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Trumpeter 1:350 USS Essex Late WW2 Trim

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  • #46
    I am just in awe of the skills you guys have!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain


    • #47

      I read your post re. the new 1/350 scale MISSOURI offering over on SMF and while that kit does show promise in areas that the "other guys" don't seem to bother with (hull plating for one), I have a problem with kits that (like this new one) go overboard with the vertical plate lines. As you can see from the photos of the bow of IOWA a page or so back, the vertical plate lines are visibly NOT THERE. Here is another shot of my 1/200 scale NEW JERSEY that shows how I treated the otherwise plain hull by addressing the padeyes and horizontal plate lines only:
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      Unless you are on a camel or stage right against the hull, you don't see the vertical plates - something the Far East mfg'rs just don't get. They either have no detail or way too much detail - I'm not that impressed with the kit as it has been shown - it needs another round of modifying to get it right.

      But, that's just MY opinion and we all know what THAT'S worth, right???

      You had asked about more pix, so here are a couple more of various parts that I have completed:
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      Helo deck prior to adding the landing pad decal (didn't come out that well, so I've got to find another vendor to make a couple more for me!)
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      Turret 3 and the after main deck. The projection booth is scratch made as are all the turret top details.
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      After Deck house on stbd side with scratch details. The scratch made main mast will eventually be replaced with the 3D printed unit I drew up for Model Monkey (Shapeways) to produce. I have 3 on hand in order to make also a main mast display as it appeared in 1955 with the SPS-8A Search radar. That will take a while!!!
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      Turret 2 with scratch made turret top details.

      OK, that gives you an idea of what's been going on since 2012! Now, back to your 1/350th scale ESSEX!!!



      • #48
        Essex: More 40s

        Ooooh! I just love 1:200! Man would I like to build one of those. How did you produce the hull plating? Pad eyes are a nice feature that on 1:350 would be dust motes. Frankly a lot of stuff they're trying to do on 1:350s just gets silly. That ship is going to be a beauty! How long is it and where will you keep it?

        I worked two hours to produce one very distressed 40 mount. Almost everything that could go wrong did, but I persisted and created one more 40. The side railings fell off on one side and I had to solder on a small brass bracket made out of the extra fret material. After soldering on the one side, I realize that this was more secure method of fastening on the shield and did it for the other side. During all this handling the back railing fell off. I had a fret of 40mm back railings that I got from GMM in the mid 1980s. The problem here is it was even too small a surface area to solder so I resorted to CA. It took at least 10 minutes to finally get it to stick enough that I could go back and add more to reinforce the joint. I finally got the guns on and had to go and take my grandson to tennis practice.

        I also had one of the gun trunions fall off the workbench proper and hit the sliding belly tray I built to catch errant PE parts from disappearing. And of course this part disappeared. It just dropped 3 inches, but that's all it takes to go into the quantum rift. You'd think when something crosses the inter-dimensional barrier you see a flash or a puff of smoke as it disappears, like in a Harry Potter movie. But no... this part just silently vanishes. I swept the whole area for at least 10 sq ft, but nothing. I'm critically short of this particular Eduard PE part, and this doesn't help.

        I'm optimistic that I will come back on Monday and it will be sitting in the center of the belly tray. I've had that happen before. They disappear inter-dimensionally and then reappear a day later right in front of my eyes.

        So here're three 40mm mounts all different. The one in front is Eduard plus Tamiya guns, the middle is all Alliance Model Works, and the back is Eduard mostly, Alliance guns and GMM back railing. It's all mix and match. Lucky for me, enclosed in a plexiglass case, you won't be able to put a magnifying glass up to it to really see the difference. They'll all be painted and detailed and that will be that.

