Z Scale Container Ship?

Discussion in 'Z Scale' started by Pete Nolan, Dec 15, 2012.

?

What Size Container Ship

  1. 350'-550' long, 60' beam

    4 vote(s)
    30.8%
  2. 500'-625' long, 90' beam

    5 vote(s)
    38.5%
  3. 300'-400' long, 45' beam

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
  4. Even smaller

    2 vote(s)
    15.4%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm considering a Z scale modern container ship for my next project. This would be in the "feeder" ship category, not one of the monsters. Right now I have an N scale ship of 60' beam that can be anywhere between 350' to 550' long. Since I'm going to have to cast a new bow and stern for the project, I'd like some input about what Z scalers really want. I could do a new ship of between 500' to 600' long, with a beam of 90', or a smaller ship of perhaps 300'-350' with a 45' beam.

    Any input will be appreciated.
     
  2. JMC Scale Models

    JMC Scale Models TrainBoard Member

    Hi Pete,
    I think that LOA between 500-625ft and 90ft beam is more acceptable for this type of vessel. Or even between 400-625ft long and 60 to 90ft beam.
    45ft beam it's too small for a container ship, in my opinion.

    Joao
     
  3. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    The container ships that ply the great lakes are limited in size by the capacity of the Welland Canal and St Lawrence seaway locks. 740 feet in length and 75 ft in width with a maximum draft of 25 feet.

    the next size restriction is the Panama Canal and these ship are called Panamax size. 106 ft wide by 996 ft long with max. draft of 39.5 feet

    for stability at sea there is a 1 in 10 rule minimum width is 10 percent of max length. The only limitation of the Suez canal is it depth as there are no locks. Maximum depth is 26 feet, so ships using this canal are Welland canal size maximum. so you can quickly see that unless you build a ship to transit the southern capes of Africa or South America then the Panama Canal is the only option for most container routes and the largest container ships tend to be Panamax size.
     
  4. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I'm leery of building models that just won't fit on most layouts. Z scale track is expensive so, while it's tempting to think about the larger ships plying the seas today, how many modelers could use one on a large layout? The ship sizes in the poll are for feeder ships, which can still be quite large. I think the 1500-2000 TEU ships, rather than today's 14,000+ TEU monsters, might be as large as the market allows. Of course, I'd be happy to build any ship on a commission basis.
     
  5. traius

    traius TrainBoard Member

    In my parts of the world (Baltic Sea) we have a vast range of containerships in the range you are mentioning first - the smallest I've seen around here was about 90m (300ft) but mostly they are around 105-150m (350-490ft). They run the containerfeeds from St Petersburg, Stockholm, Helsinki and Gothenburg to Rotterdam where the larger monsters stay.

    I have been sketching a small harbour with a capacity for two 100m ships and one railcar ferry and would appreciate an interesting model of a circa 100m ship.

    Petter
     
  6. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Petter,

    Wonderful blog and railroad you are building! I'll be cutting a Z scale container ship superstructure in the next few days, and then look at the best way to make the hull. I'll have to see if the hull can be cast as one piece, which is not feasible in N scale, where my hulls are three pieces. With your skills you would probably prefer a kit rather than a completed model?
     
  7. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Petter,

    How about 115m (375 ft) with a beam of 17.6m (57 ft)? I bought plans for a ship that scales down to those dimensions, and built some of the masters yesterday. I'm at my second home in Alabama, and didn't bring all my materials with me, so I'll have to figure out what to do about Z scale fittings, especially railing and stairways, when I get back to Ohio.

    This will most likely come as a kit with a resin hull and tween deck, and a built up superstructure. As a kit, the price should be very reasonable.
     
  8. traius

    traius TrainBoard Member

    115m scales down to slightly over 50cm and then 7 cm wide - that ought to be feasible on most harbour layouts. I suppose you have been looking at Shapeways for a possible source of fittings? I just received my shipment of pollards for my railcar ferries and they look really good. Hatches, doors and funnels ought to be possible to manufacture through that process as well as stairways and railings. Isn't that process slightly easier to use rather than resin molding those small details?
     
  9. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I think photo-etch may be the better method for railings and stairways--less expensive, far more durable and now available in just a few days. I just got 5 kilometers (scale) of N scale railings for about US $130. That actually won't last very long on the bigger freighters! The Shapeways railings I recently received were far bulkier and fragile to the slightest touch.

