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Thread: Great Lakes Freighter.

  1. #1
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    Default Great Lakes Freighter.

    So.
    It's time to start another build thread of a scale model.
    This time it's the Dumas kit of a Great Lakes Freighter. I've always liked the look of those ships. Made famous by that ballad from Gordon Lightfoot about the Edmond Fitzgerald in 1976.
    So here's a blast from the past for the young ones who have never heard of it, & us oldies who remember it. So Sad.



    The kit was on special with free postage to Australia from the States. That makes a huge difference in the cost of a kit here in AU Dollars.

    This kit is a bit of a break from the norm, in that a lot of the construction is in the form of polystyrene sheeting. Surprisingly easy to work with, considering that all my previous scale models have been constructed with plywood, balsa, birch, mahogany, and various other timbers over the years.
    The lazer cutting, and die cut parts, are all extremely accurate.

    The kit comes with a full size drawing, a 36 page instruction book with 330 odd assembly steps which is both extremely informative and at times quite humorous. Well, I got a few giggles out of it.

    There is also a booklet of sub assembly drawings cross referenced to the instruction book.
    I believe that anyone with a few construction skills can easily build this boat.

    The specs are:
    1:96 scale, making the full size boat at 360'
    Length 45", Beam 6"
    Adding a 14" section in the middle of this boat will give you the Edmond Fitzgerald. More on that later.

    The first thing to do is start popping out and trimming the bulkheads & the sheets for the bottom, sides, & deck for the hull.
    Next, add some greasproof cooking paper to the building board. This whole thing is stuck together with Medium CA glue. We don't want to stick it to the building board, do we?

    After pinning the bottom of the hull to the building board the stuffing tube blocks are added, and then the outside strips are added. The bulkheads are added, & bow pieces are built up, as is the stern framework.

    It was at this point (photo #1) that I felt it was just too short to be indicative of these ships.
    So I found a seller locally that sold A4 size sheets of polystyrene . That's when I took my trusty scalpel & cut the thing in half.
    Not long enough for the Edmund Fitzgerald, but I didn't want to model that one. It's been done too many times. I'll find a name for her later.

    So now she is 57" long. Gonna need a bow thruster to turn & dock this one.

    I added in the bottom section and the side strips of styren. Made an extra bulkhead for the join. Then added a 1/4"sq bass wood stringer on top of the side strips, spanning the joints and continuing on to bulkheads 2 & 5 for strength & rigidity.
    Was it required? probably not once the sides are glued on. But I feel better for it.
    I also added a 1/4"sq bass stringer either side of the bulkheads where the joins of the bottom sheeting are. Again to make me feel better. Feeling so good, I also added a piece to all the other bulkheads too.

    Bear in mind that she is going to need the weight of about 3 house bricks to sink her to the waterline.

    Here's a few pics.

    Base & bulkheads at 45" long.
    P1010004.jpg

    The stern with the stuffing tube & blocks.
    P1010002.jpg

    The bow section.
    P1010003.jpg

    Cut that thing in half. Looks like a shipwreck already.
    P1010008.jpg

    Bottom section added, with basswood stringers spanning the joints, and the extra bulkhead added.
    P1010010.jpg

    Cheers.
    Paul.
    Last edited by 785boats; 07-02-2020 at 02:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    What happened next was the addition of the side framing for the hull with 1/4"sq basswood.
    P1010013.jpg

    Then the deck frame was formed up inside the framework with pieces of the grease proof paper at the joints to prevent it all sticking together.
    P1010012.jpg

    After that, the deck was glued to the frame. Both the original kit piece, and the extra piece at the front.
    Again, a piece of 1/4"sq wood at the join for strength.
    P1010016.jpg

    The removable deck, in place
    P1010018.jpg

    The anchor wells were formed up, ready to be attached to the inside of the bow skins.
    P1010019.jpg

    That's about where I'm up to with the hull.
    Last edited by 785boats; 05-28-2020 at 01:26 AM.

  3. #3
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    Love it. Not sure why I never tried something like this. Fascinated by all things great lakes.
    Noisy person

  4. #4
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    Hi Terry.
    I've been wanting to build one of these for years. Now seems like a good time to do it.

    While building the hull, I also started on the sub assemblies. They are mostly simple boxes with bits added on to them.
    All the parts are just removed from the laser cut sheets & assembled with CA glue.
    I have started with the rear crew cabin.