        Click image for larger version

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        One more thing. I think I figured out why AM-Works PE is so difficult to process. The brass is only 0.004" thick. That's basically a piece of paper. Then they etch the bend lines, which makes them probably 0.002". Metal that thin unless dead soft is so fragile as to be unworkable. No wonder the brass breaks when it's still on the fret. I hope GMM is a bit more robust. By comparison, Eduard is 0.010" thick and 0.005 at the etched bends and it was very fragile also, but mostly workable.


        • #49
          B2010 wrote:
          How did you produce the hull plating? Pad eyes are a nice feature that on 1:350 would be dust motes. Frankly a lot of stuff they're trying to do on 1:350s just gets silly. That ship is going to be a beauty! How long is it and where will you keep it?
          After trying to figure out these lines for a couple years, I managed to get a copy of the plate lines a really GOOD west coast modeler sent to me that he had taken off of actual IOWA class plans. I don't usually mention this because I don't have his permission to copy them and I respect that. Once I had those laid out with drafting tape, I then built up a couple layers of brush-on primer with a wide fan brush, letting each layer dry first and then peeling off the tape and moving down to the next lower line of plating. I then drilled out the padeye holes after determining the correct locations and using the smallest brass eyes from Bob's Buckles (UK) I then brushed on the haze gray paint, also using the wide fan brush. The eyes are a bit undersized, but are the best I could find. My eyesight simply won't allow making these from scratch. You are correct, at 1/350th these items would best be simply very tiny bumps to indicate their presence.

          PE is another story - I've used the kit supplied in addition to the Pontos Detail Up set AND have 2 sheets of custom designed PE that I had a vendor in England produce for me that I have yet to use. One is simply the 1950s/60s era life raft baskets that I fold, paint, and then insert the resin molded life raft pack (also created by moi!) after it's been painted:Click image for larger version

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          This is only a test fit of the packs into the racks.
          My other sheet includes all sorts of various parts for the masts, hull, ladders, discone/cage antenna mast etc. - all sorts of parts. I also will replace the plastic scratchmade ULQ-6 ECM frames and sensors with PE that I took several months to CAD design and then have etched. Richard Landgraff pointed out to me a couple years ago (he'd been critiquing my work) that the plastic, while "ok" could look better. I took that cue and the final versions should look quite stunning. But, that will come after the model is finished. Sort of a 1st "yard period overhaul" so to speak.

          Your problems with the thickness of the usual kit or 3rd party PE is correct - my two custom sheets are slightly thicker as I discussed this with my vendor prior to production. I actually have a PE sheet from Yellow Wings for a 1/72 SOC-3 that is PE "steel", but thicker to the point my scalpel has a very difficult time cutting thru it. My PE sheets are somewhere between the two extremes. The kit mfg'rs seem to not care about correcting this universal problem. My main problem with modeling right now is I'm in a mobile home (rented) down east where I work and it's wall to wall carpeting and the carpet monster has eaten more PE and plastic than is on my models!!! When I retire and move home I hope to set up a model workshop with NO carpeting anywhere near it!!!

          My Display Base is a bit unique - I had it made by a fellow modeler and then I modified it a bit and sprayed it to look like the weathered concrete as in a drydock:
          Click image for larger version

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          This is it after the 1st coat of textured spray (the base board is taped off to keep the wood natural). I will have a clear acrylic cover made for me but I haven't done that yet - getting close to needing it, though.

          I just ordered another $$ items of 3d Printed parts for my 1/144 STODDARD (using the Revell FLETCHER kit as the basis) today so I have quite a bit of moolah tied up in that kit and I hope to get to it before many more years go by. I'm still working on the CAD drawing for a 1950s/60s era Cold War Config 01 Level/After Deck House/3"-50 magazine handling room & FC house to replace the kit's WWII versions. Getting the correct info is next to impossible and it takes t-I-m-e!!!

          OK, I hope your 40's turn out - just sit back, rest awhile, and then go back to it!!



          • #50
            Sorry about the AMW problems. Yes I did use them a few years back. I had a little trouble with the first one,readjusted what I was doing but no major problems after that.

