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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 :D! 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 :oops: .


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.

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So next year you will be on the starboard side!!!! :winkgrin: , just kidding!!!.

That's a lot of work changes to a very plastic kit.

Can see were your coming from for correctness.

So good luck mate, good luck. :thumbsup:

foxy :coolio:

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Nice critique of the two kits. I've been very tempted having scratch built a radio control one about 18 years ago which came it at about 36" hull length. Balsa bread and butter construction and done before I got the anatomy of the ship, which as you say is a stunning book.

if you are tempted and win the lottery, Deans Marine do a glass fibre kit which is 1.65m long and a 26cm beam. It looks amazing, but costs a small fortune @ £680 sheets. I'll be saving my pennies now as I dont think I will be investing in either plastic reproduction. A bit disappointing, but there you go.

Great effort mate, that said

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WoW This looks more like an engineering project than a model build but a great BLOG to follow none the less :popcorn::popcorn::popcorn:


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@Longshanks: thanks I guess :)

@Foxy: I plan to finish work on the raised deck by 2017 :D Yes I like to depict my kits (most of them) as correctly as I can but at the same time I enjoy going through build threads or seeing finished models that were built OOB. I consider it as a means of respect toward the real Dreadnought that the side scuttles are positioned in the right spots, for example. But I know that this may be considered a bit strange by some.

@Simmerit: although the monsters you mention would surely look great in anyone's cabinet, unfortunately I'll have to keep it to 1/350 (or maybe 1/200 in the future) due to me living in the city (limited living space). Still, something to think about for the future maybe..

@Beefy66: I expect that after the hull and forecastle works will be done, it will become a bit easier and less labour-intensive.

143. I used a board marker to indicate the spots where holes were to be drilled in the plastic.


144. Ah those were the days! When the port side hull was still unmutilated except for where I -then- wanted some holes. However, a guy named Murphy had told me to drill them slightly too high by not taking into account the space reserved for the torpedo net shelves. To be continued...


145. The hawsepipe was drilled in the center, then -very slowly and carefully- extended diagonally in aft-up direction by forcing it against the drill bit. Again, practice is advisable to prevent distaster.


146. The torpedo net boom fixing points were filled with thin CA, 30 minutes later filed and sanded; any reappearing holes were refilled.


147. Starboard side, the vertical supports (or whatever they may be) were removed by knife and sanding stick.


148. On the next picture the shelf extension for the nets Murphy had failed to warn me about are seen. At starboard these 'rods' were still to be removed.


149. According to Pontos' instructions, the upper deck breakwaters should be removed before fitting the wooden deck.


150. The stubbornest of boom fixing points received a bath of Mr Hobby Dissolved Putty. I very rarely use anything else than CA to fill gaps.


151. Sometimes I can be very stupid, can't think of a better word. As mentioned the holes for the side scuttles needed to be lowered a bit. Naturally I overdid that massively and as a consequence all holes had to be filled again. First they had to be made nice and round, then I used stretched sprue plus liquid poly to fill the holes. Sprue was cut off on both sides and everything was sanded. Finally I filled everything with CA plus accelerator. What a waste of time! Next time, I'll try to remember to think before acting.


152. So I continued work on the starboard side. Before too long it snapped in two. Today isn't a good day :D


153. Guess I'll have to be patient for a bit.


Spent time thus far: 119 h.

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We feel your pain Roy, but this is a very interesting build. It's going to be interesting following your progress!

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@Infofrog: it's a lot of work indeed and I enjoy it :) Thanks for taking the time to comment in this topic, it's much appreciated. That goes for alle commenters, I know that it's much easier to just watch and read. Which is perfectly okay, of course, but it's even nicer to see reactions :)

@Jockster: thanks for participating in the experienced pain. Ah well now I got the time to do something else... anyway thanks for following this thread.

Detailing a 12 pounder gun

154. Indeed being patient with the hull progress, I decided to give myself a bit of a present: fast-forwarding to a 12 pounder gun. In 1907 the ship carried 24 of these units, supporting the Dreadnought-famous 10x 12 inch guns. In 1916 two 12 pounders were removed, one year later another four. I'm building the 1907 version so I'll have a lot of fun.

