Z Scale Container Ship?

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. Garth-H

    Garth-H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Great Lakes super ships are the 105 wide variety and they only operate on the upper lakes of Superior Huron and Michigan, because the newest locks at the SOO will handle these super lakers so they can operate from Sarnia to the Lake Head, because of their draft they can not transit Lake St Clair and they would have trouble in the river south of Sarnia getting around the bends. Below Sarnia the maxlaker size is limited to that of the St Lawrence Seaway locks and Welland Canal locks which are the same size and draft.
     
  2. DPSTRIPE

    DPSTRIPE TrainBoard Supporter

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    If I remember correctly, The St. Lawrence Seaway locks (as opposed to the earlier St. Lawrence Canal) are what sparked the increase in beam to 75' from the earlier 60 and 65'. The Edmond Fitzgerald was actually built to the max size allowable for the seaway locks before the seaway was even completed, making it the first of the 729' lakers.
    As mentioned earlier, if your waterline hull could be cast in segments, The same bow and stern could be used to make multiple lengths of boats. Although, the 619' x 60' model that you mentioned would be less than 3' long, so It would not be too big for layouts.
    Dan S.
     
  3. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    These hulls, being fairly simple, might be best built up from styrene individually. I don't know if the demand will merit the expense of molds; if the demand is small, I might as well build hulls of whatever size is wanted. I'm thinking of offering these as kits, with the buyer building up the hull.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 24, 2013
  4. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    I built these in a hurry to populate the 614' container ship, but they may be of interest to anyone with an intermodal facility as background models.

    [​IMG]

    Interesting effect that scoring the ribs actually raised the plastic on both sides of the score, creating a raised rib. Don't know how this will translate when casting in resin--cutting the styrene for just one cube takes about 15 minutes at top speed, so molding and casting might be the only option.
     
  5. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thinking about it--might as well build a 730' by 75' laker as something slightly smaller.
     
  6. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pete,

    A small coastal freighter or coastal oiler would be cool!

    John
     
  7. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    What size is small? I've built prototypes for 375', 614' and 730' ships. Is small perhaps 180 feet, 450 tons?
     
  8. John Bartolotto

    John Bartolotto TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pete,

    Something like the 185-foot, 450-ton coastal freighter Madison Rose that you built or something the Revell Soviet Spy Trawler Volga.

    John
     
  9. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    OK, I've got a 173' trawler in the works. In N scale this will be a minesweeper first (Aggressive class), then modified for a trawler (the hulls are very similar).

    [​IMG]

    I've also adapted the 125' Active class USCG cutter to Z scale, and it turned out fine.

    I'm experiencing some production problems right now. My new production cutter is just not working out, so things are getting delayed.
     
  10. Fred Ladd

    Fred Ladd TrainBoard Member

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    Pete- I really look forward to Active class cutter and any derivitives!! Or a Z Aggresive! Lots of bashing ideas AFTER building original unit. Your container ship looks great for the modern era, and the laker is a real classic. Thanks for bringing boats and ships into Z. I wish I had your tallent and tools-
    Fred
     
  11. Loren

    Loren TrainBoard Supporter

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    Pete,

    Just in case you might not know. Fred loves ships and boats almost as much as his wife, who puts up with him year, after year, after year. What I'm trying to tell you is that Fred will most likely buy one or more of every ship model you produce. This guy eats, sleeps, and dreams of ships. I think if it were possible, he'd figure out a way to put a ship hull on a SD chassis......this guy loves ships, boats, and anything that floats.
     
  12. shamoo737

    shamoo737 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I say he loves his trains and ships more. :D
     
  13. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks, Loren.

    I did not expect to find that the Z scale ships would be easier to cut and assemble than the N scale ones, but they are. Even the Laker, which is about as long a ship as I've tried, went together nicely. In fact, so nicely I'd never consider casting any part of it. I guess 1:220 is more appropriate for the materials I'm using than 1:160. The superstructures are certainly easier to handle. Scaling them down is not automatic, but not as bad as I originally thought it would be--a 0.5 mm slot still has to remain a 0.5 mm slot even when everything else is scaled 0.7272, but that type of tolerancing hasn't taken a whole lot of time. I've found that the Z scale ships don't need a center spine, which leads to the possibilities of open holds, which folks seem to like. So my design inventory will be converted to Z much faster than I originally planned.

    I think I've also learned that folks aren't interested very much in all the finer lines of the hulls, which are nearly impossible to see anyway. And modern ships, like container ships, have much simpler forms above the waterline than in the past (below is a different matter). I think we are somewhat back in the Liberty Ship era when it comes to new commercial hulls--just build it fast, simple, and cheap! That makes development and production much faster for me. Warships are completely different, of course.

