Sunday, August 30, 2009

Meeting of the Minds

At least a minor meeting of the Wahoo minds took place during the weekend of August 21-23 as most of the Project faithful gathered during Paul Crozier's "Sun N Fun" R/C sub summer Fun Run in the Houston area. This annual conclave of members of the SubCommittee's SubRon 5 local chapter afforded its participants a chance not only to get reacquainted among themselves, but also to talk Wahoo and related plans, of course. On hand were Paul, Matt, TomK and JeffP, but much missed were Jeff LaRue and Tom Anderson -- whose names were brought up but definitely not taken in vain. Indeed, little progress has been made on the project of late, it must be reported, but this is not for lack of interest on the part of all parties, present and not. Big plans remain in the wind -- despite life having gotten somewhat in the way -- and it was great fun firing up one another's enthusiasm for The Project again. As always, watch this space for further developments, Wahoo devotees.

Above, SubRon 5 crew gathers in the Houston heat.
Below, Paul and Matt wax Wahoo poetic.
Jeff Porteous

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Readying for the Regatta

Jeff LaRue pinged us all with an e-mail reminder the other day of his mutual intention (along with that of Matt Thor) of attending the annual SubCommittee SubRegatta in Carmel, Indiana this summer. The idea, as stated in earlier posts, is to make some kind of presentation to the gathered faithful detailing the genesis, progress and current state of our beloved Wahoo Project.

He further put the specific call out to members to provide him with information on the history of the Wahoo (obviously Paul's thing); the research to provide accurate boat detailing (more goodies for Paul, but also for himself and others); the development of CAD models (step up to bat, Matt); cutting masters from wood (Anderson's expertise); mold-making and casting; etc.

It will obviously be a full plate of a presentation, and I wish I could be on hand to watch Jeff and Matt hold sway over their submersibly obsessed SubCommittee audience. When the word "PowerPoint" was later employed to describe the lecture's current level of intent -- not to mention the call for WWII Wahoo film footage -- I knew the topic would be treated with the comprehensive approach it truly merits. After all, this is Serious Business, and our girl deserves the best.

Knock 'em dead, guys.

Jeff Porteous

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Prepare to Resume Operations

After an appreciable but well-deserved break while Matt tended to his offspring's team sport coaching duties, etc., this week we were all greeted by the following joyful words in our e-inboxes:

"…Without further delay, I am going to forward the CAD to Tom to machine us a 1/96th scale boat."


Once this 39" able-to-hold-in-your-hands masterpiece is output by Tom Anderson, off it goes to Paul for a "good going over." Flaws, if any, will be addressed, and before long, according to Matt, a full 1/48-scale hull pattern should exist -- soon primer-coated by Jeff LaRue and/or Paul, both immediate volunteers.

Despite previous discussions about holding off on Wahoo's coming out party till next year's SubRegatta, Matt and Jeff LaRue have already concurred that perhaps an in-progress presentation could be made at this year's soiree. Jeff even hopes to have the deck CAD drawing "to the point where we can plot a paper copy and tape it to the hull" -- obviously an impressive milestone for "show and tell." From there, Matt says, "I can take it to the mold process for producing the fiberglass pattern for scribing and super-detailing."

Somewhere on Eternal Patrol, Wahoo's crew continues to smile down upon us.

Jeff Porteous

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Surface the Boat!

Matt's AutoCad work continues to rapidly flourish. Below are illustrations of his progress in adding "surface" to the wire frame of the Wahoo. Now completed with this process, he's also begun polishing the hull imagery by smoothing its "skin" (shown in the reddish images) -- all handled through the wonder of that intricate, elaborate professional rendering software he's so obviously mastered. (As we've noted among ourselves, he ought to: he does this for a living!) The whole thing just amazes me, lemme tell ya.

Jeff Porteous

A Salvo of Stern Shots

Matt's been busy. Very busy. Here are pictures of his work completing Wahoo's stern areas in AutoCad. He's been firing them off to us like crazy. . . .

Jeff Porteous

Monday, January 19, 2009

Getting Wired

Matt suggests it's time for an update, and he's quite right. Clearly, this is an opportunity for recent pictures to speak for themselves, and they speak volumes.

See, Matt has been making amazing progress picking up ("lofting") measurements and particulars from the clean, accurate and highly detailed official Navy fleetboat plans he and Jeff LaRue glommed onto recently, and entering them into his Autocad computer-assisted design program. As you can see below (in illustrations provided by Matt last week), these measurements have now evolved into an accurate "wire frame" reproduction of Wahoo's eventual hull -- just as had been done with the stern diving planes shown earlier.

It's all a work still in progress, of course, as quickly evidenced by the two-dimensional sail sitting atop the hull. (Its time will come.) But Matt has now further checked in tonight with multiple images of the process of attaching a "surface" to the hull's wire frame rendering -- also still a work in progress. But isn't it magical how a famous WWII fleet submarine is coming to life before your very eyes? And hyper-accurately? How envious the Gato class boat's original designers would've been of all this technological assistance available to us today....

Yes, now we're all getting wired over this project!

Many thanks, Matt!

Jeff Porteous

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Making Plans

Daily e-mails between various team members have flown furiously back and forth as progress continues apace. Most have had to do with the finding, creation, duplication or transmission of plans of various aspects of the Wahoo, be they her overall hull contours, fairwater configurations, deck details or armament specifics. Paul, of course, has been instrumental in researching and presenting the history of Wahoo's parade of varying deck gun types and calibers over her short but illustrious career, answering others' questions and eventually supplying the following basic, easy-to-discern layout of the progression of her armament alterations (and looks of her fairwater too):

Meanwhile, many plans and drawings such as the single example below have also been making the rounds, in this specific instance allowing Tom to take up work on the creation of the deck guns -- currently planned as corrected/super-detailed modifications of existing manufactured gun kits in 1/48 scale. No doubt Tom and/or Paul will eventually check in with detailed descriptions of decisions related to and progress made on the specific guns of Wahoo's various war patrols as their development continues. Note that as I understand it, the following image came from an old SubCommittee Report -- the publication still making its resourceful presence known from the vantage point of years of information-packed back issues readily available to submarine modelers and group projects such as this. I'm betting you have plenty on your shelf. If not, you should! (Plug! Plug!)

Also meanwhile, Matt's been logging plenty more hours at his Autocad wizardry, while Jeff LaRue continues to wrestle with Wahoo's very specific deck details, trying to lock down the associated overwhelming minutiae via help from Paul and Matt, for eventual photoetched reproduction.

Lastly, for now, the announcement of yet another, most crucial Wahoo team member: the West Coast's redoubtable Tom Anderson, master submarine model "master" maker, known throughout the hobby for the extreme quality and accuracy of hulls he's produced for sale by others over the many years he's been involved in the engineering of miniatures. Tom has graciously agreed to help out with the CNC machined production of specific parts rendered by Matt and his Autocad work, guaranteeing the parts eventually comprising this kit will be accurate like no others.

Stay tuned for further developments!

Jeff Porteous