I like detailing and on the 12 pounder I could safely do so.

Pontos provides a nice brass barrel, which of course I used. It doesn't provide any photo etch. WEM does, but most of it I didn't use. Each gun is supplied by WEM with 3 photo etched parts: one starboard, one port, one top. I only use part of the top. Before I decided on that, of course first the parts had to be cut out.


155. These are the etched parts, the barrel and the plastic original. The two O-shapes on the photo etch parts for the sides aspire to depict wiring, which would be way oversized.


156. Plastic barrel has to be cut off. Mind the recoil spring box, situated directly underneath the barrel. It should stay there.


157. The photo etch part for the top is flat, as photo etch is. That's great for the longitudinal V-shaped thingy up front, but the sighting gear should be cylindrically shaped. So I cut off those bits of a new part (after the first part had left earth).


158. In order to handle the tiny bits more self-assuredly and easier, I made this little jig with an old drill bit.


159. To make the wheel for the sighting gear, which needs to be 0,97mm., I simply punched a 1mm. disk from some .005mm. brass sheet.


160. I think it makes a difference for those who are interested in that kind of stuff.


161. Meanwhile I decided to sand the repaired hull. According to the instructions it should have fully cured. Indeed it was rock hard, seemingly. Still according to the instructions, no less than 300 KG's of brute force would be required to break it. Guess I'm that strong. Either that or my (intendedly careful) sanding activities are more fierce than I would have reckoned.


162. So why not use good old liquid poly! With a little help from Evergreen (U-rod) everything now seems nice and strong.


163. The layer (or trainer), being the guy who aimed and shot the gun, was protected from gun recoil by two shields. First I made a rectangle from .005mm brass sheet, then I curved it using this apparatus:


164. (so, first this rectangle would be cut and bent) :


165. Then the rectangle, having a slight curve already, would be bent further around a needle. I used fingers and tweezers for that.


166. ... to generate something like this.


167. The aft part of the gun was made cylindrical (sanding stick, sanding paper, knife).


168. Port side, a Z-shape was to be made to hold the elevation hand wheel. Using this wheel, the layer would raise and lower the gun.


169. The elevation hand wheel I had originally planned to use was the one from the WEM set. Later on I thought 'why not use polystyrene with stretched sprue, they'll get a stronger bond (liquid poly) than brass and any other material. So that's what I did. Here my first attempt, using liquid poly to soften the plastic and attach it to the brass (who said liquid poly can't glue polystyrene to brass? :D ). Unfortunately I lost this combo, hence the plastic substitute.


170. Liquid poly doing its work.


171. Elevation wheel in situ.


172. The layer wheel support for the starboard side, bent.


173. This was my first try with Gator Grip glue (had to order some specific modelling materials and decided to give Gator Grip a try, having used Gator Glue before - which is actually a good glue for modelling!) and I'm not too convinced about its qualities in these tiny situations. Tried a couple of things, such as applying on one joint, applying on both joints, waiting a couple of minutes etc. For me it just doesn't do it - yet. Maybe I'll have better luck on larger surfaces. Anyway I solved the issue by letting some thin CA glue flow along the joints and immediately applying accelerator. Works great now.


174. The final result: a walkaround along the newly made part as well as Zvezda's original.






175. On the next pic one can also see the firing circuit wiring. For that, .003 line (Uschi 'rig that thing' fine size) was used.


176. And a short video, to get a better 3D-impression: https://flic.kr/p/tZw24M. Perhaps I should consider purchasing a macro lens for our camera. Now every picture (and the vid above) is made with my iPhone 5S. It has a nice camera but unfortunately doesn't do justice to the details.

177. This 12 pound gun consists of the following 19 parts which I added in this order:

1) Plastic Zvezda original (modified).

2) Pontos barrel.

3) Recoil protector (port).

4) Recoil protector (starboard). Extension has to be bent to the side.

5) Training rack (made using 'eyebrow method').

6) Z-structure (port).

7) Elevator wheel (port).

8 ) Elevator wheel rod (port).

9) U-structure (starboard).

10) Layer wheel (starboard).

11) Layer's shoulder rest (port).

12) Trainer's shoulder rest (starboard).

13) Rod (starboard).

