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About calistan

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  1. I saw a video about this a while back, I think it was actually an official Infini one, but I can’t find it anywhere now. It’s easy enough to describe (I hope) and pretty foolproof. Basically, with the model mounted on its stand, unwind a suitable length of thread and tape down the end closest to the spool - tape it to the stand, to the side of the ship, wherever is convenient. Stretch the free end of the thread to its furthest attachment point, add a drop of thin CA and keep it under gentle tension until it holds. Untape the thread, snip off as much as you need, stretch it to the second attachment point and repeat. The key is to keep some tension on the thread while the glue sets. Find somewhere to attach it and carefully pull the thread around it. The excess can easily be removed by pulling it with tweezers and just touching it with a fresh scalpel blade. Don’t add too much tension to the second point or you might end up warping a mast. You want just enough to keep the rigging straight. Personal preference, of course, but I’d recommend a heavier thread than 70 denier. I used that before and it’s close to invisible, which is annoying when you’ve spent so long doing it. The model below, I used 110 denier thread. It’s much easier to work with and can easily be seen on a shelf (maybe that’s just my eyes though).
  2. Thanks Jamie, good call on trimming from the back of the fuselage. I wasn't looking there, I was mainly thinking of somehow carving out the top of the windscreen to accommodate the rounded protrusion. Cutting from the back does indeed make the panel lines match up, and after that I needed to remove the rounded part (it's surely a mistake), take off the lug from the fuselage, and trim just a bit from the middle of the wing so it sits flat. A bit of filler and I think it's good to go. I've also been chipping away at the central windscreen pillar, as for some reason it was wider than the glass panes either side.
  3. First update in a while. I haven't had much modelling time or inspiration in the last couple of months, but I'm back on it now. Some of these pics were the last ones I took before the world went crazy. I'm trying to remember what I was meant to do next. ^ This is one of the cranes. I found that CA glue didn't give enough structural support while working on other bits, so I soldered it instead - which naturally caused all the small CA parts to drop off. The left side is black because it pinged off the tweezers and into a pot of thick CA while I was trying to stick it, so I had to burn the glue off. Other parts I did in the wrong order, and had to unstick them by freezing them for a while (very effective). ^ This is as it is now, which is as it was two months ago. Pretty much finished. I tested it plenty of times to make sure my improvised jig / piece of plastic matched up with the holes in the deck. ^ I thought making the small fiddly bits first would be a good way to get back into things, so I started on the helicopter. It's super detailed, there's even photo etch on the bottom. ^ The finished helicopter. The window frames are a bit rough but I'm happy enough at this scale, it looks fine with the naked eye. The colour is from Mr Paint, which is a brand I hadn't used before. Very nice to use, incredibly thin (but impossible to use a brush for touching up details) and nicer in real life than in this picture. I'm using the same colour for the ship hull. ^ Onto the plane next, and this is the first negative point I have about this kit. It doesn't fit at all! There's something very wrong here. ^ The body and wings in the instructions are different - in the kit there's a bit that stick out at the front centre of the wings, a pip at the top of the windows, and a very thick pillar between the front windows. ^ Here's another view. It's not right at all, there's some major surgery required to get it to fit. Not what I was expecting. I can't see similar problems on the few other examples of this I've found on the internet, so I don't know if maybe I'm reading the instructions wrong or I've just got a duff one.
  4. Did that seriously start out as a plastic kit?!? It’s phenomenal!
  5. How about taping down the bottom part, then melting the solder so you can push the legs back to 90 degrees. Tape the legs at the correct angle if necessary, then fill the gap at the joint with a little extra solder. edit: which is more or less what beefy said above, which I did not read.
  6. Thanks very much! I used a thicker grade of rigging thread (110 denier) than on previous models, and it makes a big difference. Nicer to work with, very easy to cut at the attachment point without leaving stray bits of elastic, and better visibility on the finished model.
  7. Looking good. Out of curiosity, what’s the purpose of blacking the drilled portholes?
  8. I've got a tiny way into this build now. The complexity is off the scale but the quality of the kit is extraordinary. Being very precisely measured PE, everything fits together to a fraction of a millimetre. The downside to it being so precise is that it's utterly unforgiving. There are some large pieces of PE that must be applied to curved parts of the hull, and if you get the angle ever so slightly off, you'll find that it doesn't conform to the plastic properly or doesn't quite match up with the next segment and has to be carefully unstuck and reapplied. Even the thickness of the glue makes a difference. I've got it as tight as I can get it for the moment, I'll see if there are any gaps to be filled after the primer goes on. Filling such intricately detailed metal might spoil the look a bit. Hope it doesn't need too much. ^ There's a lot of double thicknesses of PE to glue together for structural support, which is hard to do if you make any mistakes in curving the first piece. The barrier around the edge of the deck is a double layer, plus loads of struts that make it very rigid, then three pieces on top to cover it. I had to file down the tops of some of the struts because the thickness of the glue made them stick up too high. ^ I'm trying to build the superstructure as a removable piece so it can be painted away from the rest of the ship. It's not possible to do the entire thing that way, though. The bridge slots into the big hole at the front, and will be (barely) visible through the open doors. ^ A little piece that slots into the top of the funnel. I'm tempted to do the fiddly little things like this and the various aircraft and boats first, because for once they might actually be the easiest parts.
