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1:72 Iowa Class Mark-7, 16"-50cal Turret #1 with Custom Interior Start-to-Finish

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  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 1, 2022 4:53 PM

Painting really began today. I repaired the powder flat floor by simply brush painting up to the edge. Any error were overcoated with Dullcoat to seal the Tamiya dark color from the white that will repair the error. Otherwise, the white would leech the dark color and require many more coats. It required two coats of the linoleum brown to give and even look. I had already repaired the peeled paint on the outside of this piece.

To prevent any more paint lifting since I had used the Rust-oleum on many of the parts, I just attacked the rest of the flooring with the brush. It's actually much faster since the masking of these complex surfaces takes a long time. And again, I overcoated with Dullcoat to fix any errors.

This is the Electric Deck. The floor areas not painted are where additional things are going in especially that large center section which I also have to paint the flooring.

And here's the pan deck's floor. Again, there's a lot of stuff that gets put down here on the unpainted areas.

And I started painting the officer's booth floor and rangefinder. It's all being brush painted since, besides the potential paint lifting problem, it's a very complicated topography. I found a nice light gray Tamiya paint (IJN Light Gray) that seems to be the right shade for the range finder and the breach block for the guns. The rest of the mechanism I'm going to do in a darker gray shade to give some definition to the model.

Painting will continue tomorrow. If the weather cooperates, I will paint the inside of the gun house white.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 5:39 PM

Did a bit more painting on the complicated officer's booth floor. This time I added the Tamiya Neutral gray for the range finder's support system. All the little bits that are white are going to be brass. Like the rest of the turret, any surface that could create a spark is brass.

Then I went to work on detailing the outer shells. I realized this morning that I better put the brackets in now before going further with more detail painting. I drew all these brackets and suppors based on the drawings of the whole turret, which in turn was the basis for creating the shells out of styrene. Afterall, those patterns were created directly from the same drawings. Due to some misalignment (my bad) of the annular decks, the first projectile flat's brackets needed to be hand trimmed and/or extended to fit the space. I used gel CA for all the gluing.

This picture shows all the brackets in their final positions and painted. The ones in questions are supporting the annular decks for projectile flats 1 and 2.

Then it was time to install the big boys... the brackets that support the ring gear/roller bearing system. For some reason, I got completely off track on this one. I started believing that the ring gear rested on top of the lower, tapered shell's top edge. When I went to fit the big brackets into this space, they really didn't fit at all. I had extras and started to modify one of them to fit, but then the ring gear didn't set on them correctly either. Something was amiss!

I decided it was time to check my drawings. Sure enough I was putting them one deck too low. The ring gear doesn't sit on the tapered shell's top. It sits up much higher and is support by these massive brackets that are welded to the barbette lower shell. When I moved them to the new position, they fit really nicely.

I glued these in attempting to get them equidistant around the perimeter taking in consideration that there are other structural bits that I added to hold it all togeher.

When I did a trial fit, the ring gear didn't nestle against the brackets. There was a big space. I corrected this by adding an 1/8" filler piece to pack out the bracket so it would contact the entire ring gear assembly. The ring gear is a single part 3D print, so there's no adjustment there.

With the filler in place, I now have nice contact for gluing this critical part in place.

I then test fit both ring gears in their positions and took this image. Looks just like my drawings.

With these parts installed (and in the right places) I can now continue with the deck painting, and installing all the detail items like hatches, scuttles and air bottles.

Tomorrow should be a productive session since it's not going to be interrupted with either a haircut (yesterday) and a PT appointment today. I should be getting into painting a lot of the other detail stuff like all those pumps on the electric deck.

Meanwhile, my dear old friend Bryant, is making good progress on the wooden base for the display. He's going to finish in a teak finish to emulate the new teak decking being installed on the Big J.


  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 10:00 PM


Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 3, 2022 5:38 PM


Today was 100% painting and little tiny print job.

I was unhappy with the oil reservoirs on the ramming machine and one of them was missing, forcing me to do something. So I quickly drew a corrected shape and printed them. I removed the wrong ones from the two that were in place and added all three so they're more correct... not perfect... just better.

I had painted the rear parts of the rammers, but didn't paint the foreward parts until I had these little bits attached. I used Gel CA to do the job. The one of the right was completely missing... Don't know when it disappeared so I printed it with the stem. I cut the resevoirs off the printed stems for the other two and just glued the to the cut off stumps.

I then went back to finishing all the other details. I found that a terrific gold is the Rust-oleum gold paint pen. Unfortunately, mine hadn't been used in months and the tip was dried solid. i pulled it out and pumped some of the paint into a clear egg carton space and used it with a brush. It's enamel-based so it doesn't leach into the Tamiya alcohol-based paint. So all that's supposed to be brass is now "brass". This is the forward facing area.

This is the rearward facing area with all the interesting stuff. As you can see the Rust-oleum has a nice metallic gloss. I may use some panel accent, but it would require gloss coating the whole deal before I use it. If you use Tamiya panel accent on flat paints, the stuff spreads all over and makes a mess. The optical ends are not glued in. They won't be permanently glued until the gun house top is in place. Otherwise, you can't get the entire thing in.

I don't know about you, but this massive assembly really looks pretty good.

I also finish painted the two powder trunk lower units. There's controls and circuit boxes lining the walls, but the viewing angle won't permit seeing any of it. Therefore; I didn't spend the time timing to pick out the detais.

Lastly, the piece de resistance... the alcove piece. Looks pretty spiffy too. This painting is a direct result of the detail shots I took onboard the ship.

