Digital Navy USS Arizona

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Updated 3rd December 2005

Here are a few pictures of another ship model project, this time a paper/card model of the USS Arizona. This model is available in pdf form on a CD from Digital Navy , who have a range of several warships and aircraft. The parts are simply printed out on your own computer printer, cut out and glued together. Actually, there is a bit more to it than that....

The first cut on the Digital Navy USS Arizona.

The first cut!

Hull spine parts cut out.

These three pieces make up the centre spine for the hull.

The first few frames test-assembled.

The first of many frames.

Second sheet of parts cut out.

The second sheet of heavy card cut up. For these major components I am using card about 0.7mm thick. This will go through my Epson 740 or C82 without problems. If your printer cannot handle such thick stock, you will have to print on thinner paper then glue that onto the heavy card.

More parts, and frames tested for fit.

More parts cut and a quick test fit of some of the main hull frames.

Main deck pieces taped to a board to make sure the structure stays straight during assembly.

I taped the three main hull horizontal frames ( a deck, I presume!) to the back of an old cupboard door. This will keep the structure flat while the rest of the frames are glued into place. I was lucky with the size, the Arizona JUST fitted diagonally.

Some strengthening gussets cut from scrap card.

I cut a lot of small brace pieces (gussets) from scrap card. These will be glued to reinforce the frame/deck joints, and make sure everything stays square.

First frame glued into place.

The first frame is glued into place, with  a few gussets for strength.

Central section hull frames in place.

More frames and gussets. I have also added doubler plates over the joints between the deck pieces, and will do the same for the central spine frame. I would have prefered a bit more overlap between the deck joints and the spine frame joints, but the design is limited by the size of paper onto which the model is printed.

Bow frames glued into position.

All frames now in place, with a few extra gussets too. Gently ‘twanging’ the structure showed where more reinforcment would be useful.

All hull frames in place.

Overall view of the hull showing all the frames located.

This view shows the longitudinal ribs glued into position. These fitted very well, considering the twist in several of them. I reinforced the end joints with a few small scraps of card. So far, everything has fitted without needing any adjustment.

Cutting the hull from the building board.

After removing the adhesive tape used to hold the deck in place, I used a stainless steel scale rule/saw tool to slice through the glue that had oozed through the deck joints. Any thin blade long enough to reach will do this job.

On to page 2 for more work on the upper deck structures.