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 Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry

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carlmt
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PostSubject: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 9:43 pm

OK..........been provaricating far too long over posting my development 'blogs' about the car ferries so.......it is time I got off my backside and put pen to paper, so to speak.

A bit of history first to set the scene...........

A few years back, I wanted to build an r/c model of a Townsend Thoresen ferry that I used to regularly travel on as a nipper in the 1970's.  Of course, no such kit existed so I decided that if I wanted one, then I would have to design it and produce it myself.  From this, the germ of an idea crept in that, if I wanted one maybe a few others might like one as well.  Seeing as none of the established manufacturers were producing kits of car ferrys at the time (in any regular quantity anyway) and the European kits are mind-numbingly expensive, I decided to set up a small company to design, manufacture and market r/c kits JUST of ferries, both car and passenger.  This company is Linkspan Models.

Now, I know that a large, boxy boat with little meaningful draught can probably be a little tender and unstable as a model - and maybe this is why the establishment has steered clear of producing them - but with a little careful thought as to prototype, imaginative manipulation of the underhull to increase the draught imperceptably and close attention paid to design and top-weight, maybe a viable classic car ferry could be produced.  Further consideration was given to scale.  In Europe, the dominant scale for civilian ships is 1:100. Our British equivalent is 1:96 - a scale we are all used to from modelling warships.  This scale was chosen as a good compromise between the finished size of the model and the amount of detail that could then be incorporated.  The largest ferry that we are likely to produce would be the P&O ships Pride of Dover and Pride of Calais. Even at 1:96, they would be close on 1.8m long.  The Norland - the subject of this thread - is a tad over 1.6m.  I know that this model will not be for everyone - or even the subject of ferries themselves - but it is an area of the merchant marine that I have a great enthusiasm for and I will give it a go!!! There are a few modellers waiting for the Norland to be released, as there are for the Free Enterprise V and a few others I have in the pipeline, so if I can produce something that will give pleasure to others then I will feel that I have succeeded.

With these kits, we are very much working with up to date methods and practices.  I have studied many of the established manufacturers offerings in terms of quality - specifically the methods of styrene part production (die stamping or printing), fittings, plans and instructions.  All of our kits are designed on an aup to date CAD package - increased accuracy and minimisation of errors.  The superstructures will all be supplied laser-etched on the styrene sheets, taken directly from the original CAD designs.  The masters for the fittings are all produced using a 3D graphics package and then 3D printed on high specification printers. These masters will then be used to produce resin castings.  All the etch brasswork is CAD designed for accuracy and will be to scale thickness where possible.  The hulls themselves, whilst designed in CAD, will still have to be produced in the 'old fashioned way' via a plug and laid-up fibreglass and resin - 3D printing a 1.6m long hull would be financial suicide!!!!!!  One area where I have noticed a fair bit of critisism in existing offerings is in the plans and instructions with each kit.  This we intend to address by - for example - having 3D exploded and completed diagrams of each stage of the build, a full step-by-step build sequence manual and fully comprehensive plans drawings - to scale - for each deck and elevation of the ship.  As an example, the plans for the Free Enterprise V kit will run to 11 x A1 sheets. In addition, a CD of photographs of the build of the prototype kit will be provided.

One point I would like to make - we will not be releasing ANY kits or taking any monies until we are completely satisfied that the build of the kit works as envisaged and that the finished article sails as she is expected to.  Nothing will be released until it is completely ready to be released.

Anyroad - enough of my waffle............lets get on with the development sequence for the kit of the North Sea Ferries ship 'Norland'
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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:01 pm

M.V. Norland

Completed in 1974 at the A.G. Weser, Bremerhaven yard in West Germany for North Sea Ferries, she commenced services in that year between Hull and Rotterdam. She remained on this route for 13 years - with a break of 1 year between April 1982 and April 1983 when she was requisitioned by the MOD for war service in the Falklands. In 1987, following lengthening at her original build yard, she switched to the Hull / Zeebrugge route and here she remained until her sale in 2002.

Our model will represent her in her pre-lengthened condition enabling the modeller to depict her in her Falklands guise with helicopter decks etc. should they so wish.

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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:07 pm

First things first - drawings were needed to be able to produce a plug for the hull.

Here I am indebted to my German friend Ralph (deadwood on the German RC Modellbau-Schiffe Forum) for helping me out by producing a set of lines plans and profiles using Delftship.  Without these, my task would have been considerably more difficult.

From his drawings, I then produced a basic 3D model in Sketchup to check the accuracy and lines:







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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:12 pm

Once I was happy with these, the profiles and keel shape were printed out to 1:96 (I always draw to a scale of 1:1) and mounted on 6mm ply ready for cutting out:





These were then roughed out from the large sheets of ply:



And using my trusty secondhand bandsaw they were cut to the finished size:







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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:18 pm

Now came the time to mount all the profiles and keel to a board ready for planking.

Having procured a suitable board, all the profiles were prepared for mounting by having perfectly square lengths of timber glued along their top (or bottom) edges (depending on which way you look at it!!! :



These were then fixed down to the building board using a printed plan as a guide which was also glued to the board:



They were fixed by means of a screw at each end of the square timber:



Until they were all lined up neatly:



Then the keel was added:





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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:22 pm

Now the planking begins!

Firstly, I started by 'eyeing in' a few planks to get the idea of where and how much the profiles had to be sanded to get a fair line:





This continued over the whole hull until I was satisfied and the profiles were sanded back to suit.

Then came the time to actually start planking the hull - a task I had never attampted before!! :





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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:26 pm

This continued for many evenings and weekends until the entire hull was covered:







At the same time, balsa blocks were added to areas around the bow and the stern area where the planking would have been too difficult to form:





And this was subsequently sanded to shape:



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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:34 pm

After a few hours sanding down the timber to knck off the rough edges, a skim coat of Easy Sand filler was added to take up the grain of the wood and to fill the holes left by the planking pins:





In the end, this exercise had to be repeated 3 times before I was happy to move on to applying a wood primer to seal the timber:





After flattening this back, then degreasing and tack ragging, a few coats of primer filler were added, flattening back between each coat:



Even at this stage, some areas still required addressing with squadron putty to get rid of imperfections:



And now she is at the stage of having a final coat of filler primer:





This is how she is now.  The next step is to flatten the primer with 800 grit wet n dry used dry to get a surface ready for top-coating.  Once this coat is on and ploished smooth it will be time to add the blanks for all the openings.

More soon............ 2thumbsup
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nhp651
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:34 am

good to see your build again Carl, as now I have been banned yet again as from yesterday from mayhem, I can no longer see any photos on there.............and lets face it.........I can't ban myself from here, lol.............so bring it on mate........................believe me, you have a lot to show us all, especially when you get down to the 3D printing, so on behalf of all the members on here your contributions will be most welcome and applauded.

neil.
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carlmt
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Fri Mar 13, 2015 1:48 pm

Cheers for the encouragement Neil 2thumbsup
Will get on with writing up about the Free Enterprise this evening as there is much more with that one.

As for Mayhem - what have you done to upset them this time? Or has a certain person flexed his muscles again?  I have to admit, it does seem to get a little silly and heated on there at times..........how many more dummies are there left in the world to throw?
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nhp651
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PostSubject: Re: Norland - North Sea Ferries car ferry   Fri Mar 13, 2015 4:40 pm

same old, same old, carl.........some people  just don't like jousting on a level playing field........they have to go running for help from higher ground when the going gets tough, lol

anyway nuff said about it, lol...........lets get back to your superb models.
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