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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #181
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    Essex: Railings, bloody Railings

    I did repair that deformed stern railing...

    Installed all the railings bordering the hangar deck today plus got some more stuff in place including the rest of the those finicky little flight deck/catwalk steps. You can't imagine how much trouble some of the smallest details can cause you...

    I should have put the cranes in BEFORE the railings since I almost thought I couldn't get them in without doing damage. As it was, with some delicate coaxing, I was able to get their pins into the holes and installed. The railings spaces were measured using a paint of dividers and I took some liberties, especially on the port side, where I ran the rails across some bulkheads instead of individually cutting and gluing. I did this mainly because the sizes were not neat multiples of rail stanchions and would have had a lot of little tiny railing ends causing me problems.

    After installing the lower rails on the starboard side, I used the fine-line airbrush to retouch all the Navy and Deck Blue and get the brass blended with the rest of the model.

    This is the aft crane.

    Name:  Essex Aft Crane Installed.JPG
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    And here is the fore crane.

    Name:  Essex Fore Crane Install.JPG
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    There was a cross hangar deck catapult on the as-built Essex. It was removed when they added (as I did) the two additional 40mm mounts. I'm not sure if the starboard catapult was still in place. I have that part, which is stowed vertically, to put on if it is correct to do so.

    The port side has all those rails that cross between roller doors. I know what I did is not ptototypical, but it was expedient.

    The foremost roller doors don't get railings since the sponson now has a splinter shield surrounding it. It did get just one little rail on it aft-most door. And then I added a railing around the gun director platform next to it. Incidentally, there are rails around the five inch mounts, but a) they weren't called out in GMM's instructions, and more importantly, b) I would have soldered them to the circular platform since CA'ing it seems like a exercise in futility. So I probably won't attempt to add them.

    Name:  Essex Port Rails 1.JPG
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    Here are the other areas that got these railings. Note, the port side has NOT been touch-up painted. That will come tomorrow, and I've already masked parts of the flight deck so the overspray doesn't ruin that lighter blue flight deck.

    Notice the nice shiny new inclined ladder. There were two put on this side. Speaking of vertical ladders... I almost lost an entire fret of them. I had purchased an extra set of inclined ladders since I had ruined a lot of those included in the GMM set. This next bit is going to be a bit hard to visualize, but bear with me. My workbench is heavy plywood covered with Homosote (a press paper-board building panel). I used Homosote since it accepts T-pins very well and makes a great building surface for things that need to be pinned... flying RC models for example. There's a 3/4" ply wall at the work bench end and there's a tiny gap between the Homosote and the ply. This fret slipped down about a 1/4" and it was so firmly fixed in that groove that I literally had to take cutters and cut the fret away (after destroying half of the inclined ladders attached to it). The lower part is still in that groove. All I can imagine is somehow CA got in there and glued it in. I put a huge amount of effort in attempting to pull it out and it didn't budge. So I was able to salvage enough ladders to put the two on this ship. There's probably a few more that will work on a future project, but the rest are ruined. Murphy strikes again!

    The companion ladder is stowed where it is supposed to go. And I see another spot that needs a railing... leading to that boat deck.

    Name:  Essex Port Rails 2.JPG
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    Name:  Essex Port Rails 3.JPG
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    Tomorrow, I'll start putting in some guns (I think). I need to paint the prop shafts (anti-fouling white), and prepare the plastic props. I was thinking about buying G-Force brass props like I did for the Missouri. They look pretty good. I may still do that for this ship.

    I will get the anchors in place, start preparing the flight deck for decals and weathering, and then start rigging the island. There are tons of antenna and flag halyards hanging on that part. I also have to install and rig those long-range radio antenna. What's the best way to fasten the aircraft to the flight deck?

  2. #182
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    Essex: Flight Deck Work

    According to one of my readers of this thread on another forum, Essex never installed any catapults including that cross-deck one. While there was the catapult track on the strbrd side of the fore flight deck was installed, the mechanism was not. It was, however, installed on the intrepid since I had a resource book on that carrier.

