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Lindberg Bismarck with inkjet-printed decks

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  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Lindberg Bismarck with inkjet-printed decks
Posted by gregbale on Friday, August 05, 2011 3:04 PM

 

I received Lindberg's Bismarck from a friend as a birthday gift so I decided to dress it up with Tom's Modelworks' etched detail set, and an assortment of other etched bits (hatches, portholes, ladders, etc.) that I had on hand. Moreover, since I have ICM's Kŏnig “in the wings,” I decided to experiment with a decking technique I've had in mind for that old girl, and see how it would come out.

I made up a deck planking pattern in MS Paint, sized it in Open Office, and printed it out on the same 110 lb. Cardstock I've used for years doing paper models. I did the same with several metal grating and plating patterns “borrowed” from various web imagery. I cut pieces of the appropriate pattern to fit the chosen location, then glued the sections down using a tacky craft glue.

Patience in measuring and trimming the individual pieces was the key to a good fit. (It was made easier by the convenient straight lines running through the patterns themselves.) Several light coats of clear acrylic flat gave the inkjet-printed patterns a good resistance to incidental moisture. Edges were touched up before application with Prismacolor colored pencils, and I underpainted the joining areas of the plastic structure with a matching color to minimize the visibility of incidental gaps and nicks. Deck fittings and fixtures were attached with the same tacky craft glue I used to lay down the planking, and proved surprisingly strong. And, since the glue dies clear, small smudges or overruns are nearly invisible.

Any comments, questions or observations welcome.

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Rain USA, Vancouver WA
Posted by tigerman on Friday, August 05, 2011 3:15 PM

That looks quite nice with all the additions you did to the kit. Wasn't the camo carried up the superstructure though? I can see it being very difficult to mask off.

Thanks for sharing your awesome Bismarck.

  http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y269/wing_nut_5o/PANZERJAGERGB.jpg

 Eric 

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Illinois: Hive of Scum and Villany
Posted by Sprue-ce Goose on Friday, August 05, 2011 3:20 PM

You did a really nice job dressing up an old kit .

Looks very , very good !

 

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Lakewood, CO
Posted by kenjitak on Friday, August 05, 2011 3:31 PM

I really like what you have done with this and I especially like the idea of printing out the deck! I've been thinking about what to do to my 1/350 Musashi ad this may be a real keeper!

 

Ken

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by Felix C. on Friday, August 05, 2011 5:11 PM

That is the nicest Lindberg Bismarck ever!!

Compliments there and admiration.

  • Member since
    March, 2006
Posted by TD4438 on Friday, August 05, 2011 5:24 PM

Outstanding!

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: Jacksonville, Florida
Posted by Vagabond_Astronomer on Friday, August 05, 2011 8:23 PM

Very nice!

"I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night..."
  • Member since
    December, 2006
  • From: N. Georgia
Posted by Jester75 on Friday, August 05, 2011 8:25 PM

Those decks look super cool, she is a beauty!!

Eric

 

  • Member since
    August, 2008
Posted by tankerbuilder on Saturday, August 06, 2011 5:31 PM

I knew that ship could be a winner ! Everyone always cuts down LINDBERG,S ships , BUT , as I,ve always said , if you want , they can match or best their competition ! It is in what you see and are willing to commit to . I always started my model class shipbuilding students with a LINDBERG ship .It might be the  BISMARK , HOOD , or even the "AIR FORCE RESCUE BOAT . SMALL P.T. and so on . They make a  good place to familiarize a neophyte  to what a model ship is and the basics of putting one together . Later on of course There,s always TAMIYA , HASEGAWA and TRUMPETER , DRAGON etc. That is a nice job and thank you for the inspiration you probably have given those of us who at best are lucky to have a LINDBERG ship in their budget , what with the way things are out there .The Deck work and how you did it is really beautiful . I do papermodels too, and I,ve done the 1/200 KRONPRINZ with wood decks and brass gun barrels and wood for the masts .        Tankerbuilder

  • Member since
    September, 2009
  • From: Miami, FL
Posted by Felix C. on Saturday, August 06, 2011 7:08 PM

Here is a Lindberg without the modifications. It really is a wonderful thing which was done by the OP.