    As I said, basically a simple box, with a smaller one added to the front. The portholes are already laser cut through the ply.
    The roof was simply popped out of the styrene sheet and glued on. The front weather shield was then glued on and the 1/8" styrene strip was added around the roof edge.
    The holes for the ventilators & rigging eyelets were drilled as per the drawings. The doors were popped out & glued on. Then the lifeboat cradles and tiedown eyelets added to the roof.
    IMAG0094.jpg

    Here's a view from underneath showing 1/4" bass wood in the corners and I also added some scrap 1/8" styrene strips to strengthen the mounting area of the ventilators & mast.
    1/16" styrene sheet just seemed a bit flimsy.
    IMAG0095.jpg

    The two halves of the smoke stack were then cut out and assembled. Two intake vents were made from the 1/16" brass rod provided and attached with eyelets.
    The relief valve was made from a piece of 1/18" dowel with the provided metal fitting glued on top and then the whole thing glued to the rear of the stack.
    IMAG0099.jpg

    The rear view of the relief valve. Two nylon washers on top complete the stack.
    IMAG0100.jpg

    The auxiliary steering cabin is again, a simple box with the styrene roof added.
    A 1/8" strip around the edge, and the door glued on, completes the basic structure.
    IMAG0101.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 05-29-2020 at 11:20 AM.

  5. #5
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    The oil storage tank is simply a piece of 7/8"dowel with 3 feet added.
    I'll probably add a filler cap & breather to it later.
    IMAG0103.jpg

    The 4 ventilators were made from styrene tube with the metal fittings provided, glued in.
    Here's a pic with the basic structure all assembled loosely. Nothing glued together yet. I'll paint everything first.
    IMAG0105.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 05-29-2020 at 04:51 PM.

  6. #6
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    I never thought about it before. You don't have to build these like your dropping them off a building like we do with race boats. No impact risks.

    My grandfather was a merchant mariner on the great lakes. He passed on a number of books to me. Multiple on the stories of shipwrecks. My first boat ride was with him on the St. Clair river. I was 3 months old apparently.
    Noisy person

  7. #7
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    Looks like it is incumbent upon you to build one as an homage to your grandfather then.

  8. #8
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    Well I've built up the forward cabin along with a few other bits & bobs.
    A box with curved sides this time. Then a small box is added to the rear. The roof was glued on, followed by the ply weather shields.
    Then the 1/8" strip was added around the roof edge. Lastly the doors were glued on and a hole drilled into the roof for the mast.

    The completed cabin.
    IMAG0107.jpg

    A view of the underside.
    IMAG0108.jpg

  9. #9
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    The next bit of superstructure that I built up was the Wheelhouse.

    A few bits of laser cut ply for the frame, & some die cut styrene pieces for the sides.
    The roof is a moulded piece of styrene which is easily cut out and trimmed to shape and then glued on to the structure.
    A door and a little platform on each side, completes the main structure.
    Then holes were drilled into the roof for the search lights, radar, and the rigging eyelet.

    The radar & searchlights were made up from the tube, rod, & fittings supplied with the kit. Too easy.

    I know that there are some serious scale modelers out there that will say that this model is begging for a spinning radar & working lights throughout, including the searchlights. And you are correct.
    But as far as extra electronics go, I will probably only put a diesel sound card, a bow thruster, & possibly a smoker unit, if it will fit under the crews quarters.
    Our club president, Jim, makes & sells the most exquisite smoke units. And our club treasurer, Grant, makes sound cards, & bow thrusters to suit just about anything that floats. We are blessed.

    The wheelhouse.
    IMAG0109.jpg

    An underside view.
    IMAG0110.jpg

    The radar & search lights in their raw state.
    IMAG0111.jpg

    Sitting in place for a look.
    IMAG0112.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 06-02-2020 at 02:36 AM.

  10. #10
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    So the locker & stack assemblies have now been made up.
    Firstly the front locker box was assembled and the roof added. Then the rear locker was added. The stacks were installed & the metal stack caps glued on top.
    The addition of a couple of doors, & the oil storage tank, similar to the rear tank, completes the basic structure.
    This little structure will be glued to the front of the main deck later, and will come away from the hull with the main deck.
    A few other details to add later.
    One of which is an I beam between the stacks. Unfortunately it wasn't in the kit anywhere, as it should have been. I'll make one up out of some scrap ply or styrene later.
    Then all the bits for the mast were gathered together and assembled.

    The lockers & stacks.
    IMAG0114.jpg

    The front side.
    IMAG0115.jpg

    The mast.
    IMAG0117.jpg

    All parts of the bridge area sitting in place
    IMAG0122.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 06-07-2020 at 09:01 PM.

  11. #11
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    this is quite an endeavor. i wish they had a like button on this forum.
    can't wait to see this float.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the compliment.
    Luckily these kits are pretty easy to build up.
    It's adding all the extra bits & pieces of scale items from drawings & photos that become the endeavor.
    It can be as hard, or as easy as you like.