    Today was part success and part struggle. I decided that before I attached anything that goings to stick out I better do all the flight deck treatments so I don't break anything. I did install two 40mm sets in the starboard aft tubs which is when I came to the conclusion that any more guns would be zapped, so I stopped.

    I wet-sanded the FD to expose the wood tones below and this effect looked pretty good.

    Name:  Essex Flight Deck Sanding.jpg
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    After sanding I tried (for the first time) to use Vallejo dark gray wash. I works, but it did darken the entire deck, not just in the crevices which is what I really wanted to do. So the flightdeck looks like it was painted with standard deck blue instead of the lighter deck blue flight deck stain. I'm sure those wooden flight decks took a tremendous beating and had all sorts of colors working between wear and tear, tire marks, fuel and oil spills, sea water, rain and sun exposure.

    I then sprayed some Tamiya gloss clear to get ready for decaling. My first indication when I was putting on the first #9 on the fore flight deck was when the decal started falling apart. I hate when this happens. It was an old kit (copyright 2002) and the decal showed it. I pieced together the broken bits as best I could and then got the MicroScale Decal Film solution to create an new film on top of the old decal. The second #9 performed better, but it was touch and go.

    To lay down the single center line dotted line decal I laid down some Tamiya tape to establish a datum and then laid the decals near it. The stripe decals came in many segments. I found a couple of them broke, but it was minor and didn't cause a problem. I then noticed that the 9s go on top of the stripe so I had to piece the stripe to get the same effect.

    Name:  Essex Center Line Decal Process.jpg
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    Then came the white stripe decals that surround the mid-deck elevator openings. These turned out to be a total nightmare. I should have put on another coat of decal film since one coat worked momentarily and then they started falling apart.

    Name:  Essex Crappy Decals.JPG
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    For the broken parts of the fore #9, I hand touched it up with flat black and it will look okay after dull-coating, but these elevator stripes will not work with my hand painting. So I'm going to make the corrections in the computer and then make some white decal striping and see if it works. I really can't blame Trumpeter, although I'm generally not impressed with their decals. The best advice I can give is don't panic. Take as much care as you can, and if you suspect the decals are old, overcoat them immediately. And use two coats.

    So here's what it looks like so far. I then have to dull-coat the decals after the fix and start doing some tire marks/rubber scuffing stuff.

    Name:  Essex FD Decoration.JPG
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    I'm pleased with how the strip down the middle came out, and bummed by the elevator decals... so I'm batting 500. I took a top-down picture of the striping and measured the particulars with the caliper so I have what I need to make the correction decals.

    I also touch-up painted both sides with the detail airbrush. I like that tool even though it's definitely not up to Badger quality, but the price was ridiculously low. It's great for small delicate jobs.

  3. #183
    Patron bbvet's Avatar
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    B2010,

    The decal dilemma I also ran into last year when I was applying the hull numbers for NEW JERSEY - these were GMM decals and I had purchased them in 2012 or so - not exactly hot off the press. I was able to use them, but it took some finagling on a curved surface. All came out ok, but it wasn't fun! Your elevator decals did the same thing my custom helo deck decal did - I had 3 printed, in case of emergency and I ended up using all 3 to get one complete "square". It isn't perfect, but it is what it is! Your comment re. a coat of Microscale decal film to begin with has been duly noted - Thanks! Your ESSEX is looking very nice, indeed!

  4. #184
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    Again, I am just stunned by the skill and sheer talent you guys display.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  5. #185
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    Essex: Flight Deck Finished (Part A)

    Sometimes, I'm even impressed with what comes out of my shop. You may get lucky sometime (Mark Knopfler).

    Thanks Gents!
    Today's post is a 2-fer since I didn't post yesterday, but did some work. First thing I did was test out an idea: a way to simulate polished brass (bronze) without spending $$$ on real brass and not being satisfied with any brass-colored paint since they're particle based and do not reflect light as a polished metal surface would. I first coated a piece of plastic with my Molotow Chrome Pen which does lay down a really reflective surface. When it was dry I brush-painted Tamiya Clear Yellow in two coats. The result, while be a bit rough due to my not-so-careful use of the chrome pen, was encouraging.

