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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #151
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    That was an aggressive project. Lots of filing to clean up that white metal. When you see what folks are doing in resin you realize how far we've come. The draft on the Essex class was 10 feet less than on the Iowas and would have capsized if it wasn't for the massive weight of the power plant sitting very low in the hull and the almost empty space taken up by the hangar deck. It doesn't look like the Essex since it has too many 40mm gun tubs. It probably could be an intrepid. Essex never got those tubs flanking the island or the other two on the flight deck edge. Could make a nice model. It probably would need a ton of ballast to get it to sit right. You got so far along...finish it.

  2. #152
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Essex: Aircraft and Bow Detailing cont.

    My last work session finished up the coloring and decals for the air wing and I got the good bow rails in.

    The Trumpeter small aircraft decals were thick and relatively unbending, so I needed to use a lot of Solvaset and Micro Sol go get them to settle down. I also had much more trouble putting ID data on them since the decal film extended fairly far from the lettering so one letter kept pushing the other out of the way. The TBFs had white or black lettering so I used the white, but the Hellcats' lettering was only black. Black on dark see blue is invisible. The decal registration wasn't so good with some white showing around the edges. I might go back and just do a tiny bit of touchup with some sea blue... or not. The stars are all the same size, whereas I believe on some of the planes like the Avenger, the wing stars were smaller than the fuze sides and I imagine Hellcat stars would be smaller than Avenger wing stars. I may be wrong, but I just built the TBM and the stars were different sizes.

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    Painted the cockpit area Chromate Green in preparation for fitting the transparent parts. I thought I would get done enough with the planes today to get them in the hangar and install the flight deck before the trip, but an errand took some time so it will have to wait. I probably would have rushed it and screwed something up. The props all have some little nubs that need to be taken off, but the blades are very small and I don't want to break any. I'll practice on the SBD props that I did save.

    The GMM bow rails are nice and have cuttouts for the chocks. However, I think I mounted the port side reversed. Loren Perry said that there are too many chocks on the Trumpeter model so some would be next to unbroken rail anyway.

    I use the method to hold the rails in place for CA'ing by applying some Tamiya narrow masking tape at strategic locations that holds the rail close to the edge while I'm able to apply thin CA and hold the bottom rail down to the deck with the back edge of a #11 blade so I can manage it all with only two hands. This method works pretty well with long rails.

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    Notice that yesterday's galleries are gone. I bumped the Starboard side and it's CA let go so I removed them both and will reinstall when the flight deck is in place. I can see there is much, much more gluing surface on the top brass than on the rail that I used to hold them to the FD support beams.

    So that's it until Friday, April 13.

  3. #153
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    Somewhere you mentioned should you try to paint the cockpit frames. Why not use a extra fine black sharpie marker? Under a magnifyglass so you can mark what you should.

  4. #154
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post
    Is there a brand of flow Improver I should look for? And you don't mix it??? How does it work?

    I think it's their plastic. It melts under the solvent, but doesn't bond as well as it should.

    It's funny... Trumpeter doesn't really show you where the wing hinge is when gluing the wings in the folded position. If it wasn't for all the work I did on those wing hinges on the TBM-3, I probably would have glued them with the wing tips aligned. The hinge is in the middle...
    I use Vallejo. But Liquitex also makes it.

    It looks/smells like a thinner version of their retarder medium. Not sure how it works but I would guess that it coats the needle with retarder so that the paint doesn't dry on it. I add it to the paint cup first (Iwata Eclipse HP-CS) then add the paint. Shoot a little,, till color comes out, onto a paper towel prior to painting the model. Works great. The instructions on their youtube site say to mix it. But I have read where some people had problems with the paint cracking when they used it that way
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  5. #155
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    Essex: Late Air Wing Tail

    I'll try it the way you do.

    As for the canopy, maybe a sharpie can get that tiny, but someone on another forum suggested painting some decal film and slicing and dicing it. I still may go the Magic Tape route too. I'll experiment and see if anything makes sense. There must be some nut job modeler with AMS that's figured out a way to paint a line that scales out to about .002" or slightly larger (about 1 human hair or so). Ugh!

