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TonyW

SS France Ocean Liner

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My Lancaster Prototype is on the final lap at the moment, best I sort out  the next build then!

 

I've been promising myself a build of the SS France for quite a while now. I think the ship looks stunning. The GB is a first class excuse to add one to my collection.

 

I've got a few contenders for the build but here's one that won't be getting built anytime soon.

 

IMG_4948.jpg

 

This kit has taken me more than a few years to aquire. A decent box from here, instructions and decals from there and the parts on the sprues from various wrecked kits bought over the years. Mint originals fetch silly money.  Although mine took ages to bring together, it kept the financial cost to bearable levels. Piecing a collectable kit together means you end up with loads of spare parts that are now crying out to be assembled to display alongside the boxed item.

 

Here's what I have to work with. A scruffy box and a small fleet of ragged models to choose from. 😁 There's enough there to build at least one complete model although there will be a bit of repair needed on a few bits and bobs.

I'll be sorting out a complete set of parts this evening and making up a shopping list for supplies needed to make a start. 

 

IMG_4949.jpg

Edited by TonyW

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While digging out the SS France earlier on, I re-discovered another stalled build. I think it's been assembled a bit to far to add to the GB, which is a shame, as it's one of Airfix's earliest kits, none other than the second issue Southern Cross.  Bought as a restoration project, it's about half done.

 

IMG_1214.jpg

 

IMG_1258.jpg

 

This one is an ongoing restoration, needing a few parts making up. The front mast and the cargo cranes need scratch buiding or recasting from originals. It's a long term project.

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I've sorted out a set of parts to make a start to the build. there's about 90% of another kit there, plus another hull requiring a fair few parts. Maybe a waterline model along with one on the Airfix cradles is in my future?

 

IMG_4950.jpg

IMG_4952.jpg

 

I'm currently soaking two hull halves in bleach, to remove some rather thick black and red paint. If that's successful I can make a start soon. If it does not work I'll have to attempt breaking down one of the built models for its hull. More as it happens.

 

Tony.

Edited by TonyW

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Excellent idea for a build, Tony. I completely empathise with you on hunting e-bay for partly complete vintage Airfix kits so that a complete version can be pulled together without paying some of the silly prices for the 'collectable' kits. I did it for a couple of kits (the Comet 4b being one!) just so I could get a 'red stripe' boxing and an early issue from the original tooling, the idea being that the quality would be better, or as good as Airfix made on day one.

The actual history of SS France and all the other 'Blue Riband competitors' liners is very interesting and I think the technology behind the propulsion boilers and marine engines was driven on to continually improve just like engines for aircraft of the same era. Golden years indeed for Engineers (capital 'E'). I will enjoy your build immensely. Cheers. Mike

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Work on the liner has begun.

 

The bath of bleach for the hull was half successful. The black paint came off leaving not a trace. The red however just did not budge. A session with a few sheets of wet and dry paper soon had that sorted though. The hull sides were glued together and a bit of plasticard reinforcement added.

 

IMG_4964.jpg

 

Then things got a bit silly.

The portholes on the hull are raised circles and there are a bit over 400 of them per side. I've drilled out the port side lot!

It took a forty five minute Trojan compilation and about half a Muscle Shoals video to do that lot.

 

IMG_4972.jpg

 

While things were rolling along like that, I decided to have an experiment with matt blacking the upper walkway windows, along with masking and painting the hull port side, just to see what it looked like and if all that drilling was worth doing.

 

It needs loads of sorting out still, but the Grand Plan is underway!

 

My desktop looks like a Bombay beach at the moment!

 

IMG_4973.jpg

 

More as it happens.

 

Tony.

 

 

Edited by TonyW

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This was always a favourite model of mine, I remember getting one when I went to see my grandparents, and had a whale of a time putting it together. I am sure I still have some black-and-white negatives of it somewhere in one of my cupboards.

 

It was great reading how you managed to locate the parts for it, something I would not even have considered.

 

I hope the build goes well for you and that you enjoy the process as much as I did way back in 1971!

 

All the best,

 

Ray

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It's a complete change of pace compared to the Lancaster build also underway at the moment Ray, and I'm enjoying it a lot.

 

Tony.

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Always fancied having a go at France but never seen one at a sensible price so following this with interest.

