow the outline very well and the model now matches the photographs much better. The position of the support pillars was drilled in earlier; the pillars themselves were made from three Albion-Alloy tubes, so that the centre can be neatly airbrushed white. Unfortunately, the pillars positions were added based on the general arrangements and do not end up exactly below the girders. I cheated a bit and lowered all pillars, the outboard row of pillars end up behind the main longitudinal girder and I added some strip at the ends of the inner row where all pillars should end.

The overall effect is quite nice… (pillar strip apparently not yet added here).

The hammock rails were added next, using a simple alignment tool to glue to etched parts in place. I put the rails right between the girders. If all goes well, none of the support stanchions and hammock rails intersect (did a lot of measuring and drawing to convince myself).
These are very fragile so the part is now much more difficult to handle..

The larger trunk is the the dynamo room vent and appears on the boat deck. It is open on the sides on some images and closed off on most others and copied that style. The trunk didn’t really end up nicely with the position on the main deck on my model. I already had a vent there, but that one was in the as-built configuration: I missed the extension to the boat deck. I gave it a slightly larger sweep to the side than on the original drawings. This was a really tricky part making an angle in the horizontal and to the side, and only after fitting the entire part I could see if it would align well; this took a few attempts. The main deck on the hull took some damage and Ill probably add a very denton rafts to cover it up.

A small improvement to the Proxxon PD230/E

I hadn’t used the lathe for some time so it took a whole afternoon until I could reliably produce parts again, if it weren’t for a small offset on my drill fixed in the tailstock of my Proxxon PD230/E. This offset has always been present and trying other drill chucks didn’t solve my problem. I took a few chucks to work and they measured an offset in the Morse Cone I of about 2 to 3 hundreds of a mm, just enough to be troublesome with thin-walled parts I was trying to make (20″ signalling projector). I ordered a ER-11 collet chuck with a MC1 fitting that is supposed to fit in the tailstock, but it doesn’t; the Proxxon PD230/E tailstock has a much shorter run.

The collet chuck is comparatively pricey but I just had to take a bit off.  Using drills with a 1/8″ shaft and ditto collet worked quite well. Nearly all my drills have a 2.2mm shaft and a 2.5 mm collet didn’t center them properly, so I ordered a new set of drills (only 30€ for 30 drills running from 0.1mm to 3.0mm in steps of 0.1mm) .

Postscript: I didn’t properly ‘snap’ the collet in the collet nut that may have been the reason the 2.2mm drills had an offset. In the nut there is an eccentricity on an internal flange that will cause the drill to be poorly centered if you just tighten the nut after placing the collet in the chuck. If the collet is first gently pushed past this internal flange (click!) and then placed in the chuck, not only is this problem solved (the problem being a poor user of fine tools), this eccentric flange will also pull the collect from the chuck when untightening the nut. Really clever engineering (post to be updated after checking the 2,5mm collet fit).

So it’s good news that the Proxxon tailstock that cannot be adjusted is well centered when it leaves the factory but a decent chuck apparently is not on the Proxxon menu.  So, now the cost of a 20″ signalling projector is €60 each, but who’s counting…. At least on of the two major problems I have the with lathe is solved; the other one is that the top slide for tapering doesn’t have an accurate angle read-out.




Now, that speaker building project I was talking about earlier was a good exercise for building a presentation cabinet. Damage to models is rare on shows but I get incredibly nervous when people are shaking hands above my model; even a minor hit can mean irreparable damage. Our local IPMS SIG Warships leader builds his own glass cases and blackmailed me to come to a few shows in exchange for a glass cabinet built at cost. Today I made a wooden base for the model using some left-over planks from my bookcase. It should protect the model against shows, transportation, and dust.

The plank was milled to size and I cut a small ledge for the glass case. The glass is 3.0mm thick and has a bit of room to manoeuver (also in case the wood works). Although my cats aren’t an enemy of my hobby—they haven’t caused any damage to my model—today I just couldn’t get the tiny bastard out of the frame; he’d bounce back immediately after being thrown a great distance across the living room.

The model is bolted to the plank by three nuts and bolts. Recall that I started with the WEM resin hull that I fitted with fixing bolts before adding new decks. The glass case is 80 cm wide so that it fits in most book cases (I refuse to admit it is made to fit an Ikea Ivar bookcase) and is 25 cm wide and high. That’s a bit wider than strictly required, but this size will fit my next project too. A seascape will be added once I’ve thoroughly exercised making seascapes.

Yes, I assure you, cat, we are quite safe from your friends here.

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