I also painted the dark iron parts of the projectile flats (the rotating decks) and ran out of it. I was just at the hobby shop two days ago, but didn't realize that it was just about done. Now I have to go back. It's only 6 miles away and I can get there in 12 minutes, but I can't just go in an buy a bottle of paint. I get to bs'ing with the staff (who I really enjoy interacting with) so it's usually 45 minutes to an hour before I get out of there.

Tomorrow, more things will be painted.

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, November 3, 2022 6:59 PM

Now it's getting really exciting.  Great painting Myles!



  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, November 5, 2022 10:54 AM

Sure is! Can't wait for the next castrophe to make it even MORE interesting...

Short session... did some more annular deck painting, 2nd coat on P-decks inner ring, primed the inside of the gun houses (outiside), painted the gun girder, and a tiny added color to the officer's booth.

Here's the first coat of the upper annular decks. I have to back paint around the wall/deck junction to even out my shaky hand painting. I chose not to attempt masking and airbrushing based on the horrible paint lift experience from the other parts. 

I'm using Tamiya Dark Iron for the projectile deck surfaces. They are actually bare steel covered with grease so the projectiles can slide easily. Their color is a dark rusty brown, just like this one. I may do a surface treatment to give it some wear and shine... or not. I'm going to paint all the inner deck structure a medium gray, and only leave the white for the exposed surfaces. All the cutaway edges are going to be trimmed in red. That's going to be a finicky operation to not screw up the rest of the painting.

Here are both projectile decks with their interior linoleum color. All the boxes on the walls will be light gray, and all the machinery neutral gray. The inside of the cutaway powder trunks will be galvanized steel color. The areas of the floor that are white are masked areas waiting for installation of the machinery.

I wanted to add the yellow caution striping on the steps and did that yesterday. Ryan Scyzmanski informed me today that all the tanks are white so I'll fix that.

The weather was just about right for outdoor painting yesterday so I took advantage of it an primed the gun house interior with Tamiya white surface primer. It was breezy so I just made sure I was spraying downwind. The exterior will be WW2 haze gray.

I have two more pictures but Post-image is suddenly suffering from an "internal server failure" and they're not loading. When they get back on line I'll edit this post.

I'm back... it wasn't Post-image's problem, it was Spectrem Internet's. They claim no outage in the area, but we're having high winds and that can cause problems. I was getting 70 mbs download and 0.19 mbs upload, i.e., nothing. It just came back on so the pictures loaded properly. 

Here's the inside primed. The LEDs are liquid masked. I may leave it as is and not do any more interior paint.

 And here's the gun girder. The sides of the girders should be white, and tops raw metal. I have to put in the partitions down the sides, and these could cover the dark iron overspray. Otherwise, I may put on dullcoat to seal, mask the top surfaces and airbrush the white. The gun lugs are going to be machinery gray. The forward cross member will be out of sight I believe.

  • Member since
    January 2015
Posted by TheMongoose on Saturday, November 5, 2022 2:36 PM

Awesome stuff! There's so much detail to look at in every shot that the color is bringing forward.

In the pattern: Scale Shipyard's 1/48 Balao Class Sub! leaning out the list...NOT! Ha, added to it again - Viper MkVii, 1/32 THUD & F-15J plus a weekend madness build!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, November 7, 2022 5:57 PM

Hand painting takes a lot of time! Had a pretty long session today, but output doesn't reflect the input effort. I spent time doing more painting of the projectile decks, more work on the outer shells, and finally adding the edging on the cutaways on the Pan Deck.

I worked on cleaning up the floor/wall demarcartion line, painting the already-printed details, painting the projetile stowage ring and adding the cutaway edges.

I mixed a blend of Nato Black and Molotow Chrome to create a dark steel color and painted the stowage ring to contrast a bit from the deck dark iron surface. I painted the circuit boxes, hatch and gypsy head drive motor the light gray with a black base. The cutaway powder trunks got their interior walls painted a galvanized steel mix I use and the bottom flat black to appear as a hole going down, and also its edges painted.

Note the difference the edge painting adds. I also want to dry brush some metallic highlights on the ring gear that runs around the base of the inner bulkhead.

With the major painting done, I will paint the gypsy heads and then add the remaining parts to these and call them done.

I painted the interiors of the deck structures with the neutral gray. My least favorite kind of brush painting; interior of awkward shapes. I went back and forth a few times trying to get a clean deck/wall line. It's sort of an exercise in futility because the edge itself is so ragged due to all the adhesive I had to add to close all the gaps and hold it all together. Even masking wouldn't have worked due to these inconsistencies. It's almost finished. I have to also do the red edging on this large assembly. Any slop you see will be fixed by the edging.

Lastly, I finished up the pan deck's floor/wall joint and then painted the red edging.

I'm not 100% happy with the way the white paint looks, and white is very unforgiving.

The edging tells you that this missing space is intentional. There are a lot of vision blocks  that will be going in to this space including non-cutaway powder trunks, the elevation and training B-ends, the projectile trunks and the ladders up to the gun compartments, and finally the primerman's platform which I'm thinking to build with a soldered brass frame. The prototype's bases is a spindly metal affair that would lend itself to a soldered piece.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, November 7, 2022 6:47 PM


Painting is a very cool phase of the build. Now you really get to show off all the detail you put in there. White can sometimes really be a pain to paint - my favourite solution here is to use Tamiya white spray primer - this thing can be a life saver sometimes. Did you try to use some black or gray wash on the details? This can sometimes improve the painting even further.

Here's what I managed to paint out of my detailing using the things I mentioned above (plus some sponge-applied chipping):

1:35 hydraulic tank

Good luck with your build and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 8, 2022 5:34 PM

Thanks Guys!

