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Introduction Time for my first WIP-contribution to this forum. It regards a 1/350 HMS Dreadnought by Zvezda, with aftermarket stuff from Pontos and WEM. Scratchwork beside the aftermarket stuff will be plentiful. For reference purposes I mainly use John Roberts' magnificent book "The Battleship Dreadnought - Anatomy of the ship" featuring hundreds of drawings. Beside that I use old photographs from a Dreadnought photo DVD that can be purchased and Kagero's 3D-book and drawing, although the latter are not a reliable source. My impression of the kit Zvezda have done a great job on some aspects such as certain detailing, not so good of others. The biggest problem is that Zvezda have copied the port and starboard sides of the hull: to be exact, the starboard side is mirrored onto the port side. This is thoroughly incorrect as the layout of ports and side scuttles ('portholes') on respective sides are anything but symmetrical. The only thing differing the Zvezda port from starboard is the single hawsepipe (port) vs. the double hawsepipe on starboard. By the way if you think that's a good reason to choose a Trumpeter Dreadnought, think again; that kit has exactly the same flaw. Quite the coincidence, obviously. The problem that Zvezda faced when they were engineering this kit must have been that there are no drawings available of the ship's port side. Plenty of pictures though and on pages 79-87 of the Roberts book there are very precise drawings showing the position of the side scuttles and ports on both sides. My impression of the literature Roberts' book is simply excellent in almost every way. One should use this as a primary source of reference if desiring to scratchbuild this ship. I have not seen any obvious mistakes in the book thus far. Kagero's book is very nice but not for recreating the hull. Like Zvezda and Trumpeter, they have not based their drawing on Roberts' drawings but, rather, seem to have made estimations based on pictures. Comparing Roberts' drawings and Kagero's book to real photographs, it is understandable that certain mistakes were made by Kagero, but still it's a shame (also for their own efforts) because they have done such an amazing job on the 3D-rendering. I recommend using both books (Kagero's to a certain extent as mentioned) and I also recommend purchasing the picture DVD. It features more than 50 photographs of HMS Dreadnought I had not found via Google. This topic I usually take a lot of pictures and describe almost everything I do. I know some of you will like that, others will not. As this is my first WIP-topic on this forum I'll just try to design this topic as I usually do and see what you'll think of it. If my elaborateness is not much desired I'll keep it more compact next time. I started building this ship about a year ago but not much visual progress was made due to the above-mentioned problems. Actually, the only visible progress is 'going back to basic' as I sanded the two hull sides flat. Of course, at first I didn't see Zvezda's errors. Then I followed Kagero's plans, then I found out that also Kagero's plans are faulty, etc. etc. Other builds have also interfered with this one. Many, many mistakes were made and corrected. I always describe my own errors, hoping that others will learn from them. Time spent on the Dreadnought before the following picture was taken: 97 hours. Number of pictures taken and described until then: 117. Let's start from that point! Oh yes.. as a non-native speaker mistakes in language can be made. I'd very much appreciate it if you guys correct me if I use certain terms incorrectly. The build 118. Originally I didn't know how to make the cone-shaped relief at the hawsepipe. So I decided to move that relief a few millimeters. Starting by drilling a hole. 119. Removal of the part by using a microsaw and a sharp hobby knife. 120. After the amputation. 121. Filing the plastic a bit towards the designated position, then glueing both parts together (some pieces of Evergreen are added, not yet installed when the picture was taken). 122. Gluing the brass sheet onto the polystyrene. Secure with a plastic modeling support. 123. Making the next piece of brass sheet (toward 'P' barbette). The impressions are where the side scuttles should be drilled (1 mm.). 124. Holes are drilled into the plastic. 125. And then I started anew (yet again), because the two pieces of brass sheet didn't connect / align. Something just wasn't right... It obviously had something to do with the troublesome mathematics involved in calculating the sizes and lengths. Without the use of a 3D-model the lengths are virtually impossible to calculate for someone with limited math skills such as myself. A hull has two curvatures: horizontal and vertical. Because of that, calculating the lengths of sheet or distances between side scuttles is almost impossible. On top of that, certain horizontal lines which I thought to be dead straight turned out to be slightly curved. Time to say goodbye to (some) calculations, as on 1/350 a deviation of merely a tenth of a millimeter is visible. After some deliberations I decided to try to tackle this in a different, more thorough, way. I followed the following step by step-plan: 1) Sideview drawing: measure distances flying deck -> sea level, every 5 resp. 10 millimeter along the hull, accuracy 1/100th of a millimeter. 