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Thread: Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

  1. #121
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    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
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    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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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    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.

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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
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    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.... https://www.superbrightleds.com/more...led/1842/4458/
    and this.... https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_s...d=3Y6VPKFVF7KG

    Just a thought.
    Last edited by Ken_NJ; 19 Mar 18, at 15:46.

  5. #125
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    That's a terrific idea. Their forward current is 60ma, but the LED drivers I have put out 20ma. Do you think that would be a problem? The copper tape idea is one that I've had in the past and forgot. In fact, we used that to do a retrofit for the ignition system on the B-17 RC aircraft I built. I came up with the idea, but the owner executed it so I never really worked with it. I think I'll buy both LEDs and foil and see how it works out. I can use this foil/LED idea on the buildings too.

    Thanks Ken!

    BTW: I just ordered 20 LEDs and 20 39 ohm resistors. Still have to order the tape.

  6. #126
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    Not sure about the forward current. Never used an LED driver before. And I use the LED wizard which never failed me. http://led.linear1.org/led.wiz

    Here is my large copper tape project, this is only half the picture. This is on the cabin underside of one of my boats. It supplies power to 40 LED's. Where the foil crosses each other, I have a piece of styrene between them to insulate the circuits from each other. The 90 degree turns are soldered at the junction. Some runs are only 1/8 inch. I taped the foil tape to a Formica surface and cut the foil in half to give me 1/8".


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    Last edited by Ken_NJ; 21 Mar 18, at 03:28.

  7. #127
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    Funny... I can view you pics on my phone, but on my Laptop, I'm getting the "3rd party hosting has been temporarily disabled" and graphic from Photobucket. I've been getting that a lot lately.

    I too use that same calculator for LED circuits. I bought the foil, surface mounts and correct resistors to make a parallel array. I wonder what would happen if I drive them at 20ma using the CL LED drivers. Carbon resistors are cheaper than the drivers, but the drivers are nice since as long as it's between 5 and 90VDC, they will output the correct current for 20ma LEDs.

    It's the first time that I can remember that I have three model projects running concurrently: the Fairlane GTA (waiting for warm, non-windy weather to spray outside), the Essex (now waiting for new lighting systems), and Nighthawks. I will continue working the concurrently since it's actually fun.

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    I was getting a weird upload dialog box from WAB that wouldn't let me upload a pic so I went to Photobucket. The picture showed at first but then it didn't. I'm done with PB. Finally got the picture up using the WAB upload. Seems to be working OK now.

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    Close up view where paths bridge each other. The taped off areas are masked for painting. Everything you can see was spray painted white. Once painted the tape was removed and those exposed foil tape sections are solder points for the LED's. I did this in 2010, so it lasted 8 years so far. Just to give you some further ideas.

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    Last edited by Ken_NJ; 21 Mar 18, at 15:30.

  9. #129
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    I've been using Post Image. It's free! No ads! Rock Steady! And fast to upload!

    Here's the URL to my Pics

    https://postimg.org/files

    I hated Photobucket. The ads were awful and it was unstable.

    And... nice copper foiling!

  10. #130
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    Ken, as noted on the other post, I got the foil and SM LEDs and they work perfectly on my trial. In my younger days, as a moonlight job, I installed burglar alarms. We used adhesive lead foil tape on the windows. There's a way to fold the foil by turning it back on itself so you can make 90 degree turns without breaking the circuit. It's easier than soldering the corners. I'll have to practice it before I post the technique. It's been since 1977 that I did it. I am assuming that the same readers are reading this tread as reading the railroad building one. If I'm mistaken please let me know so I'll repeat what I said about the LEDs on the other thread. This lighting technique is relevant to both projects: Essex and Nighthawks Cafe.

  11. #131
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    Essex Lighting Cont.

    Even though I don't work in the shop on weekends (as a rule), I did get some serious thinking time and I do most of my thinking in either SketchUp or CorelDraw. I drew up a pictorial schematic of the foil pattern that I'm going to use for the SM LED lighting. I can't mount the foil directly to the styrene flight deck because it won't handle the soldering heat, so I'm going to build the LED circuit on some thin ply. The soldering is quick, but it's still hot. I'm using this drawing as a template to cut the ply.

