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About calistan

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  1. I've finally done the three aircraft! I kept putting them off because they looked so fiddly, but when I finally got round to it they didn't take all that long and were actually good fun to make. ^ One of the things putting me off starting them earlier was the official colour scheme, a green and red/brown camo pattern that I think looks really ugly as well as difficult to paint. I saw a 1/72 kit for one of these that has some sort of pre-war white with red tail scheme on the box, so I went the non-historical route and painted these similarly. It's Mr Hobby IJN aircraft grey, which I was originally going to use for the entire ship but it turned out to be way too pale. Next up, numerous minor repairs, matte varnish, sticking the boats and planes to the deck, adding some small details that I forgot, and some rigging as soon as I get hold of some lycra thread.
  2. Very nice! This is next on my wish list but I’ve only seen it for sale in Australia. Where did you get yours from?
  3. I seem to be back to a glacial pace on this lately, so I'm posting a couple more images to motivate me. The latest sticking point was having to thoroughly clean the room before applying Pledge floor polish for the weathering. I've done the weathering in two stages, so it was one coat of Pledge with rust colours and some general grime, then another coat of Pledge with black and white over the top. It looks okay, maybe needs smoothing out in places but at least I can do that without wiping off the entire thing. ^ Still needs tidying up / fading below the waterline, but the effect on that bulge is what I'm aiming for. ^ Somehow I managed to obliterate the flagpole, some tiny mushroom vents and the leadman's platform from the front while manouevring this unwieldy beast for varnishing. Where they went, only the carpet monster or possibly the washing machine knows. The flagpole was just a bit of wire and I have spare vents, but the platform is a bigger loss since it had a mesh floor. I've found a similar square mesh-looking piece in a set of 1/700 safety nets that I never used, so I might be able to reconstruct something similar. Will probably have to make one for the other side too, so they look the same. The moral: don't carelessly handle a large model that's bristling with photo etch while wearing a baggy jumper.
  4. Wow, I don't think I could bear to apply the last drop of glue that sealed all of that stuff away forever. Maybe you could do it as a cutaway or give it a lift-off top. I'm sure the exterior is going to look pretty special regardless.
  5. That interior is extraordinary, particularly the dirt/rust/wear on the metal floor. It could hardly look more real.
  6. Finally got started on the ship's boats. They're resin with a surprising amount of photo etch for such small things. A couple of the larger ones have optional resin parts to represent canvas covers or I can show the metal cages underneath, and there's total of 104 oars of various sizes, because you can never have too many oars. ^ Stage 1 - sprayed the wooden parts with deck tan, then masked them off. ^ Stage 2 - outer parts have been sprayed grey, a wash of umber oil paint applied to the wood, and... oh, what's this? I didn't know such a thing was possible, but these resin boats aren't a consistent size, so the PE seating parts don't fit. Top one is the best of the bunch, the middle one shows how far the PE overhangs on most of the others, and the bottom one I've had to file away the back part to get it to fit. ^ That's how much I have to trim off the back, plus the sides need to be narrowed to fit the curve of the boat. Nice plank details though.
  7. I think I'm happy enough with the actual photo etch, it's very good in this particular set. The only thing I've added that doesn't look at least a little bit better than what was on the kit is the replacement flight deck - really wish I hadn't stuck that on there, as it looks exactly the same as the plastic did, but without the wooden deck sticker it throws off the alignment of the mast. That's my fault. I now know exactly what I'd do if I was ever to make this kit again, but what's the point in that? Parts where I've had to file off significant amounts of plastic to attach the PE, like on the gun platforms near the funnel, look a bit rougher than I'd like. I would use a glue that's easier to clean up rather than CA for that sort of thing in future. I would also spend the extra and get the Pontos detail kit instead, since I've had to discard a lot of Flyhawk stuff - 4x AA guns and 6x searchlights (that was around 30 quid to replace them all), dozens of mushroom vents that didn't fit, the wooden deck that I never wanted... I also had to make a part that my detail set didn't include (I used paper soaked in CA in the end, plus an old ladder for the windows) but then that was actually fun.
  8. This possibly doesn't merit an update, but I just got the replacement searchlights from Veteran Models and wanted to highlight them as they're really intricate pieces of resin moulding and currently my favourite things on the ship. I think I must have thrown the previous ones away, but it would have been interesting to compare them. The Flyhawk ones didn't fit together at all, and the kit plastic ones are done in two halves so they'd end up with a seam down the middle. The new ones are two main pieces , plus a couple of PE adjustment wheels, PE cross-shaped cover, clear resin lens and tiny resin spike for the centre. Hurrah for the small details.
  9. I like the idea of a kit where the detail parts are integral and don't require various bits to be sanded off. I did a Seydlitz that was like that, but this one is on a different level.
  10. Interesting! I won't be at Telford but if you do happen to get hold of one of those then I reckon you might just have made my next model decision for me.
  11. I'm kinda/sorta/almost done with my current Nagato build and was thinking about what to get next. To make a change from battleships, I'm really tempted by Hasegawa's 1/350 Soya kit, since it's orange and white. Also, tiny. But then I saw this one - it's 1/250, which is an odd sort of scale, but it looks amazing. It seems to be an all-in-one plastic and PE kit, and the detail is fantastic. http://lighthouse-models.com/html/25001r1.html However, I can't find anywhere to buy it in this country. BNA has it available in Australia, but it's a heavy kit and at around 300 quid there might be some nasty postage/import fees. Does anyone know of a UK stockist for this thing?
