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USS Essex 1:350 Trumpeter Build

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  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
USS Essex 1:350 Trumpeter Build
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, January 11, 2018 9:07 PM

I'm multi-tasking. I rarely have more than one modeling project running at one time. Right now I have two (or more). One is the 1966 Ford Fairlane GTA that I'm posting on another forum here. This one is a Trumpeter 1:350 CV-9 Essex. This kit was given to me 6 years ago as a gift when I ran a modeling clinic for Middle Schoolers. It's been on the shelf waiting for this moment. I also had another Trumpeter kit in this series; the USS Hornet which my older grandson has almost finished except for painting. He's now 16, getting his driver's license and is now getting harder to get into the shop to finish it. I suspect he'll request that I do it.

I built a super-detailed Tamiya Missouri which I described on this site a number of years ago, and it set the bar for my ship modeling projects. That one had bells, whistles and bells on its whistles. That means this one's got to have the same thing if I'm going to display them in the same place.

While I have a load of PE left over from the Missouri project, I still need more Essex specific PE to account for all the catwalks, antenna and other carrier-based details. In looking around at what's available, I'm zeroing in on Gold Metal Models (GMM) Essex primary and auxilliary. It's a bit pricy at about $100 for both sets. There's another one available for almost $200 from Korea that includes tuned brass gun barrels for everything down to the microscopic 20mm Oerlikons. I'm not going to go that far. $100 for PE is rich enough for me.

Trumpeter models, especially the older ones (this one is 2002), have lots of parts and details, but aren't so hot regarding fits. If Tamiya or Hasegawa built this model it would go together like a watch. While this too falls under the "Can't spray solvent-based paints in the basement" rule. For the Missouri I used Life Color's Navy set. I liked those paints. they covered well, had no odor, and dried quickly. Vallejo has the first two points, but I find the drying time is long and I'm basically impatient. Patience is not my strong suit. Persistance is my strength. People often misunderstand the difference based on the level of modeling that I do.

I started this elaborate build following the instructions, but I will have to deviate when the PE arrives (haven't ordered it yet). Trumpeter separates the hull into an upper part above the water line and two lower parts cast in sort-of hull red, one as a water line plate and the other a full below-the-water-line hull. The upper part needed some cleaning up on the parting line on the bow and the stern. The lower part (I'm doing a full-hull model) needed clean up on various parting lines and two lumps which were the sprue connection. On the Missouri I replaced the prop shafts with steel rod and then painted them with the "white lead" that real prop shafts are painted to prevent corrosion and fouling. I will probably use a similar deal here.

 

It was researching what color were these shafts that led me to post an entire build thread in the WorldAffairsBoard Modeler's corner. The man that posted his picture standing on the Missouri's prop strut was "Rusty Battleship" aka *** Landgraff. He was the yard superintendent where the Iowas were re-fitted in the mid-1980s. He passed recently and will be sorely missed. He was on the board that was overseeing the reconditioning of the Iowa making it a museum ship now stationed in San Diego.

After the clean up, I installed the 3-part hanger deck, the little bits and pieces that go on it, and started installing the various bulkheads that line the hanger deck perimeter. In reading the GMM literature it said that Trumpeter's chocks were too tall to line up with their PE railings, I sliced off a little bit of each one with the fine razor saw before I fully separated them from the sprue. We'll see if they fit correctly when the rails go in.

In true Trumpeter fashion, a lot of other bits were separate pieces like many of the rectangular objects on the deck. There were about 15 of these pieces.

Next came the exterior walls of the hanger deck. Some of these pieces needed trimming becuase their length was too long to fit properly. I used Tamiya solvent cement and an occassional dab of thin CA. Several of these joints will require some additional filing and filling to get a good fit.

Unlike the Yorktown kit which had no hanger deck interior detail, the Essex kit does have quite a bit of interior details with walls that have shapes representing the trunks, ducting and spaces making up the walls of the hanger. 

That piece in the above picture didn't settle correctly to the deck and the outer wall was not flush with the hull below it. I didn't realize how annoying this was until I glued in the next piece (these are below the island). This next piece glued in flush and not there's a distinct discontinuity between the two, AND the first piece is glued in very soundly and would take some destruction to remove.

This really affects my sensibilities, but I don't know what to do about it. I may still try and pull the piece apart and realign the outer portion.

Since there is a hanger deck it deserves to be see somewhat. I started opening some of the roller doors to expose the insides. For the square-edged doors I used my fine razor saw and cut along the seam lines. 

For the ones that had a radiused corner I pre-drilled and drilled 1/16th away with an 1/8" drill to form the radius and then cut up to that. Clean up was done with files and sanding sticks.

