View Full Version : Building a Tamiya Missouri with Super-detailing

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Builder 2010
25 May 11,, 02:34
I'll been interacting with some of the folks on the Battleship Board and mentioned that I'm just starting my 2nd 1/350th, Tamiya Missouri. I built the first one, 26 years ago, before the age of Photoetched accessories. I painted it in the Measure 22 scheme that was used late in WWII and what was in effect at the time of the Japanese Surrender on her decks. I also built the Tamiya New Jersey (also out of the box), and a super-detailed Tamiya USS Enterprise with Gold Medal Models early Photoetched accessorries. Here's a picture of the first Missoui and the Enterprise. Please forgive the condition of the Missouri. It's been through a flood and has been well played with by two little boys. But you can see the color scheme.


Now, I'm semi-retired, have two grandchildren who love model building, and decided to build another one, but this time really do it right. This thread will last for a number of weeks, but I will discribe and show every stage of the process and discuss every decision. I will even ask for help periodically.

I've been doing lots of reseach on this boat. I've visited the Battleship New Jersey, BB62 three times, and the USS Alabama once. I've owned the Robert Sumarall book for years and have almost memorized it. And lately, I've found wonderful pictures and information on the Internet including the entire operation and maintenance manual for the 16" turret and those fabulous guns. I even got a picture of the properllor strut with one of our World Affairs Board folks standing on this massive structure.

The model is going to have Eduard's advanced photoetched set which includes almost everything you'd want except for the tiny little ammo storage ring that surround the inside of the 40 MM gun tubs. So I received them from Alliance Models, and they are microscopic. I've obtained BVM turned brass 16" guns, and am going to use ScaleDecks' laser-cut, teak Iowa Class decks. This is a paper thin, real wood product.

For this reason, I'm going to model the Mo as it appeared just after returning to Pearl Harbor after the Surrender. At that time the ship was still painted Navy blue on the hull below the sheer line and haze gray on all vertical surfaces above. It also had deck blue decks for the metal decks, but the teak decks had been holy-stoned on the way to Pearl so they would be natural teak. With the real teak decks I'm going to use, it will look very special. Since I've reached my five picture limit for this entry. I'll stop now and start a new post with some pictures of the new ship.

Builder 2010
25 May 11,, 02:56
Now let's speak a little more about the new model. First of all, here's a picture of some of the photoetched details in the Eduard set.


What I liked best was the double-etched walls for the superstructure cabins. They show the porthole covers, and even the inside of the water tight doors. Aso note the great inclined ladders. This picture is from Eduard's website and shows a completely unpainted model. I am going to paint the photoetched parts before bending and gluing. I don't have the decking material yet, and that will curtail progress if it's too delayed.

The new Missouri is using the hull from Tamiya's New Jersey. The Big J was a model of the last refit and has bumpers (or something - does anyone know what they actually) flanking the hull sides. My 1986 version of this model didn't have these bumps. They didn't exist in 1945, so my first task was to remove them with a chisel, sand the remainder with 400 grit abrasive, and then fill any minor imperfections. The pictures show the steps up to the filler. Tomorrow's post will show that filler smoothed out. I'm going to prepare the hull for painting. I am also going to use real metal prop shafts which I now know were steel, but they look like they have a white-lead corrosion protection. Therefore, I might paint them white or leave them polished steel. The masking tape is protecting the very fine raised lines that define the water lines. I didn't want them sanded off since it would make the next steps more difficult. I could rescribe these lines, but prefer not to.


Builder 2010
26 May 11,, 05:03
As noted in yesterday's post, I finished sanding the filled spots on the hull. It was almost right, but still showed a slight indentation so I put another thin coat of and will wet sand it tomorrow.

While that was drying, I started working with the photoetched parts. I really don't have that much experience with it so I wanted to explore it and develop more skill.

Well... the ammo racks for the 40 MM tubs are almost unusable. They're so fragile that you simply can't even grab them with tweezers to position them. And the teeny, tiny cartridge packs that are supposed to fill the microscopic slots in the racks are some small they resemble...dirt. I am using the highest magnification on my head gear to see them. My finest tweezers seem huge compared to these things. The first attempt proved to be much, much less than satisfactory and I'm seriously considering not using them at all. I really don't think you'll be able to see them especially if the model is behind a glass case.

Here's the rack next to my tweezers for scale comparison.


Here's the 40 MM ammo clips. They are so small and so hard to handle that I just gave up...and I don't give up easily...ever!


Here's the only tub that I finished. The ammo rack is a mess. It kept getting deformed as I was handling it. I have no idea what's going to happen when I airbrush. The paint will probably fill in all those tiny holes.


One spit out of the tweezers and disappeared on the floor. Here it is. Then a few seconds later it went "boing" again, landed on the floor and disappeared forever.


Another problem with the ammo racks is there are no guides to space them vertically. Gold Medal Models ammo racks are a little less fine, and they have fold-down tabs that act as spacers when you stack them. I tried using small pieces of plastic as stand-offs, but it too was difficult. I suspect that there is a scaled-sized photoetched part that even though you can etch it, it is simply too small to be effectively used. Now if only this was a 1/192 scale....hmmm...

Here's a handy tool made by the Small Tool Shop. It's a plexiglass holding device that lets you apply pressure to the photoetched part you wish to cut from the fret, with a beveled edge so you see what you're cutting, but doesn't let the piece fly away once the cut is complete. It doesn't help losing the parts to the ether when you trying to position them with tweezers.


26 May 11,, 07:31
I am not able to view the images in post #3, I often use the insert inline feature - are they JPG files?

Builder 2010
26 May 11,, 15:12
I had done that but for some reason the images didn't take. If you look now, they're in the right places. I also started working on the gun turret detailing. This was my first attempt at working with the microscopic ladders. First I used my special chisel to scrape off the molded ladders. This is a tool available from MicroMark. I sharpened it on a stone to reduce the amount of "push" that I had to use to remove the details. A touch up with the riffle file (a riffle file is a jewelers file with curved ends that let you get in between details without collateral damage.


I'm not 100% pleased with my first ladder work. There are tiny little tails on them that get folded back on themselves to thicken the top and bottom so the ladders stand proud of the turret. It took me several tries to successully make this fold. Also, the more you handle them, the more deformed they become. The next attempts will go smoother and so on.


It was also a chance to build my first PE float baskets. Here they are still attached to the fret.


And here is rolled and folded.


The plastic piece it replaces is next to it. I found a piece of brass rod (0.60") to roll the basket. This went smoothly. What didn't go so smoothly. The thin cyanoacrylic adhesive (CA from now on) held, but then the slightest tap, "pop", and they were disconnected. Took several tries with scraping the excess glue between tries to get it to stay put. I also tried using thinned Aleen's Tacky Glue (a white aliphatic glue), as recommended by some folks. This worked until it didn't. Feel appart easily since the glue doesn't like sticking to styrene. I tried this on the tiny foot railings surrounding the turret edge at top. Didn't work so hot there either. Tonight I'm going to use a different vicosity CA formulated for styrene, although the loss of adhesion is with the metal, not the plastic. For the railings, you're gluing them edge-on and the surface contact is...well...almost nothing so you have to form a little bead around it to give more support. I'm putting the PE on before airbrushing. I can't imagine trying to glue it on with paint on it.


Incidentally, I just found out what "floater baskets" actually did. They contained nets with floats that would self-deploy in case of capsizing, providing humans something to hang onto as the ship was going down. I have no research to show how well they worked. On larger scales, modelers actually put floater nets in them, but at this scale it would appear as...lint.

26 May 11,, 15:58
Awesome, it makes me want to get out my modeling stuff - I wish I had the time (I have a 1:400 KGV model waiting)- lately it has been painful unproductive 120 hr work weeks - with a few brief breaks to look at WAB, and play my new guitars - the time and focus for modeling are sadly out of reach for the moment...

I really like that Plexiglas part holder tool. I have a big assortment of files and modeling tools as well, and would love to see them spread out on my desk again... Your thread is wonderful, it is a great pleasure to follow along while you build. I love model building, it is so soothing. I am so glad you joined us.

Have you done the the members introduction thread yet? It is a a way to announce your presence to the to members, and permit everyone to welcome you. A few tips: Create your own intro thread, give a paragraph explanation about yourself.

I have a dream project of building a complete scratch built model (in plastic, ~ 1:250 scale) of one of my fictional battleships, with all the internal detail - it will be sad to close it up, but I will try to invent some cutaways to expose the best of the detail, and the hidden detail will be photographed, before it is plated over - something to look forward to in a few years - If I make it that long...

Builder 2010
26 May 11,, 16:52
Thanks for the enthusiastic reception. I am semi-retired. I thought I was all the way retired, but then I ended up getting a consulting gig that's absorbing about half my time. I intend to back off of this soon (Summer) so I can pursue my other things, which are: scale models, O'gauge trains, Music, travel with spouse and all of this with the grandsons around to help and teach. Time is the one thing we all have exactly the same amount, nothing more.

I have a 1992 Fender Strat Delux Ultra with lase senors, Schaler Locking pegs, roller nut and a solid ash body. It's my favorite thing and when we had the tornado alert a couple of weeks ago, I took it to the basement with my wife. I just bought a VOX VT-30 sampling amp with the 5-button foot switch which is very cool and lots of fun to play with. I can finally reproduce almost all of the sounds of my favorite artists without going broke on lots of pedals. The only band I can't figure out is Boston.

I will write my bio as you suggested.


Gun Grape
27 May 11,, 05:45
Stick with it. The PE gets easier. What are you using to bend your PE with? For the ladders use smooth jaw pliers and a razor blade. Clamp the "meat" in the jaws and you shouldn't get as much deforming.

Try med vis CA.

Builder 2010
27 May 11,, 18:47
I'm using one of the smaller hold-n-folds made by the SmallShop. I just used two razor blades to fold the edges of the ladders since the piece is so small. That seemed to work. What doesn't work is my neck. My work bench height is table height so I'm bending down very low using the magnification. I wish I had a real watch makers bench which is head height and reduces fatique. They also have a neat little tray that pulls out and rests on your belly. It catches all those #%)*# parts that want to disappear into another dimension.

Builder 2010
28 May 11,, 05:03
Got the chance to do a little work late this afternoon and an hour tonight and made some nice progress on Turret #3. Finished putting the PE on this one and it started getting easier...note, not easy, easier. I'm still trying to develop a way to apply the super glue in tinier ammounts. My gluing does not meet my standards.

I'm including a picture of the Small Shop holding tool in use. The part I'm cutting is #225. You can just see the attachment lines that will be cut to free up the ladder underneath. You clamp the piece you want to cut underneath the beveled edge. I also learned that you apply pressure on the cutting blade straight down. You don't slide it back and forth in a sawing motion. It will always pull at the part and deform it. Straight down pressure keeps the part's shape. You then rotate the holding tool and cut the opposite edge. The black plexiglass plate under the parts is included in the tool. It gives you great contrast so you can see what you're doing, and the cut parts stand out nicely.


To make it easier to hold the turrets without damaging the fragile PE and to air brush them, I drilled appropriate holes in a plank. This worked well for the subesquent steps like drilling out the blast bags and fastening the rest of the PE railings and such.


I wanted to try mounting the brass gun barrels and decided that the old Missouri could take part in sacrificing itself for the cause. I removed its turret #2...forcibly... and sawed off the plastic barrels. I filed flat all three togehter and then used a prick punch to locate the centers. I'm usually pretty good at this. I had even drilled out the plastic barrels of the old Mo with a scale 1/350th sized 16" bore, so this was easy. I used a small pilot drill in a pin vise and then opened it up to the required 2.0mm. This is then followed up with a 1/8" drill to countersink the opening. The barrel fit perfectly and looks real good.



I then cleaned up the blast bags on the plastic guns and glued them to the new turret. It is easier to saw and drill all three guns at the same depth and angle when their fastened to the turret. I'm toying with different ideas for the slide area of the gun just as it enters the blast bag. I bought some 1/16" chrome tape that I may use or go back to my trusty aluminum foil with foil adhesive on the back. Using the matte side and then toning down the shine and color to make it look like well-greased steel may work better. I'm afraid the tape is too thick. Painting the brass with paint isn't my first or second choice. It'd be great if I could get someone to electroplate the barrel and then mask and paint the rest.

Here's the complete turret waiting for the guns to dry firmly. If you look cloasely at those life rafts you might be able to see the teeny, tiny oars glue in there on the PE mesh. When painted the oars will stand out. I'll amputate the plastic barrels when they're nice and solid. 1 down, 2 to go.


Builder 2010
01 Jun 11,, 03:09
Worked a little on Sunday and bit the bullet by amputating those perfectly good plastic 16" gun barrels to make way for the spiffy brass ones. The plan was to glue them all in and cut them all off together with a razor saw in one swipe, thus keeping them all pointing the same general direction and facilitating the sanding of them evenly.

Here's the gruesome results:


As you can see, IT WORKED!

Next, following this little four photo vingnette (way to cheat the 5-pictures-per-post-rule...clever, eh?) you can see the steps taken to make nice, even, centered holes to receive the new barrels. From top left: you can just see the punch marks made with a scratch awl using hand pressure only. This is followed by a small pilot drill. Size isn't critical, just much smaller than the next 2.0 mm drill which is the size of the machined lug on the barrel's tail. Besides making the drilling of the 2 mm hole easier, a pilot drill makes it easier to keep it centered in the punch mark. Finally, you use a 1/8" twist drill as a countersink. Again, just twirl the drill in your fingers. One the countersink is even with the plastic edge of the blast bag.


The trickiest part is getting the initial center punch actually in the center. If it's a tiny bit off, you can do a little angular drilling to move the center position a tad, but you should get it close at the start.

Here's a couple of shots with the barrels trial-fitted. I will glue them in permanently when everything is painted. I want to get the slide area of the guns right and it makes it much easier to paint the blast bags without worrying about painting the guns too.



I finally found something to grab hold of those tiny PE parts. It's called pic-n-stic and they're actually manufactured for dentists and available from MicroMark. I've actually had them sitting around for years, but didn't have an application for them. NOW I DO. It a plastic stick with a wax pad on the tip. If you look closely, you can see one of those &%!!$**& oars sticking to it. The plexiglas holding thingy is great to contain the parts when you're cutting them off the fret, but moving them from the fret to the workpiece using a tweezer is an absolute horror. This sticky tool picks up the part without deforming it, and let's you deposit it where it's needed. It lets you hold it while using the tweezer tip with the other hand to move the part from the stick to the superglue waiting for it on the workpiece. I worked 3 hours. At least 1/2 hour was crawling around on the painted concrete floor looking for two tiny parts that decided to cross into the 4th dimension.


Watchmaker's benches, beside being almost eye level (so you don't have your neck in a weird position), have a pull-out tray that butts up against your belly that wraps around a bit. It is designed to catch parts before they leave this earth. I am going to build a pull-out, parts catcher under the work bench to cut down on the floor crawling.

Tomorrow I'll finish Turret #2. It's getting easier.

01 Jun 11,, 06:10
Wonderful workmanship! I love your tools. Great thread, I am feeling an urge to get out a model and start it.

Zad Fnark
01 Jun 11,, 12:49
Very nice.

PE can be daunting at times. I've used it in 1/48 aircraft, and using it for all the different control switches in the cockpit can be maddening.

Before I try it again, I'll probably buy something like one of these.

Hyperscale Review (http://misc.kitreview.com/tools/etchmatereviewbg_1.htm)

Builder 2010
01 Jun 11,, 14:51
Then my work here is through...

01 Jun 11,, 16:16
Then my work here is through...

I hope not, I am looking forward to following your build. :)

Builder 2010
01 Jun 11,, 17:19
Actually, I'm off work today. My grandson Alex and I were just in the shop working and turret #2 is finished, and I'm on #3. They're going faster and I'm getting the hand of the PE. He's building a Trumpeter, 1/32nd scale, F-18E Super-Hornet. It's a terrific, big model with lots of detail. He's doing a nice job on it too. I plan on working the entire afternoon on the Mo. He's going to Lacross practice.

Builder 2010
05 Jun 11,, 23:13
Put paint on the gun turrets after all the PE was attached. Kept the barrels separate and painted them all. I'm having a heck of a time getting the Life Color acrylic to stick to the brass barrels. I tried a trick to blacken the brass with "Blacken It" in hopes that it would etch the brass and provide some "tooth" for the paint to adhere. They look okay after touchup, but they're very fragile.


Using the mounting board to hold everything was very helpful in letting me do all the painting. I used the Life Color Haze Gray for the base color (airbrushed) and then used their Deck Blue for the horizontal surfaces. Took several iteration: blue, touch up with haze gray, touch up with blue again and finally haze gray one more time, each time with a finer brush and less paint. Final results are passable.



Then I tried, successfully, to use aluminum foil with Micro Foil Adhesive to simulate the polished gun slide portion. I wanted to do something other than to try and paint the brass. It looks pretty good. Next I will concoct a transparent color to simulate the lubricant that's on the slides. The slides are not polished metal, but have a gold cast resulting from the anti-corrosion lubricant. But this way, it will look like real machine metal underneath which is what it is.


Here's a shot with the turret from the new ship in the place of a turret on the old ship. It's interesting to note what I had painted the decks as "Deck Blue" compared to the pre-mixed deck blue from Life Color. The new barrels are not aligned perfectly, but they're also not glued in yet. I also switched to "weathered black" instead of flat black for the gun blast bags. I'm not sure I like it. Either way, it needs to be flatter. That rubber doesn't have much of a sheen. Question: Should the tops of the shell hoist cranes be painted deck blue?


I also epoxied wood blocking into the hull to hold the eventual brass base mounting hardware. I'm trying to locate a source for a baseplate and someone local (Louisville) that can make a plexiglass case that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

06 Jun 11,, 02:17
Final results are passable.

I would rate your results as far from just passable, beautiful work Myles! Have you considered using music wire (the high E string from a guitar) for the 20mm barrels?

Builder 2010
06 Jun 11,, 03:37
The Eduard PE set has 20 mm Orlikens that you fold together to make the gun a bit heftier. They had the two shoulder rests nicely delineated. They also have the late model tripod stands that you fold up and then fasten the folded gun onto and finally add the PE splinter shield. With that being said, I have absolutely no idea how to put all this stuff together. I just don't trust super-glue to hold it together and actually it should be soldered, and I am a highly skilled solderer (taught about 1,000 people how to do it), but good god, I don't believe I have the skills or tools to do stuff this small. It's really jewelry work like they do when they're soldering links in fine chain. I can always use the foldup guns on the kits cast conical bases. We'll see.

Right now I have to figure out what to do with the base since I don't want to start the hull until all the correct-sized holes are drilled in the bottom for whatever pedestals I end up with. We're going to visit our son and family this weekend so work will be somewhat curtailed.

But I may use guitar strings for the whip antennas.

Builder 2010
07 Jun 11,, 04:01
I tinted the gun slide area so it has the cosmoline/lubricant look that the slides really look. Did some more touch up on the barrels and then CA'd the guns into the blast bags. I also put some Dullcoat on the bags to kill the shine. I now like the weathered black look. The last thing I did was paint the very tips of the guns black as they are on some of the Iowas. Using real metal on the slide area was much better than painting it.


I did notice an interesting thing... on a WWII video of the Wisconsin, I noticed that #1 turret didn't have that little railing on its roof, whereas #2 did. I am not going to remove it, but it's something to note for anyone who's considering building a high-detailed Tamiya Missouri. I also answered my question. In looking at the same movie, it seems that the turret cranes are not painted deck blue on top. They were all gray.

Here's the turret sitting on the old Missouri. It's nice to compare the two.

For all of you Navy lovers on the forums, I found a fantastic web site. Gene Slover's US Navy Home site has original inforation such as complete operating manuals for all of the gunnery systems on the Iowas. It's a great reference site.


Builder 2010
16 Jun 11,, 03:51
Before I started any more work, I decided to do something about the lost parts problem that I was having. I spent 30% of my modelling time crawling around on my hands and knees looking for PE parts that are attempting to cross into an interdimensional space never to be seen again. Watchmaker benches have a pull-out tray to catch small parts that drop in between the belly and the bench.

I fabricated a pull-out tray with some old Masonite I had and mounted it underneath the bench using some 1X3 and a couple of strips of Masonite to space them away from the workbench so the tray would move.


It works! I started working on removing some more plastic from the main deck component and dropped some styrene parts. Three out of four landed on the tray. The one that didn't slipped though because I didn't have it tight to the belly. It's a habit I'll have to acquire.

Now onto today's progress:
The photoetched inclined ladders require you to remove the molded plastic ones. The shape made it hard to use a razor saw so I chucked up a 1/16" diamond coated burr in the handpiece of my Dremel flexible shaft tool and went at it. I didn't attempt to take it all the way down, just get most of the meat out of it. Gee... I really could have been a dentist... Here's what this step looked like.


Next I used that flat chisel and an Xacto knife and shaved the rest of the molded stairs away.


Finally, I filled the spaces with sheet styrene. This was a finnicky bit of work, but once the small gaps are filled with plastic model filler and given a little light sanding, it will be almost invisible and when painted it will look like the molded stairs were never there at all.


It's always hard for me to this "destructive-construction". It's like tearing down walls to build a new room in a house. You're taking a perfectly pure piece of modled styrene and hacking at it, messing it up a bit and, hopefully, refinishing it and putting more interesting parts in its place. It worked pretty well on the turrets. I expect it will work well with the superstructure aslo.

I'm doing all this prep work while waiting for the laser cut teak decks to arrive.

16 Jun 11,, 03:59
Nice work Myles! I am enjoying your build almost as much as you must be. I love Gene Slover's site, I hope it never goes down - he has some very good info on armor. Love all the manuals. His site really helped with my battlehsip book - which has been on hold with a flurry of work and birthday planning for my Daughter - the party went off very nicely - but work threatened to interfere - such is life...

What you are doing seems like it would be much more fun.

Builder 2010
18 Jun 11,, 03:24
Had some quality time this afternoon in the shop and began putting things on the center section of the deck which includes the entire superstructure. I began by systematically removing all of the bumps and things that the Eduard parts instructions tell you to. These include the molded door shapes, ventilation grills and parts of the plastic inclined stairs that were separate pieces (not the molded ones that were removed the last section). I also removed the molded on hose racks and used a old PE set from Gold Medal Models that I've had since the 80s.


I drilled out the plastic portholes and also attempted to drill and scrape out the plastic to make the open water-tight door really look like it was open into something. Now even though the plastic walls are really thick in scale, because the front of the conning tower was amored, it actually not so far off from prototype. It looks ragged now, but after painting and some more cleaning up, it will look pretty good. Those open WTDs are very fine and fragile.


The last pic slows the aft part of the superstructure and also shows the drilled out portholes. Wait till you see the PE superstructure sides when they're installed. They have beautiful WTDs and portholes engraved in them, and I will drill those portholes through the underlying plastic so they'll be dark too.


There's several decision items that are beginning to make themselves known. The first is when to install the railings and stairs, since painting the decking deck blue will be very difficult with the railing in place. But, on the other hand, gluing the rails after painting makes it much harder to get them to adhere. It's tough enough doing it on the bare plastic. The second decision is how far to take the assembly before installing the wood decking. This material hasn't arrived yet. It's supposed to arrive this month. This decking will very nicely hide all of the ragged gluing at the base of these components so I'm not worrying too much about it.

The wood goes everywhere that there is simulated wood planks engraved on the plastic. On the decks that are smooth I'm being more careful.

Builder 2010
19 Jun 11,, 05:16
I began to realize that I had to stop gluing things on since it was going to get me into trouble. I was right. In looking at a pilot version of the scale decks laser-cut decking for the Missori, the decking is designed to cover the entire second level BEFORE the rest gets glued on. In this way there would be a perfect joint between the wood decking and the plastic superstructure. I've already started gluing on the next level parts and this is going to cause me some serious cutting and fitting work. I'll be okay, but it will be a pain in the butt.

While I'm writing this I think I may have a way to make it a bit easier. I can scan the parts diagrams and then enlarge them to the exact size of the model's parts. I can then use the profiles as cutting templates to get me close to the size I'll need. This will be particularly important around the bottom of the conning tower base. I'll measure some component of the model that's easily identified and then measure the same part on the parts diagram. The ratio between to the two will be the enlargement factor. I'll use my digital caliper for the chore which should give me about the same tolerance that the laser-cut decking is using (1/100th of an inch).

I can also take a vertical digital picture of the parts and then import that into CorelDraw and make a line drawing template from the actual part. Either way it will help getting the decking close before actually trying to fit it to the model.

I also decided that it was time to paint all the photoetched parts now. I've been vascillating between painting first or after fitting and began to realize that painting the railings after assembly would make it impossible to keep paint off the wood decking. In order to make the paint hold, I first soaked the frets in vinegar and then washed with water. I've heard that the vinegar will microetch the metal to help the paint adhere better.

I then primered each sheet with gray solvent-based primer. Next, I will airbrush the parts haze gray. The primer seemed to have good adhesion. We'll see if that's true when I start bending and handling the parts.

I also prepared some more subassemblies by continuing to scrape and prepare the parts to receive the photoetched parts. Eduard instructions are pretty good and show what model details need to be removed before the PE goes on. I will put all the photoetched that I can before putting the subs on the ship since it's much easier to handle and postion the parts.

I'll have some more pictures later today (it's past midnight).

Happy Father's day.

20 Jun 11,, 17:51
Builder, first of all, thanks for being kind enough to share your work in progress. From what I can see your work so far is first rate. I'd be proud for mine to look that good. I'll be watching this thread with great interest. I have the Mighty Mo in my stash, and just got my hands on Lion Roars Super Update set with PE, resin and turned barrels. We shall see if it is worth price - more than the kit! Right now I'm working on Trumpeter's 1/350 North Carolina with Eduard's PE, Yankee Modelworks resin turrets and turned brass replacement barrels. Once that is done I'll look at taking on the Mighty Mo.

I know what you mean about the excruciatingly small PE parts. If I doubt that I can handle a particular PE piece, I'll do a test run on one, giving my best, most patient effort, and if it comes out half way decent I'll attempt to use those parts. If it turns out to be utterly unmanageable, too small, too delicate for my skill set, etc., I just let it pass. Also, if a PE part is so small that it can hardly be seen without a magnifying visor, I ask myself with this really add anything to the final build? If the answer is "no", then I leave it on the fret. I don't see any reason for using PE simply for the sake of using PE. To my mind, it should add something noticeable to the final build. If it doesn't, why bother. Some manufacturers PE seems more robust than others. I try to stick with those sets. To me, using PE still comes back to one basic fact - this is a hobby and something I do for fun. Now I don't expect that every aspect of every build will be just loads of laughs. But, if something turns a build into simply an ordeal, I tend to fore-go it. I build for fun and I'm not a rivet counter. It doesn't matter to me that everything is exactly accurate for the ship at the time I'm depicting her, up to and including the camouflage scheme. Just my humble opinion.

Keep up the great work and I'll look forward to seeing more of your progress.

20 Jun 11,, 17:53
Builder, I forgot to mention, I'm from Kentucky to! Harlan, Kentucky, in the far southeastern part of the state. Nice to run into another denizen of the Bluegrass State.


Builder 2010
20 Jun 11,, 19:13
Excellent! It's worth writing all this stuff if somebody reads it, and more importantly, learns something new. When I built the RC B-17E this year for a fellow on commission, I hadn't built an RC plane for over 25 years, let alone a multi-engine one. So I had to do some intense research and found several wonderful websites dedicated to RC; the best being RCScalebuilder.com. Here were some of the best builders in the world sharing their experience I learned a ton really fast. That plane is finished, I got paid and it flew wonderfully. If you'd like you can read the entire thread here:


As far as PE, I completely agree. Furthermore, this model's going to have to be encased in plexiglass which limits how close you can get to observe something. Therefore; details that aren't really discernible from 5" or more shouldn't be there. For that reason, I am not going to use the 40mm tub ammo rings even though I paid 18 bucks for them. They just aren't worth the hassle. Another PE part that may not be used are the little tipod, late-model, 20mm gun mount bases. The three legs are so tiny as to almost replicate hairs. I can imagine folding them, but can't imagine how to a) hold them together and b) glue the tiny 20 mm guns on top of it. They should rightfully be soldered, but again, I don't have equipment to work at this nano level. I may use the plastic bases attached to the kit guns and drill them to accept the PE gun assembly. That seems like micro work too, but at least I can visualize how to do it.

Today, based on a suggestion I read on the shipmodelforum.com, I bought beautiful brass lampshade extenders to use as turned standoffs for the model to be mounted upon. You also must buy the knurled nuts and threaded rod from a lamp store since the threads are 1/4-27 which is only used in lamp manufacturer (for some ungodly reason) and you can't buy the nuts and bolts in a hardware store, or find the taps and dies in a standard set. I'm glad I went to the store and didn't buy online or I wouldn't have known this. (and now you do to). The whole deal cost less than $5.00 which is a huge bargain compared to what we pay for model accessories in a hobby shop.

I've got a pretty complete shop, but what I don't have are woodworking machines to make the baseplate. I'm toying with a couple of ideas, one of which is to have Home Depot cut me a piece of furniture grade plywood to size and buy some pre-cut molding for the rim to piece together the baseplate. The other is to have it made at a trophy shop, of which there are several here in L'ville. Have you done any of this before?

Since I've jumped the gun and glued some stuff on that I shouldn't making it much harder to mount the decking, I am designing some accurate cutting templates while waiting for the decking to arrive. I took vertical pictures of the portions of the deck that need decking cut for them. I've imported these pictures into CorelDraw and scaled them 1:1. Then I drew the deck shapes on top of the drawing. I made a test print, cut it out and tried them. They didn't fit well enough so now I'm meausring the actual deck with digital calipers and adjusting the drawing to match. The mismatch is due to the paralax and perspective that the camera puts into the image. A camera doesn't take an orthographic projection.


I'll have this done in a couple of days. I'll glue the paper diagram to some sheet styrene and then fit that to the deck. When that's right I will use this as a cutting template for the wood decking and we'll be in business. Like I said, getting ahead of myself just cost me a lot of work, but since I don't have the decking anyway, I would be stopped at this point.

Once I get the holes all drilled for the brass standoffs and epoxy the nuts into the wood blocks in the hull, I can start finishing the hull. That should eat up some time. I'm waiting for an answer from the ScaleDecks fellow letting me know when the delivery will be.

Oh... and yesterday, I ran out of Haze Gray when airbrushing all the parts on the sprues and the PE. I only bought one bottle and they're only 22 ml...tiny. I've ordered four more. The paint seems to be sticking to the primer on the PE nicely. I think the vinegar dip worked.

20 Jun 11,, 20:02
Builder, I forgot to mention, I'm from Kentucky to! Harlan, Kentucky, in the far southeastern part of the state. Nice to run into another denizen of the Bluegrass State.


Hi Bob,

The forum asks new members to open a thread in the new members section and introduce themselves, you can look at a few recent intros to see what gets the best response - basically why you have joined and what your interests are. We would like to formally welcome you to the WAB.


