Some info. on radar, armament and wartime mods! 'Ya pays ya money and yer takes yer choice'! 😎 "Armament, electronics and protection The main armament of the Illustrious class consisted of sixteen quick-firing (QF) 4.5-inch (110 mm) dual-purpose guns in eight twin-gun turrets, four in sponsons on each side of the hull. The roofs of the gun turrets protruded above the level of the flight deck to allow them to fire across the deck at high elevations. The gun had a maximum range of 20,760 yards (18,980 m). Her light anti-aircraft defences included six octuple mounts for QF 2-pounder ("pom-pom") anti-aircraft (AA) guns, two each fore and aft of the island and two in sponsons on the port side of the hull. The 2-pounder gun had a maximum range of 6,800 yards (6,200 m). The completion of Illustrious was delayed two months to fit her with a Type 79Z early-warning radar; she was the first aircraft carrier in the world to be fitted with radar before completion. This version of the radar had separate transmitting and receiving antennas which required a new mainmast to be added to the aft end of the island to mount the transmitter. The Illustrious-class ships had a flight deck protected by 3 inches (76 mm) of armour and the internal sides and ends of the hangars were 4.5 inches (114 mm) thick. The hangar deck itself was 2.5 inches (64 mm) thick and extended the full width of the ship to meet the top of the 4.5-inch waterline armour belt. The belt was closed by 2.5-inch transverse bulkheads fore and aft. The underwater defence system was a layered system of liquid- and air-filled compartments backed by a 1.5-inch (38 mm) splinter bulkhead. Wartime modifications While under repair in 1941, Illustrious's rear "round-down" was flattened to increase the usable length of the flight deck to 670 feet (204.2 m). This increased her aircraft complement to 41 aircraft by use of a permanent deck park. Her light AA armament was also augmented by the addition of 10 Oerlikon 20 mm autocannon in single mounts with a maximum range of 4,800 yards (4,400 m). In addition the two steel fire curtains in the hangar were replaced by asbestos ones. After her return to the UK later that year, her Type 79Z radar was replaced by a Type 281 system and a Type 285 gunnery radar was mounted on one of the main fire-control directors. The additional crewmen, maintenance personnel and facilities needed to support these aircraft, weapons and sensors increased her complement to 1,326. During her 1943 refits, the flight deck was modified to extend its usable length to 740 feet (225.6 m), and "outriggers" were probably added at this time. These were 'U'-shaped beams that extended from the side of the flight deck into which aircraft tailwheels were placed. The aircraft were pushed back until the main wheels were near the edge of the flight deck to allow more aircraft to be stored on the deck. Twin Oerlikon mounts replaced most of the single mounts. Other twin mounts were added so that by May she had a total of eighteen twin and two single mounts. The Type 281 radar was replaced by an upgraded Type 281M, and a single-antenna Type 79M was added. Type 282 gunnery radars were added for each of the "pom-pom" directors, and the rest of the main directors were fitted with Type 285 radars. A Type 272 target-indicator radar was mounted above her bridge. These changes increased her aircraft capacity to 57 and caused her crew to grow to 1,831. A year later, in preparation for her service against the Japanese in the Pacific, one starboard octuple "pom-pom" mount, directly abaft the island, was replaced by two 40 mm Bofors AA guns; which had a maximum range of 10,750 yards (9,830 m). Two more twin Oerlikon mounts were added, and her boilers were retubed. At this time her complement was 1,997 officers and enlisted men. By 1945, accumulated wear-and-tear as well as undiagnosed shock damage to Illustrious's machinery caused severe vibrations in her centre propeller shaft at high speeds. In an effort to cure the problem, the propeller was removed, and the shaft was locked in place in February; these radical measures succeeded in reducing, but not eliminating, the vibrations and reduced the ship's speed to about 24 knots (44 km/h; 28 mph).["
Hi Doug and AllenA. Yes, it is indeed good old Hammerite 👍 I sealed all the interior surfaces with a couple of coats of sanding sealer and then two coats of the silver Hammerite on the hull bottom, sides and bulkheads and it gives a quite an attractive finish which is very durable. It was recommended by VMW in the build instructions and I'm very pleased with the result 😁