    I was wondering why Trumpeter included a white stripe decal on the sheet and noticed that one the older paint job Essex planes, the top of the tails had this white stripe. Later version show a triangular white tail decor that's much more obvious.

    This is on a Helldiver and I've seen it on Corsair tails too. So I'm assuming that this was Essex's air call sign.

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    I have white decal film which I could cut to make this pattern. It would look good.

    Also noted is that the Helldiver and Corsair's wings folded straight upward and the Grumman planes folded rearward. I was just reading about the Helldiver and they were apparently a handful until a lot of changes were made. Part of the problem was having to make it so short to fit on elevators of the ships of the time. Certainly a Tomcat was much longer than this WW2 bird.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 05 Apr 18, at 02:30.

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post

    I was wondering why Trumpeter included a white stripe decal on the sheet and noticed that one the older paint job Essex planes, the top of the tails had this white stripe. Later version show a triangular white tail decor that's much more obvious.

    This is on a Helldiver and I've seen it on Corsair tails too. So I'm assuming that this was Essex's air call sign..
    Hourglass it is for your time frame

    http://www.clubhyper.com/reference/u...andavg83_1.htm
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  7. #157
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Builder 2010 View Post

    Also noted is that the Helldiver and Corsair's wings folded straight upward and the Grumman planes folded rearward. I was just reading about the Helldiver and they were apparently a handful until a lot of changes were made. Part of the problem was having to make it so short to fit on elevators of the ships of the time. Certainly a Tomcat was much longer than this WW2 bird.
    You're correct in that the stars and bars on the Avenger are two different sizes.

    You know we can get our F14 up and down our L1, on the Hornet, by removing the nose cone to clear the edges. On L2 we can point the F14 outward and not have to remove the cone.


  8. #158
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    Essex: Friday the 13th... back to "work"

    Well gang, it's Friday the 13th, we're back from our New Mexico trip, which BTW was wonderful in many, many ways.

    While we were gone, my order of Trumpeter 1:350 Helldivers arrived and I started building them today. That was great information on the color schemes. I'm still going to leave all the air wing overall Gloss Sea Blue since I'm modeling it late in the war. That being said, I would imagine they didn't repaint existing aircraft, only those that arrived new.

    Again, I used the assembly line method to speed up the process while, simultaneously giving the glue some time to set properly.

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    Curtiss Helldivers were the replacements for the SBD Dauntless with significantly more power (the same R-2600 Twin Wasp as in the Avenger) and greater capacity, but they were a difficult design for Curtiss to master and didn't get into the War until 1944. They had teething pains and were hard to handle due to the their stubby aspect ratio. They finally were debugged and were effective, but it broke Curtiss' back. The appearance was due to the length limitations of carrier elevators in that era.

    I got all the major parts on and they're ready for some sea blue. Their insignia is white star, blue circle as before, but now there are bars added which Trumpeter chose to make as separate tiny decals that need to be positioned. UGH! But at least they made the decal film coincide with the edges of the graphic so they'll nest together adequately.

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    I folded the wings on two of them, one for the hangar and one on the FD. On Monday, I'll give them the paint job. I'm waiting for the order of Corsairs and Hellcats to arrive, but I think they're all going on the FD and are not a bottleneck in the critical path.

    I've taken tail measurements on all the planes and close up photos so I can attempt to make hourglass decals. I'll keep you posted.

  9. #159
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    Essex: Tail Decals Production and Attachment

    Short session… I produced a set of decals for the tail diamonds that represent the Essex air wing. I measured the tails with the digital caliper, transferred this to a hand sketch and then drew them full-size in CorelDraw. I set up guidelines for the extremis of each dimension set for the three types of tails (Avenger, Hellcat and Helldiver) with the Helldiver being the largest and Hellcat the smallest. I'm waiting for the Corsair models to arrive and that will be a fourth tail decal to create. I am not looking at putting on the Hellcat decals being that they are about half the size of the Helldiver's.

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    I made more than I need, which I'm glad I did since they're tiny and fragile.

    I printed them out on plain paper to check them out and then printed them out on white inkjet decal film. I put them in the gray squares since I didn't want to print the outlines since they're thick even at hairline considering the size of the decal, and white on white is invisible.

