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Thread: Building a Tamiya Missouri with Super-detailing

  1. #361
    Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Mast Cont.

    Had just a few minutes to work today so I attacked the PE outriggers. Since one had broken loose, was structurally unsound and would eventually break off completely, I decided to remove them from both sides and replace them with some formed iron wire. The wire is a little fat, 0.014", but it was easy to form and maneuver into position. I'm gluing it in place with J-B Weld. I clamped and held one side and applied the epoxy to the opposite side. I figured it would cure hard and then I'd do the other side.

    I came back from work (only 4 hours) and tried it to see if it was strong. It wasn't and fell apart! So I took a different tack... holding the workpiece upside down and gluing the whole thing at once. Now I'm not going to touch it until tomorrow.

    Once they're cured, I will reattach the diagonal brace that fell off on the one side. The mast is truly a model unto itself.

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    One of these days, the mast will be cleaned up, painted and actually on the ship. There are two outriggers that I have to build that go on the flank of the forward AA tower that are the attachment points for the lower main mast. I'll build those next. Plus I have to shape the yardarm. Then it's onto the aft mast. This one is much simpler and should present no problems... famous last words.

  2. #362
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Some of the people have never built a ship model and probably don't know why you use PE and scratch build mast. If you have the original parts handy, some "Kit part beside the replacement PE part" photos would really highlight why you are undertaking this labor of love.

    Thats what convinced my wife that the money I spent on PE really did make a difference.
    Doktor likes this.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  3. #363
    Senior Contributor Doktor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Thats what convinced my wife that the money I spent on PE really did make a difference.
    I thought few pairs of new shoes would convince any woman
    No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

    To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

  4. #364
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    My wife responds well to jewelry...

    I have shown some comparisons between the PE and non-PE efforts earlier in this treatise, but I can do it again if it would help. The reason for the brass masts is that the plastic ones don't hold up very well. UV affects them and they can warp. With the rigging this ship has, warping and bending would be bad.

  5. #365
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    Masts and Yardarms

    The outriggers are now solidly in place and I had to reattach the braces under them and two other small ones...handling this so much does have its drawbacks. I also had to reattach the radar mount. I had wiggled it the day before to see how sturdy it was and disturbed the J-B Weld while curing. Big mistake! It weaken the joint so it failed today. This time I didn't touch it. I left some on the glass plate upon which I mix the epoxy and noted that when semi-cured, it kind of falls apart. When you apply this stuff LEAVE IT ALONE for at least 6 hours.

    While this was curing I made the main yard arm, the aft mast and the its associated yard. I also soldered the PE railing/antenna part to the main yard. When I looked at the scale drawing I realized that the square stock that I'm using did not have to be made thicker. It works as it is.

    The aft mast is 0.042" in diameter. It's quite hard. In order to drill it more easily, I annealed it. This helped a lot. It has a flag staff that juts out at an angle which has a reinforcement bar. It also has another yard attached directly to it that sweeps aftward. It has some taper from front to back, but not top to bottom. The fore yard is tapered on three sides, but the top is flat for people to move about on it. I made a saw cut in the aft yard to facilitate bending it. The saw cut needed to be opened a bit wider and I used the Dremel with a thin diamond wheel to make this cut. The bend basically closed up the slot completely.

    Since I already soldered the flag staff onto this mast, I really couldn't solder to it, so I used a 45 minute clear epoxy for this purpose. I let it cure solid and it holds nicely. The pictures show it unfinished. I will sand off the excess epoxy before painting. There's two pieces of PE that go on this aft yard. They will probably have to be CA'd since heating the part would destroy the epoxy joint. I sure wish I had a resistance soldering unit...

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    In this picture you see all the mast parts completed so far and their plastic counterparts. Please note, the aft mast was fractured in the sprue. I did not break it. Like I said, the plastic masts are fragile and would not hold up as a museum piece. Soon, really soon, these masts will be painted and mounted. That will be a good day.