The thin separators were deep enough that they held up to cuting, filing and handling.I continued aft and cut more doors open. I didn't open them all or roll the doors all the way up to add some interest. I used some filler to close up some tiny cuts from an errant razor saw. Incidentally, the saw I'm using is available from MicroMark. It's only 0.005" wide and cuts as fine as an Xacto blade. It has one drawback. The blade is so hard...and brittle... that if it drops on the concrete floor it shatters. I've lost many more blades through dropping than by wearing them out. I tape a large chunk of styrene rod to the handle so it stops rolling off the work bench.

I have a wonderful book with detailed prints of the construction of the USS Intrepid, an Essex class sister ship, and will be using it for the super-detailing information along with a pile of pics that I've downloaded. One of the details I'm adding is the changes to the port side sponson that was the terminus for a cross deck catapult. In 1944, this catapult was removed and two, quad 40mm bofors guns were installed. The sponson already exists so what has to be added is the shaped bulwarks that surrounds the decking. I'm going to cannibalize my old Tamiya Missouri (built in 1985) which is being used for scrap. Here's the sponsor in a fuzzy enlargement of the port side of the Essex showing the guns.

Notice the open WT doors and the roller doors at various heights. I was worried that I had to make the sponson too which fits the contours of the curved hull, but that's already in teh model. Making the bulwarks will not be too difficult our of 0.010" styrene sheet.

Here's a blowup of the plans from the Interpid book showing this detail.

Notice too that there are no circular tubs that need to be made. Again... easy peasy.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, January 11, 2018 9:56 PM

I'd like to view your WIP but the pictures are not showing up - just a circle in the middle with a horizontal dash within it.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:07 PM

same here mike , would love to see them

 

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Friday, January 12, 2018 12:43 AM

I’d go with the GMM sets. The various Trumpeter kits I’ve built have pretty decent 5” guns. The 20s are kind of junk, but account for a small part of the overall picture.

Im really pleased with their aircraft sets, it’s not hard to load the deck with planes.

 

  • Member since
    June, 2014
  • From: New Braunfels , Texas
Posted by Tanker - Builder on Friday, January 12, 2018 10:35 AM

Hi Builder2010;

 I do have to make a comment here . No Pics . For some reason they didn't come through . I know , I don't post them so why complain right ? LOL.LOL. Oh , The white - lead would've been for stationary ship only . Like in Moth - Balls . A turning shaft would have that stuff off in the first twenty nautical miles and  "Ahead half  , give me 115 turns  " 

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:13 AM

Don't know why the pics are missing. I'm seeing them on my Mac. I'm using Google Photos. Perhaps that's the problem. So... I could leave the shafts natural steel?

Here's the image that showed that color. The guy standing on the strut is *** Landgraff.

Doesn't look like that shaft was painted in drydock... Really gives you a sense of scale of just how freaking large capital warships are.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:14 AM

Seriously! There are asterisks where this guy's real first name is. Okay... let's say it's "Richard"... Richard Landgraff, but that's not how he refers to himself.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 10:55 AM

I'm going to upload some more stuff so here's hoping that it works. Some of the Google pics work and some don't so I'm perplexed as to what is happening.

Yesterday got some more work done. I decided to break that badly installed piece out and re-set it correctly. I was successful. I used clamps to hold it at the proper spot and added a piece of 0.010" sytrene to fill the gap between the two walls.

After shaving off the sytrene I used Tamiya filler to clean up the remaining gap. I'm not sure if there were visible seams between these external bulkheads. It's too late to worry about it since the seams are all filled.

I got to work on the port side, again cutting open various roller doors, gluing them in so they're flush with the hull and adding styrene where necessary to close larger gaps.

The forward door area is the one behind the added 40mm emplacement. The large open area is the mid-elevator which I'm going to model in the down position. 

I haven't sanded any of the port side filler. I'm definitely going to go with GMM since it's the most complete "normal" set, and is reasonably workable. I find that some of the other PE manufacturers etch so fine that they're almost unmanageable. You have to have some surface area to hold CA or solder. I reverted to solder when building the 40mm quad carriages for the Missouri. That was before I had my American Beauty Resistance Soldering System, so soldering these tiny parts was frustrating or worse. I would like to try and do it with the RSU.

In my excess PE cache I had a lot of watertight doors left over. On the Eduard sets, there are also open door sets. I decided to put one here. I opened the hull with a small carbide router, but made the hole a tad oversize and had to back fill after gluing on the door. When painted it will look okay. Research says almost all the doors were open unless they were in action and then the ship is buttoned up. I'll be more careful next time. You can also just paint the open space flat black and not cut any plastic.