20 Jun 11,, 20:19
Wisconsin, just did that very thing.


20 Jun 11,, 21:23
Wisconsin, just did that very thing.


Thank You Sir, Glad to have you with us

Builder 2010
21 Jun 11,, 02:27
Earlier today I mentioned buying the "standchions" for the base from a lamp store. I read on another website that lampshade extenders make nice standoffs for a dressy base. I spent some time in the shop tonight getting them ready. Here's what one looks like.
Inside the hull I epoxied a stack of plywood. The machined screw on the end is only about 5/8" long and my blocks were way too thick so after drilling the hole I used a Forstner bit to make a flat-bottomed counterbore. I should have used a small pilot hole, then used the forstner and then the clearance hole drill...but I didn't. Therefore, it was hard to center the forstner and the counterbore came out a little off center. I used my Dremel to enlarge the space so the knurled nut would center over the screw. I sanded the bottom of these nuts to give them a rough surface and very sparingly used Gorilla Urethane glue to glue the nut to the block. It's going to be of sight when the decks are in place and needs to stay put. I going to remove the screws soon just in case the Gorilla glue has seeped into the threads. It DOES expand when it cures.
Here's the two stands fitted to the hull. They're nice and straight and are going to look good mounted on a nice plank. The holes are 8" apart on the centerline. I put a small locating hole into the hull to align the blocks when I epoxied them in.
Now to the other end. I bought some 1/4-27 threaded rod also. I actually went back in the lamp store's workshop and hacksawed my own pieces. They all had to be deburred so I chucked them in my mini-lathe and filed the first couple of threads to a nice taper. I put them into the female end of the stands and used a red thread-lock anaerobic adhesvie to prevent them from turning when a nut is put on the other end.


You have to use those knurled nuts because I challenge you to find a 1/4-27 nut in the Home Depot. I left 5/8" exposed which should be enough wood to hold a plastic ship and a 1/8" thick knurled nut.

Builder 2010
22 Jun 11,, 03:52
I realized after spending an hour drawing the decking templates that I was drawing the template for the wrong deck. The deck that I'm going to have to trim is the 2nd level superstructure, not the 3rd. So it was back to the digital drawing board. I scaled the photo as closely as I could by measuring an easily identifiable feature on the actual model part (in this case a 5" gun base ring) and using this dimension manipulating the drawing on the screen so the circle measures the same. I got it within .005"...close enough for rock and roll as I used to say in my guitar playing days.


I use CorelDraw, a vector drawing program similar to Adobe Illustrator. While it's mainly an art-oriented program, you can do precision work somewhat akin to CadCam. I measured directly from the model and used the photograph as a general guide. One of the problems is that there is a slight taper to the vertical plastic surfaces (called draft for the non-machinists in the audience) and it's there to enable the parts to be withdrawn from the injection molds. It also creates a slight error if you use the upper surface in the photograph to make the template. The template comes out oversize and doesn't snuggle down on the deck. I measured from the bottom of the walls with the digital caliper to get an accurate measure. After printing the template and cutting it out with scissors, it fits very nicely.

When I get the decking, I will reprint the template on adhesive sheets, stick it onto a piece of 0.020 styrene sheet and cut and file the template to the exact contour. I'll use this plastic template to trim the decking. It should work well, but the walkway at the narrow part is really small and the decking's going to be very fragile.

Today I tried to locate someone who could make me a nice wood base, but no luck so far.

22 Jun 11,, 06:36
I wonder if a hardwood shelf panel would work for a base, you could get one of those at a Lowes or Home Depot. A custom cabinet maker would be a good person to ask for a fancy job with a router edge. Could you install the deck in two or three pieces in the fragile area?

Builder 2010
22 Jun 11,, 15:14
I'm heading to Lowes/HD today to talk to them about possibilities. If I can get the center section cut to size, I can cobble something together by installing the decorative edging. I have a good cutoff saw, but not a table saw or router.

Seaming the deck is always a possibility, but each seam is another potential problem. As we discussed before, when it's in a case, the closest you can get to it will be about 5". If you can't see the detail from that point of view, then it doesn't matter if it's there or not (other than the obsession of the builder).

If anyone ever needs these templates I can get them to you at as a PDF in the exact size.

22 Jun 11,, 15:49
I'm heading to Lowes/HD today to talk to them about possibilities. If I can get the center section cut to size, I can cobble something together by installing the decorative edging. I have a good cutoff saw, but not a table saw or router.

Seaming the deck is always a possibility, but each seam is another potential problem. As we discussed before, when it's in a case, the closest you can get to it will be about 5". If you can't see the detail from that point of view, then it doesn't matter if it's there or not (other than the obsession of the builder).

If anyone ever needs these templates I can get them to you at as a PDF in the exact size.

Perhaps a piece of movable deck equipment or something could be placed on top of the decking seams to hide them? A PE coil of rope or some small tools?

Builder 2010
22 Jun 11,, 15:52
Any is possible. If the deck is cut carefully enough, the seams would be almost invisible anyway.

Builder 2010
24 Jun 11,, 15:06
Found a perfectly sized plank of poplar at Home Depot. It just had to be ripped to size. The fellow did it (against company policy) on the panel saw. I found some interesting rope-shaped molding for the edge (very nautical, don't you think), and bought some 3/16" plexiglass for the enclosure. The wood was free! Laid out the center lines and used a transfer punch to transfer the hole centers on the hull to the plank. This picture shows the boat temporarly to see the fit.25510
I had to counter bore the holes in the bottom of the plank to give room for the stud to be fastened, but the round, knurled, lamp-nut was very hard to tighten so I turned it into a "spanner nut" by drilling a couple of small holes in the nut so a snap-ring plier can be used to firmly tighten the nut at the end.
Here's the plank with the edging in place. I purposefully mounted the edging low on the sides to provide a lip over which the enclosure can be placed. This made for a part of the edging hanging out of the bottom. I used the belt sander to knock that off. After finishing the bottom will get some felt so it won't scratch the funiture.
Here's some closeups of the edging. I used a nail set on the nail heads and since these pics were taken I used some filler to hid the nails and clean up the corners. I also put a coat of Walnut stain, and this weekend will finish with polyurethane vanish and the stand will be done waiting for the ship.
I cut the plexiglass pieces, but found out that I forgot to buy material for the top so I'll hit HD on the way to the office and get another piece. I've built plexi boxes before, years ago when I was building the Pocher, 1/8th scale classic model cars for collectors. One of my patrons insisted that I give him the model with the plexiglass enclosure so I learned how to build one. In that instance I had the material cut to size at the supplier. In this case, I'm cutting it myself. I do a more detailed thread on this as I progress.

Builder 2010
01 Jul 11,, 04:43
Had some quality work time this week and got the showcase completed and got back to work on the model. The Life Color Haze Blue paint was delivered this week so I could get back to painting the parts, and with the stand completed, I was able to start painting the hull. I'll do this in two posts since there's more than five pictures.

I used walnut stain on the poplar and it richened it up a bit. Still doesn't look like walnut, but it was a free piece of wood so "beggars can't be choosers". I used two coat of Minwax Urethane varnish, sanding between coats. It has a decent sheen and looks good enough to hold the model. The "rope" trim on the outside works as I wanted it to.


I cut the plexiglass on the weekend. It was a bear! It was only 0.093", and I bought a good plastic cutter from Home Depot, but it was difficult. I had to scribe each line at least 10 times to engrave it 1/2 way through as was noted on the instructions. You then snap it over an edge. 80% of the time, the snap was perfect. But that was entirely overshadowed by the miserable 20% that didn't snap on the line, but shattered wherever it wanted to. This required grinding the excess with the Dremel and then sanding the edge on my edge sanding board many, many times until my arms got sore. The results were passable. Today I glued the whole deal together. I removed the protective film about a half inch from the edge so I could get the solvent into the joint. I taped the whole thing with masking tape.


Here's another view of the completed case. While it's not perfect, it will do the job and protect the Missouri from dust and spiders. The next time I make one of these, I am going to buy the plexiglass from a dealer who can cut the pieces to size for me. Gluing together was easy. Getting the pieces ready to be glued was not.


Builder 2010
01 Jul 11,, 05:02
With the completion of the stand and case, with all the holes and fittings for mounting the hull, it was time to get back to building it. I washed the hull with soap and water to remove any mold release and all the finger oils that it had from all the prep work, took it outside and sprayed it hull red (Tamiya spray TS-33). I don't have a spray booth and do laquer spraying outdoors or in the garage whenever possible. My routine for ship hulls is to spray the bottom without masking anything.


Then I mask the red to paint the black boot topping. I make sure the entire bottom is protected.


I spray the black, and again, don't care how far up it goes. It's going to be overpainted by the Navy Blue 5N (Life Color Acrylic).


I then mask the black for the Navy Blue. Again, let it run up into the Haze Gray part. The area around the stern is knife trimmed after the tape is laid down. The tape just doesn't like curving around like that.


I airbrush the Navy Blue. It was still wet in this shot.


I use Tamiya masking tape for the edge work and just some 3M blue stuff for the rest of the masking. I also brush paint the masked edge with clear to help prevent bleed-under. This is something that I've just started doing. Modeling for 59 years and you still learn new stuff every time. That's why it's a great hobby!

In the next post, I show the masking for the Haze Gray and the final painting. Then will be the great unveiling when the tape is pulled off and we see what we've done.

Builder 2010
02 Jul 11,, 22:05
Here's the last coat (#4) on the hull which is that little section of Haze Gray where the hull lines heads north of the deck sheer. I also finished airbrushing all the rest of the components on their sprues. I am still not sure about how well the PE is going to go on with paint on both the plastic and the PE, but it's a color right out of the bottom so touchup painting is a given. I will probably scrape the paint off the mating surfaces. You must do that when gluing plastic to plastic since the glue will not penetrate the paint film.




I really like the way that open door on the front of the citadel looks. I'm glad I took the time to open it up. I will do it in some other places also. I find that the Life Color paint is very accurate and cleans up well with no odor, but it seems to be very delicate and is easily scratched off. Solvent-based paints seem to hold up a little better, as do the Tamiya alcohol-based acrylics.

Builder 2010
02 Jul 11,, 22:20
Pulled all that tape off after the gray dried. I gave it a little push by holding the hull near a space heater I have in the workshop. There were no paint bleeds, but I did have a couple of manageable problems.



First, I initially used some Tamiya Clear flat brush paint to seal the tape edges. The talc (or whatever dulling agent they use) left a residue right at the tape line so there's some very fine white edges where the red and black meet. I touched it up in the more glaring locations with some flat black (the same mix that was used to airbrush). The second problem was more annoying.

I used 3M blue 1.5" tape to bulk mask the areas after doing the fine masking with the Tamiya tape. The Tamiya tape was wonderful. The 3M tape, on the other hand, left gooey, sticky tape residue all over the place. I used other pieces of tape to pull off the residue which worked, but it took me about 1/2 hour to clean it up, and it meant handling the model much more than I wanted to. Normally, you'd use Goo Gone to remove tape residue, but on a freshly painted work of art, it would have taken the paint off too. I'm not going to use it anymore, and will spend the extra money for the wider Tamiya tape.

Here's the model staged in the showcase. It looks nice in there!



03 Jul 11,, 00:06
You need a tiny scale model of Rusty standing on the prop shaft :biggrin:

Seriously - beautiful workmanship Myles! :):cool:, I enjoy seeing it going together as much as I will enjoy seeing it finished. :cool:

Builder 2010
03 Jul 11,, 04:37
Thanks! As always! I've thought of the same thing. You just have no idea how massive these things are until you see that picture. I'm happy how the hull came out, and it's amazing how much different the Navy Blue is on this model than it was on the one I did 26 years ago. It wasn't available as a mixed color then, and the instructions gave a mixing formula. It's very blue. This one is very gray. And when you look at color pictures from era, this color is much closer to the original than the blue on the old model. It's encouraging because I'm going to be putting lots of hours of work into this and it should be close to prototypical.

I also heard from the guy at ScaleDecks and we're a couple of weeks away from getting the decking.

Builder 2010
06 Jul 11,, 04:10
Before I got started today, I didn't like the bulge in the boot topping towards the aft on the Starboard side. It showed up in the pictures I posted, so I decided to fix it. I remasked the area to make the line more parallel and brush painted the navy blue. While you can see that a fix has been made, when the hull is flat sprayed and in the case, it won't be as noticeable as the non-parallel boot topping. I also trimed up the haze gray as it passes right around the bow. The mask was not accurate. That fix was just a bit of hand painting and it's not visible.

I got back to the superstructure. I started putting the bulkhead sides on the superstructure cabins. This is a detail that I was looking forward to and I was not disappointed. Without slide molds, it is impossible to mold details sideways into pieces that need to be pulled vertically out of the injection mold. So Tamiya left the ship's sides basically plain plastic. Some of the new molded kits from the likes of Trumpeter are using slide molds for some specific features like gun barrels that have holes in them, but this kit was minted in the mid-80s.

The details include portholes and their covers, WT doors-both closed and open, and other various details. I took it a step further by drilling out the portholes with an appropriately sized drill with a pin vise. I also tried a different technique for the open doors instead of drilling and carving out the interior. I simply painted the surface underneath the door flat black before gluing the PE. These look pretty good. I will then do an alcohol was to bring out some more definition on these etched pieces later in the construction. Much of this detail is not easily visible since there are overhanging AA decks that put the bulkhead sides in shadow, but I'll know they're there (and so will my readers).

Little doors were also added to the bases of the 5" gun houses. I'm getting better at putting these parts on, but I'm still not perfect.




I was worried about painting the PE before handling them, but using the vineger etching and a solvent-based primer before the acrylic has worked well. The paint is not only sticking, but it's making it easier to use the CA to glue the PE to the model. I will also make handling those very fine railings easier.

06 Jul 11,, 07:46
Builder, I really like your idea of painting the areas underneath the open hatches flat black prior to attaching the PE. In smaller builds, such as a DD, I have always drilled and carved out the plastic, but in a build the size of an Iowa Class BB (or the U.S.S. North Carolina I'm currently working on), this would be a long and laborious process. Really like the look you got with that and I'm definitely going to try it on North Carolina, as well as my own Missouri when I around to her. Good thinking.


Builder 2010
07 Jul 11,, 00:54
Finished putting on the PE wall pieces today and drilled all of the remaining portholes. Eduard pieces are very accurate. You'll note the piece in the very center of the frame has a gap at the bottom. At first, I thought this was a mistake, but then realized that a piece is glued in which includes part of the deck and the long 20 mm AA gun tub. Therefore, I made sure to glue the piece flush with the top edge. It really makes a difference to see all of this surface detail on a part that originally had plain sides. I have the old Missouri on the work bench as a reference (and source of emergency parts) so it's neat to compare the original model with the augmented one.


Since I'm still waiting on the decking, I have to be careful what gets glued and what doesn't. For example, all of the overhanging AA gun tubs have to wait since they would be in the way of installing the decking AND I'm going to add some brass wire posts that hold these things up on the real ship. They don't just hang out there. Each one has two or more poles that support the overhang. Those poles have to go in after the decking.

So I concentrated on hand painting all the deck blue features. Every horizontal surface is deck blue including floors of gun tubs. I paint the blue. Let it dry. Go hit it again where it's a little thin. Let it dry. Then using haze gray, back paint any sloppy parts. I used a little masking on the tops of the 5" gun houses to make a clean demarkation from deck blue to haze gray. This took the better part of 3 hours work.

This picture shows the blue before back painting the gray.


Here's a close up of the parts after the back painting. The bridge area shows up nicely and will look good when all the superstructure is assembled.


I'm off tomorrow and my wife's heading to Nordstroms in Cincinnati so I'll be able to get some more quality modeling time in. I will start applying the PE details to all these accessory parts. There are hundreds of them. The last stuff that goes on (before rigging) are the railings. I am not looking forward to that. The Eduard railings are amongst the finest etched in the business and are very, very easy to deform when handling. They do look good though...

Builder 2010
07 Jul 11,, 23:50
While I thought I be working the whole day on PE (about 4 hours), I kept finding little painting errors and did some more micro-trim-painting to get it where I wanted it. I did some PE; these little, teeny, tiny, chain stoppers. You scrape off the kits molded on chain stoppers and then put these on. Not only are they very little (as noted next to the razor blade). Then these things had to folded to double their thickness. My slide out parts catching tray worked...once I remembered to pull it out. One part headed to the floor, but I found it using a dust brush and pan, and then carefully going through the captured debris. Then I pulled out the parts catcher.


I attached the chain stoppers and then started doing the finish painting and detailing on the forecastle. While I would have liked to have actual chain, the results look decent.


Just for fun I took this picture comparing the old Missouri's fo'csle to the new one. The results are dramatic. I still don't know where I got that light blue "deck blue" mix that I used in 1985. I may be a senior citizen now, but my skills haven't diminished. I think they're better.


I glued some more superstructure parts and trial fit the rest of them just to see how it all looks. I did complete the aft funnel and painted the upper part flat black. I've done as much assembly as I can before I install lots of PE and the teak decking. The trial fit helps me figure out what I can glue and what I can't. If you look closely you can see a ragged finish on the armored pilot house. That because I just scraped off the molded details in preparation for afixing the PE vision slits. I have to go into the office tomorrow, so I'll probably do a little work this weekend. I'm only working two days a week now which is giving some great modeling time. All the areas with Haze Gray decking will be covered with teak.


Builder 2010
12 Jul 11,, 00:58
Continued working on more PE. Today's work didn't start until late in the afternoon so I didn't get much done. I worked on the upper AA gun pod. There are all kinds of ladders that go up the back to each gun tub and each gun director pod. Not too much trouble with them, but I'm still not really good at it.

Then I put the little railing on the front. It was my first railing and was very disappointing. The railing had to be curved so I used the larger Xacto handle to form the curve. The first one curved perfectly, the second got deformed when I put pressure to curve it and accidently had the end curled under. I carefully got it back to shape, and then glued it in place.

I picked up the good one with my tweezer and started to bring it to the workpiece and "boing"...it dropped to the work bench and then vaporized. Or did a dimensional shift... or a quantum leap. It disappeared. I searched the area, swept the floor, checked my lab coat and moved everything on the work surface. It was GONE!

There are no extra railing pieces on the Eduard frets so I used one from the very old GMM set that I had. Here's a chance to make a direct comparison between the two products (separated by about 25 years). The GMM parts are much thicker and less scale, but also more rugged and less prone to destruction. The first picture shows the Eduard railing (the one that I had to straighten).


This picture shows the GMM railing. The Eduard set had a railing specifically meausred to fit this space. The GMM railing was on a long strip and had to be cut to length.


This shot shows more views of the vaious ladders. One is now hidden by the rear funnel which tells you that some PE is just for the modeler and not for the viewer. They'll never see it.


12 Jul 11,, 14:22
Builder, very, very impressive work. I see that you and I share the same preference for painting as many pieces as possible on the sprue. I like your anchor chain. To my eye it looks just as good as as the model railroading chain I use, perhaps even a bit more realistic. I look forward to your updates with anticipation. I have Missouri in my stash and hope to build her as my winter project at the end of this year. I'm currently building North Carolina (Trumpeter 1/350) and your work on Missouri has given me some ideas for use on her. It is fun to compare your current work to work you did years ago, isn't it? Really lets you know how far you've come. Hey, we may be moving on toward "geezerdom", but we aren't getting older, we're getting better! I'll take age and experience over youth and enthusiasm any day. Keep up the great work and I'll be looking forward to your next update. I think she is going to be a real show piece when you are done.


Builder 2010
12 Jul 11,, 14:59
I appreciate your comments... really!

I'm 66 in two weeks, and the original Mo was done when I turned 40. My hands may be less steady, but my techniques, tools, materials, paints, etc. are all more sophisticated than they were then which compensates for any loss of control. I also have an infinitely better workspace. The Internet didn't exist then so conversations like this one couldn't exist either. Most of the original Mo was built on the kitchen table. I airbrushed stuff in the garage and built it in the kitchen since the garage was my 'summertime workshop". I didn't use magnification the either. I was quite nearsighted and worked with my glasses off. As I aged, my nearsightedness has almost disappeared to be replaced with more 'normal' mature vision... defined as not being able to focus on anything closer than the length of my arm. So I use various strengths of magnification with the result that my close work has greatly improved.

To sum up: I don't have any problem with aging at all. I don't know how well I'll work in 20 years, but who cares.

It's so much easier to paint on the sprue since you have a ready-made handle. All you have to do is tough up the attachment point which is not a problem. I had rushed the airbrushing of some of the parts as it was pretty thin on some of the part's sides. I blame that on spraying gray onto grey. The Life Color paint works nicely by brush so the parts that have been brush painted look okay also.

12 Jul 11,, 15:23
Myles: Awesome build! - I have an idea about the portholes (as well as hatchways and doorways), Would it be possible to paint the inside wall of the hole flat black? That could hide the inherent thickness of the model walls, and make them appear more to scale - alternatively these holes and openings could be chamfered from the inside with a 45 degree Dremel cone bit to thin them - but that would be much harder and very risky (painting them could still be useful with this step), and also at this stage of this build it is probably not an option.

This is not intended to be criticism, only an idea/suggestion (I would test it first on an old model - like your previous Mo') - your skill is way beyond mine, the achievements you are sharing are inspiring and I am enjoying your build immensely. This is a museum quality build, something I would love to do someday - and your kind and wonderfully detailed presentation/documentary will be a guide for my future efforts.

I would love to use some pictures of your finished model in my US battleships book section - to illustrate the details of this class (with your permission of course). I have found scale models to be an excellent way to gain a greater understanding of the designs and layouts of these awesome vessels. Since they don't exist in this configuration anymore - these models permit us to explore them and even walk their decks with a little imagination.

Builder 2010
12 Jul 11,, 16:32
I've considered painting the holes black, and may still do it. Chamfering is not an option since many of the holes fall at the junction of the horizontal and vertical plastic planes of the part and aren't visible or drillable from the back side. Some are in the clear, but many aren't since the portholes fall so close to the top of the wall. The scale thickness of the plastic on this kit is about the same as the armor on the faces of the 16" gun houses.

I will make finished pics available as long as attribution is made.

I figured out that I can experiment with the soldering of PE using some of the extra fret material that's left when you cut out the parts. In the Model Ship building website, I've been having a running commentary with some folks on the pluses and minuses of soldering PE parts together instead of the CA route. I'm a very good solderer, but the size of these parts is beyond my ability and is getting into fine jewerly making, but I think it can be done. I'll include this experiment in the build thread so everyone can comment on it.

On another point, I've been trying to upload a new avatar, but the website's not taking it. It's 78 X 78 pixels so it conforms to the spec. Any ideas why this is happening?

Builder 2010
12 Jul 11,, 16:35
Ignore my last paragraph. I just tried that avatar thing and it obviously worked.

12 Jul 11,, 16:51
I've considered painting the holes black, and may still do it. Chamfering is not an option since many of the holes fall at the junction of the horizontal and vertical plastic planes of the part and aren't visible or drillable from the back side. Some are in the clear, but many aren't since the portholes fall so close to the top of the wall. The scale thickness of the plastic on this kit is about the same as the armor on the faces of the 16" gun houses.

I will make finished pics available as long as attribution is made.
I figured out that I can experiment with the soldering of PE using some of the extra fret material that's left when you cut out the parts. In the Model Ship building website, I've been having a running commentary with some folks on the pluses and minuses of soldering PE parts together instead of the CA route. I'm a very good solderer, but the size of these parts is beyond my ability and is getting into fine jewerly making, but I think it can be done. I'll include this experiment in the build thread so everyone can comment on it.

On another point, I've been trying to upload a new avatar, but the website's not taking it. It's 78 X 78 pixels so it conforms to the spec. Any ideas why this is happening?

Of course - I wouldn't consider publishing anything without doing that - this is the primary reason I haven't published anything outside of sharing it at no cost - nothing I have done was accomplished without help of many generous individuals - like yourself.

12 Jul 11,, 17:04
I'm going to take the liberty of calling you "Myles", since I gather from the previous post that is your name. My friends call me Bob. I was reflecting on how much our attitudes about growing older are alike when I glanced over and noticed that you are from Louisville, Kentucky. Well, greetings, fellow Kentuckian! I'm live in Harlan, Kentucky, which if you are not familiar with it is in far southeastern Kentucky, just north of where Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia meet.

I'm a bit younger than you, I'll turn 55 next month. Personally, I feel I'm in my prime. I have enough knowledge and experience to know what to do, and enough energy to do it! Like you, the hands aren't as steady as they once were, but better technique and the ability to afford good tools make up for that. I'm extremely nearsighted and though I use magnification if I'm working with itsy bitsy PE parts, I can usually get by just by taking off my glasses.

You seem to have been modeling for quite a few years. On the other hand, I'm what I refer to as a "returnee". I loved modeling as a kid and built mostly ships and some warplanes. Unlike most kids, I guess, I never got into cars and I though I built some armor, I never really got the bug. During my teens I drifted away from modeling. Not sure why but as memory serves, real cars and girls had some involvement in that lapse of judgment. About 3 years ago I suffered a catastrophic injury, shattering my left leg. Thank God (and a good surgeon and great physical therapists) I recovered with barely a noticeable limp, I was house bound for months, being first in a wheel chair, then on a walker and finally on crutches. During that time I started fetching around for something to occupy my time while I healed. Surfing the 'net one day I stumbled on a modeling site and was completely blown away by what I saw. I started looking into modeling again, ordered some tools, supplies and a kit or two, and I was back in business. Since then I've never looked back and love being back to my childhood hobby.

I suppose my interest in warships and the occasional warplane stems from a life long fascination with military history, particularly World War 2, and as my interests have progressed and matured, specifically the Pacific Theater and USN/INJ conflict. Though the entire scope of the naval actions in the Pacific Theater interest me, I find myself particularly drawn to those desperate months of 1942 and early 1943, Coral Sea, Midway, Guadalcanal and all of its associated naval actions, Santa Cruze, etc..

In our youth obsessed, "me" oriented, consumerist culture I find myself being something (as I suspect you are as well) of an anachronism. Patriotism, honor, service, the old time values, are those I try to live by.

I'm sorry if I've rambled and I certainly don't intend to detract from your thread. But something tells me I've encountered something of a kindred soul.

Keep up the great work and by all means, post some more pictures soon.


Builder 2010
12 Jul 11,, 17:45
Thanks for the insight. I find that of all of our friends and acquaintances, I don't have friends who are modelers, so all of my modeling interactions are being satisfied through the web. It's a wonderful medium for this. I've developed friendships with people on three continents and in many widely separated states.

I only stopped modeling from ages 16 thru 19 when I discovered electric guitars, cars and girls (in that order). But while sitting in my dorm room at Michigan State I realized how much I missed building stuff and did some nice modeling spray painting them in the room housing the trash chute. I got engaged during my last year and spent a lonely year in Flint, MI while student teaching. I was boarding with an older women and she was a sweetheart and let me set up a modeling area. I built a model a week which kept me occupied and out of trouble. The last one was a U-control, Sterling Stearman with an Enya motor on it.

When we got married, my wife knew what she was in for since I bought and built a model on the folding table that was our eating area in our first apartment. Starting in 1977, I built a Pocher, 1/8th scale Mercedes Benz and put it on display at a local hobby shop in Bucks County, PA. The fellow who owned the hobby shop and was the CEO of American Hobby Corp and the importer of these kits, asked who built it and would he be interested in doing for a commission. I ended up building 65 of these for him and other private collectors. That started me on a many year process of building models for other people. One of them was a good friend who had disposable income that was recevied through sources that weren't conducive to reporting to IRS. He ended up paying me to build models for him for years. His wife never knew about it. He gave her a nice allowance for her fun money and she never asked. All that ended in 1994 when my wife accidentally made some comment about her husband having enough money to pay me to build models so he should have enough to do XYZ. Instead of having a problem with her husband, she had a really big problem with my wife and the friendship of over 20 years ended just like that. That also ended my "Building models for commission" for a while.

It restarted after moving to Louisville when I built the Marutaka B-17E for a model pilot who lives in Indiana. The project took 13 months and I made about 60 cents an hour for my efforts. But it was really cool. I had always wanted to build a mult-engine RC and this was my chance to do it on someone else's nickel. I formed a lot of friendships through that endeavor because I blogged the whole thing on RCScaleBuilder.com.

My main interest is model railroading (as if I need another interest) and I had a large O'gauge hi-rail layout before we moved to L'ville. The rebuilding of that layout (larger, I might add) is on the top of my priority list. The new basement is 50% larger than the old one and the new layout is growing accordingly. I scrapped all the old plywood and vinyl roadbed, but kept the framing and track. I have to buy 11 sheets of ply, new roadbed and more track. I painted the basement floor, but it's unfinished and I would really like to have it insulated and sheetrocked before building, but we don't have the funds for it right now, so it may go into a less-than perfect space. My wife really wants me to get back into the railroad since the grandsons aren't getting any younger. My older grandson, Alex is going to be 10 and is a good modeler and is very much like I was at his age. His younger brother, Jack, just turned 7, and while he will build with us in the workshop, seems to have a real love for athletics, which is NOT like I was a his age.

My first model was on my 8th birthday and was the Revell Missouri which I started building on the living room floor, spilled the Testors liquid glue in the box, paniced, moved the glue to a fine piece of furniture on top a wad of Kleenex, where it promptly fell over as soon as I let it go and got Testors liquid cement on the finish which it promptly dissolved. I ran upstairs to my room to hide from my father, who gave me a spanking for being so careless. As you can tell, I can still remember this trauma very clearly. It didn't inhibit my love for model building and I built lots and lots of them.

12 Jul 11,, 23:46
Myles, you are very fortunate that your wife encourages you in your hobbies. My wife, though a good woman with whom I have an over all great relationship, at best tolerates my hobby. Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to understand, or have any interest in attempting to understand, the degree to which is truly is mental therapy for me. I'm a practicing attorney with a very busy practice. Understandably, my work is stressful much of the time and is hardly a 9 to 5 job. Retiring to my modeling bench allows me to escape from the stress and to actually destress as my focus is directed to the project of the moment. I can be feeling beset by all of the demands of an active law practice and, after a few hours at my work bench, actually be refreshed and ready to rejoin the fight the next day. Oh well.

While ship modeling may not be your main interest, you are certainly very, very good at it. Your work on Missouri is most impressive and I'll look forward to seeing more soon.


Builder 2010
13 Jul 11,, 00:35
Bob, Don't get me wrong. My wife wants me to build the trains because the grandkids love it, not because she's a model lover. She understands a basic truth: when I am downstairs working on models, I am not getting into any other trouble. She knows where I am.

She doesn't like the basement since it's usually too cold (and she has a problem with the spiders which seen intent on sharing the space with me). She comes down only when we're having a tornado drill. We also don't have my models on display in the living areas of the house. That's where the pottery, paintings and other 'normal' decor objects are.

We have a relationship that says: you get what you need to be happy and I get what I need. It's worked for 43 years and should work a while longer. She basically is happy when I'm happy. I also have to promise that I don't spend ALL my time in the basement (which I could since time goes very fast down there as you know).

