1/144 RC U.S.S.Nimitz

Discussion in 'General Modeling' started by vetteboy1982, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Hi guys ! I'm new here and got registered just days ago. I have many similar interests as the rest of you, ie: Star Wars, Star Trek, All sci-fi really. Models, props, and of course movies. Inspired by the old movie The Final Countdown, I started a build of the nuclear aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz. It's been a constant project for the past 15+ years. She looks good and runs but I'm always trying to improve things. I was hoping someone here would be able to help with some thing I,ve wanted to do to it fora long, long time. I want to light the flight deck and the hanger deck along with the island. HoweverI havent because the most important part of that lighting, to me, is the landing strip chase lights. I need 16 lights to chase down the center and the only kits I can find offer ten light only. Any ideas or comments would be appreciated !!!!!
     
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  2. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Welcome. That's a great job on that, is it scratch built? Great movie too :thumbsup
     
  3. crackerjazz

    crackerjazz Sr Member

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    Fantastic work, Vetteboy! I loved the movie too which came just at the right time for a boy my age back then and really got me hooked into scale modeling. The light kit you mentioned, what does it do? Can't two of them be hooked up the make the long strip?
     
  4. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thank-you ! It is indeed scratch built out of wood. It's 8 feet long and it takes 38 lbs of lead ballast to sink her up to the waterline. She would look real when she's in the water except nothing is moving and I suspect on a real carrier, somethings ALWAYS moving !
     
  5. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    My Dad took me aboard the Nimitz when I was kid, and there is indeed a lot of activity even when she's docked. That was in '76, the planes look a bit different these days.
     
  6. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    I'm not very good with electronics but two can't be, from what I'm told, be hooked togeather. It has to one unit programmed to sequencially chase the lights don the center of the landing strip continuously. I figured a way to manually do it with fiber optics but it would'nt be nearly bright enough once she got 20-30 feet away from you. Someone said I could get one made but it would cost $500.00. It's pretty hard to justify that kind of cash when the ship cost me nothing to begin with. The only expense was for the radio, the drive motors (4) , the props, and the biggest cost has been building allthe aircraft that make up the air wing. I love that movie and plan to build a few diorama's as well. Maybe the survivors being picked up with the Sea King, and of course....SPLASH the ZERO'S !
     
  7. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    WOW Rob...I am envious. You got to see her when she was brand new ! I would LOVE to go on board. She just came out of drydock, a few weeks ago. The Nimitz was down for a whole year being upgraded in washington state. They have a facebook page that you can visit and they did a video series documenting all sorts of things. Pretty cool to see her out of the water ! She does look a bit different, and yes, they retired the tomcats and the intruders as the FA-18 takes on both roles now. I met a few sailors from her past on facebook and they were all kind enough to shoot me some pictures of when they were on board. The internet is really a facinating thing, connecting people from all over the world that would otherwise never ever meet in person....it's really quite amazing ! I hope to make some new friends here as well !
     
  8. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    I love that scene :D
    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
     
  9. DS Operative

    DS Operative Well-Known Member

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    You should contact Hyperdyne here on the RPF. His work is not cheap, but it is top-notch and works as advertised. He's the electronics guru and his work never fails to impress. He might let you pick his brain and offer some advice or might even give you a quote. There are other electronics whiz's here on the board, but I can't think of who they are at the moment.

    Great job and good luck!
     
  10. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks DS Operative....I'll look into that. I could use some help.
     
  11. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Yeah Rob, I love it too ! The DVD has some great interviews with the navy pilots talking about the movie shoot. I also aquired from ebay a cruisebook from the Nimitz the year that they filmed The Final countdown. It's even signed by the captain of the Nimitz at the time of the movie but was then promoted to rear admiral....pretty cool. There are about 6 full pages dedicated to the movie.You said your dad brought you on board in the 70's....how was that ? What was his job in the navy ?
     
  12. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    I'm not sure what his duties were, but some kind of administrative/office job. He did two cruises on the Nimitz about '76 to '78. He took my brother and me aboard before they shipped out the first time, I was 11.
     
  13. MooCriket

    MooCriket Master Member

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    Watching this thread with great interest.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    My favorite Nimitz pic :)
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jardine

    Jardine Member

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    My dad was on the Nimitz as a BTMC. Awesome looking build man!
     
  16. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks everyone for your interest, help, and kind words. It is very appreciated. Rob...I have that pic as well and have always wanted to get it blown up.And MooCricket I have that pic too ! I only wish that someone made those other ships in 1/144 so my Nimitz would not be alone. All thats available is a WWII fletcher class destroyer.I have recently been working on the Sea Kings from Sweet Aviation. Very nice kits for $15.00 I modified one to have the doors open and cut actual windows in it so there could be a complete interior. Then I modified 2 to be in the folded positions. And finally, I modified on to be Marine-One, also with full interior(I dont know why,you cant see it !) I appologize for my crappy pictures....all I have is my phone :(
     
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  17. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Those Sea Kings look great! I'd go cross eyed doing interiors at that scale.
     