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    Small radars go on top of both masts and there's a PE platform with a railing that goes on the aft mast up top. There's another brass ring that I'll machine to support that platform. It should be pretty thin, and shouldn't be a problem.

    I'm thinking about how I'm going to attach the flag halyards to the foremast yard. In real life there was a rope and pulley system that ran under each side (like a clothes line between NYC apartments), but the model has no PE parts for this. On the aft mast there's a PE part that stretches between the wings of the yard arm that simulates the place where the aft flag halyards attach. Any thoughts?

    And before I forget, there's vertical PE ladders that run up all three of these masts. Again, I'm not anticipating any problems with them (famous last words).

  6. #366
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    A couple of steps forward and a few back...

    My original plan for the aft mast as described in the last post was to solder the flagstaff to the mast and use epoxy to hold the aft yard arm in place. That worked great until it didn't. In the process of trying to attach that very little railing to the top platform I torqued the yard while trying to twirl the mast in the Panavise. The result: the epoxy promptly released itself from the mast brass. A large quantity of it remained on the yard. I reattached with CA, but in the intervening couple of days (no work, got a cold), I imagined the CA sometime in the next months like the epoxy letting go with all the rigging it holds while sitting all alone in the Captain's Cabin of the Missouri in Hawaii with me in Louisville, KY.

    So... to preclude this from ever happening I decided to remake the aft mast. First of all, I didn't anneal it. That was dumb idea. While it may have made the drilling a bit easier, it made the mast so soft that it constantly kept bending and was quickly becoming very wavy. I also used the PE rigging piece that goes into the crotch of the aft yard to determine the exact bend angle. It turns out that the first one I made was at too shallow of an angle and would have presented problems when the PE was being attached.

    In this second run, I filed a squared-off notch as a seat for the yard and also make a flat on the apex of the yard angle so there was more contact area for the soldering that followed. I used standard tin-lead (60/40) instead of the Tix low-melt-point solder. In this way, I can solder the flag staff with Tix, which melts a lot lower than standard solder, so the other joints won't de-solder in the process.

    Here's the soldering operation. That ugly thing it's resting on is a ceramic soldering tile that is totally fireproof while soft enough so you can push pins into it to hold pieces for soldering. It's very useful and I got this years ago from MicroMark.

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    But actually, before I did that, I figured it was time to afix the SK2 to its location on the foremast. I used J-B Weld for this operation and am giving it a lot of time to cure thoroughly. I will remove the excess cement before painting. Other than the hole in the screen, I'm happy with the way it looks... very complicated!

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    In these two pictures you'll notice that there is no flag staff on the aft mast. But in this picture showing the new aft mast compared to the old one there is one.

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    So where'd it go? Beats the heck out of me. I was trying to glue the little railing on the mast top and looked down and it was no longer attached to the mast. I had CA'd it into two #74 holes drilled in the mast. It seemed to be well fastened. Guess it wasn't.

    Then I spent 20 minutes looking for it. It should be easy to find. It was bent in two places and had a nice brace soldered to it. Nope! Gone! Cleaned the workbench, swept the floor twice and searched the dust pan. It is gone. Next session I'll make another one using the Tix as mentioned above.

    Now, forming and adhering that little railing turned out to be ridiculous. He we are, 9 months into this project and I'm still having trouble with uncooperative PE. The Eduard part was formed in such a way to help it form around a circle with the top of the rail flared outward. But... one end of the rail has a stanchion, and the other has three rails pointing out into space. This scheme just doesn't work. You can't (or at least I can't) effectively glue those free ends and make it work.

    Here's the rail...

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    But this isn't the one that got used. When I tried to form it on the mast, it quickly got out of control. So I turned a mandrel on the lathe to the same diameter as the mast top (0.120"), and then formed the rail around the mandrel. It still got messed up so I went to put it back on the mandrel and "Boing" it dropped and disappeared like the flag staff. Same M.O... swept, dust pan, nada. Gone!