A great piece of machinery! I use Tamiya white primer all the time. On my third can on this project. I'm not going to weather very much. This was a flagship, and I would guarantee that any time they weren't at battle stations, they were cleaning, painting and polishing. You can't use the images of the unrestored areas on an 80 year-old ship as a guide, You have to remember that the Iowas entered WW2 very late and they were effectively new vessels. Furthermore, Iowas were almost untouched regarding battle damage. Even the lone Kamakazi didn't do more than scratch the Missouri's paint. That said, I am going to use some panel accents to highlight some areas. The difficulty is the viewing angle. The decks are low and the eye lines into them are almost horizontal. Much of what I'm painting won't even be seen.

One last point... this is basically a teaching model, not a historical depiction. Most teaching models are pristine with no weathering at all.

I've finalized the display drawing that I will be printing out on a large piece of photo paper along with the key on another sheet. I originally was going to have SketchUp's shadow setting on, but it hid some of the details.

Between exercising (sciatica is still a pain... literally) and voting, I didn't have much time, but made it worthwhile. I stuck all the machinery to the paint board and airbrushed the neutral gray. I let it dry and then popped them all off making an impressive pile.

I then, using fresh masking tape, stuck all the structural doodads on the paint board and painted it all a much lighter shade of gray. The gray is darker than it appears in this picture. I also, using a cool holding fixture printed by my friend Ed Tackett, painted the remaining parts for the projectile hoists and the ladders that attach to them.

While these were drying I finished the shells with the red edging and then more touch up. This part is ready for installation of its attachments.

The only piece of machinery that I could not airbrush was the e-deck center section. This was a brush painting challenge due to the access. I got it almost all done. What's left is some small piping, the edging and retouching the white. Should the webbing around the bulkhead openings be painted a contrasting gray? Never getting into the e-deck or seeing a single picture of it, I don't know what color anything is.

I am also going to pick out the shafting with molotow chrome to make them pop.

The neutral gray was dry enough to pick out some of the brass parts. Again, I'm using Rust-oleum gold pen. There's a pump inside the tube. You pull out the wick, and using a small diameter round rod, activate the pump to push out some gold paint to use with a brush. This included the brass control quadrant on the projile hoists and the handwheels/seats on the Pointer/trainer stations on the e-deck machinery units. There are more details to pick out on the hoists.

I'd like to put some small arrow decals on the hydraulic piping, but YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SEE IT! I did that in ALL CAPS becasue it is a certainty. I did that viewing test a while back and you see almost nothing.

Lastly, I got the rest of the cutaway edges painted on the e-deck and powder flat. That job was actually easier than I thought. I was contemplating having to find a red marker or paint pen to do this edging. Insteal I used one of those tiny makeup brushes that I buy from Amazon. They're about 8 bucks for 100. When they don't work right you throw them out.

This are moving more quickly now. I can actually see assembly starting in earnest by the end of the week. The New Jersey will be open during Christmas week and we may be back East at the that time which is a perfect time for me to deliver the model. I will definitely be done by that time.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 5:28 PM

I had about 45 minutes before I had to leave for my PT appointment. I was able to continue picking out the details of all the machinery using the Molotow chrome mix I have. I left for the appt. and was one exit away on the expressway when I got an urgent call from my wife. She was out doing her 3 mile walk and had tripped and fallen at a piece of pavement that was misaligned. She was banged up pretty bad. I turned around, did 95mph on the highway and got to her in less than 10 minutes. We had our orthopedic surgeon son in law look at her right hand and it doesn't appear to be fractured. She hit her face and has a fat lip, bumped her knee and has some sore ribs. Ergo, there was no more model work today.

Here's all the machines with the tubing and shafts picked out.


And the same for the center section.

Hopefully, she'll feel better tomorrow.

  • Member since
    January 2021
Posted by JoeSMG on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 6:20 PM

Very cool, the detail level is off the charts. I really enjoy zooming in on your high res pictures and checking it all out. You've done a great job designing and printing this project and the build is coming along great because of it. I hope you enjoy the 3d design part as much as the actual building, I know I do and it is at least as much work. I find knowing every bolt is where it is becuase you put it there, very satisfying!

Keep up the good work, I know it can be 1 step forward, five back at times but it looks like your past most of that.

Edit: Just read the next post and saw your wife had an acident, sorry to hear about the fall and happy to see it wasn't too serious. That'll teaach me not to jump right into the Pics.



- Joe the SMG

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 6:44 PM


I hope your wife will get well soon, sorry to hear about that accident!

Those gray machines look great on the white background. I understand your point about no weathering on this model - I still think some washes might be good here, not so much to simulate dirt, but more for shadows and detail highlighting.

Good luck with your build!


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 10, 2022 5:25 PM

My wife is on the mend. She feels like she's been in a car wreck, but if 3 Advil make it feel better, she's not seriously injured. Nothing's broken (other than her spirit) and she will be back to her full, energetic self.

This is the face of the Ballistic Computer in the Officer's Booth. It's a complicated mess of dials and pointers that when set correctly, let the big guns hit what we want them to hit. There's one of these in each turret and then two more in the fore and aft plotting rooms. Lots of redundancy. I took this image at the Big J visit in July. 

I scaled it to fit the face of the model computer that I printed, and printed out a sheet of them.

Here's the output. I don't have CorelDraw anymore, but have InkScape, which is also a vector drawing program. The nice thing about vector drawing is fidelity does not change regardless of how small or big you make the drawing. 

It looks like there's nothing there, but the printer actually resolved something. Unfortunately, you can't see it with the naked eye. In other words I've actually created detail that isn't visible to humans without some serious magnification.

This is a close up of the decal. The details really aren't all that discernable, but there's something there.

Since you can't see any of this, I'm not upset by the distortion. It will be placed on this lovely little detail which I finished painting today. The decal is printed out on clear decal film so for any of the white details to show I needed a white background. Since it needed to be gloss anyway for good adhesion, I painted it with gloss white. I'll apply the decal tomorrow.