  18. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Yeah Rob...they ARE small ! Sometimes my eyes start burning ! I had to get some reading glasses this past year as I cant see small stuff close in anymore. Like I said, you cant see them so I guess I just did it for my own satisfaction.
     
  19. oregonweim

    oregonweim New Member

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    that is a great build, do you happen to have any video of the old lady in action on the water? btw, 38lbs of lead ballast wow. Love final countdown, well by today's standards eh but it is a classic, watched it on netflix not to long ago :D You should find a miniature 'collie' to put strategically on the ship for 'Charlie' :D
     
  20. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    At the moment, I can't seem to find my pictures of her in the water, but she sure does look real when she's in there ! As for video, I want to make some,and have been thinking of a cool way to show a plane coming in and landing on the deck...hopefully that will work out on film. Charlie you say ? I have plans to do a few diorama's to go with the ship , one being the survivors being picked up by the sea king in the water. Of course Commander Owens would be holding Charlie comming out of the water with the Laurel and Senator Chapman already on board. I have to learn how to do realistic water. Heres a pic of the best looking water I've found but will need to find someone to give a propper tutorial.If I can master that, and it's not too expensive, I always wanted to have a ocean base that she would sit in when displayed, but just lifted out when needed. Actually, the most awesome display I thought up, but was told that unless my last name was Trump, no way possible, would be to make a clear Bottle with a blue accryllic water line that suspended the ship, get it? Ship in a bottle...however being that she is 97" long.....thats one huge * bottle I'd need.
     
  21. Rogue

    Rogue Active Member

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    First off, amazing build, amazing patience and attention to detail!

    As for the lights - a lot of PIC programmers use "flashing light sequences" as a basic introductory lesson. If you are willing to splash a little time and cash (I'm guess around $50 USD for a PICkit3 programming unit these days?) then you can make your own - the components themselves should be fairly cheap. You can tweak it to work however you like and It also leads to developing some useful electronics skills for modellers!
     
  22. Rogue

    Rogue Active Member

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    Oh, and as for the ship in a bottle - it might not be completely out of reach if you're happy to use a material other than glass...
     
  23. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks Rogue ! I have Hyperdyne looking into building a board for me, but it would be useful to learn it myself. And I was thinking more on the lines on plexi but it's so big and you really dont want to see ant seams on the halves so if you want to share an idea...I'm listening.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
  24. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Hey guys....I know it's been a while. I was working with Jim/aka HYPERDYNE on making a circuit to run the chase lights on the flight deck. after working two straight weekends in a row, all day every day....I finally got her good enough to show progress. It's not perfect, some lights went out already, and one is misplaced but you'll see the great work Jim did with my chase lights....THANKS JIM !!! For the rest of you...I welcome your comments and critisism . I made this crude video and uploaded it on my YouTube channel ...I hope you will all watch it, like it and comment on it on YouTube as well as here...Thanks C.V.N 68 U.S.S.Nimitz - YouTube
     
  25. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    OOh, pretty lights! Looks great.
     
  26. IEDBOUNTYHUNTER

    IEDBOUNTYHUNTER Sr Member

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    Looking good, My old Ship. and your avatar is my First Fighter Squadron.

    Al
     
  27. Too Much Garlic

    Too Much Garlic Master Member

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    Taking modeling to the next level. Awesome.
     
  28. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks for looking guys ! I'm working on building a new island super structure with lights and windows, and lighting the 68 on the sides....could be a while !
     
  29. Darth Sabre

    Darth Sabre Well-Known Member

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    Favorite scene by a long shot! Still thrilling after all these years.

    Doug

     
  30. MooCriket

    MooCriket Master Member

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    Outstanding! That thing is HUGE. When all is said and done, are you thinking of adding any Lighting to the fighters?
     
  31. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Anthony...I have different planes configured for landing with the flaps and tail hook sdown that interchange and are suspended with a wire about 8" behind and 4" above the rear of the ship with landing lights and LED's for engines. Currently a F-14 Tomcat, A7-E Corsair, E2 Hawkeye, and a A6-E intruder. I would also like to get the rotors turning on one of my SH-3 Sea King helo's.
     