 

The thought I had with my Queen Elizabeth was to drill out the portholes and then put some LEDs inside to let the light show through

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On 7/24/2018 at 2:10 PM, TonyW said:

 

IMG_4949.jpg

That ship at the bottom, with the faded funnels,  is very reminiscent of how the SS United States currently looks:

 

A559,_SS_United_States,_Pier_82,_Columbu

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That's a sad end to a beautiful ship. Nothings forever I guess.

 

I can't see any tears being shed when this barge is done with...

 

Queen-_Elizabeth-cruise-ship.jpg

 

Edited by TonyW

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400+ port holes drilled out??!!!!  Now THAT'S dedication!!!!! 👍

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Dedication or possibly just daft, the jury is out on that one. There's another 400+ on the starboard side yet!

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Will be watching this with thoughts of saving the remains of my build of long ago

Martin H

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The SS France is back on track!

The thought of drilling out another 400 odd portholes on the starboard side has kept this build on hold for a bit. At tonight's Mildenhall IPMS meet I sat there and drilled out the offending holes while having a natter with the rest of the club members. I'm more than a bit glad to have that job behind me now. The Ship is now down to racing weight with 800+ holes drilled! A rubbing down session and on with the hull paintwork looks imminent.

 

Tony.

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Hello Tony, I am not sure which is worse - drilling them out or painting them!

 

Looking forward to seeing some more progress on this beauty

 

All the best,

 

Ray

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48 minutes ago, Ray S said:

drilling them out or painting them!

What about glazing them? 😨🤔😉

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18 hours ago, TonyW said:

The SS France is back on track!

The thought of drilling out another 400 odd portholes on the starboard side has kept this build on hold for a bit. At tonight's Mildenhall IPMS meet I sat there and drilled out the offending holes while having a natter with the rest of the club members. I'm more than a bit glad to have that job behind me now. The Ship is now down to racing weight with 800+ holes drilled! A rubbing down session and on with the hull paintwork looks imminent.

 

Tony.

That sounds great, Tony, although how you handled a pint, dug in a packet of crisps, held a conversation and still drilled out the portholes all at the same time sounds like a great feat of multi-tasking. Hope you didn't stab your fingers too many times! Cheers. Mike.

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Well, it's not going to happen I'm afraid. At least not in time for the ending of the GB, even with the time added. 

 

Two things stop play at the moment. One, I want to add railings to the model after seeing the difference they make to a build. Not having ever used photo etch railings before, I think I'm asking a bit much of myself to do the kit justice on a first attempt. The second reason is that after seeing  my portholes (800+ of them!!!) with a bit of light behind them, I want to add internal lighting to the model. The box top picture has a lot to answer for here, I think it looks stunning. Lighting will be another first for me as well.  

 

. So near, yet so far.

 

IMG_6054.jpg

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Not to worry Tony, I think even the good Lord would allow you at least one GB stalled project considering the ‘runs on the board’ you already have. I think a little extra time and less pressure will pay huge dividends with this kit. 

 

Cheers.. Dave 

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Hello Tony, I too agree.

 

It would be a crying shame to try and rush it and have it not go so well. Just let us know how you get on by putting it in Maritime RFI at least please!

 

Good luck with it, I know I would love to have another crack at the SS France myself, it being 1972 when I gave it my last try.

 

Cheers,

 

Ray

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I think it's a wise choice to not rush it. It will look marvellous with lighting, although you might want to give the inner walls a coat of grey or black to stop them looking translucent. The handrails do look splendid but I dread to think how fragile and fiddly they are!

 

Regards,

Adrian

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33 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

although you might want to give the inner walls a coat of grey or black to stop them looking translucent.

Even paint will be somewhat translucent; I'd probably use silver paint in two or three coats if going that route. The best option would be to line the inside of the hull with aluminium foil. One could use Bare-Metal Foil or just the plain type used for cooking applied with Microscale Metal Foil Adhesive.

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4 minutes ago, VMA131Marine said:

line the inside of the hull with aluminium foil

ah but then Tony would have to drill another 400 holes!

 

:)

Adrian

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2 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

ah but then Tony would have to drill another 400 holes!

 

:)

Adrian

 

400 Port. 400 Starboard. Superstructure still to go... I still wake up screaming over the whole episode.

 

Tony.

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