2) Sideview drawing: measure distances high deck -> sea level, every 5 resp. 10 millimeter along the hull, accuracy 1/100th of a millimeter. 3) Sideview drawing: measure all distances regarding armor plates (4 lines horizontal along the full length of the hull, 4 lines vertical). 4) Draw all other objects such as side scuttles, ports, hawsepipe etc. and measure their heights as well as horizontal position from bow. 5) Multiplying all values *1,097 (scale 1/350) and adding 2,75 millimeter due to raised height -> Zvezda apparently added 2,75 millimeters to the sea level line along the length of the hull. 6) Top view drawing: measure distances of all side scuttles (port side), top row and bottom row. Multiplying by 1,097. 7) Positioning the brass sheet onto the model and scratching every individual spot into the brass with an electronic marking gauge. This way, a sort of puzzle evolves, which needs to be carved out and on which holes are to be drilled. Hereunder I illustrate these things through photographs. To start, I attach the brass sheet and measure it. 126. Working with two rules simultaneously. 127. Scratching the lines. Where there were height differences between two impressions, scratching was performed, for example, by moving the gauge from left to right and at the same time lightly and gradually rotating the gauge. 128. Due to copyright reasons I cannot show (parts) of the drawings featuring measurements. Quite of few of them are present, it was a lot of work. 129. Interim score: a couple of lines were drawn. 130. I don't often need my outside caliper, but now it comes in very handy! Using it, the contours of the bow could be perfectly scratched into the brass. 131. The construction on the following picture needs some explanation. I used it to mark the horizontal position of the side scuttles and ports on the brass sheet. 1) Ruler is attached by tape to table, perpendicular to table ('work bench') side. 2) Hull is also on table, along table side so perpendicular to ruler, also taped to the table. 3) Electronic marking gauge (I'll hereinafter call that simply 'gauge') is used parallel to the ruler on one side and equal to the ruler on the other side. That way, a 'sideview-straightness' is created. 4) If according to the drawing 100 millimeters behind the bow a side scuttle is present, that number must be multiplied by 1,097. The gauge is extended to 109,7 millimeter and is positioned over the ruler (which is taped onto the table). Where the extended arm of the gauge touches the hull, I mark a little dot using a 0,3mm. fineliner. 5) Using a folding knife (see photo) or ruler, a vertical line kan be drawn. Somewhere along that line the side scuttle will be drilled. The height will be determined later. 6) To keep an overview of the situation, I number the side scuttles and ports. This makes for a precise measurement as ruler and ship are perpendicular and solidly taped to the table, plus all measurements are based on the Roberts' drawings. 132. Marking with the fineliner. 133. Current status. 134. Markings are where the side scuttle holes should be drilled: simply measured on the drawing, multiplied by 1,097 and 2,75 millimeters added. 135. And this is what it looks like after -finally- the brass is detached from the hull. Beside measurements, it took about 5 hours to prepare this piece for carving and drilling. Very excited and slightly nervous... I can't make any mistake now or I have to restart yet again! 136. Meanwhile I have learned how to make a cone shape in brass... by using a 0,5mm. metal drill on a Boschhammer machine ! I tried to drill a hole but it just didn't work. Everytime I tried I got a cone. At one point I thought... hey, wait a minute! This is exactly what I need! Still, practice is necessary. To make a nice round cone I had to practice a couple of times, scrapping quite a bit of brass sheet . 137. The scratches will be deepened and thereafter bent back and forth, so that the sheet will eventually break along the fold lines. 138. Drilling was done -as you can imagine- extremely carefully. I really couldn't afford to make any mistake. 139. On the next picture (don't mind the bent cone) you can see the peculiar way the heights of the side scuttles vary. Only by the curvature of the hull and the sheet (when attached to the hull), it will appear straight. But this result I could never have attained by calculating only... 140. Filing the backside of the brass in order to make it nice and flat, makes for two accessory advantages: it creates grip for the glue to 'bite' and it nicely precurves the sheet. 141. This time it (logically) fits. Nevertheless for me it is marvelous to see this result after so much work (most of which is not discussed in this first post). 142. To demonstrate the size, in comparison with a 1/24 scale Krupp Titan-engine, see the next picture. Also the reinstated cone is visible here. Spent time thus far: 113.