            Now sometimes when I'm using delicate PE I will place it on some detacked blue painters tape when I'm removing it from the fret to keep everything from moving around. I also have a piece of plexiglass that I use as a backer whenever doing PE to reduce any "Give" and one of the plexiglass presses on top. If its really giving me a problem, I'll use a set of fine scissors to remove the piece with it clamped in my Hold and Fold.
            Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper


            • #51
              Originally posted by Builder 2010 View Post
              They supposedly make brass barrels for the 1:350 version too, but I really don't relish working with them either. You put the RSU on your wish list and I'll put an outside-vented spray booth on mine. I think I could handle parts 2X larger and would like the opportunity to try.
              If you want PE that cannot be put together by mortals, they make a 1/350 20mm mount with brass barrels.
              Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper


              • #52
                Stuff about PE

                I've seen those and they give me the willies. I don't even want to think about them. No one could focus on them once they're installed without magnification and especially if they're older than their mid-40s.

                So... Gun... Here's the joint on the AMW 40mm base piece with the diamond plate that I can't understand how to joint. The cross piece is a basically a 0.005" square cross-section piece of brass sticking out into space that has to connect to the vertical on the side rail. Can someone explain how to join them?

                Click image for larger version

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                CA won't do it, and soldering something that small that's not on a surface doesn't seem like a good choice either.

                So... what to do?


                • #53
                  Click image for larger version

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                  If that's the piece. I would bend the side rail in just enough to have the back piece overlap. Bend the tip of the horizonal piece where they meet to rest against the post. Maybe hit it with a drop of Future to keep it tacked in place until I put a coat of paint on it Once painted its not going anywhere.

                  That seems to be the way they did the piece in the photo.
                  Last edited by Gun Grape; 29 Jan 18,, 03:04.
                  Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper


                  • #54
                    Yup! That's the corner alright.

                    I'll see if that works. It would be much easier 2X the size at 1:192. I'll be back messing with this stuff tomorrow and see what I can do. I need to make 3 more guns and have enough Eduard trunions to make 2 so I'll have to wrestle with one more AMW unit.

                    I was watching videos in DIY photo-etching. I can handle the graphic parts easily, but don't like messing with the etching solutions and then having to dispose of them. I don't have the ventilation either. It would be neat to be able to do though...


                    • #55
                      Essex: Finishing the 40s

                      Well Gun, as I noted I did try what you suggested which I describe below. I did finish all the 40mms, but will have to go back and replace gun barrels when the extra set from AW-Works arrives. I suspect Alliance Model Works is a Chinese company since I can't find a mailing address anywhere on their website AND the fellow who corresponded had a Chinese name and English was not his native language. I ran out of AMW guns, my scaped ones from the old Missouri and resorted to making the kit's guns work on the last mount. That last mount will have a barrel change along with the others that have any broken guns.

                      I got the folds to have the free-standing rail to intersect with the square one. Instead of tacking them together using Future Floor Wax, I chose to use the nuclear option and actually solder that tiny joint. I did it successfully two times and made two more AMW 40mm mounts, then I went back to using the remaining Eduard PE left over from the Missouri project.

                      Here's the part held in a spring tweezers and then in my Panavise showing the single rail in position to be soldered. The part is so frail that it's almost always deformed. I bend it every time I touch it.

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                      Instead of using the RSU I chose to use my Weller soldering iron. I also violated my own soldering rules by, after fluxing the joint, to move a tiny quantity of solder from the iron's tip directly to the junction. The RSU's tweezers are just too clumsy to get neat that tiny joint.

                      Here's the joint actually soldered. It doesn't hold and better than any adhesive given the cross-sectional area.

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                      Here's the entire base soldered and put back in reasonable form. It got distorted many times more as I glued it into place. The shield was not soldered in this case since it's connected to a resin casting, not a PE piece like Eduard uses.