On the Missouri I replaced all kit plastic masts with hand-made brass ones. I knew that plastic masts don't hold up, can warp and just don't make for a museum level model. It tested my patience and skill. I invented techniques holding the parts in pin vises and did all the soldering with a conventional Weller iron, not the American Beauty Resistance Soldering Unit (RSU) that I now own. The results exceeded my expectations. I'm thinking of going the same route for the Essex since it has some much masting overhead holding a lot of antennas. With brass you can also solder the PE to the mast, and not just rely on CA to do the trick.

Soldering pieces in close proximity without an RSU can be an exercise in futility.

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Saturday, January 13, 2018 11:04 AM

Builder 2010

 

Once again proving Morrison's Third Law of Modeling.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 2:45 PM

I'm glad you got the pictures. Now you piqued my interest. What is Morrison's 3rd Law of Modelling?

  • Member since
    July, 2014
  • From: Meridian, ID
Posted by modelcrazy on Saturday, January 13, 2018 3:03 PM

Builder 2010
What is Morrison's 3rd Law of Modelling?

That no matter the size of your workbench you will only have 2 sq ft of work space.

I think I got it right.

ON THE BENCH

1/72 Hasegawa Nell
1/700 Tamiya Scharnhorst / 1/700 Z-37 destroyer
1/72 Matchbox A-4 Mk-1 Comet

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, January 13, 2018 6:09 PM

Yessir. That is a good law. I have 10 times the work space in my new shop than I did in our old house and yet, don't have any space to put stuff. It's also a Parkinson's Law corollary "Junk expands to fill the space allowed".

And I am not a neat modeler. I have every tool I've ever owned out almost all the time. I clean up at the end of a project with the silent resolution that I can do better and that lasts until the new box is opened and work begins.

Even when I was a shop teacher in the early 70s, I was always running late in getting the kids to clean up before the 2nd bell went off and they all vacated. To make matters worse, I taught two subjects in two adjacent rooms: Power tech and Metals. My lead teacher was always slightly annoyed that my rooms were always in a state of semi-distress. His wood shop was always immaculate. Only after leaving public school teaching and going into industrial training did I find out from some visiting students that they learned so much more from my classes compared to his. It's too bad they didn't tell me that while I was still teaching... maybe I would have stayed (but they would have had to pay me more, which is why I really left).

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Saturday, January 13, 2018 6:27 PM

Pictures have appeared.

Looks like an interesting start. I'm looking forward to the rest of this WIP.

Your determination to get things right is commendable and your skills match that zeal.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, January 15, 2018 6:13 PM

Very happy pictures have arrived. Still don't know why that happened. And thank you...

The PE was ordered from TotalNavy.com, a comprehenisve website with lots of materials, paints, and PE for ship modeling. I ordered the GMM full Essex set, a fret of Eduard 1:350 WW2 Carrier Naval figures, and some brass display pedestals.

Today's work was a potpouri of various activities. Started out by finish sanding all the filler on the port side that was added on Firday and added some more today.

I'm reasonably happy with how the filling turned out. 

I want to light the hangar deck with LEDs so some of today's work was to prepare the hull for this. Much of this has to be done ahead of time or you're out of luck.

AC adaptors make great power supplies for LEDs and we all have a load of them in drawers of old cell phones and computer junk. I found another AC adaptor in a drawer upstairs in the office yesterday when I was getting our 2018 files sorted out. It was a 4 - USB port which no longer has any purpose since everything in the house runs on WiFi. The adaptor was 5.0 VDC and 2 amps so it could drive a pile of LEDs. I'm going to use an LED driver chip which takes any voltage input from 5 to 90 volts and outputs a 20 ma current that's directly able to drive a string of LEDs without the need for currect limiting resistors. 

I liked that the adaptor had a mini-power plug and the Belkin USB device had the female socket. I took the unit apart and de-soldered the socket from the circuit board and scraped the board. I then cut a rectagular hole in the bottom of the hull to accept this socket. I traced the socket's perimeter, opened it up with the carbide router, and filed it to final size for a snug fit. 

I needed to find out which socket leads were what and powered it up and measured the voltage. The center lead is +, and one side lead -, the other lead was dead so I cut it off. I now won't have the chance to wire it backwards.

I CA'd the socket into the hole and then glued some additional support around it with styrene. The socket had two little plastic alignment pins that I left on siince they acted as stops and positioned the socket nicely in the hole.

With the power input in place I needed to plan on how to get the wiring into the hangar deck. The lights are going on the ceiling so the wiring had to come up in a way to get there nicely. I drilled an 1/8" hole through the large structure that sits under the island and then continued drilling through the hangar deck below. I needed to then install a tube between the two holes so the wiring would be easy to thread. I cut a piece of 1/8" brass tubing and CA'd it into place. So that part is now done also. 

