When I started on the real 1:96 scale model of the Okie Boat as it was in the summer of 1971 I needed drawings to work from. Those I obtained from modeling sources were not detailed and most lacked dimensions. Further, they were for the original 1959 configuration, and a lot had changed after that. I decided to make my own drawing sheets, based upon the original drawings, but with the changes added that I could see in my photos.

It soon became clear that this wouldn't be enough to build a really accurate model, so I began to investigate what drawings were available through the U.S. National Archives. This turned out to be a bonanza, and I eventually obtained 40 reels of microfilm containing thousands of the original blueprints. I scanned hundreds of these and cleaned them up with Photoshop. These were the dimensioned drawings that I needed. Using them for reference I began making my own model drawings.

Eventually I realized that the blueprints were not always clear about how things should fit together (and some were actually wrong). So I started constructing 3D CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) models to "test fit" pieces. This turned out to be quite a challenge, and a lot of fun. I decided to build a complete 3D model of the ship before proceeding with the real model. One odd thing about this is that although I want to make the drawings as accurate as possible, because most of them are based upon the original blueprints, they may actually be "more accurate" than the real thing. Shipyards often did things their own way, sometimes loosely interpreting the blueprints. And sometimes last minute changes were made that were not on the original blueprints.

ship port quarter

The following pages contain images from the CAD model project. The models and rendered images were produced with the program DesignCAD 3D Max. What you see here started in 2004, and it is just about finished in late 2018.


What do you do with a Red Devil?