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                      Remember me talking about one of the trunions hitting the floor and disappearing into the quantum rift? Well... in this case, it disappeared under the wheel of my desk chair. Road Kill! It's not the first time this has happened, nor will it be the last. And it's certainly not the worst. The worst was when the Missouris SK main radar antenna (completely finished) got rolled over and turned to a flat mess. I had the extra set of Eduard and made another, but it did not turn out as good as the first one.

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                      With that, I'm done with 40s for a while. I started working on the 5inch dual Mark 38 turrets. Trumpeter's aren't bad, but I had a ton of PE enhancements from the Missouri build and wanted to add them to these units. The enhancements include PE back hatch doors, ladders, commanders flash shield on the roof, and optical range finder outer doors. I scraped off the molded on back doors to accept the PE versions.

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                      I then tried to do a silly thing... drill out a scale gun bore. It scales out to 0.014" and I have that drill size. Of course, I did one correctly, and then broke the next one, not when drilling, but when attempting to remove the sprue nubs. Then I lost another barrel to the rift, so right now I'm short one full set for one of the four turrets. I have all the Mark 38s from the old Missouri. I like the Tamiya barrels better since they're not so clunky. I don't want two different kinds of turrets even though they're very similar, the barrel thickness will be noticeable (to me at least). I'll build the three with the Trumpeter turrets and make a decision. I'm also toying with the idea of substituting brass barrels for the lot of them.


                      • #56
                        Essex: Making Some 5" Guns

                        I awoke today thinking about making my own brass 5" Mark 38 guns to replace the plastic ones. I know there are commercial parts available, but I wanted to give it a try before shelling out more $$$. First I needed to figure out just how big these things are in 1:350. I found some good imagery on the web showing some major dimensions. I printed it out and measured the actual dimension on paper and divided that into the dimension noted on the drawing. The one I chose was the distance from the center of each bore to the centerline of the mount. It was 42". I doubled this to 84" which is the center-to-center distance between the guns. The scaling factor came out to 37.5. I measured the barrel's o.d. at the muzzle and where the recoil slide begins, and found that a piece of 0.032" brass rod is the right size for the larger diameter. The diameter at the muzzle is 0.024" in 1:350.

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                        I chucked the brass rod in my Dremel flexi-shaft held in my Panavise. The vise was held with some quick clamps to keep it from moving around.

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                        First I thought (incorrectly) that I would have to machine the metal off to make the taper so I chucked a small diamond-coated burr into my second Dremel tool and worked the two spinning tools together. This proved to be overkill. I quickly ground right through the piece. So I scraped that idea and went to Plan B, using a small file and sanding stick to reduce the diameter while the flex-shaft was running at medium speed. A light touch up with 600 grit emery finished it off.

                        The results were promising. I set my digital caliper to the 0.024" muzzle diameter and checked the size as it reduced.

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                        I removed the old barrels from an old Missouri 5" mount and carefully leveled the stub remaining. I pin pricked the center, drilled a pilot hole with a #80 drill and then opened up the hole with a 0.032" drill. Then I tried my barrels on.

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                        Results were very acceptable. So I finished up another 7 to give me 9 guns (I need 8 for the four twin mounts). Glad I did, because I promptly launched one out the needle nosed pliers. I tried to make that parallel section at the muzzle, but it really didn't work out. If I had a Swiss-type screw machine (which is how small spindly stuff is made) it would not be difficult. Using a diamond file didn't give me the sharp demarkation that I needed.

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                        The only thing I haven't done is drill the 0.014" bore hole. I've thought about it, and if it was styrene wouldn't hesitate in doing it, but in brass, it's a totally different animal. Carbide drills tend to grab in brass. When they grab, they break and you have a hole with a chunk of difficult-to-remove carbide in it.

                        These barrels look so nice I may make them for the four open 5" since mounts. It only takes a minute of so to make a gun now that I have the routine down.