I completely finished the first batch of added details, the machinery ones. Lots of going back and forth with various colors to get the color breaks as good as I could. My hands aren't so steady... it's not age related. They never were particularly steady. Thankfully, my son's, the eye surgeon, and son in law's, the orthopedic surgeon, hands are steady as a rock.

The tops of the oil resevoirs that have that topknot are now brass. The cable reel that hoists the powder carts are black. I will use some E-Z Line to simulate the cable during final assembly. The center section is fully done and ready for installation into the electric deck.

I started painting the rear gun compartments. These are nice challenging model painting tasks. I printed the spanning trays way to thin... almost a scale thickness. And they kept fracturing at the junction to the thick part. I've reprined them, but didn't change the geometry, and I'm paying for it. I had to CA another break today and am a little squeamish about handling them for fear of breaking them again. If it breaks again, I may have to bite the bullet and redesign the cradle assembly to make that part more robust.

I'm starting with the neutral gray cradle body. The walls stay white which is why I painted them that first. It is really neat that all that piping is actually separate from the walls. Makes painting it more possible.

Last thing today was modifying the electric deck's bottom adding a spacer ring so the projectile hoist on the projectile flat one deck below would properly fit the space. If you remember back a few weeks, I had spent time making the p-flats the same height only to find that the top was being spaced differently due to the large boss on the electric deck's base. Rather than reprint that projectile flat or individually change the projectile hoists, I just took some scrap styrene centers left over from making the annular decks, and cut an i.d. to correspond to the middle p-flat's rotating deck. I needed about 0.080" so I laminated two 0.040" rings. I had to relieve the rings where the LEDs were and cut out the projectile trunk's openings. I used the 3M transfer adhesive tape to cleanly and permanently attach the ring. The ceiling is white so I'm may not even paint this. I tested the projectile hoist's fit and the spacer works well. All the cutting was done with the 1/16" solid carbide router.

All this detail painting should be done in a couple more work sessions.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, November 11, 2022 6:22 PM

Happy Veterens Day! What an appropriate project to be working on...

I had one of the longest work sessions today in the entire project, over four hours. I was able to do this because I did my back therapy stretching when I first got up at 7:30 leaving a whole lot more day to work in the shop.

I was fix'n to start laying in the apparatus in the electric deck and this meant pulling off the tape protecting the nascent gluing surface. And again, I had some paint delamination. This isn't a big deal here because it's just some floor color that I'll touch up after installation.

I decided to detour. I need to solve the how-to-run-all-the-wires problem and it directly involves the e-deck. I don't want to install anything until the wiring runs are finalized.

I did a raft of detail painting and got a stiff neck as a result. I think I'm ready to paint Fabergé eggs. I had done a little bit of trial painting on one of the rejected rear bulkheads so I knew what to expect. I will say that you can get slightly sharper edges in injection molded parts than 3D printed, but it's no show stopper.

First pass wasn't bad and some minor backpainting with the white cleaned up most of the edges. I had lunch in meantime and that steadied my hands a bit. i find that if I really want steady hands a good shot of bourbon and a big pasta dinner makes me steady as a rock.

Not shown: I airbrushed the armor piercing projectiles and the powder flat air bottles semi-gloss black. When i finish detail painting of these I will take some photos. I still have to airbrush the O.D. projectiles, and the tiny ladder rung assemblies need to be painted. I have another big pile of light gray parts that need detailing, but this is all going to be done in one session.

I then finished up all three of the rear compartment pieces. Again, paint, backpaint, paint, backpaint and it's done.

Here's an overview of today's production. That strange part in the middle is the officer's booth communications panel.


Looking closer at the rear compartments;

Here is the left most compartment.

Looking at the reverse view you can see the projectile in the ready position ready to be rammed when the breach is opened.

This is the center compartment with the steel ladder up to the officer's booth.

And here's the right compartment. Also shown is one of the two auxiliary sighting systems that I also finished painting. I went with a two-toned scheme just to help show the contours. There's no rear door in the left and right compartments as the entrance is from the side corridor leading to the sighting stations.

I couldn't help myself and stuck the three into their slots in the gun girders. There will be partitions between the gun pits. I was originally going to use transparent styrene to make them so you could see across, but the cutaway work has been so successful that I might use the white styrene and cutaway strategic parts to show the gun flanks which would be hidden from view (as they are in real life).

Everyone have a nice weekend. See y'all on Monday.

  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Friday, November 11, 2022 9:56 PM
 Very much in to the Oh WOW! Category.  It really looks like you said it was supposed to. Bow Down
Best to your wife. Mine did the same thing , the same way, but had a broken arm to show everyone- she as NOT amused. Hmm


Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Saturday, November 12, 2022 6:22 PM

I was mistaken... had a rare Saturday session. 

I found the wiring route from the gun house down to the electric deck. I'm installing a wiring tube so it will be easy to direct the wires southbound. The tube exits the pan deck OUTSIDE of the electric deck and I will then route them inside and down the central column. This will be at the back, fully enclosed part of the model and will be out of view. The wiring in the gun house is also down the back wall, unseen by the viewer.

The pipe is JUST big enough for four of the tiny wires to pass through. With the route figured, I'm now green-lighted to install all the apparatus. I'm still having trouble getting the e-deck to nestle snuggly under the pan deck. It seems to be rocking on something in the middle that's a little high, but I can't identify what it is. I really want it to sit flush all the way around.

I bit the bullet and reprinted the right rear compartment. I was unhappy with the repairs on the spanning tray and didn't like that it was sitting further rearward than the other two cradles. It was printing while I was working and it just finished. I'll clean it up on Monday.