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    You can see the gaps for the LEDs. I had to work around those big chunks of Plastruct H-Beams that are reinforcing the fragile FD joints. I'm not going to have the five current limiting resistors on the foil. They'll extend too far into the hangar space. Instead, I'm going to attach the negative leads onto the foil, bundle all five wires together and bring them down the wiring tube and add the resistors below decks where they'll be out of sight. The ends of the buss bars is where I'll do a "Burglar alarm window foil turn" which I learned when I was moonlighting as an installer in the 1970s. In that case it was lead foil, not copper, but the idea is the same, make a 90 degree turn without breaking the circuit.

    After soldering all the LEDs and connecting leads, I'll glue the ply to the FD styrene. After it's glued I'll liquid mask the LEDs themselves and paint the hangar ceiling and walls white and the hangar deck some other color.

    Just what color is the hangar deck? Is it deck blue, or is it some other color and that ends at the doors? Then I'll join the deck to the hull and continue building.

  12. #132
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    Essex: Flight Deck Lighting

    So... I'm back to work on the Essex. Using the pattern, I cut a piece of 1/32" aircraft play, and glued it to the underside of the flight deck. Before doing this I further prepared the FD by scraping of the no-longer-needed aluminum foil and grinding down the remains of the standoffs from my now defunct first attempt. I used MicroMark Pressure Sensitive Adhesive to hold the ply to the styrene, but saw that it wasn't going to stay attached due to some warpage and the raised bumps of the kit's joint fingers. To make sure it didn't go anywhere I sealed the edges with thin CA. That did the trick.

    I quickly realized that my pattern left out one major detail; the hole for the forward in-deck elevator. This really doesn't matter if I decide to build with the elevator in the up position, but I'd like to have the option. I first routed out most of the wood with a 1/16" carbide router in the Flexishaft, and then took the remainder away using a 1/4" Dremel sanding drum. I tapered the ply back from the elevator opening's edge so it wouldn't be seem from the outside.

    I didn't put an LED forward of that elevator for two reason; it was overkill and there wasn't much room to run the foil around that elevator. There will be PLENTY of light.

    In fact, lighting could to be so bright it's going to look like the Essex crew is growing marijuana in a greenhouse. I will also have to make sure that the paint film is thick enough to prevent all that light from showing through the hull sides. I may want to spray the insides first with Tamiya Primer, but it's solvent-based and that means I might have to paint it outside. I can get away with little, quick spray jobs in the basement, but nothing of this side. It would smell up the whole house. And the weather outside is still not good enough for outdoor spraying. It's either the cold, the wind or both.

    I cut the 1mm gaps after all the foil was down, but not burnished with a new #11 blade. I used a Burglar-alarm-foil-corner trick to not have to so more foil joint than I had to, but did have to solder the joints where the other LED strips intersected the main feeder. This is a parallel ciruit becuase of the small 5 VDC transformer driving it. Two in series would drop 6 volts and underpower the LEDs. Before soldering I burnished the tape down so it was firm, flat and smooth.

    I soldered the joints and applied tinning to both sides of the LED gap. I then placed and soldered all the LEDs. Before doing that I tested each to make sure they all were good. I then tested each circuit strip to make sure that the solder joints were secure. I did find one that wasn't fully soldered on one end and fixed it. I also blew one out when I inadvertently used my un-protected negative lead to test instead of the lead attached to the 470 ohm resistor. Getting direct 12VDC with no limiter guaranteed that that the LED lasted about 1/2 second. It burned out so fast I almost didn't catch the slight flash before it was no more. I replaced it with another and took more care picking which test lead I was using. I have the bare lead to test LEDs that are already protected by a current limiter, and the one with the resistor to test bare LEDs.