I've done ship modeling on and off for years. My modeling tastes are very eclectic. If it flies, rolls, floats or runs on rails, I like it and I built it.

Right now I have 13 kits that need building, and this is on top of the railroad rebuild. They include two other very fine ships, the Hornet and Essex in 1:350 from Trumpeter, and beautiful 1:32 ABF Grumman Avenger also from Trumpeter, plus a bunch of really fine craftsman kits for the trains. My grandson, Alex, is building an F-18E 1:32 kit (another Trumpeter) and Jack is building a 1:48 a Japan Defense Force fighter with lots of help from Grandpop. All of these Trumpeter kits came from an estate of a man who built models. And Alex and I are going to build a superb model of the F-22 in 1:48 including added photoetch by Hasegawa. This kit is a real gem.

Last Winter I ran "Grandpop's Scale Model Workshop" for Alex and five other 9 year olds. It was a load of fun, I made a few bucks and one of the parents had a friend whose father had passed and had these models. They gave them to her and she in turn gave a bunch to me. It was about $600+ worth of kits. They were all very high quality AND came just when I was starting construction on the Mo. When it rains it pours.

I went to his home to see if there was anything more that I could use. He had a practically brand new Dremel, the exact same as I have, including the flexi-shaft. But otherwise he had basically nothing. He started modeling after retirement and he never was taught about how to do it. He had several ships and planes around the basement and they were awful, but he clearly had fun.

I can send you some pictures of other ship projects that I built if you wish.

13 Jul 11,, 19:12
Myles, I'd love to see some photos of some of your other work. In addition to ships, I also do the occasional warbird, usually in either 1/32 or 1/24 (us older guys gotta love those big scales!). My e-mail addy is "robert.melvin@att.net" You might want to make sure to put something in the subject line so that if my spam filter snags you, I'll know its you. I appreciate your eclectic tastes in modeling and I'd probably build a broader range of subjects myself, but due to a job that demands, on average 60 hours a week, my build time is limited, so I try to stick to ships. Once I'm able to retire and spend more time (much more time, I hope) at my bench, I'll probably branch out quite a bit. Might even try some armor.

I've tried pointing out to the wife that as long as I'm at my bench she doesn't have to wonder about where I am and what I'm doing (and more importantly, who I'm doing it with!). Heck, I don't drink, certainly don't do drugs, don't gamble and don't chase women. But, some women simply require more attention than others. I think some of it has to do with the fact that she does not have any hobbies. She simply doesn't understand how a bit of time at the bench can be as therapeutic, and a heck of a lot cheaper, than a session with a 'shrink! But, this is really a small gripe. Over all, and we have been together for over 13 years, we have a great relationship. I think it shows how good it is that we work together (she manages my law office), so we are together 24/7 for long periods of time. In spite of this, we still enjoy each other's company and miss one another when we are apart. I feel very lucky to have her and she is not only my wife, but my lover and, most importantly, my best friend.

For the most part, I try to limit my build time to no more than an hour a night, and not every night at that. Obviously, some nights more time is needed since some projects can't just be dropped in the middle of the thing. On those nights I try to let her know that I'll be longer and explain why. Also, I do get some marathon sessions in when she takes off to go shopping with her daughter, who lives about an hour from us.

I really didn't intend to give the impression that this was a major problem in my marriage, just a minor bump in the road.

By all means, please send me as many photos of your work as you'd like. I love seeing other modeler's work. Also, I do get to Louisville from time to time on business. If you would be interested, if I have a trip up your way coming up, and I always have plenty of advanced notice, perhaps you would allow me to buy you dinner and we can talk modeling to our heart's content! If Shirley is with me, as she often is, perhaps all four of us could go out for dinner. I'm sure they can find "women stuff" to chat about while we talk models!


Builder 2010
14 Jul 11,, 02:50
Bob, I've sent you a link to a Snapfish album of my models. It's the easiet way (for me) to send lots of photos to folks.

Now onto today's efforts. (part 1)

I decided to try my soldering experiment. It worked, but with limitations...it wouldn't have helped me at all today. I scraped the paint off the mating surfaces, used the TIX flux where the solder was to go, and then put a tiny amount of tinning on one part. I put the second part on top and heated for about one second (or less), and the joint was made. The problem is that the parts I was working with today were just some much smaller and I really couldn't figure a way of holding the parts, and applying the heat without deforming everything. Here're some shots of the experimental results.



It may work for some of the more substantial parts like the gun director radars or the 40mm gun mounts. I'll keep trying. It is much stronger than CA and that's worth something.

Builder 2010
14 Jul 11,, 04:15
Today's Work, Part II
This picture gives you a small idea about the Eduard PE and the fineness of the railings and components. This is the catwalk and railings that run around the tops of the funnel. It's a beautiful detail when it's applied. The problem is that it's separate pieces. It's not just a folding operation. There's a three-piece assembly for each funnel. Three of the four railings were attached at the mid-point by one tiny piece of brass, which was supposed to serve as an alignment aide, but it quickly let go and they became three separate pieces. There is fundamentally no gluing surface area to hold the parts, but you just keep using the CA and hoping something sticks. Eventually it did.


I first thought I would attach the railings to the catwalk off the model, but that quickly proved unworkable since the parts of so frail that you can't hold them all together to apply the CA.

So I glued the catwalk on first and then wrestled the railings into place. After some more paint, the results are passable and when in the case it will be very attractive.


Some other details were the small platform and railing on the aft side. This was the first piece I tackled. The platform was a three-fold affair that mounted fairly easily, but the tiny railing kept wanting to stick to my tweezer as I tried to pull away. As you guys know, the more you touch the PE the greater the chance that something awful will happen. It did a couple of times, but I was able to gingerly reform the rails. All of the ladders are separate pieces as are the ventilator grills. Two of these are almost invisible as they are hidden behind the AA deck.


Also note the neat angle brackets under the searchlight pods. These too were added after removing the fat plastic version. I like that the parts are not only thin, but they're perforated with lightening holes like the prototype.

After repainting the bottom of the funnel, I glued the funnel to the AA deck and then finished the touchup painting. As I've noted before, I'm gluing up what I can moving forward without running afoul of putting on the teak decking. This is one of those parts that doesn't interfere. Gluing the AA deck down on the 2nd deck is a different story. The wood decking is going under that.

Oh... and one more thing... remember the railing that disappeared into the quantum rift on Monday and I had to substitute a GMM raling that didn't look the same. Well... that railing reappeared magically today lying right in the middle of my parts-collecting-tray under my nose. I checked that tray more than once yesterday. It must have found the alternate universe not to its liking and decided to rematerialize. I popped the GMM rail off and put the proper one in its rightful place. I spent almost four hours working on that one funnel. The results are worth it.

Tommorow I'm going to work on the fore Funnel and the AA observation tower and decks. Even though it may not sound like it, I am getting more comfortable with PE and it really makes a difference. I'm still trying to locate some nice looking real brass props for this baby. The plastic ones just don't cut it.

Builder 2010
14 Jul 11,, 21:56
I decided to tackle another challenging part, the anti-aircraft tower top portion. My success with this was a mixed bag...some parts went on well others were a nightmare. Just when I thought that I had the PE thing figured out, Eduard's PE threw me a curve. More about that later.

I should have looked at the fret with the tiny little window slits that are on the tower sides, because I assumed they were open in the center. So I did what I did on the lower superstructure; I painted the areas black before putting on the parts. I also had to locate where those parts were going to go. The only bumps on the original plastic parts were on the mid-line on the flanks, but the Eduard instructions had window slits also one level up and on the foreward end. So I used my surface gauge to scribe where the windows would go.


Here's a shot showing how ridiculously small these things are. Believe it or not, I didn't lose a single one (14 of them). Once I found out that the pieces weren't hollowed out, I painted the open-window portion of the piece with flat black while still attached to the fret. It looks harder than it was. I have a very tiny brush. I also found out that just touching the point of the Xacto knife on the part made it stick well enough to carry the part over to the workpiece and get it to stick to the CA. It was actually easy.


Here's what they looked like after touching up all the black paint that wasn't needed.


Since there is a five picture limit per post. I'm going to get into the interesting part (that's the ancient Chinese "interesting", "May you live in 'interesting' times") in part two.

Builder 2010
14 Jul 11,, 22:23
The first pieces I put on were the WT doors and the ladders. No problemo. I then went to one of them most challenging railings in the model. It's that many curved one that wraps around funnel #1.

Here's the piece cut from the fret and bent. Looks great!


One slight problem. Eduard actually etches the fold points into the railing by making the piece very thin. It's terrific for figuring out where the bends go...NO MEASURING. But, it also weakens an alredy very flimsy part, and as I was handling the railing, the thing fell apart. And I mean completely! Instead of one curvy piece I had four of them... three of which ended in horizontal rails going off into space with no support whatsoever. From there things got worse.


I attempted to put it on in pieces, but only got the middle piece on, the one with the very tight radius curve. I had one of the side pieces near the ship's horn—which I incidentally drilled out to make it look more "horn-like"—but it fell off and after messing with it for about three tries it "twanged" out of this dimension. I finally got most of the railing on the starboard side, but the side near the horn is a total missing. Eduard's pieces are all etched to fit specific locations so there aren't any extra railings to use. I might wait and see what happens further down the line to maybe sacrifice another rail in a less conspicuous place.


Another interesting piece is this little folded platform that has the railing attached at the center point a la the railings around the funnel. This time, the railing stayed attached and made it much easier to wrap it around the curvature and afix it to the ship. It went really well until I accidentally touched it and knocked half of it off and had to reglue. Everytime you reglue with CA it gets messier. It's a law of nature.

Here's two views of the completed upper tower. Not the neat wind deflector at the top level. That part went on well. There's also another applique on the bottom level that I put on after the pictures were taken.


Here's the other side. Again, it's going to look fine when it's all together and in the plexi-case. But it's two steps forward and one back. You can see the horn in this view.


I also took a few minutes and drilled out the tiny porthole in all the WT doors. It's a very small #76 drill, and it adds just another layer of fine detail to the ship. I'll take pictures of this the next door that I put on. I drilled them while still attached to the fret and then went back and drilled all the ones that were already in place including the superstructure sides where the doors were actually etched in details. You can actually see one drilled out in the 1st picture, but it's a bit out of focus.

Next time I'll be completing the tower base and bridge area. There's lots of parts that go there.

15 Jul 11,, 02:08
This has become one of my favorite threads. Your work is impressive.
Just wanted to give you some positive feedback. After all your model work you do just as much work posting it.
Thanks for sharing.

15 Jul 11,, 02:50
I love this detail, I will be looking at your pictures the next time I do a battleship painting. A lot of it is hard to get from photos, seeing you put this together gives a unique perspective, almost like being at the shipyard during the actual build. Thank you.

Builder 2010
15 Jul 11,, 04:43
It's comments like these that keep me going. Actually, since I did the airplane build thread on RCScalebuilder.com, I enjoy the blogging. It helps me think about what I'm doing and it's fun to read the whole thread when the project's all done and relive the experience. With the B-17 it was even more important since I was building it for someone else and had to give it up when it was completed. The build thread was the only proof that I actually did it.

Zad Fnark
15 Jul 11,, 12:41
Excellent work.

I have a 1/350 USS Arizona that I'd like to do a similar treatment on. This is very helpful.


Builder 2010
15 Jul 11,, 15:18
Great! Just take your time... think everything through in your head before you do anything (a la Jack Nicklaus), and don't be afraid to go back and fix stuff over and over.

Builder 2010
18 Jul 11,, 00:50
Spent a couple of hours in the shop today and got working on the forward funnel and the entire forward conning tower area.

I did some touch up painting, then glued the bottom half of the bridge in place since it has some un-planked platforms that I can put inclined ladders on without running afoul of the wood decking.

I turned my attemtion to the foreward funnel. The ladders went on easily. I'm definitely getting better with these. I glued the small railing with the gap for the ladder next. One goes on each side. Of course the opposite side popped out of the tweezer when I was attempting to remove a little extra fret on the bottom and I still can't find. I actually watched it fall and still can't find it.

I decided to try a different way to build the funnel railing. This time I glued the railing to the catwalk before installing it. I used a piece of polyethylene sheet to keep the piece from gluing itself to the table and worked each ralil from the bent end and around the radius. It actually worked!

Here it is before cleaning it up, straightening and repainting.


The fine, triangular bracing under that little rear deck stick out aft of the funnel were a pain in the butt. They're so fine that when you remove the tweezer they're just as apt to stick to the tweezer as to the model. And as usual, each time I had to reglue it, it got more deformed and it became more frustrating. But, persistence prevailed and they're on the model. They really add a note of realism; to not have a platform sticking out in space without have underbracing. So here's the railings on the funnel as they're completed so far. Please note: this will all have to be touched up since the handling screws up the paint job big time.

Incidentally, the railing that goes around that rear platform also disappeared. I cut it from the fret, lifted the fret off the black plexiglass cutting plate and the railing hung on the fret for a second and dropped straight down onto the work bench. Or so it would seem... it disappeared off the face of this Earth at that moment.


I then wanted to try an experiment. I didn't like that the windscreen on the front of the AA deck was solid plastic. The brass applique had little metal fingers that stick up to simulate the window framing, but the plastic was solid. I thought I could probably cut out the plastic without wrecking the part, but to test my skill I popped off this part from the old Missouri and took the Dremel with my finest diamond burr and went at it. It worked! I was able to grind away the area between the frames without destroying the frames in the process. Using a sharp Xacto with a #11 blade, I was able to square the cuts into the corners. So I turned to the new part and did the same thing. He's the result. Now all I need is some really small clear plastic windows...


I hope that the missings railings show up tomorrow after their visit to the quantum world. I've had railings twice now show up a day later right in front of my eyes further bolstering my quantum displacement theory of small part disapperance. I'm off tomorrow and will do some more work.

On Wednesday I have a job interview for a real, full-time job. If I'm chosen, I may take even though I am technically retired (semi-retired) as the additonal funds would be helpful. As a colleague of my said, "You can have a quality of life, or a life of quality." Full-time work would cut into the hobby time, but it would make it easier to travel and purchase big ticket items without cutting into the retirement fund.

Builder 2010
19 Jul 11,, 00:51
First of all, I sent an eMail to Eduard Photoetch in the Czech Republic asking if there was a way to get parts that have broken or just plain disappeared. I got a very quick response back asking if I wanted all four frets. I replied that fret 3 & 4 would be terrific. If I can get replacements, my life will be a bit easier.

Meanwhile, I finally got one complicated railing in place with nothing getting lost of falling apart. Hey...this is a pretty big deal considering the grief I had with yesterday's batch. Here it is in the untouched up paint job.


After all that fun, it was time to get humiliated again. I mean really humiliated. I wrestled with another set of microscopic parts; the view slits for the conning tower. That's my finest pair of tweezers next to them in this picture so you can get an idea of scale. Like before, these things will stick to everything EXCEPT the place where you want them to stick. I'd get it moved into position, pull the knife or tweezer away and the part comes off with it. It wasn't supposed to do that! Luckily they give you three extra parts. I needed every one of them! One disappeared and two got damaged beyond repair. I could have used 8 more. In fact, if Eduard sends me a new fret #4, I'm going to replace a couple that still look poorly.


I used the "paint it black before you put on the parts" technique again. I put a dot of flat black where the slits will go. After gluing them on, all you have to do it trim up the outside with Haze Gray, theoretically speaking. Here's the spots.


Here's an oblique shot showing the attached slits. Even after touch up, the whole conn area looks a little crude. Luckily, no one will ever be able to view it this closely when under the plexi cover.


19 Jul 11,, 01:16
Builder, I admire your nerves. Seriously!

Good job on that ship, nice details, and I like the little 'imperfections'.

In today's world it's really remarkable to still see something home-made.

Builder 2010
19 Jul 11,, 01:21
With the view slits out of the way, it was time to get cracking putting on the rest of the bridge details. I started with the first inclined ladders of the kit. The Eduard inclined ladders are superb. I used my Small Shop "Hold & Fold" to get a nice clean bend. Again, these things are very small and weigh nothing, so just touching them hurls them away. It's constantly testing my ability and shakey hands.


Here's the first inclined ladder in its place from the bridge deck to the gun director deck. I thought it would be a piece of cake, but it wasn't. As usual, the part kept sticking to the tool just enough to pull it sideways when I would pull away. I persisted and didn't freak, and finally got them both positioned neatly. They need to be in a certain place because additional railings go in next to them.


Just for comparison, here's old Mo's plastic ladders and railing-less superstructure. I don't know about you guys, but I don't think you can ever build an "out-of-the-box" ship model again after seeing how more realistic, intricate and interesting it is when all the PE is added. It effectively doubles the price of the kit, but it adds 3X the building time, and about 10X the frustration.


After the railings I finished up almost all of the bridge rails and did some more touch up painting. There is this wonderful little... little? Did I say "Little"? I meant tiny radar screen that replaces a plastic one that sits on the conning tower roof. I put some small curvature on it, folded its little tab on the bottom, trimmed off the plastic piece and sanded the surface and then attempted to glue the new one on. After three tries to get it set correctly, it twanged out of the tweezer and disappeared. I'd swear it headed forwards onto the workbench, so I moved everything around, used the dustpan and brush and swept it clean. Nope... into the quantum hole. I then turned to the floor. Nope! Gone! I really liked that antenna too. Again, hopefully, Eduard will come through and have a 2nd shot at it.


Here's the other side showing all the ladders, railings and inclined ladders.


Builder 2010
19 Jul 11,, 01:28
Thanks! Most if not all of those imperfections come from PE that doesn't glue where it's supposed to the first time (or the 2nd, 3rd...). Each time you have to scrape the CA off and attempt to reglue, it gets worse. Some guys use aliphatic (white glues) since it allows more working time and it is sticky, but it doesn't seem to hold very well. I may try it again since I'm not trying to glue raw metal. When I first experimented with it was before I primed and painted the PE. Another scenario is that I apply the glue and then have to 'manhandle' the part and by the time I get the part to the ship, the glue has set. I will gain more and more experience and should eventually figure it all out.

I have two more 1/350 ships to build, both by Trumpeter: the Essex and the Hornet. Both are contemporaries so should look good displayed with the Mo. And both have lots of PE available for them.

19 Jul 11,, 04:23
Nice job, Is it me or does the Conning Tower look more oval on the model then it is in real life to be circular?

Builder 2010
19 Jul 11,, 04:45

Here's the blueprint of the Wisconsin in the Korean War era. The pilot house is oval, and I think the Tamiya model is close.


19 Jul 11,, 06:13

Here's the blueprint of the Wisconsin in the Korean War era. The pilot house is oval, and I think the Tamiya model is close.


Gottcha, just checked in a Korean War photo. Thanks

Gun Grape
20 Jul 11,, 04:45
you are tempting me to jump a few models on the build list and start my Missouri now. I'll def use this thread as a reference.

Did you notice something about turret 1 in Dreds link?

Those rails that were missing on the vid you saw of the Whisky during Ww2 are present during the Korean war.

I did notice an interesting thing... on a WWII video of the Wisconsin, I noticed that #1 turret didn't have that little railing on its roof, whereas #2 did. I am not going to remove it, but it's something to note for anyone who's considering building a high-detailed Tamiya Missouri.

Isn't model ship building fun?:bang:

Have you found any pics of the Missouri that show turret one with /without rails?

Builder 2010
20 Jul 11,, 13:23
Thanks...if I'm inspiring others, I have fulfilled my prime directive.

I'm past the point where removing the turret rails is a viable option. I was looking at the Missouri "Signing" pictures, but couldn't find any that showed that No 1 turret. Again, even though it may not be there, I don't want to wreck the part trying to fix it.

Incidentally, Eduard is going to send me the missing parts free of charge. That's a big relief since I lose at least one per session.

I've been studying pictures to determine where and how many vertical supports underlie each overhanging 20mm gun tub. It's an easy detail to add and again, makes it just that much more interesting.

20 Jul 11,, 13:45
Thanks...if I'm inspiring others, I have fulfilled my prime directive.

I'm past the point where removing the turret rails is a viable option. I was looking at the Missouri "Signing" pictures, but couldn't find any that showed that No 1 turret. Again, even though it may not be there, I don't want to wreck the part trying to fix it.

Incidentally, Eduard is going to send me the missing parts free of charge. That's a big relief since I lose at least one per session.

I've been studying pictures to determine where and how many vertical supports underlie each overhanging 20mm gun tub. It's an easy detail to add and again, makes it just that much more interesting.

I think Eduard is getting the better part of the deal here - with you demonstrating how good their PE can look and showing this to prospective buyers...
Perhaps they will learn some new ways to improve their kits too - providing more little pieces and improvements to fragile parts.

My favorite photo set so far - It just keeps getting better...

It brings back memories of my childhood building - not that I built like this - but with my imagination I could be on the ship - this model will allow that so much more than the crude models I have built.

Builder 2010
20 Jul 11,, 15:17
I hope they appreciate it as much as you do.

I found a set of pictures on the Model Ship Forum from Steve Larsen that are pictures of the Gibbs and Cox 1/4"-1 ft scale Missouri that resided in the Smithsonian for years and now (I believe) is at the Naval Museum in Annapolis, MD. I actually saw this model being transported on I-95 many years ago. It's almost 20 feet long and is fantastic as all G & C models are.

It shows the Mo in WWII fittings and shows that the no. 1 turret does NOT have those little railings, but #2 does. I'm not taking them off.






It also shows wonderful detailing underneath all the overhanging stuff. Some I can add (all those vertical supports) and some I won't (the little tiny platforms under the searchlight platforms to permit workers to get to the innards). Here's a couple of the pictures. Almost every overhanging gun tub has at least one vertical poles supporting it. These I am going to add.

Gibbs & Cox is a naval architectural firm that's still in business. All their models are 1:48 so every fitting is a model in itself. Their 40mm quad mounts are works of art. I took pictures of this model 40 years ago, but didn't take closeups that could be used for modeling.

20 Jul 11,, 16:47
I've been following this thread for a while, finally decided to chime in: First of all, awesome pics and awesome detail. But what I really am curious about is where is the deck? Shouldn't it be showing up any day now?

Builder 2010
20 Jul 11,, 22:12
That's a great question (and thank you). I've just written John again to ask the same question. Scaledecks has announced the completion of the new Tamiya New Jersey deck, so one of the Iowa class ships is now done. The WWII Missouri isn't that different so it can't be far behind. It better be soon because I'm quickly going to paint myself into a corner.

20 Jul 11,, 22:39
It shows the Mo in WWII fittings and shows that the no. 1 turret does NOT have those little railings, but #2 does. I'm not taking them off.

Can anyone PROVE they were never there - ever? I doubt it. I agree completely - I'd leave them there too - they are an interesting detail and will enhance the model. Taking them off would degrade the overall work, even if the removal were perfect - IHMO.

Builder 2010
21 Jul 11,, 01:09
I totally agree with your humble opinion.

21 Jul 11,, 02:42
The G&C model is awesome - but they went under-board with painting all the details the same color - haze grey - hoses on the reels, gas bottles - things that a little variety in color could have made a nice difference on - it doesn't take that much away - but I see it as a missed opportunity.

I got the ship building bug now - I bought a 1:350 Graf Spee from Trumpeter tonight (to complement my Tirpitz and Scharnhorst - IMO, WWII German BB's are kind of easy with so few ships built - both still on the sprue's) - may start GS this summer - not sure if I'm up to it just yet though, still suffering from the pneumonia.

Builder 2010
21 Jul 11,, 03:08
Pneumonia in the summer really sucks! Not that having it at any time is any better. I had it twice many years ago and I wasn't a very happy camper. Get better! There's models that need building.

Builder 2010
22 Jul 11,, 00:36
The first thing that I did today was to review printouts from those great Gibbs & Cox photos to determine placement of the some of the more obscure details, for example: The pics clearly show where the fire hoses are installed. I have a fret of accessories from GMM that includes some nice etched file hoses. So I put them on.

I also installed the first of many vertical support columns which also are shown on those G & C pics. First, how big are they? I measured the size of the columns on one of the pictures, and the width of the gun tub they were supporting. I figured out what percentage of the total represented the column width. It was about 3.5% of the total. Then I measured the model's gun tub and multiplied it by the same percentage. The columns come out to .024". I happened to have some piano wire that was exactly that size.

I drilled four .026" holes (2 on each side) from the underneath of the lower deck and penetrated both the deck and the tub. I inserted the wire from underneath and seated it in the gun tub's bottom and then made a mark to indicate the length. I don't cut piano wire with a wire cutter because it often leaves a nice notch in the cutter. Instead, I use the Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel. I cut the four pieces, installed them and put a drop of CA on the bottom to retain them. I made sure they didn't stick up inside the tub.

I haven't painted them Haze Gray yet, but they look good. It will be more impressive when all the extra supports are in. I noticed something else in the pictures. That latice structure that supports the secondary gun directors (port & starboard) on the actual ship (both the G & C model and photos of the real Mo) show the aft side cut away, and more small platforms. I can't see building the smallish platforms in 1:350, but I am toying with the idea of modifying the structure. Opinions?Details, details, details! Each one of the searchlight platforms has the small platform underneath most likely to provide access to the light's machinery. Warships make such great modeling subjects because there's layers and layers of details that can be modeled depending on scale and intestinal fortitude.


Another picture shows the multiple inclined ladders on the aft side of the main superstructure component behind funnel #1. I looked at the Eduard instructions and they include ladders for this place, BUT... there was no openings between the decks. I had to get agressive here to put the square ladderway through both decks. It wasn't easy. I scribed out the locations, drilled a series of guide holes, then used the Dremel with a very pointy diamond burr. I ended up squaring the openings with a square needle file. It's not pretty, but it will work. Meanwhile, the inclined ladders included in the Eduard Fret has a handrail that's so fine, that one end was etched all the way through. I am instead going to use the inclined ladders from the old GMM set. They're very hard to see in there since it's in the shadows, so most people won't notice the different. Here's the sequence.




I received a note from John at Scaledecks that indicated delivery in the beginning of August. He's also going to work with me and send me two different woods so I can choose which one would look more like the newly holy-stoned teak. He suggested that since I'm using a natural wood that I should paint the decks tan so the wood won't be dulled down with the gray leaking through. I spent the afternoon doing just that. I used Tamiya Buff flat acrylic. Tamiya is alcohol-based and tends to pull off the Life Color water-based acylic so you can't scrub the paint on too long. You just apply it wet in a single stroke and let it be. Because of all of the other details that are now painted, airbrushing was out of the question.


It's interesting to note that the triple, 20mm gun tubs that flank #2 turret on the main deck were removed immediately after the Surrender signing. To do this will require a couple of steps. First the splinter shields around the tub will have to be cut off flush with the deck level. Then this "floor" piece gets glued into the deck and any other finishing done included filling any gaps and the holes for the guns. Finally a piece of wood decking will need to be cut and inserted in the space, preferably with the plank lines continuing through the space. I'm going to try to do this since there will be extra wood from the sides of the wood frets.

22 Jul 11,, 03:06
I am toying with the idea of modifying the structure. Opinions?

I wouldn't - I think they might be temporary - they would be very fragile - difficult and they could cause more trouble than they would add to the model in detail - I'd put the extra 20 hrs into something more visible and interesting - maybe the aircraft?

Builder 2010
22 Jul 11,, 03:38
Okay, I won't do anything drastic.

Since there was absolutely nothing on TV tonight, I was given a pass to work in the shop some more.

I did lots of trim painting retouching up the haze gray where the tan paint ran up the walls. I did some more touch up of the deck blue also. I then painted the fire hoses that I mentioned before, red. I don't know if that's correct or not.


Then I just played around and fitted everything together so far for a series of progress shots. The model's coming out very nicely and I getting the feeling that it's the finest plastic kit that I will have built, so far, and I've built hundreds.

None of these assemblies are glued to the bases, but I had to see what it looked liked together.





22 Jul 11,, 04:35
flat red is what I remember on the fire hoses - and some green oxygen bottles and some other gases in different colored ones

Each one of the searchlight platforms has the small platform underneath most likely to provide access to the light's machinery. I wouldn't do these is what I was thinking - of course they would still be fine if you think they belong there - I was wondering if they happened to be temporarily rigged at the time that G&C made their study.

I was wondering if something could be done with the flag locker - to have it open and folded flags showing in the racks. I think I have a picture of that somewhere. I really like the variety of color on your work - much more alive than the G&C model. The lack of barrel color on the 5" guns really makes the G&C mounts look dull. The curved 5" sheild in the mount face and barrel slide area were different colors when I saw the Wisconsin, and were much more interesting.

I love the mockup assembly it really shows me the proportion of the decks without the guns and everything in place - a good reference for a drawing...

Builder 2010
23 Jul 11,, 21:34
After checking the G&C photos again, I realized (begrudgingly) that the ladderways penetrated all three decks and that meant more drilling, Dremeling, and filing. This time in a part that has an attached (and delicate) railing.

I put the pieces together and eyeballed where the penetration would be, scribed its location and then followed the same procedure that I did on the other two decks. While this one was easier to finish since it was only one deck thick, I did manage to crush the railing on the port side. I was able to reform it and reglue it without too much damage, but it was a pain in the butt. This will be one of the frets that I think I'm getting from Eduard so I may rip it off and replace it with a new one.


I also noted on the G&C images that there is a conduit pipe that (or support or both) that extends from this little semi-circular pad outside of the railing to the bottom of the basket that's attached to the forward superstruture. When I was painting the decks and wondered why this pad was there since the railing didn't go around it. It is a smaller size than the stanchions supporting the gun tubs so I used a nice piece of 0.020" brass wire that I have and used the same sized drill to make the holes. It was a fast job, looks good and really adds to the copious details on this ship.


I started gluing up the aft gun director tower and deck. I found that there was a slot in the side for the plastic floater nets with the kit. The PE nets don't even get attached there so that hole needed filling. I had styrene sheet of exactly the right thickness (.040") so all I had to do was cut it to width. I used a caliper to gauge the width and then cut with the help of a Northwest Shortline Duplicutter. This is a great tool for scratchbuilding structures in styrene or stripwood to cut parallel and square shapes.


I slide the piece through from one side to the other and glued it with liquid styrene cement. When it set up I trimmed both sides and started final finishing. But it was still not fully cured so when I worked on one side it was pushing out the other. I decided to let it dry overnight.

Then I noticed another one of these slots for another floater basket that was on the main deck piece. I used the same styrene strip I made of the tower, but this time I used CA (formulated for plastic) to lock the filler in place. Then I was able to immediately shape it and paint it. The paint in this picture was not fully dry.



There are some railings that go on that aft tower deck, but I am going to hold off on those until the wood decking is in place. There is a tight interference fit between the midship AA platform and that after deck. If I put the railings on now they would get wrecked AND the AA deck can't go on until the wood is in place. There's a lot of ladders and rails that can't go on yet because of the wood. I have put all the doors and ladders in that won't foul the deck installation.

Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 00:32
We took a road trip back East to visit family and friends. When we got back our digital router had died. Today, Insight Cable came and gave us a new one. We're back in business.

Meanwhile, a nice thing happened. Eduard PE sent me an entire new set of Missouri PE. What a nice company! I would totally recommend them anytime. I now have all of the replacement railings and other parts that disappeared or broke, plus all the other parts. What a nice security blanket.

I started on the first of the 5" high-angle guns. It looks nice. I'll take pics when I have a few more done. My grandson was back from camp and vacation and we worked a bit on his 1/32nd Trumpeter Super-Hornet. It's a hellavu model with both jet engines and more weapons than the real one could ever mount.

So stay tuned...

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on the wooden decks. I can build all the guns (5", 40mm and 20mm) so I can keep going for quite a while, but other assemblies are dead in the water (no pun intended) without these decks.

09 Aug 11,, 01:16
I'm glad you are back, I missed your posts:)

Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 02:41
Went down in the shop again and did another gun, plus I put together some of the trickier parts of the F-18 for my grandson. Here's a picture of this model showing the intake trunk and one of the jet engines. The parts are just sitting in place for the photo op. At 1:32 it's a big model (it's a big plane), and Trumpeter has a reputation for making added parts where there used to be one-piece moldings. It makes a more interesting model, but more challenging.


Here's a couple of pictures of the first two (out of ten) of the high angle guns. The Eduard parts are the side and rear ladders, the rear hatches, the trim around the gun slide opening, and the added hatches and facing on the trainer's and pointer's gun sights. That little detail went on nicely and adds a real neat little detail that you couldn't get with styrene alone. It will take a couple more sessions to finish the 10 guns.



This level of magnification makes the guns look a little ragged, but at natural size they look pretty good. Also the flash exaggerates the minor painting defects. On the model, they'll look good.

09 Aug 11,, 14:34
Looking very good, Builder. Seeing what Eduard's PE set did for your Missouri I ordered one for mine. I'm not sure when I'll be able to begin work on my build. Summer is definitely my modeling off season. Too many competing demands for my time from family, maintaining the five acres we live on, etc.. I usually restrict myself to "quick" builds during the summer months. Right now I'm working on Revell's old 1/249 U.S.S. Buckley. Even that is progressing very slowly. Come fall building will pick up.

I'm taking a lot of inspiration from your work on Missouri. Great work. Close up photography does tend to make things look worse than they actually will when they are in place on the model. I can't find any fault in your work. I'll be looking forward to seeing your next updates. Are you using the blue decks that are on the market? I can't remember the name of the company that is producing them, but from what I've seen on line they look pretty good. I've never attempted wooden decks yet, so I'll be looking forward to seeing how yours work out.

Hope you had a good trip back east. I trust its been hot enough for you up in the River City! Down here in the mountains its been truly awful. Heat and humidity very much like the low country. Kind of like being in Charleston, SC, without the charm of that lovely place. Not sure when I'll be up your way, but next time my schedule takes me to Louisville I hope you will be able to shake free and maybe we can get together for a drink or something and talk modeling.

I don't know what your tastes in reading material run to, but I've been reading a book called Halsey's Typhoon. Great book that really takes you into the heart of a major tropical cyclone on board some of the "small boys" in Halsey's Third Fleet. Great read which I'd strongly recommend to you if you enjoy that kind of thing.
Take care and I'll be looking forward to your next installment.


Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 14:47
Bob, The Buckley was one of my favorite models in the 50s. It was the only Revell ship model that actually had RAILINGS that you could string with thread. It was on my shelf for a long time.

I'm going to use natural wood decks from ScaleDecks. Since it's been such a delay in shipment, the owner is going to send me two different materials and I can chose the one I want. I painted the tan under where the wood is going to go so the it lightens the effect. I'm modeling the ship as it was after leaving Tokyo Bay and signing the Surrender. They holy-stoned the wood decks back to teak and had the 20mm AA tub removed from the deck right next to No. 2 turret. I will have to piece the plastic deck back in after cutting the splinter shields on the tub, and then insert a piece of wood decking to fill the spot. It will be a little "marquetry" on my part. But it will be fun to model the ship at a specific moment in time.

Why am I doing all this? I wanted to show the decks as natural wood. Otherwise, why pay $70 for laser-cut wood veneer decking. But the ship didn't have non-blue decks until the war was over. If you go much later, all of the 20mms were gone, and after Korea all the 40mms were gone too. This left that one time period, right after the war, to have the decks natural, the metal decks were deck blue, and most all the WWII armament was in place.

09 Aug 11,, 16:01
Builder, I see where you are going with this a bit better now. Yes, it is pretty neat to model her for a particular moment in time in her long career, and a particularly significant moment at that! Its a shame that it is impossible to restore Missouri to her World War II configuration for purposes of displaying her as a museum ship. That would make a great juxtaposition - the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, and a few yards away, the U.S.S. Missouri in her fit as she was on that fateful day in Tokyo Bay when it ended. Never happen, but a heck of an idea, I think.

I'm doing Buckley with the GMM PE set, so the molded on railings have come off, as have the molded on K-Gun ready racks. I've been doing some scratch building (admittedly not my long suit) to try to make the 20 mm A.A. guns a bit more presentable. I've cut off the bases and, chucking some sprue into my Dremel, turned some more accurate looking bases for them. They aren't perfect, but they look better than the kit stock bases. As for the main armament, I'm actually thinking about depicting them with the canvas covers they wore much of the time if the ship wasn't in action. I'm thinking I can take some tissue, coat it with white glue and once that's dried, paint it to look like water proofed canvas. I can then drape that over the guns, leaving the barrels exposed as they would have been in real life. Those main guns just look a bit too "toy like" for me to be able to leave them alone. Got any thoughts on that issue? She is a nice little kit, considering her age. Amazing amount of molded on detail on the bulkheads for the time. I also picked up the Trumpeter U.S.S. England kit recently and I'm curious to see how the two compare when I build England up.


Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 16:28
Are there any metal gun barrels available for the Buckley? ABER made the barrels I'm using for the MO. They're available from BattleFleetModels.com. Harry is the owner. I also got my Life Color paints from him, although I've recently learned that my local hobby shop can provide this for me. Also, the shop has just introduced the full line of Vallejo paints from Spain. These come in neat plastic bottles with a spout and have a pre-mixed line ready for airbrushing.

09 Aug 11,, 17:36
As far as I'm aware, there are no metal barrels available for Buckley. I do have some spare 5/38 barrels and I'm going to see if they would look too out of scale if I replace the main armament barrels with them. I seriously misspoke in my 9:34 post. Serves me right for trying to "multi-task"! LOL. I did not get the Eduard PE set. Instead, I ordered the Lion Roar super upgrade set. Has PE, barrels, etc.. Looks pretty nice and comprehensive just looking at it before I put it in the box with the kit. Sorry about that misspeak. I have used Aber barrels on some of my builds, as well as SeaMasters. I've been well pleased with both, but I've definitely learned not to get too ambitious. SeaMasters barrels for, say the 1.1 inch A.A. guns are just too small for me to be able to work with successfully. I've also go some turned metal barrels for 20 mm A.A. guns, but the more I look at them, while they might be "accurate" in the strict sense, I'm afraid they will look under scale and get lost if used in the final build. I know the kit barrels for the light A.A. are too big for scale, but when you consider the distance that most people will be viewing the model at, I really don't want them to get lost in the final product. Guess you have to strike a balance between accuracy and the over all look of the final result.

Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 17:51
that's okay. Lion Roar's set is comprehensive, but they all leave something out. In the case of Eduard, there are no ammo racks for the 40s, whereas GMM's advanced set has them. I really like the superstructure sides in the Eduard set and most of their details are terrific. Some are simply "Too Scale" and are so fragile, friable and delicate that the added value of their appearance is quickly overshadowed by the impossibility of working them. Case in point is the inclined ladders that will go 'tween' decks. The handrails were etched completely through on one end rendering the part useless. I used some old GMM parts. They clunky and not beautiful like Eduard, but they hold together. They'll be almost invisible buried between the decks and won't be seen anyway.

I'd love to have replaced the plastic 5" gun barrels, but those are too small to worry about in 350th. Eduard has a fold-up three-piece affair for the 20s which I can't figure out how I'm going to get them to stay together. And the 40s consist of 6 pieces that, while looking real good, are also going to be frightening to build. I'll take it one step at a time.

Lion's Roar was a little too expensive for me since I knew I was going to add the decks. I am unable to get brass props for this model. The ones for the North Carolina are too small. They didn't have to absorb over 50,000 HP each like the Iowas.

I am going to use steel prop shafting for the outboards. The real ones look like they're painted with white lead.

Lastly, I am dreading putting the SK4 search radar together. It actually has a screen that must be domed before you attach the rings and the 6 rear truss supports. I'd love to solder it and not CA it, but that would be impossible. When finished the radar looks spectacular.

09 Aug 11,, 20:39
I agree with you that I think the 5" barrels would be too small to worry about on a build of this magnitude. On a DD or a DE, yes, but on a BB, I think they'd wind up lost.

I haven't looked at the kit enough to have made an assessment of the kit 20's so that is still an open question for me. I'm still not even sure how I'm going to try to handle those on my North Carolina. I'm thinking about doing some kind of Frankenstenian combination of the Eduard bases, which are the correct style, combined with the kit guns. I just think the PE 20's look too 2 dimensional in 1/350 to go that route. I did order a pack of the Master Models 20 mm Oerlikons, thinking they would be a great addition, but they are just too delicate for me. I'm sure somebody who is better at PE than I am could really make them shine, but I'm not that guy!

I know what you mean about the cost of the Lion Roar set. It is definitley steep, but all the reviews I read were good and it does have the barrels. Since I'm not adding a wood deck, I felt like I could strap on the cost. You could easily buy every set available for Missouri, and any other number of kits for that matter, and pick some things from each set that the others don't include. But, we have to draw the line somewhere or what can already be a somewhat expensive hobby (though I think its still one of the better bargains in entertainment when you consider the number of hours we'll spend working on any one project!). OK for the batchelor types, but I have a C-in-C to answer to and she gets a little less understanding when she thinks I'm going overboard on a project. Fortunately, she hardly ever knows the full extent, but I don't like to press my luck too far - I don't sleep that good on the couch.

On the 40s, you might want to take a look at Lion Roar's twin and quadruple 40 mounts. I used them on my U.S.S. Fletcher and I was really pleased with how they turned out. I used the Lion Roar PE with the kit barrels. Here is a shot of the twin 40 with the Lion Roar PE and the kit barrels on Fletcher: http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j325/robtmelvin/USS%20Fletcher%20DD445/DSC_0159.jpg

I think the steel prop shafts on the outboards will look really good. And believe me, I know what you mean about dreading the SK4 radar. One of the reasons I do like haveing multiple PE sets (I have to sheepishly admit to having three for North Carolina) is that I have extras in case I bugger something up. I love what PE does for our builds, but I always approach working with it with some trepidation. I truly don't see how the 1/700 guys do it!

Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 21:01
Your Fletcher looks great! Whose kit is it?

I'm still not happy with the way I'm applying PE, but I am getting better. I find that some of the tiniest parts actually stick to the tip of the #11 blade on the Xacto which allows very precise placement. By what force they stick, I have no idea... gets to that "small parts and quantum fields" bit that I keep harping on. I like PE for several reasons, notwithstanding that it slows down the building process and increase my interest (and frustration depending on what's having at the moment). Most ship models just aren't complex enough parts-wise until you add PE.

My wife and I have a good plan... whatever I spend on hobbies, she gets 2X (or more) on jewelry. She insists it's equal, but it's not. The plan works! We got over it a long time ago about me buying hobby stuff. Also, she usually gets the jewelry first. You have to do what you have to do.

09 Aug 11,, 21:43
Thanks for your nice comments on my Fletcher. That is Tamiya's 1/350 kit. Its a little jewel of a kit that builds up nicely OOB, and with a little PE can be a real show piece. Here is a better picture of her:

I know exactly what you mean about PE. Kits don't look right without it anymore, but it can slow down the building process and be very tediuous at times. But, overall, I have to say its worth it. I just wish I was better at working with it! I've discovered the same thing about the smaller pieces sticking to the point of a No. 11 blade. It makes it a lot easier to position when you can do that.

I think your approach to the C-in-C is spot on. Jewelry just about always works and mine would agree with the 2X formula! LOL. Like you say, we gotta do what we gotta do.

Builder 2010
09 Aug 11,, 23:40
I'm off tomorrow and will have some more modeling time (at least that's the plan for now). Which DDs had the twin 5" Mark 38s? That Fletcher looks really nice. Do you keep it under glass? Keeping the spiders of the PE is the reason for my building the case.

10 Aug 11,, 02:09
That's what I need, a good day at the bench. Being the "boss", you'd think I could manage that. LOL Thing is, I can't remember when I've been this busy at work and I have a problem with having taken to heart that "lead by example" thing. Darn it.

The Gearing class DDs right at the end of the war had the twin 5/38s. Dragon has a really nice 1/350 Gearing that I have in my stash. I have to admit to having a thing for tin cans and DEs. Plucky little vessels that I just seem to find myself drawn to. Ever read "Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors"?

I don't have Fletcher under glass. Right now she's on display in my office. A lot of my clients wind up looking at my models. Many of them talk about having built model ships as a kid. I tell them they should get back into it. I keep the dust off of her by using canned air from time to time, the same stuff you clean your computer keyboard with. Works good, long as you don't get too close.

I'll be looking forward to seeing what you get done tomorrow. Enjoy your time at the bench!


Builder 2010
11 Aug 11,, 01:31
I did get some work done today (about 2.5 hrs. worth) and continued building Hi-angle guns. It takes almost a half hour per. There are 11 PE parts on each gun house, plus the two guns themselves. Then I go around and scrape off any execss CA (I'm getting better at this, but there's still a lot of room for improvement), and then retouch painting. I posed a picture with the new gun on the old Missouri.




Some good news: My pull out tray is working. Nothing hit the shop floor today. Everything dropped was caught by the tray. It was definitely worth the effort.

11 Aug 11,, 17:13
Looking good, my friend! You are definitely doing some tedious stuff right now. All those gun houses, and 11 pieces of PE per gun house. Do you use an assembly line method, doing the same thing on each gun house, then going back and starting all over again on the next piece of PE, or do you complete one gun house, then move on to the next? Either way, it takes a lot of patience to accomplish what you have done. Good progress for 2.5 hours. Maybe next week I can get some time back at my bench. I'm starting to go into polystyrene withdrawal!

Builder 2010
11 Aug 11,, 17:37
I'm using a "modified assembly line"

There are four types of gun houses, A, B, C, D (depending on which side the ladder goes). I'm doing them two at a time. This way I am keeping the versions straight, and more importantly, managing the $%@*%& PE. I don't like to cut too many peices off the fret at the same time. They have a way of doing their "dimensional shift" again. So with doing just two, I only have 6 of those tiny gun sight doors to keep track of, and four of everything else. It also gives me some satisfaction to have some complete ones to look at.

I'm starting to research how to build those Trumpeter carriers I have (Hornet and Essex). There's quite a bit of PE available for them also, but again I'm leaning towards Eduard, if for nothing else than the way they treated me sending me a complete new set because I lost and wrecked some parts. In both cases they need to have the myriad of rollup doors opened on the sides so you can see the complete hanger decks within. One company, White Ensign Models from England even has a complete set of interior girders and ventilators to detail the ceiling of the hanger deck. Talk about detail...!

I may blog these too, but that's going to be in quite a while since I must get the trains rebuilt before the next plastic project gets underway.

11 Aug 11,, 18:23
Interesting that you mentioned Hornet. I have her as well, along with all three of the White Ensign PE sets, The Ship, The Hanger Deck set and the Catwalks Set. I'm undecided about getting the Airwing set, since I haven't yet decided if I'm going to do her up of the Doolittle Raid, with the B25's on deck, or in her Midway configuration. I'm leaning toward the latter, since the Battle of Midway is one of my favorite subjects. (On that note, have you read "Shattered Sword"? If not, and I'm assuming you share my interest in World War II history, particularly the history of the naval conflict in the Pacific, it is truly a "must read". Total reexamination of the battle, mostly from the Japanese perspective. Detailed, right down to the details of the Japanese CAPs at various times throughout the battle, but amazingly readable for a book that detailed.)

This is one that I really want to do up right, so I may take a look at the Eduard sets as well and see if there is enough there that isn't included in the GMM sets to make the purchase worth the price. I'm hoping to get started on her this winter, as soon as I'm able to finish the U.S.S. North Carolina. Maybe we can be of help to each other on her. I do know that the White Ensign PE set for the Hangar Deck requires some scratch building to fill in Trumpeter's omissions. Might be a lot of fun to work together on one with you.

Builder 2010
15 Aug 11,, 04:56
I finished gun houses number 9 and 10 today so all are complete. I also figured out a better way to hold the parts during assembly and painting. I was just clamping the part in my Panavise, but this was damaging the paint. Now I hold the part from the bottom attachment hole using a spring tweezer. Then I clamped the tweezer in the vise. This worked great. I also could hold the part better while doing the touch up painting. I was able to transfer the part from the spring tweezer to a regular tweezer and transfer it to the work table without messing up the paint. It's a shame I didn't think of this on numbers 1–8. Oh well...

You can easily see the open gun sight doors in these views.

Pardon the poor depth of field. I don't have enough light to shoot with a tiny aperture. I may start using a tripod to do slower exposures. Also, there's some new software that has you shoot multiple shots with the focal point moving rearward, and then blends all the exposures into a very deep field single picture. I'm going to look into the product for when I start taking the total ship pictures.



You'll notice that the ladders seem to be on one side or the other. This is by design. The 5" Gun Houses had the roof ladder on the side that normally would face the superstructure, not the water side. There are therefore four different arrangements. The front two (A and B) don't have the gun captains sight covering on the top and the first positions (p & s). The rest have their ladder on the inside depending on which way the gun normally faces. The first 6 positions facing forward and the rear 4 facing aft.

In the post that follows, I'm going to show the first attempt to make the PE, 40mm quad emplacements.

15 Aug 11,, 14:36
More great looking work on those gun houses. When I tackle my Missouri I hope I can demonstrate the patience and skill you have. On clamping the parts for painting, that's a prime example of the "learning curve" we all face when doing something new. I can't tell you the number of times I've figured out a great way to do something when I'm just about finished doing it!

The photo program you'll talking about is called IrfranView. As I recall you can get a free test version to see if you like it before you buy it. I do have it and it does work great for taking photos like the ones of your gun houses above. Pretty user friendly software to.

Can't wait to see your work on the 40 mm quads.


Builder 2010
16 Aug 11,, 00:23
Well here goes...
Lucky for me Eduard sent me that complete 2nd set of PE becuase I was able to use it to learn how to make these ridiculous assemblies of 20, 40mm quad sets.

The parts for the 40mm sets are small and very fragile. I didn't anneal the parts before handlings and it may be a good thing to do since they seem to be brittle. In other words, one bend is okay, the second time you bend the same joint it gets a little iffy, and the third time the same joint is bent it falls off. That's what happened with the seats and foot pedals on my first test article, and the foot pedals and front railing on the second one.

The little tangs that are sticking out of the flat piece with the railings are the unfolded foot pedals and seats.


The folds were easy, although moderately complex. I used my "Hold and Fold" to make the folds on the base piece with the railings, and the two pieces for each of the gun frames. The two thin parts sticking out the rear of these pieces get curved upwards and form the cartridge ejection tracks. They have to be bent up a full 90º curve so they're flush with the two flat thin pieces that remain grounded. These outer flat pices add to the gluing surface area and help space the gun frames properly in the base. They should be glued with the flat pieces flush to the back railing. That's why the curved pieces have to go up fully or they'll prevent the frames from properly seating on the base.

Gluing the gun frames down with CA was more difficult than I thought it would be since the bare metal didn't superglue well. They seemed to want to glue themselves to my tweezers instead of the base plate. I expect that when I assembl the "real" painted parts they will stick better to each other. I found that the paint actually holds the CA better than the raw metal...as long as the paint adheres.


Here's the first assembly with the gun frames installed. This part was not the hard part.

The hard part is getting the splinter shield in place. There are two problems. The first is you must bend the sides of the shield to more than 90º, and second, the gluing surface area is very small (almost non-existent) being only the tiny pieces of the front and side railings. To make matters worse the part does not get fastened to the bottom of the base part, but is raised up so the little bottom tabs on the side of the shield are at the bottom. After multiple tries I finally got it to adhere. It was very close to my patience limit.


Next came the guns themselves. I didn't want to risk using any guns from the New MO, so I ripped them out of the old MO just for this experiment. The guns actually went it pretty well. The folded sides of the gun frames are very precise and the guns fit nicely. The kit's 40s are molded in sets of 4 which must be separated into two sets of two to fit into these PE frames.

The gun sights...Yes! these little models have two gun sights per mount...went on poorly, again because you're gluing a very tiny piece of metal by its edge. As you can see in this picture, the left one has sort of flopped over.


Here's the unpainted test article #1 in place on the old MO just to see how it looks. It's funny that the tin plating on the PE turned almost black. I don't know whether this was due to handling or the CA accelerator that I used to get the CA to finally kick and hold the parts. I really wish I could figure a way to solder these parts together. It would hold SOOOOO much better than the CA, but I can't figure how to hold the parts for solding.


I did a second test article (not photographed). The base went better, I only lost the foot pedals, but kept the seats. The gun frames went better also, with the curved back pieces being done right the first time. They also glued in a bit better. The splinter shield, however, was just as big a pain in the butt as it was on test article #1. This is where the front railing fell off after bending it a couple of times. I finally had to rough up the medal on the shield and the railings a bit to get some CA traction. Like I said earlier, I am hoping that the painted parts will hold glue better. And I'm really glad that I had these parts to mess around with before using the painted parts. It seems that Eduard includes one extra set for the 40s, so you're going to have to be careful. Using these remarks may help you avoid some of the problems that I had. Incidentally, I only lost one part on the floor since I forgot to pull out my belly pan. Once I pulled it out I caught all the rest of the parts that tried to escape.

As I'm writing this, I am going to see if it's possible to solder this thing together. The difficulty comes from it being so small that everything will de-solder as soon as the next piece is attached. We'll see...

Zad Fnark
16 Aug 11,, 12:41
Very nice work. PE can look real sharp.

I'm looking at the same thing, but in 1/700 (USS San Francisco). I'm hoping I survive the experience.

Tiny little 1.1" mounts...

Does the effect of the accelerator on the PE help things as far as painting (more tooth for the paint)?


Builder 2010
17 Aug 11,, 20:44
I don't think the accelerator does anything regarding paint adhesion. It's an amine-based product and I don't think it etches metal. The vinegar did seem to work though.

Now onto the soldering experiment. I woke up thinking about what I can or can't do with solder, and I came to the conclusion that it's the splinter shield that's the most difficult thing to super glue, so if I could solder that, it would stabilize the whole affair and make the rest go easier. I applied the solder to the unfolded part as it made it much easier to prepare the part and apply the solder.

I decided to first try it on an unpainted test piece and it worked. I then went to the painted part. I'm using the TIX solder again since it works at such a low melting temperature. I actually thought that it might not mess up the paint. I was MOSTLY right. I scraped the paint off just the little tails that are being soldered. TIX has its own liquid flux, so I applied it to the scraped area and then cut the tiniest pieces of solder and laid it in place on the tabs. This was not as easiest as it should be.


I decided to use the mini-torch instead of an iron since it would apply the heat without having to touch the parts. They're so jumpy that touching them makes the solder pieces head for the hills. The heat didn't affect the paint at all in this step. The solder melted a little thicker than I would have liked and I may try using the iron on subsequent pieces.


I almost forgot... I also removed the paint from the base where the parts will attach. After positioning the shield, I used spring tweezers to clamp the parts together. Again, I used the mini-torch to quickly melt the solder and sweat the parts together. A drop of water quickly cooled the parts.


The heat finally got to the part as seen in this picture with the parts soldered together. It actually looks good in a wierd sort of way, with the metal looking worn and weathered. I doubt that the Missouri at the signing looked in bad shape. The part joint is strong... much stronger than CA.


In the next post, I'll show the completed mount (too many pictures)

17 Aug 11,, 21:27
Well done mate. Lookin forward to the finished product.

Builder 2010
17 Aug 11,, 22:37
Thanks! On the next unit I used my Weller Soldering Station set on #2 on the heat dial instead of the mini-torch. It did a better job of tinning the splinter shield. I also used it on sweating the joint between the base and the shield after the joint didn't hold with the mini-torch. I'm going to try and use the iron for the entire job. I'm also going to tin the base as well as the shield. The TIX solder melts at less than 300º F, so it doesn't need a lot of heating. The torch got real hot, really fast... too hot.

Another idea I'm going to try to make it easier to glue on those microscopic gun sights. I'm cutting small grooves in the top of the guns' receviers to accept the gun sight's arm. This will provide a reference point and give a little more gluing surface.

3 down and only 17 to go. I am very glad to have the extra PE AND the old Missouri to rip parts off of when I need to test a theory. I'm starting research on my Trumpeter CV-9 Essex in the same scale as the Missouri. I'm planning on using Eduard parts for that also and I will be much more capable with that one.

I mentioned in the last post about showing some more of this component, so here we go.

The gun mounts look pretty cool when folded up. In this view you can clearly see the folded and bent parts, AND the parts that are left flat. I have to fold it on the outside corner of the hold and fold to keep from catching those flat legs and folding them too. They are the only real gluing surface on the piece and must be level with the front portion of the folded part.


Here's a completed unit with both guns attached. These are from the new MO since they are painted haze gray. You can just see the gun sights. Also the seats or pedals (or both) still keep breaking off, but they're almost invisible anyway. My grandson doesn't think I should re-airbrush them because he thinks that the heat made the metal look very real and well used. I said he was making sense, but I bet the Missouri at the Signing in Tokyo Bay did not look worn and I bet its captain had every hand busy on their way to the ceremony making that ship shine. I am also not planning on weathering the rest very much. I might put some soot on the stacks, drill some drain holes in the hull and have a little moisture and rust around them, and rust up the hawse pipes and anchors a bit, but not much else.



Here's two of them sitting in some tubs on the Bridge level. They not glued, but they still look cool.


I'll stick them to a board with reversed masking tape and air brush them all at once. I've also noticed that the barrels are gun metal, but the receivers are often haze gray, and the cartridge loading chutes are also black. So they're be some fun micro-painting all these features. I find it very therapuetic

18 Aug 11,, 01:53
I used to do some fine soldering by wrapping a peice of fine wire around my solder iron tip - this gave me a micro tip (I filed it sharp or chisel point as appropriate and tinned it of course, I tinned the wrapped part on the regular tip too for better heat conduction) - I used steel wire and copper wire depending on how much heat I needed. I didn't have music wire at the time - but annealing the wrapped part might work very well using fine guitar wire (~0.008 or 0.009 Hi E or a core from a wound covered string).

Builder 2010
18 Aug 11,, 14:10
Can you send a picture or illustration of what you describe? I'm having a hard time visualizing it.

I have a 1/16" tip for the Weller that's pretty narrow and worked pretty well.

18 Aug 11,, 16:56
Can you send a picture or illustration of what you describe? I'm having a hard time visualizing it.

I have a 1/16" tip for the Weller that's pretty narrow and worked pretty well.

Here is a sketch (I used it on circuit boards) - it is slow and very controlled - the shorter to the extension the more heat - so varying the length of the wire tip is a control - start long and cut it back until you get enough heat.

Builder 2010
18 Aug 11,, 17:03
thanks! That's brilliant! I don't know if I can silver solder...depends on what temperature you need. I have propane and butane torches. Is that high enough? I know how to do it since I taught about 50 people 35 years ago (still have the manual I produced), but I don't have any of the materials. The small chisel tip I'm using seems to be okay so far.

18 Aug 11,, 17:46
thanks! That's brilliant! I don't know if I can silver solder...depends on what temperature you need. I have propane and butane torches. Is that high enough? I know how to do it since I taught about 50 people 35 years ago (still have the manual I produced), but I don't have any of the materials. The small chisel tip I'm using seems to be okay so far.

yes butane or propane will do fine - you should have what you need - the silver solder is high melt point (about 100 deg F higher than tin/lead) - to make it stay put when you are working with the tin/lead solder

I would use a thicker tip, like a 3/16" or 7/32" for this - so there is plenty of heat at the connection

Builder 2010
18 Aug 11,, 19:24
I have a tip that size, but I'd probably buy another just for this purpose. What I'd really like to have, for this and model RR stuff, is a resistance soldering rig. Unfortunately, they're about $400 for a decent one. They are absolutely essential when building large brass structures since they localize the heat so well and keep other parts from falling off. Also, the brass loco builders start out with higher melting point alloys for the big stuff and work down to lower temp alloys for the details. I will also have to get some high melt point solder to make the tip.

19 Aug 11,, 15:39
Builder, that's some impressive work soldering those 40 MM mounts. I've never tried soldering PE, but I've been curious about how well it would work. Your results have persuaded me to try it. Have you looked into any of the resistance soldering sets? Less heat, as I understand it. I'm not at all well versed on the process, but some of the guys over at modelwarships.com swear by it. Once again, congratulations on some great work!

As far as weathering, I think you are probably right about the brass having Missouri as ship shape as possible for the surrender ceremony. I think you are on the right track keeping the weathering to a minimum.

As always, looking forward to your next updates!


Builder 2010
19 Aug 11,, 17:40
I'd love to go the resistance soldering route, but the initial cost is keeping me away. If I had $400 to spend on tools, I would buy a spray booth. I also have to do a MAJOR rebuild on the model railroad. I tore it apart for the Louisville move and scrapped all the plywood and roadbed. I am going to enlarge it about 50% to 37 X 16 feet. it will be very big and will cost over $2k to bring it back to operating condition. I have over $20k invested in the trains and my wife is insisting that I rebuild before the grandkids are too old to help or enjoy it.

I'm even thinking about soldering the mounts themselves also. The CA just is too darn tempramental and is bugging me. The soldering is so much stronger. I would probably have to heat sink the splinter shield or solder the mounts first and then solder the shield. The Shield joint is so small that the heating could be slight.

19 Aug 11,, 19:11
I'm in the same boat you are. If I had the kind of money to spend on the hobby to get into resistance soldering, I wouldn't be using a cardboard box for a paint booth! The C-in-C is pretty understanding, but not THAT understanding. I'm going to give the soldering approach a try, based on your results. By all means, keep us posted on how things go. Fantastic work, my friend.

Builder 2010
19 Aug 11,, 22:17
Before you attempt soldering, you might want to look at this THING. Here's what happens when you try to resolder a joint that separated and got the assembly just a little to warm.

I've been trying to solder the gun mounts too as I noted yesterday. I tinned all of the mating surfaces while in the flat, folded the mounts and then sweated them in place. It wasn't particularly easy holding them over their respective positions. The first attempts didn't come out in exactly the right place.

Then I folded the side and front rails, leaving the back rails flat so the tweezers could hold the shield without crushing the rails. I folded the shield and then held it in place with the spring tweezer, first doing one side then the other.