Next up was modifying the foward port-side sponson to become the new double 40mm gun emplacement. I was really glad that the sponson was already in the kit since it's a tricky attachment since the hull is not vertical so far forward. I was able to cannibalize a gun tube from my 1985 Tamiya Missouri which has been steadily being stripped of all usuable components before going under the scraper's torch. 

I cut segments of the tub to glue to the sponson edges. I then used some 0.020" X 0.188" Evergreen stock to form the rest of the sponson edges. I first used solvent cement and CA to better secure the walls. Lastly, I mixed up some J-B Weld 5-minute clear epoxy with a load of Micro-balloons filler to create the blob on the bottom that I'll shape to the curved bulge that mades up the transition from the gun tub edge to the sponson's flank.

While all this was curing I got back to work on the fantail adding some more bulkheads. I scraped off Trumpeter's molded-on doors and added some more open Eduard PE WT doors. I'm noting that the Trumpeter doors are a bit oversized, so there will be a difference between the PE doors and the model's.

I ended the session putting these parts onto the ship. I also finished sanded the filled fantail areas. I have to be careful going forward since there's a ton of PE that goes into the fantail. I don't want to glue in solid plastic only to find out when the PE arrives that it's got to be pulled out.

Since I'm adding two more 40mm emplacements that weren't in the kit, I pulled these off the Missouri too. These are the last non-damage 40s from that ship. I used a bunch of them when building the good Missouri. The screws in the pic are the ones from that USB hub that gave up its socket for the project.

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Monday, January 15, 2018 8:36 PM

still can't see them , sorry mate .

  • Member since
    September, 2012
Posted by GMorrison on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 12:44 AM

The brass pedestals or the steel bolts inside them make good conductors.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 10:52 AM

Again, no pictures.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:09 PM

Mike, I'm perplexed. I'm not doing anything differently in loading the pictures from Google Photo and yet one day you get them, then you don't, then you get them again, and then you don't again. Seems like the trouble may be on your end.

Again and day of jumping around between areas of effort. It started with filing and sanding the gun tub/sponson mod to give it a reasonable contour. In looking the print, the rail needs a dip in the center of each curve. I measured the pin on the Missouri's 40mms, set off the distance where the center should be, and then drilled with a #44 drill (after using smaller pilots). After the initial sanding, I slathered on some Tamiya Filler and after drying, sanded it again. When I was satisfied I used solvent cement and medium CA to glue the sponson in position.

You'll also notice that I drilled out all the portholes with an apropriately sized drill. First I tried it with a pin vise and then chucked the drill in the flexishaft and went at it.

While the filler was drying I went back to work on the fantail. Much of the middle deck was so obscued with overhanging decks, etc., that I realized that railings, ladders and painting would have to be done now. I don't have the new GMM PE yet, but had some railing stock from the 1986 when I built a Tamiya USS Enterprise with my first PE addition ever. Those old rails are clearly less delicate (or prototypical) than GMM's current production, but buried way under the flightdeck tail, it will serve the purpose, and, more importantly, it let me keep building while waiting for supplies to arrive.

I had a little Life Color Navy Blue and Deck Blue left from the Missouri build. I'm concerned that the Navy blue is not blue enough and, in fact, looks suspiciously like the deck blue. I used it, but don't know if I'm going to have to repaint when I get the ModelFlex Navy Blue. 

My first decision was what color to paint the undersides of exposed decking. I've read that white is used in some of the camoflage schemes, but I'm not sure what is used on Measure 21 (all Navy Blue on vertical surfaces). I had to brush paint this part which is the 3rd deck and nestles deeply under the flight deck.

I also had some Eduard inclined ladders left over so I was able to bend them up and install them on the two deck ladderway. Unfortunately, the distance to from the middle deck to the upper is longer than the distance from the lower to the middle and my Eduard ladders were a couple of rungs too short. I also had some very old GMM ladder stock (at least I think it was ladder stock) which I folded and use in the starboard side upper ladder. It looks different and much less elegant than Eduard's, but it's in a difficult to see space and will work okay. If I post the pic in the FSM Reader's Gallery, I'll be sure to photograph it away from this errant ladder.

These close up always show up places that need touching up. I'll do that tomorrow. There are many more parts that can be assembled prior to getting all that PE. I've looked at GMM's PE instructions to see what interactions there are and what I can and can't do yet if I don't want to paint myself into a corner, so to speak. One more word. Brush painting sucks! I thought about air brushing this tail end, but had so little Navy Bluie that it wouldn't work. All the defects I see are a result of not air brushing. I will rectify this going forward.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:52 PM

Builder 2010
. I'm not doing anything differently in loading the pictures from Google Photo and yet one day you get them, then you don't, then you get them again, and then you don't again. Seems like the trouble may be on your end.