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    After coating with two coats of Microscale decal film coating, I was ready to apply them to the planes. The trick was to cut them out with a #11 blade and then, using a fine-pointed tweezer, to get them onto the model in the correct orientation. Notice that there are right and left hand sets. I had to refer to the prototype picture to get their correct contour. I used a mixture of Microsol and Microset to set them down on the exaggerated seam lines on the models.

    While the coating was drying I painted the Helldivers Dark Sea Blue. Again I used the new fine line detail airbrush and hand held the models instead of attempting to secure them to masking tape. As it was, I still broke off at least 4 main gears and three tail wheels of which I lost some and had to substitute brass wire. I almost seems like the black plastic Trumpeter uses for the gear is not melted sufficiently solvent cement. When I reconnect the gear leg I use thin CA. I did fill those unsightly gaps where the two fuze halves join. And, as usual, in the process of final shaping, more landing gear fell off. Seriously… they just fall off.

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    And here's the first plane completed.

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    While holding the airplane to apply the port side set, I broke the wing/fuze joint. In the process of re-gluing this joint, my fingers touched the non-dry port side decals removing them. They were damaged beyond redemption so I replaced them. I also had to replace one half of the starboard side decals when it folded over on itself. That's why I'm glad that I made so many duplicates. I'm sure I will use them all. There are also diamond patterns on the right wings of the Essex planes, but I've already applied the stars on last week's production. I may leave them off. Each time I handle the planes, more stuff breaks.

  10. #160
    Contributor bbvet's Avatar
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    B2010,

    Not to be a wise guy, but your above description of the almost catastrophic modeling sequence you've experienced tends to remind me of "Who's on First" (Abbott & Costello)!!! Seriously though, I know what you're going thru. I've just spent 6 weeks building/breaking/re-building etc. the Discone/Discage UHF antenna (completely hand made, BTW) on my NEW JERSEY model. One thing I'm curious about is the styrene plastic that Trumpeter (and other model mfg'rs) use today. It just (as you've described) doesn't take glue as well and seems (in my experience) to be a softer plastic than the "old" styrene of the 1950's/60s/etc. Perhaps one of the Chem E's that may be reading this can enlighten us all on the physical makeup of today's styrene plastic as used in models.

    I've had the same experience in trying to place items only to have them fly out of the tweezers, into the carpet, and gone forever!!!! Thanks for the interesting description of your decal making - good luck from here on out!!

    Hank

  11. #161
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    Essex: Tail Decals Production Revision

    Once again, input from my readers solves a couple more challenges. I could have continued hand cutting all those little triangular decals to make the tail diamonds, but the suggestion I got from a reader to color the background to match the plane color so I could have a decal that covered the entire tail might work well.

    Sure did! First I had to match the color. I went on CorelDraw and chose a dark blue, then several other blues near to it. I printed out four colored rectangles (the larger ones in this image), but they were too blue. I was working up in the office and had the window shades open so I was getting good north light to match colors against one of the little planes. I noticed that the Vallejo Dark Sea Blue had some green in it, so I made four smaller rectangles and printed four more shades, this time moved slightly into the blue/green part of the color scale and found one that was a pretty good match. It is the block on the lower right.

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    I put this swatch next to the page with the decal drawing and then used the eye-dropper tool to match the color of the swatch. I printed them using photo settings at high res to get good color saturation. The end result was a good match as you can see with the airplance almost disappearing on the decal sheet. After the ink was dry I brushed two coats of Microscale Decal Film Coating. Inkjet ink is water soluble and will be destroyed when you soak the decals if they're not coated.

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    It was much easier to cut out this decal since the tiny point intersection now stays intact as the entire design is in one piece. I applied one to a finished Helldiver with nice results.

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    The other things you'll notice about this plane. First is the propellor is on and the prop hub is nicely reflective using the Molotow Chrome Pen. The other is the canopy is on AND the frame lines are drawn using a brand new fine line Sharpie. This was another idea from a reader. I wasn't sure it would get thin enough, but it did. It's black and not sea blue, but it's so darn small, it just give the effect of a frame. I glued on the canopy using Forumla 560 canopy cement which is formulated from gluing on RC plan canopy. It's a PVA cement and dries clear and doesn't craze the styrene. Still need to add the yellow prop tips and there are some more frame lines needed on the canopy.

