On the Ways: Bearn CV

Discussion in 'Warship Builds' started by mike5334, Jun 1, 2008.

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  1. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Ok! Time to start a new ship now that the Gloire has sucessfully sailed . This build is going to be the FN Bearn, the only French carrier in WW2.

    The plans for this build are located at Visit this site. The 144th plans are used here though the 96th scale plans are at the same location. :)

    I plan on putting a lot of details in this thread to hopefully help out the new captains that want to build a wood ship. Please feel free to ask questions about the building style or why I did something in a certain way. I've seen three different ways of building a wood ship, so my method isn't new or all inclusive. In fact, any suggestions on the build would be appreciated. :)

    This Bearn will be build as a multi-format ship. That means with changes in weaponry and pumps, it will be legal for Big Gun, Treaty, and MWC. My first goal is to set it up as a convoy ship for the MWC Nats in July.

    Here we go!
     
  2. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Step 1: Planning

    Before any wood is cut, some decisions and planning has to be made. Things like # of ribs, rib thickness, rib width, water channels, sub-deck/deck, hull material, etc.

    I decided to build the water channel into the hull (ala Brian Koehler's and Clark Ward's Vanguards). A double keel spaced 1.5" apart and extending from 25% to 75% of the hull length gives me a nice channel. For the moment, I'm looking at a 1/2" deep water channel, so my center keel pieces will be 5/8" tall (1/2" water channel + 1/8" thick water channel bottom).

    The front and rear keels will be single 1/4" plywood pieces.

    The great thing with computers is programs that make things easy to figure out, such as a Rib Calc program someone made up that figures out how many ribs you can have. All you have to do is put in the ships length (49.9" for the Bearn), type in the impenetrable area for the bow and stern (2" bow, 3/4" stern), and select the thickness of the ribs (1/4"). I was shooting for 19 ribs; the number of ribs the Bearn plan has on it.
    You can download Rib Calc at Visit this site. Many thanks for the person who made it!

    On the plans, I sketched out the keel pieces.

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    Next up: Making Templates
     
  3. blacksheep

    blacksheep Member

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    Looks like im just in time on this one,Hope it is extremly detailed cause you just dont get any greener than me.Are you going to loft out your frames and all?I need a good lesson on line drawings and how to interpt them.So if ya dont mind I'll be over here in the corner taken notes.
     
  4. Ragresen

    Ragresen Member

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    Mike will you ever build something that is not of French Design?
     
  5. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Next part will cover lofting the ribs into templates. :)

    John: probably not. Heh.
     
  6. Mike Horne

    Mike Horne Active Member

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    There are some differences between rulesets in rib placement. Big guns gets kinda picky about where you place them. And, the rulesets of differnent clubs have divereged a bit and have some minor differences. Now, I will bet you a symbolic dollar that if you bring it, then most clubs will waive it in, but the place 'em where you want 'em combat advantage debate to my knowledge debate has not been settled. I think you might be in some uncharted waters, but it will be interesting to see how it settles out.

    I see from the pictures the secondary armament: do you plan on arming that for Big Guns? Looks like at least 4 bb at the rear. Not shabby! Conways lists 14 guns that are armable :) 4 torpedoes, and 40 planes.

    Now figuring out how to stuff all that in is another story :)


    Mike
     
  7. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking of that Mike. I don't think this build will bend any rib placement rules in Big Gun. The plans are from the French web site, so I have no options to move ribs around. Well ... I probably could, but thats too much work.
    The biggest hurdle for a multi format ship will be the bottom of the penatratble window. MWC calls for 1" below the waterline or the 45 degree mark on the bottom curve of the hull. Big Gun likes the 60 degree mark. I don't think it'll matter much with this big hull, but on a smaller ship there might be problems.
    Arming it for Big Gun might take some thought. heh. But for the moment, it has to be ready for the MWC Nats in July.

    I'm going to try to post the next segment within the next few hours depending on how much work I have at work. ;)
     
  8. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Step 2: Making a "kit" - Ribs
    (EDIT: added two missing pictures which may help show the rib template process)

    Call it personal preference, but I like having most of the pieces to something before putting it together. That includes building a model of anything. For the Bearn, I want all the pieces for the basic hull framework such as ribs, sub deck, and keel. The rest can be added after the hull is framed.

