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Thread: Dirigible Redux

  1. #1

    Default Dirigible Redux



    If I could only do it all over again . . . Oh I can? Cool. Here is the deepest delve into my madness.




    Remember the "Building Dirigibles" thread, I got a lot of mail and great responses, but the models were a month of hard work and the end result while very cool, were not as durable as I had wanted. The search began for the ultimate Zeppelin. After kicking around ideas from vacuum molding to casting, I re-discovered a technique I had used to build foam wings for control line stunt models I had used back in the 70's.

    Foam is a strange beast, very different formulations and ever greater ranges of density and workability. I had hoped to find the old blue, pink or gray 2" styrene sheet of yesterday and found out it is not available here. In desperation I made a personal visit to the home construction mega mart, only to not find what I wanted. Instead I found something better. Out here in the desert of Arizona most houses are made of plywood with stucco finish and trim. They use a foam billet for trimming around the windows made of a high density expanded bead styrene. It comes in strips instead of sheets, and to my delight in 2" x 4" x 96" strips. This is not your normal foam, it is quite hard and if cut with a 400 degree nichrome wire, it seals itself into a perfect medium for our purposes here. So I bought a pile of it.



    Now to make it happen. I routed a 1/4" groove lengthwise and chopped the chunks to length, routed a keel slot in each one, installed a dowel to the groove, slathered both sides with glue and started stacking them in the corner. Added a lot of weight and went to bed.



    After a night of tossing and turning the next step through my dreams, I awoke and began constructing the cradle, guides, rotary indexer device, and a foam cutter. The concept and design are very simple and straight forward. The foam block is now 4" x 4" X 30" long with a 1/4" dowel running its length through its center. This core is then suspended between two end plates allowing the core to be rotated a few degrees at a time. Meanwhile the sides of the fixture are cut to the side profile of the final zeppelin, lined with steel wire to keep the shape consistant and to prevent the hot wire from burning into the profile.



    The foam cutting frame is built with a capacity to handle the 400 degree heat and the normal heat expansion of the wire. Once connected to my power source, the wire is heated and tested for a nice clean cut. The cutting frame is then drawn along the steel guides of the fixture the length of the foam core, cutting it to a nice half zeppelin shape! Way cool.



    The core is then rotated the required degrees of angle and the process is repeated 16 times. Producing a cool foam corn dog!



    A keel is required to attach the mounting poles and the nacelles. Again the router cut a nice groove down the belly of the beasties and a 1/4" spruce strip was pre-drilled and inserted into the foam.



    A final sand, a coat of polyacrylic and the hull is done! Fast, freaky fast.



    Fins, gun emplacements, all the details were fabricated, and a fixture designed to align and attach them.



    Nacelles were redesigned to attach with mini magnets and steel pins so they can be removed for easy transport.





    All that is left is painting and detailing! That's all . . .





    The results you can see, rugged, transportable, playable! These babies can be dropped, poked and prodded and survive to fight another day! Enjoying my madness?









    Whew! Now it's time to raid England! Operation Zeppelin Overcast begins!
    -clipper

  2. #2

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    If you're thinking of manufacturing these commercially...please let us know.

  3. #3

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    Are we to old to say "Dibs!" I call Dibs on the first one available!

  4. #4

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    Just tell me how much, where, when

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  7. #7

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    Stupendous.
    Again a very clever and simple idea to use a jig that can make reproducing them all to be the same.

  8. #8

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    Heck, I'd be cool with if he'd just sell the jigs... especially if they have optional add-ons for the cut-n-splice to make the 15m-longer Type Q.

    Why not a "splits in half" variant with a central tray for game supplies?

  9. #9

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    Awesome! Such a simple, effective idea, and I never would have thought of it!

    Dave

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  11. #11

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    wow your are my lord

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  13. #13

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    You should show this to the Zeppelin-Museum in Friedrichshafen!!
    Awesome!

    Matthias

  14. #14

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    Please send one to England - with my address on it !! Brilliant work Clipper.

    "He is wise who watches"

  15. #15

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    Clever. how much to send a few down under?

  16. #16

    Default OMG!!!

    That is so, so, so...I can't think of the adjective that's strong enough.
    I love seeing the creativity here, and esp. like this.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  17. #17

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    My god old blighty is in for a pounding
    Fantastic

  18. #18

    Boney10's Avatar South Western Command Squadron Leader.
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    Now that is one excellent air fleet. Absolutely stupendous, I take my hat off to you.

  19. #19

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    Great work!
    Are on sale?

  20. #20

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    That is so, so, so...I can't think of the adjective that's strong enough.
    I love seeing the creativity here, and esp. like this.
    Karl
    How about : "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"? ...Awesome job!

  22. #22

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    Just wow!
    You want to sell them right? No way you will have an opportunity to use them all during one game

  23. #23

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    It has all been said except the one word, repworthy, which I can't do because I've done it already recently. So come on chaps, show your appreciation of a really innovative solution to the Zep problem.
    Rob.
    "Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death."

  24. #24

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    Thanks for all the feedback! : ) I am still hoping to fly a massive bombing attack with multiple bombers, zeppelins and escorts, but the sky is always empty : (

    Anyone had the fun of a massive scenario? With our new mega mat we will be setting something up for November here in the Phoenix area. The idea of strategy and team work sounds most intriguing. Any of you Navy types up for a air to ship engagement? We are gathering info for U-boat and destroyer targets, any ideas or takers?