    For example. All these hatchlocks, 13 hatches, about 54 per hatch, around 700 total.
    Am I going to make all of them? Probably not.

    unnamed.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 06-07-2020 at 09:02 PM.

  13. #13
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    For the last few evenings, I've been making the hatches for the main deck.
    Nine 1/4 " styrene blocks and 1/16" lids are supplied. But as I extended the hull, I had to make up 4 more out of styrene sheet.The reinforcing strips around the edges are cut from styrene strips provided.
    The plans show them attached on their edges. But I had completed 4 hatches before I realised my error. But looking at photos, there are some ships that had them on their flat. Some have none at all. So it's all good.

    One thing I did find out when making the extra hatches, is that the styrene planes as easily as wood, with an ordinary wood plane.

    Original hatches made, with the parts for the extra ones in the foreground.
    IMAG0127.jpg

    All 13 hatches made up.
    IMAG0132.jpg

    All sitting roughly on the deck
    IMAG0134.jpg

    Just a closer view.
    IMAG0135.jpg
    Last edited by 785boats; 06-07-2020 at 09:04 PM.

  14. #14
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    throughout some builds i find that the directions are subjective and i'll proceed at my own risk, it happens, some kit MFG's are better with plans than others,
    had to contact Traxxas recently about a gear shaft, pin, and spring pin, gear assembly, exploded Trani view shows a dotted line direction when in fact Traxxas returned with a reply and explained the spring pin gets removed and then the gear and reinstall the spring pin (a way too super tight fit to boot) being this was a non kit Slash dragster build.
    when i get stumped i always set aside start something else and let my mind meld

    That there are a few hatches.
    i made pop corn so i'll be watching and learning, so i can build a 1:1 in the street too keep traffic at bay and in case the world floods again

  15. #15
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    when i get stumped i always set aside start something else and let my mind meld
    I'm with you on that one, mate.

    I still haven't thought of a way to make those hatch clamps quickly & easily yet.

  16. #16
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    I've now glued on the sides & added the vertical strips around the stern.
    In the kit it shows the vertical strips being attached in a straight line between the deck & the keel.
    That doesn't look right. So I added a stringer & a ply former midway between the deck & keel section to give the whole stern area some curve to it, as per the full size ships. It's probably not exact but it looks more pleasing to my eye.
    The pics will explain it a bit better.
    Cheers.

    The extra former between the deck & keel.
    IMAG0137.jpg

    The side skins added & the vertical strips begun.
    IMAG0139.jpg

    Here you can see the curve of the strips in relation to the straight line of the bulkhead below them.
    IMAG0141.jpg

    The vertical planking completed.
    IMAG0144.jpg

    Side view.
    IMAG0145.jpg

  17. #17
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    I added the bow thruster tubes and the front panels last night.
    I drilled the portholes into the panels first. I thought it would be easier that way.
    The tubes for the bow thrusters are just a piece of 13mm plastic tube with a 90 degree bend up in the bow to exit out through the hull.

    Tubes pass through bulkhead from the bow to the main hull area where the thruster units will be fitted.
    IMAG0147.jpg

    Front panels added. The thruster outlets just needs to be sealed & trimmed flush with the hull.
    I also painted the main deck hatch with red oxide to see what the colour looks like. It might be a bit too brownish.
    IMAG0146.jpg

  18. #18
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    Lathered on some 'butter' to fill all the gaps & imperfections. Now for the sanding .

    I've never used this product before so I thought I'd give it a try. Has anyone else used it before?

    Agnew's Water Putty.

    https://www.google.com.au/shopping/p...E,gclsrc:aw.ds

    It's a powder that's mixed with water. It can be mixed to a self levelling slurry, a medium filler or a thick putty type filler.

    IMAG0148.jpg

  19. #19
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    Rock Hard putty or MH Ready patch is all i use when needed but for home repairs, for my RC boats,West Systems, Z Epoxy with Micro Balloons and JB Weld, Gorilla adhesive, & RTV Black silicone gasket maker.
    you have been very busy.
    i have a bunch of N & Z Scale containers, i need to find a freighter of those scales.
    keep up the great work.
    it looks grand.

  20. #20
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    Thanks man.
    Speaking of Gorilla adhesives. This whole boat is held together at every joint with Gorilla CA glue. I'm impressed with it.
    I usually use Bob Smith Industries CA Glue for all my wooden Boats. Even my racing 1/8th scale Hydroplanes that are hitting 70mph. But I ran out, & Hobbyking,who sells it here in Australia, had none in stock.
    I'll have to try some of their other task specific adhesives too.
    And yes, JB Weld for high stress joints like engine mounts & driveline stuffing tubes etc.
    Cheers.
    Paul.

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