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About mollythedog

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  • Birthday 19/06/1958

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    a black hole
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    Royal Navy, USN, scratchbuilding, FAA, learning to photograph model subjects better........

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  1. With the basic bridge structure out of the way I could get on with detailing the hull some more. A lot of staring at photos, probably 15 minutes for every minute of actual modelling done, but unfortunately the photo documentation for these ships,or more precisely, "A" ship at "A" given time is not that good. Add that to the fact that they were not identical,particularly with regard to things like the external pipework,and that much of the detail I was looking for was in the shadow of the overhanging flight deck in most photos. These 2 photos show the master hull with about 80% of the detailing done-much of the work remains hidden in the photos. Repeat items like the 40mm twins were mastered then cast in resin, and the single 20mm and their shields will be added in PE later,ditto the other details,such as the access steps to the flight deck etc. The 5"/38s are fitted aft at this point in time (some months ago) and the large platform right aft on the port side is the LSO safety netting(crash hole)-more on this in a later episode..... hull and bridge 3 by plastichacker, on Flickr hull and bridge 4 by plastichacker, on Flickr mtd
  2. Hi Steve, No worries. I am really interested in trying out this material too,though as I said before,I think it would be more useful for larger models and not really practical for 1/1250, or possibly even 1/700,unless the thinnest available material matched closely the dimensions of the hull of a ship in that scale. But 1/350 and bigger,and used with superglues I would think it would make for an extremely solid and stable construction. I have no idea of course how it is in warmer climes,nor with variations in humidity,which I would imagine would be a factor to consider in your case-like i know anything about Western Australia! I'll have to source mine in England, as there is no where in France or the rest of Europe that might stock it,under a name or product that I'll ever find. mtd
  3. I was quite keen to get on and finish the early RN bridge,and see if the PE bits I'd drawn would fit. It is quite fiddly but works,and looks ok,though as usual the camera is harsher than the eye and in real life I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Early RN bridge 1 by plastichacker, on Flickr Early RN bridge 2 by plastichacker, on Flickr I still have to trawl my photos and try and sort/date the sensors fit for several of these early Attackers, as I intend on having several models for my collection,and they will probably be different as per the prototypes. Ditto the camo schemes they sported. mtd
  4. As mentioned previously here is a photo of the USN 4" Mk9 fitted to Stalker. Points to note are the heavily cut away screen and very low mounting-this is clearly a LA gun. The Ruler class did not have this cut away screen,as the HA was much higher (to allow for higher elevation ) and easily cleared the screen even at 0 elevation. Photos are difficult to find,as the mount was almost hidden both by the shadow of the overhang of the flight deck and by the screen itself. Stalker 43 4 inch LA by plastichacker, on Flickr mtd
  5. HMAS/m AE2, Scratchbuild

    But,surely,your process involves the bonding of different materials to each other, this involves both chemistry, physics and a bit of wizardry, I suggest you get on to them ask for the other 2 million you are owed. BTW I bought some of that Tamiya PLA you mentioned. It is just thin plastic card,despite their fancy name and price tag. But the 0.2mm might be very useful for plating larger models,it is about 8 thou and so falls between the normal 10 thou and the really thin 5 thou that Evergreen sell,so should glue better and be less likely the melt if too much glue is used. Still useful for anyone that scratchbuilds, even for the odd kit builder that likes to mod. mtd
  6. It's true to say that the USN and the private yards that constructed the majority of the mass produced ships during WW2 were better at record keeping that their British counterparts. As well as building to standardised designs,there were less supply bottlenecks,and is it also well worth remembering that they weren't being bombed by the Luftwaffe for most of the war... As I am concentrating on building an early Attacker class CVE that is where my efforts have concentrated,and after studying a number of photos I am confident in saying that the references that state that they were fitted with the US 4" Mk9 are correct-atleast initially though I am fairly sure that from mid 1943 on,as they came in for refit the LA guns were replaced with British MkV HA mounts. I may crop a couple of photos and post on here,the size and shape of the Mk9 cannot be mistaken for any RN gun I know of. My model was fitted with 5"/38s when I first did it but is undergoing a number of revisions,and has been fitted with the correct 4" as of now. At very least I have found 2 ships that were so fitted. Again,none of these comments apply to the Ruler/Bogues,so if you want to convert the Tamiya 1/700th kit that is probably the easiest route to go,though as I said before I don't have the kit to hand to say much more than that at the moment. mtd
  7. Thanks Maurice for providing those links-I had intended posting these but you saved me the job! As for the matter of 4" guns on CVEs, it is somewhat confusing and after quite a bit of searching I am still not sure which ships carried which guns,and when. As completed,in the US yard,they would almost certainly have had US weapons. The problem is that just what was changed to "RN Standard" and when. For example Attacker started working up in late 1942,in the US, but didn't arrive in Liverpool for conversion to RN practices (fuel stowage,A+A's etc ) until April 43,so presumably carried US weapons until atelast this point. As for which 4", there is some disagreement in my references.Some state the the CVEs (NOT the later Rulers,which,like their USN counterparts,carried the single 5"/38s each side) were fitted with US 4" Mk9 weapons-a low slung LA mount used mainly on the Flush Deckers. A strange choice as a replacement. Friedman states that the surviving early units were refitted with standard RN 4" MkV HA guns in 1943. A very good photo of this gun/mount can be seen on P.38 of Hobbs "RN Aircraft Carriers in Focus",though he erroneously states that it is a USN MK9 when it is clearly a RN MkV-a very good reference photo in any case. So,if modelling these ships,take your choice.... mtd
  8. Anyone following the link in the previous post can see the CVE construction process from around page 25 until page 40. It is pretty amazing,but the modeller clearly has found a way of cramming 25 hours into each day- I think it is a Commencement Bay class CVE. Well worth a look. Once the flight deck is in place the placement of the parts that surround can be added-mainly the side walkways and 20mm galleries, side trunked funnel casings port and starboard, and 40mm gun tubs. A major identification point for the early RN units,and,as far as I can tell,unique to this class (the Attackers) was the 20mm galleries,which were quite short,and carried 2 x 20mm per gallery,and there were only 2 per side. Later units,and all USN ship had 3 galleries,and carried 3 x 20mm per side,thus making a total of 9 x 20mm port and starboard. I don't know why the early ships had a much smaller number of 20mm,but assume that the air threat was not considered that great for the Atlantic convoys they were originally intended to work on. They also only carried 1 x twin 40mm forward per side,and never,going from the photos I have, had the second,staggered 40mm fitted port and starboard slightly ahead of the bridge. If building the Tamiya kit these items should be considered if you want an Attacker rather than the later Ruler class. There are other differences I'll try and detail later. Hull 9 by plastichacker, on Flickr
  9. RGB colour numbers