    Amati bollards (bitts) are small enough for Z scale and, when available, very nice and affordable. Supply in large numbers has been a little problematic. I'm working on that.
     
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Here's the 375' master on my workbench. I am so excited by this ship, as the hull is scaled from a real "feeder" freighter, and went together from my first drawings, which means I'm getting proficient at this. The bow needed just a touch up with bondo. Anyone who has tried a modern flared bow out of styrene knows how fussy this part of the hull can be. It's not so hard to build a sharp bow, but modern container ships have a really exaggerated curve that quickly becomes square. As I shape these with finger pressure, my fingers are hurting.

    The hull is a bit over 20 inches long, and features correct hatches and other modern container ship fittings and spacings. This size hull can be cast as one piece, which cuts down the cost by a lot. I arranged some container loads to show how the ship might be loaded. I think this would be about a 500 TEU ship. I've been meaning to paint up the containers and the hull, until I remembered the hull will be the master.

    [​IMG]

    The hatches are the prototypical 1/3 beam, although that might be hard to see on this resolution image.
     
  11. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Pete,

    WOW!!!!! Welcome to Z scale ship building!

    John
     
  12. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Hi John,

    I found a perfect container ship plan, so the Z scale model got moved way up from my expectations. I'm partial to the bigger ships, and Z scale certainly makes them much more feasible. The molds are reasonable in size and the casting volumes are easier to work with. The superstructure is the same as the N scale model, just scaled down, and actually easier to build.
     
  13. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Here's the hull painted up--pardon the rather garish colors but I'm down in Alabama with only a kiddie paint box. I'm awaiting the photo etch railings and stairways, and a return to Ohio in early February for deck parts like masts, winches, bitts, anchors, etc.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a view of the ship almost fully loaded:

    [​IMG]

    This represents a 560 TEU (roughly, conTainer Equivalent Units, or 20' containers). I'm thinking about stacks of containers so that modelers can "populate" the decks inexpensively.

    As there has been some interest in larger container ships, here's a Panamax ship house, with the feeder ship house for perspective. Again, I'm mostly without my strip stock and inventory of deck parts, so this won't be finished until late February.

    [​IMG]

    This is very much still in the prototype stage (the pilot house is off a bit), and also lacking custom photo etch parts. Panamax ships can be about 106 feet in beam. This house is 98 feet in beam, but drawn from an actual container ship of 2200 TEU.
     
  14. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    While in Alabama, I've been developing a Panamax ship for Z scale. These are about the same physical size as my largest N scale freighters, although in Z scale the hulls will obviously scale out to larger sizes. They will be 100' in beam and between 615' and 950' in length (850 to 1348 mm). I have built the first prototype of the house from a series of ships designed in Sweden. Here are four three-quarters views:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The white rectangle on the 2nd deck at the rear will be the swimming pool. I have ordered custom photo etched railings and stairways, and will await my return to Ohio in early February to add details like bits, life boats, masts, radars, cranes, etc.

    Again, this is the first prototype, so pardon the rough edges.
     
  15. JamesTraction

    JamesTraction TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Pete,
    This is awesome work. Looking forward to February to see your final work. I might use good containers for the outside surface and just a block in the middle to create the container load. Maybe a dock scene is in my future after all...
    -JamesTraction
     
  16. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    My idea is to offer cores of about 6 wide by 5 high containers with rudimentary details, plus a number of individual containers, also with rudimentary details, so you could build up credible stacks inexpensively, and use the highly detailed containers for the outsides or on rail cars.
     
  17. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Pete,

    This is outstanding!!! Thank you for making these for Z scale! I'd love to see one of my NSM Z scale tugs next to this ship.

    Yours,

    John
     
  18. traius

    traius TrainBoard Member

    Impressive work! Wonder if it's possible to build moving radarantennas as well...

    Petter
     
  19. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Very possible. Hide a small motor/gearhead in the house, and run a wire up one of the verticals. I won't be doing it, but it's not too difficult. I've seen it done in larger scales.
     
  20. JMC Scale Models

    JMC Scale Models TrainBoard Member

    Nice job, Pete! Very nice ships.
    Your idea of Z scale shipbuilding sparked me the desire of building a small harbor tug.

    Cheers,
    Joao
     

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