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Adm Lord De Univers

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  1. I found out a quicker way to do the base - thank you airbrush (the glue is water soluble and is designed to be airbrushed between snow layers) - as it says on the instructions... This should be thick enough to give me some good footprints and a crash site, but unfortunately doesn't photograph very well at all, here goes nothing: Under lights Natural light (it's not really that dark in the kitchen...) With flash Yep, anyway there are two kinds of snow mixture in there, one of them has sparkly bits in it which really does help with the effect in real life, but is just not apparent here. That was applied third to last so the effect was muted a bit. In all I am happy. Once the footprints and crash site are done, this will be sealed with lacquer and then a wraparound structure will go around the outside and bottom of this base. It will also have a glass top to go on (hence the trough around the edge). Before that the models need their last coats and to be varnished... David
  2. Thanks Jeff, glad to have you aboard. Won't be too long hopefully and I still have to carve up the water inlets so not be a proper hold, but I just keep looking at that bare floor (and the part I mangled wih pe previously) and thinking I should do better. Also need some time to consider what camouflage scheme to put her in... David
  3. So, good news and bad news. Firstly, I'm just not happy with the Bismarck; whilst I've redone some platforms, there is no detail on these new 'decks'. Equally whilst the pe I have (and a pile of odd and ends I can use that I haven't catalogued here) is excellent there will be some key missing details, and by 'key' I mainly mean minor (or teeny tiny). However, it is the only 1/350 kit I plan to keep - excluding a Titanic. The good news? Well, I found some more pe; more bad news? The price...good news? I have another Bismarck I can use some bits for too, so excess parts won't go to waste. In short, I will put the Bismarck on hold a bit, and just concentrate on getting her ready for the additional pe parts that are on their way. Some more good news then, well the M.52 is now glued and looks good. I already planned to do the panel lines, and whilst those on the wing and tail were fine (although I think one or two were erroneous), I might as well do the whole lot and ensure they are all the same. That's right, more putty: Slightly different angle that shows some work I've done on those wheel wells: Next time I post on the M.52, this should be smooth and ready for supersonic flight. The plan after that is to apply a grey base coat, followed by black base coat, and then panel line and rivet prior to final aluminium coat and decals etc. I'm hoping that this ordering will cause the scribe to penetrate a bit further than what I managed on the resin alone. David
  4. Progress today, the two remaining Schallanlage have been excavated in the forward hull (port and starboard), just need more minor tidying: Some more deck detail has been removed and/or filled in, but most importantly the funnel platforms have been made successfully: Now I just need to find my pe girders and beams so these are ready to reattach (pic above shows all the misfits and excess of my attempts on right). David
  5. Right, so not much to update on this Bismarck, although I did concentrate on her today, but all my efforts at scratch-building the funnel searchlight platform (upper one) were not up to, er, scratch. Instead I broke that up with sanding back the M.52 fuselage, it's almost there, wheel wells need some work still: And my first attempt (I skipped doing a test) of the snow effect went reasonably well. Please note that the base sides will be covered and there are more layers of snow to come: David
  6. First step, giving some random undulations and texture to a blank piece of styrofoam: Now add lighter and an outdoor space: Probably not the best angle, but the toxic part is complete. It's also the best way I've tried of making a seascape. Will continue after lunch and playtime. David
  7. As I said earlier, I have started a whole bunch of kits and there will be natural pauses in the Bissy, in fact we are awaiting putty drying on that and the other stop-gap in the shape of the M.52. Step up the Battle of Hoth diorama to be given as a Christmas present to my Star Wars mad partner. So one I need to finish relatively soon. The AT-AT, AT-ST and Snowspeeder are all by Bandai, in 1/144: Duuuuh Duuh’ da-da-da Duuuuh Duuh’ da-da-da Duuuuh Duuh’ dun-dun-dun-duuuun. Fantastic, excellent kits that practically built themselves, amazing detail, click together (but glued here - apart from the legs and neck, they move); and halted originally only due to some missing paint. I usually introduce my subjects, but instead I will make some broad, sweeping opinions masquerading as facts (so probably my usual then...). The Battle of Hoth was a battle fought far, far away and a long-ish time ago on a remote ice planet called Hoth. For