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Bitzer

1/350 Trumpeter The Sullivans built as the USS Johnston DD-557

25 posts in this topic

Hello all.

I’ve started the 1/350 Trumpeter USS The Sullivans DD-537. I will be building her in a “Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors” diorama where the USS Johnston DD-557 of Taffy 3 commanded by LCdr Evans and his ship, charged the Japanese Center Force, during the Battle off Samar off Leyte Gulf, 23 Oct 44.
The Japanese Center Force consisted of the battleships Yamato, Nagato, Kongō, and Haruna; heavy cruisers Chōkai, Haguro, Kumano, Suzuya, Chikuma, Tone; light cruisers Yahagi, and Noshiro; and 11 Kagerō and Yūgumo-class destroyers.
When the center force was spotted by an Avenger scout plane, they were heading straight for the small force of American escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts. To protect the carriers LCdr Evans laid down a smoke screen and attacked the Japanese force using the only weapons available to him. The Johnston charged the heavy cruiser Kumano, 5” main guns firing, and closed the gap to launch a torpedo attack to starboard on the Kumano. Moments later the bow of the heavy cruiser was blown off and the Johnston turned to continue the fight. The Johnston was hit shortly afterward by three battleship main guns, lost steerage and propulsion but was hidden by a rain squaw. She was able to restore one boiler and manual steerage and rejoin the fight along with the other destroyers, destroyer escorts and every plane that could be launched from the escort carriers as they were loaded.
The Johnston eventually succumbed to damage caused by Japanese destroyers and sunk with a loss of 186 men out of a crew of 327.
The diorama will consist of the Johnston at flank speed turning to port and laying a smoke screen, depicted prior to launching torpedoes to starboard..
I purchased Tom’s PE set, Alliance Modelworks twin 40mm Bofors, single 20mm Oerlikon and will be purchasing 3D USN sailors from Shapeways.

fM0iMc.jpg

I'm going to start with the base.

First, I cut out the foam for the hull with the ship leaning to starboard as she turns to port.

y8x2SM.jpg

I then shaved out some waves and the wake swells and applied acrylic gel.

ATEU4Z.jpg

I then added paper towel and covered that with more acrylic gel. I'm using paper towel this time instead of paper strips. This should form a little better that paper. I am also using Liquitex Medium Gel, not because it's better than Golden, but because it was available at my local craft store at the time. Either product work as well.

zDlD3z.jpg

The paper tower/paper is used to smooth out the texture of the foam. Once this dries, I will sand the surface and apply a little more gel to build up the waves.

More to come.

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One of the great stories from the often neglected Pacific theatre of WW2. I still read James Hornfischer's book of this episode from time to time.

I'm a total Fletcher nut so I will be following this one! I've done six Fletchers in various scales, including the 1944 Spence from the Tamiya kit, and the 1945 Dortch from the Trumpeter one.

I'm sure you'll make another masterpiece out of this one, especially the water :)

Al

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It would certainly take a brave Captain to charge the Yamato, three other battleships, and various cruisers in a little tin can destroyer! An act of bravery worthy of commemoration!

Should be good to see, the water base is looking well formed already.

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I've read about this action too and will be following your build with great interest. Nice start on your base and welcome to BM.

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Great start looking forward to this build :book:

Will be taking notes if you do not mind

Beefy

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An update.
I sanded the base a little (it's a little weird cause it's like sanding rubber) to get the peaks down and applied another coat of gel. This time I added some to the bow waves to build them up.
Next will be the base coat of blue.

k59mWX.jpg

7nFlAX.jpg

b6GIOT.jpgghWkIV.jpg

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I’ve started on the hull and guns. I received the 40’s and 20’s and wow they are really detailed. It took me several hours to complete the 5 40mm gun platforms and it will take several more hours to finish 6 more 20’s.
I raised the barrels of the 5”s to keep an aim on the Kumano do to the list of the ship during its turn and added blast bags.
For the base I painted the blue, sprayed some turquoise in the wake and added some cotton to the whitecaps and wake. My idea is to add some white disturbance just under the surface. I have added 4 coats of high gloss varnish and will be adding several more coats.

aNRZPU.jpg

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You've really got this water effect dialled in! It looks very realistic already.

