The missile deck, bollards & emergency buoy:
The missile deck
is pretty tricky to make. The width needs to be just right, and the
degree of sloping needs to be right as well. The
missile deck is made using the same method as the bow and aft part, and
is worked into shape
Make a template of the cross sectional shape, and work
your way like you did with the bow and aft sections.
Make the deck without the crack between the edges and the
main hull, and without the precise sloping at the aft and bow area, then
afterwards file away the resin where the crack needs to be
etc. Making it all in one move would be too difficult.
||First, get hold
of a piece of
and mark the piece prior to raw cutting it. Then cut the raw shape.
Remember to cut it "small", as the layers of the resin and fiber
cloth will build up so you end up with a missile deck with the
correct measurements. Glue the
on to a board or similar to give it mechanical stability, carpenters
glue ("Wood-glue") is fine for this task.
||Now file into
shape using a coarse file. Hold your drawing up against the model
repeatedly, still remembering to make it a bit smaller than what you
want to end up with. (App. 2 x 1/4")
This IS a messy step, and the small white balls will soon fill up
your entire home unless you keep your shipyard clean. (Just ask my
||Now cover the
entire mock-up with duck tape or similar.
cannot endure resin if directly introduced, it simply vanishes. This
also allow the mock-up core to be removed upon completion.
Ensure to make it as smooth as possible, just like when you made the
bow and aft hull parts.
||Now apply a layer
of pure resin, then a layer including fiber cloth.. repeat again and
again, remembering to wet out the cloth completely between layers.
Slowly build up the missile deck, and try to correct any errors
along the way.
The overlapping of the fiber cloth in each layer should be altered,
so that all of the overlaps are not all in one place. This would
weaken the structure, and why do that when so easily avoided?
||Making a template
helps you a lot! By adding a pair of tracks for it to slide in,
makes it even better. Now you can get the entire middle part
perfect, leaving only the very bow and aft end to be done by
artistic hand work.
The masking tape prevents the resin from destroying the template too
soon, and allows you to "wipe" the middle section into
there! The wooden template shows me where to focus, and it shows how
much resin / fiber cloth still need to be added before the missile
deck has got it's final measurements, as mechanically copied from
And "yes".. the entire missile deck IS 'higher' than it's supposed
to be. Reason for this is that this gives you a clean cut when it's
later reduced in height. Trying to mold a perfect, final edge right
away will fail... don't try.. it set me three weeks back.
||Now we're down to
the rough sanding, after applying a layer of thick resin with
colloidal silica (West Systems # 406) mixed in. First I used a power
tool for sanding the roughest sanding, and I tell you... THAT is a
messy step! The entire room was covered in a fine thin, white layer
of resin dust, but I got the job done. I then went on to sand by
hand, using a piece of wooden board.
Using a long board with sanding paper on it (See image) gives a more
even sanding, and prevents making "flat-spots" that are later hard
to get rid of again.
||Upon sanding with
finer and finer grade, we get a surface that's smooth enough to
reflect light. It's not supposed to be completely glass-like, as the
later applied paint must have something to bind to. Leave the
surface smooth, but still a little dull.
Cutting the missile deck from the mock-up, was done using a saw, as
shown. The blade was angled 90 degrees, and was pretty easy, and the
blade could easily be guided by the wooden board on which the entire
mock-up was placed to start with. A cutting disk melted the resin,
so no power tools could be used..
||Here you see them
separated, the mock-up now stuck inside the up side down missile
deck laying behind the wooden base.
Now comes the interesting part... can I remove the mock-up as
supposed to, according to my theory?
The same kind of mock-up is used inside the bow and aft part on the
main hull, so I *really* hope that I can..
mock-up was very easily removed, when cutting it a bit using a
knife, before digging it out by hand.
The duck tape let go real easy of the resin as well, so all's well!
This also gave a very smooth and fine inside surface.
The thickness of the missile deck is a little less than 1/4", and is
Again and again during this project, I'm reminded that the best
tool I've got, is my own two hands. It's amazing how flexible
these multi-purpose, ultra accurate, fine but still strong tools
are.. and we even got them for free!
||I simply HAD to
test fit the missile deck, and the sail, giving an idea of the
finished result. The missile deck will now need to be further filed
and sanded to match the main hull, and the sail will need to go
partially into the missile deck.
Still, it looks right so far.
missile deck up side down, and using the home made tool shown in
picture, I could draw a line where the missile deck needed to end
along the side of the sub. This approach ensures a straight line,
even on both sides.
Once again I used the saw from before, and
a file, leaving a fine,
straight edge all along the side. (This is the "crack" between the
missile deck and the main hull.)
||Now the missile
deck has been filed and sanded to match the main hull, but cannot be
fitted just yet. First I have to "Z"-cut the hull, and then
fit the missile deck on the upper part of the main hull.
Engraving the missile deck, and cutting the hole for the sail, is
also complete, so for now, we're done with this part. (Please see
the chapter on engraving for details.)
This is the
stock no. 1349.
The Ohio hull has
several points of mooring. The front
most are just next to the middle blow vents, the middle ones are just
behind the sail, and the rear most ones are at the very back of the
missile deck. Please check your drawings for precise locations. Though
it is possible to buy finished bollards from places like Robbe, they are
easily made your self. I found that the things normally used for
curtains are great for the job. Though they do not look like real
bollards, they are safer. Nothing can get stuck in them, and the mooring
can't fall off.
||The one to the
left is as they are directly from the box. The material is very
The one to the right has been cut. Matching holes was drilled in the
missile deck. The total height of the bollard is so that the pins
stick out on the lower side, allowing a secure fix with resin.
A picture of the mounted bollards. I
put six in the back, and six in front. Though hard to see here, it looks
I filed a few contours in them prior to fixing them with resin, so the
resin could 'bite' a little harder. Pulling as hard as I could in the
test I made first, proved that it takes more than 10lbs to pull them
As described in the section about
things that you might choose to include, you can read about an emergency
buoy. This is it.
Here it's situated in the normal resting place: Rear most personnel
I took a cup drill and cut a hole about the size of the personnel hatch
at the location, thus disguising the mechanism. Don't mind the black
circle drawn on the hull, it's an old leftover. The hatch has been
painted, but the missile deck is still to painted shortly.
Here's a look inside the silo, where
the app. 20ft (18m.) of line will be coiled up. The aluminum ring is the
resting point for the buoy. Note the red line going across the bottom of
the buoy, here the locking spring will secure and lock the buoy during
operation. The strong nylon line will be tied to the eye on the bottom
of the buoy, and to the adjacent bulkhead within the hull.
The buoy was filled with foam before gluing the disk cut from the
missile deck on top of the modified plastic cylinder.
(Old candy container..) Multiple drain holes was drilled in the silo,
ensuring no entrapped air.
Here's a view of the locking pin, that
holds the buoy down as long as there's power in the batteries. When
surfaced, and sub turned off, it'll of cause withdraw, but by then the
whole mechanism is above the waterline, thus leaving the buoy in
position any way. If power is lost while submerged, then the buoy and
line will float to the surface.
(Yes, the line I found actually floats as well.. I call it a free bonus.
The silo will be painted dark orange like the on / off panel incl.
recharge access hatch.
This is the inverted missile deck,
exposing the locking pin mechanism, and the bottom of the silo. The
small electromagnet will 'push' when energized, but using only very
little power. The spring (From a coffee-machine e.g.. stainless..) will
ensure that the pin falls back, and releases the buoy.
When the buoy floats, it will flip, so the dark top will be facing down.
This ensures that the yellow / red surface is on full "Sub sunk