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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

  3. #123
    Senior Contributor Builder 2010's Avatar
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    23 May 11
    Louisville, KY, USA

    Essex: Flight Deck Prep

    It's Sunday, but I'm reporting on Friday's session...

    Filled the flight deck gaps with Tamiya putty. I didn't want to damage any of the FD engraving so I masked (with Tamiya tape) very close to the gap itself, filled the groove without worrying about the overlap, and when the tape was pulled, it was just in the groove and nowhere else. It just took the lightest of sanding to smooth it out.

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    There were expansion joints on carrier FDs so these will be those.

    I then wanted to attempt to fit the FD to the hull. I spent a lot of time doing this since I wanted to figure out where the clamps had to go, what was impinging on what and planning out how (and when) to do it. I had to remove more raised alignment lines that were going to be a problem. When I got it so it so it would almost drop in place I stopped since I'm gluing it on yet.

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    It was time to get the lighting in place. Let me start by saying, the end result of Friday's session is not satisfactory. My lighting scheme is too over-designed and bulky. I'm using CL2N3-G LED drivers to manage the 5 VDC input. These little packages take anything from 5 to 90 VDC and feed it to the LED at 20 milliamps. You can string as many LEDs in series as the input voltage will allow. In this case, I can probably drive 2 in series. They won't reach full brightness since each LED drops 3 VDC. To run them in parallel you have to gang these devices, since they only put out 20 milliamps. In a parallel circuit with two legs, each leg pulls 20ma, so the total current draw is 40ma and you'd need a driver on each leg.

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    The input side is on the left side of the flat. The center lead is no used, but supports the package if it's mounted in a printed circuit board.

    I'm using small 2mm LEDs which I wanted to face towards the ceiling and then reflect downward to provide a more diffused lighting. So I drilled 2mm holes in some styrene, and CA'd and then epoxied the LEDs into the position with their lenses through the hole. I put down some aluminum foil with some pressure sensitive adhesive to make the ceiling more reflective. I let the epoxy drill all weekend. It's a composite picture which accounts for the slight distortion.

    Name:  Essex FD Lighting 1st design.JPG
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    So here's the problem... I thought I needed to raise the LEDs off the ceiling to give enough clearance for the light to escape, which is technically correct, but when I put the deck in place on the hull to see how it all fits, it was terrible. The light assembly is too tall and almost touches the flight deck floor. When you peer inside through the side elevator opening all you see is lighting assemblies. Yuck! No room for airplanes and completely destroying the effect I was looking for.

    So what to do? Ideally, the lighting should come from fiber optics (which I don't have). If I can't do that, I will probably mount the LEDs directly on the ceiling and have them facing downward not worrying about indirect, diffuse lighting. I can mount the circuitry very tightly to the ceiling so it won't be seen unless you're lookin up into the hangar bay. Otherwise, I'm going to scrap the lighting altogehter. I don't want to invest in fiber optics, although I may research it to see what's what. Tomorrow, I will rip it all out and go for plan B. With fiber optics, the light box can be below the hangar deck and I could bring the bundle up through the pipe I've installed to bring in the power wiring. I think I'm talking myself into this...

    Addedum to post: found that I can get 100ft of 1mm fiber optic filament on eBay for less than $10.00 so I ordered some and will give it a try. I found a place called the Fiber Optics Store, which also advertised on eBay, but their website cart was not functioning properly, so I went onto eBay and bought from another supplier. I read a blurb on how to attach LEDs to the fibers using shrink tubing so that's how I'll do it. More about this when it comes in a couple of days.

  4. #124
    Join Date
    18 Oct 09
    Howell, NJ
    Why not use surface mount LED's? That would get you tight to the ceiling and they have a wide viewing angle. You can increase the resistor value to dim them. If the viewing angle is too wide, you can add some styrene around the LED to limit where the light goes or hide the LED's. And use 1/4 inch copper foil tape on the ceiling. You should be able to solder one side of the LED's to the foil tape and even have the resistor for each LED in the overhead. That way you run two wires to this LED circuit.

    Something like this....
    and this....

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by Ken_NJ; Today at 15:46.

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