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About andyelbac

  • Birthday 03/16/1963

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    Kent, England
  • Interests
    Building a horde of kits too big to ever build.

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  1. Yes, thanks for that. Am I reading it correctly; that Nelson had the HACS Iii fitted but no mention of Rodney anywhere, or is it referring to the Nelson class?
  2. Hi Jeff, Thanks for the tip. I will check out Alexander Kent and Douglas Reeman; Two authors I have yet to read.
  3. Hi Jamie, I think you're right. Luckily, the scuttle and cargo hatch positions will provide a good indicator of where to mask. Your artwork is a lifesaver though, the colours in particular. I could have followed the artwork in Man O'War 3 and spent the rest of my life regretting it!
  4. Ahoy there shipmates! it's good to be back and posting with positive news about my Rodney build. It's not been as long as I feared it would be and I resisted the urge to return to some of my part built armour kits, even though they were calling to me like Sirens, "come back to the light, come back" . It was a tough decision but I decided to stick to Rodders even though at the start of this build I said I would be building armour in between. Maybe it's the allure and romance of the sea. Actually, I've always been interested in naval history and naval fiction, particularly in the 17th and 18th century. One of my 'heroes' is Nelson, probably because I was born on Portsea Island, just a few minutes walk from Victory. I once visited his tomb in the crypt at St Paul's Cathedral and it was a surprisingly moving experience, although I'm sure if the great man was looking down on me at the time he would have thought "What's wrong with that useless looking land lubber? I'll wager he's never been in the tops of a main mast being shot at by Frenchies whilst simultaneously fighting off an amorous Lady Hamilton with a belaying pin". To which my reply would be "True, my Lord. But then I'm still alive and kicking whilst you're lying there pickled in a vat of brandy, so let's call it a score draw shall we?" I am also, of course, a big fan of the books written by C S Forester and Patrick O'Brian. I still feel a wonderful sense of excitement whenever I read the section in Lieutenant Hornblower where the Renown is run aground in Santa Domingo and they have to kedge her off whilst under fire from shore batteries. Fantastic! Back to the build though. I've sunk another 30 hours into the kit, what with the HACS and the scuttles. That brings total build time to date of 143 hours. How many of those hours are scuttle related; who knows? I'm not sure anyone else could have done a worse job. It didn't help that I let all those critics that inhabit the space between my ears dictate what I was doing. I'm never listening to myself again!Having started plugging and re-drilling the scuttles, I found myself actually doing them ALL again! The more I looked the unhappier I was with them. Perhaps I should have taken a leaf from Nelson's book; "Wonky scuttles?, I see no wonky scuttles"! Anyway, after questioning my sanity, I decided to replug and re-drill all of them....for the third time, or is it the fourth? So many I've actually forgotten. I am, thankfully, reasonably happy with them now. I'm not convinced they are perfectly level or that I have all of them where they should be, but if I start doing them again I think I will descend into a mental quagmire. If you spot any mistakes in the scuttles, do me a favour. Tell me how great they look. This is not a time for honest, constructive criticism Here we have a spectacularly boring shot of part of the primed hull: I gave it an initial coat of primer to identify any areas of concern before giving the hull a going over with a 1200 grit 3M abrasive pad and a quick wipe with surgical spirit. I then added the scuttles and the missing cargo hatch on the stern, before finishing those areas off with MIG One Shot. You will also notice the deck has been glued in place, or you would do if I had remembered to take a picture of that!. It's starting to get exciting. Well, I'm excited; your probably thinking 'Bl**dy well get on with the build. Less typing and more building!' I used a bog standard Halfords grey acrylic primer from a rattle can for the bulk of the hull, which I warmed up first for a nice fine spray, although it still produces