    Still casting (sic) about on when I should mold and cast a hull or just make it out of styrene. Small simple hulls may seem a candidate for resin, but it depends on volume. Hulls with open holds will be built-up from styrene, as the molding would be beyond my talents or patience, as is the case for large hulls. Those medium size hulls are bedeviling me.
     
  14. ModelWarships

    ModelWarships TrainBoard Member

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    That would be a huge chunk of resin. It might be more economical and practical to do it out of sheet styrene, like a paper model. The hull sides would need some work to make it a kit that the average modeler can assemble. I would still like to see a container-ship, coastal and/or Panamax. Mount it on a bookshelf layout with a working container crane!!!
     
  15. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    What I've done in N scale is cast the bow and stern, and built up the mid section from styrene. Both bow and stern are indeed big chunks of resin, even hollowed out. But a 375-footer (waterline) in Z isn't all that big to me--I've cast the 210' Reliance-class cutter in N scale as one piece without any problems. It's really the size of the outer mold that determines my thinking on this. Then I have to figure out if an inner plug, to make the hull "hollow", is worth the cost. If I knew I was making hundreds, then molding and casting is probably the way to go. I think I might be making tens or less of some hulls--which means styrene built-ups.

    Yes, my styrene ships are built with the same principle as paper ships, just with a bigger thickness. Shaping the hulls takes a little patience, but I've learned how to unfold the sides so that they conform to the shapes along the top and bottom. I've developed ways to shape the undercut of the bows so that I can glue the sides to the sections without problems, but with patience. As these are waterline models, the sterns are usually not too much of a complex curve. They are unwrapped from 3D to 2D, so there is some fitting and usually filling. As you twist a piece of styrene sheet, it will follow a complex curve. It's really just that the twisting (and trimming) is not an exact science. Every hull I've built up is slightly different, even made from the same parts. The difference is usually less than a knife edge, but that's too much visually.

    The 375-footer will be styrene, available as a kit or as a built-up. With ten stairways and a lot of railings, it's eating up much more brass than I first thought. I will finish up the first customer model tomorrow, and then figure out how best to lay out the styrene and brass for future production. I did find out today that the anchor winches (windlasses) in Z scale are just about the same size as cargo winches in N scale, which leaves only the Z cargo winches to figure out. The smallest bollards I could find (about 1:192) are OK for Z, as they were smallish in 1:192.
     
  16. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Here's a view of the stern of the 375' feeder container ship. I've had the railings and stairways custom made from PE brass. I've left off the railings on the poop deck until I install the bitts and other deck details.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. ModelWarships

    ModelWarships TrainBoard Member

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    Looks sharp. What are you using for bits and chocks? Check these out they are close to Z-scale http://www.modelwarships.com/reviews/misc/ca/350-002/chocks.html. Also several Dragon ship kits come with nice bits that would good on your ship.
    buchanan-Cf.jpg

    So what are the chances of getting a nice dockside container crane to load and unload it!!!! :)

    Sometimes it's those small details that make the difference.
     
  18. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thanks for the tips about bits and chocks.

    I think SeaRails offers some dockside cranes in Z. I talked with them a little bit today, but I was hurried, and haven't had a chance to really look at what they make. I'm new to this whole intermodal market, especially when it comes to the dockside--had to learn the ships first. As I was first known for my bridges, rather than ships, cranes are not all that difficult, although they would have to be brass photo etch. Looking at the market, I never considered going into bridges, as others were already there. I think these cranes are not such small details.
     
  19. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry for the delay--how and from whom do I order these Armada chocks?. I'm just not plugged into the supplier network yet. I did just get in my 1:192 Bluejacket bitts, which are beautifully done in Britiannica metal, but about $2.00 a piece. Yikes! 25 double bitts for $48.00 (with $12.00 for shipping and handling on a $2.32 postage stamp.) So nearly $10 handling on a really small envelope of bitts. They did blow up the size of the envelope by including an 8.5 x 11" catalog. Got that the last time, folks, didn't need another.
     
  20. ModelWarships

    ModelWarships TrainBoard Member

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    Sorry I was asleep at the wheel and missed your post. Here's his webpage http://www.modelships.info/Corsair_Armada/. If you have problems contacting him, drop me a line.

    Also I have a few chocks and bits from the Dragon 1/350 DD kits that might work. These are considered test shots from when we were designing the kits, but I can send those to you if they will work. http://www.modelwarships.com/reviews/ships/dd/dd-484/350-dr/buchanan-Cf.jpg. http://www.modelwarships.com/reviews/ships/dd/dd-484/350-dr/buchanan-Kd.jpg item 12 on the sprue.
     

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