I upped the magnification on my headgear so I could specifically watch the joint between the railing and the shield. This was a result from experience, by not seeing the joint melt and overheating the part and losing the gun mounts as shown in this picture.


At the instant the solder in the joint melted, I pulled of the heat and got a good joint without losing any other parts.

You'd think this was the hard part, but actually the hardest part was putting the stupid gun barrels into the mounts. The super glue must be aging and just wasn't setting fast enough. It wasn't holding very well either. I used accelerator, but even that was just starting to get messy. You all know, if CA doesn't kick the first time, it just doesn't get any better.

And then there was those $@*%( gun sights. I'm seriously considering not putting these things on. They're almost impossible to position correctly and the glue just keeps piling up. And with the model enclosed in Plexiglass, I doubt that they'll even be visible.

End result: It took me over an hour to make one more good 40mm mount. 4 down, only 16 more to go.

Builder 2010
20 Aug 11,, 03:26
I found good pictures of the ship at the time that I want to model. Both were taken when the MO was heading to New York for Navy Day later in 1945. Clearly seen is: teak decks, deck blue metallic horizontal surfaces, and missing triple 20mm guns and tub that flank number 2 turret. I've seen no pictures of the aft end so I don't know what changes happened there.

I added the annotations.



Of interest is the life rafts painted 20b also, AND, the larger picture (before cropping) clearly shows that #1 turret DOES NOT have that little railing running around the top, but #2 does. I am not removing it. Or... I have an extra #1 turret on old MO AND I have a full extra set of PE sooooo... I can modify that turret and use it for this model. Any thoughts... But the brass barrels are CA'd into the gun manlets on the new turret and that could be a ... naw... I can just cut the plastic away. I'm thinking out loud here.

Gun Grape
21 Aug 11,, 06:05
What time period are you looking at? post signing, but pre-Navy Day?

And what references do you have?

Life rafts were painted to match the camo measure where they were placed in WW2

Builder 2010
21 Aug 11,, 16:51
I'm modeling the period after the signing when the decks were returned to natural wood. I've been collecting pictures and comments from threads like these. The pictures above depict the color scheme. But I've read nothing or seen nothing about what was changed (if anything) on the aft deck. John, at ScaleDecks is going to create a deck that has the forward 20mm gun tub removed so I don't have to do fancy inlay work on the deck wood. I will have to cut the splinter shield off the gun tub and glue the base into place in the deck since the model has an opening there.

While I'm writing. I've decided on "Plan C" to mount those miserable little 40mm gun barrels. If you've been following this thread you'll note that gluing the guns into the mounts has been one of the most annoying aspects of this build. Of course the gun sights are also annoying, but I'm no longer going to worry about those. I decided that I could actually drill and mount the guns on a trunion just like the real ones. I measured my smallest brass rod and compared it to the gun receiver and realized there was enough stock to drill IF I hit the mid-point of the part and don't waver. I'm using a 0.020" drill with the same size brass rod.

The Eduard gun mounts have an indentation etched into the mount side to simulate the trunion. It also served as a perfect drill guide to ensure that the holes on both sides lined up. How convenient!
Here's the result.


Note: the guns are now able to elevate and depress, for what it's worth.



Next question: Can I solder the gun assembly to the base WITHOUT melting the sytrene gun. I clamped a spring tweezer to the mount to act as a heat sink and removed the iron the instant I saw molten solder. It worked! I was able to solder the completed assmbly without damaging the gun in any way. Now I just have to do this 29 more times! Right now, I'm not glue or soldering the brass rod into the gun mount. I may reconsider this if the piece keeps popping out.


While this process seems like an undue complication, the super-gluing of those guns was awful. It is watchmaking, I realize, but it's doable.

21 Aug 11,, 19:33
The trunion thing is awesome - I love that model - and hope to use some pictures of it someday

Gun Grape
21 Aug 11,, 21:03
I'm modeling the period after the signing when the decks were returned to natural wood. I've been collecting pictures and comments from threads like these. The pictures above depict the color scheme. But I've read nothing or seen nothing about what was changed (if anything) on the aft deck.

Something like this?

Builder 2010
21 Aug 11,, 22:13
Yes, just like that. Soo... all the guns in the Middle of the Aft deck were gone also. I have to talk with John at ScaleDecks to see what can be done about this part. I may be content to pretend they just got the front guns removed and hadn't yet pulled up any more.

News Update:

To make the trunion idea continue more accurately, I made the axle go through both gun stands before soldering them into the deck. That held their alignment. In other words, if one was positioned incorrectly, they both would be. I then installed the guns themselves after soldering. This took away some of the worry of melting the styrene, but it opened up another can'o'worms. Just flexing the gun stand back and forth whilst I was wrestling the gun into position broke one of the damn things off. As I've noted before, the Eduard etching of the bend points makes the metal very, very thin and it's a bit brittle. To reinforece the sides, I went one step further and soldered the front corners of the gun stand front and sides to make it a stronger assembly. It also stopped the sides from bending away when I was trying to insert the axle. Since both guns were connected in real life, they're now going to have a single shaft going through both. This is not prototypical since each gun set had its own elevating pinion, but they were slaved to the same elevating controller. This new twist worked better and sped up the assembly a bit. I did two more this afternnon. It really is watchmaking (or neurosurgery).

I stand corrected. There are only 16, 40mm quad sets so that makes 6 down and 10 to go. Are we having fun yet?

Builder 2010
23 Aug 11,, 05:00
I built two more mounts today and decided to impart some more wisdom to my readers about handling these tiny assemblies. You can't hold these parts in a standard panavise, but I found out that you can hold the parts in a spring tweezer and THEN hold that in the pana vise.

The first picture shows the gun mount in position to solder the front joint edges. This helps to stabilze these very fragile joints, and makes it much easier to thread the trunion rod through four gun frames and two guns. By folding the center section a little more, the sides will press against it and not collapse. This eabled me to use the spring tweezer without crushing the part. In one instance, the front piece had moved forward a bit and the side collapsed just as I was soldering it. Another scrapped frame.


Here's the entire assembly being held to do the trunion threading. I use my highest magnification to see exactly what's going on here. You can't force the rod through these pieces since if you miss, you'll break something. I also upped the drill size one thousandth to 0.021" so the 0.020" brass rod will go through without grabbing. I wish I had a few more bucks and could buy the magnifyers my son and son in law use in surgery. They give high magnification, but do so at a much longer focal distance. They cost about $700!


But even with the front joints soldered, the pieces still broke. Twice I had to scrap gun frames because the side frame broke out. The solder joint wasn't as sound as it should have been. Once the frame breaks, that mount is scrap. Again, thanks to Eduard, I have a complete set of additional PE to experiment with these practices. It will come in handy when I get onto the next ship, a late-war version of CV-9 ESSEX. It's a 1:350 Trumpeter kit on par with the Tamiya Missouri.

Here's an ultra closeup of the assembly with the broken side frame.


Even with all of these refinements, it's still taking almost an hour for each mount. And frankly, I'm about shot after two hours of this. I dread moving on to the 20mms. The tripod stand that comes on the Eduard sheet seems almost unmanageable, and I will try to use them, and if they're as bad as they seem, I not going to go that route.

All of these mounts are going to need repainting, AND I will have to make sure that the flux and any other impurities are removed. I'm probably going to wash them carefully and blow dry. Then I'll stick them all to a cardboard sheet and airbrush them. Each barrel then has to be trim painted. Most pictures I'm seeing have the barrels gun metal, the receivers haze gray and the ammo feeders gun metal. The rest of the mounts are haze gray.

Builder 2010
25 Aug 11,, 03:22
I was wrong again. It's 20 quad sets, not 16, therefore I have a LOT MORE to build. Today I built four sets. Unfortunately, it almost took parts for six of them to build four.

Some Reasons: One gun stand collapses when the spring tweezers crushed the two sides togehter. Another gun stand (with the guns attached) de-soldered itself when I got the whole piece a little too warm when soldering on the splinter shield. I have to be careful to have an effective heat bring on the iron tip so it heats faster. A "heat bridge" is a tiny bit of liquid solder that increases the speed of heat transfer from the iron to the workpiece. Another one got destroyed in the process of putting on the splinter shield when it wrecked one of the side rails. And on it goes.

I've completely given up on the seats and footpedals. The pedals fall off by breathing on them too hard, and the seats aren't far behind. The front railing also seems to disappear on its own too. They're almost invisible anyhow. That's not just "Sour Grapes". They really are almost invisible. On the other hand, I spend a great amount of effort to make sure that the splinter shield is staight and mounted correctly because it's really the only thing you see.

So I've finished 12 and only 8 more to go.....:eek:

Builder 2010
27 Aug 11,, 01:12
I wrote recently that there was software available to digitally blend pictures so depth of field could be increased exponentially without the use of exotic cameras or equipment. The technique is called "Focus Stacking". It works by letting you take the same picture over and over only changing the focus point on the image. The software then "stacks" the images selecting the in-focus portions. It then creats one image with enhanced depth of field.

There are both freeware and commercial products available. Since I am not going to make any money out of its use, I selected the free product. I read reviews about them and the verdict was the free product —although lacking the bells and whistles of the professional product—had good algorithms and did the job. One commercial product is Helicon and it's over $200. The free one is Combine ZP.

You must use a tripod! The images must each be as exactly the same as you can make them. The tripod must be firm since just moving the focusing ring could slightly misalign the camera. I took two practice series. The first one had me moving the camera all over the place and the combined image is a mess.

For the second series, I was very careful to not move anything.


I was about a foot away from the parts and took four frames. The first was focused right on the pilot house windows and then each frame moved the focus back probably a quarter of an inch. The more macro the shot, the tighter the frames have to be. This software was developed by an Australian fellow who is an insect photographer. In extreme closeups the depth of field can be meausred in thousandths of an inch and it may take 100 exposures to render the entire picture.

But for us model builders, this is the way to get great, realistic shots that don't disappear in a fuzzy haze. I'm going to use it for both model photography and model railroad pictures.

Once the frames are downloaded from the camera. You just click a couple of buttons and the software does the rest. Since I have sophisticated photo handling software (Corel PhotoPaint), I didn't need Focus Stacking software that has photoediting capability.

The resulting picture looks terrific. From the front of the bridge to the funnel behind, everything is in sharp focus. Also, since I was using a tripod, I didn't have to use a flash. I used the camera's self-timer to snap the shutter so it wouldn't move the camera.

This weekend I get back to making 40mm Quad mounts.

Builder 2010
09 Sep 11,, 01:22
I had a nice surprise in the mail today. My Missouri decks arrived from John at ScaleDecks. He made a special set for me with the front 20mm gun tubs removed so I won't have to piece together any veneer to cover the holes. The decks are beautiful!:)

I will have to use my templates to make the modifications to the 2nd and 3rd wood decks to remove the parts blocked by the pre-installed superstructure. I shouldn't have done that, and once I did I immediately realized that this would create a problem when mounting the wood. With the computer drawings I created, I will create some templates that, along with a very sharp no. 11 blade, will trim out the part of the decking that is now obscured by the glued-on superstructure.

I haven't had much building time over the holiday, but will be back to work this weekend and will include more pictures.

Builder 2010
11 Sep 11,, 00:38
After waiting so long for the decks to arrive I had to immediately start doing the fancy fitting that I've left myself with by gluing on that superstructure. I reprinted the templates on a full sheet of paper, rough cut them out with scissors, and then used 3M 77 spray adhesive to stick the paper to some 0.040" sytrene sheet. The styrene gives a little more body to the template when the cutting of wood begins. I used an Xacto knife with a #11 blade to cut out the template.

John at Scaledecks.com sent me two full sets as a mia culpa for taking so much time. One set is plain maple, the other tinted. I'm going to use the tinted wood for the model, so I used the plain as my guinea pig. This worked out great because I'm now able to make fitting cuts without the fear of screwing up the final product. The practice really helped! Here's a picture of the tinted decking. Note that John left off the 20mm gun tub next to #2 turret as I requested.


The first template cuts out the center section of the 3rd level deck. The bridge and front funnel bottom should have been put on AFTER this deck was in place, but as I've discussed at length, I couldn't wait and glued it on. So the entire middle had to be removed so the decking will nestle up to the superstructure walls. It took a little bit of adjustment, but I'm happy with the results and will do this same cut on the tinted wood.


Here's the two templates and the scrap piece that results when cutting out the center. For anyone reading this thread and contemplating building the Tamiya Missouri AND using Scaledecks, please don't do what I did and save yourselves a couple of hours work by not jumping the gun. Without the big hunk of plastic in the awy, the decks would have fit perfectly.


Here's a closer shot of the #3 and #4 decks in place. It gives a good view of the fit issues. The #4 deck had its own problems with parts that I glued. These included the upper 20mm cantilevered gun tub on the bridge deck and the support structure for the MK 51 gun directors port and starboard, and of course the number 1 funnel. To make this doable, I cut the deck in half and worked it in from each side. Clearance had to be cut around the bulkhead next to the flag cabinet, plus I had to cut the holes in the aft portions for the inclined ladders that will be inserted there. Notice also that there's a nice ledge to glue those fine Eduard railings in place. Once the guns and rails are in place, this thing is going to look GREAT!


The last picture shows the #2 template that helped cut out the relief for the rounded bottom of the bridge structure. This was tricky to fit, but again, it will be okay. I will make a couple of very minor changes when I cut the tinted decking to tighten up the gaps around the bulkheads a bit more.


Having two sets of decking also gives me the opportunity to experiment with the best way to glue it all in place. I'm thinking about using some Top Flite sanding sealer top and bottom to seal the wood and allow me to use water-based adhesives without soaking in the veneer. The wood is very, very thin and can easily warp.

I am then thinking about using some pressure sensitive adhesive that I got from MicroMark. It's useful for applications like this when you're gluing very thin materials. I don't think it would work as well on the unsealed wood. I will try these various techniques and glue the pieces to underneath the main deck where it won't matter. John suggest using Gator Grip glue. I don't know what that is and will look for it on the web.

Next time, I'll be cutting the tinted decking and getting ready to glue it in place. The main deck can't go on until the decks are glued into the hull since Scaledecks has cut them in two pieces and the model's decks are in three sections. This should nicely hide the seams on the finished model. At least I was smart enough to not glue ANYTHING onto the main deck that would require more custom fitting.

Builder 2010
11 Sep 11,, 22:21
I used the experience from yesterday's session to cut out the tinted (final) decking. I also separated one of the front pieces on the 3rd deck since it would make it easier to get it into place when gluing. I went with the pressure-sensitve adhesive idea after testing it with a piece of scrap on the underside of the mid-section piece.

I first sealed the underside with some Testor's Gloss Coat laquer. When dry, I applied the PSA from MicroMark to the deck and the wood and let it dry. It dries clear unlike contact cement or Wather's Goo. You can't slide the parts together which is why I decided to separate the biggest piece so I was able to slip the front pieces in from the side.

The glue sticks like crazy. It's almost like putting on your license plate yearly sticker. You have to be absolutely certain that the wood fits right before gluing it up since you can't take it off again if something's wrong. You will wreck the part if you try to remove it.

I also got some PSA onto the top surface when it came up through some of the holes that penetrate the wood. I removed it with some Goo Gone on a rag, but it discolored some of the deck as you can see in the third picture. But, I'm not sure it's a problem. It makes the decks look a little used which is exactly how they look in real life. When the model's finished, it shouldn't be a problem. So that's another lesson. Put on the PSA thinner so it doesn't puddle and get on the other side.

Also you have to paint the PSA on the plastic with the same care you would if you were painting the deck.

Now that the wood's on some parts, touchup painting and PE work will have to be even more careful. If the paint gets on the wood, it's very hard to get it off.




The edges won't be so prominent when the railings are in place. Incidentally, the superstructure parts are now glued in place. I used CA to hold the rear funnel/center AA deck and the aft gun director tower, since you basically gluing it to wood. I'm shortly going to reach the point where the decks have to be glued to the hull as I mentioned last night. The 2-piece wood deck can be installed when the decks are separate. It makes the model much harder to control with the 30" hull banging around the workbench. I don't want to mess up the great paint job.

So... the challenging part of the wood deck installation is now sucessfully completed. Making the templates, cutting the un-used decking first and getting the fit right, and then cutting the tinted deck worked as planned. The gluing also went as planned with the minor problem that I noted.

11 Sep 11,, 22:55
I like the effect the "fading" gave the decks - it looks good.

Builder 2010
13 Sep 11,, 01:31
Let's try this again. I had just written today's post entry and wanted to check back on one of the Gibbs & Cox photos. I decided to open the site again so I could keep my editing page open, but instead of opening a new tab in Explorer, I inadvertantly opened the site in the same tab in which I was working and lost the whole deal. So I'll start over and do it better.

I installed the center-section, main deck wood decking which enabled me to install some more 20mm AA platforms AND their support posts. I also added some diagonal bracing to the MK 51 Gun Director supports.

The pictures in this set were again modified using that Combine ZP, focus-stacking software which is amazing. This over head shot was compiled with 7 images starting with a focus point on the main deck and ending with the focus at the top of the main gun director base on the forward AA tower. The only thing you have to watch for is a weird effect that looks like the tops of the picture is being reflected in a mirror. I cropped that part off.

You can see that there's just two small sections left without wood decking in place on the main deck fore and aft. These little tabs are part of the fore and aft main decks wood parts and must wait until the decks are glued in the hull. There is also one more AA 20mm platform that goes on with it's associated stanchions which also must wait until the decks are glued and the wood is on. There're also a couple of inclinded ladders that go there too.

Question: should I work the hull mounted on the stand or free-standing? I can see pros and cons to both.


I used this picture from the Gibbs and Cox collection that nicely shows the vertical support stanchions under these decks and I'm now realizing I may have added an extra one. On the larger platform they're not installed symetrically. The forward stanchions are spaced to leave room for the boat davit machinery.


The angular supports were much more challenging to install than I anticipated. If I were to do it again, I might go with styrene stretched sprue, cut to length and with an angular cut and glue them in instead of trying to drill through with a #74 jeweler's drill. The drill didn't want to lay over far enough to get the 45º angle and I had to finesse it. It also meant more handling of the model since you have to use some pressure when drilling. As a result I knocked off one platform and several railings. The railings were due to be replaced with my spare set so no harm, no foul. The platform has two very fine PE support structures and I was looking forward to putting that back on. Oh well...


These all get painted haze gray during the next working session. Then I've got to get back to finishing those 40 gun mounts. I've been off them for over two weeks. Perhaps I'll have better luck with them...


As I look at these crystal clear photos you start to see things you don't like. I don't like the red fire hoses and am going to repaint them canvas colored when I do more touch up painting. Also you see the edge of the wood decks under the #2 funnel structure since these parts actually glue on top of the wood. I'm not going to attempt to fill it. Instead I'll just work some haze gray into the gap and see how it works. You wouldn't be able to sand filler in these close quarters.

Gun Grape
13 Sep 11,, 11:52
Question: should I work the hull mounted on the stand or free-standing? I can see pros and cons to both.

I have a OHP FFG with a busted bow from dropping it. I work with them mounted now.

It also helps with any unexpected warping issues that may pop up. But on a large model like yours I can see where it would be a PITA.

I don't like the red fire hoses and am going to repaint them canvas colored when I do more touch up painting.
Just leave the fireplug and the hose mount red. Its post war color scheme. One of those "was it still haze gray wartime paint job or had the Safety Nazis already reared their head?"

Just the Also you see the edge of the wood decks under the #2 funnel structure since these parts actually glue on top of the wood. I'm not going to attempt to fill it. Instead I'll just work some haze gray into the gap and see how it works. You wouldn't be able to sand filler in these close quarters.

Try some elmers glue. A 1/700 scale trick. Closes the gap and dries clear. It also reflects the surrounding colors so you may not need to break the paint out.

Builder 2010
13 Sep 11,, 12:16
Good advice! I'll put it on the board. I'll also try the white glue route, and will paint the hoses accordingly.

13 Sep 11,, 13:51
Are you considering mounting the hull on the display stand to work on it? - if so I would mask it with some heavy paper to prevent any damage to the stand.

Builder 2010
13 Sep 11,, 14:10
That's a good idea too. I've thought of even protecting the hull itself from contact, etc.

Builder 2010
14 Sep 11,, 23:36
I did some touch up work today, built one more 40mm mount, put the platform back that got knocked off yesterday, and tore off some railings that no longer deserved to be on this vessel. I also filled the gap in the aft gun director tower where it joins the deck below. Since it's now sitting on the wood decking it was 0.010" proud of the plastic deck and there was a space that needed filling. I happen to have that thickness in styrene strip and filled the gap.

I also repainted the fire hoses and primered the frets from the second set of PE since those railings are now going to pressed into action. In this picture, the hoses are haze gray which I used to cover the red. When it dried I used buff on the hose, gray on the hose rack and red for the nozzles.


Next session I'll paint the PE haze gray, and get back to making 7 more 40mm sets.

15 Sep 11,, 00:12
I like the hoses better - they seemed to stand out too much in red.

Builder 2010
17 Sep 11,, 20:55
Yesterday, I almsot spent 2 hours building ONE 40mm mount. You'd think that after making 15 of them, that I'd have it down by now, but noooooo... I had one gun stand made canted so the guns would have been pointing funny. Then I had another stand that slipped through the PE shield and go lost. Then I had bent one of the side rails one too many times and as I was soldering on the splinter shield, it broke off. I de-soldered the stands and made another base. It was very frustrating. I did some touch up painting which was uneventful. I have 5, 40mms to go.

So today I went in the shop and tried again. This time, with some slight modifications to the process, I did two mounts in less time than one yesterday (1hr-15min). I'm now sweat soldering the two sides of the mount together instead of adding solder to the assembly while clamped in a tweezer. It's just the tiniest bit of solder on the surfaces needed to hold the sides together. I also am soldering the mounts to the base slightly differently also. So I only have 3 more to go and I'm ready to paint them. I'm going to rinse them first in vinegar and then water to get rid of all the flux residue and etch the unpainted PE. While I painted the original PE fret which had the 40mm parts, when I started soldering them, using the new set unpainted was easier to work. I'm out of those parts for the side frames (due to scrap rate) and will be using the painted ones. I have to scrape the paint off the parts wherever the solder's going to go. Added work, but not impossible. BTW: the vinegar etch, solvent-based primer and Life Color Haze Gray acrylic is a good way to paint PE. The paint holds like crazy. I really have to work to scrape it off AND it only comes off where I'm actually working it. It does not flake off beyond the edge of the Xacto blade. I would definitely recommend painting PE before attaching.

I've placed an American Beauty resistance soldering unit on my MicroMark wish list. It's $400, but boy would it make this job easy. I really think I'm going to get one of these things because I can envision lots of future projects that would benefit from it, notwithstanding a huge model railroad project. I've spent almost that much on this model already!

Builder 2010
20 Sep 11,, 01:01
This photo is not for the faint-hearted. In fact, I'd recommend having all young children leave the room.

Here's all 20 40mm gun mounts in their naked glory. I will rinse, prime and airbrush them with haze gray. I'll hand paint the tips of the barrels and the receivers gun metal and then they're ready for installation. I've seen ships with all GM barrels and some with gray barrels. In looking at Missouri and Iowa pictures, the guns were all GM. Figuring an average of 1hr per mount, you're looking at 20 hours of work. Righ to the end the little bastards gave me a hard time. The very last mount's splinter shield decided it was more fun to solder itself to my tweezers than to the base. I had to resolder that last shield at least 5 times. I really didn't want to wreck it and make another one.

Some of the guns are not all pointing in the same directions, but I will continue to try to straighten them. Also, the twin barrels were locked together so one set shouldn't be at a different elevation than the other. Although the guns that are mounted on the brass axles can elevate, I'm probably going to CA them at their higher elevation since it will look immediately different than the standard Tamiya guns which are at full depression.


As you can tell by now, the full focus from front to back is due to the multiple exposures and using Combine ZP to stitch the stack together. Pretty neat, eh?

So what's next (after painting these guns)? I don't feel like doing the 20s right now since I can foresee more nonsense with them, so I'm probably going to attempt so other mania... maybe the MK 51s which have some complicated PE folding and assembly. There's only four of them so it shouldn't be as awful as the 40s.

20 Sep 11,, 02:52
Here's all 20 40mm gun mounts in their naked glory. I will rinse, prime and airbrush them with haze gray. I'll hand paint the tips of the barrels and the receivers gun metal and then they're ready for installation.

And this is why I can't wait to see the finished product. A most bitchin project. Well done mate.

Builder 2010
20 Sep 11,, 04:08
Thanks! I'll keep on pluggin' away.

Builder 2010
21 Sep 11,, 21:55
The first part of today's efforts were fruitful. The last part was horrible and I don't have an answer for it yet.

I washed all the 40s in vinegar and then rinsed in water. Dried them with my hot air gun and taped them down to a board. What you see is all the guns after the primer was applied. Since this picture was shot I put a finish coat of haze gray acrylic on. They're now drying.

Before I could even start on this I replaced some of the most misshapen gun barrels. I went to sleep thinking about how to do this when they were mounted on axles and I didn't want to disassemble the mount. I had two sets of new 40mm barrels left so I decided to put them to use. The reason for the extras was due to using some 40s from the old Mo during my 40mm experimental phase.

I decided to try drilling the #74 drilled hole and then open the bottom of the hole so the gun could 'snap' over the axle (after removing the bad one first of course). it actually worked, but was much hairier than I anticipated since the wall thickness on top of the hole was so small that the gun almost fell in half before I was able to get it into place. Nothing a large dose of CA didn't cure.

But that wasn't all. When I was manhandling the gun to remove the old barrel, BOTH GUN MOUNTS decided to dismount themselves. They were supposed to be soldered, but obviously they weren't. Boy! Do I need a resistance soldering unit! I was able to superglue them to a newly bent base (from my extras) and then got the gun shield soldered back on. It was touch and go for awhile, but came out okay.


Next I started working on the MK-37s. This was a horror! Once again, the super-fine etching on the Eduard set was a blessing and a curse. In this case.. A CURSE. While I like the idea that they pre-etch the fold areas, the etching is so thin that the parts fall apart. I had two sets with 4 radar bases on each and used up all them only to have ONE SINGLE mount complete. The rest fell apart in various ways. I don't know what I'm going to do about this. I don't believe that another set of parts would produce any more luck than these did. As you can see in the picture below, some of the parts fell apart before they were even removed from the fret. This was from my original PE set and it shows two radar mounts with one of their side frames gone.


Here's what happened to another 5 mounts when I attempted to fold them. Just bending them on thier pre-etched marks caused the parts to fracture and fall apart. Two lost the straight-legged portion in the front and I attempted to cobble a replacement for that using some old GMM PE. Everything actually looked like it was going to work until I tried to sand down the part that was sticking up and blew the entire assembly off the roof of the mount. It was a mess!


And here's the one mount that was successful. Even this one was a bitch, but I persevered. I have three mounts still on the old Missouri with the thick plastic radar mounts. I am thinking that I might pop them off and just use them. With the fancy radar screens on top, folks might not note the difference. Unfortunately there's one more wrinkle. I had to cannibalize one mount already from the old ship because of a broken range finder on one of the new ones. So don't have four mounts with the plastic radar base. Oh well... I'll put the good one on the bridge mount where it's very visible and put the others in the other three places.


There's one other crazy idea... fabricate bases using the GMM parts. I could build it from pieces and solder together each leg. It may not look as good as Eduard, but right now Eduard is defunct.

Next time I'll do the finish painting on the 40s.

In addition to the resistance soldering unit, I wish I had a photoetching rig. I could design and cut my own parts to replace these. I would cut them without the pre-etched lines so they wouldn't fall apart so easily. I'm going to write another letter to Eduard and suggest that they don't make these etched guides on the very fragile parts. (for what it's worth).

23 Sep 11,, 19:55
I could design and cut my own parts to replace these. I would cut them without the pre-etched lines so they wouldn't fall apart so easily.

Maybe with some heating (a small torch) you can change the cristalline structure (bigger cristals) of the metal to make it bend more easily.

Recrystallization (metallurgy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recrystallization_%28metallurgy%29)

Try first on an unused piece of etching though.

23 Sep 11,, 21:29
When I was manhandling the gun to remove the old barrel,

Myles, some how the term "manhandling" seems humorous in conjunction with your microscopic 40mm gun parts and #74 drill holes... I don't envy you this fine work (I'm afraid it would drive me up a wall) - I probably couldn't even see these tiny pieces without my 40x magnifier, but your work is inspiring - thanks again for sharing it - all the fun without the personal stress. This model you are building will be a work of art - I especially like the fact that it is small enough to photograph as a whole ship, unlike these giant 1/4" scale models which seem to require multiple images to get the whole picture.

Builder 2010
23 Sep 11,, 21:58
First, let me answer the "annealing" question. That's a real option. I've been told that these PE guys etch "half-hard" brass and many guys anneal it by heating with a torch till it glows and then let it air cool slowly. My difficulty there is it's already painted. If I heat it I will have a sheet of very ugly parts. I may still do this out of desparation. Another possibility is to replace part of this with the Missouri set from Gold Medal Models. Their latest version has many of the same details as Eduard; they're a little less fragile and they don't use that etching where the bends go. It's another $45 and I'm not happy about that, but I've come so far and it's looking so good that I may bite the bullet. I've asked my hobby shop if he can get GMM parts. You can't use PayPal on GMM's site until you hit $200.

To Jay... Thanks as always. I use between 2.75 and 5X magnification. Sometimes I up it from there, but the focal length is so short that I have to have my nose on the workbench which is a literal pain in the neck. I would love a pair of magnifiers that my son in law (the ortho surgeon) uses which are binocular and while having high magnification, focus at a working distance so the head is straight. They're custom made and cost about $800. My son is an ophthalomologist and maybe can get me a set on discount. I'll ask for them for a present (heh, heh!).

My wife and daughter are going to the theater tonight and I'm going to work in the shop the entire time. I'm going to paint the barrels on my 40mms and maybe attempt to do some annealing. I just painted the new set of PE so it will be two steps back for one step forward.

I've got a lot of other stuff to build on it while I wait for an answer from the hobby shop. I also wrote to Eduard to tell them that the pre-etched bends are not a help. it's one of those ideas that looks good in theory.

Builder 2010
24 Sep 11,, 00:33
Here's the 40s all painted and ready to install... sort of. I still have to make sure that all four barrels are at the same elevation. They were connected and didn't elevated independently.


24 Sep 11,, 15:15
My difficulty there is it's already painted. If I heat it I will have a sheet of very ugly parts.

Maybe it is possible to trip (err strip) the paint first with aceton or "nail polish remover". You could stea.... errr borrow this from from your wife.:whome: (I always wonder why they are comfortable with putting this on their nails)

As for the magnifier you could also consider raising the table to chest height with some wood boards, like watchmakers do.

and combine it with one of these


Builder 2010
24 Sep 11,, 16:05
I built the workbench at table height (30") so my young grandsons could work by my side. That has worked as planned. As they grow older (and taller) I might build another layer on top of this one to raise the hieght and use the existing level as a storage shelf.

