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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #121
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    23 May 11
    Louisville, KY, USA

    Essex: Odds and Ends Day

    An odds and ends day...

    Started by preparing and gluing up the flight deck. There were mold imperfections at the junctions, so even after filing it as flat as I could it still showed some significant gaps. Since I was not putting the decks into position on the hull and was going to be handling the entire glued up deck, I had to reinforce the joints as much as I could using Plastruct heavy H-beams... very stiff and glues well to styrene. When I first put the beams on, I had one in a place where the hangar deck structures impinged with it. I tested it again after I moved it and added another, and that too got in the way. Luckily, the glue hadn't set and I was able to move it to a better spot.

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    You can now pick up the deck anywhere and it holds together.

    Here are the gaps which I will judiciously fill so they're be less noticeable. I will mask the deck area when I sand the filler if I need to so I won't sand off all the deck planking details.

    Name:  Essex Flight Deck Gaps.jpg
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    Next up was putting the PE railings onto the 5" single mounts. Funny... it appears that trumpeter made these guns backwards. The guns load from the left side and the rammer wall should be on the right side of the breach area. In this molding they're on the left side, while the instructions show a drawing with the loaders on the correct side. As it is, the left rail which has the fuze setting machine is on the correct side.

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    As usual, no mortals will notice this.

    Then I modified the 5" twin mount bases to accept a nicely perforated base replacing the thick plastic version. To do this you had to cut the base away from the top and substitute the PE for the removed plastic. I did this using the micro razor saw and then a #11 blade on the inside to inscribe the cut line.

    The pin on the mounts was slightly larger than the hole in the PE so I used a #40 drill to open it slightly and the gun fit in perfectly.

    Name:  Essex Twin Mount PE.JPG
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    There is also one of these screens that goes next to each deck-mounted 5" twin, but first you have to remove the plastic version sticking out from the deck. I didn't do that today since the flight deck was not securely cured. I'll do that next session.

    Lastly, I built the PE boat crane replacements using my fold-and-solder technique. It's moderately complicated fold, plus there's a separate piece that gets curved and installed in the crane's crotch. I really can't imagine how unstable this would be if you had to rely on CA to hold it all together, almost all the joints were handled with the RSU.

    Name:  Essex Soldered Boat Cranes.JPG
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    The PE part to fill that gap was the exact size and it kept falling inside when attempting to solder it. I cut some PE brass slightly oversized and made a lap joint which is much more secure, soldered easily and will not detract from the effect. You're required to cut parts from the ship's plastic cranes to mate the PE version to the ship. I'm going to think about this and take a look as some detail pics of the real cranes and maybe do it in brass.

  2. #122
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    23 May 11
    Louisville, KY, USA

    Essex: Cranes and Flight Deck Start

    Finished building the hybrid Boat Cranes. GMM calls for removing the base and the upper works. I machined and soldered the bases, but did cut away and CA the upper works to the boom. Stuff actually went pretty well and was not stressful.

    Name:  Essex Crane Fitting.JPG
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    The hooks was a one piece PE that is CA'd into a small slot etched into the boom bottom. I didn't machine the base pin very carefully... it didn't matter... I just adjusted the hole size on the hull.

    Name:  Essex Cranes Comp.JPG
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    Next up was the flight deck. I removed those plastic outriggers next to the lower twin turrents and prepared the edge to accept the folded PE replacement. I also removed some of the alignment ribs under the deck that were supposed to mate with the hangar deck houses. They didn't fit well and I read a review that said the same thing. It was taking much to much pushing and shoving to get it to sit down and it would mean probably breaking something to get it together.

    I used a sanding drum on the flexi-shaft and then cleaned up with a plastics chisel and files.

    Name:  Essex FD Mod 1.JPG
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    It fits much better with these guides removed. I'm sure if it was Tamiya or Hasegawa kit instead of an old Trumpeter, I wouldn't have to do this.

    Lastly, I started adding the under-FD details, including some lift rafts and the box sections that support the catwalks. There are ejection pin marks on all the catwalks, but I think they're not going to be see when the PE goes in. I'm going to add the FD PE AFTER the deck is glued down. There's too much handling to get the deck in place and the PE would get whacked. I do have to add the forward 40mm mount and director before the deck goes down since it's really occluded by the deck overhang. That's the reason why later Essex series ships were built as "long-hull" ships with the flight deck moved back a bit so the forward 40mms had a decent arc of fire. As it is with the early Essex, they could only shoot pretty much straight ahead. You would have thought that they would have seen this in the design phase.

    Name:  Essex Catwalk install.JPG
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    On the hull side, there is a door and a slanted raised rib that corresponds to an inclined ladder that I'm going to install, but I needed to have the FD in a near final form to see if it clears the upper ladder hand rails. I didn't want to glue this is only to have it crushed when the flight deck goes down. I also need to add the ribbing supporting the side elevators runners and detail the whaleboat.

    This was a pretty short session today, but it was productive. Tomorrow I will start adding the lighting, and then paint the interior of the flight deck white before closing the lid.

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