14) and 15) Wiring (2 parts).

16) WEM photo etched part for top (modified).

17) and 18 ) Sighting gear (2 parts).

19) Sighting gear wheel.

For those who want to also modify their 12 pounders (to a greater or lesser extent), see hereunder the data I used. They were calculated from drawings as featured in the Roberts' book.


Spent time thus far: 130 h.

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Thank you Infofrog (Rick, I'll always use one's forum name to prevent confusion and, I admit, to cover the fact that I sometimes forget forumers' given names :oops: .

178. I had noticed some glue marks on port side but had decided against removing them because this gun is so fragile. All those parts... if one piece is bent or stressed, another could follow.

Then my girlfriend told me "hey what about those glue marks" :( so -sigh- I removed them (front underneath sighting gear as well as at elevator wheel and at layer shoulder rest) and repositioned the elevator wheel and shoulder rest. Remarkably, all went okay without any problem. Not always the case...

This is how I had originally intended the 12 pounder to look like; personally now I'm pleased with the result. Good to have a girlfriend :)




Spent time thus far: 131 h.

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Stunning work Roy, that is some serious detailing, and thanks for showing this. I still have another Dreadnought with the Pontos upgrade and this is giving me some ideas, but I doubt I could do 24 of these to the same degree.

Look forward to seeing this progress, and good job on the repair too!


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Amazing attention to detail !!

This is looking like an epic / marathon build


I agree


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@Crobinsonh: thank you very much.

@Ray: to make 24 'similar' ones will indeed be a challenge. My action plan will be to mass-produce each of the 19 required parts, 23 (or 24, for security's sake) in a row and to compare them afterwards. Also the step-by-step plan will be followed for each part (so, not after each gun). In the end I'll choose pairs: which guns look nicest together? In other words, I'll be looking for 'twins'. They will jointly be positioned on the 12 inch gun turrets. The 'worst' guns will be placed inside, out of view.

I did read through your Dreadnought-topic but only after you had finished building it. Great topic, great build and amazing background story with an emotional finale. I do look forward to following your second Dreadnought build. Do you already know what you'll change compared to your previous build?

@Longshanks and @Infofrog: yes it will be a long build. My best modelling quality is patience (and I don't feel the need to finalize a model or to enter competitions) :)

179. The last step before glueing the hull + upper deck together was to sand flat both hull halves. On the next picture the fixed joint can be seen (if you look closely).


180. Setting up the hull (first attempt), giving Uhu glue a second chance. I should not have done that.


181. Taping in the hull, closing the horizontal gaps. Working from aft forwards.


182. As a testament to Zvezda's great attention to fit, see here the gaps as seen after fitting the upper deck. They are minimal.


183. After further mummification, securing the hull horizontally, now it had to be done vertically using clamps.



184. There was one weak spot, a gap that tape wouldn't cure, so I used a large clamp for that.


185. After 16 hours drying time, this was the result.


186. Unfortunately the 'vertical' lines of the hull were not symmetrical. I had expected that a bit, but not as much as it turned out to be. That was a disappointment. Here you see the difference (the measuring gauge indicates the curve as seen on the opposite side).


187. So I detached part of it, to reposition. That went too easy. The bond is just not strong enough and it certainly does not represent a strength of 300 kg's. Mixing both components should not be the problem, as I had spent about 5 minutes stirring and mixing. Uhu Plus, in all, is a disappointment. What's more, it leaves residu. I decided to dismantle the whole structure again and to scrape off all glue residu.


188. So I will, again, just use liquid poly. It has never let me down and it probably won't now. This time I'll closely check the curvature of the hull, as seen on the picture.

Probably I'll reinforce the construction with some layers of CA. 'Never change a winning team' may not always be the best philosophy but for me it is today.

First the liquid poly is applied on the aft section, from the last of three bulkheads to the stern. Time to write an update :)


Spent time thus far: 133 h.

Edited by Roy vd M.

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In my next post I'll explain what happened and I'll give some (for this build revolutionary) advice to prevent the same from happening to my next cannons (and to make them slightly neater). I feel confident to be immodest to say that this is some very usable advice very few modellers know about... because it was pure luck I found out in the first place. It concerns, yet again, the type of glue used. Never change a winning team... more to follow.