I'm thinking about stripping the paint. I also have one of those... actually two of them. What I really want is the surgical binoculars. They give good magnification at a working distance between 12 and 18 inches depending one which kind you buy. The downside is that they are $300+. It's on my wish list. I have a light weight set that's about 2.75X, and a unit with the flip down lenses that goes higher. So now my wishlist is approaching $1k including a resistance soldering unit, a spray booth and professional magnifiiers. And this doesn't include two grand investment to rebuild the train layout. I have the time; all I need is the money.

Gun Grape
24 Sep 11,, 17:28
First, let me answer the "annealing" question. That's a real option. I've been told that these PE guys etch "half-hard" brass and many guys anneal it by heating with a torch till it glows and then let it air cool slowly. My difficulty there is it's already painted. If I heat it I will have a sheet of very ugly parts. I may still do this out of desparation. Another possibility is to replace part of this with the Missouri set from Gold Medal Models. Their latest version has many of the same details as Eduard; they're a little less fragile and they don't use that etching where the bends go. It's another $45 and I'm not happy about that, but I've come so far and it's looking so good that I may bite the bullet. I've asked my hobby shop if he can get GMM parts. You can't use PayPal on GMM's site until you hit $200.

If all you need are the radars, try WEMs or Toms.

I've worked with PE from both company. I actually like Tom Modelworks Mk-37 better than the others. Including GMM.

Toms sheet US Naval Radars is only $9.00 from their homepage

Toms Modelworks (http://www.tomsmodelworks.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=34&osCsid=3a8abe1a2a42cba71a51d3010d946879)

The WEM sheet is $16.00 from Squadron. (currently out of stock)

S q u a d r o n . c o m - Cookie (http://www.squadron.com/NoStock.asp?item=WE35111)

Or check out one of the other sites , like spruebrothers before you drop $45 just for a set of radars.

This build is coming along great. Especially for those of us that can watch it from the sidelines.

You are starting to get me worried about the Edward stuff though.

24 Sep 11,, 18:37
I had another thought about those fragile etched PE bending points - I wonder if tinning the fragile area with solder first would help make them survive bending - it could anneal and strengthen the part is what I was thinking. I know it wouldn't work on painted parts - but perhaps it would be worth a try next time? (if you ever have those kind of parts again)

Builder 2010
24 Sep 11,, 21:44
I just ordered the US Navy Radars from Tom's Model Works. That's a great idea!

Re: solding the bend lines. Possible... but the cross sections are so small that I can't put that small of a quantity on. The result is that it tries to bend in some other unwanted place. I know this from experience with the 40mm side railings. I tinned them before soldering the splinter shield. If the solder got into the joint, the result was a bend below the joint which was wrong.

Today I took a break from the radars and worked on installing more details on the mid-section. I painted, assembled and installed the life rafts and then installed the PE grates and those lovely oars. I used the pic-n-stic to place the parts and a tweezer tip to hold the part in place while I pulled off the parts handler. I used thin CA for the grate and Aleen's Tacky Glue for the oars. It gave more working time and didn't give me any problem. I also re-installed the wind deflector from the top AA lookout platform. It had been ripped off sometime (I have no idea when) and I found it on the floor crushed beyound use. So I used the spare from the new set. I'm holding off putting on more railings until I'm done handling this piece. It's just too easy for me to grab it in the wrong place or a little to hard and then there's another scrapped railing.

I love this focus-stacking software. I could have made this shot without it.


What's left are the boats and davits, lots of floater net baskets and then the guns (and all those railings.) I will have to plan ahead on the railings so I don't install a gun that gets in the way.

Builder 2010
27 Sep 11,, 01:37
Installed the two-level inclined ladders aft of the first funnel. I used the new Eduard set that I had where the etching was better and didn't fall apart. One problem, the ladders were a little short since they were not designed to actually penetrate from one deck to the next since the companion ways were not open on the Tamiya model. Therefore, going to the second set again, I used different inclined ladders that were supposed to be used in exposed settings.

They were tricky to install and I started using the Aleen's tacky glue (PVA) since it held the ladders a little better and let me pull the tweezers away without having the ladder shift to a ridiculous position. I went back and added some CA to make sure they didn't move. I then installed a couple of hose reels with a 1mm piece of brass as the spool piece.

Lastly, I installed the first level railing. It went on reasonably well. (I noticed in this picture that the rail is a bit bent on the far right side... I'll straighten that next session).

GunGrape sent me a link to download the Floating Drydock eBook of the 1945 Missouri plans. Fabulous! Over 300 pages of information with many pictures of views that I hadn't seen AND line drawings of all the details. While I wish I had it earlier in the build, it is still going to be very helpful especially in setting up the flag halyards and radio rigging. If you'd like the link, send me a private eMail.

I learned some new things reading this book: the teak decks were used to absorb shrapnel and bullets so it wouldn't ricohet all over the place. I also leaned that the WT Doors where I drilled the holes thinking they were portholes, weren't. They were indentations where the door's number was placed. I'lll go back and paint them closed. I also learned that some of the flag halyards tied off on a brass belaying pin rail in front of the flag bag, and two others tied off on the rails. I learned there was one more stanchion behind the ship's boat. I learned that the stanchions were 3.5" diam. The companion ways were bigger than I cut them being a scaled 0.25" X 0.15". I wish I had it sooner since it gave the exact location of the access doors on the bases of the 5" mounts. Boy... am I becoming a fountain of facts about this class of ship.

The Tom's Modelworks USN Radar Set was mailed out today and I'll have it before the week's out so I can go back and finish those MK 37s. Next time, more railings on all those platforms surrounding the ladderways.

I haven't done any touchup painting on this section since putting on the railling. I'll touch it all up when the rest of the rails are in place.

When my grandson, Alex, looked at this picture, he remembered climbing on these ladders when we visited the USS New Jersey in March.


Builder 2010
28 Sep 11,, 00:39
I was going to go into the office today, but the appointment got canceled. Instead I went to the shop and got some stuff done. This post will be in two sections since I have 6 pictures to post.

First thing I did was put the stanchions under the cantilevered 40mm gun tubs that sit on top of turrets 2 & 3. Very easy install. They're barely visible, but they just add to the overall intricacy of the model.

Then I went back and did some more touch up on these units. I now have a wonderful 5/0 detail brush and got them looking spiffy. I saw a small detail in the Drydock book to each crane bracket on the turrets. It's a backstay. It's not seen in this picture but you'll see it in future shots. The guns look like they mean business.


I then got back to the railings. I put together a to-do list to plan out all the steps going forward. I'm glad I did becuase I discovered a potentially challenging step. The wood decking on the fore and aft main decks has a large hole in it for the turret barbette, AND the turrets must go on BEFORE the plastic decks are glued into the hull or you won't be able to insert the retaining pin in the turret's central post. This is all important only if you want the guns to rotate. If you're planning on gluing them in, then this discussion is moot.

Now the complication. The wood decking extends out over the mid-section decking. Sooooooo.... if you want the turrets to rotate, you first put down the wood decking, then mount the turret, then assemble the deck to the hull. Now, carefully slide the mid-section assembly under the overhanging wood before gluing it down. The same plan works for the aft deck only it will go down on top of the mid-section. It will require care. Now, if I don't want rotation... Since the model's going to under cover, nobody is going to touch it to rotate them anyway.

I used the railing from the new set since the old PE was getting a bit squirrely. I was very careful to bend the joints gently, not overbend them, and then handle them very gingerly. Here's the bent rail prior to installation.


And here's the railing installed. You can easily see why those ladders had to go in first. Once the rails are in, that area is no longer accessible. If you look closely, you'll see the railing deformed a tad when going around the diagonal bracking on the Mk-37 platform. I don't mind this.


I went onto the next level's deck. This one was already on, got wrecked and is now being replaced with the new PE. And even after taking specific care, not overbending, getting it into place without too much tugging and pushing, the damn thing still broke. But I had to use it since I have no replacement. Here's the broken railing held together with CA and a prayer. It's magnified a lot here. In real life, you really won't see it, especially encased in Plexiglass.


Builder 2010
28 Sep 11,, 01:00
I had to install another platform that mounts on the upper aft part of the front stack from the old Mo to the new one. The original one, got broken off and the two PE diagonal braces under it were deformed beyond hope. Since I have a complete Missouri just waiting to be used and a complete new set of PE from Eduard, I was not worried. But... I had to be careful not to lose or screw them up.

One went on without a hitch. Started out with PVA to get it to stick under the platform and then use CA for the downleg and then to reinforce the top. The second one... now that was a 'horse of a different color'. I simply couldn't hold onto it. Every time I tried to grab a different spot with the tweezer, it kept changing position or dropping. I was hungry and my blood sugar was low which doesn't help my shakey hands. Then it disappeared.

Since it was the only part I had, I looked intensely for it. Swept the floor twice in ever enlarging circle and sorted through the debris in the dustpan. I was disappointed that my PE Parts Catching Tray was not working. Finally in desparation I tried to make a scratchbuilt one.

This too, becuase of its microscopic size, kept getting away from me, but the parts catcher caught it, until it too finally disappeared.

One time the part popped backwards onto the decking and actually fouled itself in one of the railings and in attempting to exticate it, caused the railing to start coming loose. Oh heavens! But because it kept popping backwards, I decided to look at the vise I was using to stabilze the deck structure. Upon close inspection there was the piece I made lying inside the crook of the Panavise base. Now I'm thinking... if one part can end up there, what about the REAL PART? Could it too be hiding out inside the vise.

Now, I've got to tell you, the vise innards ain't so great. I used this vise to hold balsa parts when carving them for the B-17 project and theres a gummy mixture of saw dust and grease in there. AND THERE IT WAS! Nestled in the goop was the original diagonal bracket. At first, I couldn't even see, but on closer inspection found it. I was now able to install it successfully. The first picture shows the homemade part (upper right) and the real one highlighted so they stand out. The second shows the completed platform.



28 Sep 11,, 02:43
The turret is especially impressive - personally I'd want them to turn - to find just the right position for the guns on the display - it might be different in a different place in the room. All the work is truely impressive in this scale.

Builder 2010
28 Sep 11,, 13:40
I'm going to experiment with installation of the decks onto the hull to see just how I'm going to handle this. In further contemplation, I realized that the mid-section overlaps both the fore and after decks and they must be installed first. This means that the wood decking would have to be lifted up on both ends at the sames time to flop over the mid-section, and that may not work so well. It may be that the guns don't rotate. When in port, those guns were at 5º and pointing straight ahead anyway (rationalization).

Builder 2010
28 Sep 11,, 14:59
After more closely checking the real ship's pictures, I find out why the railing was having a problem going around the diagonal strut from the MK 37 pedestal; the diagonal brace attaches below the walkway, not behind it. It extends down a steeper angle and attaches below the walkway. It's too late to change it... on my next Iowa...

Builder 2010
02 Oct 11,, 04:02
Tom's Modelwork parts arrived yesterday and I got a chance to mess around with it. Since it doesn't have those etched grooves it easy to see that it won't fall apart like the Eduard parts do. I did notice that the MK-37 bases are smaller than Eduard's so I probably will use only those and scrap the director that already has the Eduard bases.

I also practice with the Eduarad radar reflectors and support structure. As usual some parts broke off including the two halves of the reflector separating, necessitating me gluing each in separately, greatly complicating the effort. But I did complete one of them just as a test article to see what it looked like. It's very complex-looking. I brought it upstairs to show it to the chief of staff and she couldn't even focus on it... the damn thing is so small. She gave me that "Are you nuts building this stuff" look. I'm sure we've all experienced this look. Us guys understand the thrill of accomplishment we get when we build something that's almost impossible... right?


I've been steadily stripping the old Mo of parts. Today, I took all of its remaining MK-37s. I need all the extras I can get. Then I broke one of the range finder telescopes off the side. This happened before to another on in the new set and I threw it out thinking I'd never be able to repair that.

This time I decided to give it a try. The main part of the rangefinder tube is about 0.030" and the little telescope end on the tip is about 0.020". I have brass wire and drills for both of those so I drilled out the side of the bloomer, inserted the 0.030 wire, cut it at the approx. length and then rounded the end. Next I filed a flat on the forward facing side near the end, and carefully made a prick punch mark in the center. I then drilled it through with the #74 drill. It was dead center and the hole didn't break out. I put the 0.020 wire through and CA'd it. Finally I cut it to length and rounded the point with an emery stick. Here's the results. Sometimes I even impress myself :biggrin:


BTW: all the pictures I've seen show the bloomers on the sides of the these directors as being black. I'm going to use the same weathered black as I did for the 16" bloomers, just with a much smaller brush.

I also prepared the Tom's frets for painting by rinsing with alcohol to degrease, then vinegar to etch, with a water rinse. I dried it with a heat gun and painted it with primer. Tomorrow I'll give it haze gray and be ready to go.

I put on one more railing and started to prepare the railing that goes around the whistle level on the forward stack. That was the one that broke in four pieces the last time I tried it. So far it's all in one piece. But then again, I haven't tried to install it yet so there's still plenty of chances to screw it up.

Builder 2010
04 Oct 11,, 01:21
I don't know about you, but if I was a reader of this thread, I might be discouraged from building a hi-scale Missouri. Considering I spent over three hours in the shop today, I have very little to show for it.

I attempted to apply the Whistle Deck replacement railing from the new set. I had no better luck with this one than I did the first time. The first one broke into four pieces and so did this one. I took much greater care with this one to not make any hard bends until it was fitted and even then to handle it very carefully. Didn't matter! Just putting it in place caused the first two breaks and then it just went downhill from there. I did get a semblance of railing in place. I noticed on some detailed pictures that the railing did not continue around the curve where the main mast foot was, therefore, when the piece broke loose, I just let it go.


Then I moved aft. I've been closely studying the Floating Drydock book that I downloaded and saw that there were diagonal braces (4) supporting the outer-most MK-51 director tubs. Here's the braces on the real ship. I colored it so it's more visible. It was in shadow on this picture.


This picture shows them more clearly. Both pictures are from the Floating Drydock Missouri Plans Book. Notice also that there are 4 Peep Holes on this tower like the forward one. I have left over peep holes on the new PE set and I'm going to install them here too.


I used my 0.020" wire, but it's still a bit thick. I don't have anything thinner. At least it shows up.

The starboard side was first and I learned a lot. They say good judgment is mostly the result of experience which is often the result of bad judgment. This was an example of that homily.

I attacked the job by installing the outboard strut first. I drilled a hole in the side of the tower to seat the strut, and after some fiddling, got it to glue in tight. Now here's where the bad judgment comes in. Getting the inboard strut in with the outboard one in the way took me 45 minutes (or more). Manipulating the tweezers with this little piece of wire in it proved almost exhausting. I even took the step to grind a groove in each jaw of my small spring tweezers so the wire didn't keep flying out. That helped. But it was a grand battle from the get go simply because I had installed a piece in front of the space I needed to reach.

On the port side I immediately changed my method and drilled both mounting holes first. Then I measured and installed the inboard strut. It went in quickly since I had the hole in the tower to anchor the inboard end. Then I put the outboard strut into place. The port side took about 10 minutes.

If I knew I would have such problems with the Eduard railings I would have bit the bullet and purchased another brand. I am not a bad modeler, but the difficulty I've had with some of these PE parts makes me feel like a rank amateur.


I've been doing more research about the ship's rigging. Several things pop out at me. First there are actually two flag bag locations. The one on the signal deck (P & S) up forward is modeled on the Tamiya kit, but there is also a single location immediately aft of the rear stack. There are also 2 pin rails flanking it on the P & S railings. One has 3 pins, and the other has 5. In this scale, pin rails are not possible (even in PE), but I will probably put something in place to provide a place to belay the aft flag halyards. I will model the flag bag somehow modeling it from the foreword ones.

There are also outriggers and stays on the main mast reminiscent of a rigged sailing ship. I will try to model these. I am also toying with replacing the plastic mast with metal and soldering the mast cap platform in place (no CA).

The two towers that stick up on both sides of the deck near the 5" practice machines are actually feeds for more of the radio antenna wiring.


There are five feeds in the space in the middle of the midships AA deck and there's these two at the aftermost portion. Lots and lots of rigging for a turbine powered ship.

Gun Grape
04 Oct 11,, 05:19
I don't know about you, but if I was a reader of this thread, I might be discouraged from building a hi-scale Missouri.

Not discouraged on starting my Missouri. But worried about the Eduard PE I bought to go with it.

Now you have me thinking about other options (GMM)

Zad Fnark
04 Oct 11,, 13:22
Well, Builder, you've inspired me to finally start my 1/350 Arizona.

I did get the full Eduard set for it as well as brass replacement barrels for all the guns.

All the towers on the tripods are fashioned whole cloth from the brass parts. Fun.

I have a PC-461 subchaser on the way for a distraction at this point.


Builder 2010
04 Oct 11,, 14:20
It's nice that my frustration is turned into inspiration in others. It makes writing about this journey worthwhile. If you're going with Eduard, I would suggest annealing the frets before painting. Heat them to red heat with a propane torch and let them air cool slowly. It would reduce the brittleness at the etch lines. Word of caution: they're very thin and would then be very flexible and even more easily deformed than they are untreated. That train has left the station for me since I painted everything already. I am seriously considering buying someone else's product to finish this thing since yesterday's session WAS NOT FUN.

Builder 2010
04 Oct 11,, 23:48
With the supports out of the way, work continued on the Aft Director Tower. I put the peep holes in. There are four of them, one on each side and two on the aft corners. I used the tip of the Xacto to pick and hold the parts. I touched the piece to a little puddle of CA and then transfer it to the workpiece. I've learned to do a dry run so I know what orientation the part has to have to the knife tip so it goes on in one easy motion. I also added a WTD in the center of the tower bottom using the same technique.

I took a break from this to do a minor scratch-building job...I fabricated the aft Flag Bag that is missing from the Tamiya kit. I measured the foreward ones at 9mm long and cut a piece of rectagular stock to that dimension, but it was too wide. It almost blocked the entire deck from side-to-side. So I took off about 2mm. In these small sizes I find it easier to work in metric.

The rectangular stock was too fat. I tried cutting it smaller in cross-section, but it was too difficult to get it square. So I glued up some 0.020" styrene strip stock that I had and after it dried, tapered the top to the same angle. I then boxed it in with some 0.010" strip to form the edging. After drying, I trimmed it and did a final filing. A little paint and there's the aft flag bag.


Using some of the extra fret material left over when you cut out all the PE, I'm building the little platforms that lie in front of the flag bags both fore and aft. There is also a brass pin rail on the prototype in front of each bag, but these details are too small to model in this scale. I probaby will drill directly into the flag bags to belay the flag halyards when I get that far.

Now back to the railings.

There are three small rails surrounding the director platforms, plus four ladders. The two ladders from the flag deck to the directors should go from deck to tub, but they're too short. So they are just hanging in free space. They don't look bad, but they're going to get whacked at least once. The practice machines have to go into the space between the ladders so I'm sure I'm going to be unbending them.


Next up will be these machines sitting on a set of PE bases, and the railings around the flag deck. I'm also going to replace the other railings that I removed. It's very convenient to do as many railings as possible while the superstructure is in this configuration. I turn the model every which way to get in a position where you can install something. If it were glued onto the hull it wold be much more difficult.

If you want to see an amazing Missouri, go to John Hayne's website. For those of you who don't know him, he's an Englishmen who builds model ships for a living and produces a line of parts. Unfortunately (for me) he stops at 1/200 I wrote him last night to ask some technical questions about who produces all his parts. He does. He makes all his own masters and drawings. He has the resin parts cast by an outside firm. He does the same thing with his PE having the etching done outside.

Builder 2010
07 Oct 11,, 02:06
I ought to stop taking those extreme closeups... it makes the work look shabby. When you view the actual model with un-magnified eyes, those imperfections aren't really as noticeable.

I didn't have much time to work today, but got some stuff done. The 5" practice machines have PE bases (you scape off the plastic pedestals), but use the model's plastic machines. Looks OK. I then drilled holes in the flag bags and the plastic bump on the rail side to be receptacles for the flag halyards which will be installed near the very end. The plastic bumps on the sides are actually the mounting points for the plastic floater net baskets, but aren't used since they're PE now, but they're convenient tie point for the lines. I didn't plan ahead on the first Mo and had to fasten the lines to whatever they would stick.

For the aft bag holes I used what was already in the pin vise, the #74 drill, but they're a little bit large. When the lines are in them it will not be observable. On the front bags, I went with a much smaller hole. I hope they're not so small as to be unworkable. There are a lot of two-line flag halyards; at least 6 per side on the foreword bags and 8 to the aft flag deck (6 in the bag and one each on the side pin rails.) Those lines are technically doubled since they reeve through a pulley at the top. I've seen some instructions on You Tube on how to stretch and use sprue on these small scales with white glue to serving as the pulley. We'll see.

I then turned my attention to the ladders and rails on the aft flag deck. This rail wasn't too bad, but still wasn't as easy as it should be. They're just too fine. I really like Eduard because of all the PE manufacturers, their's was the most scale looking. Each rail is designed to fit into a specific spot on the vessel, ergo, no bends fall without a stanchion being present. But with this fineness, comes fragility and I'm just not good enough to get them to stick the first time without over-handling and subsequent deformation. You will deform them by breathing too hard... or so it would seem. I finished the strb side and will do the port side tomorrow.

No touch up painting was done in this step yet.


Here's a wide-area pic that shows how I am holding the mid-section while I use two hands to get the railing into place. I was initially clamping the model directly in the Panavise, but found that the rubber jaws were not clean were damaging the wooden decking. Dumb! I now have a piece of cardstock between the work and the jaws. At least I'll prevent further damage. The deck should have a little wear and tear anyway... how's that for a rationalization.


Notice the bumps that I circled... I wondered what these things were and had painted them haze gray. According to the Floating Drydock's plans, they are actually cane bumpers sitting in racks on the main deck. For some of my readers I am sure that you knew all that, but I didn't. Therefore, they would not be haze gray, but some kind of tan/brown shade, I'm thinking. I guess they're used for the same purpose that bumpers are use on pleasure craft; to keep the ship from scuffing itself when tied up. I'm going to re-color them. If any of my experienced readers know what color they really were, please respond. All of us Misssouri builders would appreciate it.

I would love to be building a life's project of this ship in 1/96th, but I don't have the money, the space, or the tools. What I do have is the time, but that's not enough. When I look at what John Haynes can do in that scale I am very, very envious.

07 Oct 11,, 03:27
When I look at what John Haynes can do in that scale I am very, very envious.

Well, when I look at your work I feel the same way - and very privileged to have a birds eye view of the progress. I am learning a lot about where the little things are on these ships - stuff I didn't notice when I was aboard.


Builder 2010
07 Oct 11,, 15:49
I appreciate the flattery, but if you saw a video of me actually doing some of this stuff, you might have a different opinion. I have way too much trouble putting those rails in. I use some PVA glue to hold it in position initially, and then go back and attempt to use CA to permanently fix it. But invariably, the PVA doesn't really hold and as soon as I touch the applicator to the part I want to CA, the darn thing moves/pops off/unbends/over-bends/etc. and the game is afoot. It's then a battle of wills between me and a microscopic piece of formed brass. I have about two more tries and then all hell breaks loose because that's when the pre-etched joints start to pop. So instead of a two-minute job, I'm still screwing around with it 45 minutes later. The finished product is worth it... luckily.

I attempted to install a pole that runs from the third deck to the 1st next to the three-deck ladderway. I saw this pole on one of my photo evaluations. The result didn't work since the decks don't line up perfectly and the pole was tilted. I scraped the idea. Not every detail on the prototype can or should be replicated on the model.

Here's the un-used pole on the G & C model. You'll also see some other deck to deck stanchions in this picture that I'm not adding for the same reason.


There are also little platforms suspended under many of the outrigged searchlight tubs that aren't included in the PE set. I've been toying with the idea of adding them using leftover railing material from my new set, but it may not work or be worth it. On the 1:48 or 1:96 models you can add this stuff. At 1:350 it starts getting silly. John Haynes commented on my model exclaiming that it's good work considering the scale. He does nothing smaller than 1:200...lucky guy.

Builder 2010
07 Oct 11,, 21:53
Today was a short session also, but a productive one. Put on five railings with no bad actors. I may be getting the hang of this yet. The aft flag deck and aftermost parts of the deck houses are finished down to the 3rd deck. You may be noticing that I'm working from the inside out. That's to keep from fouling the outer railings when I grappling with the inner ones.

I also made some wood plugs to close the holes that would have been for the big plastic Floater Net Baskets that flank the deck house sides. It would have been nice if I understood this before getting the decks becuase John could have left those holes as well as the holes for the plastic boat davits off. It would have been a minor change for him, but making tiny wood plugs wasn't easy for me. After I did these two, it came to me to get a brass tube of the right i.d. and sharpen the end to use as a punch. To get the little circles out of the tube, you could take a piece of wire to push them out. When I do the boat davit holes, I'm going to try this method.

Here's a full profile pic showing where I am now. Next session I will do some floater baskets and then move outwards to the rails on the next lower decks. I did do some touch up painting.


While it's hard to see in this picture, I also added two WTDs just under the deck overhang on the aft lookout platfom next to the vertical ladder, and added two smaller hatches on the narrow rear portions of the deck house (unseen). All of these were picked out on detailed photos in Floating Dockyard book. The smaller hatches were loading ports for 5" ammunition. Neither was called out on the Eduard instructions (which are excellent BTW), but just add more interest. To me doors and railings are what really sets off a high quality ship model. Oh... and let's not forget out radars, masting and rigging.

09 Oct 11,, 20:19
Builder, I feel your pain. I've had many of the same frustrations on Trumpy's 1/350 U.S.S. North Carolina. That's the main reason I've shelved her until what I refer to as "the Winter Building Season" arrives and I have more time to work on her. Plus I was trying to do her along with one or two other builds simultaneously and found that just wasn't going to work. I'll have to devote my attentions directly and exclusively to the Showboat when I get back to her. Actually, you haven't discouraged me from attempting my Tamiya Missouri, and I really appreciate your sharing your efforts, not only your successes but your frustrations and difficulties as well. I've been following your thread closely and when the time comes your work will be a great deal of help to me, I'm sure.

In my experience, Eduard's PE for us ship builders is not up to the quality of say, GMM or WEM. They seem to focus primarily on armour and warplanes and it just seems to me that their ship PE is "a cut below". I have the Lion Roar set for the Missouri, but since I haven't started on her yet, I can't express an opinion on it. I've found most of their PE which I have used to be pretty delicate, though. I'll probably buy a GMM or WEM set for Missouri as a back up. That's what I did on North Carolina, having Eduard's set, the GMM set, and also the Yankee Modelworks set. Honestly, I bought all three to give me some redundancy in parts to allow for the "ham fisted factor" in folding and constructing it, as much as for the fact that each set has some elements the others don't.

I frankly think you are doing a great job considering the task you have set for yourself, which is by no means easy. And, like most of us, myself included, I suspect you are something of a perfectionist, which makes it pretty hard to ever be totally satisfied with the results of your efforts. We always tend to see the faults and flaws we think exist in our work more sharply than we do the stuff we did really well.

Hang in there, my Louisville friend, and thanks very much for sharing with us. A lesser man would have already put this kit on The Shelf of Doom, given the frustrations you have faced, but overcome.

Bob Melvin

Builder 2010
09 Oct 11,, 23:32

You're comments never fail to inspire me to keep at it. I am a teacher at heart and get a big kick out of having folks that can learn from what I'm doing without having to have experience it all directly. That's what separates us from the ants.

I've been communicating on the Battleship Forum with Rusty et. al. about those cane bumpers. Well they're actually called "Camel Bumpers" and they're gray like the rest of the stuff is. So I don't have to do anything to them. It's seriously great to have folks on this forum who lived and worked on Iowa ships. It's really something special.

Now onto today's fun. Did some Sunday-in-the-shop work today. I noticed that there is a piece of aparatus on P & S that raises and lowers the ship's boats. They're the Boat Davit Winches and they look like a neat piece of equipment that's not in the kit. It's really, really small. It took two hours to get one completed, but it's a little bit oversized. When you're working on something that only 0.085" wide, 0.010" oversize is more that 10%. So the first one is slightly higher than the 20mm tub that overhangs the main deck. I may live with it. I have one more to build.

Here's the unit on the real ship


And here it is on the Gibbs & Cox model.


The Floating Drydock book had a 1:48 scale drawing of it so I copied it into CorelDraw and redrew it at 1:350 and used dynamic dimensioning to get the sizes. It's really small. Not shown is the height dimension of the main frame... it's 0.014. In 1:48 it's almost an inch tall! Overall height to the top of the motor is about 5'-3" on the real ship. Mine appears to be over 7 feet tall. I can make it smaller.


Here's the first (actually 3rd) attempt. It's a bit rough, but you will not see it this large on the model. The parts next to it are for the 2nd unit. I used a smaller brass wire for the worm gear housing on this one, than the built one. But when I went to make a second one, the difference in the hole size for the finer wire was so close to the o.d. of the larger wire that it fell apart so I went to a larger wire.


I'm going to make a couple more just to get it a little smaller. The bull gear is a piece of brass also, and the motor head is a blob of CA. When I look at the plans again, I realize that the bull gear goes halfway into the worm housing. I relieved this area a bit with my Dremel and a diamond burr, but I didn't take it up far enough. Like I said, when working in new territory, you have to do things more than once.

Rusty connected me to a website where a fellow in the Netherlands is building a 1:350 Royal Navy ship and he's even detailing the INSIDE of the funnels with all their stays. Here's the link.

On The Slipway (http://blog.ontheslipway.com/)

He makes me feel like a rank amateur. He does his own PE design, vacuum forms gun shields and housings, etc. It's been years and he's not finished yet. Rusty sent this to me to show that there's someone more OCD than I am. He made 15 versions of the smoke stack until he got the wrapper to work right. He also made his own rivet embosser using a clockwork gear. That's something I might do also.

There's always someone faster, smarter, better, etc. and the Internet enables us to find them

Builder 2010
12 Oct 11,, 00:58
Decided to take a different tack, using styrene rods instead of brass. Also, worked out a better way to build the bull gear bump. While I am able to drill the brass and solder the parts together, it required using CA to glue the brass to the styrene body. I went to the hobby shop today and bought a whole bunch of Evergreen styrene rods from 0.020" to 0.093" and some 0.080" X 0.080, 0.100 and 0.120" strip.

Drilling the styrene is much easier and I was even able to end drill a 0.020" hole into the center of a 0.040" styrene rod so I could glue the motor head onto the shaft using liquid plastic cement.

For the bull gear, I faced the 1/16" brass rod in my lathe. Instead of trying to cut a wafer and glue it to one side, I just drilled through the base from the back, pushed the brass entirely through the base until it stuck out the required amount, and the flush cut it off from the back and sanded the angle in. The back is facing the deck house and won't be seen, ever. Even so, I made the brass smooth for painting.



