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Everything posted by JohnWS

  1. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

  2. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

    Awesome! Good tip on painting over the tape, as well. John
  3. Hello everyone! Yes, it's another torpedo boat. This time, I'm attempting to scratch build a late model Elco 80' boat, circa 1945. There is a lot of reference materials for these boats in books & on the 'net, so this should be a fun & relatively easy build (famous last words ). Some of you may recall that the hulls for my previous two torpedo boat builds were carved from a cedar fence post. But this time, I going to take a shortcut and use the hull from a Revell PT 109 plastic kit. This is an old kit, that's been reviewed & built many, many times. I saw this kit at an antique market and I couldn't pass it up for the price. The quality of kit leaves a little to be desired, and the plastic parts are a little smaller than 1/72 scale. But, the kit should serve my needs. To begin this build, I made a stand from a 3/4"x4" piece of oak trim, using two finishing nails to attach the hull to the oak stand. [/url] Next, I drilled holes in the bottom of the plastic hull to match the location of the nails. Two pieces of plastic tubing were glued over the holes to strengthen the hull and to guide & support the nails. [/url] I found layout drawings for the Elco boat on the Internet, and printed them out in 1/72 scale, for reference. I used the drawings to identify what I will need to change on the 109 kit, to upgrade it to the 1945 model. The major changes involve modifying the kit deck to remove the Oerlikon gun mount at the stern and the support structures for the torpedo tubes. [/url] Removing those items will require major surgery. So instead, I decided to make a new deck and will build the superstructure & deck fittings from scratch. I made the new deck by gluing pieces of Evergreen plastic sheet together. I ended up laminating pieces of .040", .030", and .015" sheets (available at the local hobby store) to give enough thickness so I could contour the deck surface. The Revell deck was used to trace the shape on the plastic sheet, and the size was checked against the the plan drawings. It was a little bit of a battle to glue the new deck to the plastic hull, as the hull was twisted in the box. Luckily my new deck is strong enough so I could bend the hull to the proper shape when glueing it to the deck over the course of three days. After a quick start, the rest of this build will be slowed down over the next few weeks due to Christmas activities & while I wait for a few purchased items. Hopefully, I'll have some updates soon. Thanks for looking in. Cheers! John
  4. Thanks Stuart & Steve! I'm pretty happy with the way she's turning out ... so far.
  5. Thanks Rob & Kev! I just put on a light primer coat. I'm always amazed at what you see no matter how careful you are to prep for paint. The white plastic hides a lot. Now for a little rework to remove the rough spots & excess glue.
  6. Hi everyone! I've completed the final details to the day cabin. These include; - Roof handrails made from .5mm dia. steel wire & wine bottle foil brackets. - Aft turret handrails made from .6mm dia. silver solder & wine bottle foil brackets. - Roof cable(s) made from copper wire & wine bottle foil brackets. - Flag locker made from plastic sheet with a close weave cloth cover. - Mast reinforcement plate & roof hatch hold open device made from plastic sheet. I'll be adding the roof hatch & mast assembly once all the deck superstructure components are completed. Here are photos of the day cabin as she sits today; Next up, I'll give the day cabin a coat of primer & start working on the bridge & chart house. Thanks again for looking in. John
  7. Thanks guys! Your encouragement means a lot. I'm planning to use clear plastic for the window panes. I'll wait until after the day cabin receives its final coat of paint before glueing on the panes.
  8. I've been focusing on detailing the PT boat's superstructure. The Throttle Push Rod Deck Housing is finished. I've never run across this item on past builds. I'm guessing the push rods are operated by the throttles on the bridge & are mechanically connected the engine room telegraphs to signal engine speed/direction. It's interesting that these rods are enclosed in a housing located on the open deck. I made the Push Rod Deck Housing from plastic strip & scribed fin detail on the upper surface. Additional detail was added using shapes made from plastic sheet & bar, and brackets were made from wine bottle foil. Here's a photo of the completed assembly glued to the model's deck, starboard side; I'm currently detailing the Day Cabin, behind the bridge. The detail parts completed to date - windows, a vent, a step, fire extinguishing system boxes, & a door - were made using plastic sheet, rod & stretched plastic sprue as needed. Here's a few photos showing progress to date; There's a few additional details that need to be added to day cabin & then I'll be moving on to the bridge & chart house. Thanks for looking in. John
  9. Cool! I think to only models of the C's I've seen have been in museums. It'll be fun to watch another unique build.
  10. She's looking better & better Rob. Really starting to look like a 'B'! John
  11. That would be too easy.
  12. I'm no expert. I've seen modellers level the hull on a flat surface for reference, so that the tape/paint line is parallel to the flat surface. Then they draw the tape/paint line with a pencil measuring the location of the line parallel to the flat surface. The masking tape is then applied along the pencil line. My technique is a little less scientific & involves a lot more trial & error. 1st, I picked out three location reference points for the line from a drawing. I cut a thin strip of masking tape a little longer than the hull & stuck one end at the stern reference point. Holding the tape at the stern so it wouldn't move, I carefully stretched the tape towards the bow, attaching it to the point amidships & then to the bow, as close to a straight line as possible. Then the fun began. I stuck the tape along the line starting at the stern, eye-balling the line from the bow to see how straight the tape was. This meant pulling the tape away from the hull & re-sticking it a number or times to get it right. When I got to the bow curve, it was a lot of trial & error again, eyeballing it from the bow, sticking tape, pulling the tape off, & re-attaching it. Instead of the straight line i wanted, the tape always wanted to follow the curve of the hull when I stuck it down. Once I was happy with one side, I tried to duplicate it on the other. This meant more trial & error, this time checking the straightness of the tape as well a comparing its location to the tape on the finished side. Hope this helps. John
  13. Thanks! I mentioned earlier that I like the grey colour over camo green since it will show off the smaller details. I think the Dark Ghost Grey does just that. Unfortunately it not only shows off the details, but it makes the mistakes show up, as well - excessive glue, overspray, rough masking edges, debris in the paint, etc, etc. The good news is that by taking care to remove the visible mistakes, the resulting paint job doesn't look too bad ... it just takes longer, and a lot of patience, to get there. The air has been blue in the boatyard more than a few times. lol
  14. Another quick update. Painting the hull bottom & sides is complete. I chose Tamiya Acrylic Flat Red for the bottom and Model Master Acrylic Dark Ghost Grey for the hull sides (& superstructure). These colours are similar to PT 620's paint scheme following WWII. The exhaust mufflers & butterfly valve operating mechanisms are glued in place. The exhaust butterfly valve operating mechanisms were made from stretched plastic sprue. Painting the mufflers was a bit of a challenge. I read somewhere that the mufflers should be painted before assembling to the hull. I have to agree. This meant a little extra work dry fitting the mufflers & laying out the demarcation line between the the grey & red colours. This turned out to be a lot easier than trying to mask & paint the sides of the mufflers after they were glued in place. And one more teaser photo showing the deck structures dry fitted on the freshly painted hull. Now, it's back to scratch building some more details. Thanks again for looking in. John
  15. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