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    I've run out of 26 gauge black wire (it was wonderful wire that I bought a Conrad when I lived in Düsseldorf, Germany) so I'm substituting green for the negative leads. The wire has many, very fine strands so it's very flexibel and solders beautifully. I found materials that I bought in Germany for building my railroad were all superior. That includes wiring, lumber, plywood and fasteners. They had a great no-drill-needed wood screw with Torx head brand call SPAX that were the best wood screws I've ever used. They now sell them at selected Home Depot stores. My model railroad has literally used thousands of these.

    There are four negative leads since each gets the 39 ohm resistor and there's one + lead since it feeds all the parallel circuits.

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    Notice how little solder is necessary to hold these joints. The wire is a good example of a mil-spec solder joint. You must be able to still see the conductor in the solder joint and there are concave slopes of solder up to the top of the conductor. This image shows that the joint is fully wetted and that solder and substrate have become one. If there was a convex blob over the joint one couldn't tell if the solder was actually adhered to the copper. In fact, it probably wouldn't be and might be held only with hardened rosin flux. A shock or vibration could seperate the joint and lead to failure. The same goes for the LED joint itself. After tining, I apply heat to the copper foil and watch the solder melt and the LED settles down nicely. Once the FD is glued down there will be NO way that any repairs could be made. It must be bullet proof.

    I had to run the wires down through the brass conduit that I put in several weeks ago, and I just guessed about where that would be when I bundled the wires together for passage. I used thick CA to form small wiring clamps to hold everything neatly. As it worked out, I guessed perfectly. The bundled comes down directly over that brass tube. Whew! Sometimes you win one. You won't be able to see the wiring or lights when the ship is buttoned up.

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    Four wires just fit through, but the + lead wouldn't, so I drilled a second hole through both levels of the plastic and inserted a smaller, 1/32" tube. It's held securely with some thin CA. Here's how the wires exit into the lower reaches of the hull. You can just see the forth greem wire peeking out of the tube.

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    And just to prove how fortuitous was my selection of where to clamp the wires, here's an inside shot of the wires going into the conduit. I aligned the deck properly before taking this shot just to make sure it would work.

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    So with the lighting system in place there's absolutely no reason why I shoudn't be painting the interior and getting the two decks joined together. That work will continue tomorrow.

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    Essex: Hangar Deck Painting Begins

    Today, I masked the LEDs and airbrushed the undersides of the flight deck first with sky gray as a primer followed by 2 coats of Tamiya while. You're really not going to see much of the ceiling so I didn't continue to paint after 2 coats.

    I then did the same for both the hull hangar interior and the island.

    For the hangar deck floor I decided to use deck blue figuring that when all the doors are open, the floor would be seen and should be deck blue. This may be incorrect, but nobody on any of the forums where I write this thread responded. I painted the HD walls with white, first and then brush painted the floor deck blue. I didn't do a great job on the floor/wall inteface and will go back tomorrow when all is very dry and do some back painting to get a really clean line.

    This picture is very distorted since I attempted to do it as a pano and the slightest movement vertically as you pan shows up as a curved linear surface.

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    I'm not doing any extra detailing on the hangar deck interior since viewing it is really difficult. It's just to add a theme, rather than an actual representation.

    After pulling the little pieces of mask off the LEDs they're nice and clean, ready to light up the place.

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    I you want to go crazy, there's a huge amount of structural steel in the hangar deck ceiling considering the weight of aircraft, the landing stresses and the armor plate that lines most of the flight deck. I've seen modelers who add this detail. Every person decides on where they want to draw the limits.

    The island looks interesting now that it's showing its navy blue. It definitely neutralizes a lot of the inconsistencies from all the different materials I used in its construction. I'm going to shoot it again tomorrow, but with a little bit of white added to the blue to fade it just a bit. I'm not really going to weather the ship, but I don't think it would have been this dark once it was exposed to that South Pacific sun.