This time the height came out right on target. It's about 5 scale feet high. There is a brake band that goes around a handwheel looking thingy on the left end, but I'm not going to worry about it since it would have to be a PE part that doesn't at this time exist.


So... it looks like we now have a plausible boat winch. I should get them cast in resin and have L'Arsenal Models sell them for $8.00 a set...:rolleyes:

Tomorrow, I'll clean them up a bit more and paint.

Gun Grape
12 Oct 11,, 01:20
I should have never posted the link to the Hood build. Your catching the fever :biggrin:

Did you see what he did for his winches?

Winches, Part I « On The Slipway (http://blog.ontheslipway.com/?p=914)

Keep up the good work

Builder 2010
12 Oct 11,, 01:25
I had thought about building these before you sent the link, so it's not your fault. The fault is all mine.

He had lots and lots of custom PE stuff made which pushed him to a higher level. I'm happy with where I am since I may actually finish this. He, on the other hand, has been working on the Hood for 10 years with no end in sight. I have too many other projects waiting.

The owner of my hobby shop said I starting to suffer from "AMS" (advanced modeller's syndrome), which is a form of OCD that we acquire when we start to have delusions of recreating everything in the world at some Liliputian scale. Scale model railroaders have been suffering from this syndrome for years.

You're going to get a kick out of the searchlights with the aluminum reflectors and epoxy from lens.

Gun Grape
12 Oct 11,, 02:14
And to be honest, even though I like his site, Once the paint goes on, yours will look as good as his does. Especially at the 3ft viewing distance.

What I'm looking forward to seeing is how your radars turn out.

I've thought of doing alum reflectors and epoxy, but I've had good results with silver paint and white glue. Same as I use on 1/35 headlights. On the ones I mess up, I cover with a tarp/cover:)

Builder 2010
12 Oct 11,, 04:18
Especially since I'm going to keep it under Plexiglass. The closest you'll be able to get you nose to it will be 3" and most of us can't focus at that distance anymore anyway. The radar has me concerned. You have to dish the screen for the SK2. Eduard actually etched a scren for it. Most of the other PE makers just make a series of rings with the screen left up to your imagination. Not Eduard... nosiree. Luckily, I have two of them.

I am more concerned about the rigging. There's really quite a bit of it with the low frequency radio antenna, and lots and lots of flag halyards. I've looked at a YouTube on stretching sprue, the right way, and have lots of sprues to stretch.

Zad Fnark
12 Oct 11,, 12:55
Stretched sprue works easiest for me. I haven't done it on ships yet, but I have on aircraft. The nice thing is that if you blow out a lit match and hold it near the new wire you've attached, it will suddenly tighten right up.


Builder 2010
12 Oct 11,, 13:49
On the YouTube film, the guy uses incense to provide the heat. He just holds the model over the smoke. Where the smoke is, the heat is. It's easy to control and makes the room smell nice.

12 Oct 11,, 18:22
I've read that if you want to use rope for the rigging in model ships, you need to pre stretch it.

12 Oct 11,, 23:01
It does seem to be a guy thing - but consider jewelry - I have met women who make stuff that is comparable in the minute detail you are working with - but they aren't building scale representations of something like a ship, still there is often a need to make many of the little pieces the same. I like models better myself.

Rigging on this scale has to be right up there as one of those things that can drive a person crazy.

Builder 2010
13 Oct 11,, 00:56
Tonight's going to be a two reply thread since so much is going on. Worked for a good 4 hours today and made some progress.

I'm experimenting with making realistic searchlights. I've drilled out the plastic molding and needed to make some aluminum foil reflectors. Here's a process that I developed many years ago to make a low-duty-cycle punch and die to punch out portholes for an RC Calypso that I built.

You drill the desired hole in a piece of steel or brass. Clamp the workpiece to the drill press table and don't move it. Then you grind the tail end of the drill to an angle so it serves as a cutting surface. After grinding you can give it a rub on the sharpening stone. Turn the drill upside down and insert the punch end into the hole on the workpiece (the die). Bring the chuck down and grab the flutes. Let it go as far up in the chuck as possible so it can grab some of the shank end since it makes it much easier to keep on center.


Take a trial pass to see if the punch enters the die smoothly. Once you're satisfied that the punch is aligned, use it to cut out your circles.

Here's the punch at work


Here's the drill and the little aluminum circles. The highlighted area shows the angle ground on the shank end of the size drill you want to use.


And here's my first attempt to make the light. I got impatient and touched the epoxy on the lens before it was fully cured and made a finger print in it. I have extra searchlights (old Mo) and will make sure I have it right before gluing on the new Mo. I put a piece of 0.020" brass to act as a pin since I broke off the plastic pin. The light actually rotates.


For the 24" lights, I'm using the chrome silver paint method that Gun Grape said he uses. I'll again use some clear adhesive to form the lens.

Builder 2010
13 Oct 11,, 01:46
Now onto the bulk of today's work. I finished the little Boat Winches, and here's a picture of it in place (not glued...I'm not gluing it until the deck's mounted into the hull and out of harm's way).


Next I turned my attention to installing lots more railings. Some went easily, others went kicking and screaming (me). It makes no sense. The rails that should be the easiest to install were awful, and the long stringy ones were not so bad. I also installed the most fragile inclined ladder of the bunch. Its upper end is CA'd to a PE platform that juts out from the 3rd deck. John of Scaledecks had left a little wood overhanging as the landing, but I had to cut it off since the PE set includes a little perforated fold-up affair that glues to the superstructure. It was very fragile and I had to hit the second PE set, but got them built. This assembly replaces those molded pyramid steps that were cut away months ago. The finished look is pretty cool.


I installed all the rails on the 2nd and 3rd decks up to amid-ships. I also installed the foreword inclined ladders. Since these butt up against a solid plastic landing, it was a pretty easy install. The railing in front of this ladder was a pain. It shouldn't have been, but it was. My blood sugar must have been low since it was almost 2:30 and I hadn't had lunch. I did more touch up painting. I'll have to do another one of these ships before I get it all right.

The railing that wraps around the concave cut out next to a high-angle gun base, isn't exactly right. I thought I understood how it fit. It didn't seem to abut the railing directly in front of it. I fit it the best I could, but the curve was overhanging the deck. After getting it all CA'd, I looked again at the Eduard instructions and... AHA!... there's a vertical ladder that ends in this space. And if I would have left the sufficient space, it would have pushed the railing aftwards and the curve would have fit perfectly. I've found that the Eduard rails are very accurate. If they're not fitting, I'm DOING SOMETHING WRONG. I don't want to remove the rail. It's not that objectionable, and it's going to be hidden behind a 5" gun turret. But, it means even as I've read the instructions multiple times, I still need to pay more attention. It leads to question... "Should you install the vertical ladders first, and then the railings or vice versa?" Most of the time you have to wait until the rail is in to even know where that ladder must go. But in this case, the ladder would have been a dead givaway that the rail needed a 1/16" gap in that place.

Here's today's work.


Tomorrow, I'll continue with the rails working aft. Then I'll put on those floater net baskets. I'm toying with how to mount the ship's boat, now or wait until in the hull. I'm leaning towards "in the hull" since it's going to stick out and get whacked easily. Oh... and I almost forgot...those %&(^%$ MK37 gun directors. I have to get back to them now that I have the Tom's Modelworks fret.

Builder 2010
13 Oct 11,, 23:08
Had another highly productive day which included finishing up all of the railings that I can safely do before gluing the decks into the hull. Got all of the aft railings done and another nifty inclined ladder assembly. I had one minor catastrope and avoided another (whew!).

There were another set of slots that needed filling. These also would have held the plastic tab from the kit's plastic floater net baskets. This one's on the side of the midships AA tubs.


I know that I have some Evergreen Styrene strip that fits it almost perfectly so I decided to plug it. A PE floater basket goes there and you don't need that hole behind it. Filling went smoothly, but when I was trimming the extra plastic I didn't realize that I was putting pressure on one of the rear Inclined Ladders and Platforms. When it finally dawned on me, the thing was a mess. Luckily I was able to carefully reshape all the pieces and didn't need to rip it out and replace it with a unit from PE Set II. It made me realize, "I have to be very careful now where I rest my fingers or grab things when doing anything." There's lots of detail not that doesn't like to be touched or even looked at funny.

With that fixed I returned to installing railings. As was true yesterday, you can't really tell which ones are going to be a breeze or a nightmare. If the CA doesn't catch the first time, it usually goes downhill from there, although I am getting better. I only have to use the extra set of PE some of the time, not most of the time.

Now came the disaster that I avoided. I was getting ahead of myself. There's another Ladder/platform unit that goes from the 1st Superstructure deck down to the Main deck. The platform has a three-side railing (not two like the others) with one of the rails folding the other way and forming part of the deck rail. I glued this in and then prepared the ladder and glued it in. It hadn't cued yet, and then it hit me. There will be a wooden deck in this part of the ship and it's not installed yet, and can't be installed until the decks are glued in the hull (I explained all this in a previous post). With this inclined ladder in place it will interfere with this installation big time. With a quick tug, I removed the ladder. The platform remains. These platforms very touchy, hard to form and glue, and I don't feel like doing it again. But, its sticking out and I will have be careful when working around it. I was almost going to put the inclined ladder in the foreward part of the deck but quickly realized it had the same problem and interfering with the wood installation.

Here's the platform without the ladder.


With that completed I started installing floater net baskets. I'm using a different adhesive for this. It's a Henkel product that I've had since I worked for them in Germany. It's a clear general purpose adhesive that doesn't dry brittle, but dries clear and has a lot of tack.

Here's long focus shot with the focus stacking treatment of the superstructure showing today's progress.


Tomorrow I'll continue putting baskets on the other side and start applying things on the fore and aft decks in preparation for the great gluing.

Builder 2010
15 Oct 11,, 00:28
Finished up the Floater nets that could be installed up to this point. Did some more touchup painting and then put the center section aside and started preparing the foredeck.

But first...

Here's a series of pictures showing how I'm modifying the 36" searchlights. First I made a center mark using the sharp end of a divider. This is an eyeball affair; I'm generally pretty close.

Step 1 is drilling a small pilot hole to the depth that I want. I can move the center around a bit when I'm first starting to adjust if the intial center mark is off.

Step 2 opens the hole up larger in preparation for the full-size drill


Step 3 uses the full-size drill to form the inside chamber

Step 4 takes those little foil circles and pushes it to the bottom with a slightly smaller drill.

I then fill the cavity with the Henkel clear cement. It shows a nice convex surface, but when it cured it shrank a bit so it will require another layer. It's water-based and when the water goes away the volume goes down. But I like the look and it's better than paint.


Now onto the foredeck. It's fun to get into something different since the mid-section has taken months.

The Scaledecks piece fits overtop of the foreward free-standing 20mm gun tubs since they have the wood deck under them. I glued these two in place. Now that I look at this picture, I'm going to repaint the gun tub floor tan so the dark blue doesn't show through.


Next I realized that the flanking 20mm tubs have to be drastically modified since I'm modelling the ship when these were removed. I had to fill the space in the deck so the veneer would sit nice and flat. I could have made these fillers from scratch if I had the right thickness styrene sheeting, but it was actually easy to just remove everything that jutted up above deck level. The first step was accomplished with a razor saw giving this result.


Then with some elbow grease and two diamond encrusted flat files, I got them level and ready to install. At the end of the session, I glued these in and then started preparing the veneer for installation.


I test fit the plain maple decking to see how it fit and then used clear laquer on the backside of the tinted wood (as I did on the superstructure decks) to seal the wood. If you remember, I'm using water-based pressure sensitive adhesive applied to both surfaces and didn't want the water to affect the wood. I find with the water-based PSA, it can pop up at the edges so I will reinforce it will CA where necessary.

Gun Grape
16 Oct 11,, 22:02
I'm experimenting with making realistic searchlights. I've drilled out the plastic molding and needed to make some aluminum foil reflectors. Here's a process that I developed many years ago to make a low-duty-cycle punch and die to punch out portholes for an RC Calypso that I built.

You drill the desired hole in a piece of steel or brass. Clamp the workpiece to the drill press table and don't move it. Then you grind the tail end of the drill to an angle so it serves as a cutting surface. After grinding you can give it a rub on the sharpening stone. Turn the drill upside down and insert the punch end into the hole on the workpiece (the die). Bring the chuck down and grab the flutes. Let it go as far up in the chuck as possible so it can grab some of the shank end since it makes it much easier to keep on center.

Take a trial pass to see if the punch enters the die smoothly. Once you're satisfied that the punch is aligned, use it to cut out your circles.

No, No, No. You can't do that. You need to buy the Waldron punch set for a bit over $100.:eek:

Gun Grape
16 Oct 11,, 23:05
I am more concerned about the rigging. There's really quite a bit of it with the low frequency radio antenna, and lots and lots of flag halyards. I've looked at a YouTube on stretching sprue, the right way, and have lots of sprues to stretch.

You are a braver man than I. I suck when it comes to consistant size streached sprue. For 1/350 models I use .005 and .007 dia Tippet line. Fly tying material.

I know people that are happy with a product called EZ-Line. And a few people that buy a cheap wig and use the hair from it.

Jim Baumann has a good how to thread on making/using streached sprue here:
The Ship Model Forum • View topic - Making stretched sprue and Rigging with stretched sprue (http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=37536)

Builder 2010
17 Oct 11,, 00:05
I didn't know any of these existed other than the one that MicroMark is selling. It's not cost effective for me, but I can see the advantage of having a manufactured unit like this. We'll see...

Builder 2010
17 Oct 11,, 23:42
Not much work time this weekend, but I did protect the base and the hull and mounted the hull. I'm going to have to handle it a lot and don't want to mess up that beautiful finish. I chose the Tamiya masking tape since it comes off cleanly. The 3M blue tape made a mess when I was doing the water lines. The goop transferred to the plastic and took almost an hour to fully remove. I actually had to clean up the work bench a bit to fit this big boy.


I'm still in a quandry about the order of installation. If I glue the three decks in place, then attach the veneer to the fore and aft sections, I will have to hold off installing the gun turrets since the veneer has a 360º hole for the barbettes, and the turret would block this. To install the turrets at this point would no longer allow the attachment of the plastic retainer underneath which permits rotation. They'd have to be glued from the top.

I've discussed this before in a previous post, but I still haven't decided on what to do. The problem is a direct result of the 2" or so of veneer that extends onto the mid-section from both the fore and aft decks. Another possibility would be to put a split into the veneer behind the turrets so the veneer could be spread around the barbette when the turret is in place. By carefully repositioning the wood on both sides of the split it may be unnoticeable and would solve a couple of problems.

Luckily, I have a second set of veneer to experiment with. I'll make the split and see how much flexiblility results and how it forms around the barbette and then recombines.

Builder 2010
20 Oct 11,, 00:57
Before I glued the decks down, I did the experiment on the old MO turret to see if I could make it "snap" in place so I would be able to install it from above and have it rotate. I flared the base lug with a soldering iron. I then filed a chamfer on the end and slit it into quarters with a razor saw. It worked... But... it took enough force to insert that I broke a part off of the turret. This was on an old "simple" turret, not the super-detailed new MO ones. So I scrapped this idea. It's not worth the risk. The turrets will be glued in place. I could use a silicone caulk glue that wouldn't be so permanent.

I then turned my attention to gluing the decks in place for good since I couldn't move ahead with anything else until they're in place. First I scraped any paint that was on the mating surfaces so I'd get a good bond. I started with the foredeck and taped it into place. I use my "Touch and Flo" glue aplicator to spread an even flow of Plaststruc Bondiene into the joint.

For those that haven't seen one, the Touch n Flo is a small diameter glass tube with a capillary tube fused into one end. The other end is open. You lay the tip of the capillary tube at the joint and drag the tip so it points away from the direction you're going. If you reverse, you will most certainly jam solvent-softened plastic into this tiny tube. The thin solvent cement is drawn into the joint by capillary attraction. Very liltte cement ends up on the outside and since the cement evaporates so quickly, it generally doesn't disturb the plastic (unless you touch it).

You're supposed to get the glue into the tube by turning it upside down and sticking the open end of the tube into the liquid cement. Capillarly action is supposed to draw the liquid up into the tube to the level of the liquid in the bottle. There can't be any residual liquid in the tube or it won't fill. I cheat. I put the capillary into the glue and very carefully suck on the other end. I watch the liquid carefully and when it's about 1/2 up the tube, I stop. I've gotten stuff in my mouth only once. The instructions say you shouldn't do this, but I don't have the patience to mess around with it. It's like filling an old-style lab pipette. I'm going to try and fill them using the plastic squeeze-bulb pipettes that I use for handling paints into the airbrush.


I used the un-tinted veneer set to do all the trial fittings. I disconnected the little pieces that are the floors of the two forward 20mm tubs and installed it separately. It made it much easier to get the deck down. I applied pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) to the deck, being careful to not get it on vertical surfaces. Then I applied it to the tinted veneer.


When both surfaces were completely dry, I applied the decking. I started from the turret hole and worked in both directions. This seemed to be the best place to start as determined from my trial run since the hole is a fixed location and hard to get the veneer on it if you're coming in from one side. You need to drop it over the barbette from above. The side pieces laid down nicely and overlap the little tail from the center-section decking. The little tail is then trimmed so it mates with the foredeck veneer perfectly.

The neatest thing is that it completely covers the ugly mid-section joint on both ends. It gives an almost unbroken deck from one end to the other.


My trial fitting of the aft veneer showed up a small problem. The laser cutting was done as if the rear superstructure sides were not glued in place. This additional thickness forced the decking rearward and it didn't fit. So I had to trim away that thickness of decking to enable it to snuggle forward as it should. I've highlighted this area on the picture.


There was one more area needing attention. Like the 1st superstructure deck, there were holes for the plastic floater net baskets that weren't being used with the PE ones: one set flanks the first set of aft 40mm tubs and the others flank the big 20mm AA tub in the middle of the aft deck. Again, if I would have realized sooner I would have had John at Scaledecks not laser cut them. Hindsight...

I decided to make a cheap disposable punch out of brass to make correctly sized circles of veneer to plug the holes. I drilled the tip and chamfered it on the lathe and then drilled a cross-hole in the side to get the little circles out. That part didn't work so well, but the punch worked. I would use steel the next time since the punch didn't hold up very long.


The patches aren't invisible, but when the PE baskets are glued on top, they won't be very noticeable. You may also notice that I cheated the "5 pics/post" rule by creating a composite image of two images. I didn't want to write another post just for this added piece.

I have the holes on the other side to fill and then it's onto detailing the fore decks and onward.

Builder 2010
21 Oct 11,, 04:28
Went around the decking and CA'd edges that were popping up. The PSA is having some problems since the Tamiya decks have raised lines which reduce the surface area for adhesion. I pry the loose section up and squirt a bit of CA under the wood, hold it down and wait until it kicks.

I then started gluing all the plastic parts that had to wait until the wood was down. This included the bow 20 mm tub, the foredeck 40mm tubs, the 40mm tubs flanking the aft end of the superstructure and the director tubs on the fantail. There's a lot of little bits and PE that go all over these large deck areas.

I then installed the last overhung tubs and added their stanchions. With this addition, all stanchion work is now complete.


I had to scrape a lot of PSA that leaked through all the opening in the wood. I tried using alcohol, but it made a bit of a mess. Scraping worked. I installed all the remaining closed and roller chocks that line the deck fore to aft. I had to superglue some of them. I did another round of touchup painting, and put the cover on it since I won't be working on it this weekend and don't want the cellar spiders to have their way with it.

Here's the full-length shot showing all the added pieces from today.


Next week I'll get back to the superstructure putting on all the PE that was waiting for the wood. BTW: that inclined ladder platform that was just sitting there becuase I had to abort the installation of the ladder... I knocked it off when fitting the aft decking. I reshape it and glue it back on when I'm finally installing the ladder for real.

Builder 2010
27 Oct 11,, 01:48
Had a wonderful three-day vacation in Chicago. We drove and met four of our best friends from the old neighborhood outside of Philly. The weather was perfect which is why I haven't worked on Mo for a few days. But today I did work. The model greeted me with some deck delamination. Like I noted last time, the PSA isn't the most secure and has to be augmented with CA.


I went around and carefully lifted up any edges that were loosening, either inseting the CA tube under the wood to wet it with CA, or wetting the tip of my hobby knife and inserting it under the wood. In either case, I then applied pressure until the CA kicked. There are no more loose spots (as of now).


I then turned my attention to detailing the foredeck area starting with the railing and ladders on the fo'csle 20mm gun tubs. The railing, even though it has a straight portion and two reverse curves, went on relatively easily, but I can't say the same for the tiny ladders. The first one went on immediately... of course... that's how it usually goes. But the 2nd ladder took 3 pieces to finally get it installed...one from the old PE set and two from the new.

Moving aftward I installed the anchor wildcats and capstans, the hatch covers and some mushroom vents. I also put together the capstan control wheels. There's a tiny PE hand wheel that supposed to be glued to the top of a kit part after chopping the top of the plastic part off. I chose to fabricate a fresh piece using a bit of styrene rod that was the same diameter. It was easier to cut them to length with my Northwest Shortline Chopper II than to slice the top off of a very small plastic part. Of course gluing the wheels wasn't easy. They tended to stick to the tweezers or my fingers rather than the 1.15mm plastic part. But I perservered.


Lastly, I tackled one of those things that I was dreading; gluing 17 very small PE brackets behind the breakwater. Based on Eduard's instructions, I scraped off the plastic brackets long ago in preparation for this step. This left no marks to guide the reinstallation of the PE brackets. So I took a piece of wire and measured the length of the curve, used the digital caliper to measure the wire's length and divided it by 17. I then set my dividers to this dimension and spaced off the marks on the decking. I tried to glue the brackets as close to the marks as possible... close, but not exact.

The brackets are tiny, and like all other tiny parts, liked to escape whenever given the opportunity. But I was pretty careful and only had to hit new PE for two extra pieces of the larger bracket (the middle 11) and none of the smaller brackets (3 on each side). I tried wetting the part with CA first and then holding it in position, but it invariably would glue itself to the tweezers. Then I tried to hold the part tightly to the breakwater and then use a wire to transfer CA to the junction. This worked! A little touchup and it came out okay.


So the bow is done. I'm going to work my way aft putting all the plastic and PE in place prior to installing all the guns. Speaking of guns, I have to build 40, 20mm guns... ugh! Oh well... it's a battleship not a destroyer. BTW: notice the one 40mm tub that has that ammunition rack which I decided to not install again. I'm not unhappy about that choice. GMM's racks have little tabs that you fold down that spaces them vertically. The Alliance Model's have no spacing aid and therefore are very hard to get into position.


Builder 2010
27 Oct 11,, 21:59
Back to the mid-section. Installed the foremost inclined ladders and the one flanking the angled bulkhead section. Then I installed the last superstructure railings on the front of the first SS deck. No problems on either count. Putting on big rails without a lot of bends is actually fun. You hold it at the starting end and get a drop of CA into the joint. When it cures, move slowly down the line to the first bend. Put a drop at the bend, then put some CA in the mid-points. Go the next straight portion and do the same thing, tacking one end, then the other and finally filling in the middle, and so on.

I put two seachlights on. Now I have to drill and fill the remaining two. They do look better than plain plastic.


The rest of today's session was spent building the ship's boats and the davits. I tried to use the PE davits, but they didn't come anywhere near filling the holes in the deck and they're not really the correct shape, so I used the kit's davits. The boats have three pieces of PE: fore and aft deck tops and the rudder/propellor assembly. Then there's a neat little foldup PE that substitutes for the cast-in support on the deck, which I scraped off.


I noticed in the G & C model photos that the horizontal surfaces of the ship's boats are deck blue so I painted them this color. It's finicky work and required multiple passes to get it close to decent. I also installed my scratch-built boat davit winches and with that, the boats are now installed. What remains is attempting to rig some form of lines that would be used to lift said boats.


On my plans set I noticed there is a small hatch located in the angled part next to the inclined ladder shown here.


It's hard to get to now and it's very hard to see so I'm probably going to leave it out. Eduard doesn't note it on their instructions, but they didn't have a lot of the other stuff I've done either. Any opinions out there?

Tomorrow, I'll continued working aftwards.

28 Oct 11,, 16:56
Any opinions out there?

I doubt anyone besides you will see it on the model. You might mess up some other details and have to rework them - time better spent on more visible efforts.

Awesome work, it is looking great! :) :cool: :pop:

Builder 2010
28 Oct 11,, 19:19
Thanks as usual! I'll leave those hatches off.

Bought some material today to fabricate the running lights which aren't included in the kit. They're little, but an important detail (IMHO). I woke up this morning thinking about how to handle bending the Mk-37 antennas. They're parabolic in real life, but semi-circular will work in the model. Rather than bending each wing separately while attempting to keep the center bar from falling apart, I'm going to determine the diameter of the entire affair, use a mandrel of that diameter, bend both wings together and bend into a full circle and then fold them back to form the two halves. I think this will be easier. We'll see...

I'm getting far enough along that I'm beginning to worry about rigging. There are some good videos on YouTube about using stretched sprue and making simulated blocks with white glue. I have two different colors of sprue in the box that should work well.

Gun Grape
28 Oct 11,, 22:19
I had no problems bending the Toms Mk-12 one wing at a time. Nothing but a dowel and finger pressure.

Cannot wait to see how yours turn out.

Builder 2010
28 Oct 11,, 22:55
I put the last inclined ladders in place that run from the 1st superstructure deck to the main deck. Both of the little platforms had railing problems so I took a different approach. I just used the platform portion and then bent a much sturdier railing from the second PE set. I don't know why Eduard insists on having you glue the end of a tiny thread of PE to a 90º surface. You're literally trying to glue something with the surface area of about 0.015" square, basically nothing. It constantly breaks loose and then the rail falls off. So I used a rail that had the correct end length and made the depth bend fit the platform. These are the standard rails that have a botton water gutter and give much more gluing surface besides being much stiffer.


Then I decided to tackle something more interesting, the main gun directors and rangefinders. This is a delivate little affair with a number of pieces, folds, glued joints, and those microscopic railings which I just spoke of in the last paragraph. I finished the foreward unit and only scrapped a couple of parts. But I'm down to only two side trunion brackets on the second set and will need to produce two perfect ones for the aft director. Oh the pressure! Notice how the front radar actually passes through four 0.015" holes. They were undersized and I had to open them up. Most likely, they were filled with the two coats of paint I used to pre-paint the parts.


My original approach, as shown in the picture, was to attach one trunion bracket to the rangefinder body, and the other to the radar set and then bring them together. I glued the first one just where the Eduard instructions showed. I then built the radar and glued the other bracket to it. When I attempted to bring them together, the bracket on the radar was too far outboard and ran into those cute little footrails. So I broke the originally glued bracket off the body and glued it to the radar too.

This glued okay, but the brackets cured tipped slightly forward. When I tried to put some pressure on it to straighten it the whole ^@(&T% thing blew off, and I had to start over. This time I got it to stick reasonably straight. I learned from this one and will do better on the aft director. Here's the unit afixed to the top of the air defense tower. Looks neat and is SOOOO much better than the piece of plastic it replaces. It was worth the effort.



This rendition compares favorably to the prototype as shown in this detail drawing of the MK 38 radar from the Floating Drydock Plan Book. The only thing missing is the telescope hatches, but they'd be very small and wouldn't be much thicker than a coat of model paint. When I look at the pictures closely I can see that one of the foot rails has bent back horizontal. I worry when that happens because the next bend might be the one where the rails fall off (that Eduard pre-etch bend points).


Next session I'll finish the aft director and then work on the rest of the searchlights.

Builder 2010
01 Nov 11,, 01:56
Built and installed the aft MK-38 director. As predicted, the base did not go together as smoothly as the first one. I kept knocking of the attached railing. As I noted before, all of the platforms in the Eduard set that have an attached railing are engineered poorly. They look prototypical with the ends of the rails touching the platform without a toe plate, but there's no gluing surface and with the slightest bending, the railing falls off. Because there's no toe plate there's nothing upon which to reglue the detached railing. What the hey, I had a whole other set with two more bases. Surely I could get one nice base.

Not quite! I had one other problem. I decided to bend up the foot rails AFTER gluing the flat base to the plastic gun director base from the kit. The first time, the CA kicked, but the piece was not centered. In the act of getting it off, it got wrecked. So onto #3. It was off center too and the railing fell off. That left one more attempt that had to work. I decided to scrap the CA and use Aleen's Tacky Glue. It gives me some working time.

This time I got it centered, but the railing still fell off. I clamped the PE base to the plastic director with two spring tweezers until in dried and then used a piece of railing from PE #2, bent it in the appropriate places and glued it on with CA. It has the widened foot plate and lots of gluing area (that's relative), and it is basically indistinguishable from the front one.


With that done, I drilled and finished up the remaining 3, 36" searchlights, and set them aside so the CA "lens" cures nicely. I wrecked one of those when I touched it too soon and destroyed the lens. Then I installed the oxygen and acetylene bottles on the sides of the superstructure. I originally had them all green, but the acetylene are silver.

Then I went to town building and installing the last 8 floater baskets that flank various gun tubs and installing them on the after deck. I actually am getting better at building those floater baskets now that they're all done.

With that, I was able to turn to all the fiddly bits of details that cover the after deck. These include several sizes of Mushroom Vents, winches, and capstans. I still have a pile of life rafts to install under the catapults and then build the catapults themselves. These too have railings attached that fold up. I am hoping that I can handle them without having them fall off. They seem to have more contact points which could prove helpful.

Here's the overview shot that shows today's progress.


The lower part of the fantail 40mm tubs has to be painted Navy Blue since it falls below the hull profile. I have to remember to do that. I also have to decant some hull red to touch up one of the propellor struts that got missed on its inner portion. Just a couple of minor details.

I read in the current issue of Fine Scale Modeler in the Tips and Tricks column about using a peg board to hang sprues to keep them easy to find and out of harm's way. I just so happen have a 6 foot peg board at the back of my work bench, but it was filled with large tools that I rarely use right now. So I cleaned them out and hung the sprues in alpha order. I also hung the PE frets. It works! Too bad I didn't read about this when I started the kit and had to keep sorting through 10 sprues.


Something else I read in the current issue... They did a four-part series on building one of those new Litoral Defense Ships and the model had PE. The author uses small strips of tape to hold the railings in place flush with the outside of the hull before gluing. He then uses a brush with Zip Kicker to cure the CA and at the same time it makes the tape let go so it doesn't pull the railing off. This is going to be the way I'm going to attach the long main deck railings. It's something I wish I thought of on some of the other railing attachments, but they're all done.

Got to go to work tomorrow, back in the shop on Wednesday.

01 Nov 11,, 04:41
The author uses small strips of tape to hold the railings in place flush with the outside of the hull before gluing. He then uses a brush with Zip Kicker to cure the CA and at the same time it makes the tape let go so it doesn't pull the railing off.

Wow, if that works - I would try PE railings on one of my builds - I am interested in the details.

