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Bengalensis

1/144 Airfix Vasa

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Having drawn great inspiration from foxy´s current 1/180 Airfix Victory project and admiring the great work going on there, I have managed to restart one of my sleeping projects; the 1/144 Airfix Vasa. Thanks for that, I doubt it would have happened at this point had I not seen that thread. Although this thread will jump in at more than half way through the build, I thought that starting it would put me under the right pressure/motivation to actually finish it within a foreseeable future.

So the kit is Airfix Vasa, now old and classic. It has a number of inaccurate areas, some smaller and some larger. But considering it's age and how relatively early after the ships rescue it was created, and the limited research and knowledge about the ship back then, I have to say that Airfix did rather well indeed, keeping that in mind.

Vasa_box.jpg

Over the years this kit has sold in large numbers in Sweden, to no surprise. I usually say though, only half joking, that this kit is responsible for many young Swedish boy's one and only attempt at model building. It has often been bought as a present by people with limited knowledge of what it's about, and the receiving kid with high expectations rarely managed to finish it, leading to disappointments. Many kids I knew had it like that when the kit was quite new in the -70's, I don't think I ever saw an Airfix Vasa finished, even though many friends tried. Myself then? Well I actually never even tried, despite being a more experienced model builder than most kids I knew at that age, so no points gained there.

8 or 9 years ago I bought a reissue and thought that I would make my own attempt with the kit, at last. I started the build in May 2011, and made good progress during that summer. I spent a full day at the Vasa museum as well, highly recommended if you ever have your ways to Sweden and Stockholm. Or just make the trip for that sole reason, it's worth it. The sight of the mighty ship when you enter the main hall is breathtaking, and there is so much more to see.

I worked away and prepared all the parts and built up the main components rather quickly. A number of corrections were made to make it a bit more accurate, but I soon decided not to try and fix everything. Somewhere around this time it also became known that Revell would release their all new tool 1/150 kit, which of course would be much more accurate, so I decided to keep my modifications limited and concentrate on finishing an Airfix Vasa to a good standard with a full set of guns and sails. In the late fall of 2011 the project stalled with everything painted in it's basic brown colours and the hull in brown and red. Not really sure why it stalled, but I was unsure how to best proceed with the paintwork and other things got in between. Sadly I seem not to have taken a single picture of my work back then.

And so we arrive at the present day. Having looked through foxy's Victory build I felt time had now come to do something. So I picked up the hull and the reference photos I have and just started painting, now probably with lesser demands on myself of what I wanted to achieve. After spending a week or so painting away on the thing this is what I have come up with after a final coat of matt varnish.

Vasa_1.jpg

The main correction work I did on the hull that can be seen here are probably the railings.

Vasa_2.jpg

There are a number of details that are not accurate in the Airfix moulds here, but I have tried to adapt the latest research on her colours to what the mouldings provide.

Vasa_3.jpg

Vasa_4.jpg

Vasa_5.jpg

The other parts have also been painted up and should be ready for assembly.

Vasa_6.jpg

Vasa_7.jpg

Only two anchors will be used, and I'm not sure how to display the boat, if at all. It was towed after the ship.

Vasa_8.jpg

Vasa_9.jpg

I hope I can now keep work going on her and actually complete this build before too long...

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Some VERY nice paintwork there, I'll be following this build! I rather fancy doing a Vasa, the new Revell offering seems to get good write ups, but the Airfix kit in your hands looks pretty damn nice too!

fraser

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One of my favourite ships, beautifully painted stands up well against the new Revell kit we will after see about some etch for it. :thumbsup:

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Well that is some ship you have there and the paintwork and finish is top knotch.

Thanks for the praise, but glad you have shown your work and will give me something to think on with my finish.

The Wasa for me to has been a ship that inspires.

Nice work and will be following this.

Cheers foxy :coolio:

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Indeed beautiful paint work that really captures the wood textures.

I've been to the Vasa museum, I was taken by a friend and I had no idea what the Vasa museum was so walking into the main hall was doubly breathtaking. I has left me with a desire to build this kit as what would probably be my only attempt at building a sailing ship.

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" I hope I can now keep work going on her and actually complete this build before too long..."

Now don't start teasing us now !!!

You can't post pics of a build that good and leave it,

Stunning paint job. How did you get the wood effect on the hull?

Regards Kev

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Beautiful work so far the paintwork is exquisite will follow with interest as it is one of the only airfix classic ships I never tackled over the years.

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OMG Jorgen,

You painting is quite outstanding. I also admired it on your lovely "death" lady. I once had a go at this kit as a kid - totally beyond my abilities at that time I'm afraid so all that's left of it are some unusual looking bits on my spares box.

I can see your outcome will be wholly more successful.

Martin,

3.09am? You're a late bird aren't you?

Nigel

Edited by Nigel Heath

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Thanks a lot guys. It feels really good working on her again and making progress. I promise I will do my best to complete her this time round. I think I will soon go visit the real ship again too, it's good for the motivation.

The brown wood came out way better than I dared hope. No doubt it can be done even better, but it's not the type of paintwork I have done much in my years of model building, so I'm more than satisfied. The approach I used was quite simple;

The base colour on the hull is Humbrol 110 and the decks and masts are Humbrol 63. The 110 was then lightly dry brushed with Humbrol 93, and the rivets/bolts picked out with a thin black marker pen. Everything was then given an acrylic gloss coat, and then I brushed on thinned dark brown oil paint all over, like a heavier wash, the colour is Brown Madder Aliz. When this began to dry a bit I used a flat wider makeup brush to work it in a slightly diagonally but more horizontal direction, and removing some excess. This was followed with some horizontal wiping off with a tissue cloth. A coat of matt acrylic varnish finished it off. If you try, do some practise first to learn how large areas you can do at one time depending on how fast your oil wash is drying.

A little comparison with Revell's new tooling have been unavoidable of course. I picked up two of these as soon as they came out. The problem areas on Airfix, some very complicated to fix, are of course more correct on the new Revell tooling, which should be expected of something created 2011. However, the old Airfix kit, 40 years older than Revell, is actually sharper in the very fine details of the sculpting. Again, for it's age and with the limited knowledge of the ship around that kit's creation I think it was very well done.

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Interesting to hear. The ships that Airfix turned out back in the seventies were pretty damn good. All they really needed was decent rigging... :hobbyhorse:

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And replacing those rubbish vacformed sails with something a little more convincing.

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The inside of the gun hatches got a little wash and a final matt varnish. You paint 1, 2, 3, 4, many to go, 11,12,.. 19,.. 25, many to go still, 38, 39, no, not done yet...

Vasa_10.jpg

Vasa_11.jpg

I suppose I will start fitting all of those and all the guns to the hull next.

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My God Jörgen - that is modelling mass production of the highest quality.

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Jörgen, you are creating a master piece here.

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Man! That's good!

Superb painting and weathering. How did you get the nail heads between the gun ports to stand out so well?

:worthy:

Edited by Murdo

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Thanks a lot guys. The nail heads came out like they are more or less as a result of working over all with the oil paint wash. I tried to describe what I did some way down on the first page. The whole thing came out much better than I dared hope actually. It lifted even more when the guns and hatches were fitted. Which sort of leads me to problems. The first of those is that the "things the rat lines/shrouds" (I'm useless at nautical terms in english...) are tied to along the hull are now looking far below the standard of the rest. Airfix mouldings are a bit simple and solid and, my painting of them so far is no longer looking OK (as it once did), and I have no idea what to do at the moment...

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the Hull paintwork is so sweet. As ive probably missed 'how you did it' above, How'd you do it ? it's beautiful !

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