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#81 healey36

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Posted 13 November 2020 - 09:42 AM

Hipper was part of a class two-pack sold by Superior in the early days of 1/2400. There was a great little shop in Annapolis, Maryland, that carried them. Bought a ton of stuff in there over the years.

 

I haven't been totally dormant these last few weeks, just off the ships for a bit. Found some time to build a few paper models for the model train layout, and painted a sign for a friend of mine:

 

Sign


#82 Cpt M

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Posted 14 November 2020 - 09:16 PM

Just scanning through the back postings (trying to catch up) and I noticed your USS Terror.  Now that's a rare find!  Put that on the table and you'll definitely get some raised eyebrows! 



#83 healey36

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 08:18 AM

Viking Forge offers numerous auxiliaries and support ships that are not covered by the other manufacturers. Always fun to acquire/paint something unusual.

 

Terror got into a number of scrapes during the war, representing herself well. I'll have to look it up, but I believe she was a one-off.



#84 healey36

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Posted 29 December 2020 - 08:21 PM

I've had a 1/2400 Panzerschiffes model of Ryujo for years, and have alternately debated trying to fix it or simply tossing it. To be honest, it's not one of their best, especially the shape and length of the flight deck. Other transgressions, such as the positioning of the 40mm gun tubs and other hull details I chose to just overlook. But the flight deck couldn't just be passed over. I figured there wasn't any real way to fix it, but just make it look a bit more presentable. It's a game, right? Who cares?  :angry:

 

I picked up a decal for her from Flightdeck, a decal made specifically for the GHQ version of Ryujo. The decal's not really accurate technically either, but it's close, and it looks nice. If I wanted to use the decal on the PS Ryujo, I needed to make a new flight deck. I toyed with cutting the model down (i.e. removing the deck), but figured it's not really going to fix it. So I got a bit of super-thin styrene from a mate and applied the decal to that, then carefully trimmed it with a pair of sharp scissors and a hobby knife. I then cemented the new deck atop the old one (after a bit of careful additional trimming around the AA positions). Before cementing it down, I carefully painted the edges dark gray, a color I used to repaint the hull. On the forward part of the flight deck, a bit of the old is visible. I was going to grind this off, but the top-down profile is actually close to correct, it's just that the outline is actually the gunwale of the hangar deck. So the heck with it, I just left it. Top down it looks accurate, side view looks terrible. We moved on.

 

Before cementing on the flight deck, I repainted the hull, then applied a dark wash and a shot of Testors clear matte. It looked awful...my tribulations with Testors matte finish in a spray can is becoming oppressive. I repainted the hull in dark gray, dry brushed it with off-white, then a dry-brush of burnt sienna. Touched off the funnels with a dab of flat black, then cemented on the flight deck. No matte overspray...I need to find something that works.

 

I found an ODGW base in the supply drawer, but it was a bit too long. I cut about an inch off the length, then rounded the corners with the Dremel and a sanding wheel. I printed a label from Excel, scotch-taped it on, trimmed it, then cemented the ship on the base using a bit of Loctite GO2 glue.

 

This is where we ended up:

 

Ryujo A
Ryujo in her 1942 scheme.
 
I can't help but think painting those giant meatballs on their flight decks was a terrible mistake, especially when centered over an elevator. Me and my SBD, that's where I'm aiming. 
 
I figure it works using the two-foot rule (it would never survive one of Pete's closeups). Tragically, I inadvertently dumped half a bottle of MicroSol on the dining room table, a bottle I've been using sparingly for nearly thirty years. No damage to the table.
 
I'm over it now. On to the next.
 
Healey


#85 healey36

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 05:01 PM

A ship in search of some rules, the Spanish armored cruiser Infanta Maria Teresa:

 

IMT

 

A 1/2400 print by War Times Journal on an etched ODGW base.

 



#86 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 02 February 2021 - 07:01 PM

Very nice, Healey!  I wonder if GHQ might consider doing ships from the Russo-Japanese War and the Spanish-American War at some point.  Of course they are still filling in some gaps in their WWI and WWII lines.  I just received the Canopus a short while ago.  It will be good for Falklands and hypothetical Coronel scenarios.  The Otranto is coming out later this year.



#87 healey36

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Posted 03 February 2021 - 07:49 AM

Thanks, Pete. A mate of mine who builds a lot of plastic models turned me on to Tamiya's clear flat (TS-80) in a can. Now I'm back to getting a nice consistently flat finish on projects. The down side is it's twice as expensive, but considering my angst and frustration with Testors over the last few months, worth every penny. 