I printed it with the cradle and the rest as two separate assemblies, thereby reducing the difficulty of removing supports and painting things that are unreachable. I'm thinking of doing the same thing for the middle compartment. It only take 3 hours to grow a new part and it would make them perfect. There were a lot of dubious aspects to those parts that can readily be fixed. I've said it before (many times), the ability to reprint corrected, broken or lost parts is one of the most valuable aspects of having the printer sitting in the shop.

I spent the rest of the day hand painting more parts. I finished the air bottles. I attempted to use Bare Metal Foil to make an actual metal band around the tanks, but something about the semi-gloss black made the foil's adhesive not work, so I went old school and hand painted the bands.

I used some Tamiya black panel accent to dirty up the turret clips and hydraulic dampers. While I'm not weathering this beast much, these parts would be buried in the bowels of the turret, wedged between the barbette ahd the electric deck outer bulkheads so a little dirty wouldn't hurt. Unlike the aspects of the ship that are accessible by humans and therefore; constantly being maintained, these parts would only be seen during major overhauls. I picked out the rotary switched on the panels using some Molotow chrome. It's very subtle since these raised details are very tiny. I'm out of all my Molotow stuff and will have to get more.

Those air tanks are these (below) that line the annular space between the magazines and powder  flat. Actually, now looking again at them, the straps are painted metal, not bright. I'll leave them alone.

Almost everything is painted except the O.D. shells, practice rounds, and the metalic parts of the powder scuttles. I have a rescheduled PT appointment on Monday mid-afternoon that will interrupt my work, so it should be done by Tuesday. Meanwhile, the base is getting its 3rd and 4th coats of clear finish and I'll be getting that in my hands in probably a week.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, November 14, 2022 8:10 PM

The reprints worked as planned and I have to paint these two assemblies. Having the cradle/spanning tray as a separate part will make painting much easier. The cradle is just  sitting there for the picture. I redrew the tray so I eliminated that weak area that kept fracturing.

I finished the painting of the powder flat accessories including the quench tanks, and inside and outside powder scuttles. I painted the powder bags hanging on the output side of the scuttles. With this painting done, all that's left are the extra projectiles, the ring gear, the entire exterior of the gun house, and (and I almost forgot) the guns themselves.

With these parts I can now add the accessories to the powder flats and the annual rings to finish up that deck.

I added the decal to the ballistic computer and you can actually see some of the graphics. It looks like gobblety goop, but it's something. This image is a ridiculous enlargement.


  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Monday, November 14, 2022 8:24 PM


I just love that shot of the ballistic computer - would be good to know how big it is, but the fact that you see so little to no "printer grain" just show how unbelievably good the print quality is...

Good luck with your build and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 15, 2022 5:24 PM

Construction is officially beginning. I got the doodads installed in the officer's booth, with the placing of the ballistic computer, switch and communications panels. I used 3M transfer adhesive tape to hold the ballistic computer, but that may or may not work. I used gel CA to hold the other two AFTER scraping the gluing area to expose bare resin and avoid that delamination problem.

I airbrushed the O.D. and light blue to finish up the first coats on all the outer rim projectiles. I have to decorate all the projectiles with the yellow and metallic noses, and paint the brass spin bands that run around their bases. Again; o.d. is high explosive, black is armor piercing and light blue are practice rounds.

I started installing the decor into the powder flat. The openings were tight and I had to file some of them. Even with that, I put a teensy weensy bit of extra pressure getting a hatch in and was greeted with a breakout. This was the area that was heavily rebuilt with Bondic and filler, which made it even more brittle than normal. I put the pieces back in with med CA and will add some filler and touch up paint. It's already around the curve so this may not be viewable.

But, I still was able to get some stuff in. Here's what the inside looks like with the output end of the scuttles in place. After I took this image, I pulled the masking off the floor. This time, to prevent paint delamination, I scribed around the edges first and pulled the tape with no paint peeling. One more hatch and two scuttles will complete this and then I'll install the lower components of the powder hoist system.

See y'all tomorrow.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 17, 2022 5:18 PM

Author's note: This was yesterday's post that I forgot to transmit due to being interrupted by some TV shows.

With another long session, things are accelerating. Once all the stuff is painted (almost), it's an assembly job and, unlike a modern plastic kit, these parts contain all the details in a single piece. All that work was done in the drawing phase.

I wanted to simulate some glazing in the portholes and bought some Microscale Kristel Klear, but the stuff apparently kicked. This is what I was greeted with when I opened the brand-new bottle. It was just a pile of thick glop that was not capable of making any windows.

I then resorted to using Bondic. it works, but it has to be applied really thick before it will bridge the space.

I finished the rotating portion of the powder flat with the gluing in of the remainder of inner and outer powder scuttles and hatches, plus the two powder hoist base pieces. After trial fitting this deck with the projectile flat above, and found that the powder hoist bases were too tall by about 1/8". Again, it was a bit stressful to hack that much material off these parts that were already CA'd to the floor. 

I used the Dremel with a big abrasive cut-off wheel that had enough radius to cut at least halfway across. I measured the exact amount of offset I needed and scribed this with the calipers. I then put on a dust mask and went at it. Results were good and the two decks now nestle together as they should.

I mounted the quench tanks with 1/32 phos-bronze pins to make sure they were secure.

I couldn't help but to put a projectile flat on top and light it up. I'm happy to see that the layers of paint on the walls are nice and opaque and aren't letting any light leak through.

Of course all those wires will disappear down the central column. 

I then did the same thing to both projectile flats by finishing the painting of the gypsy heads with brass. I again used the #11 to trace around the glue masks so they wouldn't pull all the paint off during demasking. Everything dropped in where it was supposed to including the six projectile hoists.