  32. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    I would like to ask all of you for ideas and ask your friends for idea's on how to get some kind of motion on the deck to help bring her to life as she's afloat. Jim at Hyperdyne was kind enough to help me achieve the chase lighting that has eluded me for years, thus helping bring my ship to a higher level of realism.He also suggested that I add a sound card and I want your ideas and opinions. I can'yt really see sounds without motion, ie: catapult sounds without a plane taking off.But I know my imagination is not what it used to be, so I need your input. I thank you all in advance, I know some of you will have some great ideas !I wish I could update this more often, unfortunately, progress is slow, and my buget is almost non existent. I also just don't have the skils that some of you have....but I still keep trying !
     
  33. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Hi Al...am I doing Nimitz justice ? Any stories or photo's you'd like to share? Any ideas for a sound card ? Thanks for looking !
     
  34. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Hey ...thanks for looking !
     
  35. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks Rob...any suggestions ?
     
  36. hyperdyne

    hyperdyne Sr Member

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    Glad you like the lights.

    I threw out the idea of maybe an all-hands ship alarm, maybe sounds of some cat shots of planes using a small smoke generator to emulate steam.

    Maybe some phalanx noises with flickering gun lights.
     
  37. feek61

    feek61 Sr Member

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    Just awesome!!!

    Thanks for posting the video. Your work is fantastic!
     
  38. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    People moving about would be cool, but hard to do. Maybe turning chopper rotors, elevators going up and down. Maybe working landing signal lights.

    Also maybe include PA announcements with the sounds.
     
  39. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks Jim...did you see the video ?How did you like the progress so far ? I want to see what ideas everyone here can come up with and see if anything "floats my boat " hahaha.
     
  40. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Thanks for the support. in the spring I'll do one with her in the water...should be way better. Hopefully the video will get some views by then !
     
  41. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Rob, I would be happy with one elevator that Jim could put sounds to and the P.A. is exactly what I had in mind, however, where would I get such sounds ? Jim also suggested the sea wiz gun firing off with lights and sound which would be cool but I'm not sure they had that in 1980...I'll have to check .The landing signal lights, or fresnel lens, is in the works along witha new island. I have a different thread about mold making that I asked for advice and I since tried my hand at casting a small bubble window on the flight deck that i want to cast in clear so I can light that catapult officers room. Can't seem to find the clear resin.
     
  42. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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  43. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    Does it look like these?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I wouldn't bother with casting, unless you're making several of them. Build the frame with strip styrene and make the windows from clear sheet. Vacforming would be even easier if you have one.
     
  44. crackerjazz

    crackerjazz Sr Member

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    How I wish I had one at home!
     
  45. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Yes Rob ! Thats it exactly, and I already cast it but the * at hobbyworld told me that the casting kit had clear resin in it and it doesnt. So I made a duplicate of the piece I already had ! How did you find these pictures ? I have such a hard time finding things because I don't know exactly what they are called. and I haven't got the hang of doing clear windows without them fogging up...I know that future is supposed to stop that but I haven't got it yet !
     
  46. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    You know...if I was half as talented as these guys I'd make a mold of this badboy so we all could have one !!!
     
  47. vetteboy1982

    vetteboy1982 Member

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    Rob, I can't believe there is a place to buy those sounds...I will have to go thru them all tomorrow....gotta crash for now. Thanks for your help !!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
  48. Jm419

    Jm419 Sr Member

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    I was on board the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan a few years ago. I can share some photos if you'd like.
     
  49. robn1

    robn1 Master Member

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    I just Googled "Aircraft carrier flight deck control dome", and "Aircraft carrier sounds" :lol

    At the size you're working with, does the dome need to be hollow? If just a solid shape will work you can make it from clear acrylic. Get a piece of clear sheet the right thickness, cut it to shape, and paint clear green.
     
  50. Vidar 710

    Vidar 710 Active Member

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    Great job on this. Final Countdown inspired me as well. I joined the Navy in 1982 and retired in 2002 because of this movie. Nimitz was the first of 7 carriers that I servered on. Enterprise was my last.
    You said you were gonna light this??? You mentioned the center-line lights, but don't forget the ladder-line lights and the drop lights that come straight down off the flight deck on a virticle yellow beam. You can see this yellow drop-down beam on Robn1's "maneuvering Nimitz" pic. These lights are red and do not strobe chase like the white ones on the deck (only the center-line lights, not the ladder-line lights strobe)
    The reason for the drop-down lights is to help the pilot at night for approach alignment. If he's off, the drop down lights look as if there is a 'kinck' in the center line. When lined up properly, there is a straight line of red into white. If you're gonna go all out, the foul lines (red and white) have smaller constant-on red lights.
    Another tid bit for ya... all landing referance lights can only be see from the aft. Red Foul line lights can only be seen from forward.

    Tracy
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

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