Edited by Roy vd M.

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189. The last couple of weeks I'd anticipated problems in the aligning of the hull. Something just wasn't right but I didn't succeed in finding out what exactly. After appr. half of the hull (from abaft) had been glued it became clear that the bottleneck was to be found near the hull's center. Comparing drawing and plastic, the culprit was clearly the starboard side. I had not expected that, as I had been very busy with the port side and had thought that part had been bent during handling.

The big clamp was positioned as seen in the next picture. See the positions of the yellow grips (one is high, the other is low), that takes care of the bend / pressure. After I had set the right position, I started heating the spot to be bent with a hair blower. Before too long the heat caused the recently mended spot to break again. No problem however, as this was apparently the spot of torque. It can simply be sanded flat and, if necessary, filled.


190. This is the spot to be sanded.



191. I decided to tweak this thingy juuuust a little bit more. Browsing through the Roberts' book I learned that the 10 12-pounders on the turrets could be connected to the main guns underneath, for practicing purposes. While connected, the 12-pounder would aim at about the same direction as the 12-inch main gun. That was a cheap way for the gunners to practice. Looking at quite a few pictures from around 1907 I saw in about 95% of them that the guns had in fact been connected. So I'll do the same on each of 5 turrets.

This means that I have many more elevator wheels on my WEM photo etch sheet than I'll use on the model. They are so very small that I'll not be confident to use them in my build without spares. Now I had about 20 spares. That's a risk to take.

So I took off the (slightly too thick & unreliefed) plasticard wheels I had attached to both sides of the gun. On the right side (can't really say starboard side because some guns are pointed abaft) I removed some excess glue.

Long story short, the wheels were positioned and all went fine... little other part loosened... was reglued... other little part was detached... reglued... then all of a sudden, after all this handling time, the barrel started to come loose. Grr! I refitted... once more... CA glue got stuck in the locator hole... wires had tangled up...sighting gear started to move... it really started to fall apart.

The culprit is, at least according to my humble opinion, mainly Gator Grip glue. As stated before, it is just not opportune for tiny parts like these. It's too flexible and brittle. And it dries too quickly, almost immediately if working underneath a warm lamp. No time to attach the little copper wire pieces. The flexibility I had also experienced with Gator Grip Thin Blend. And maybe it's good for certain purposes, but not for building a 12 millimeter long miniature gun. I had to find a way to use either CA or Gator Grip to get a strong, inflexible bond involving as little debris as possible.

I had a long night of sleep and when I woke up the first thought was of the broken gun. 15 hours of work for nothing... or? Then lightning struck me: Gator Glue (!) .... why change a winning team (part 2)...?

Ok some history about this build. A year ago I had never used 'Gator Glue' before, always CA or PVA. But I had heard good things about the stuff. So I ordered a bottle. That was "Gator GLUE", NOT "Gator GRIP", the latter being the glue I "should" have bought.

I used the Gator Glue for attaching the 'eyebrows' to the hull. All went perfect:

1) Unlike many other glues, it's quite tacky so even the smallest parts will stick right away.

2) Processing time appr. 20 minutes.

3) The tiniest amount of glue suffices.

4) Strong bond after 30 minutes.

5) Completely inflexible, like CA glue.

So why, for heaven's sake, did I turn to Gator GRIP? Well I had heard that I had actually made a mistake: Gator GRIP was the REAL hobby glue. I thought, well let's try Gator GRIP then. It was a nice prospect that it would dry to full transparency. And the biggest disadvantage of Gator Glue: only 8 or 9 months of shelf life; Gator Grip would have much longer shelf life.

Bottom line: I'll go back to Gator GLUE. It may not be branded as special modelling glue but it works perfectly as such. I'm fully convinced Gator Glue will solve my problems with the 12 pounder. And it will be much easier to construct it. Have already done some tests and all things I had trouble with using Gator GRIP or CA went all too easy using Gator GLUE.

Maybe in the future I'll use Gator Grip again, e.g. for windows (transparancy), railings (flexibility) or objects with larger bonding areas, but in all until now Gator Grip has been a real letdown.

Anyway, it took me one ruined 12 pounder gun to realize this. So that build was not a waste of time at all.

