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Merriman's Submarine Modelling

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Complex curves? That's why God gave us Bondo!

David
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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… and plumb-bobs, bubble-levels, snap lines, lasers, templates, surface gauges, mold gauge, assembly jigs, screeding, dapping tools,



































and the Mk1 Mod 0 hairy eye-ball



All that, and more, is the stuff of symmetry in model building/assembly.

David
 
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merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Wow, David, that is some serious modelling (and one heck of a workshop)!
As a professional I have to do it all in-shop. Hence the plethora of techniques and tools accumulated over the decades.

David
 

sferrin

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Your setup looks like what I imagine in-house model building departments must have looked like back in the day (when they still built models). Some of those tools look like they could tell some stories.
 

Foo Fighter

I came, I saw, I drank some tea (and had a bun).
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Very impressive skill, thanks for showing this.
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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name rings a bell. Were you on the old Rec Models Scale?
Guilty as charged. A time in my life where I was learning that straight-forward truth-telling came with a price, and that keyboard cowards abounded.

David
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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For a number of months now I've been working up an up-grade fittings kit for the long available 1/96 GRP r/c submarine model kit of the Soviet ALFA attack submarine. That kit offered by the Scale Shipyard. My work involved manufacture of masters, tools, and parts for the propeller(s) stabilizers, control surfaces, masts and antennas, deck fittings, and some internal devices needed to convert the kit into a practical r/c model submarine.

Instead of rambling on with each photo, if you find something interesting that needs explaining, I would be delighted to amplify.

Here's the eye-candy:

































David
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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The subject is this Industrial display I was commissioned to build for a vendor (Librascope/Rathion?) involved with the old Australian COLLINS class submarine program.

Ellie and I used to build such displays for industrial concerns – most of them in the defense industry – the big money always seems to follow those who support mans greatest outdoor activity. So, yes, I’m a war-monger. Sue me!



I built a 1/35 scale model of the submarines control room. The display had that area under a cylindrical portion of see-through hull. That hull formed from a sheet of Lexan plastic that was oven formed over a special bending jig.



I was directed to provide crew-members at their stations and to endow them with ‘dynamic postures’ to convey a sense of purpose and drama. In addition to action poses to the figures I also back-lit most of the work-station display screens with realistic graphic presentations. (Always endeavor to deliver more than the client expects).



We provided all work-station computer displays with representative graphics (35mm slide film I processed myself) that were back-lit with flickering lights to give things that old ‘monitor’ look. I love the 555 chip … if only it could cook!



One of the virtues of Lexan I pointed out was its ability to tolerate machining. Such as these overhead periscope mounts that suspend those instruments over the open scope-wells set into the control room deck. Can’t do that with glass or Acrylic without inviting problems!



Back in the day -- when we were tied in with several defense contractors -- I rubbed shoulders with other display builders. We would entertain ourselves in a game of one-up-man’s-ship by putting in as many visual gags into a display as we could get away with without pissing off the client. Example here is the loose tools someone shoved into a space behind the sonar-radio shack area of the control room. During the show (most exhibitors kept some of us around during a show to maintain, move, fix, displays as required) exhibit makers would gather at lunch and brag about what they were able to sneak into their displays.

Another gag is that wrench atop a display over the guy at the dead-reckoning chart-table – he’s about to get bonged on the head as soon as the boat takes a significant down-angle. As it turned out, that was a step too far – the client was not amused! I had to remove it before show-time.



Lexan bonds very well to fillers, putties, primers and paints -- an important property with this type display. I had no problem hand polishing the clear Lexan to a near flawless transparent barrier between fragile display elements and probing hands.

 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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For a number of months now I've been working up an up-grade fittings kit for the long available 1/96 GRP r/c submarine model kit of the Soviet ALFA attack submarine. That kit offered by the Scale Shipyard. My work involved manufacture of masters, tools, and parts for the propeller(s) stabilizers, control surfaces, masts and antennas, deck fittings, and some internal devices needed to convert the kit into a practical r/c model submarine.

Instead of rambling on with each photo, if you find something interesting that needs explaining, I would be delighted to amplify.