  12. So I've got pretty much all of the superstructure attached now, I've started adding a layer of weathering with black oil paint and once I'm happy with that I'll seal it again with Pledge and make a final pass. Still haven't done the planes and boats, I'm really not looking forward to those. Everything else has been fun though! ^ The high angle gun control towers. I was attaching the little PE bridge to one of them and dropped it from the tweezers, and that was the end of it. It's big enough not to vanish into the carpet, and I spent ages looking, but it did have superglue on one end so it could have stuck somewhere on the way down. I even checked myself in the mirror to see if it was attached to my clothes. Anyway, it's gone but I managed to make something similar out of offcuts. It will be hard to notice when it's all together. (original version on the left, my attempt on the right). ^ That's my replacement in situ. The ship is so busy, I don't think it will stand out too badly. ^ At this magnification the harsh lighting exposes some nasty glue seams around the edges of the gun platforms. I don't think I'll be able to get rid of that now, maybe I could add some netting or canvas to cover it. The searchlight platforms are currently empty because the two-piece Flyhawk resin ones don't actually fit together. There's a big gap between the support arms and the body of the light. Very poor. I've ordered some nicer ones from Veteran Models. ^ Guns in place on the back end. I think the deck details are complete here. I still need to do the anchor chains, so I haven't added the forward guns yet as they'll get in the way. I need to figure out how to do more flattering lighting when I take pictures of the finished thing.
  13. Thank you, and yes - assuming I now know what bollards are, I believe Flyhawk provided them. There are two pairs of tiny ones in the second pic above, right at the pointy end, and there were 18 of the larger ones that you can see between the anchor chain holes. I also bought some Flyhawk brass strips for the flight deck, thinking I could apply them after painting it, but they're very flimsy and too hard to stick on straight after cutting. Plus I think they'd look way too prominent - scaled up I estimate they'd be 20cm wide, which surely can't be right. ^ Lack of foresight here. Because I'm using the brass flight deck but not the wooden deck stickers, there's a bit of a lip where these pieces of deck meet. I'm having to shim half of the rear bridge structure where it overhangs and won't sit flush. Almost done with that now, a double thickness of plasticard seems about right. The other option would have been to cut out a piece of the brass deck, which probably would have been a disaster.
  14. Thanks for the tip, it's a good feeling to be actually learning things about ships while I'm making this model. I assume they needed vents so the mushroom farms below decks wouldn't get too humid. I opted to use the kit mushroom vents, since to my eyes their main benefit on the model is to provide a bit of contrast and texture to the deck. Plus I already have dozens of them ready to go. ^ Check this out. I call them nano-shrooms. They were in the Flyhawk set and they replace some little nubs I'd forgotten I sliced off the deck right at the beginning. I didn't know if I'd be able to use them, but I just got a set of Trumpeter's needle-point tweezers (four for £8, a bargain) so I can actually pick them up now. I stuck about 20 of them to a glue dot to paint them. With the naked eye they look super fine, you can't tell they're not quite standing up at the same angle. Hope they stay put. ^ The ship's washing line! I bought the tweezers to help pick tiny fibres off the railings, as I had a bit of a dust nightmare after spraying those. I hadn't noticed that the old box I was using as a spray booth had dust in the corners, and the airbrush kicked it up to settle on my freshly painted brass. Naked eye - invisible. Macro photo - quite annoying.
  15. Well, I got the flight deck done, bar the aircraft, and have started on a few little things that have been blocking me from moving onto other little things. ^ Flight deck. Not as bad as I'd feared. The rails look good. There's actually a sort of texture on the brown surface that hasn't shown up very well in the picture (a couple of layers of thin black oil wash). The little trolley things are just resting there, they'll be bucking under the weight of aircraft one day. The PE kit has spare parts to make a couple more, so I might add those as well. ^ I've added all of the railings and a few platforms and things like that where I can, so I can paint them before any superstructure goes on. I'm considering adding cranes and lifeboat hoists as well, but they're so flimsy I suspect they'll only get knocked off. The hull is screwed to its wooden base now, so that should help stop it getting bashed around. It's a gamble... The bits that I snipped off on the unfinished bit of the lower deck - locator pins for a couple of casemate guns - are where the flight deck will go, but it wouldn't slide into place with the upper deck glued down. The instructions dictate putting all the deck pieces down in a precise sequence, which would have precluded me doing the flight deck separately. There's a similar problem for the funnel structure, but nothing that can't be fixed with a pair of nippers. ^ One of the cranes I was thinking of fitting before painting the rest of the deck. The top part is an I-beam made from three slivers of brass about 0.5 cm long. Chances of it surviving when I have to reach around it to glue parts down or peel off masking tape are... slim. ^ Casemate gun parts lined up for painting. Those will go on after the upper hull is completely painted and de-masked, at which point I can almost smell the finishing line (or perhaps that's just Mr Color paint thinner). ^ Finally, obligatory Flyhawk whinge. Look at that! Those little brass bollards, whatever they're called. They're supposed to have two pieces of PE on them as well - a curved bit on the side and a round one on the top, but I'm glad I did a test fit before I went ahead and made up all 50-odd of them. The pins are way too small for the holes in the deck (see the kit part, left) so they just fall through. The only place they do fit is where they mount to a PE base rather than directly to the plastic, but that's only in three or four places anyway.
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