    The Quantum Rift was overactive today. There's at least a half dozen parts that have disappeared into that dimensional zone. I'm going to write an article in Scientific American about it.

    So I found a spare rail in one of the frets and attempted to use this. First attempt was a fiasco too, but I finally found one that when wrapped around had a stanchion at both ends that could be terminated correctly. It is not flared, but it's a railing.

    I'm going to make another flag staff, use tin/lead solder on the brace and then attempt to solder it with Tix. It should work.

    Next up: Glue the back-stays to from the top mast on the foremast to the outriggers. Then there are two sets of angle braces that need to fabricated out of brass that are mounted down low on both sets of the mast. These both belay onto the ship's structure. Then there are so smaller outriggers that extend just below the upper AA platform to below the whistle platform. These provide the forward anchorage of the fore-stays of the main mast.

    I'm getting ready to paint these assemblies.

  7. #367
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    Aft Mast Finished

    Worked in the shop today along with #1 grandson. He was building the ordnance load for his F-18E and I completed the aft mast. This included the PE antenna array, the SG antenna on the tippy top, and the long wave antenna spandrel. It also included the vertical ladders from the base to the top. Then I constructed the angular brace that ties the mast into the rear funnel structure. This piece of plastic now has a critical job holding the aft mast in place, and therefore, had to be made from brass.

    All went pretty well. I also started the final stages of the foremast, but didn't get the pics. I'll get them tomorrow and when I do, I'll give the details.

    So here it is in all its glory.

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    I remade the battle flag staff and used the higher temp solder for the brace joint. I carefully measured the hole-to-hole distance with a divider and transferred the distance to a piece of wood. I inserted the angular wire and the straight brace into the holes which held the distance. Once soldered, I cut the legs off to the right depth and soldered the lower leg into the mast using the low-melt solder. The upper brace was CA'd into the hole.

    Once the flag staff was in I attached all the extra PE parts.

    I also had to replace the plastic brace that ties the mast to the aft funnel. To make these neat bends in all the brass pieces I notch the bend point in some amount of degrees so there is relief. This enables a tight bend without a big, un-prototypical bend in these small pieces. I then soldered the joint with hi-temp solder so it wouldn't re-open. I cut the feet out of brass sheet using a jeweler's saw and drilled the holes after the two lateral cuts were done, but before the parts were separated from the main brass body.

    I soldered the feet with low temp solder and left the brass legs long, poked them into my soldering tile, soldered them and then trimmed the legs flush. Here's what it looks like.

    Name:  Aft Mast support structure.jpg
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    Next stop paint and then installation.

    On the mainmast I also mounted the SG on top, all the vertical ladders (lower and upper) and the fore and back stays out of 0.008" guitar string (high E, very light gauge). I'm using J-B Weld to hold the stays in place. May work okay, may not. We'll see.

  8. #368
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    You my friend have the patience of job. I think the mast with the dish radar looks great....dont think I will attempt to do my masts in brass as you have done. Just about done wrapping up my trip to Pearl Harbor and headed back to cold weather. Want you to know that I was able to photograph where I think your Missouri will be on display in the captains cabin of the USS Missouri. As I cannot upload any photos from here I will post them to this forum when I return home next week. If you ever get the chance make the trip to Pearl Harbor. It has been an amazing visit here. Actually am missing the opportunity to work on my project back home, but not really wanting to leave this perfect weather.......

  9. #369
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    I think they look great! Are you degreasing and more importantly scuffing the metal where the epoxy contacts? You'll get a better bond of you attack the metal with a needle file before applying the glue. Since you'll be painting, it won't show up when finished.

  10. #370
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    Not in this instance. I should have. I've been giving the brass a vinegar dip before painting which etches the surface. Paint adhesion has not been a problem.

    It will be excellent to see where the model could reside in the ship. My grandson is lobbying hard to have it remain here so he can look at it whenever he wants. Seeing the actual location might help sway the argument and make all the hassle of getting it there.