Lastly I put the hatches and scuttles on the outer shell. I ran out of inner scuttle parts and had to print some more. I never, ever delete the slicing files. The ChiTuBox Pro lets you save the set up which loads very quickly and can be worked on immediatel. 

Here's where the air bottles will go. They're not glued in...

And here's a passal of scuttles ready for cleanup.

One last thing... I finished up the reprinted rear compartments. They look just as I would like.

Up next is today's work.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 17, 2022 6:02 PM

Now for today's post. 

First of all, here's a shot of the base getting its final clear coats at my friend Byrant's home shop in Albuquerque. He's got a craftsman brain where everything he does is a piece of art.

Today was another milestone day, even though I didn't get into the shop until 3:00. The electric deck is now finished with all it's machinery in place. Instead of wildly spraying accelerator on the masked gluing areas, I just brushed a thin layer of the stuff where the glue was going to go. When using the Gel CA, it cures really slowly without accelerator.

Here are two views of the deck: the top view,which no one will see, and the oblique side view, where the viewpoint will be restricted through the cutaway area. My wife suggested that I include a board with some of these overhead shots to show what's not being seen in the model. It's interesting that one of the pointing systems has the motor on the far left, a long drive shaft and the hydraulic pump on the right side to scoot around the powder trunk that rises up right in the middle.

So here's what's built so far; Again... all those cables will disappear. You can clearly see why lighting is so critical.

I then installed the pan deck equipment. I continued to touch up the paint and will probably keep doing this until the plexi-cover is in place. The front upper part finally fractured. It was a very thin cross-section and was way out of roung.

And a more overhead view... Seen in this image are the B-end pointing machines with their rotating screw boxes (which actually work) and the two B-end training machines that tied into the massive worm gear boxes and down to the drive pinions.

To repair the break, I traced the actual curve and am laminating three pieces of 0.040" styrene to form a backbone and hold it into shape. I don't think this reinforcement will foul anything that goes on top.

So the massive pile of parts is dwindling. All that's left are the parts for the gun house itself (the guns are over on the messy work bench waiting for their final painting) and the projectiles which need the trim colors painted. Then I have to finally cut the remaining partitions that separate the three gun rooms, plus two more lateral partitions that line the side compartments.

The end is in sight!

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Thursday, November 17, 2022 7:48 PM

Watching your vision come to life has been extrodinary.



  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Friday, November 18, 2022 5:47 PM

Thank you very much! Most people outside of our world have absolutely no idea just how much work is involved when you tackle something like this.

i got all the extra stuff attached to the shells. I'm constantly having problems with the joints noted in the picture breaking loose. When I handle it and put any stress on the hinge area, these annular decks are cracking away from the wall. CA is just too brittle and fractures under stress. It happened again today... twice! I use medium CA to repair it the first time, and I haven't attempted to fix it for the second. I may resort to epoxy. 

I finished painting the ring gear and installed it. I first tried some new clear Gorilla Glue construction adhesive, but it lacked the tack that was needed to hold the pieces in place and there was no effective way (that I could find) to clamp them. I then resorted to gel CA pretreating the contact area with accelerator. This held... for a whie.

Then I put the pan deck into place on top of the upper roller bearing race and found to my total annoyance that my initial cutaway area was too low by almost a full deck and didn't align with the pan deck's cutaway. Why? I think it stems back to my getting into my head that the ring gear was connected to the wrong part of the bulkhead. So... what to do?

I drew the enlarged opening on the bulkhead and went at it with the Dremel Flex-shaft and the 1/16" carbide router. This was bad enough, but was complicated that the ring gear was now sitting right behind the cut area. The cut was successful, although the ring gear CA broke away and it fell off. The ring gear was not damaged.

I have to reattach it and probably going with epoxy assisted by CA to hold everything while the epoxy sets. I also have to better finish the now-exposed back side of the ring gear assembly, which I forgot was exposed in the cutaway area.

With more of the barbette armor area now exposed I'm going to fill the inner space with Milliputt so it looks like solid 14" armor. And then paint the edges red.

Meanwhile, the fix I did to repair the pan deck bulkhead in the front was successful. It's now nice and round and is much better all around. That distorted edge was annoying me, but not enough to fix it. When it broke I had no choice. It was this cutaway area of the pan deck that shows the training gear that necessitated opening the cutaway larger.

So that fills out the week. It was a good week that saw a lot of forward motion and a few steps back like today. Again... if I was going to make more of these things, I would take all these lessons learned and build it into the next attempt. Unfortunately, I suspect this will be the only one of its kind, (unless the other museum ships want one of their own) and all the lessons will die with me (or live on in the thousands of words I've written in this missive.

Everyone have a safe, secure weekend. And if you live in on the west side of a Great Lake state, you have my sympathies since you're going to be buried in Lake Effect snow. Silver lining... good time to stay in and build something cool.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Monday, November 21, 2022 6:02 PM

We're in the punchlist phase of the project; picking up the odds and ends that need addressing. One of these was filling in the armor barbette area with Milliputt so it looks as solid as it should. Milliputt says it's cured in 2 – 3 hours, but I find it really takes longer. I'm giving it 24 hours before I'm able to sand it. When applying, you wet the tool you're using and it goes down much smoother without grabbing. When set, I will sand and apply the red edging showing it's a cutaway. I bought a Testor's red paint pen to streamline the edging process.

I also bit the bullet and brought out the big guns... well in this case a little syringe. I bought a selection of syringes from Amazon to use in instances just like this one. I mixed some J-B epoxy and injected it into the errant joints. I then used rubber bands to pull the hemi-cylinder into position for it to cure. Before applying the adhesive I removed the excess CA from the area. The joint is not strong and shouldn't give me any more trouble. Once the shells are a) glued to the stack and b) screwed to the base, there won't be any stress on these joints. The only stresses have been when I'm handling it to do all the other stuff.