I can only see the middle third of the photos.

When I use Google Photo, I always use Copy Image Location (right click the single image)
which generally looks like this:

(not mine, part of a diorama from Norfolk, VA.)
That image infor goes into the Source edit box of the Insert/Edit Image icon.

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:29 AM

About the photo posting:

When Photobucket dropped their free service, one of the hosting sites I tried was Google photo.  I found only about half the readers of my forum posts could see the images.  So I tried Postimage instead.  I like that service and have stayed with it.  I have not heard from anyone yet who could not see the images in my posts now.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:58 PM

I'm game. So let's try Postimage. I found that Photobucket was unreliable and their ads were boardering on manic and very difficult to work around. Please let me ASAP if the pictures fail to materialize.

I worked on more hull related things. I've gotten into a groove putting in the better, more scale-sized Eduard doors. While I have a ton of full doors left, I'm quickly running out of the nice open door etchings. 

I started putting on the remaining gun tubs on the sponsons, but before doing do, scraped off the molded-on WTDs and installed my own. It's a four-step process and goes something like this. I use a dividers to figure out a hole spacing for the extremes of the future door opening and mark this location. I drill the two holes with a 0.032" carbide drill in a pin vice. I then mark an intermediate hole and drill that leaving three small holes.

I found that a #44 drill is the next size that opens the hole, but not too big so it gives me some stock to carefully remove to bring it to size. Sometimes the drill skitters off the center hole, but that's not a big problem.

With a sharp #11 I carefully trim out the interior of the hole to conform to the shape of the door frame. I occassionally hold up the PE to the hole just to get a final size.

If you're careful you can also remove some small amounts when the door is glued in.

I took the above picture with a piece of black paper behind to make in dark inside. Most of these doors are in blind spaces so nothing will be seen inside. In the real ship, whenever a door opened into the hanger deck itself which was well lit, there is a light labyrinth to trap light from getting outside when running dark. I'll build those for the model also.

I had to filled the edges where the gun tubs fit their respective sponsons. Again, early Trumpeter's require a lot of craft if you want to make a respectable model (by my standards anyway).

I added the single 40mm gun tub and its associated director on the fantail. This part actually fit very nicely. I hand painted this also. In comparing deck blue and navy blue, the colors are almost identical with deck blue being just a tad darker than navy blue. I've read that the Modelflex colors aren't very authentic, I don't like Vallejo for airbrushing, and I can't seem to find Life Color in individual bottles (only in sets) and since I only need two of the colors and set doesn't work well for me. So I'm going to try and mix my own shade with Tamiya paints. I really like Tamiya best for airbrushing. I'm not color blind at all and do okay when mixing colors. I'll try with a very small amount to get the proportions and then enlarge the batch to the quantity I need. Navy Blue 5N is basically a very dark blue-gray. I start with medium gray, add the blue and darken it with black and see what happens.

In looking at the above C.U. I will have to do a better job on the deck blue painting.

Last thing I did was add the two 40 mm tubs on the startboard aft deck. The tubs were a no-brainer. I got one of the directors assembled and installed without drama. They're just a silly little two-part assembly. Then while removing the sprue nubs on the other director, it hit the floor, but I actually was able to see it land and try to get away.

I actually voiced "Aha! I've got you." (I often talk to myself when working). Then I was handling this director and it's little tub trying to get it perfectly centered and the darn thing hit the floor again, but this time it entered the quantum rift. GONE! Thought I saw it's trajectory, swept the area with a dust brush, crawled around on my knees in an ever-expanding search grid, but it was gone.

So I went back to my trusty old Missouri and popped one of the two similar director tubs that were on its fantail. An boy! Did it pop! It was very difficult to pry loose unlike other old glued parts. When it finally let go, I heard it hit the light fixture over my work bench then heard it ricochet onto my mobile work bench where I do a lot of the work. And sure enough, there it was right in the middle with a bunch of stuff around it. Whew! So I have one Trumpeter director and one Tamiya on that back deck. That Missouri is really starting to look like a ship that could be used for target practice.

I was looking today to buy enhanced 40mm, 5" single and double emplacement kits from Alliance Model Works. There are only four doubles and four single 5" guns and 8 - 40mms so it wouldn't break the bank to do it, but the Trumpeter guns aren't bad and the GMM PE set includes a lot of goodies to enhance them. Missing are the commanders' hoods for the top of the twin 5s, but I have them left over from the Eduard Missouri set. So I'm going to see how they build up and then decide if it would be worth the $$$ to upgrade. Also, looking at the kits, there's some very small finicky parts to deal with.