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • From: New Zealand
Posted by stevehnz on Saturday, August 06, 2011 11:20 PM

When I look at the basic kit as shown in Felix pic & compare it to the wonderful modelling that Greg has done I am in complete admiration for the job he's done, really hard to believe that came from the same base. Simply brilliant Greg. WOW. Yes

Steve.

  • Member since
    July, 2009
  • From: Jacksonville, Florida
Posted by Vagabond_Astronomer on Sunday, August 07, 2011 10:20 AM

I wanted to add more to my first comment about this model but have been fairly busy. I built the Tirpitz release of this kit (when it was still motorized) back in the spring of 1976. My best friend had the Bismarck. When you're thirteen years of age, big and motorized was what mattered, not detail so much, as it usually got in the way of running the model. It was enough that it looked sufficiently like the real ship.

With the amount of care you put into this model, it is hard to believe that it is the same model. Fantastic job. Proof that even "old dogs" can be taught new tricks.

Cheers, 

Rob

"I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night..."
  • Member since
    March, 2006
Posted by TD4438 on Monday, August 08, 2011 6:53 AM

I built two Lindberg Bismarcks.One of 'em just last year.I would never have recognized this as the same kit.

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Monday, August 15, 2011 10:35 AM

Thanks to all for your very gracious comments.

I confess I wouldn't have chosen the Lindberg Bismarck myself---there's a lot to, er, re-engineer---but I really appreciated the gift and, since the Bismarck has always been my favorite big battleship, I figured I'd have to try to bash it into something presentable. In fact there were only a few really major fixes, and the rest was just adding detail until it looked a bit closer to the mark.

Tankerbuilder, I agree with your sentiments about Lindberg. My "starter" kits way back when were the old box-scale Revell kits rather than Lindberg, but the deal's the same---you have to start somewhere. I've actually gained a fondness for Lindberg in my more advanced modeling years, since they have a bunch of stuff in large scales that nobody else has--I've got a couple of the Coast Guard boats, the LST and the LCT in the stash now, awaiting their respective moments of glory. They're good basic platforms for dressing up, and replacing guns and such with closer-to-scale versions is easier than ever in the era of readily-available intenet references and aftermarket retailers. (Though I will admit it might have been helpful if they'd chosen more consistent scales to produce the darn things in!)

Thanks again to one and all.

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:24 AM

Greg,

I really like what you did!  I tried to do something similar in 1968 (I was 14) but gave it up in frustration.  As far as Lindberg kits go, I do like their sailing ships; now if they would only market those "pirate ships" under their real names!  I wrote to Lindberg several time to try to get them to produce more sailing ships as they seem to have a knack for them, but they politely refused.  Oh well . . .

Bill

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Rothesay, NB Canada
Posted by VanceCrozier on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:51 AM

Nice job Greg, the decking looks convincing in the photos.

On the bench: Italeri 1/72 Henschel 126; Heller 1/72 Curtiss Hawk H.75; Airfix 1/72 Supermarine Swift. And probably a cat when I'm not looking...

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 8:52 AM

I've been wondering lately if homemade decals can do a similar effect.  The idea is to paint the deck, as usual, but make decals with fine black or dark grey parallel lines to put over the wood paint.

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:00 AM

Don:

I actually got the idea for my inkjet-printed version from a photo of deck planking decals someone made up for a large-scale Titanic model. (At one time the pattern was available, courtesy of its maker, as a free download over on the Titanic website, but by the time I'd found it, the link was broken.) On my version I made up the planking pattern separate from the color background with the idea that I'd probably try a decal version at some point.

I've got a handful of the old Hawk Treasury-class cutters that Testors re-issued some years ago, which I figured would make ideal testbeds for the technique, but I haven't gotten around even to making up the decals yet.

Regards

 

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    November, 2010
  • From: Australia
Posted by MiG-29 on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 6:27 PM

WOW great job on this beast.