    First thing is to make the ribs. There are 19 of the things. Each one needs a template to go on the wood for cutting. Sounds like a big job, but it only took around 1 hour to trace and cut the templates.

    We are going to need tracing paper, a ruler, shears, and a mechanical pencil. On the plan there is a drawing of all the ship's ribs. Unfortunately, only half of each rib is drawn. To get a full rib, we trace half of it onto the tracing paper, then fold the paper in half and re-trace the rib on the clean side of the tracing paper.

    I decided the ribs will be 1/2" wide (no real reason, it just looked good). After tracing the rib outline on the tracing paper, I "mirrored" or traced a parallel line 1/2" inside the rib outline. You can see it in the pictures. The bottom of each rib is 5/8" wide to match the height of the keels.

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    After all the ribs were traced, I cut them out and pasted them to the wood. Glue sticks work great for this.

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    You might have noticed that some ribs have a cutout in the bottom center. The cutout is for the water channel. You'll see how they work as the frame is built.
     
  9. Anachronus

    Anachronus Well-Known Member

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    Looking good. This thread should be stickied.
     
  10. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Part 2: Making a "kit" - cutting ribs

    After the rib templates pasted on the wood, it's time to cut them out. A bandsaw or scroll saw works perfectly for this part. I didn't have either, so went to my local hobby shop owner who happens to let me borrow his occasionally. I should simply buy a scroll saw ... they are only around $100 in most Lowes or Home Depot stores. Someday I will get one after I retire from the military and settle down in a real home.
    This could be done by hand, but it would take a loooong time and lots of patience!

    The ribs cut and layed out on the plan. If you notice, the plan has vertical lines drawn on it to mark where each rib goes. Each rib location is numbered which corresponds to the rib number on the rib outlines. Kinda hard to mess up, right? Wrong! For some reason, I drew two templates for rib #2, and no template for rib #3. Luckily, I caught it in time before cutting a second rib #2 out of wood.

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    You might notice some tracing paper in these two photos. Thats pieces of the sub deck pattern which will show up next.
     
  11. Mike Horne

    Mike Horne Active Member

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    I did some quick searching for 45 and 60 degree rules, NTXBG mentions 45, elsewhere on a couple of rulesets I did not find mention of the technique. I am deficient though, my computer for some reason did not come with office, so I can't read WWCC's rules :( If you fit NTXBG, odds are you are going to get on the water no problem in my opinion.

    Best deal I found on a scroll saw... the Homier mobile tool sale, picked on up with a rained on box for $30.

    Mike
     
  12. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Step 2: Making a "kit" - Keel and Subdeck

    Templates for the keel and subdeck are simply traced off the plan, pasted on plywood, and cut out. Notice there is two center keel pieces, one for each side of the water channel. The front and rear pieces are right from the plan. In retrospect, the front keel piece should have extended further forward to brace the bow solidly into the frame. Ah well, mistakes are made and learned from. :)

    I elected to depart from the normal 1/4" thick plywood subdeck and went with 1/8" thick plywood. There was a couple reasons for this. I wanted to keep the top weight as low as possible. This ship is a carrier and will have the flight deck well above the waterline. Any weight I save above the waterline will keep the ship from being top heavy. The second reason is to help lock the ribs in place. Let me explain ...

    Once the subdeck is attached to the ribs, I'll add 1/4" by 1/8" spruce or basswood strips in between the ribs and attached to the bottom of the sub deck. This will "lock" the ribs into place and prevent them from shifting forward or back if a glue joint breaks. It'll also help stiffen the joint between rib and subdeck to help stiffen the hull frame. Sounds complicated, but it isn't. But I'm getting ahead of myself here ...

    The sub deck frame is 1/2" wide along the edges to match the rib width. We'll get a nice clean look and gives lots of room to work on stuff inside the ship.

    I don't have pictures of the subdeck and keel templates, but the end result is shown below.

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    That is as far as I got yesterday. Tonight, the ribs and subdeck will get slot and tabs cut out. After that, it'll be time to start assembling the hull frame. :)
     
  13. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Nice find Mike!
     
  14. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Step 2: Making a "kit" - Alignment slots & tabs

    Picking up where we left off ...

    Wanting to slot the ribs and keel together for strength and alignment, I marked and cut out slots in the ribs and keels. The slots slide together "egg crate" style. This is way stronger than simple butt joints. After cutting the slots on the scroll saw, I cleaned them up with sandpaper and an Exacto knife for a clean fit.