Just in case you're wondering or have forgotten how it is that I have all this excess Eduard PE after building a full-workup Missouri, it's becasue I had so much trouble with the Eduard parts breaking that they sent me another full set of four frets to use. As it was I did use quite a bit from that second set, but not all.

Eduard, like some other PE makers, etches the places where you're supposed to bend. The normal stock is 0.010", but it's half that at the bends. Being half-hard material, if it's bent more than once it can fracture. Some of these even broke before I got them off the frets. In some cases, more complicated bends fell apart in three or more pieces. There was some tricky railings on the Mo's superstructure that almost drove me crazy. Instead of being a single, nicely-bent piece, I was fumbling with sticking all these pieces on the model and trying to align the ends with stanchions with the three skinny pieces of brass sticking out where stanchions used to be. As a result, I like those companies that don't do this etching, but leave it up to me to measure and bend appropriately. It may take a little bit longer, but it doesn't break and therefore, takes much shorter.

You can anneal the brass to prevent the breakage (heat with a torch till it glows red and letting it air cool), BUT, and it's a big but, you now have a material that's so soft that it can't sustain its shape and this opens another hornet's nest of annoyance. (talking from experience here).

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, January 18, 2018 6:10 PM

Since I'm receiving no, "I can't see the pics" comments, I am assuming that PostImage actually works consistently. It's also fast, has no miserable ads popping up all the time, and seems very stable. Good suggestion!

I knew I had one more fret of Eduard Missouri PE that had some long railings on it, and finally found it. I was able to hack it up to get some very convincing longer rails to wrap around the fantial. The gun/director tubs break the rail in two. Eduard has opened the rails when they're opposed to deck chocks so I found chunks that did this for the Trumpeter kit. I had primed these rails a long time ago after dipping them in a vinegar bath to provide some "tooth" for good paint adhesion. I brush painted the Navy Blue after they were fixed to the deck. I also added a little chunk of rail on that stair well projection that sticks out of the starboard side. That may be a docking platform since this is the dock-side of the ship.

Notice how fine the Eduard etching is. It's one of their strengths. Here's the fantail basically completed except for the guns themselves. They will go on near the end. Because I have use more 40mms than included in the kit, I think I'm going to spring for the Alliance 40 mm kits. There are 6 per set and the model, I believe has 10 quad 40s including the two that I added on the sponson. This is a picture of the mount from Alliance. It's a terrific and very small model. 

Added a few other details (a port side aft 40mm tub and the platform that holds the ships boat) and then started paying attention to the bow. Since I filled the hull/deck gap in the stern, I was now compelled to do the same for the bow. The framing structure under the bow seems to be unaffected by the GMM PE, so I'll be able to glue all that in and air brush it, once I mix my own version of Navy Blue.

Lots of scraping and sanding to get the filler so it was decent. I wanted to add real anchor chain since this model does not have any molded on chain detail. I found two sizes in my ship modeling parts box. They scale out to 35" links and 25" links. 25" is more close to the real size (I think) so I went with it.

I chemically blackened the chain a bit and then drill a couple of holes where the chain disappears into the chain lockers at the base of the foc'stle. The trunks that feed the chain down are rather complicated based on drawings in my Intrepid book.

Now all of this is rather silly since you will be able to see practically nothing of what's going on on the foredeck since there's major structure around it, and then it's covered by the flight deck.

Having both a Iowa-class battleship and and Essex-class carrier at hand led me to compare their architecture. The carrier is basically an empty box, almost like a big Winnebego, whereas the battle ship is crammed with very heavy stuff. As result, the two ships are almost exactly the same length: Essex=880', Iowa=887', but their displacements are very different: Essex=25,000t, Iowa=45,000t. Their drafts are very different too reflecting this displacement difference:Essex=22ft, Iowa=33ft. And their speeds and this one is really interesting: Essex-30knots, Iowa=33knots, but the power to get them there also varies: Essex=150,000 hp with four turbines driving four, 4-bladed props, Iowa=212,000hp with four turbines driving four props (5-bladed inboard, 4-bladed outboard). The Iowa's had the highest horsepower powerplant of any ship in WW2.

I drew a plan for the base plate and have asked some friends with a wood shop if they'll cobble it together for me. I can do my own plexiglass work, but if I can find a shop in town that cut the plexi for me, I'd really appreciate that, since scoring and cracking plexi, for me, is hit and miss.