I am currently building Tamiya's 1:350 version, its taking some time though. could I ask what were the reference materials you used for the color scheme, and also the rigging line layout.

thanks!

                                                       "Superiority is our priority"

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 7:50 PM

Mig-29:

Thanks. I've found three particularly excellent websites I consult for all things Bismarck. (There may well be others, but these are the ones I know.)

http://www.bismarck-class.dk

http://www.kbismarck.com/

http://3dhistory.de/wordpress/?page_id=4

The first two both have stage-by-stage illustrations of the changes in Bismarck's camouflage from her first day through to her last. The particular version I chose was when she was anchored in the GrimstadFjord in Norway on 5/21/41. Her upper-works stripes had already been painted out, [in answer to Eric's observation earlier---sorry I forgot to reply], but the hull stripes were still complete:


 

The rigging on my model is ridiculously simplified, but based largely on two of Thomas Schmid's jaw-droppingly impressive 3-D renderings:

http://3dhistory.de/wordpress/wp-content/gallery/Bis001/Bismarck_Walkaround01_040_002.jpg

http://3dhistory.de/wordpress/wp-content/gallery/Bis001/Bismarck_Walkaround01_041_002.jpg

There is also an excellent rigging drawing (based, I believe, on Blohm & Voss's original plans):

http://www.kbismarck.org/photos/rigging001.jpg

 

If you've never encountered Thomas Schmid's work before, spend some time checking out the 3Dhistory website; he's created a computer model of the Bismarck which had been used in a number of documentaries and history programs, and the details of turrets, guns, fixtures and, well, everything, is just stunning. (The kind of detail that makes you want to strive mightily to reproduce even a portion of it.)

Good luck on your model! Let us have a look as things progress.

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    November, 2010
  • From: Australia
Posted by MiG-29 on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 10:52 PM

Thanks for your help. I have came across some of those sites before but not the 3D ones. they do look impressive!

There seems to be a lot of different opinions on to what the actual colors were used at those different stages in time. i am aiming for the scheme you did also. the turret tops sometimes look dark grey and in other drawings or models they look light grey. even the range finders or the top of the funnel is dipected black or grey sometimes.

rigging looks very daunting, i dont know where i would even start. im not anywhere near that stage yet though!

Thanks again for your help, wish me luck!

                                                       "Superiority is our priority"

  • Member since
    December, 2008
  • From: Northern Va
Posted by psstoff995's lbro on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:02 AM

Beautiful work! Simply amazing.

-Will young modeler Test fit master
  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, August 20, 2011 2:21 PM

One question that I have . . . how did you design the deck for printing in the first place?  Is there a particular software package you used?  I have yet to design any decals and am unclear about how to do so.

Another question . . . why didn't you use swastika's on the deck?

Thanks!

Bill

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Saturday, August 20, 2011 7:59 PM

 

Bill:

In reverse order of your questions:

1) The model actually does have swastikas. I uploaded the pictures to Photobucket without any difficulty, but when I went back about 10 minutes later to get the links for this post, the swastika photos had been "removed for violation of Photobucket's standards" (or words to that effect). My guess is they have some kind of software that targets such images. So I went back and made versions with parts of the swastikas "whited out" and uploaded them again, and it seems they stuck the second time. I wasn't looking to offend anyone and it sure wasn't a political statement, but I suppose the PC bots must protect us from historical accuracy.

2) No software (at least, that I know of) for the planking. The method I used was fairly simple.

I made up a plain black and white planking pattern in MS Paint. (Vertical and horizontal lines is what MS Paint does best.) I guessed at a “typical” plank size of 9 in. by 20 ft. and dimensioned length to width accordingly. When I had a "block" that looked okay I copied it and "cut and pasted" the same block until I had a large enough area, touched up a little here and there when the copied end lines were too close together, then saved that as a .TIF file as my "master" pattern. This is what I got:


Next, I copied various wood pattern "swatches" from online images and experimented until I found one that I liked (good color, large-ish image with not too prominent a grain), then copied and pasted my "master" pattern over it. I tried black lines first, which was too harsh, so I switched to a dark gray, and that seemed to work. I saved that as a second, "art" file.