  9. Here's my completed Nagato. I used Flyhawk's photoetch set, searchlights and AA guns from Veteran Models, rigging thread from Infini. There's a work in progress here, and a mixture of indoor and outdoor pictures below.
  10. I'm finally done with this. (Bar the chrysanthemum on the front, which I forgot about, and a ladder on the back that I tore off while doing the matte coat.) Here are some low quality pictures from my phone, I'll post some better ones in RFI when we get a bright enough day to mess around outside with a decent camera. This was model #4 for me, a big learning experience and a lot of fun. Some things I wanted to do didn't quite work out, but I'm pleased with the things that did go well and confident that the next one will be better. My one-line review: fantastic base kit from Hasegawa, the Flyhawk detail set is a mixed bag, with hindsight I'd have paid the extra for the Pontos set. ^ I didn't like the way the boats looked hanging from the davits so they're all on deck. Will figure out a way to hang them convincingly next time. ^ Deck details. Some of those bits are moulded into the deck and masked off, others added later. ^ Strangely lit view under the pagoda, where loads of girders reside. ^ Looks super busy. Can't ask for more than that, really. ^ Final bonus shot: these are mostly unused sprues left over. The PE kit replaced a lot of this stuff and there's a large number of of redundant parts that presumably go with the other version of Nagato or were intended for some sister ship model that Hasegawa never produced.
  11. I did nightschool Japanese ages ago to help me play videogames, which didn't get me far enough to read the complex kanji but I know there are a lot of "loan words" in there (foreign words transcribed into Japanese phonetics using a distinctive character set). Engine, funnel, boiler, blue, compass. I think it really is a 'say what you see' sort of sign. This is the funnel, smoke from the engine or boiler comes out, it has a blue stripe and the mark of a compass. Compared to a normal 'premium' model + a big photoetch set, it didn't seem so bad. Also I have about three times as much plastic left over from my completed Nagato as the Soya kit contains in total, so I'm helping save the planet
  12. I still have a bit of rigging left to do on the Nagato I've been making for ages, but I couldn't resist making a start on this one. It's a Pontos / Lighthouse Models kit. The packaging is amazing, more like an Apple product than a typical model kit. I've slapped together the hull and tried to make sense of the huge instruction book, which assumes a lot of knowledge and is most definitely not aimed at novices. This will be my fifth model, I think I might just about be able to handle it, but it doesn't follow the usual ship conventions of having separate sub-structures that you can later stick onto the deck. It looks like a lot of it needs to be built directly onto the hull. ^ The hull fits together pretty much seamlessly. The upper flight deck will have lots of detail below it, probably very hard to see once it's stuck in place. The box in the middle is a framework for constructing the bridge around. That helicopter I've started on can be posed with the tail on straight or broken for storage, blades out or folded back, nose bay closed or swung open to show some sort of instruments. The side door can be open or closed (if open, it has PE seats inside). ^ After putting together the hull, this is the entirety of the remaining plastic parts. Some of it is even redundant stuff - there are two spare helicopters, a spare snow vehicle and a type of plane that doesn't fit on this particular version of the ship. Soya went through various refits, I guess they must be planning to release models for those too (Hasegawa already did that in 1/350 scale). ^ It's largely a photo etch model. The sides of the hull above water, the helicopter deck, almost all of the structures on deck... There are 800-odd PE pieces plus 220-something bits of turned brass. I'll need to make sure the paint gets a really good grip on here, otherwise it's going to be peeling off all over the place when I mask various parts. ^ Somebody has mistyped "Antaractica" all over the box, in the instructions and, sadly, on the nice steel nameplate too. Oh well. ^ Some pictures of the real thing. Soya is a museum ship now, and it has an excellent website (in Japanese) for colour references and so on. The kit has a very detailed bridge which is made up as a separate box and slotted into the main structure, and tiny versions of most of these instruments are included. ^ The braces on the ceiling and all of this stuff on the back wall of the bridge are modelled in numerous pieces of PE. Sadly it's going to be impossible to see. I saw a build of this on the web a while ago where they'd put lighting in the bridge, but that's a step too far for me I think. ^ The kit doesn't have that small door in the side of the funnel, so I'm going to stick a spare Nagato door on there. ^ This is the space underneath the helicopter deck, which is filled with PE equipment. Good to know what colour to paint the ceiling, since the instructions don't seem to mention that. I don't know if the screws would have been painted that red and white scheme when it was an actual oceangoing vessel, but they do look rather nice that way.
  13. I'm not a huge fan of wooden deck stickers, and my only previous experience with them is 1) as an add-on for a 1/700 ship which completely ruined the model (the thickness spoiled the alignment of all the other structures), and 2) bundled with a huge detail set for a 1/350 ship (I used a couple of small bits to mask the paintwork and threw the rest of the wooden deck away). Now I've got my first model (Pontos Soya) where the wood sticker is an integral part of the kit - there are no planks etched into the plastic, it's completely flat. The wood sticker is not optional. So I was wondering what's the best way to use this thing. Obviously I only get one shot at it, and if I try something that makes a mess it might be hard to hide the damage. Specific things I'm curious about are: The deck will have to go on early, so should it be masked? It generally isn't masked in the builds I've looked at, so how do people paint and weather the superstructure? Will it get ruined if paint or varnish gets on it? What products are best for darkening or ageing the wood so it looks less like a strip of balsa? Any advice gratefully received for whenever I pluck up the courage to start this thing!
  14. 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.
  15. 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?
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