Wow Robby, and I thought I had a headache before I read your last post
Kidding aside, sounds like you learned some great stuff. I'll have to re-read all of that later tonight or tomorrow when I can focus on it more.
You may want to use saran wrap twisted up instead of the cotton that you are using (I'm guessing that is cotton). I'm not sure if the cotton will react with the "water" while it is curing. Just a thought.
I picked up my collection of little subs a couple of days ago. Give me about a week to catch up with you.
Wish you luck with pouring tomorrow
My word, I have so much for you to learn from my recent mistakes/disasters. (Unfortunately, that seems to be a common theme for me nowadays...
I began my pouring yesterday. I decided to just go ahead with the cotton. Formed them, sprayed them with hair spray to keep their shape, and then glued them to the stern diving planes. Awesome.
I did my first pour; following Hillary's advice, I used 3 drops catalyst per ounce of resin, and I used 64 ounces resin. She told me that ***1 tablespoon of catalyst is approximately equal to 60 drops*** Mixed it, poured it, and it about 15 minutes in, the stuff was gelled and almost too hard to put anything in. I managed to get the sub pressed in, but when the brick was completely solid and clear (not to mention too hot to handle...), I removed it from the mold--which was a snap thanks to the mold release--and found that the mixture had eaten a hole in the hull and split the bow at the waterline.
I dug through my spare parts box and found some external fuel tanks (F-86, perhaps?) that I was able to manipulate into some okay patches. The way I figured, there's no turning back now, and hey, subs would be patched up like this anyway, so what does it matter if my model doesn't look fresh from the shipyard?
Painted the patches on each side as best I could. Not a bad fix atall.
So resin lessons:
1. DO NOT follow the formula I posted earlier!! Just use one drop/oz IF THAT! I called Hillary back and she suggested possibly even one drop/2oz or even a 2:3 ratio.
2. Mix slowly! Bubbles are a real pain with this stuff, and while some bubbles can add to realism, you really don't want a lot. A hot hair-dryer will work to get rid of some bubbles. Just don't use so much force that you make more bubbles!
3. Line your mold with plexiglass. While the laminated wood makes a solid mold, the sides are not completely smooth, and I found that those miniscule swirl-lines are enough to make the sides nearly opaque.
4. Seriously, pour no more than 1/8" at a time. I know that modelers on other threads didn't have problems, but the risk for a kit to turn out like mine because of the resin just isn't worth it. Pour small batches and monitor CLOSELY each step of EACH STEP of the way. It will take a significantly longer amount of time to finish this way, but it's the only way to ensure your model stays looking like when you finished building it.
5. If you can use PE instead of plastic for the little parts, do it! From what I can see now (the resin is just past the top of the sail), the Oerlikon, flagpole, and something up front--the only small plastic parts on deck--are soft and have bent out of shape. What use is a curved AA barrel, right? All the PE parts--thank goodness AFV Club gave me those parts--are doing fine, just fine.
I honestly don't know how my version will turn out. I sincerely hope that you learn from my experience and make a dio that is truly impressive, and I wish you the best of luck! Keep us updated! I'm not giving up the ship though. I'll be working on it right through to the end. If it has to be a what-if dio entitled "The Last Voyage of the USS Cod," then so be it. At least I'm learning stuff