I don't have MS Word, but Open Office works really well for resizing and printing images. I pasted in the “art” file, and played with the image until the scale size of my planks was correct for the scale of the model (more or less), then printed that color image out on 110 lb. card stock. I wound up with an approx. 8x10 inch sheet of “planking,” which I could print out again and again as needed. This was my raw material.

Actually fitting sections of planking to the deck was the tricky part. I made plain-paper patterns for individual areas through a combination of measurement, repeated test-fitting, and lots of taped fill-in bits to get as close a fit as possible to the model's deck features. I used those plain-paper patterns to actually cut sections of my decking. More test-fitting and trimming followed, until I had a section that fit well. Then I glued it down using a tacky craft glue.

The key (for me) was to start with smaller, easy-to-fit upper deck sections. They turned out so well (compared to what I had envisioned) that it kind of “drove” the project through the larger, harder-to-fit areas. On those you just have to find the best (or easiest-to-hide) areas for joints and grafts. (Cutwaters and areas behind side turrets work well for that.)

But to show I don't always practice what I preach, here is one of the photos I didn't post, showing my less-than precision joint on the aft deck:

(The darned thing seemed to fit perfectly before it was glued, I swear....)

As an addendum, the next time I try the method, I'll try something it didn't occur to me to do this time: I'll scan the deck piece(s) on my scanner/copier, and see if that makes pattern-making any easier. Who knows, it could work.

Cheers

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Groton, CT
Posted by warshipguy on Saturday, August 20, 2011 9:52 PM

Thanks!  I'll have to give it a try!

Bill

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Illinois: Hive of Scum and Villany
Posted by Sprue-ce Goose on Sunday, April 21, 2013 8:59 AM

Beeee-eautiful work on that old kit. Big SmileYes

I picked up one of those at a local swap meet for $5 recently just because I never could afford to buy one as a child.

I'm not far into the build as I'm still sanding / scraping off the huge  " welds " Lindberg placed on almost every part of that kit.

I intend to use your idea for decking as it will help hide whatever "welds" I may not have been able to completely remove. I now better appreciate all the hard work you went through upgrading the kit.

You did a great job on that old kit !

I doubt mine will look half as good, but it's a warm up kit just to see if I want to build more warships in aprox. 1/350 scale.

Maybe a Revell Bismarck next time after I finish this nostalgia build.Wink

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Towson MD
Posted by gregbale on Sunday, April 21, 2013 9:27 AM

Sprue-ce Goose

I intend to use your idea for decking as it will help hide whatever "welds" I may not have been able to completely remove. I now better appreciate all the hard work you went through upgrading the kit.

You hit the nail on the head. Once I had resolved to hack away that weird area where Lindberg has the midships platform under the catapult extending out flush with the hull sides, and splice in some "deck" to restore something close to the original, I got to thinking it might be useful to be able to cover up the potentially-spotty joins under a layer of something. I'd been kicking around the "printed planking" idea for some time, so the two just came together.

This particular Bismarck has, alas, gone to ship-model Valhalla following an unfortunate plunge off the cabinet on which it was displayed, but I'm glad I have the pics to remind me.

Thanks for your kind comments, and I'd love to see yours as it comes along, if you'd care to post pics.

Greg

 

"Words cannot express how limited my vocabulary is."

  • Member since
    September, 2005
  • From: Illinois: Hive of Scum and Villany
Posted by Sprue-ce Goose on Sunday, April 21, 2013 9:36 AM

Thanks for your reply.

Sorry to hear your Bismarck no longer exists.

I hope you were able to salvage those expensive etched brass aftermarket parts for re-use.

I will be experimenting with alternate methods of dressing up the kit without resorting to PE aftermarket parts and will post photos when life permits bench time.

For some reason, work and life just keep interfering with my hobby time.........Sad

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