Builder 2010
02 Nov 11,, 23:57
The first things I did today were very nice. I installed the remaining 3 searchlights after doing a paint touchup. They look good! I then installed the remaining life rafts that line underneath the catapults including their PE interior and oars. I've got this one down and it was very simple.


Then... horror struck again! It was like Halloween wasn't over. I decided to attack the catapults. Now I suspected I would have a problem because the old PE set catapults had many railings fall off even before I cut them out of the fret. I built the two old ones to practice the folds and to see if I could manage those railings. I couldn't. Before the folding was fully done, all the remaining rails were gone.

Here's what they look like folded without the railings.


The etching really is beautiful. Their's diamond plate tread on the walkways and the gussets and rivets show up. But... the railings are a disaster. Like those on the little inclined ladder landings, the rails don't have a toe stop so there's no surface area to hold the metal in place. The rails are very scale looking. They should be, they're only 0.008" in diameter and the fold area is etched halfway through (or more) meaning the amount of metal holding the railing at the fold line is 0.003". No wonder it breaks!

Here's what the railing looked like from the new set when flat.


Looks nice doesn't it! Now here's what it looks like about 10 second later.


Now that's a horror! By the time all the folds were done, only two rails remained. And by the time I got the end rail on, there was only one left. I attempted to use a GMM rail, but it looked terrible. I then attempted to jury-rig a regular rail left over from PE2 like I did with the aft gun director, but it was impossible to get it to adhere. So what do you do?

This post will exceed 5 pictures, so the answer will be in the following post. Stay tuned.

Builder 2010
03 Nov 11,, 00:27
I decided to try one more method before throwing in the towel. The smallest drill commercially available is a #80 which is .00135" which is a bit bigger than the railings, but it's a pretty small hole. I have a bunch of solid carbide drills I bought from MicroMark that includes the #80. It's good I had a bunch since I have broken several by putting too much side pressure. They are so hard they break if you look at them the wrong way.


I am good at drilling tiny holes, so with the help of my most powerful magnifying hood I drilled holes in the walkways where the rail stanchions would fall. I then attempted to fit the rails into the holes and CA them. Here's the holes drilled in one of the catwalks. The drill is so stiff that you can easily guide it one way or the other to move the location small amounts. But... don't push to hard sideways or.... boing.


I did one of the three hole rails first as a proof of concept. Then I attempted to drill the holes and install that long rail. It worked! It wasn't easy getting the rail in. I started at one end getting two stanchions at a time, gluing them and then moving on. I will install the rails in the first catapult this way.

The result is passable. The railing is self-supporting so get CA into the joints is not difficult. I am going to write Eduard (again) and suggest that they reengineer parts like these since they're almost dysfunctional and can drive you nuts. I may also attempt using guitar string of the proper diameter. I have a Fender Strat upstairs, but it's not sacrificing it strings for this project.


For catapult #2 I'm going to drill all the holes while in the flat and still in the fret. This way, the rails will be attached to assist in lining up the holes.

All of this messing around with the catapults represented over 2 hours work. To say it was exasperating is an understatement. It will get easier. I need three sets of PE. I am sure that other manufacturers' catapults would be better since they're not etched so fine or don't have the bend area etched.

Tomorrow I will hope that these two will be finished and it's onto the crane. Wow! That should be fun! :rolleyes:

03 Nov 11,, 00:29
Do you have a dentist friend? Go to their place and tell them I need a wholes here, here, here and here. Buy them a drink and new set of drills :biggrin:

Builder 2010
03 Nov 11,, 00:36
That's not a bad idea! Better yet... I should have been a dentist. They're doing better than MDs these days. Or... maybe I should make Fabergé Eggs...

03 Nov 11,, 00:47
That's not a bad idea! Better yet... I should have been a dentist. They're doing better than MDs these days. Or... maybe I should make Fabergé Eggs...

With your nerves, you certainly could!

Builder 2010
04 Nov 11,, 02:45
Through sheer force of will, I persisted and actually created a complete catapult with only one small railing missing. It isn't pretty! Thank goodness it will never be viewed as close as I do when working with the magnifying hood or the closeup pictures I'm taking.

The drilling holes and sticking the railings through before CA'ing worked...sort of. While the railings are actually on the cat, they not straight, nor smoothe, nor anything else like they'd be if they were designed to stay on in the first place.

Here's the complete cat with the launch car. I just reviewed the Floating Drydock catapult drawing and realized that those thingys sticking out of the front are mounted completely wrong. They were a pain in the butt to get attached like that and they're going to have to be ripped off and remounted. What they are is shock absorbers to stop the launch car when it reaches the end of its travel. I'll fix them tomorrow and mount the second set correctly. There's even a pulley wheel buried underneath that no one will ever see, especially since I mounted it too deeply. According to the same drawing, it's actually supposed to stick down pretty far and is suspended on some kind of axle system.


I then went forward with my plan to drill all the holes before removing the piece from the fret while still in the flat to help align the holes with the railings. Good idea... one of the railings had already fallen off before I drilled the holes. Those are some mighty small holes, but they're lined up correctly. The railings fit into them pretty well.


I determined something else after working with the first cat...it makes it easier to work the railings, etc., if the bottom plate is glued in once the major bends are completed. It firms up the whole piece, especially those very frail and flexible catwalks.

I made good progress on Cat #2 and it's coming out better than #1. I just have to do more of them...:bang:. I really think they could be terrific models if Eduard would have just engineered the assembly differently. Having railings suspended by what amounts to hair-thin half-hard brass just doesn't cut it.

Here's both cats posed in their final positions. Both cats still need to be re-airbrushed. Uniform color will make them look better.


Tomorrow we'll have completed cats and I'll start working on the ship's crane. That should be fun too.

Builder 2010
04 Nov 11,, 23:51
After reviewing the scale drawing, I decided to scratch build some kind of damper. The dampers are a bit more complex than my attempt, but when painted, and immersed in the rest of the details on the ship, the complexity will not be missed.


Here's the original PE damper (Slightly misshapen after forcibly removing it from its incorrect location) and my version next to it. The ram is 0.024" music wire and the vent line (I am supposing it some kind of vent) is .014" music wire. It's the smallest drills that I have so I couldn't go any smaller. The strap is made of the fret from the PE and is pretty good for making stuff.


While this little 4-part construction shouldn't really take too much time, should it? Well... how's three hours sound? The main problem was drills. I was using those 0.0135" carbide bits and broke all of them. One broke when the pin vise slipped, but several broke in the hole. That meant scrapping the part. It wasn't the bore hole. That went easily. It was the hole on top for the vent line. I had some high-speed steel drills of similar size, but they just didn't want to cut.


The bottom plate fell off when doing all this work on the cat, so I was able to reinstall the pulley at the right depth. I put a piece of 0.022" brass wire through it as an axle and glued that to the bottom plate.

I'm now working on the 2nd cat and it's going smoother. Both of the dampers are finished and I'll install them after all the railings are in place. Whew....!

Once they're all finished, I'll airbrush them. I'm thinking to not install them until the main deck rails are in place. They're too delicate. Same goes for the ship's crane. While I'm screwing around with this, I'm wondering if I should put a few bits of round stock on the platform to simulate the motor drive units that are shown on the plans. I feel a strong case of AMS coming on.

Gun Grape
06 Nov 11,, 22:31
Looking good. Let me see if I can help with the onset of AMS :whome:

Builder 2010
06 Nov 11,, 23:21
OMG! Where did you get these? My contraption is not too far off, just a little big. I just don't have any possible way to make all that ribbing. At 1:350 it's microscopic. I taught my Grandpop's Scale Model Workshop today and only had a few kids present so I brought my PE stuff from home and in the quiet times tried to reattach those Y(#%_)U railings. With no luck. In fact, I actually made matters worse. I'm coming up with several alternative schemes on how to get the rails fastened without making a further mess. One thought is to fabricate new rails off the model using brass wire. Another thought would be to take the existing railings and attach them to a small strip of masking tape with just the tips of the verticals sticking out below. Then instert all the points into the holes up the tape and then CA. I've been having a terrible time getting the rails into the holes, but not too deeply. I just can't hold them in that position long enough for the CA to work. The tape might be the answer. It's very frustrating when some assembly or another decides to be the "Waterloo" after all this work has been done.

Gun Grape
07 Nov 11,, 01:11
If they are that much of a problem, order some others. Either Toms or GMM. I have heard good things about both.

Don't let bad PE kill an outstanding build.

Gun Grape
07 Nov 11,, 01:55
OMG! Where did you get these?

NavSource. Its from a SD class but the cats were the same.

Instructions for Operation of Catapult Type P (http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/57l.htm)

As were most of the stuff in the links on this page.


07 Nov 11,, 04:24
Pretty neat that those Cats with the plane to launch were fired with a comparable 5"/38 propellant round, the speed they achived in such short span and how little they fell before flying away. In some ways the landing and reboarding were just as cool considering you had to have a well skilled helmsman to assist in laying out the "carpet" for the plane to land, taxi and then hook up and swung aboard back upon the Cat and away they went.:biggrin:

Builder 2010
07 Nov 11,, 16:15
Gun Grape is right. I will buy a different set of PE for the cats. Considering the time I've already wasted wrestling with this stuff I should have bought different product days ago. Both Toms and Alliance have frets dedicated to my needs. GMM and WEM make you buy a bigger fret. Which one produces product that is the least tempramental?

Builder 2010
10 Nov 11,, 00:42
First of all, I did purchase the catapult set from Alliance Modelworks and had a nice running commentary from Brian Nicolletti there about the troubles I've been having and some possible remedies. It should be here in a couple days.

Meanwhile, I started working on the ship's crane, and the experience is described by today's title.

The crane went together nicely. It looks great and very frail. The base also went together well and even has inner framing that looks very realistic. Then I built the tripod backrigging. It too actually went together decently. I used a piece of music wire to align the three holes at the top of the structure and then glued in the lower tie-ins.

Here's a picture of the crane at that point in time.


Looks pretty good... right?

The side legs of the tripod were deformed a bit. I decided to carefully try to un-deform them. Then all hell broke loose. :bang: The thin part separated from the enlarged round end at the etched bend line. You really don't need an etched line to show where to bend the little offsets for these parts and it horribly weakens them.

In the act of removing the old round head from the top assembly (all very strongly CA'd) I destroyed the other two legs. So I turned to PE set #2. I cut out the three parts and started putting them together and the round ends detached from both side legs turning them into scrap. So now what do I do?

I decided to make additional legs using some of the narrow strips from the PE frets themselves. I measured the center-to-center distance of the original legs and set them out with a divider. Then drilled holes to accept some small pins (styrene). Here's a display of the good, bad and very ugly.

I started reassembling this reconstituted structure, but didn't get too far along before having to stop. I take more pics when I finish it. Etched bend points are definitely a blessing and curse. In most cases the latter.


Since taking the picture I rounded the ends of the bars to make them look less impromptu. It shouldn't be too glaring when rebuilt.

Gun Grape
10 Nov 11,, 21:19
So do I need to go ahead and order the GMM PE before I start my build?

Let us know how the Alliance stuff works. I've never used it. Toms, GMM and White Ensign have been my go to stuff.

Did get 3 sets of Ed. Two 1/35 sets (M-107 and M-101 howitzer) and the Missouri set, because of the price. Maybe I need to build the 2 guns to get the feel of using their PE before I start on the ship.

Keep driving on.

Builder 2010
10 Nov 11,, 21:47
The Alliance stuff arrived today. It's finely etched too, but the assembly process is different. The rails are attached to their decks, but the decks are separate and aren't put on until the main rail structure is bent. That should protect the railings a little longer. I'd probably buy GMM if I were to do it again. I think they're stuff's a little more rugged. You'd need both sets to do a complete job and even then they don't give you what Eduard does. In that I mean the sides of the all of the superstructure decks. That's a detail I really liked on Eduard and since they're flat with no bends, they really worked well and look great. SO.... use GMM and one Eduard set. That should do it. I think Eduard on larger scales might be a bit better.

Builder 2010
17 Nov 11,, 01:45
After a weekend trip to State College, PA to see Penn State play Nebraska, I got some time in the shop today. I also have another small consulting gig that's cutting into Missouri time.

I finished up the crane except for touch up paint and rigging. When I left it last week I had re-made the tripod stanchions, and opened the holes up so I could use some styrene rod to pin the hinge points more firmly. All of this worked!


There's no doubt that the scratch-built supports are clunkier than the wispy original ones, but they're not going to fall apart either. Once the crane is painted and rigged, it will be less noticeable. I had thought of ways to narrow their waists, such as gluing (or soldering) the thin pieces to some thicker stock, filing the waist and then de-bonding them, but thought that it was overkill and used them as is.

Refastening the boom went easily and the crane was back together. I then drilled a 0.047" hole in the bottom and glued in a styrene pin that would help center and stabilize it when glued in the hole in the aft deck, and hold it down to this board so I can airbrush it again.


I'm contemplating using stretched sprue to rig the ship, and will practice on the crane.

Now that this fun was over, it was time to attempt making ANOTHER catapult; this time using the new ones from Alliance Modelworks. While some of the continuing adventure purported to be easier than the Eduard version, as you all will see as we move along, that those miserable railings continue to be my undoing. I seriously think there is something fundamentally wrong with my modeling skills in that I continue to break these damn things off. Unfortunately (for me) Alliance also etches all of their bend lines which makes these railings almost unmanageable. I wish they didn't etch that bend. You don't need it. It's obvious where the rails need to bend and the etch reduces the thickness by half. That leaves about 0.005" and is it very fragile. I sound like a broken record here, but this is getting frustrating.

Here's a shot of the entire fret. Notice some differences with Eduard. Alliance makes the entire girder structure as a box with all four sides, but doesn't have any of the catwalks attached. It then adds another layer on top for the launch way that includes little launch dampers on the ends that fold up. The railings are attached to each catwalk and are to be folded upwards.


Folding the girder went well with CA applied to the edges of the bottom to secure it. This was much easier than fitting in and gluing the separate bottom on the Eduard piece. The center section has a foldup set of boxes that simulate the drive and control mechanisms and that too went well. The center section has a glue-on platform with railing. That railing kept getting bumped (by me) and after a couple of nudges, fell off.

The nightmare returns!!!

The catwalks butt glue to the girder assembly. To give more surface area for gluing and support I chose to add some little cross members on the bottom. This works, but meanwhile, another two railings fell off. That makes three rails off and two remaining so far. I think the mistake I made was attempting to bend the rails before gluing the platforms in place. This was just the first one. I have one more to screw up.


Next session I will finish up the first cat and then attempt to build number 2. I don't have those #80 carbide drills anymore. They're all broken. I will have to get more of them if I want to drill the catwalks like I tried on the Eduard units. No matter what, trying to get the railings back on is no fun and is next to impossible.

17 Nov 11,, 02:09
Told ya to visit a dentist. Would've been cheaper.

Builder 2010
24 Nov 11,, 00:08
No building this week, but just wanted to wish all my readers a Happy and Fulfilling Thanksgiving. Won't probably get to the ship until sometime next week and then it's CAT WRESTLING all over again.

24 Nov 11,, 00:29
No building this week, but just wanted to wish all my readers a Happy and Fulfilling Thanksgiving. Won't probably get to the ship until sometime next week and then it's CAT WRESTLING all over again.

Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks again for this great thread!

Builder 2010
03 Dec 11,, 02:50
Holiday over... back to work. Well... not actually work. I used stretched sprue to put some modest rigging on the crane... the backstay with some white glue bulges to simulate turnbuckles, and a fine line to the winch drum for the hook. Came out well.

Then it was back to those &)*T^# catapults. This time with the Alliance Model Works version. Unfortunately, history was repeating itself with the finely etched railings falling off after the get bent more than one time. The sprue contained brass for three different species of cat; one that mounts directly onto the big turrets, a unit without catwalks and rails, and one that duplicates the Missouri type with those catwalks and rails.

I didn't finish the first one and started to work on the second one. The grandsons were working in the basement and I was impatient. When gluing the bottom turntable plate and put too much downward pressure on the assembly and crushed the darn thing. I tried to reform it, but realized that it was a lost cause. So I turned my attention to the units without the catwalks and rails. Wouldn't you know it, but I finally created two good catapults, but they're not the right type.

They are prototypically wrong. Here's pictures of the original style, the other style and everything being put together. You can see the damage and looking at the surface area of the joint you can easily see how almost impossible it would be to make it whole again.


The prototype MO cat has an offcenter pivot. The other does not. So besides having all those catwalks and railings, it's actually a different configuration. But I don't have any more of them to build that are worth building and I do have two perfectly built cats that just aren't the right ones.


Here they are in place with the unpainted crane. They don't look too bad.


And here they are all nice and painted. So... dear readers, will I be condemned to modeller's hell if I substitute these not-so-prototypical catapults. While I'm sure that most people looking at this model will exclaim, "Wow, look at all that detail.", I'm also sure that there will be some that will say, "Holy cow! This guy's put the wrong catapults on this ship!" Either away, I am inclined to call this phase finished. I am tired of working with these things and don't want to spend another $50 to buy GMM's fret that includes them. If GMM took credit cards, I might do so, but he doesn't and I'm not going to waste the time sending a check.


I decided to frustrate myself a bit more by turning back the MK 37 directors. It took a lot of patience, but I created the three radars and got them glued successfully onto their very fragile frames. What's left is building the frames from the Tom's Model Works radar fret. Hopefully they will be less fragile than all of those Eduard frames that are now toast (except for the one in the picture).


Notice the one screen that broke at the middle bend. This was the second one that did that. The first one I was able to still use and pieced it together into the frame. That wasn't easy. Since I had the second fret, I decided it was easier if the screen stayed together so I put that one aside and attempted to form two more that stayed intact. I was successful.

I'll build those frames at the next session. Then it's onto the 20mms, other radars, masting and rigging and the small plastic MK 51 directors, prop shafts, props and it's finished.

Gun Grape
03 Dec 11,, 17:49
Only the Bolt Counters will care. And they are the ones that have never found a model that they like, cause something is always wrong.

Are you Happy with it? If so, everything is fine. Remember this is a HOBBY;)

(unless you are building for someone "On Commission')

Builder 2010
05 Dec 11,, 03:04
Today was Sunday and that's "Grandpop's Scale Model Workshop Day" so I didn't get much done on my stuff, but I got a little bit done. And I proved an important concept: "Etching PE where the bends go is a detrimental to the successful completion of the piece as it is beneficial. As seen in this picture, I built the three other MK 37 radar bases using the parts from Tom's Modelworks WWII Navy Radars. Note that these parts are NOT PRE-ETCHED. I used the hold-n-fold to carefully make the four bends and glued them to the tops of the directors basically the first time. They're a little smaller than the Eduard piece (the one remaining director), but they didn't fall apart and look delicate and will work. These parts have not been final painted.


If you look closely at the unbent and unformed height-finder radars, you'll see an etched fold line on the tiny stem. It penetrates more than halfway. I guarantee that I could figure out how to fold that little tab so it could mount to the main radar. This part is going to break at that point, I can predict it. I have eight of them and only need four so maybe we'll be okay...maybe.


I realize that having the etched lines makes the bend locations predictable, but the thinness of the bend points makes them almost unmanageable to me. I can figure where the bends go on simple pieces and don't mind using a caliper or carefully spacing the rails to determine the bends, and it won't break.

Real work tomorrow. Model work on Tuesday.

05 Dec 11,, 13:41
Gee those cats are pretty in bare brass - too bad they weren't like that in real life, they would sure look cool that way. Oh, no one but you will ever notice the "correct/rightness" of those cats, they look perfect to me, and far more detailed than I've ever seen in 1:350 scale.

I am amazed by those AA gun directors, I've struggled with drawing them, and your modeling is giving me a much better perspective on what they looked like - seeing them going together makes all the difference...

Builder 2010
05 Dec 11,, 14:39
Perhaps this drawing will help you draw them accurately.


It's from the Floating Drydock plan book. I put the wrong ladders on. I thought the ladders Eduard was specifying looked ridiculously short so I substituted longer ones. But... the drawing shows a short ladder...oh well...

06 Dec 11,, 03:18
Thank You, that is a wonderful aid - I have saved it to my "notes". :) (I love the detail, I hadn't noticed that "emitter?" in the middle of the "W" anntena.)

Gun Grape
06 Dec 11,, 04:23

There were 2 different versions of the Mk 37. One with the bump so the director capt could use a manual sight and one without. Check the ship to see which one you want to draw.

Builder 2010
06 Dec 11,, 04:35
I'm annoyed... I think I'm going to remove those "long" ladders and replace them with the ones that were supposed to be there. The curved emitter could be added, but those dipoles and the emiter on the height finder are out of the question. The Missouri model comes with the directors with the bumps. When you look closely at them they're open at the top and connect back into the sloped front. The model's are just a vertical bump and don't run back to the slope... Never will be seen. In fact, anyone who's seen the model as in its unfinished state responds, "WOW". Only the experts on this and other forums would ever understand the level of nuance we're trying to recreate.

06 Dec 11,, 05:52
I fully agree - those emitters don't belong on a 1:350 scale model - they would virtually invisible and risky to attempt - probably leading to damaging a noticable detail. But they might have a place in a close up view in one of my drawings. I think changing the ladders would be similar - maybe not quite as much. I'd be more inclined to fix the director capt's bump to make it more like the picture myself, maybe a little bit of putty? or a little u shaped photo etch scrap?

Thanks for the insight Gunny, I hadn't noticed the ones with out the capt's optical slew sight postion on the BB's before - I'll have to hit the books again.

06 Dec 11,, 06:27
This is an absolutely fantastic build! Can't wait to see it finished!

And I agree with what's already been said about the catapults: once the whole ship is finished there's going to be so much detail to take in that nobody's going to notice that they're the wrong style.

Good luck with the Mk. 37s. You wanna make yourself really crazy? Trying assembling those PE Mk. 12/22s and their supports in 1/700... :bang:

Builder 2010
06 Dec 11,, 16:55
Thanks for all the continued support. I have no desire to do anything in 1/700... 350th is driving me crazy enough. I'd really like to try this thing in 1/192 or 1/96, but the ship gets too big to get out my basement (let alone where to put it when it's done) and the cost becomes quickly overwhleming. I agree. I'm not going to overdo it with those MK 37s and won't even think of adding any additional antenna.

Builder 2010
07 Dec 11,, 00:37
Spent a whole afternoon finishing up the Mk 37s. At first it looked like it might actually be FUN, but then the gremlins returned in force. Things like the spring tweezer slipping off the perch I had it connected to and reconnecting to a slightly different spot. The shock of this happening broke the antenna assembly off and flung it on the floor. Nothing on the array broke, but it had to be refastened to the pedestal. But I'm getting ahead of myself. To sum up, all four are finished and three are mounted and it looks good. I even put that emitter onto the big antenna. Here's the finished picture first.


The rangefinder bloomers are painted and looking at this picture it's easy to see just how freakn' fragile these things are.

I prempted the bend/breakage point I noted in my last formal post. I made a piece of half-round styrene and CA'd it right into the 90º bend to reinforce it. This idea worked perfectly. Even when the joint separated a couple of times on some of the units, the structural integrity of the bend stayed put and didn't break. One of the joints did fail... the first one that I had done... and again using a 1/2 round piece of styrene on each side I was able to reconstruct the joint and make it work.


Using some extra radar screen material from the Tom's Modelworks frets I was able to cobble together the emitter screens that sit in the front of the big antenna. It was a challenge to get them to glue there and stay put, but I perservere.

Here's the completed first unit just after all the touchup painting was complete.


I also formed and attached the height-finder unit on the left side. This also had one of those tiny tabs with the 90º bend and pre-etch. In this case, it was too small to add any material. I instead used an application of CA into the crotch of the bend to reinforce this delicate spot. This also worked and I didn't lose any of these due to breakage at that joint. I did lost two for other reasons and used others from the 2nd Eduard set.

Here's all four sets ready to mount. They're all done... at least at the time of this picture, they were all done. Then the tweezer slipped and that radar separated. When it hit the floor I was sure that all the added stuff and the main antenna were going to fragment, but the whole thing landed intact. Lucky!


Then I was all excited to mount them on the ship before anything else happened to them. They each need an adapter ring glued on, and then the two side units get an additional pedestal for their mounting. After scraping off the paint and very carefully preparing the bottoms of the directors to ensure that the ladders cleared the base, I attempted to press the parts together and then all hell broke lose. The last ^(#)^*)^%((% Eduard radar base failed. Luckily, I had one more from the Tom's set. I cleaned up the roof to remove the old CA (the Eduard frame was slightly larger than Tom's), and formed and attached the last frame. Again, the radar didn't disassemble when the frame failed, but I did have to careful sand the bottom of the mounting tag to remove layers of CA. All's well that ends well. I had to re-paint it again, but it's now ready to mount on the boat.

Here's a nice shot showing the MK 37s permanently in place using medium CA. The last unit will go onto the unseen side. That's for Thursday's session.


Progress is definitely being made. I think next I'm going to work on the 20mms, and then the masting and uppper radars.

07 Dec 11,, 00:40
You are progressing damn nice.

For the 100th time, I admire your nerves.

Builder 2010
07 Dec 11,, 01:05
Nerves! By the time this afternoon's session was finished my hands were shaking like a leaf. I hadn't had lunch and when the blood sugar drops the unsteady hands become ridiculous, BUT I HAVE WAYS. I work with the shake and can do pretty fine work. But thanks... I appreciate it.

07 Dec 11,, 01:11
Hmm... I hope having ways doesn't include infusion kit so you can work longer without proper food ;)

07 Dec 11,, 01:42
Wow - and Mk37 emitter screens too !!!

I love these incomplete views, without all the superficial stuff in place - it really helps me gain a sense of perspective on this ship. I have lots of drawings of battleships without the secondaries and AA guns in place - I think I like this stage of of the build as much as the completed version - it would make a great slide show. It helps me imagine watching the ships being built in real life,

This is a wonderful side bar to my battleship studies - showing all the hidden detail behind the commonly seen parts.

Builder 2010
07 Dec 11,, 02:48
Me too. I like seeing it come together piece by piece. I enjoy posting every day as much as I think people like reading it. I like to look back to Spring and see how I struggle with the railings on the gun turrets and wondering "how the hell am I going to build the complicated stuff", but you do it one piece at a time. I reconstructed a four-masted sailing barque. It was originally built many years before from a very poor craftsman. He used tooth picks for the backstay spreaders and tin cans for the mast tops. He has shellaced all the rigging and it had all rotted off. I was comissioned to re-rig it. It turned out to be a completed reconstruction with the only original pieces being the masts and the hull. The rest was all scratchbuilt. I got a nice commission for it and it is in the board room of a Philadelphia-area yacht club. I didn't have the camera or the internet and didn't capture all the steps I went through. When you look at the finished model it is amazing to imagine how did you rig that. You just do it one string at a time until you're finished.



And I don't inject anything to manage shaky hands, I just find ways to support the wrists and fingers to manage the vibrations.

Gun Grape
07 Dec 11,, 03:58
Those Mk-37s look much harder to assemble than the Toms ones I used on my Fletcher (Van Valkenburg) build.

The half round actually makes it look "more Correct"

Note, she had the Mk-37 Mod 11 director (No Mount Capts Hatch) vice the Mod 17 of the Iowa class.

From my last visit to the Alabama.

07 Dec 11,, 09:59
Two things about that Gun Grape.

#1 lucky bugger being able to visit porn like that

#2, it looks as though those gun turrets could swipe that tank for 6 (home run in yank terms) to the left and not even notice!

07 Dec 11,, 18:36
It looks like they had to train the gun on that tank away from the ship - you wouldn't want a battleship to feel like you were were pointing your pea shooter at her - those 16" rifles would make it hard to find any peices...

Gun Grape
08 Dec 11,, 04:02
Two things about that Gun Grape.

#1 lucky bugger being able to visit porn like that

#2, it looks as though those gun turrets could swipe that tank for 6 (home run in yank terms) to the left and not even notice!

#1, I live about 160 miles from the USS Alabama. And about 100 miles from the Naval Aviation Museum. I use to live about 25 miles from the USS North Carolina

Builder 2010
09 Dec 11,, 01:02
Enough of this chit-chat, we've got a battleship to build.

Today I started the 20mm's. It took 2 hours to build 1. That's 1 out of 34 (remember 6 are not being used in those flanking tubs). That's right, 1 gun, 2 hours! This is one time that I CANNOT BLAME THE PE. It was all my doing.

Long ago I decided not to use the tripod PE mounts that were included in the Eduard set. They would be completely unmanageable. And believe me, I am an expert in evaluating PE unmanageability. So I've first tried to just use the kit's guns but replace the thick plastic splinter shields with the nicely etched Eduard PE ones. They don't fit around the plastic gun. They have a tiny little tab that keys into a notch on the PE gun.

So I decided to use the conical bases from the kit with the PE guns and splinter shields. This requires cutting the guns from their bases, truing up the base's end, drilling the end with a 0.020" hole to accept the little mounting lug on the PE gun, CAing the gun and the then fastening the very fragile splinter shield.

The first one went well, until I attempted to reshape the mounting pin on the base after it got deformed when I was squeezing in a needle-nosed plier while drilling it. While holding the part the tweezer went "POING" and the complete gun assembly went flying into the workbench somewhere. Well, we all know where! Into the freak'n alternate universe. That's where!

Number two was completed. I wised up and left a big chunk of sprue on the plastic part so I could grip the hell out of it without deforming the mounting pin. This was a good idea. It was all done and touch up painted, and I was wrestling getting the lid off the alcohol bottle while holding the pliers with the completed gun. Somehow, I must have bumped the gun and when I went to separate it from the extra sprue, it was all deformed and the gun was a wreck. Scratch two!

Number three was a charm. Nothing deformed, nothing broke. I actually got to mount it on the model. 1 down... 33 to go. I imagine I'll do one in 15 minutes when I get in a groove so that's just a couple of days work. We'll see...



The gun is actually folded to give it more depth. It is also cool that you can split the shoulder rests so they actually look like the real ones. The splinter shield actually has reinforcement bars etched into the back. Details, details...too bad you can't see it without a microsope.

Builder 2010
11 Dec 11,, 17:27
Just a quick update:
I'm now able to complete a 20mm gun set in about 10 minutes. I'm doing this by using:
1. a curved-tip hemostat thus freeing my hands from having to constantly apply pressure. It has prevented guns from pinging off tweezers.
2. Xuron needle-nosed pliers to grip the folded PE gun which permits forming the shoulder rests AND wiggling the part to get it into the hole drilled in the plastic base
3. medium viscosity CA to hold the parts together. After inserting the gun into the base, I add some CA accelerator to cure it instantly, and to prepare the joint for the splinter shield to come.

I've completed 10 so far. Only 24 more to go. May get some more done today.

11 Dec 11,, 17:42
I'm now able to complete a 20mm gun set in about 10 minutes.
If the war industry could match your production the war would've been over sooner ;)

Builder 2010
12 Dec 11,, 03:07
I don't know... we did pretty good in WWII. Lately, I'm not as certain, especially with our hardware having electronics made in China. How the hell did that happen?