    -clipper

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedevil View Post
    How about : "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"? ...Awesome job!
    Sure, if I could spell it, let alone pronounce it!!
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by clipper1801 View Post
    Thanks for all the feedback! : ) I am still hoping to fly a massive bombing attack with multiple bombers, zeppelins and escorts, but the sky is always empty : (

    Anyone had the fun of a massive scenario? With our new mega mat we will be setting something up for November here in the Phoenix area. The idea of strategy and team work sounds most intriguing. Any of you Navy types up for a air to ship engagement? We are gathering info for U-boat and destroyer targets, any ideas or takers?

    -clipper
    You know, with that air fleet, you could rig some desielpunk/crimson sky style cars, and have a real sky navy. Maybe invent a Tesla-activated lift gas that's not flamable, and has 10x the lift of Hydrogen. (I've been thinking about this a while )
    Then you can use something like Herr Oberst's hit system without the flame chances. See how the Camels and Snipes like coming into AA fire, not just a couple of MGs!!
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

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    (no text)

  28. #28

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    Wow, I'm just totally gobsmacked

    Fantastic job

    Rich

  29. #29

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    1) How much does one weigh?
    2) What do the materials cost, to include finishing (paint, etc.)?

  30. #30

    Thumbs up

    THAT IS JUST FANTASTIC!!!!

    Rep Point sent!

    "Its a fine line indeed between going out in a Blaze of Glory or having Crashed & Burnt!"
    Member Australian Society of WW1 Aero Historians

  31. #31

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    I'm thinking there should be a medal for extreem creativity in support of the game system.

  32. #32

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    I cant give you another rep point until I give one to someone else first! The system won't let me give two in a row!!

  33. #33

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    WOW, this is engineering at it's best!!! You guys ROCK!!!!

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger View Post
    I'm thinking there should be a medal for extreem creativity in support of the game system.
    I totally agree Rob. I'm going to ask Herr Oberst if we can nominate him.

  35. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by csadn View Post
    1) How much does one weigh?
    2) What do the materials cost, to include finishing (paint, etc.)?
    Regarding weight, each one only weighs a few ounces and are very durable. Not the least bit flimsy or fragile for normal WoW playing or transport. However, they are somewhat flammable!

  36. #36

  37. #37

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    Great work indeed. Reputation sent.

  38. #38

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    As I have said before one of the things I like about this sight is seeing the models others make, this just another example of individuals skills I envy and the Zeps are mass produced

  39. #39

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    I have a question: How did you build the gondolas?

    Thanks,
    Christoph

  40. #40

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    Ah the gondolas! They were carved from 3/8" bass wood, primed, sanded and painted silver with trim colors, exhaust stacks from alum tube, window from black electrical tape, and the brass handrails are cut from K & S mesh brass sheet. Steel pins for the posts and rare earth magnets for the keepers. That's it!


    -clipper

  41. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
    Regarding weight, each one only weighs a few ounces and are very durable. Not the least bit flimsy or fragile for normal WoW playing or transport. However, they are somewhat flammable! :camel::lol:
    Given what they're made from, one *definitely* doesn't want to be anywhere near *that* fire....

  42. #42

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    Gob-smacked!

    I want one!!!
    One?
    Sheeesh!

    (rep given)

  43. #43

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    Email sent! Any chance of ever trying to cut one of the third-gen "Super Zeps" like the Type R's or the monster Extended X's? Also, do you do the WWII game too, or just WWI?

  44. #44

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    Wow David those look great. I was hoping I could get some for the Ohio Squadrons. PM sent.

  45. #45

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    I've looked at the super zeps, they come out at 1/214 scale to around 36" not too ungainly. Might have to try one . . . or 12 : )
    -clipper

  46. #46

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    WWII? I did that one in 1/72" back in the '70s and have 10 boxes of models I've been carting around since. What scale are the WWII guys at? Something like 1/200 as I recall. Just another year of nightmares waiting to happen, I can see a Heinkel Zwilling even now!

    -clipper

  47. #47

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    David!

    That was an incredible how too! You must be a fan of The New Yankee Workshop. If so Norm would be proud you! I do my WW2 in 144 hint!

    Rich

  48. #48

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    Never, never, never spend late night hours on the internet surfing for books!! My latest downfall: Douglas H. Robinson's "The Zeppelin In Combat"



    Doing some research on building a variety of new Zeppelins to add to my collection, Types R, S etc. I found this wonderful book with photos I had never dreamed of, details galore, pictures and drawings oh my! Then this page was turned,



    An Albatros DIII hangs from the bottom! And there's more!



    A flying torpedo! Where will it all end! The kitchen table is now being cleared for further building, forget the eating thing! This means war!!!!

    -clipper (I will be better soon, won't I?)

  49. #49

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    Clipper, I think that is where the US Navy got the flying aircraft carrier idea from. As I recall, the standard compliment of a US Navy Airship was five scout bilpane carried in an internal hanger

  50. #50

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    The Brits tried it a bit late in the War; they got a Camel to hang and release, but not reattach. That was the big success of the US Navy Zepps.
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...amel_N6814.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...With_Camel.jpg
    See the the wiki article on the R-23:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._23r
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

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