Here's the eye-candy:

































David
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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I was digging through my negatives and ran across these ones that chronicled the excellent job Steve Vick did converting the Scale Shipyard 1/96 GATO/BALAO/TENCH kit into a very good representation of my old boat, the USS TRUTTA.



















Steve did the model proper, I did the WTC. I developed a 'gear splitter' to derive a two-shaft (counterrotating) output from a single motor.

The time frame is the mid-90's.

David
 

Arjen

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Cool. Did you ever sink any other models with those torpedoes?
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Cool. Did you ever sink any other models with those torpedoes?
No. Two reasons:

1. it's considered bad form to sink another guy's model ship. I keep score by smearing lip-stick on the warhead of the weapon. If I see that color on an opponents hull when he comes in, I consider it a 'kill'.

2. America is now such a lawyer infested, sue-happy, easily offended, feminized society that even talking about making these things go 'bang' at the end-of-run could loose me my house and other assets to some scum-bunny litigation firm eagerly representing said, sue-happy, easily offended, feminized citizen. So. No chemical explosives for me.

Here's some torpedo and other pyro work:

And this one is my 'good buddy', Dennis Allen laying a perfect pattern over my shallow running 1/96 SKIPJACK. The SOB!

(5:00)

"knock-knock", "who's there?", "Secret Service!", " Secret Service who?....".
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Just amazing work. :eek:
Ellie and I used to do defense contractor trade-show display pieces. Hence the over-the-top torpedo launcher demonstrator. I stopped taking the demonstrator to model boat regattas after someone seriously asked where the coffee came out. Yikes!

Once you get sucked into the defense-industrial-complex mode of talking, thinking, and presenting it takes a little effort to shake off the template. But, two decades latter, I'm much better now. Now, it's an enjoyable hobby.

David
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Fantastic Work, merriman
Thank you, sir. I've wanted to do this kind of stuff since age five. I've structured my entire life around achieving that objective. Happiness is doing what you want.

David
 

Silencer1

That now I am the Ruler of the Queen's Navee!
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Thank you, Merriman for sharing these images!
They haved demonstrate high level of your' krafsmanship and accurate and sharp usingof different tools.
Wish you to enjoy the process at all it stages and complete the model to the best level. Simply astounding!

P.S. Its double joy to see the "hand-made" product in the today's environment - filled with 3D-printing and CAD/CAM.
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Though today I employ electricity as a prim-mover of my machine tools, I will never permit a tool residency in this shop that can not also be animated by a belt system coupled to a donkey, water-wheel, windmill turbine, or disgruntled-wife-on-treadmill.

As societies march relentlessly towards reliance on computer driven Replicators, the Crafts are being abandoned. When the day comes that the electrons stop flowing, the world-wide die-off will be astounding! There will be no wheel-makers; no more men who know how to use their hands. The Caves await those who remain.

David
 

galgot

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Beautiful work.

I know very little about submarines. My Great-great father was a torpedo man (don't know how its called in english , the guy who handles the torpedo in a sub).
Anyways, at my Grd-Ma place there is still a torpedo model he did in copper , very old (1920s ?). Will try to make a picture next time I get there.
Far from your hi tech torpedo models , but it reminded me...
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Your great-great grand father and I share the same occupation. Different countries, maybe, but we did the same things, just separated by geography, ideology, and time.

I would very much appreciate seeing the model he constructed, Galgot.





David
 

greenmartian2017

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Merriman,

This is just a grand central series of photos. There is no doubt this the handiwork of a major, if not master, craftsman. I just like looking at the model work, and marveling at the man-hours involved. You're very meticulous, and there is a helluva lot of precision in this. And the work in miniature seen in these photos, well that is just beyond standard. My hat is off to you. Please continue to post.
 

royabulgaf

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Awesome stuff. Think you could do a tutorial on grinding those Xacto blades?
 

merriman

David Douglass Merriman lll
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Awesome stuff. Think you could do a tutorial on grinding those Xacto blades?
I would be delighted. I'll pull a tutorial together today. Might have it posted by this time tomorrow.

David
 

shedofdread

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I was just about to ask a similar question as I was most interested in the scribing tools you use for panel lines.

Great thread - so much to marvel at and learn from....
 
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