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    I will also look good when I pick out some details with black (e.g., the boots at the end of the Mk37 directors' long basis range finder, and funnel cap and screen) and some alciohol/India Ink wash around the doors, etc. to give them more relief. I may also mist the mizzen mast with some black to represent soot that it would experience sitting directly behind the funnel. As I've said, I think I'm going to do the flag and radio rigging when the island is still of the hull since it would be so much easier to reach in.

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    Essex: Painting gets underway (Part A)

    The day started with hand painting the deck blue/white demarcation line to clean up the hangar deck appearance. After going around the whole thing once, I went back and peered through the various opening galleries to see across the deck and pick out any inconsistencies you could see and then touch them up. The results now are passable.

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    I then masked all the openings so I could airbrush Navy Blue 5N to the hull exterior without fouling up all that white paint. The mask had to wrap in towards the interior on the deck so paint wouldn't get underneath. Anyway I approached it, I would have to close off the openings. Perhaps it would have been an easier masking job if I did the outside first and then masked and painted the white since the exterior of the roller doors is a bit less convoluted than the insides. But confident it will work okay when the tape is pulled. Any overspray will be easy to backpaint with white.

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    I flipped the hull over, laid it on a piece of Masonite and air brushed the blue exterior. Since I was spraying up from the bottom, I reduced the chance for blue getting inside. I later flipped it over to see how it worked and there are a few light areas that I touch up with the airbrush on a less aggressive setting.

    The Life Color paint, like other acrylics (but not Tamiya) flashes off and appears dry, but it's still tacky to the touch and really shouldn't be handled until the paint is cured overnight.

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    I also shot the island under the overhangs where the blue was thin from yesterday's painting session. Later I started painting the underneath of all overhangs white. I've read where even with camo paint jobs, underneath surfaces were white. I ran out of time before I finished this step. It will take some more work before it works (recoating and backpainting).

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    I made a few more 40mm mounts to replace some of the ones that weren't right (broken barrels). In this case, I used the kit's guns and base with the GMM PE enhancements. So I now have at least four combinations of 40mm mounts on this model. I wouldn't recommend this. It is sub-optimal, but they won't be noticeable since they're very small, they're be very dark, and the all have four gun barrels. I also sprayed Tamiya primer on all the remaining PE railing et. al. to make it easier to paint them blue. I'm going to attempt to pre-paint all the main railings so I won't have to go back and airbrush the whole ship since the deck blue and navy blue has already been established.

    I mounted all the remaining little bits on masking tape in prep for tomorrow's painting session. I've lost some of the little Eduard PE range finder shutters on the 5" Twin mounts. I hope I have some more to fix them. PE does that sometimes. When you WANT to remove it, it sticks like crazy, but when you want it to stay, they fall off spontaneously.

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    I gave all these a light shot of Tamiya primer also.

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    Essex Painting gets Underway (Part B)

    Another little bit that needed attention is the port side exterior elevator support structures. I've seen another superb rendition of this model that showed extra webbing added to these pieces and I did that today adding some 0.020" X 0.080" styrene strip. It was a fun little project and the picture shows the comparison.

    Name:  Essex Modified Elevator Structrure.JPG
Views: 44
Size:  459.7 KB

    I also added the PE to the whale boat. GMM's extra PE set includes a prop/rudder, a railing cage for the cockpit and two little ship cradles. This is also ready for paint.

    Name:  Essex Whale Boat to Paint.JPG
Views: 42
Size:  737.1 KB

    So... tomorrow will see more painting. I need to prepare the bottom hull piece (props/shafts/rudder and paint hull red), but I can't finish and mount it until my friends sends me the completed base plate. I need to drill the hull and base plate at the same time to ensure the holes line up perfectly. But I will be able to join the flight deck to the hull once all the painting is done. So the steps will be: FD to hull, decorate flight deck, mount all the guns (except for flight deck) and then wait until base plate arrives. Once the lower hull is on, mask and paint the black boot topping and mount the ship to the base. Then I'll be able to glue all the other details on the flight deck, railings, antenna, guns, etc. I can't forget to install some planes on the hangar deck or there will be nothing to look at inside.

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