    I'm still waiting for the additional Corsairs and Hellcats, so after the decaling, props and canopies for the remaining craft that I will put those in the hangar and get back to boat building.

  12. #162
    Contributor bbvet's Avatar
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    B2010,

    That solution works great - when I had the Ribbon Board printed for me by a fellow modeler/docent (USS WISCONSIN) who has a computer program that does this sort of thing, he sent me several scaled proofs with different gray background so I could decide which one worked best with the exterior bridge color I was using. I cut the board out with just a very slim trace of the background and you can't tell it at all.

    Your planes are looking quite well done!

  13. #163
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    Essex: Air Wing complete (so far)

    The entire decal making process would have been impossible were it not for computing equipment and the knowledge to use it. Corel is a vector drawing program so working on tiny drawings is not different than working on full-size. I was able to place very accurate guidelines representing the true measurement of the tails of each type of plane, and then using photos of each model's tail match the actual tails shape to the guide lines. I was then able to draw accurate representations of the diamonds with confidence that they'll fit on the models… and they did. Then using CorelDraw's color matching capability again made a very challenging concept much easier to execute in real time.

    Today, I finished all the planes that I currently have (still waiting on additional Hellcats and Corsairs) by adding and lining the canopies, adding the props and painting yellow tips, and preparing some for mounting on the hangar deck. All the decals went on easily and with Microset settled in nicely. Adding these graphics went much more smoothly than I ever expected. These planes were a challenging model project in their own right and took a lot of fiddling to finally figure out how to make them without too much stress. I am amazed that some guys build these models with the entire 80+ plane compliment. I'm not sure I'd like that. I thought about adding the radio antenna like I did on the two Missouri Seahawks, but I can't make the mast small enough to make it work and decided to not mess around. Besides, every time you touch one of these planes you risk something falling off.

    I shot the following in four takes so I could get good detail of the planes and for WAB, I made a single composite to defeat the 5 pic rule. I hand brushed a layer of Tamiya Flat Clear to blend the decals into the surface. All the planes shown here are not going on the hangar deck as you'll see shortly.

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    I was ready to place planes permanently onto the hangar deck in preparation for attaching the flight deck, but was dubious about the ability of those spindly and fragile landing gear to hold them to the deck. Once the FD was in place, if any broke loose, I would not be able to reattach them. So I drilled each plane with a 0.032" drill on the correct angle that they sit and CA'd a piece of brass wire of the same size into the hole.

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    I drilled out the same sized hole in the hangar deck and implanted the planes were I wanted them. I had to be very careful when pushing the rod into the deck holding it with a tweezers carefully positioned around the landing gear. I didn't want to put too much pressure since if anything moved suddenly the planes could be destroyed. As it worked out, I only had to reglue one folded wing. Lucky!

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    There aren't many planes on the hangar deck, but they're in strategic locations so you'll see some planes through the door openings, especially with the lights on.

    I didn't use any glue on the pins into the deck since they were a tight fit. But nothing moves when you turn it all upside down. I'm now ready to attach the hangar deck and get on with all the flight deck edge details.

  14. #164
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    Essex: Flight Deck Merge

    Short, but important session. Got the flight deck and the hull merged.

    First I scraped all the white paint off any gluing areas. Next, I put a piece of Masonite on one of my work surfaces (an old drawing board...remember what they were...bolted to an Ikea bar stool), laid the flight deck down bottom facing up, then the hull, and then wood blocks and finally quick clamps.

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    I liberally applied solvent cement around the perimeter and used a syringe to get it into blind spaces behind the FD gun tubs that line its edges. After giving it some curing time I took all the clamps off and found that it was a terrible job. There are many ribs on the FD bottom that are supposed to lie behind the hangar exterior walls and they are not easy to align. And they weren't!!

    There were humps all over the flight deck where these ribs were pushing up the FD where they should have been lying flush with the FD. As it was, so little of the joint was actually made, it took very little effort to rip it apart and do it again.