    Name:  Essex Brass Simulation Test.JPG
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    I then coated the propellors while on the sprue (for convenience) with the chrome pen and let it dry overnight. I made the mistake on my test piece to touch the chrome thinking it dries really fast and messing it up. It does dry fast, but I was laying it on pretty thick.

    Name:  Essex Prop 1st Coat.JPG
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    It's a very convincing metallic surface, unlike any model paint I've ever seen. The pictures really don't show how much metallic reflectance there is.

    Today I airbrushed two-coats of the same Tamiya Clear Yellow and am letting it dry overnight also. If I need to shoot it again, I'll do it the next session.

    Name:  Essex Synthetic Brass.JPG
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    It's pretty convincing and I would consider the experiment a success. Next to buying G-force props, this would be a good way to go.

    I spent a lot of time hand-painting the touch up of the broken elevator edge decals. I was trying to make my own white striping decals on CorelDraw, but it crashed my Windows environment on my apple and it was taking a long time to reboot so I chose to attempt the hand painting approach. I started weathering the flight deck. I did so with black weathering powder put on with a short bristled brush in directions that tire wear and skid marks would go. The white striping isn't great, but it will work.

    Name:  Essex Deck Weather 2.JPG
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    I finished the powder weathering and had the screwy idea of putting some fuel/oil stains. I overdid it, and realized that oil on the deck would be cleaned up very quickly to prevent slips and falls. My reason for doing this was the light spot on the after deck that I wanted to hide somehow.

    Name:  Essex Deck Weather 3.JPG
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    I showed my wife this picture and she agreed that the spills were overdone. The oil stains were done with Tamiya Clear Smoke and is alcohol soluble, so I used a clean brush with isopropyl 91% and blended the stains back into the general grime of the flight deck. The flight deck grime now extends over the elevator lines further making them less pristine and noticeable to the viewer.

  6. #186
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    Essex: Flight Deck Finished (Part B)

    After this work I want to install the arresting wires. The ends are very small, folded PE to simulate the above-deck pulley system. The wires themselves are E-Z Line heavy gauge Lycra elastomer. Since these lines are actual a series of very fine fibers and as such, instantly absorb CA, and because of it's huge surface area, sets it immediately (whether it's thin or thick CA). I wrapped the line around the far brass cap before folding it down, added thin CA to secure the line and then folded the cap down onto the still-totally-unset CA. After all were installed I hand-painted them deck blue. When Essex was first launched it had arresting wires on both ends and GMM includes enough PE to do this, but later in the war, they realized that landing from the bow was a bad idea and all those systems were removed. The units with the double lines are the pop-up barriers that were there to catch planes that missed the wire. They didn't have a bolter capacity since it was a straight deck carrier and the bow was not often clear for the plane to go through. It was why the angle deck was developed by the British to enable capturing AND launching at the same time and giving the aircraft a clear go-around path.

    Name:  Essex Arresting Wires Installed.JPG
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    I think the wear and tear on the FD is okay, but I'm not weathering the rest of the ship. I'm wondering how soon after shopping would the flight deck show this amount of use without the rest of the ship following suit.

    Next up was the Long Range Radio towers. The initial scheme I came up with was too fill the tower base with Milliput, 2-part epoxy putty. I filled the bottoms yesterday and let it cure overnight.

    Name:  Essex Long Range Radio Ant Mount.JPG
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    Today, I drilled the putty for a 0.032" brass pin and drilled the catwalk for same. Unfortunately, two bad things happened. First, the putty did not cure as hard as I would have hoped. The brass pin didn't secure well in it with CA. Second, when attempting to push the tower-with-pin into the hole in the catwalk I had grabbed it too firmly and deformed the heck out of the very fragile PE tower. After much messing with it, I got it reasonably symetrical, then proceeded to crush it at least three more times messing with that pin. I finally succumbed and put the pin in the catwalk, not the tower.