a relatively rough finish, hence the 3M pads. For those of you overseas, Halfords is your go to one stop shop in the UK for generic car parts and accessories , camping and bike gear. By the way, you may recall me bemoaning the fact that Pontos don't supply enough etched scuttles if you want to replace those on the superstructure as well as the hull. Pontos give you 242. I ended up needing 229 for the hull. Somewhere in between all the drilling and plugging, as well as removing all the etched scuttles already glued on, I ended up with....229. Somehow I lost 13 to the Carpet Monster. Fingers crossed none of the glued ones ping off over the next few months of the build. We are then, ready to paint. My plan is to mask and paint the dazzle scheme first, then add the boot toppings and the lower hull with NARN42. I've gotten myself an A3 size print of the colour scheme from Sovereign Hobbies to help with the painting. I will post pictures as I work through the painting process. I originally planned on painting the hull outside (which is where I primed it). However, I would need a really still, pleasant day, otherwise most of the paint is likely to blow away. A still, pleasant day in the UK and a weekend at that....hmmmm. Not likely to see many of those. I can't do it in my man cave at the bottom of the garden as there's just too much dust flying around in there. It will have to be done on the dining table, with my vent pipe hanging out the window. This might involve purchasing flowers, chocolate and a few bottles, before I propose this solution to Ze Fuhrer! Before I start masking though, a question: I'm puzzled by a discrepancy between the dazzle scheme example available from Sovereign Hobbies and a photo of Rodney in Man O'War 3. The Sovereign Hobbies artwork states that it was derived from "....numerous black & white photographs to determine the demarcation of the scheme..." and "...surviving colour cinefilm footage taken during OP Pedestal in the Mediterranean in September 1942." The area I have a concern over is the port stern. Compare this section of the artwork from Sovereign Hobbies and this close up of a photo in Man O'War 3. The Man O'War photo narrative says it was taken in late 1942. Normally I would take a photo over any other type of pictorial reference every time, but by all accounts the people at Sovereign Hobbies have spent many aong hour getting their colour scheme right and presumably the same with their artwork. Is it likely Rodney's stern was repainted in a short window, late 1942? Here are the comparison photos: What do we think? Go with the artwork or the photo?
  5. This is my last post until I have finished off the hull, replaced all the scuttles and have it primed, ready for the camo scheme. I keep pushing the hull back and prevaricate on completing it. Every time I start work on another part of Rodney is just another excuse to leave the hull for another day. It may be just a few days or a few weeks, but I will see you all on the other side.
  6. Thanks. I'm hoping to get some work in on the hull this weekend. After replugging the scuttles I drilled out, I really need to push on and get the hull painted before the good weather is over, otherwise it will have to go into storage for the foreseeable future as I don't have the space to paint it indoors. I'm a little concerned I might lose the initiative. I'm sure we've all had, or have, kits that were put to one side for whatever reason, and then you get carried away with building a new kit and the part built model sits forlornly on a shelf, awaiting redemption. My record was 6 years for AFV's Sd Kfz 251/20 'UHU' (1/35). I really wanted this kit when it was released. It was quite a mythical beast, being at the forefront of IR night vision. I even purchased an after market resin generator to sit inside. I got about half way through and for whatever reason left it part built for 6 years I finally finished it two years ago. I hope that doesn't happen to Rodney.
  7. Jeff, all I can say is that I'm struggling with some of the detail at 1/200. 1/600 seems a whole new world of micro modelling madness!
  8. Jeff, my scratch building skills extend as far as cutting styrene rod. I can't imagine scratching the HICS. My hat off to you Sir!
  9. Jerry, I'm hoping that of all the people who see the finished model, you will be the only one who says "not bad, but they really should have done their research on the HACS version' !