some reason the Rebels used snowspeeders against these heavily armoured behemoths when their guns were ineffective. Why they didn’t use the X-Wings parked behind the base is beyond me as they seemed to work ok when retreating shortly afterwards (I’ve heard it was because of the cold, but then surely space is colder, and they seemed to work quite well there?). Even more bafflingly, they did all their attack runs towards the front, where the cannons are, and not towards the undefended rears; or attack the AT-AT necks which seemed to work well once they had fallen over. But whatever, what we get, in total, is the best Star Wars film – of any trilogy, but importantly of the main and, by a wide margin, the best - great opening scenes and pioneering special effects. Hopefully you can picture what’s coming next as I’m unsure about copyright on posting film stills, but this website, or the aptly named wookiepedia, should give a photographic hint or two. But how to go about that? Baking soda like the original? Well, arts and crafts time for yours truly, with the help of Precision Ice and Snow (this will be a first, I ordered it a while ago when on offer): Painting, varnishing, weathering and then varnish again are up next for the models, but first a test run of making the base, which I hope to have done by tomorrow. Either will make a welcome change from applying putty or ripping parts off models. In either case, I think these kits will be more than enough for me to tackle. Combined, probably too much for one KUTA but this diorama is agonisingly close to being done anyway. David
  8. Unarguably - if they ever remake the Sink the Bismarck movie, this is really a part they need to include, the tension would have been unbearable and as you say quite terrifying. Probably not that nice to watch, let alone be there in person, mind. I seem to recall Piorun signalling "I am a Pole" or words to that effect during her exchange. I've just ordered a mast for her, so that plastic part will soon be consigned to history, however - as is always the case - I saw some other tasty am details for her that could really help bring this old mold up to scratch, but i will progress around them as soon as that putty is bit harder (ruined a sponge yesterday by just digging in too early) and I do not have the funds with Christmas coming up to order all of them (I may just have to scratch some details instead as it's already a wee bit overbudget). What to do in the meantime though? David
  9. So back to the task at hand. Here is where we've gotten to today: Looks pretty similar to before I guess, but boat overhangs have now been removed, and lots of minor holes for kit bits and bobs have been sealed up. The vast amount of time was taken sorting some of that filler between superstructure and deck - trimming excess. That and filing back to a respectable base will take a while to do, and we have even more putty awaiting drying so a nice place to leave things for now. David
  10. Quick lunchtime update, the forward wheel well has been excavated (out of view below), but more importantly the cockpit is almost ready for painting. The main fuselage has had all existing gaps filled, wheel wells excavated and existing bays closed up. The exhaust is also almost done. All that remains is to tidy up this puttied mess, before detailing can begin. But until then we will switch back to the Bismarck. David
  11. As I said in my introduction, the Bismarck is the originator of my current modelling malaise and deserves to be completed first. However, I also noted I’ve started a whole bunch more and there will be natural pauses in the Bissy, in fact we are sort of in one now with putty drying. First up was supposed to be a quick build to break my rut: the Miles M.52 prototype that was never to be. This was my first real (full) resin kit (from A+V Models, 1/72) and not merely a piece of am; which I hoped would be a quick glue, paint, decal affair... As is my want, a short introduction to our subject matter: definitely not a waste of a plane and a shame that the project was cancelled, enabling the X-1 to achieve the sound barrier breaking record. I’ve read many reasons for this and there was definitely a sour taste for those involved, but essentially the UK was – to put it mildly – in dire financial constraints from the Second World War and this was axed in budget cuts. The Oracle has more detail, as does a book by famous test pilot Cpt Eric Brown (Miles M.52) on its design production and cancellation, but if you plan to build this then the book by Tony Buttler (Miles M.52) is a good bet. In either case, the M.52 was designed to break the sound barrier using a jet engine, not a rocket, and to take off and land like a normal plane. Unfortunately kits of this flying ship contraption are quite rare and I soon ran into issues, namely that I was not happy with the cockpit layout (the pilot straddles the wheel well) or detail, nor the location of wheel bays and the wings. I believe, please correct me if I'm wrong, that the RAF had a tendency to paint (or seal, or cover) their