That syringe was tossed out, since it's no longer viable.

I then painted the yellow tips on all the non-training projectiles by filling a container with flat yellow to the depth that corresponded to the length of the yellow portion. I then dipped them to apply the paint. There was some surface tension problems where the painted didn't want to seek a level on the parts, but it worked out in the end.

And here are all the outer projectile drying. Next I have to put the bright metal tip on them. Technically speaking, the black armor-piercing projectiles are longer than the O.D. high-explosive ones, but I didn't fuss and did them all the same. I only had one dimensioned drawing of the projectiles and that was the HE type. The Blue training projectiles do not have the yellow or silver bands.

And now for something totally different:

After noodling the power circuitry to power the nine LED circuits I came up with this. This was one of those ideate-stuff-when-waking-in-the-moring things. Being retired and waking when my body wants to gives me the splendid opportunity think about creative stuff. In the 40 odd working years and waking much earlier with an alarm, my creative thinking was usually done staring at my face in the mirror while shaving.

I bought a pack of blank circuit boards this summer when working with my grandson on his Tesla Coil. I was able to press one into service on this project. I need a separate parallel circuit for each set of three LEDs based on the 12VDC power supply. And the CL2N3 driver chips can't feed a parallel circuits. So each parallel circuit needed its own CL2N3 driver chip. They, in turn, can all be driven from the same power bus. So using the copper foil tape I created a circuit board bus bar and soldered each driver into it. The center lug on the driver is a dummy and is just used to hold them into circuit board. Now that I'm writing this, I realized that I probably soldered all the chips on backwards. Facing the flat surface, the hot side is to the left, and I have it backwards! Yup, just checked the MicroChip pin diagram and I have them all reveresed. One step forward and two back.

The flat side should be facing the camera!

Unsoldering is a whole lot harder than soldering in the first place. I have another circuit board and it may be easier to just start over.

For what it's worth, here's the underside showing the foil buses for + and — power inputs. If I didn't write this blog, I would have soldered all the wires into the board and wondered why nothing was working. I just checked and I have more than enough drivers to redo the entire deal. That's how I'm going to proceed. My dad always said, "when the mind doesn't work, the feet suffer!" True, true!

Some of the sides of the gun girders needed to be white, especially those areas that border the auxiliary sighting compartments and the area under the alcove in the center gun. I masked the dark iron upper surface and sprayed the white. One the edge facing foward in the side area, I have to install two ladder rungs. Also two rungs go into the side of the girder in the center compartment. I'm still not sure of either using transparent plastic for some of the gun house longitudinal buikheads or simply strategically cutting them away to show the flanks of the gun slides. Notice that when I cut the web on the girder between the left and center gun, the right hand component dropped down quite a bit due to internal stresses. When the powder trunk is installed, this will be realigned and should work out okay.

The last thing I did today was stare closely at the guns to decide just how I'm going to proceed with the painting. I think I'm going with Haze Gray as the gun color. The rear face is bare metal only where the actual gun barrel penetrates the yoke. Also the counter-recoil cylinders are natural metal as well. But there are protruding details that make applying masking tape difficult. In one of my rejects I experimented with using liquid mask and may still go that way. I'm thinking of airbrushing a good metallic paint and using gloss black as a base coat. I've left this as the last thing to paint as I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing.








  • Member since
    August 2007
  • From: back country of SO-CAL, at the birth place of Naval Aviation
Posted by DUSTER on Monday, November 21, 2022 8:54 PM

Like a good novel this just keeps getting more and more exciting with each new page  er- post. Sorry about the circuit board being "backwards" to your chips Wink . But at least you can get the correction done now instead of later thinking you're all done. 


Building the perfect model---just not quite yet  Confused

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Tuesday, November 22, 2022 9:37 AM

Thank you. Your reaction keeps me writing. If there's a 50/50 chance for me to put something together backwards, you can bet it will be backwards. It's not dislexia... it's ADD. I work too fast. I get all excited about moving the project along and that's my undoing. I probably shouldn't be a brain surgeon if I decide to change interests.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 2:40 PM

More potpourri...

I built a new power board. This time I got all the polarities correctly placed and then tested every chip to make sure they were all good before putting all the soldering tools awat. They were!

The individual ciruit + leads will enter through the top of the board and then tie to the long output lead underneath. Same goes for all the – leads on the left side.

Next I finished up the cutaway extension since the Milliputt was now cured solid. I also epoxied the ring gear assembly to the support brackets for added strength. Some of it got a little frisky and I will touch up those shiny areas with more dark iron. Paint can hide a lot of sins.

I put the first coat of gloss black onto the gun breach and counter-recoil cylinders in preparation for the metallic finish.

When this was dry, I then airbrushed Allclad aluminum as the metallic coat. The circled area shows the rear of the gun barrel proper that needs to be masked and you can see the protrusions that make simple masking more challenging. I'm thinking of using liquid masking. The protrusions are a mixed bag color-wise with some brass and others painted. The breach plug carrier seems to be colored. In some images it's gray, others it's a bright blue. I also airbrushed the elevating screws. They'll be accented with panel accent black.

I then spent an inordinate amount of time making those foot rungs that protrude from the gun girders in three places: on each auxiliary sighting compartment, and the entry into the gun compartments. And again, as I write this I realized that I still have to add them in the side compartments coming down from the side aisle. 