I advise you all to have a go at Gator Glue, it's really a perfect glue for applications tiny as these.

The current state of affairs:


Spent time thus far: 140 h.

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I admire your perseverance (not to mention your epic attention to detail). Very few people would even attempt what you are doing, let alone shrug calmly and try again after "minor" probers like... snapped hull sides and a whole row of scuttles wrongly placed.

Good stuff!

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Thank you very much for your comment Ex-Faawafu. I always remind myself of the historical importance of this ship when in doubt of a certain detail is necessary or not.

192. Having been busy with another passion lately (1:1 Corvette C5), the hobby table has been looking unaltered for a month and a half. I now look forward to building a bit. First I'll post some progress dating back to the 5th of June.

The guns will be 'mass produced'. First, the plastic part is sculpted and carved. Barrel is cut off, thickness is diminished. Then, a hole is drilled.


193. In a thick plasticard piece, six holes are drilled. Each hole will contain one gun. The first gun is aligned by means of a brick of Lego.


194. The brass barrel is then fitted into the hole. It rests on a piece of sanded plasticard while the Gator Glue (not being 'Gator Grip') dries.


195. Moving on...


196. To me modelling is all about making an illusion. For it to work, everything needs to be aligned, checked and rechecked. I try to take of lot of care viewing those barrels from every side, comparing them to the others. The Gator Glue is perfect for this job, as it has stickiness from the first second of use and only stiffens after half an hour or so.


197. And after half an hour (or maybe an hour), this is how strong the bond is:

198. Aligning... see also the next strip of 6 stands. In total, 24 guns are needed.


199. Aligning, still.

Spent time thus far: 143 h.

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200. Plan
(all measurements and other data in #177)
Having done section 1 on nine guns (see picture below), I will now proceed with section 2 on eight guns. Section 3 will be done on seven guns, section 4 on six guns and section 5 on five guns. Finally I'll do some tests regarding section 6 on four guns (2 version A, 2 version B ). This way I'll always keep an overview of changes (and I see every previous step, e.g. when I'll make the 10th gun I just copy the shape from gun #9 which at that point will have been unaltered from the way it currently looks) and I'll be able to track and correct where necessary. No use to do section 1 twenty-four times, only to discover when doing section 2 or 3 that I could have done section 1 better somehow.


1a. Cut off barrel aft (part '22').

1b. File barrel male connector (part '21').

1c. Glue barrel parts together (part '21' and part '22').

2a. Make, file and straighten recoil spring box (part '23').

2b. Glue recoil spring box to barrel.

3a. Chop off top half of plastic (part '20').

3b. File recess for recoil spring box from square plastic strip (part '25').

3c. Cut off square plastic strip (part '25').

4a. Drill holes in aluminum base.

4b. Glue plastic base ('25') into aluminum base, using fin as reference for front/aft.

4c. Glue part '25' to base.

4c. Glue barrel to '25'.

4d. Remove fin from base (part '20).


3. Add recoil spring box underneath barrel.

4a. Left side gun recoil shield: cut.

4b. Left side gun recoil shield: curve and add.

5a. Right side gun recoil shield: cut rectangle (see #163).

5b. Curve rectangle and add to gun (see #163-#166).


6. Make training rack using 'eyebrow method' and add.

7a. Cut left side rectangle (#168 ).

7b. Fold left side rectangle (Z-structure) and add (#168 ).

8a. Cut U-structure right side.

8b. Fold U-structure right side (#172).

8c. Cut and bend photoetched layer wheel right side.

8d. Add layer wheel.


9. Add left side layer's shoulder rest (copper wire).

10. Add right side trainer's shoulder rest (copper wire).

11. Add 2,26mm. copper wire (rod) to right side.

12a. Add part 1 wiring to gun (starting left back side). (See #175)

12b. Add part 2 wiring to gun.


13a. Cut to shape photo etch sighting gear standard (see #157).

13b. Bend photo etch sighting gear standard (see #157).

13c. Using a jig like in #158, add two sighting gears made from copper wire.

13d. Add sighting gear to gun.

14. Make and add sighting gear wheel (see #159).



15a. Cut rod for left side elevator wheel.