    I would not disagree with anything that has been said here regarding light/angles/paint/photos/videos and a myriad of other things,but as the OP wanted to print a decal onto decal paper and match it (I use that term as loosely as you want) to a painted model then in the end,sampling colours from your printer onto the actual paper is the quickest,easiest and most direct way i can think of. If anyone else has a better solution I'd love to hear it. It will never be perfect,though I'd admit the professional decal printers (that use an entirely different process) probably could do it fairly easily. I'll stick to my £30 Canon Pixma that gives me very good results,and wish you all luck with your endeavours. mtd
  10. RGB colour numbers

    I hope I am not stating the obvious here,but might a slightly different approach work? Rather than getting too tied up on RGB/CMYK just use whatever program you are using to make as many small (say 20mm square) swatch boxes,and fill them with various "mixes" of your preferred colours,and then print off the whole sheet, onto your usual decal paper,using your usual settings-in fact treat it like a decal,even varnishing it after if using inkjet,to get the actual colour of each printed swatch. You do not of course have to do a whole sheet, across the top of an A4 sheet in one line or as many samples as you require. I have used this technique many times when trying to find the exact shade I want,and I keep them for future reference,much like a colour paint chart. If your program allows text then label each swatch as you drop the colour into it and this will print with the rest,giving you instant reference to actual colours that you will get from your current printer on your usual settings. Works for me.....
  11. Thanks for the comments. I hope to show that you don't "have" to go the kit route,regardless of the scale-it is just plastic modelling,and if you have the plans and photos there's no reason not to make something unique,and relatively (looking at the prices of the average 1/350 or 1/200 kit,plus PE,corrections,wood decks,metal gun barrels and all the other doodahs you "must" have) cheaply. !/1250 just happens to suit me. It is an international collectors scale,and allows for a large number of very detailed models in a fairly small space. One small correction-very few apart from the old Triang and the things sold with magazines are "diecast",which is an entirely different way of making things. Most 1/1250 commercially made models are cast in a soft white metal,allowing for incredible detail, depending on the master model of course. Another comment on Milliput that I forgot to mention before-you should really try and keep the "sausages" of each component as closed as you can,in their respective plastic bags.The light green one seems little affected if not closed up-it dries up a bit but moisture added to it revives it. The darker one is another matter-it can get a sort of "skin" on it of darker material-this should be removed-pared off with a sharp blade,exposing the fresh stuff underneath.Chuck the skin away and use the fresh stuff.If you don't,no matter how well you mix it,this shin will stay in the mix and never go off,and never harden. This probably sounds like too much messing about,but it really is remarkable stuff for model making and if you haven't tried to use it you should.It is second to none for filling metal and resin castings,nothing else comes close. Lecture over. Oddly enough I started a scratch build of a 1/144th scale CVE many years ago,for R/C-it's still sitting in the basement about 75% complete.Maybe one day I'll finish it. Here the flight deck has been added,and the bridge "blank" is sitting in place-now it looks like a CVE. The shape of the side sponsons can be seen,and the 5" positions. I scored the position of the lifts,but changed this later for another method. I spent a ridiculous amount of time searching for etched scribing templates in rectangle/rounded corner squares,and found not much at all-either not in stock,no longer made or just the wrong size. It is something I an not well pracitised at,and I can only admire the aircraft blokes that cheerfully re-scribe an entire aircraft.Mental. Hull 8 by plastichacker, on Flickr
  12. Once the hull shape was firmed up it was time to add some of the lumps and bumps-40mm and 20mm tubs and the fore and aft structures that support the flight deck. Hull 6 by plastichacker, on Flickr The side sponsons were added from plastic card,shaped and then filled with Milliput. This seems to be another material that can cause some difficulties-even now I still struggle at times to get this filler to work,but when it does it is simply unbeatable-you can shape it,carve it,sand it and get a glass like finish on it,and it generally adheres to anything (and just as importantly,to itself) allowing remodelling or shaping as much as you want. The key to getting the best from it are-making sure that the surface you apply it to has some cross scoring-as heavy as you like but something that gives "key" to the place where it is going. Secondly, although you are told to mix it 50:50 I would strongly advise that you mix it