  10. More work completed on the superstructure and associated pieces. Here is the platform that sits just below the HACS (High Altitude Control System) and has the Fore Mast running through the back. This was the platform that I managed to deform in my earlier post. Here's a few shots of it fixed to a small tower that sits on top of the superstructure: In this shot you can see how I haven't been able to straighten out the platform entirely. It will have to do: If you look closely, you can just see a side light (that's what Pontos call it) sitting at the end of each of the flying spurs. Next up were more blast screens around the main superstructure tower: I had a little problem here. Not all the support braces made contact with the face of the superstructure. I'm not sure if Pontos made a mistake numbering the parts or whether I failed to fit it exactly, causing a slight tolerance issue. My money is on me! You can see here how some braces fall a little short: However, I'm not too concerned as I don't think it will be particularly noticeable in the finished kit. In the photo below you can see where I have added Pontos etched window frames on the superstructure tower: Here's an idea, just a hint of an idea, of what the finished superstructure tower will look like: Still of course with many more parts still to add. Next up a few support braces to the underside of one of the tower platforms: Next up was a HACS; one of three I have to build. This first one sits in a tub on the platform that I managed to deform. First of all, here's a few photos of the Pontos instructions: The antenna array you can see below was relatively easy to do, although I had a few issues fitting it to the tub. The actual HACS itself (above) was a bit of a pig. No matter how many times I looked at the diagram above I just couldn't quite work out how it went together. Eventually I assembled it the way I thought it was meant to go (and extremely fiddly it was) but after, I realised I had made a mistake. I don't think it will be noticable, but something I can only correct on the next two. Anyway, a few photos to show the finished item. The HACS will be painted separately before I glue it into the tub: The HACS by the way, was by all accounts absolutely useless and probably contributed to the deaths of many seamen. Finally, a few shots of the kit Shelter Deck. There are quite a few watertight doors that will need to be sanded off (a real pain) and replaced with etch. Trumpeter have some with moulded scuttles. I can't find any photos confirming if this is correct and as Pontos don't supply any etched doors with scuttles, I'm going to assume they are a figment of Trumpeter's imagination and replace them:
  11. I would say, if you really have a hankering for a 1/200 scale, then yes. Trumpeter provide a good few etch sprues as well. You could also invest in just the brass barrels to add that little more sharpness. A full etch kit is great, but I'm conscious that I still have to tackle the crane, catapult and masts. If I screw that up I might have areas that look really detailed and others that look, by comparison, a bit basic, which may make the model look a bit uneven. It's a real concern to be honest; not least the masts, because they are so delicate. It's a lot of money to invest and then feel as if it's been flushed down the toilet if it all goes wrong. I would add though that I'm not an expert on Rodney and have no idea if the Trumpeter kit is particularly accurate.
  12. Thanks Rob, although I would rather earn points for my modelling proficiency! As to the lantern; I have spare ladders available. It's more a question of whether I can now fit one in between the lantern platform and the railing on the platform below so it looks possible to climb.
  13. Apologies for the gratuitous use of the word 'platform' in the above post. There is absolutely no excuse for it!
  14. Continuing on with the 52 piece etched platform: This proved to be quite challenging. The first issue was the blast shield. Assembly was quite straightforward. The issue came fitting it to the folded sides of the platform. Unless the fit is absolutely spit on, the shield was subject to pressure points which meant it kept pulling away from the platform side walls. This happened two or three times and every time I had to apply heat to the parts to remove the old CA. With all the handling the sides also came away from the platform base, requiring more heat to remove more CA. The result was a badly warped platform. I tried clamping it to a metal plate and heating, but it still refused to straighten out. I even tried to roll it out but to no avail. I was starting to consider having to revert to the kit part, which would have been a real disappointment, when my eye rested on the Pontos instructions and I realised that there was a separate plate that glued to the bottom of the platform. I took this piece, unannealed, and glued it to the bottom of the platform. Amazingly, it straightened out the warp in the platform; not perfectly, but perfect enough for my needs. This let me move on to fixing the support braces to the bottom of the platform. Here's a few photos of the platform. There are still some etch pieces to add but it's looking good: Whilst I was still in the PE mood, I also added a small antenna and support to the front of the superstructure:
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