15b. Bend photoetched elevator wheel.

15c. Glue rod to elevator wheel.

15d. Add elevator wheel to Z-structure.

The works as they are now:
Spent time thus far: 146 h.
Edited by Roy vd M.

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201. Turned out I wasn't satisfied with the way the guns looked. Modelers who know me are aware that I sometimes take things apart again and retry. In this case, the barrels were slightly tilted while they shouldn't be (though nicely aligned relatively to each other), aft end of the barrels took a lot of time carving and the end results were not spectacular (thought that wasn't so important as they'd have been largely covered up, but still..), the barrels each had slightly different heights... and also the base was too flexible (plasticard). All in all I just didn't like it. So I took off the barrels.


202. I spent hours and hours trying to figure out what would be the best way to add a piece of 0,6mm. copper wire to the Pontos 0,6mm. (at its widest) barrel. Glues were tested, soldering was tested... (actually the soldering had a pretty good result and I was going to use it... but... ) in the end I got a really good advice: try an injection needle. And indeed they are featured in 0,6mm. diameter. Cool! Was already planning to go purchase a copper tube 0,6mm. (Albion Alloys produces them) but the injection needles work and save money on price and gasoline. 12 needles for about 1 pound... nice deal. What can I say.. if you are ever in a situation in which you intend to connect a Pontos brass barrel to an extension, visit your local pharmacy.

Unfortunately the needle hole cannot be drilled (at least not by hand and I don't have the appropriate drill bit for my power tool) but when putting Pontos' barrel in the multitool the 'male connection point' can be easily filed to fit the needle. I'll show that in a video later.

This is the result (don't pay attention to the broken off Pontos barrel, I have a couple of spares):


203. The problem with glueing two pieces of copper wire (or brass & copper) together is that they break off fairly easy... it's not a strong connection. Using the needle radically changes this, as can be seen in this vid: https://flic.kr/p/wakP7y

I used Medium Zap here (the green bottle). I'm amazed by the strength of this connection. No way is there ever going to be so much pressure on this barrel, but it's good to know it would hold.

204. Cutting away most of the plastic Zvezda part (in the end only using the base) calls for a longer recoil spring box to be made. I'll use 0,4mm. copper wire for that. Problem with copper wire is that it bends so easily (this also being an advantage, often!). There's a very easy way to straighten it, if you have the right tool: see this video. It's really a matter of 5 seconds before the copper wire will be (almost) perfectly straight. The demonstration is done on some 0,6mm. copper wire, but the method applies to any thickness. Listen to the sound... you can actually hear the straightening process going on.

205. Making sure, after so much testing, I still have enough raw materials to start this job! 24 cannons needed, still available: 24 (!) plastic parts, 27 turned barrels. Good, now let's hope I don't make any mistakes. Knowing my frequent charming mistakes, that sure needs to be a strong hope...

By the way I taped all these small parts to some tape on the used plasticard base.


206. Revised plan. In this plan I make reference to parts as seen in my drawing, hereunder. Although references are made until part '24', there are only 22 different parts in one cannon: there's no '1' or '2'.


1a. Cut off barrel aft (part '22').

1b. File barrel male connector (part '21').

1c. Glue barrel parts together (part '21' and part '22').

2a. Make, file and straighten recoil spring box (part '23').

2b. Glue recoil spring box to barrel.

3a. Chop off top half of plastic (part '20').

3b. Remove fin from base (part '20).

3c. File recess for recoil spring box (part '20').

4a. Drill holes in aluminum base.

4b. Glue plastic base into aluminum base.

4c. Glue barrel to base.


5a. Left side gun recoil shield: cut (part '3').

5b. Left side gun recoil shield: curve and add (part '3').

6a. Right side gun recoil shield: cut rectangle (part '4', see #163).

6b. Curve rectangle and add to gun (part '4', see #163-#166).


7. Make training rack using 'eyebrow method' and add (part '5').

8a. Cut left side rectangle (part '6', see #168 ).

8b. Fold left side rectangle (Z-structure) and add (part '6', see #168 ).

9a. Cut U-structure right side (part '9').

9b. Fold U-structure right side (part '9', see #172).

9c. Cut and bend photoetched layer wheel right side (part '7').