The switch panel and wiring loom was made, tested and dry fitted a while ago and so it only needs securing to the bulkhead with four fixing screws, the two NiMh batteries were strapped down to the bearers with cable ties as close to the chines as possible and the XT60 connectors mated. I have read that placing the heavy batteries as far away from the keel as possible improves the handling, all other heavy items are centered along the keel for symmetry and should help the boat to sit evenly in the water. I’m not sure if I will need to do any ballasting, hopefully the maiden voyages should give me an indication. The prop shaft was greased and fitted, and with the prop, thrust washers and lock nuts in place, the clearance was adjusted and locked with some Loctite so the motor could then be installed. The initial motor alignment was made with a solid coupler which was then replaced with the universal joint, I took the precaution to grind a flat on the motor shaft so that the locking grub screw has better grip on the shaft. The grease tube was then fitted to the shaft clamp and secured to the side of the switch panel. The ESC was fixed to the back of the bulkhead with another couple of cable ties and the input cables, again XT60 types, and the three pole XT60 motor connectors mated. I have also fitted a Turnigy in-line volt, amp and watt meter in the circuit before the ESC so that I can log readings in case of spurious fuse blowing issues or unexpected battery life problems. The water cooling tubes were then run from the water pickup, through the ESC and then back to the transom ‘exhaust’ outlet, all water connections are fitted with spring clips to ensure water tight connections. I have used quite a large bore silicone tubing to ensure maximum water flow and made sure that all bends are kink and compression free. The R/C receiver is fixed to the rear cabin wall with some Velcro pads for easy removal, the two aerials were fitted in some plastic tubing at 90 degrees to each other as recommended for 2.4 gig systems and as high above the waterline as possible. The receiver is connected to a separate 4.8 volt NiMh battery via a changeover switch that also has a charging connection and LED power indicator, and I have also fitted a battery voltage indicator, just because they are cheap and convenient although the R/C system that I have has telemetry that reports RX voltage as standard. The battery charger I have chosen can handle the 16 cell series configuration of the drive batteries and so they can be charged in-situ when the main power switch is toggled over to the charge position. The RX and lighting batteries are charged separately. All of the servo and lighting switch cables are routed through the hull to the receiver through pre drilled holes in the bulkheads at high level for neatness and to retain the integrity of each compartment just in case 😲!!. The servo and cables and the water cooling tubes are strapped to a supporting bar between the bulkheads for neatness and security. With the TX switched on first, the RX is then powered up and the main power switch toggled to the ‘operate’ position, the ESC then gives a reassuring series of bleeps that confirm that all is well. The ESC was set up using a Turnigy programming card specifically for that model of controller and if required I can tweak the settings once the boat has had a few sailings. The last things to do now are to fit some strong magnets to hold the hatches and roofs down securely and then finally raise the RAF ensigns 😁
Fully set up, I'm guessing Constellation weights between 100 and 110 pounds (I haven't had the opportunity the get an accurate measurement yet). Taking her to events with pools requires lifting her into the pool. I haven't figured out a way to do that easily, or safely, or more importantly, alone. I built her to sail in open water, so the 2 or three times I have to ask for help at a pool isn't a big deal. I'm sure that most of the time I'll be launching her at a ramp or shoreline, and that I'll need to move her from the parking area to the shoreline, however far that may be. There's times I may be faced with a bulkhead, but like the pool, there's no easy fix for that with a model this size. My first plan was a hand-truck set-up like the picture of my friend Ray from RCGroups, and his SC&H model of Surprise, a very similarly sized model to mine. The hand-truck is plastic and the cradle is wood, and you can see it's pretty bulky to hold a 100 pound model. Ray said his issue with it was it floated. When launching he had to push it down to get the model clear, and when retrieving he had to hold on to it or it would fall over, while trying get hold of a big model with spars sticking out everywhere. If the water was choppy or boaters were making wakes, it was that much more difficult. He also didn't like that he had to go into knee-deep water, at least. Dan, also from