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Thread: Building a Tamiya Missouri with Super-detailing

  1. #151
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Another Horror!

    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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    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.

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    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).
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 22 Sep 11, at 01:17. Reason: Not MK 51s...

  2. #152
    FJV
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    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

    Try first on an unused piece of etching though.

  3. #153
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    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.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  4. #154
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #155
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    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.

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  6. #156
    FJV
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    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. (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


  7. #157
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 24 Sep 11, at 16:07.

  8. #158
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    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

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

    S q u a d r o n . c o m - Cookie

    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.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; 24 Sep 11, at 17:33.

  9. #159
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    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)
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  10. #160
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    Mid-section Progress

    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.

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    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.

  11. #161
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    Companion Way ladders

    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.

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  12. #162
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    Railings and other stuff

    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  13. #163
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    The Inter-dimensional Rift is Discovered

    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.

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    Last edited by Builder 2010; 28 Sep 11, at 01:05.

  14. #164
    In Memoriam/Battleship Enthusiast Defense Professional USSWisconsin's Avatar
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    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.
    "If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.
    If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

  15. #165
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    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 5 and pointing straight ahead anyway (rationalization).

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