Drew this up with a combination of SketchUp and CorelDRAW.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:31 PM

The overall, or more accurately, the waterline lengths are similar due to the dimensions of the Panama Canal locks.  Which is why later carriers have significant overhangs fore and aft.

The horsepower thing is related to the displacement, water moves aside at only so great a rate, and compresses very poorly.  What's slightly interesting is that both the Iowas and Exxex were designed to cruise (most fuel efficient speed) of 15 knots.  Which will beggard the imagination of landsmen, to think of 17 mph as "fast."  But, one of the major post-war design issues was how to get the Amphibious Forces up to a cruising speed of 12 knots up from 8-10.

All of your photos in the last post are sharp and clear.

  • Member since
    December, 2010
  • From: Salem, Oregon
Posted by 1943Mike on Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:44 PM

Images you just posted are clear and well photographed.

You folks who build carriers are completely insane! So much work involved in so many different areas. Of course those who build the large military sailing ships are nuts as well with all the cannons and rigging. This is why I like this site so much ... so many crazy people building fantastic scale models. Since I am given to fantasy and day dreaming (Walter Mitty style) this is the place for me WinkBig Smile.

Mike

"Le temps est un grand maître, mais malheureusement, il tue tous ses élèves."

Hector Berlioz

  • Member since
    July, 2013
Posted by steve5 on Thursday, January 18, 2018 11:35 PM

couldn't have put that better myself mike .Ditto

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, January 22, 2018 8:47 PM

Right. When one thinks about the density of metal in a Battleship it's amazing that they float at all. Thank you Archimedes. Just one gun without the breech block is over 250,000 pounts. I believe it's 275,000# with the breech per gun and there's 3 of them. 750,000 pounds not counting trunions, elevating mechanisms and then there's the turrets themselves. One turret weighs more than the entire island structure on an Essex. Whew!

Didn't work today, but my Alliance 40mm Bofors quad gun emplacements came with shields. 

These packages are tiny and the stuff inside is tinier still. They will be a challenge to build, but the PE looks cleanly done and with good cross sections. Sometimes PE gets so thin that it's completely unmanageable.

 

  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Posted by Don Stauffer on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 7:55 AM

modelcrazy

 

 
Builder 2010
What is Morrison's 3rd Law of Modelling?

 

That no matter the size of your workbench you will only have 2 sq ft of work space.

I think I got it right.

 

Love it!  I keep adding to my workbench and find the same thing!

I thought of making my bench U-shaped.  But I have drawers in my bench, and I am afraid I would not be able to have drawers (that actually open) in a U-shaped bench :-(

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, January 23, 2018 8:37 PM

Happy Tuesday! Got in the shop, but have very little to show for it. I plunged right into attempting to build those teeny tiny AM-Works 40mm Quad Bofors Mounts with Shield. My worst fears are coming true. Just because you can actually etch something, doesn't actually mean mortals can build it. AM has the same problem that Eduard, they etch the bend lines. This makes brass that's so thin as to break down before you can separate the parts from the fret. Here's an example:

Those tiny hair-like pieces still sticking to the fret were supposed to be part of the base plate with railings. These were supposed to fold back upon itself to...what?...reinforce the very fragile railing. But instead, they simply separated from the part while I was carefully making the separating cuts. 

Futhermore, those rear railings are supposed to engage with a very fragile square-shaped side rail. Only problem is the side rail is supposed to attach at the corner in a butt-joint to effectively a brass hair. There's simply no surface area to apply any kind of adhesive. Without a corner connection, both the side and rear rails deform at the slightest touch, bump, breadth, etc.

Next there's the guns. Beautiful resin castings, but oh so fragile. I attempted to glue the gunner's seats on, and got one... sort of, and the other went into the PE ether. So the first one I built was an abomination. The real rail is a mess, there's one barrel missing, no gun sites or seats. Oh and the rail on the right side is missing entirely since I had to amputate since it got so out of whack.

I am nothing if not persistant and tried again. This time I thought (wrongly) to add the gear sector on the gun's bottom as shown in the instructions. Unfortunately, with the sector glued on the gun no longer can go on the mount. So I attempted, carefully, to cut relief slices into the center of the mount so the sector would slide into position. This worked until it didn't when the resin base casting broke and had to be CA'd back together. So the sectors aren't going on either.

I got the second mount done as far as the cartridge ramps and the rear platform. I was in the process of bending the front shield and ran out of time. I'll continue tomorrow. I'm not sure I'm going to get any satisfaction out of the this exercise and may just substitute those beautiful gun barrels on the GMM brass 40mm fittings. I'm assuming the GMM brass is a little more robust and hope they don't etch the folds.