RCGroups, and the fellow that developed the sliding-brace-winch, has an SC&H brig he's modeled as the US brig Syren. It also came with the same hand-truck Ray's Surprise did. Dan wasn't all that enamored with it either. He pointed out how when you lean it back to move the model, it put you in among the rigging risking damage or even injury. Dan altered his hand-truck into a cart and has not looked back. In my mind, it's a boat. I have a 16 foot sailboat, and to move it, and launch it, I use a boat-trailer, so it would make sense to make a boat-trailer for the model. I scribbled an idea on paper, but then turned to some old 3D modeling software so I could see it better. My model has a 4 foot long ballast tube bolted to the keel. So I figured a U shaped channel to cradle that tube and support the model would be the basis of the cart. While Dan's cart has worked great for him, I didn't care for his 3-wheeled arrangement. Like an actual boat trailer, I opted for a single axle right under the model. I figured this would be more easily maneuvered and handle terrain a little better. I figured on making the cart from angle steel I dould bolt together. I over-designed the thing a bit, drawing a framework that would cradle the model that the more I looked at, the less I thought I needed. Going back to my real boat trailer, It just had center support and a pair of carpet cover skids (bunkers) to hold the boat up-right. Simple is always the best approach - and I had just the right material to build this cart from - a steel bed-frame. This L-angled steel had the strength to easily carry the model while using a minimum of material, and it certainly wasn't going to float! Two girders would form a U shaped channel to cradle the ballast tube. I figured a rod axle would need support or it could bend with a 100 pound model bouncing on it, a third angle would be set across for the axle. A couple of upright posts with padding would hold the model upright. Nearly all the weight of the model rests in the channel, so there's not a lot of strain on the uprights. I didn't have a cutting wheel so tried cutting the bed frame with a reciprocating saw. Bed frame steel is hard, it ate both blades, and two more I bought before finally getting the three main pieces cut, though I had no trouble drilling it. I used the u-bolt portion of a set of wire-clamps to hold the axle. A bit of flat steel to brace the axle so it wouldn't try to twist. It's all held together with nuts and bolts. I wanted short pieces of steel for and aft to hold the loose ends of the channel, but I wasn't gonna try to cut that stuff again, so I just used some scrap 2x4. To hold the handle I tried mounting a wood block with a hole forward, but then I remembered I had a flag-pole mount from when I replaced a rotten post on the porch. It took some searching, but I found it and screwed it on. The wheels are shopping cart wheels bought new from Ace Hardware online for about $5 each. I looked into inflatable wheels to give a softer ride, but they were too expensive for me. I watch the local thrift shops though, and if something shows up with nice wheels, I'll grab it. A fender washer goes on the axle first, so the wheel doesn't rub against the axle support; then the wheel, another washer, and a hitch-pin holds it all on. I can pull the hitch pins and remove the wheels making it easier to stow the cart. The uprights are simple 3/4" pine with some pipe insulation for padding (as opposed to tennis balls in the 3D model). They're bolted to the axle support, but I want to alter that a little so they can be folded in to make the cart flatter for transport. The handle is an old wood closet pole I've had for a long time. A bit too old it would turn out, but that's a later story. I painted it white for visibility as it also serves as a guard to protect the model's bowsprit from cell-phone wielding idiots that seem to be the most common form of life on this planet now. I painted the cart blue, because it wasn't black, white, or red; the other colors I had. Unfortunately, I wasn't ready in time to the museum event, and didn't go, but I wanted to sail the model before it got cold, and see if this thing worked.
Many Thanks Doug.. and ok about your saw, my hollowing out of bulkheads mainly concerns a ring saw as a typical electricial would have/use and the inverted jigsaw in the work-mate, the ring saw sets the internal radius, usually about 1" blade. Or a 3/8" drill into the bulkhead preferably close to the inner edge, and then using the jig saw, inverted.. I tend to use the metal work blades for the jigsaw, as they are a much thinner profile enabling tight radi to be tackled..Sea scout, now there a nice size boat , a blast from the past..Tnx for the info..Regards Muddy....