                        Tomorrow I'll build the remaining 5" mounts with the new guns installed. Then I'll start the single mounts, but I'm may be stymied since I'm waiting for that Total Navy GMM order, and I thing there's some PE details in there for these open mounts.


                        • #57

                          Well, I initially thought that you were heading to the Funny Farm with all this stuff, but the end result is very nice looking so I guess it's worth the immense effort. I wouldn't worry about drilling out the muzzles of these barrels - at that scale/size no one is going to notice. Good Job!



                          • #58
                            Could be still going... found that I could buy 20 barrels (with holes) for 12.00 and change plus shipping. So... that might have been a viable alternative except for wiring for delivery. I hate waiting!


                            Master Model also has 40mm Bofors barrels, which look very nice, but I'm not sure how to incorporate into a scratch-built receiver. They have holes too.


                            • #59
                              Essex: 5" Guns Finished

                              Built all the twin and single fives today. All the PE you see in this image is left over from the second Eduard Missouri PE set. I especially like those little hatches that are on the trainer's/pointer's/checker's telescope hoods. I lost one of the kit's 5" guns which I needed to provide the mantlet to which to mount the new gun. Luckily, the kit mantlet is 0.040" and that's a nice Evergreen styrene thickness of which I have some. So I made another little mantlet and drilled it like the others for the new barrel.

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                              Notice the white t-shirt that's now covering my pull-out belly board. I don't know why I didn't think about this five years ago. Not only did I not lose a single piece of very small PE, the t-shirt cotton traps and holds the PE and it stands out very clearly, especially for those ladders and the hatch covers. The excess t-shirt was bunched over the edge and further blocked that channel to the workshop floor.

                              Does anyone know why PE will stick to my tweezers/fingers in deference to sticking to the model where it belongs. I'm constantly cleaning the tips becuase even a microscopic bit of wet CA will hold the PE. It gets very exasperating.

                              I did drill out the bores on the plastic 5" single open mounts. It's not hard. The key is getting the first pin prick as close to dead center as possible, then drilling slowing and checking in both directions to ensure you're going in parallel to the bore. You don't need to go in far, just far enough to show black. I thought about doing this on the brass barrels, but it wouldn't work. I found Master Model brass barrels that are drilled for a little over $12 plus shipping, but I'm glad I did my own. They also made 40mm barrels which are also drilled. They're really nice, but I coldn't figure out how they'd work with the plastic receivers. Something to think about on my next big 1:350 boat project.

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                              Incidentally, that hole is the correct size for the scale using a #80 (0.014") drill. The plastic barrels are too thick.

                              So all the fives are now done and these singles are waiting for the GMM PE to arrive. I'm sure there are added railings that will enhance these. Master Model also makes a stunning resin/brass open 5" mount. Again... next time... maybe.

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                              I started building the island late in the afternoon. Fit was so-so and it needed a little cleanup. I found a box of spring clips upstairs in the computer room desk and put them to use today holding these parts during gluing. I drilled out the portholes, but couldn't open any WTDs since I don't have any more left over from the Missouri. I like how the open doors look, and am thinking about any other ways to show them. Unfortunately, the backsides of these doors does not look like the front side, So I just can't make a hole next to the door.

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                              Tomorrow I'll continue adding plastic to the island. This too is directly impacted by waiting for the GMM PE. I don't know if replacing the molded on ladders is necessary. They're in pretty good relief. I have ladder stock to use if I go that route.


                              • #60
                                More great work.

                                Watching this I"m starting to get the urge to break open one of my ship kits. I've got 2 Fletchers, one on the shelf of doom, and 2 Gleaves destroyers that are starting to look like fun to build again. I know I have PE for the Fletcher. Maybe after I finish my Hornets nest.

                                Holy cow, whats taking so long on the PE shipment? Don't think I will be using TotalNavy for my modeling needs.
                                Human Scum. Proud Never Trumper