bare metal on aircraft in aluminium spray. So, on the plus side, no bare metal finish (foiling) is strictly necessary. But I do want some more detail. Well, earlier tonight I did a test on a spare bit of resin (there are different configurations of the aft fuselage present - two next to the scribers in one of the photos below). Below we have the photos of these tests – scribing a panel line and rivets (not riveting I know but for me a major achievement): I’m happy for my first attempt at either technique – doesn’t look like much but good to proceed. And below we have the current state of affairs (the white putty (hardened with ca glue) gives an indication of changes made, however not of inside the cockpit and thinning the walls, where a lot of resin had to be removed): The photo etch is for a Fairey Gannet, although I will be looking at other bits going spare as I’m not happy with it (etch is good just not the size of the panels). The real thing seems quite spartan, but I just wanted something, anything, in there to give an impression of a real aircraft. I also need to source wheels from spares. Next steps will be sorting out those wheel wells; then tidying up the exhaust, cockpit and all surfaces; detailing surfaces, and painting and/or gluing together. David
  12. Ok, so a slower day today, what with normal life and whatnot. The forward upper superstructure got a full cleanse of oversize supports underneath the platforms and some corrections to bits and pieces (I think again to above these were present on the Tirpitz and this moulding is based on her): The main build had a few more passes with a file, including removing all detail from the funnel area (I kept the off-cuts to serve as a template for the replacements later): Now that I'm at it, those boat racks/support might as well go too. My handling so far seems to have bent the main mast and funnel cap/grill. I'm leaning towards a brass replacement mast so will also consider that platform by the mast as it might just be easier to redo the whole lot. Hopefully I can adjust the funnel back into shape later. Next steps will be some work on the hull, but I need to await some putty drying first (the deck wasn't quite level with the hull). David
  13. I tried this morning but couldn't find the link, but one of the surviving officers in the aft fire control position - if I recall correctly - noted that central fire control had massive issues with the constant (and unexpected) course changes in her final engagement. He seemed to believe accuracy improved when they switched to local control later on but shortly thereafter this was (or the remaining guns, or both were) disabled too. I can only assume that the shorter range of the destroyer action permitted better accuracy, the sea state wasn't as poor or she was more maneuverable at that point. That being said, I've read the Piorun exchanged fire with Bismarck for quite a while before she came under attack with the main guns and was straddled on the third attempt. By that point she was well within point blank range for the 15in, and retreated thereafter. Equally, the destroyer action also degraded the crew, so performance would be expected to be worse by the morning anyway. Agree with your closing point, a KGV or Rodney should be a good match for a Bismarck by themself (considering only armour and guns), but being outnumbered by both and other units meant she was doomed whatever. David
  14. Some very good points @PeterB, @ArnoldAmbrose, and @Grey Beema . I don't rate the lower deck protection as of significant a detraction - as having the weight lower was good for the metacentric height and gun platform stability, although it would have negatively affected her buoyancy. I think the final battle shows the benefits of this arrangement - that damage to the vitals was lessened, although her fighting efficiency was negated by the severe damage above anyway. It would have been interesting to see how she would've faired if she had been able to maintain a course and shoot more accurately. KGV did stand off to lob in shells, I've read somewhere that when these hit they did a tremendous amount of damage internally, knocking out boilers and necessitating magazine flooding, and obv to the crew, etc. I've read the same about Prinz Eugen too, I believe they then went about making corrections in the sterns of other ships after this (likely not knowing what had really happened to the Bismarck to do this earlier). I've read that too about the 16in shells and their fuses, but cannot remember reading into it - whether the fuse was affected by armour thickness of the hull (I.e. where it did manage to penetrate the belt and upper barbette, it then didn't detonate) or didn't have time to arm when going through the thinner superstructure. I'm pretty sure I recall a survivor account saying that Rodney's shells would pass right through, but the Dorsetshire's often armed and caused more damage - but by then it was just moving around wreckage ("looked like swiss cheese" as I recall). David
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