- Tiger -
HMS Tiger Ė Tyler (2018+)
4.5 units, 24 seconds, British Battlecruiser
HMS Tiger will be a ďkit bashĒ where I take a HMS Lion hull and modify it into the HMS Tiger. The ships were very similar in both length (Tiger was 4 feet longer, which is 1/3 inch in scale) and beam (Tiger was 2 feet wider, which is 1/6 inch in scale) and the overall hull shape was extremely similar and though Iíve not been able to really confirm that they are identical, it will be close enough to fake it. I got the hull for Christmas in 2017.
Hull is marked where the ribs will go, I use masking tape cut to the appropriate width (1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, or 3/8 inch). The planning stage of ship building is very important and can take longer than one would think. Generally the bow should have more ribs because it sits higher out of the water. A lot of people put more ribs where the side mounted guns will go as well since that area seems to collect damage more heavily as well. Additional hull features such as casemated guns and armor bulges complicate things as well.
Getting ready to cut the windows out and leave the ribs behind. 15% of the side of the hull can remain impenetrable front to back, 85% must be removed. The cut out section needs to be at a depth 1 inch below the waterline. I had floated the ship at about the weight I thought it would battle and figured out the bottom cut, the upper horizontal cuts are determined by the 3/8 inch deck/subdeck assembly and/or the stringer. I would recommend drilling holes at the corners and leaving them ever so slightly rounded for strength, this also makes the cutting go a little quicker since you donít have to be so precise to not over cut at the corners.
The hull is (mostly) cut in this picture. It is generally a good idea to line the ribs up so that there are more in the bow (to block bbís entering the more vulnerable part of the ship) and also I usually line them up to straddle casemates to give even more impenetrable area through that portion of the ship. Of note the marked middle sections are incorrect and will be trimmed down as the process continues after the decks are inserted, itís easier to leave it long early on and trim it back later.
The ship lays out very similar to the IJN Kongo as seen in the background. The Kongo is 24 feet (2 inches in scale) longer. The turrets are in very similar places, with the raised middle/stern turret just 1 inch towards the bow compared to the Kongoís.
Decks are coming together. Iíve opted to lay them all out and glue them together first, then glue them into the fiberglass hull. This will keep the two deck levels flush with each other by default rather than risking some poor fitting seams/warping if they were to be installed separately.
Deck/subdeck assembly is glued in. I debated a lot about how to make the deck sections come apart. Usually I like when the sections of deck with guns attached can stay put during routine operation and only need to open for more advanced repairs, while the middle superstructure containing deck can be opened to change CO2 and batteries which is also convenient for transport. The far bow section will have the 2 bow turrets. The far stern lower section will have the stern most turret. And the raised stern section will have the other turret. Iíve debated attaching the stern most two parts vs keeping 4 separate sections, I think I will start with 4 which I generally donít like doing and changing it later if I feel like it isnít working out. There is further trimming of the fiberglass that needs to be done in the casemate section.
Deck is glued in and the excess fiberglass along the casemate area amidships has been cut away. The entire wooden part has been covered with epoxy to protect it against water and add some bb protection as well.
A closer look at the midships section. The rounded casemated cupula based guns will be attached where the flat impenetrable areas are. The upper part of the deck rim is 3/8 inch thick (1/4 inch sub deck and 1/8 inch deck) and the deck area below the casemated guns is 1/8 inch.
This is a shot of the inside of the ship in the middle portion. This picture shows the prepping for the water channeling. I glued in light weight 1/32 inch gray plastic and epoxied it in to place so it will hold the pourable 2 part plastic in place as it cures. Generally, the bulges of larger ships should have some water channeling to prevent incoming water from causing a list as it takes damage. There is minimal usable space in the bulges any way, since the hull curves upwards rapidly. I would recommend any light weight material since it is meant to displace water, you can gain slight amounts of buoyancy as you take damage. Also this prevents your build from becoming too heavy and not performing correctly without an easy way to adjust it, and if you do have to later add weight you can be more deliberate about it adding it to the center of the ship and balancing things along the way rather it being affixed to the hull. You can also see the black plastic vertical rib backers used to add strength and allow for a place to attach the internal armor. This is also a good look at the inset magnets used to keep the deck in place when it is set in place.
For the water channeling the light weight material I tend to use is foam glued to the hull with some spaces/cracks left intentionally in it. I then pour a liquid 2 part plastic mixed with microballoons in among the gaps so it fills the spaces and gets under and around the foam.
This is part way through the process of pouring the white plastic water channeling. The bulges and extreme bow of the ship are filled to the 1 inch below the waterline level. The more amidships parts are not filled as high. This is the area right under the bow turrets.
This is nearing the final stages of pouring water channel. I usually leave the plastic dividers a little high then trim it back later. The white poured plastic will pop right off of smooth finished surfaces. Make sure to sand the hull so it will grab it a little better where you want it to grab.
Super structure always makes it feel like the project is coming along. As per my usual method, this is mostly made from 1/16 inch thick black ABS plastic cut to spec and glued together with ABS solvent. It is very durable. The gray parts are 1/32 inch ABS. the barbettes are ABS pipe. The turrets are poured plastic from molds that I made off of a wood master.
Starting to look like a real ship.
Added gun mounts makes it look like it could actually fight some day. The setup for this ship will be one full unit pump and three guns: 50 round bow sidemount, 50 round elevated stern sidemount, 75 round stern sidemount. A rule passed in the IRCWCC allowing as of January 2020 for the longer battlecruisers to have 3 rather than just 2 side firing guns.† That rule should really help the competitiveness of this ship and help it make up for the poor turning radius the longer class 4 ships generally suffer from. If I were to build this ship under the prior rules I would probably have the two stern most guns as they are now and have a bow off angle ďfunny gunĒ to protect the bow of the ship.
Motor mounts with some surrounding water channeling plastic, this is just stern to the cross brace. These are Traxxas Villain replacement parts, designed for a commercially available speed boat but seem to work well for our purposes. The prop shafts are 1/4 inch brass tube that taper by soldering sequentially smaller tubes inside of eachother down to the size of the 5/16 drive shaft.
Props/rudder setup. Mostly I wanted to show the rudder servo mount. There are various ways that can be accomplished, some people just super glue the servo in the ship, Iíd prefer to have something a bit more solid. I usually make a squared off U shaped mount to accept the servo to hold it steady and screw the stern most end directly to the mount. The back end gets a set of screws to hold it to a removable piece and a set of screws to hold the removable piece to the mount. The rudder shafts go through the mount and all of it gets epoxied into place. The two rudder posts/shafts have a smaller gear (35 tooth 24 pitch) while there servo itself has a larger gear (in this case 51 tooth, use any thing in the low 50ís and it will be fine).
Rudder servo affixed to the mount with the horn/large gear off of it.
Here it is with the servo horn/gear on top (minus the screw). I usually super glue the gear to the servo horn, with this gear I had to drill out the center of it so the servo horn would sit flush. I also put screws through it, and lastly put a little left over epoxy on the top when I happen to be using epoxy another project. All of this is a lot of energy for a small part of the ship but rudder control is considerably important, and can still be changed out relatively easily should the servo die. †
Another glam shot with the turrets carved out and false barrels attached. I use hinges to attach the turrets to the barbette and another small screw to attach the barbette to the circular piece of wood as seen in other parts of this article. It looks a little ugly but is barely noticeable when it is on the water battling and is very functional.