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RCN Carrier models

Rule of thumb for ship modellers is that anything that would be 1mm or larger (actual size on model) should be reproduced. If you're providing things that scale to under a half-mm, you're doing well.

Next up, a photo-etching workshop.

The hardest part of this project was the aircraft. Took me literally months to find suitable 3D models to print, and to fix up the models that I was able to find to make them print-able. It doesn't show in the images, but the Sea Kings require a lot of putty work on the sliding door area to 'fix' them.

Truthfully, the 'easy' part is the hull. The hard part is the detail, and with a model this big, it's very very very easy to overdo the detail. There is just so MUCH gear on a ship. Lockers, ladders, workbenches, hose reels, barrier brackets, flight deck tractors, fork lifts, crane trucks, guard rails, radar dishes, torpedo dolly, wheel chocks racks, antennas, loudspeakers....the list goes on and on. The question is, what is my 'limit' for detail. With a 3D printer capable of 0.4mm resolution, I can print things that would be just shy of 40mm in size in real life. In short - smaller than 4cm isn't getting made.

I've decided that I will not do photo-etch brass detail work. I'm also mostly decided not to add crew to the ship...but I found some 1/100 scale figures that I posed in the hangar just for looks. Not sure if they'll make it to the final version.

My goal is not a 'museum perfect' model. Having compared the hull and deck to the blueprints, there are already variances that I am accepting, having not built the hull myself. That said, it will certainly be a representative model - one that anyone who looks at will certainly recognize as being the Bonnie. If you dig into the weeds, you'll see that the port gun sponson is off a bit, and that the OAL is out by about 1%, and that the beam is off about 2%, but really, the guys in the HMCS Bonaventure facebook group are really encouraging and have given me some great insight from their memories.
I’ll be honest, I was just thinking about finding a smaller kit where the planes would be tiny blobs with what looked like wings, not something the scale you’re tackling.

What you’re doing is awesome. I would love to be able to do that. I’ll have to wait till I retire. And the kids move out. And to build a big shop on my house. :)
Tamiya makes a 1/700 scale USS Bogue which can be modelled as HMS Puncher or Nabob. While RN ships, both of these were crewed by Canadians.
If you're really interested, there's a small facebook group (195 members) called "HMCS Warrior Magnificent Bonaventure Modelers Page" that you can join. There's some good documents in the group files that talk about how to detail the ships properly, and I've got a few more pictures posted there of the Bonnie.
I found this article today as well in case you're interested in how someone did their version of the Heller kit!


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Bonnie is out on display in her current unfinished state for the weekend. The flight deck is tightly screwed to the hull...she's a mess inside, but there's some inspiration to be had on the outside!

Up at the Halifax International Boat Show in the Maritime Ship Modeler's Guild booth. Drop by! I'll be there with the ship to answer questions starting later tomorrow afternoon.


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So, after a few days break, I decided to look at working on one of the background problems with this model.

I got the hull from another modeler, who bought it from an estate. The original builder made a bit of a hash of the shafts and props. When I originally tested it out in a buddy's swimming pool, the props are poorly balanced, and the shafts are out of true - the stuffing tubes for the shafts are not supported for the last 3.5 inches as well.

So, basically, at any speed above very slow, the shafts rattle....a lot. The skegs should have gone out to the end of the shaft lines to support them fully, and if that had been the case, I might have been able to simply install a new set of smaller stuffing tubes and props inside the existing tubes, but, alas, the solution is going to be destruction instead.

I'm going to have to tear out the shafts, and the partial skegs that he built.

So, in keeping with my 3D printing theme, I started on the design work and put together the new skegs based on the ship's drawings, covering the portion that projects from the hull of the ship only.

Here's what the design looks like:


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Since I'm not an actual 3D design guru, it took me over 3 hours of design time, and re-doing things about 5 times to make it look OK.

Then I had to switch to another program to 'mirror' the one I made so that I now have 2.

Why do things the easy way, right?
So, in addition to the 3D design for the skegs, I also decided I needed to do an alignment jig to get the shafts properly aligned. That's shown in these two images.