Hi Muddy, i agree with you on the details. Sometimes it is necessary to leave out some of the more filigree stuff for practical operating reasons! Or resort to etched or cast parts. But then they also require assembly and finishing! On reflection, and nipping down to the cellar to check, it's not a band-saw I have but the King Craft electric fretsaw! Technically called a scroll-saw I just learned from Wiki! Has the advantage of using standard 5" fret-saw blades and you can cut internal shapes, e.g. hollowing out bulkheads, without needing an entry cut from the edge 👍😊 So, back to work now, just had a DHL delivery of the remaining parts for my Sea Scout renovation and update 😊😊 Cheers Doug 😎
Just a note about the Bulkheads, There are 1/4" x 1/4" Stringers and 3/8" x 1/8". After the bulkheads were all marked out, remembering the old rule measure twice and cut once. Picked up a piece of 3/8" x 1/8" Obechie and placed it onto the bulkhead checking the marking out, whoops something was wrong the marked location was to small, wishing to return the next day and start cutting at first light, they were remarked, but when i did four from the Transom, for some unknown reason i decided to measure again.. The air was blue..... I had by accident picked up a piece of scrap of 1/2" x 3/16".. A long pause and "to ponder" what to do next. Scrap the bulkheads and start again or make do and mend, 5mm marine ply aint cheap, in other words apply some modelers license.. Modeler's license won, as it usually does. So the stringers were "Shimmed", maybe not pretty, but it worked and hopefully does not make the structure weak..And now its been skinned, who knows about it..!
Hello, after rummaging around the plans bag, and finding the Speranza, which i did start and hope to continue as the infill to this build, sorry Alan... But don't blame me, someone did a post on an old Gentleman's cruiser, and i was hooked, the power of the press hey !.. Away we went, cutting keels, bulkheads, dry fits , fitting stringers, then realizing this is going to be bigger than I though.. Regards Muddy ....
The next piece I tackled was the bulkhead connector to which the assembled hose is connected. This is not a particularly complex piece but I had to engineer it’s attachment to the bulkhead to allow for easy removal. As with the suction pickup I added four short pieces of brass as turning handles to the ‘cover cap’ for the want of a better description, this cap would be undone to reveal the male connector of the pump intake and the cap would have a retaining chain. This chain would presumably be attached to the bulkhead in some way but I needed it to attach to the base of the fitting. I drilled a hole through the spigot on the cover cap and formed a loop from some brass wire for the chain attachment. Similarly I drilled the base and made another wire loop for the chain attachment there. I didn’t have any suitable chain so I thought I would have a go at making some by winding about 20 turns of brass wire around a piece of thin brass rod which I then cut through lengthwise with a hacksaw to produce some brass loops. These loops were then flattened, linked and closed to form the chain and a short length of the finished chain attached to the fitting. Very fiddly work and a test of the eyesight 🤓 As mentioned, I needed to make the fitting easily removable without using screws or a threaded stud as it needs to be removed without tools to allow the cockpit floor to be lifted out. To achieve this I put a 3mm thread into the rear of the fitting and then threaded a piece of 3mm brass rod to go into that. I made a retainer to go into the bulkhead that would provide a friction fit for the hose connector. This was made from a short length of 3mm I/D brass tube set into another short supporting piece of 4mm I/D tube and a piece of 14 swg brass plate, all the parts were silver soldered together with the 3mm tube protruding the plate by the thickness of the bulkhead. The 3mm tube was cut crossways to form some ‘fingers’ that will grip the 3mm shaft of the fitting. To provide extra grip I used a piece of rubber sleeve and a small pipe clip over the ‘fingers’. This piece was glued into a 4mm hole in the bulkhead with the end of the tube flush with the bulkhead. The hose connecter is then pushed into this retainer with a firm friction grip but is easily removed without any tools. Definitely getting the hang of working with brass now 😁 Still not inclined to by a lathe though 😜 The remaining fittings should be a lot easier...I hope.
While waiting for a second coat of epoxy to dry on my other model i enlarged some plans of an old Sea Hornet kit that I purchased a few days ago. I copied them 25% larger which gives length of 32 inches i then cut out the keel and bulkheads, i have only fitted them loosely for the picture. Done a bit more to the hull and fitted the stringers and the bottom skins
Hmm! Looking closer I don't see any shaping of the outboard edges of the bulkheads!? 😲 This is essential to do before planking to ensure proper seating (greater glue contact area) of the planks and maintaining the correct hull shape. Use a medium grade sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood ca 2 x 1 and at least as long as the length along 3 adjacent bulkheads. If I've missed some detail please ignore the ramblings of an old man, if not ....! Cheers Doug 😎
..Started on the planking, with 3mm x 5mm Obechie strip, leaving a gap in the planks so as one can see whats going on with the alignment of the prop shaft/coupling. Motor mount formed in 2mm Ally and fitted. Planking was completed, not forgetting the bulkhead that overlooks the well deck, this was veneered, as was the Transom. Deck was laid in 1.5mm ply, but when it was all finished, it did not appeal to me at all, don't know why, so this was later planked to give a better sort'of look, although i believe the original full size is a painted deck. My version is now a Stand Off Scale, the dimensions are very close to scale but the finish has a lot of modelers license. Regards Muddy....