    Name:  Essex LR Tower Base Pin.JPG
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    The brass pin did one more thing, it kept pushing the putty further up in the tower, negating it's value. I then did what I should have done in the first place; use Bondic UV curing filler to make the bottom plug. I did this and created a much stronger, harder base to drill for the pin. Armed with this knowledge I got the other three towers into place. They're not glued in yet, but I did paint them in place using a piece of cardboard to shield the rest of the deck from the Navy Blue airbrush. These towers need to be secured well because there's several, elastic E-Z Line (fine gauge) simulated radio antenna wires that need to be strung between them.

    Name:  Essex LR Radio Towers Painted.JPG
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    I accept all feedback and criticism, but I frankly think that the grime over the white elevator striping seems to make it much more real. If you agree or disagree please let me know. After these antenna towers are in I will mount all the guns remaining and then tackle island rigging. The Plexiglass for the case is now ordered. When the island goes on, the model, for all intents and purposes will be done.

  7. #187
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    I agree with the grime. In fact from this video, your weathering/grime might be a little under done






    Here are 2 pics of Essex during the time your building her. Doesn't look like they touched up the white paint on the flight deck very often

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    Great work. Keep it up.
    Last edited by Gun Grape; Yesterday at 01:38.
    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  8. #188
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Two more just for fun



    Its called Tourist Season. So why can't we shoot them?

  9. #189
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    B2010,

    I think the grime & so forth is well applied per your last photo. Good job! Question - where did you order your plexiglass case cover from? Any info would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Hank

  10. #190
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    Very nice input. I looked at you vids and then found a few more. Seems that those white lines around the elevator really do pretty much disappear and they're not very wide to begin with. I also noticed on one film of the late Essex that the aircraft had a white nose besides the tail design. Don't think I'm going to do that. Those planes are just too fragile to do any more work on. Putting the arresting gear in place seemed like it would be a pain to do, but it actually worked out pretty well. Got into a rhythm. Rigging the Long Range radio towers is going to fun…not.

    I also just found out that I (Doh!) mounted the companion ladders all wrong and will have to pry them off, and repaint the area. I have them flat against the side, they're on edge on the side so they can be deployed. I was wondering how they would get them into position. I was paying a lot of attention to details in all of those movies. There was a movie on landing and spotting planes on an Essex class carrier. The Grumman Wildcats has manually-folded wings, and they had to push a lot of planes back and forth by hand with lots of manpower. Landed planes were all spotted with folded wings on the fore deck and then pushed to the afterdeck for re-launch. You couldn't push a Tomcat around by hand…

    Hank, I've purchased the case materials from General Rubber & Plastics. They won't glue it together, but they're cutting the precise parts from me and I can glue it together. I made the Missouri case entirely by myself and the cutting was an awful experience and then squaring the edges was also very unforgiving. There may be other versions of this company in other cities. They're going to route the edges to cut to size, not sawn so there will be very little cleanup on my part to get it ready for gluing.

    I also re-read some reference material at Navsource and the Essex kept all five of her Long Range Radio Towers. I only have four since one disappeared in the rift about a month ago after a bottle of glue fell from the shelf over the work bench, hit the plastic container holding the soldered towers and scattered them with one simply vanishing. I'm about to write another not to Loren Perry at Gold Medal Models to see if he has any reject frets around that have those parts. I also need a new set of the lattice work that goes under the outboard elevator since I've so screwed that up that it's almost (not quite) scrap. I don't want to pay him $50 for a couple of pieces of PE.

  11. #191
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    b2010,

    Thanks, I'll check their website out. I need to start thinking about the case that I need to acquire. Your approach to replacement of the radio antenna seems like a logical one. I did the same with Pontos several years ago and they came thru with a partial sheet of reject PE that had the parts I needed.

  12. #192
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    Loren Perry is checking the scrap box and felt confident that he had these parts there. If he does, it's the price of postage ($5) which works great for me. I've massaged and re-bent the framing under the elevator so much that it looks more like a pretzel than miniature piece of structural steel. Same goes for the radio towers. Generally speaking, PE can be fussed with a tiny bit, but it's very easy to reach the point when it turns into junk.

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