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    I got a little sloppy with the cuts and ended up loose on a couple. It'll have to be shimmed for a tight joint.


    The next part is totally optional. Like I mentioned before, this ship's sub deck is thinner than normal and uses a tab and slot method to attach it to the ribs. If a builder wanted to avoid the extra work to do this part, just use a 1/4" sub deck, trim 1/4" off the top of each rib, and glue the sub deck directly on top of the ribs.

    Each rib location was marked on the sub deck. Then a 1/4" by 1/4" area was drawn and cut out. The top of each rib was trimmed down by 1/8" (the thickness of the deck) and leaving a 1/4" wide tab on the outside edge of the rib. The pictures probably show this better than I can explain it! :)

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    Everything meshes together pretty good even before any glue is added.


    Next, we'll start glueing the frame together. See you soon!
     
  15. Cannonman

    Cannonman Ultimate Hero :P -->> C T D <<--

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    Hi Mike,

    Just for reference,

    WWCC uses the 60 degree rule, Kotori makes mention of it here:


    http://www.rcnavalcombat.com/rcnavalcombat/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1581



    Heres an Image.. Hopefully there isn't a problem with me posting it... If so I'll take it down[V]
    It is a very good depiction of how the rule works for the newer guys.
    Of course, for the 45 degree rule, you would substitute a 45 deg. triangle for the 60 deg. one.... again, for the newer guys

    [​IMG]
     
  16. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    WWCC is based in WA, right?

    Curious though why WWCC uses 60 instead of 45. Reading other Big Gun clubs rules, 45 seems to be most common. Although WWCC 60 degree is more favorable than 45. :)
     
  17. Gascan

    Gascan Active Member

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    The Western Warship Combat Club (WWCC) is California. There are a few former members from up north, and the Queens Own and Washington Cascade Column (WCC, fast gun) are somewhere up there. We adopted the 60 degree rule a couple years back because until then penetrable area was required to go down to 1" below the boot, but no exceptions were made for shallow draft ships. It was a generally accepted practice to extend the impenetrable a "reasonable" amount on small ships, and we wanted to make it official. As for 60 degrees vs 45 degrees, most members agreed that 60 degrees would be easier to work with, though it doesn't make much difference. Most ships use the 1" rule for the majority of their length, anyway.
     
  18. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Step 3: Construction - Center Frame

    With all the hull frame pieces cut out, it's time to start putting it together! This part is pretty straight forward, so it'll mostly be pictures with comments.

    I like building ships upside down on a flat surface. It lets me weight down the sub deck and avoid warps during the framing process. It's also simpler than using a building jig or trying to prop up curved bottom ribs on a flat board. The Bearn's flat deck made it easy to build upside down.
    You are probably wondering how would I build a ship with a raked bow or stepped deck like this. There is a way ... my Richelieu was build upside down on a flat surface. I'll cover how in a couple more posts after the Bearn's hull is framed up.

    I start by laying out the sub deck on the plan and weighting it down. Cups with old BBs work pretty good. :)

    [​IMG]


    Next, I added in the two ribs at each end of the water channel and a rib in the middle. These ribs were used to hold the center keel pieces in place for the rest of the center ribs. Sorry for the fuzzy photo ... my camera isn't the best and has trouble focusing when the flash is turned off.

    [​IMG]


    Next, I added in the rest of the center ribs. There was some sanding and fitting on some ribs to get them to fit flat on the sub deck and center keels. Don't try to force a rib into place and glue it or the hull will warp.

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    And just to show how the center keels fit together with the ribs to form the water channel ...

    [​IMG]


    Next up, I'll tie in the front and rear keels and ribs ... tomorrow. :)
     
  19. Gettysburg114th

    Gettysburg114th Well-Known Member

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    Mike,
    That is an outstanding job. I look forward to watching the build. I even look more forward in shooting at it with my Yamato. :)
     
  20. mike5334

    mike5334 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the compliment. This is going to turn out to be a pretty nice ship. :)

    Tell you what ... you can shoot at the Bearn with the Yamato, but I get a chance to shoot back later with the Richelieu. :D

    Or ... if we can put together a Treaty Battle during that first weekend in August, I'll bring her to Ohio armed with cannons.
     
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