 

The years 1860-1910 is just a fascinating era in naval architecture and technology. For example, seeing USN gunnery develop from the Dahlgren-series of smoothbore bludgeons of the 1860s to the built-up 12 and 13-inch guns of the 1890s is pretty remarkable, all tempered by improvements in armoring, propulsion, and training. 

 

Sometime when you have a moment, check out War Times Journal's selection of predreadnoughts. It is quite extensive, with new ships being added all of the time. While I have been a long-time patron of GHQ, WTJ's 3-D prints are right up there.

 

Here's a ship I found in my lead pile, a bit of a lark, the Italian armored ram Affondatore:

 

Affondatore
 
Affondatore B
 
It's a 1/2400 Figurehead casting on an ODGW etched base. Affondatore had a long history, having fought at Lissa, sank in a storm, raised and rebuilt in 1873, and again in 1889. I don't think she made it into service during WWI, as I haven't found her in any of the naval registers leading up to the war. She probably would have qualified as a protected cruiser. This casting has her in original form, but a bit of a mish-mash. Her sails are up as if in cruise-mode (sails would be down and stowed for combat), yet her gunwales are down, cleared for gunnery. I don't think those two things would happen concurrently. An interesting ship, she was built as a ram, so gunnery was secondary in her tactical form.
 
I've been fishing around for the notional changes required to roll FAI back for a couple of decades so that the circumstances of the predreadnought era can be incorporated. I've accumulated quite a bit of data over the years; now it's a matter of taking the time to plough through it. 
 
 

 



#88 healey36

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Posted 05 February 2021 - 06:40 PM

Peter, AMC Otranto will be a neat addition to the fleet. Aside from her role at Coronel, she would be a good candidate for an AMC-versus-commerce-raider hypothetical clash.



#89 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 06:20 AM

Hi Healey

 

I am looking forward to Otranto.  This should, in theory, give all the available British ships for Coronel.  I picked up Canopus, which I had requested, during the GHQ sale.  The model is very nice and hope to get around to painting her eventually.  Right now, I am busy painting tanks and other vehicles, guns, and infantry for Mein Panzer as well as more Modern era stuff for Fistful of TOWs 3.



#90 healey36

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Posted 06 February 2021 - 07:36 AM

I have a couple of WTJ prints of Canopus-class BBs...I'll have to find them and get at least one built up and painted. For as old as those ships were when the balloon went up, they certainly saw a lot of action. It would be interesting to know how Canopus might have fared at Coronel had she been able to join Cradock's cruisers.

 

 



#91 healey36

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Posted 19 February 2021 - 11:07 AM

Looking through old NARA photos recently, saw a few shots of LST 906, one of six LSTs converted to a “baby aircraft carrier” for the purpose of providing artillery observation. According to US Army records, LST 906, as converted, carried ten L-4 Piper Cub Army observation planes, six in deck-park and four in cradles (other sources report fewer). The aircraft were flown off as required, flying their mission and landing on a strips located inland. Here 906 is seen on 31 July 1944 off Gaeta, Italy, providing observation for 634 Field Artillery Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division.

 

LST 906 A
LST 906 operating near Gaeta, Italy, in July, 1944.

 

Even for the Cub, one of the most forgiving aircraft ever designed and manufactured, it must have been a challenge taking off. The flight-deck on 906 was 220 feet long and just 16 feet wide. I’ve seen a mate of mine take off in just 60 feet with his Cub (with a slight headwind), but keeping inside a width of 16 feet must have required some real skill.

 

LST 906 B
L-4 taking off from LST 906.

 

A while back I picked up a couple packs of LSTs made by Viking Forge. These have been languishing in the lead-pile waiting for me to figure out what I wanted to do with them. For sentimental reasons, I want to make an Achelous-class repair ship out of one of them, and looking at these photos, I figured I could fashion LST 906 out of one of the others.

 

Not much in the way of supplies is required, just the casting, a small scrap of super-thin styrene, a short length of guitar string, and a base of some sort (I’ve grown partial to ODGW’s etched bases, so that’s what I’m using here).

 

LST 906 E
Supplies, excluding the guitar string.