9d. Add right side layer wheel (part '7').


10. Cut and add left side layer's shoulder rest (part '11').

11. Cut, bend and add right side trainer's shoulder rest (part '12').

12. Add 2,26mm. copper wire (rod) to right side (part '13').

13a. Add part 1 wiring to gun (starting left back side). (part '14', see #175)

13b. Add part 2 wiring to gun (part '15').


14a. Cut to shape photo etch sighting gear standard (part '16', see #157).

14b. Bend photo etch sighting gear standard (part '16', see #157).

14c. Using a jig like in #158, add two sighting gears made from copper wire (part '17' and part '18').

14d. Add sighting gear to gun.

15. Make and add sighting gear wheel (part '19', see #159).

16. Make and add firing mechanism (part '24').



17a. Cut rod for left side elevator wheel (part '8').

17b. Bend photoetched elevator wheel (part '10').

17c. Glue rod to elevator wheel.

17d. Add elevator wheel to Z-structure.

207. Here's the updated drawing, having been added parts '20'-'24'. For a detailed look, click the picture and in Flickr choose 'original size' or 'large size'.


208. The several parts and their positions, schematically:


Let the works begin once more!!

Spent time thus far: 151 h.

Edited by Roy vd M.

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207. These steps are being dealt in this post:

1a. Cut off barrel aft (part '22').

1b. File barrel male connector (part '21').

1c. Glue barrel parts together (part '21' and part '22').

2a. Make, file and straighten recoil spring box (part '23').

2b. Glue recoil spring box to barrel.

This 0,6mm needle was purchased in the local pharmacy. They cost a few cents each. First thing to do is to crush the white stuff.


208. The end is flattened by means of a power tool.


209. Then on to the other end. A lot of checking and verifying has to be done to ensure not too much is grinded off. For every specimen (24x) only one reference example is used. That is the key to their similarity.


210. After both sides are flattened and leveled and if the needle parts are all of similar length, the openings are redrilled.


211. After quite a bit of testing, this appears to be the best way to cut a new part (after leveling one side):


212. By the way, any flash is removed by a file.


213. All 24 are ready. Again, checking and verifying is being done and mistakes are repaired. In my case, one part had to be binned and replaced.


214. All brass barrels (from Pontos) need to be filed. This is pretty easy, but it's important that you don't go to far to prevent the attachment point to break off.


215. The needle bit is added to the barrel using a bit of medium Zap while the barrel is positioned in the power tool. This way, it's easy to turn the barrel and notice if the needle bit is wrongly aligned. Corrections are possible during a few seconds.


216. An artery clamp can be used to let the barrel dry.


217. Ready!


218. Next I needed 0,4mm. copper wire. Best to first level one end by sanding (here can be seen how I straightened the wire[/url].


221. Cutting...


220. After cutting, the other side is equally dealt with. Grabbing the tiny bit with pliers...


221. Ready! Every part had to be straightened using this method.


222. Adding the copper to the barrel combination again uses one individual example all the time. Using clamps, a little bit of Gator Glue (not Gator Grip) is applied...


223. ... after which the copper wire is put in place. Lots of correction time, Gator Glue is a great glue for purposes like these.


224. Correcting the alignment, using a knife or a finger!


225. Approximately 14 hours of work results in 24 ready cannon barrels:


Spent time thus far: 165 h.

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226. To make the base for the cannons, first the top halves had to be chopped off.


227. Two bases were sanded to exactly the height necessary. They were fitted (Zap thin) in a strip of aluminum in which I had drilled 4 holes. They're templates. Because of the one-of-a-kind shape of the parts they needed to be aligned in a precise way. I used the fin as reference for front/aft.

After installment of the templates, two more parts were chopped off and positioned...


228. ... and sanded. After that they were removed and replaced by two new parts, etc.


229. In the end what you're left with somehow resembles a can of maggots. Step 3c ready!


Spent time thus far: 169 h.

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...How much detail?...

Lordy dordy - I feel like I've just ran a marathon working through 169 Hours worth of build work. This is exquisitely brilliant work and definitely on a par with the extra detailing and attention to detail that Foxy is putting into his Heller Victory.

this is going to be sooo much fun to follow


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