basic hull. (Aft, middle & bow):
main (middle) section:
Take out your drawing and measure the length of the center hull,
e.g. the length of the pipe from the point where the hull first
starts to curve towards the bow, and all the way down to the point
where the hull starts to curve towards the aft end. In my case,
this is 46,55" (118,24 cm) long, extending from directly under the dive
plane on the sail, and all the way back to where the missile deck
ends. Ensure that the pipe does not have any scratches or dents
prior to buying. Cut the pipe, and first smoothen the
edges, then "saw tooth" the ends as shown in the picture. This
gives the later applied resin a much bigger surface to adhere to,
than if the cut were left plain. The end edges are then protected
using masking tape to ensure that the later following resin will
have a clean surface to bond with! This is rather important!
Also, notice the small wheels that the hull is resting on. They
allowed me to rotate the hull while working on it, and proved to
be a perfect idea. Making it round, applying resin, and later
sanding was easy! I had to secure the hull using masking tape when
sanding, but other than that, the idea was the only way forward, I
you need to build the bow and aft section mock-up's, and it should
look something like this. Also make two templates from the drawing,
and repeatedly hold it up against the mock-up, checking that the
1/4" clearing is pretty much consistent all the way around. (The
later applied resin will make the parts "grow" into the desired
size, matching the tube.) Also, The bump on the nose should be part
of the later produced missile deck, not the bow it self. Making it a
part of the missile deck makes it way easier to do a perfectly
shaped bow, and a nice fit to the missile deck later on. Again, the
measurements should be double checked! The center of the mock-up's
are made of wood and expanded polystyrene,
and the covered in duck tape or similar,
so the resin (epoxy) will not stick.
||But first a
little test. "Does the resin adhere to the duck tape, or is it
possible to take them apart afterwards?" The resin components are
West System 105 resin, and 206 hardener. It's a 16 hour cure time,
but as mentioned earlier, there is no way around this. Besides,
after only a few hours, you can apply the next layer of cloth, and
resin. However, sanding etc. is not possible until after at least 16
||I then applied
two layers of resin on to the duck
tape covered hull, and when this was pretty dry, I put on the class
fiber cloth, and shaped it. Because the resin was not completely
cured, it was pretty easy to fit the cloth.
I then wetted the fiber cloth. Be
careful to wet it completely, and to place
the two layers with cloth with the fibers
crossing each other. (One up - down, the other left - right) This
gives strength, and should not be omitted! Remember to check the
thickness of the layers using the templates! Also, when the cloth is
wetted completely, it becomes transparent, revealing any air bubbles
within. The next 60-90 minutes I sat and rotated the hull,
resin from running away. THIS is where the small wheels really
proved their value!
||After many layers
of pure resin and fiber cloth, I applied a thin layer of Plastic
Padding. Placing the template, and then putting the padding on to
the hull, and then rotating the hull, smoothened the padding pretty
much. After a little sanding, and another final layer of padding, I
was ready to sand the final finish. The padding smells BAD, and
irritates the eyes and breathing! Ensure proper fresh air, and take
it a little after little. It also develops heat when drying.
Be careful not to mix more than you can
apply in 10 minutes or so, and / or lower the room
Take your time, and sand it again and again, using finer and finer
grade sanding paper. Use the templates made from the drawing again
and again. Now you have a hull, with bow and aft end in perfect
shape. The next step is the missile deck, and the fitting of this.
||The completed aft
end. Surface is so smooth that you can blow any dust away! It feels
even more smooth that the PVC tube of the main hull.
||The completed bow, as above. Part of this will be covered by the
front end of the missile deck, and the "bump" associated. Before I
fit the missile deck, I'll through the hull in the water, and find
the point of balance, where it does not want to roll. There's no
point in having to fight this later with weights, and floatation
||Notice the saw-tooth gathering, ensuring a strong(er) fix. When
running your finger from the main hull and on to the aft / bow
section, then you can not feel the shift. It's gonna be fun to see
if the two materials can interact when the sub is put in the water
and sun light later on. Hopefully the two will expand evenly with
||Same as above, only at the bow end.
||The sub can now
rest for a while. I need to
go and work on the rudders / dive planes, missile deck and of cause
||The giant is waiting for a time slot at the shipyard. I plan to
leave it there for at least a month to see if the padding or resin
will shrink any. If it does, now is the time to see it, and NOT
The entire now completed main hull.
It took a while, but it's getting there..
And yes.. "NIX PILLE" does mean "Don't touch" in
The work on the aft end, and the bow end, took about one month each.
In the same period, I had to move, so the project suffered yet
another set back in time.