 

While the Viking Forge version isn’t perfect in configuration, I figured it’s generally suitable. Most glaring is the missing AA mounts on either side of the flight-deck forward, replacing the forward 40mm mount. A good modeler could likely make a couple without too much difficulty, but I passed. Later I realized I probably could have punched a couple tubs out of sheet styrene using a craft-punch that I have, but I didn’t want to double back. Maybe I’ll try that on the repair ship conversion.

 

Using a couple of modeling files, I removed most of the forward tub, leaving just enough to support the leading edge of the flight-deck. I then used a bit and pin-vise to drill the hole for the mast/aerial, which is located a few feet behind the deck-house toward the stern. Drilling holes by hand in pewter/lead castings takes a few minutes, quite a few depending upon the thickness. I generally drill all the way through, as I find this provides a more rigid fit which will prevent the mast from being knocked off by over-exuberant players in the heat of battle. I use metal guitar string for the masts, snipped off in length using a wire clipper. It’s not the neatest cut, which occasionally can be seen in photos, and it can be sharp. Attempts to use stretched sprue for mast has generally failed, as they seem to break off fairly easily, especially if painted.

 

I tried to cut the styrene flight-deck to something close to scale, but when you cut really thin bits the styrene has a tendency to curl. Sometimes you can straighten it out afterwards, rolling it over an edge, sometimes not. The first couple attempts to cut the narrow neck of the deck just curled up into a ball, so I had to make it quite a bit wider than it should be (mine’s probably close to 30 scale feet wide). From the styrene scrap, I also cut a pair of “extensions” for either side of the hull. I’m not sure what these mods are, but they are visible in the overhead photograph of 906. They could be for storage, or they could be additional bits of stowed flight-deck, don’t know and I can’t find mention of them in any of my reference books.

 

There was enough detail left on the deck to act as support for cementing the flight-deck in place; once cut into the approximate shape and trimmed, a little bit of Loctite GO2 holds it in place. It had a tendency to sag to one side on the first attempt, but I was able to pull it off, apply a bit more glue, then get it back in place properly. The two hull mod strips were similarly glued to the sides.

 

LST 906 F
LST 906, mid-conversion (absent her hull modifications).

 

A few hours to dry, then it was ready for paint. LSTs had a wide assortment of schemes, but 906 doesn’t look to have a mottled scheme in the photograph. Photos of LST 16, the first to see conversion, has her in a haze gray. My first inclination had been to paint 906 some shade of drab green, but seeing this photo, I went with a gray (actually a shot of ModelMaster FS-35164 Intermediate Blue). A wash with Vallejo 76-516 gray wash, a dry-brush with some Vallejo 70820 off-white, then a shot of Tamiya TS-80 clear flat finished the paint job. It should have a center-line down the flight-deck, but these old hands are far too unsteady for that.

 

The last thing to do was base her. I pulled out an ODGW 3/4-inch-by 3-inch etched base, which looked a bit long. You can score these with a knife, then snap them off to length. I carefully round the new corners using a sanding wheel on the Dremel. Using Excel, I make/print/cut a label, than attach it to the underside using a bit of clear tape. Once happy with the cut-down base, I glue the ship on with a thin coat of GO2.

 

LST 906 H
Ready for operations.

 

That’s it, just need to find a sprue of 1/2400 L-4s for the flight deck. ;)



#92 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 23 February 2021 - 09:42 AM

That is an interesting conversion on the LST.  That shows a lot of dedication to get an unusual ship.



#93 healey36

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Posted 24 February 2021 - 03:35 PM

I know, right? It was more of a case of what to do with all of these LSTs. I pulled out some detailed drawings for ARL-33, USS Chimaera. The Old Man served aboard her, 1945-1947. If I can figure out how to craft a 1/2400 A-frame crane on her port side, I might take a crack at it.

 

Auxiliaries, merchant ships, AMCs, and commerce raiders have my attention right now. I fully confess to a bit of a wallow in the esoteric these days. It'll die out eventually...



#94 healey36

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 09:15 AM

I'm gradually coming around to the notion I'm no longer a very good figure painter (if I ever was). What I produce now looks decent using the two-foot rule, but the camera close-up exposes the sloppiness. I've definitely moved into a function-over-form mode:

 

Cargo Liner
 
I needed a WWI era cargo-liner for the commerce-raiding stuff I've been playing at, and this 1/2400 War Times Journal print of Kumano Maru fit the bill. It's a nice little model with good detail, and can easily work for most of the medium-sized steamers thrashing along the sea lanes in the years before, during, and a decade or so following the Great War.
 