    The second attempt was a bit different, but eventually used those same big clamps. This time, I spent a lot of time aligning all the joints holding the whole deal in my lap and using the small Quick Clamps to hold each section as I got it engaged properly. This took about 20 minutes. I had to trim some of the thin plywood holding all the LEDs since it impinged on the flight deck, and then secured each section with sovent cement and in some cases, medium CA.

    I am SO glad that I pinned those planes onto the hangar deck since I was seriously manhandling it during this time and I assure you, if I had just glued them, they would have all broken away making a bigger mess. Furthermore, The pins are firmly embedded into the planes' fuselages and aren't dependent on those ridiculous landing gear.

    Once I got it all glued correctly, I re-laid it back onto the table with the blocks and big clamps to hold it till it completely dries tomorrow. AND I did get the wires routed from the hangar deck to below decks before gluing this all together.

    I'll have to go back and do some Navy Blue touch up air brushing to fix all the marks I made on the hull due to all this handling. The Trumpeter instructions have you putting on the flight deck in three pieces. Frankly, I can't imagine that being any easier since getting the sections joined evenly was not so easy either.

    After dinner went down to the shop and pulled off all the clamps. This time, I have a good joint all the way around. The deck is solid and flat. I'm closing up the deck elevators so the misalignment below on the front one will not be evident.

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    This is a loooonnnng model. While the newer carriers are even longer, they don't appear quite so since they're much wider in the mid-section due to larger sponsons and the very prominent angle decks. Even the later mods to the Essex class (angle decks, modified islands and funnels, and hurricane flat fronts on the bow) reduce their long, lean look as they had in WW2

    Here's an example of some of the clean up work that needs to be done. This joint should be continuous with the island above and the hangar deck walls below. I'll have to finish it up a bit and do the repainting.

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    I need to attach the 39 ohm current limiting resistors to each green wire and then test the LEDs. If they don't work, there's not a darn thing I can do about it. They worked before, but I did have to put some strain on the green wires when pulling them all the way through the brass sleeve and this could have broken conductors within. I can then get ready to put on the lower hull. If I chose to paint the lower hull before gluing, I am sure that I would need a lot of touchup at the glue joint. I'm going to have to mask anyway since the boot topping needs to be painting. I'm quickly reaching the point where I need the base plank so I can drill the plank and hull together so the holes line up. I will mount it to the base before doing the rest of the detailing as I did with the Missouri so everything will be nice and stable and enable me to move the model without touching anything.

    Tomorrow, need to run some errands (Corsairs and Hellcats are at the Hobby Shop) so I may or may not get much done. If I do anything, y'all will know about it.
    Last edited by Builder 2010; 20 Apr 18, at 02:08.

  15. #165
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    Essex: Lights and Prop Shafts

    I wired up the lights below the hangar deck by first tying on individual 39 ohm resistors to each negative lead and then combining all four together and adding a single negative lead that goes to the connector. I stripped and tinned the positive lead and then tested everything. One light did not work as I suspected due to my excessive tugging on the negative leads getting them all down that brass tube, but 3 out of four makes a lot of light and I'm not too unhappy.

    I then started preparing the bottom hull. Essex carriers have two struts connecting the shaft and bearings to the hull at each position, but Trumpeter only has a single vertical strut. This picture shows the Intrepid CV11 in dry dock undergoing repairs from an airial torpedo hit.

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    Using some 0.040" X 0.080" styrene stock I shaped it to an aerfoil shape approximating the molded vertical struts on kit parts. I needed to ensure a good joint so I pinned the upper junction with 0.021" brass wire.

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    I shaped the upper end of the new strut to conform better to the prop bearing housing, and then shaped the lower end so it would mate with the hull underside. I glue the new strut in place with solvent cement at first, but then resorted entirely to medium CA.

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    The two inner shafts had long struts, but the outers had only one that needed doubling up. The forward strut was so short that making an angular one didn't seem to be very doable. I will clean up all the glue marks before painting which should occur next week.

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    With the shafts now "properly" supported I can rest easier when I assemble the bottom of the hull. Which reminds me... and I could have really screwed this up, but writing all this stuff down helps you think... I have to install the mounting hardware for the base pedestals. I really can't close up the hull yet... and I'm going to glue the lower hull on and clean up the joint before doing the hull red and boot topping painting.

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