This Motor/Sailor was started in 2014 after a pal went on holiday to the New Forest, and arrived on the day when the Setley Pond MBC were there.. He Photographed two of these models, and when they were viewed, I was hooked. Plans and a CD were organised from the club/members, What a great set of Guys at Setley Pond Club. Scratch build was the order of the day . She was built with whatever materials i had here, mainly 5mm ply and Obechie strip, 3mm x 5mm.. The keel is laminated , three pices of 5mm and the bulkheads are 5mm. Some bulkheads had patterns made but most was traced then pin pricked onto the ply. A lot of dry fit's took place before the bulkheads were hollowed out , egg-box fashion framing was fitted to the top of the frames again in 5mm ply with some strip Obechie 10mm x 20mm forming the hatch openings. The prop shaft was slotted and built in as the keel was laminated. Regards Muddy....
I had previously made and tested the lighting pcb but I subsequently decided to modify it to take some 2 pin Molex connectors, they have the same hole spacing as the Veroboard PCB and are polarised and will make the final wiring a little easier and a lot neater too 👍 All the lighting wires were formed into colour coded twisted pairs and tacked in place within the wheelhouse with some epoxy and then overpainted black where they were conspicuous. The PCB is fixed to the bulkhead on PCB spacers and all the wiring retained by a cable tie on a self-adhesive base. The two Turnigy R/C controlled switches were mounted on a plasticard plate with double sided foam tape and then this plate secured to the bulkhead with a self tapping screw. The battery connections and common negative connection to the R/C receiver battery are on Molex connectors as well. The battery was fitted with XT60 connectors and secured to the keel with cable ties through some screwed eyelets. The port, starboard, forward blue and mast lights are on one switched circuit and the searchlight on a separate switched circuit. The searchlight also rotates on it's own servo channel. The result is a nice tidy installation which can easily be removed for servicing and modification if required 😎
A full set of laser cut perspex windows is supplied in the VMW kit along with corresponding frames for all and they are all a pretty good fit in the window apertures of the engine room, forward cabin and wheel house rear walls, only requiring a light easing with a file for a secure fit. I left the protective film on the screens whilst gluing them in place with a very small amount of canopy glue applied to the window edges with a dressmaking pin and pressed into place so that they were flush with the outside of the cabin walls. The wheelhouse windows were a bit trickier as they are glued to the inside face of the panels and I had to remove the protective film around the edges of the outer face of the windows by running a fine sharp blade around the window aperture with the perspex held in place by hand. Canopy glue was then used very sparingly on the face of the perspex and the windows clamped in place. The central screen of the wheelhouse has the Kent Clearview in it and this needed to be carefully centred before fixing in place. When all had dried and set the protective films were peeled off to reveal nice clear ‘panes’ without any unsightly glue smudges. The CNC cut window frames are made from a flexible plastic material with accurate and well defined edges. They were all given a light sanding with abrasive paper as a key for the paint and were then laid out on a large piece of card paying particular attention to getting them the correct side up, in particular the wheelhouse frames which are ‘handed’ for either port or starboard. They were all held to the board with small pads of double sided foam tape and sprayed with two coats of Halfords metallic silver paint followed by two light coats of Halfords gloss lacquer. After a couple of days to dry they were removed from the board and fixed in place with canopy glue applied with a pin as very small dots around the inside face, aligned with masking tape ‘guides’ and a straight edge and then held in place with small tabs of masking tape. The installation of the glazing in the wheelhouse was made a lot easier because I had previously cut away some of the bulkhead and rear wall to give better access to the wheelhouse interior for detailing. This is not mentioned in the building instructions but is well worth doing for all the above reasons 😁