  11. #371
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    There are 4 or 5 models of the Missouri currently on display inside the ship. I dont remember exactly how many until I review the 300 or so photos I took. My memory says there were 4 1/350 scale and one what I believe to be a 1/96 scale?
    There is one in a wood and glass cabinet in the captains cabin where I believe yours will be displayed. I was unable to secure access to the cabin although I was able to photograph the cabin and cabinet thru the plexiglass door. My son in law was unable to be present at the time of the tour so could not get me access to the cabin and I was a little disappointed but overall had a great tour. Was also lucky to be present at the arrival of the USS John Stennis CVN-74..absolutley fantastic. What a massive ship. I knew carriers were big but when you get that close they are huge......

  12. #372
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    There is also a extremely large model outside the ship in a protected case that contains a model made out of brass I believe and my guess is that it is at least 1/72 scale maybe larger...cannot locate any photos of that in all the hundreds of photos I took. I can't believe I didn't take one...I'll keep looking

  13. #373
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    I am greatly appreciative of the effort and thought behind your post. This forum always amazes me through the kinds of people who read and write here. I am very anxious to see your pictures.

    I'm interested to know what is the kind of ship that IS in the cabin.

    I do know this, if there is a chance that my model will not be displayed, I would prefer to keep it. I don't want to go to the expense and trouble of getting it there only to have it languish in storage somewhere. Way too much effort for that.

    Had a few minutes of work tonight... grandkids wanted to work on their models... and got the triangular brace completed that supports the lower backstay on the main mast. I also noted that just handling the radar mast made the emitter and the top SG radar screen disappear. Luckily I have spares of both. I'm holding off regluing them until just before I'm mounting them on the ship.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 19 Feb 12, at 02:19.

  14. #374
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    After reviewing some pictures on my camera it appears to be a model of the Missouri in the cabinet of the captains cabin, but it could even be another battleship. Its hard to tell from the picture due to the fact it was taken thru a plexiglass shield and the glass on the cabinet. It is a battleship and If I had to judge the scale it seems smaller than 1/350 scale. However, I could be wrong but to me it doesn't appear to be 1/350 scale. There is another captains cabin on board. It is called the "Captains At Sea Cabin". Which one is the one your model will be displayed in I do not know. It may go in the Ward Room but I doubt that it would as there is 4 models there already. Not all the ship is "open to the public" Very little actually is accessible. Will post pictures as soon as I get home next Thursday

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    Getting There...

    Installed the three sets of outriggers that surround the foremast. The aft one has a severe acute angle. To do this I cut the relief into the 0.020" brass rod so the bend could be made, but then I annealed it. I found this after some trials which led to breakage when that tight bend was made. Annealing solved the problem.

    I then installed the side outriggers. I used the divider to determine the spacing of the legs, and then guesstimated the altitude of the triangle. Using pictures I was able to figure how far out they extend. I transferred these measurements to a piece of cardboard and used this as a template to get both sides the same.

    Interestingly, the port side lower leg does have a hitch in it to clear the small whistle deck that wraps around the AA tower. On the starboard side, the deck ends at the main whistle so the leg passed in front of it.

    Then I posed the mast for this beauty shot. The lower leg of the backstay outrigger is holding it in position. I'm going to prep and paint it before installation and then touch up the few remaining spots. The side outriggers will be painted where they stand since the legs are all CA'd into the superstructure.

    In this picture, I've just added the J-B Weld to the triangular joints on the side outriggers. I will carefully file the top of that joint when the J-B cures tomorrow. Also note on the picture the stays for the top mast which are now cured. There's a smidgen of J-B Weld on each end that holds nicely. I will add a bit of white glue at each end of the wire to simulate the turnbuckles. They'll be painted black.

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    The yard arm is ready to also and that too will be painted off the ship and then J-B Welded to the location at the rear of the AA deck. All the masts should be on the ship this week, followed quickly by rigging and main rails.

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