The barrels have beautifully rendered flash hiders and recoil springs. And they're very delicate.

Here's that second mount. At least the full rear railings are intack (so far) and I got it on upside down since the out-of-scale diamond plate is now on the wrong side. Maybe folding it backwards kept it from falling apart so fast. You can see the slots I cut for the sectors that aren't being used.

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 5:46 PM

Plan B is now in effect. Plan B is to use Eduards gun mounts, base and shield, AM-Works guns, and solder as much of this together as possible.

While the Eduard bases have their own problems—seats, foot pedals and front railing-type-thingy—falling off before or during handling, the metal thickness is more capable of being handled and since it's all brass, the possibility of soldering it together.

When I built the Missouri's 40s 6 years ago, I didn't have the Resistance Soldering Unit (RSU), so when I tried to attach the mounts to the base, when I would try to solder the second mount, the first one would de-solder. And then when I tried to solder on the shield the heat would de-solder both gun mounts. This occurred with such frequency it would drive me to distraction.

Now, here's the process.

First I scrap off the primer in the places that I want solder. I then put a small drop of TIX liquid flux with a small artist's brush to further promote solder adhesion. I using a very small diameter rosin-core solder. I changed the RSU's tweezer points to get nice sharp points. I put the two points down on the base right in the little cleaned brass area, hit the foot pedal and wiggle them slightly to get a connection, and add a tiny amoung of solder as fast as I can. Repeat this for the other pad area.

I do the same for the as-yet folded gun mounts. On the Missouri, I also soldered the folder mount since I went overboard and line-drilled the trunions, and the Tamiya gun barrels and put a pin through them to hold it all together since I was having CA troubles. In order to stand up to the drilling I had to solder all the mounts so they were stable.

In this model I'm not doing that (yet) since I think it will work just with CA.

After attempting to CA the gun shield to the gun base with very little success (very little surface area for glue to adhere) I decided to try and solder them. I then had to clean and tin the parts of the base that would be in the joint. This is on the reverse side of the base. First I tried to tin the parts when they were all flat, but the solder was interfering in the fold line and results were dubious, so I changed routine and soldered the big pad for the mount when flat, then fold, and finally tin the areas on the side rails which would be involved in the shield joint.

To solder the mounts and base together—and this is where the RSU really earns its keep—I carefully place the mount over the solder pad, and then hold it down with the RSU tweezers. Since some of the area around this part is still painted, it took a bit of coaxing to get a connection. The RSU makes a very audible 60 hertz hum when the current is flowing through the joint. If you don't hear the hum, it's not conducting and you're not getting any heating. The Tweezers are putting pressure on the mount to both hold it in place and get a connection. Once the solder beneath the mount flows, I release the foot switch, but keep holding the tweezers in place until the joint cools. This all happens so fast that when I do the second mount, the first one doesn't de-solder at all.

The joints are very secure. It's not as easy as it looks since holding the tweezers steady with the right amount of pressure throughout the entire until it cools is challenging. I spent a lot of time positioning and re-positioning the mounts before hitting the foot switch.

As I said, CA'ing the shields wasn't working well so I decided to solder that too. Again I had to clean off the primer and add some solder.

I had trouble keeping my folds on the correct side on the base. I actually folded two on the wrong side and had to scrap one of them since when trying to re-fold it properly I generally screwed it up. You don't get a lot of second chances with PE.

Again, the most difficult part of soldering the shields to the mount was positioning and holding it steady enough with the tweezers so it could be soldered. Lots of time was spent doing this. 

I now have four mounts finished: one AM-Works mostly resin, and three Eduard-based units.

All of the units are hybrids with Eduard mounts, and either AM-Works or Tamiya guns. I don't have enough good AM-Works guns to do all 12 mounts. I've broken four AM guns already and have some left over from the scrap Tamiya Missouri. The AM guns are nicer, but they are ridiculously fragile and break if you look at them the wrong way. I don't know why they use a resin that's so brittle for these micro-parts.

Here's a Eduard/AM hybrid.

And here's a Eduard/Tamiya hybrid. Without magnification, you won't be able to tell the difference when in the case.

All of these mounts will be airbrushed Navy Blue and the guns picked out for some different colors, so all the heat discoloration will be no longer visible.

So... only 8 more to go. I'm getting 2 to 3 done per work session, but getting faster so I'll have these finished by early next week. Meanwhile, the GMM materials from Total Navy should get here by then.

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 6:57 PM

Builder 2010
the turrets themselves

The turets on USS Texas are about 1400 tons each.

The Iowa class turrets are 2500, about the same weight as a Fletcher class DD.  Each.

Boggles the mind even coping with the scale of things.

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