I have 3D printed a demo of the block and the skegs, and I did them at a 'draft' level of detail (0.3mm steps) because they're going to be covered in a layer of gel-coat and fiberglass before getting sanded to finish up.

This is 'version 2' - and I expect that once I tear out the shafts and install this, there will be some additional changes to make.


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Last evening, I was avoiding the wife's dinner party for all of her girlfriends that were over, so after getting a minion to and from hockey, I took shelter in the garage, and started working on getting the old shaft lines and skegs off. You'll see from the attached photos that there's considerable cracking in the old skegs, mainly due to the lack of support and poor balance in the props. I started with a small coping saw, and ended up switching to a 1" stanley chisel. The chisel made short work of it.


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And here's how things look all chiseled off....took a lot less time than I figured.


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And here we are with the new skegs test-fitted. I'm generally quite pleased with these! Still a lot to do - sanding, prepping, epoxy, then cloth and gel-coat to hold things in place, and there is still a bit of an alignment issue, but the new skegs basically dropped in place. I'm super stoked!


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Wow, great work @NavyShooter. Hopefully someday I'll be able to see it in person.

Two of my boys pooled their money and bought a 3D printer, it's definitely a learning curve. We haven't even gotten into the modeling yet we are just printing free files from thingiverse to learn the printer. Your 3D models look really good.
Wow, great work @NavyShooter. Hopefully someday I'll be able to see it in person.

Two of my boys pooled their money and bought a 3D printer, it's definitely a learning curve. We haven't even gotten into the modeling yet we are just printing free files from thingiverse to learn the printer. Your 3D models look really good.
Rabbit hole warning! Seriously though, having a 3d printer is great. I have both an FDM and resin, although I don't have the resin one up and running yet.
I'm running FDM - I don't think I want to head into the resin rabbit hole. I've got an example of the exquisite detail that they can do- but adding that to my shop is not in the plans for now.
It's been a while since I updated on my Bonnie build...I got distracted with building a 1/48 scale 3D printed model of the HMCS St Thomas, which is now complete.

Here's some work I've done in the past week on the Bonnie. The new skegs have finally been epoxied into place, and have, as of last evening, received a layer of putty to blend them in with the hull.

As the putty was drying, I decided to start working on the Anchor system - one of the two anchors will be functional, so I had to do some measuring, marking, then drill some progressively larger holes to get the hawse pipes installed. With them epoxied into place, I was able to shift focus to the anchor - it was a bit light, so I added a bit of solder on the bottom to increase the weight, then attached it to the chain (that's a detailed fiddly process!) and here's how things look...

The ends of the brass hawse pipes still have to get sanded down to match the contour of the hull, but I'm generally pleased with how this is looking so far.


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Then, as I was waiting for the putty and the epoxy to dry, I decided to pull out my razor saw and do a bit more cutting inside.

The original 3D printed hangar deck I made had slightly shallower elevator wells. The new one with the deeper well to accommodate the lift system necessitated the removal of about another inch or so of frame material inside, which took surprisingly little time.

With that done, I was able to properly inset the hangar deck into the hull for the first time.

This was a big step, as it proves that the volume of space under the hangar deck is sufficient for the motors and shafts (now that they're mostly installed) with sufficient clearance. Also, proving that I have adequate space below the hangar deck for batteries and electronics, which I was reasonably sure I'd have, but am now certain.

Very pleased to see things fit together, and my plan for the flight deck removable panels seems as though it will work as well.

More about that later....

For now, here's some pictures, and in the end, I had to add some Banshees in the Hangar. Y'know...just because....


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Ok....so...if you look at the "Aft Hangar Bay" image, you'll see a rather unsightly gap between the after face of Hangar C, and the forward portion of the Cable Deck area.

I realized that when I've got the ship open for showing off, the panel that I plan to have covering the aft portion of the flight deck will allow this area to be fully visible...and that bothered me a bit last night.

So. Solution is to fill the gap. There's several workshops, a wardroom galley, and some other spaces in there, so I'm going to add that detail in a pop-out panel.

A bit of 3D design work later, and now I have the section shown in blue as a 'draft' of how this will fit in.

Next step...details!


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