The print includes mast-holes, so that's incredibly handy. I cut a couple bits of steel guitar string for the masts and cemented those in with Loctite GO2, my current favorite all-purpose glue. The photo reveals the use of wire-nippers to make the cuts, leaving an angled tip on the mast. I hate that, and tried to file them flat before I cemented them in, but the eyesight is just too shot to see that failure without some really strong magnification. 
 
As for paint, I used Vallejo and Tamiya acrylics here. I'm still struggling with finding a good tone for a scale wood deck color. This is Tamiya "Desert Yellow" (XF-59) which is probably too yellow, not enough tan. The hull is a dark blue-gray (Vallejo 70.867) and the uppers an off-white. Most of the cargo-liners included a narrow band of white running around the gunwales, but I just don't have the dexterity anymore to make that work, and masking seems impossible at this scale (but I might give it a try if I can find some decent masking medium).
 
As for the wash, I've started using a commercially available product (Vallejo gray 76.516) straight out of the bottle. This seems to work a bit better than the black which I was using in a diluted form. A mate suggested adding a drop of matte medium mixed with the wash to improve the flow once applied, but I haven't tried that yet.
 
A cut-down ODGW etched base finished it off. 
 
I sent an order off to WTJ for some lifeboats for a future project and noticed they've started offering a jig for mast-making that could be really handy if you want to add spars and uppers. It still seems like you end up with something pretty fragile for the game table, but it sure will make for a nice-looking model.


#95 Peter M. Skaar

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 08:53 PM

It looks very good, Healey!  I painted up some of the Merchants in the GHQ catalog.  They were fun to do.



#96 healey36

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 08:18 AM

Thanks, Peter. I ordered a few tins of Humbrol to work with...I might move back to enamels and give your methods a shot.

 

GHQ has some interesting merchant ship models, most being especially nice as they include the cranes and other detail bits. The model of the auxiliary cruiser Pinguin looks very sharp.



#97 healey36

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Posted 10 May 2021 - 08:29 AM

HMS Essex as she is said to have appeared in early 1915:

 

HMS Essex c1915
 
Most of the photographs I have of Essex shows her in a prewar or 1914 scheme of all gray. I have none which corroborate her appearance as seen here, but a number of decent on-line sources had her sporting this gray-green bow/stern treatment. 
 
It's my understanding that sometime in 1916 she and perhaps a few other Monmouth-class cruisers had their casemates plated over and the 6-inchers therein moved on-deck, thereby eliminating the problem they suffered in moderate-to-heavy seas. None of the manufacturers, as far as I can tell, make a Monmouth in this configuration and, to be fair, I've never even seen a photo of one.
 
When these modifications were made, I suspect Essex got a repaint in the standard dark gray scheme.
 
01171916 D
 
This is Viking Forge's casting of the Monmouth-class cruiser. It's a nice sharp casting, but it has a few issues, not the least of which being the turrets should be twin tube six-inch, not single-tube. I drilled and mounted a couple of guitar-string masts, but they should have fighting tops and booms attached. I need to figure out a way to fabricate some of the rectangular or diamond-shaped enclosed tops, as all I have are round open versions that just wouldn't be appropriate here. Attaching booms and spars seem to produce a model too fragile for the table, so I avoid it, at least for now.
 
She seemed short of lifeboats as compared to most of the photos I have, so I added a pair, one on either side of her center-funnel. War Times Journal offers a nice set of 3D-printed lifeboats (WTJ-0000790) which features three sizes, both open and enclosed.
 
I picked up a 3-oz. can of Krylon Matte Shadow Gray (SCS-085) which I used here for the first time. Seems like a good medium gray which cures to a nice flat tone. The deck is Tamiya acrylic Desert Yellow (XF-59) and the bow/stern scheme is Vallejo Green-Grey (70971). A dab of flat black craft paint tops the funnels, than an overspray of Tamiya Flat-Clear (TS-80). For the base, I used one of ODGW's etched 3/4-inch-by-3-inch, a homemade label, and a bit of clear tape.
 
Meanwhile, I've been getting a bit frustrated with the problem of clogged nozzles on spray cans. They seem to clog much sooner than they used to. I read recently that a good soak in lacquer thinner will often clear them, so I'm going to give that a try. Otherwise, I've got a ton of half-full cans that'll be going to the transfer station shortly.
 
Healey
 
 
 
   

 

 






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