One of the most evocative pictures of a Fletcher in trouble is this one from Okinawa:

51_big.jpg

Bigger version HERE

It shows how the late-war Fletchers would really sit down in the water at flank speed when sprinting into action. Look at the position of the various guns, director and torpedo tubes as well. Although this was during a kamikaze attack, not a surface action, this is the picture that leaps to mind when I read about the Johnston at Samar at flank speed with all guns and torpedo tubes engaged! Heroic stuff indeed - the Royal Navy equivalent would probably be the Glowworm taking on the heavy cruiser Hipper and her escorts in 1940. Both skippers posthumously received their nation's highest decoration for valour.

I'm sure you'll 'em proud with this one Bitzer! ;)

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Watching this thread, I came to realize that I don't know how I wouldn't know how to shape the ocean surface, but then it struck me. There is an 3D editor software in paticular (Autodesk Maya) that has an ocean shader (complicated I'm afraid), but the fun thing is that you can apply that shader to a height field (an observable 3d object as opposed to an image), and one can take one's time try recreating the waves for a real life model, in addition to see how the ocean surface will look like when rendered as an image and use that image as a painting guide. :)

My first impression is that OP's ocean surface looks nice. I *really* want to crate something myself, but I don't dare just yet. :)

Edited by Housesparrow

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Thanks guys and thanks for following,

I'm pretty much going off of some Google images for turning ships.
xRkfqS.jpgfxlOrO.gifz2FFGd.jpg

Of coarse link anything, the sea state, wind speed, ships draft draft Etc, Etc will create differences. I have found, that while there are differences in the several photos I've found, there are also similarities. Things that physics just won't let you get away with. I am really working at getting these "truths" correct between my water dioramas. Something like Autodesk Maya would defiantly be a help, unfortunately I am going to have to rely on good old photos for the moment.

Alan,

I'm thinking I need to "sink" my ship a little more. It's just sitting in the hole I made for it so that's not any problem. After I have complete her, I'll place her permanently in the base and add the cotton and gel bow wave and wake, and whitewater disturbance along the hull.

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I had to take a break from the PE to do some work on the superstructure, however while the glue and filler is drying I constructed the depth charge racks and DC storage racks. The K gun launchers and racks are next.

The depth charges are pieces of solder.

jIYHS1.jpg

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Well It’s been quite a while but I’m back on the Johnston. I’m redoing the base because I didn’t like the old one.

Here’s the process for the base.

I bought some hard Styrofoam from the local craft store and cut it to shape.

WwEt3d.jpg

Next I drew out the hull shape and cut it out of the Styrofoam.

8oOUbo.jpg

bFIiqw.jpg

WMxcoP.jpg

I then drew out where I wanted the wake and cut them out.

Qcombn.jpg

DO0pH4.jpg

Using a lighter I turned the base upside down and used a lighter to melt the Styrofoam and create the waves (out in the garage).

AHQ0bP.jpg

I used some printer paper and tore them in strips. I then wetted the strips and applied them to the base using acrylic gel.

5NA0hz.jpg

VTVEeD.jpg

XkVsLH.jpg

PUAffZ.jpg

 

I continued this process until the entire base was covered with the paper strips. The wet paper wrinkles and makes beautiful ripples on the waves.

lV66pX.jpg

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Well It’s been quite a while but I’m back on the Johnston. I’m redoing the base because I didn’t like the old one.

Here’s the process for the base.

I bought some hard Styrofoam from the local craft store and cut it to shape.

WwEt3d.jpg

Next I drew out the hull shape and cut it out of the Styrofoam.

8oOUbo.jpg

bFIiqw.jpg

WMxcoP.jpg

I then drew out where I wanted the wake and cut them out.