I broke three carbide drills in the process, one of which, I broke just by putting down a tool that touched it. These things are really, really fragile. I made the rungs out of 0.022" phos-bronze. If their 1:1 size is 1" in diameter, the trus size would be .016" rod, which I don't have. As it is, working with this stuff on a dropped rung ladder is challenging enough. Anyone who super-details HO trains works with this stuff all the time. If you look closely at the pin vise there actually is a drill point on the end of that bit. I also have 0.012" drills. They're so small as being ludicrous. I would love see how they grind flutes and points into solid carbide this small. I don't know how they can do it.

The entry holes are on a slight angle due to access with the pin vise. In the center compartment, my first attempt was too far rearward and fouled the compartment piece. As it was I had to do some surgery on this piece since it was the reprinted one and I forgot that I did some trimming on its original. I ended up re-drilling new holes and filling the errant ones. Of course all of these rungs require viewers being able to view the model directly from above which they aren't. So I'm doing this just for the fidelity of the model and I'm a little nuts. This exercise took over and hour.

I did the same of the side aisles leading down to the auxiliary sighting compartments. In this case I found that the sights sat too far off the floor. I needed to add .100" fillers to bring them flush. The error was caused by the elevation of gun girder floor at that point being driven by the kit base plate, which I had not drawn accurately. You can see the rungs in the center compartment that lead up to the alcove where the gun captain goes to get out of the way of recoil, but if you look past the center to the vertical face of the outside compartment... that face also should have ladder rungs coming down from the aisle into the compartment. That's how you enter the side guns. If you remember, not having any detailed drawing of this aisle's details, I drew steps and printed them. I had to reprint the compartments killing the steps. Now I have to go back and add the rungs. I may cheat...put the rungs into the styrene partitions instead of drilling on an angle into the gun girder itself. I still have to bend the rungs, but installation will be easier.

I took a few minutes that wrote a list of what's left so I don't leave anything out. I think I could be done in two to three weeks. Remember, I still have to build the plastic parts of the kit. Luckily, that should be the easiest part and only a few days work. If I don't do any work tomorrow, everyone have a happy Thanksgiving. Our son and family are coming in from State College, PA tomorrow, but won't get here until late. He's an eye surgeon and has to do post-op visits before leaving. They usually arrive after 9:00 p.m. The weather's going to be good. If I do more work tomorrow, I wish y'all a happyy Thanksgiving again.






  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Wednesday, November 23, 2022 5:08 PM

Even with getting the house ready for guests I had time in the shop. I fussed with adding more ladder rungs, but gave up finally coming to grips that they will be unseen and were taking way too much time.

I then got to painting the guns in earnest. I saw a picture of a gun captain standing next to the breach of one of these beasties, and the color was a blueish gray. i mixed some to do my guns that way. Not sure it works... and I can't find that image. I kept running into it and now I can't find it.

Masking with Tamiya tape worked predictably well. The rest of the liquid mask with the Molotow product wasn't so hot. It wasn't wetting the metallic coat well and then was a real pain in the butt to peel off. It kept coming off in little bits and pieces and even now there are places where it's still on the model.

That said, the view distance and viewing through plexiglas will hide a lot of the things that i'm seeing with a 3X magnifying headset.

Here are three images of the first (left-closed breach) gun painted. I didn't do any accenting with I will do next session.

And here are the breach ends of the open breach guns. i notice on this picture that the breach operating lever on one of them is missing, and the salvo lock is missing on the other one. The open breach puts the operating lever down below the breach and will not be noticeable. The salvo latch is also very tiny and very difficult to replace with scratch-building. Maybe I'll fuss with it, maybe I won't. Meanwhile, my base was delivered. That's the beginning of the end game, since I needed it to build the stack.

So now I can officially wish everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving. Next post will probably be next Monday.

  • Member since
    March 2012
  • From: Louisville, KY
Posted by Builder 2010 on Thursday, November 24, 2022 9:14 AM

Calfamity strikes again!!!

In case any of you followers of this adventure get it into your heads that I, somehow, am a master model builder, please dispell that thought immediately.

The base arrived in two days and it is perfect! So perfect that I had to try and test fit the stack on it to double check how well everything fit. The base size is exactly right. But in putting the stack together finally with the shell surrounding it, I see THIS...

What is the devil is that 2" gap between the pan and electric decks??? Quickly, I get the drawing and look at it again.

OMG! The upper barbette shells go completely OVER the lower shells, not abutt to it. What the heck happened? Who did this? Oh...wait... I did it it!

if you remember back a few weeks I was putting the ring gear on top of the lower bulkhead becasue I thought that's where it went, but the brackets wouldbn't work there so I put the brackets on top of the lower bulkhead and thought I had it correctly. 

Then you remember recently when the cutaway wasn't exposing what it was supposed to so I hacked it away and enlarged it? 

All of these misunderstandings were because I got the geometry wrong in my head. 

This is what's supposed to be going on here.

It's also why I had to cut and fiddle with all those 1/4" spaces to attach the two structures. The brackets ARE the attachment devices. They go into the space between the two tapered surfaces. It's also the reason that the upper part is bell shaped and the lower part is conical. They're supposed to nest together with the brackets spacing them apart. AND THE RING GEAR DOES SIT ON THE LOWER BULKHEAD as I thought it was supposed to.

Can it be put right without have to start over making the top section? I think so. I have to separate all those styrene spaces without breaking anything else, and separate the upper and lower parts. I will clean up the junction and see how far the upper will slide down the lower. If it can position closely without having to remove the ring gears and brackets, i will be very happy. Otherwise, I have remove the brackets and ring gear and reposition them. I think I can save it. This could affect the delivery time if I have to redo any of it.

Once I got the geometry wrong in my head, the die was cast to make a big problem. I won't get to this until Monday.

Thanksgiving is upon so eat hearty!


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