    A couple of nails to hold the wings on and you're done. It'll be a fun build to follow. John
  16. Rob, you're bringing me back some bad memories. That the same problem I had with my Fairmile D. I initially assumed those windows were rectangular. The angled bulkhead & roof surfaces, & window shape took a while to sort out. Looks like you're on the right track.
  17. The insulation coating on the wire results in a nice smooth look. However, CA glue doesn't adhere very well when applied directly to the coating. After a little experimentation, I found the best way to stick two pieces of the coated wire together is to cut a small divot into the coating at the point where the pieces are glued together exposing the wire, and then apply the CA glue. The resulting joint seems to be strong.
  18. Hi again! For a change of pace, I've started to add some colour to the boat. The bottom of the hull & exhaust mufflers have been painted red. Next I focused on the main engine room hatch located between the day cabin & the aft Bofors gun. The main hatch was removable on the actual Elco boats to allow engine removal & replacement. Attached to the upper surface of the main hatch are a depression rail for the Bofors gun, an ammunition ready rack for the Bofors, engine room vents, a crew hatch to enter the engine room, and a storage locker. Scratch building included; The Bofors Gun Depression Rail - scratch built using coated copper wire bent into shape & assembled with CA glue. The Bofors Ammunition Ready Rack. - I wrapped a balsa wood core with pieces of plastic sheet, and used fine woven cloth to simulate a canvas cover. Engine Room Vents made using vent bells from the original Revell kit and pieces of plastic bar & rod. Engine Room Vent & Crew Hatch made from pieces cut from plastic sheet, with a vent screen made using metal screen material cut from a spare coffeemaker filter. A Storage Locker made using a balsa wood core wrapped with pieces cut from various thicknesses of plastic sheet. And finally, a couple of photos showing the parts temporarily placed on the main engine room hatch. Next up, I'll get out the primer paint for the above assemblies, then add a finish grey paint coat to the hull sides and then start detailing the deck day cabin. Thanks again for looking in. Cheers, John
  19. I can relate as well. I think the older I get, my fingertips seem to be getting bigger. Those tiny parts seem a lot harder to pick up or put in position (even with tweezers). I've lost count how many times I've put a case back on a model and snapped off an aerial or the top of a mast.
  20. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

    Looks like graduation day is not too far off. John
  21. I feel your pain. I remember having the same issue on my Fairmile D build. I think I ended up remaking it at least 3 times.
  22. Yes, it looks like they're molded onto the deck. The British Power Boat MTB's have them as well.
  23. Here's a shot showing 5 of the dead lights placed on the foredeck along with a few other items, to give you a sense of scale. They're painted the dark grey deck colour, so they should blend in nicely when the deck receives its final paint.
  24. A short update today. I've slowed this build down (more than usual ) while I'm in recovery mode from cataract surgery. The operation went very well & now I can see all my modelling mistakes much clearer. I decided to revisit the mufflers on the PT boat. You might remember the kit mufflers were molded in two groups of three. [/url] I cut the mufflers apart, filled in the void on their backside, & added copper wire mounting/locating pins. I drilled mounting holes for both the mufflers & the exhaust butterfly valve operating mechanisms in the boat's transom. Next, I've glued pieces of plastic strip to the deck to locate the superstructures, and sprayed on a coat of primer. [/url] Once the deck was primed, it looked clean. Too clean! It's my understanding that these later boats had smooth plywood decks. In addition to the vents, & other deck hardware, the actual boats had a number of glass dead lights. The actual size of these windows is approx. 9" X 6". I concluded that I should add these to my boat, as they would add some detail to the deck, & would be a good test for my repaired eyesight. I started with .01" X .080" plastic strip cut to length to simulate the dead light frame. Then, I cut pieces of thin blue wine bottle foil to simulate the lights' glass. The actual glass is green, but these parts are so small the blue colour is hard to distinguish, other that providing a contrast to the frame. Finally, I glued the foil to the frame pieces, & then glued pieces of plastic sprue to the foil to simulate the cross members that protect the dead light glass. Here's the result; The scratch built dead lights will sit higher on the deck surface than the real ones, but I feel they'll add some much needed detail to the deck (modeller's license). Well, that's it for now. Thanks for looking in. John
  25. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

    Looking great Steve. I agree! lol