Qcombn.jpg

DO0pH4.jpg

Using a lighter I turned the base upside down and used a lighter to melt the Styrofoam and create the waves (out in the garage).

AHQ0bP.jpg

I used some printer paper and tore them in strips. I then wetted the strips and applied them to the base using acrylic gel.

5NA0hz.jpg

VTVEeD.jpg

XkVsLH.jpg

PUAffZ.jpg

 

I continued this process until the entire base was covered with the paper strips. The wet paper wrinkles and makes beautiful ripples on the waves.

lV66pX.jpg

 

Edited by Bitzer
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I did some work on the base today. I checked the fit of the build in its slot then sanded the base and applied another coat of acrylic gel stippling it with the brush to get more of a ripple effect. After this coat was dry I mixed up some acrylic artist paint and applied it for the color.

86cZTe.jpg

cP7TPb.jpg

fbwNaz.jpg

SubcbN.jpg

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Interesting project, showing a destroyer in action and it looks great

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Thanks BerndM

Here is an update to the base. After the initial color dried I painted a thinned lighter blue. When that was dry I added a coat of acrylic varnish which mixed the colors and protect them when dry.

ePf9j2.jpg

Bq9i0I.jpg

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When that was dry I sprayed teal to areas of churn and then drybrushed the wave tops. I will leave the base for now and continue with the build next.

g0Y5fJ.jpg

k3bMgb.jpg

 

h9HdM7.jpg

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After I set the hull in the base, I’ll add acrylic gel and cotton to create the bow wave, whitecaps and wake.

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On 2/1/2016 at 11:07 AM, Bitzer said:

Thanks guys and thanks for following,

I'm pretty much going off of some Google images for turning ships.
xRkfqS.jpgfxlOrO.gifz2FFGd.jpg

Of coarse link anything, the sea state, wind speed, ships draft draft Etc, Etc will create differences. I have found, that while there are differences in the several photos I've found, there are also similarities. Things that physics just won't let you get away with. I am really working at getting these "truths" correct between my water dioramas. Something like Autodesk Maya would defiantly be a help, unfortunately I am going to have to rely on good old photos for the moment.

Alan,

I'm thinking I need to "sink" my ship a little more. It's just sitting in the hole I made for it so that's not any problem. After I have complete her, I'll place her permanently in the base and add the cotton and gel bow wave and wake, and whitewater disturbance along the hull.

 

View from a cruise ship...

 

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Thank you so much for liking my posts!

I had the opportunity to work on the Johnston this weekend. I added some cotton to the base which will be covered with several coats on acrylic varnish and look like disturbances under the surface.
The ship has a few fiddly parts to install (PE 20’s, searchlights Etc.) before painting. Most of what you see has been dry fit for the picture.
Well back to it.

PO4Xnq.jpg

vPVjRf.jpg

pgMr5c.jpg

MXsbtb.jpg

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Here is a small update. I have the single 20's made up and will be starting on the mast PE soon. I also started painting the assemblies. I'm using Vallejo for the paint. I like their results on my ship builds. While they can be difficult to spray, they are very easy to brush IMO.

lV7lQq.jpg

7a2AQK.jpg

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Great progress Bitzer!

I really like Vallejo paints and find they airbrush really well. What do you use to thin the paint?

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Thanks Bangor Lad.

I use Vallejo's thinner but need quite a bit of it to keep the paint from drying at the tip. I do really like Model Air if I can get them in the right colour.

I like the finish on both of them and they are also very easy to weather, again IMO.

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Looking good so far, will make a fine 'action' scene when complete.

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I haven't done much on this lately so I just wanted to get some work on the books.

I worked some on the Fletcher stack PE. There is still quite a bit of PE work to do in this area including the mast and rigging. I'm trying something different. I'm going to get as much done on a section prior to installing it rather than installing it and then adding all the fiddly bits.

NqJdUe.jpg

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