something like 60:40,the darker component being the 60%-if the end mix looks very light olive it might not harden fully,and be crumbly. I think the lighter component is the hardener, but whatever,it definitely works better like this. Third, thoroughly mix the 2 parts,between your fingers until homogeneous and warm. Apply wet,with a little spit on your spatula or blade,and once applied, place the part/model in a warm area (even on top of the PC tower or at the end of a radiator,out of direct heat) will speed hardening. Hull 7 by plastichacker, on Flickr Here the side sponsons have been finished,and,as usual, I have used a coat of matt red Humbrol to check for flaws. The side extensions aft for the 5" (sometimes changed for 4" on RN units) are in place and ready for weapons. Finally ready for a flight deck....
  13. The construction of the hull follows much the same pattern as that for the Pretoria Castle-essentially a large box structure was added to the hull to give the maximum internal volume,containing the hangar,of course,as well as workshops and accommodation. As the sheer of the deck had not been eliminated it must have made the moving and securing of aircraft extremely difficult,as it would all have been done by hand. Hull 4 by plastichacker, on Flickr It's sort of starting to look a bit like a CVE,though there is a long way to go at this point. The shape of the hull and simple box superstructure would,in my opinion,make this type of ship an excellent candidate for a large scratch build that should not really challenge an experienced kit builder. Hull 5 by plastichacker, on Flickr Once the super block has dried it can be filled-in the photo the Green Stuff might look excessive,but it isn't. It does tend to shrink a little,so a good coat,well applied with a smooth blade (I have an old No.11 blade reshaped into a filler smoothing tool) . Dealing again with materials, I have read on BM a number of people say that Green Stuff is useless. I have to strongly disagree,it is by fat the best plastic seam/small dent filler I have found,in 50 years of modelling. It is not perfect by any means,and can be "difficult" sometimes-it tends to dry out and you have to be strict with yourself and replace the cap the second you have taken out the tiny amount you need. Keep the cap clean and do NOT overtighten the cap,it will strip. If the filler is dry then apply a drop of liquid glue such as Tamiya Extra Thin to the top surface of the filler in the tube and mix in. The tube will last for years,and often I have to chuck them when half used as they have dried out,but modellers of larger things like 1/35th tanks or 1/32nd aircraft should get full value from a tube. It is not good for resin,it really works on plastic by melting itself into the surface,which is why it needs to be very slightly fluid,or wet. If left to dry thoroughly and then wet sanded back it will leave virtually no trace except the hole/defect you had to fill, filled. An alternative is (or was) Tamiya Basic Type Putty,but I am not sure if this is still available.It is slightly harder and more difficult to sand back in awkward places due to its hardness.
  14. As mentioned previously, the early RN and USN ships shared essentially the same bridge , in size and layout,with some important differences. I will detail these as best I can, I had intended,at some point, to introduce the old Tamiya Bogue class CVE in 1/700th into the thread- I realise that 1/1250 is not everyones cup of tea, and that 1/700 is far more popular for kit builders. Sadly I then realised that the kit I have is back in England and there is nothing I can do about that at the moment. But I point out some things that might aid those building or modding that kit. Attacker bridge 1942 by plastichacker, on Flickr This is a very nice USN photo of the Attacker completing,and shows here the bridge in perfect detail. Points to note are the prominent small tower behind the open bridge,and the type 272 radar lantern atop, and the lattice mast carrying the type 279B dipoles (the "TV" aerials mounted to the pole mast) . In early units the "goofers" gallery was quite small,and was usually much larger in US units. All early USN ships had an enclosed bridge house,looking much like a small pillbox, instead of the open bridge,though I am fairly sure that Bogue herself completed with an open bridge much like Attackers. Attacker bridge cast by plastichacker, on Flickr As usual these small parts are difficult to photo,here is a casting of the early RN bridge, which has already been fitted with the PE D/F loop and 272 tower. I found it slightly easier to photo this than the plasticard master part. US bridge early by plastichacker, on Flickr This is the part constructed master of the early USN bridge- the overhanging gallery has been extended all the way round the bridge,greatly increasing floor space. The small enclosed bridge is fitted. US units carried their search radars aloft at the head of the lattice mast,another major difference. Most RN used the 272 until quite late in the war. Back to the hull next time.
  15. Shipyard Works Wooden Decks

    heheheheee....Australian wit. Love it. Happy New Year all.