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A bit late in the day, but I've *almost* built my first model of 2020. I started this on New Year's day and hoped to have it all finished before returning to work. Sadly however my dad's little sister had visited the hospital just before Christmas feeling unwell, was diagnosed with cancer and went off the cliff rapidly and died on the 3rd January. Naturally that took priority over toy boats, but I've got the model well on now. It's not in RFI because I haven't finished the complete display yet.

 

Like most submarines the kit was pretty simple yet very complete. It is very nicely cast in light grey resin, and comes complete with a small sheet of photo etched brass, a turned brass 4" gun barrel courtesy of Master (I think?), and two generous lengths of brass rod.

 

Mine had a little shrinkage on the bottom of the keel, easily fixed with some filler, and a little shrinkage on one of the two optional 4" gun tubs which was easily fixed using viscous glue.

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I needed a simple shim from plasticard to level the bottom of the conning tower (is it still a "sail" on a WW2 boat?) but it may be my own carelessness in removing it from the casting block.

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There are colour photographs of P311 on the IWM collection which removes some colour uncertainty. The instructions show two schemes for HMS Tabard P342, one of which is PB10 which is possibly correct as Tabard was built late in the war with PB10 being introduced in 1944, and the other shows black with "MS4A" grey with white pennant number - this one smells a lot like a certain author known for a spectacular lack of understanding of RN colours. For various reasons, I believe that black and Home Fleet Grey should be considered the standard Home Fleet submarine scheme in the mid-war years, and that's what I decided to do. P311 was one of the first 2 Group III T-class boats and did not have a 20mm Oerlikon cannon, so its platform had to go.

 

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The hull was a dawdle to assemble. The planes fitted nicely, as did the propellers. The propeller shafts are made from lengths of the brass rod provided. All of the photo etched brass gratings, hatches etc dropped perfectly in to position. They were all glued using my usual method of applying medium CA from a little pool in a medicine pill container with the tip of an acupuncture needle.

 

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I used a brass pin to locate the conning tower on the hull.

 

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At this stage I remembered the model was resin and I had to wash it. I started with a bath of white spirit and a paint brush, then moved on to a bath of warm water with dishwashing soap.

 

For the black I used Colourcoats ACRN17 Night Bomber Black and applied this straight onto the model (i.e. no primer). When dry, I masked with Tamiya tape and sprayed the upper part of the boat with NARN20 507A/B Home Fleet Grey (the 13% RF version).

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At this point we came off the rails a bit unfortunately. The supplied decals didn't like the Microset/Microsol combination. I'm not sure what setting solutions they do need. The former though encouraged them to adhere-ish but in no way attempt to conform to the surface, whereas the latter encouraged them to peel away from the surface and curl up. In the end, it took a whole day of careful supervision to get them on and even then there's some silvering so not a success overall.

 

They looked like this after around 3 hours of work 😬

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Once I got the decals as good as I could, I brush painted the deck using our NARN29 MS2 heavily thinned. I don't think this was the actual colour, but it's a little darker than our 13% RF HFG at its correct 9~10% and neutral in hue which looked like the IWM photos. It was also to hand and after the decals I felt a little less precious about things. I further thinned the MS2 and brushed some streaky weathering on the portion of the boat which sits above the waterline on the surface, and sponged on more underneath to try to break up the uniformity of the black a bit. The IWM photos show flash rusting all over the deck of P311 also, which I attempted to mimic using brown, orange and ochre chalk pastels. Rigging was applied using Infini Model 40denier (0.068mm diameter) black lycra monofilement rigging line.

 

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I said at the beginning this wasn't finished, so people might wonder what's next. I'm at a point in my maritime modelling whereby I want to portray vessels in their natural environment to properly look the part. Still though, I am an Engineer by education, by family tradition and work in an engineering industry. I like hull forms. A submarine in particular is a model whereby you either display all of it, or you sand away or hide 80% of it and that's bad value for money to a Scotsman.

 

Inspired by the awesome works of the young Korean man Won-Hui Lee, I want to try my first clear resin casting such that the boat can be seen from above the waterline in its natural state but the viewer can see through a cross section of the sea to view the rest also. Bubbles are not a real problem provided they're not large, but resin cures with an exothermic reaction and too large a mass cast at once tends to cause excessive heat and melt things, so I shall cast in 2, 3 or 4 layers.

 

A block of wood has been marked out, masked, smeered with PVA and sprinkled with modelling sand and rocks. These were then sealed in place with watered down PVA squirted on from a scooshie bottle.

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4 sides of clear plastic sheet have been sawn out to form the mould for the resin. These will be sealed from the outside before actual use.

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I need to order enough casting resin now!

 

If this works, I can use the method for some other ships and boats, which would allow me to have my proverbial cake and eat it.

 

Thanks for looking in.

 

Jamie :)

 

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Fantastic work Jamie, she looks great.

I started off displaying my subs on plinths so you can see the whole thing but I've never really been happy with that concept as like you, I too believe that maritime stuff should be displayed in their environment and I have started mounting them on sea bases. I being half Scott, also don't like the idea of hiding 3/4 of the hull that I've paid for, under water. So, I will follow on and watch how your resin idea works out and I may go that route myself.

 

Stuart

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6 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I need to order enough casting resin now!

 

If this works, I can use the method for some other ships and boats, which would allow me to have my proverbial cake and eat it.

Following with interest!  Been wanting to do this for years.   Did a test run with a 1/48 drop tank, but the resin I had got to hot.  Found a youtube video of a guy doing something like this, but the resin he used wasn't from the US so I am not sure what to use yet.

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Clean looking build and the decals came out all right in the end

Fascinated by the next steps :popcorn:

Rob

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12 hours ago, robgizlu said:

Fascinated by the next steps :popcorn:

Yes me as well looking forward to seeing this one come through and a very clean build so far  :yes:

 

beefy

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My condolences on your loss,it is a shock when it happens, so suddenly too. I just lost my Dad in a similar fashion-certainly time devoted to a hobby when possible is a great help in taking your mind off things,for a bit at least.

 

It is nice to see an RN sub being modelled-it looks a nice kit, I look forward to seeing how it turns out in its natural element.

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7 hours ago, mollythedog said:

My condolences on your loss,it is a shock when it happens, so suddenly too. I just lost my Dad in a similar fashion-certainly time devoted to a hobby when possible is a great help in taking your mind off things,for a bit at least.

 

It is nice to see an RN sub being modelled-it looks a nice kit, I look forward to seeing how it turns out in its natural element.

 

I'm very sorry to hear that. I agree that modelling is a good pass time though. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment :)

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Funeral yesterday and a few late finishes from day-job have made this week fairly non-productive for personal pursuits.

 

Tonight I decided to try the resin. Pigments are very, very powerful in resins. The colour seen took 1 drop of green, 1 drop of dark blue and 3 drops of light blue.

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Being very wary of exothermic reactions, I went with the manufacturer's half-strength dose of hardener (this is polyester resin) at the expense of curing time which will take much longer. Sometimes I am accused of a lack of patience because I believe in prison sentences for people who pull out in front of me and cause me to have to slow down. I'm not impatient - I just hate things taking longer than doing that thing well requires. A slower cure for a thick resin pour will be time well spent if the peak temperature is kept much lower!

 

Since this is the first go, and I don't want to destroy a £45 resin submarine, I've poured 500ml in so far.

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Once it's cured, assuming it was successful without heat discolouration, I am going to try to remove the acrylic mould first. If they don't let go cleanly, I've only lost some resin, a piece of cheap wood and some acrylic.

 

If they do come off, I will clean up the base a bit. My sealing wasn't complete and there was a bit of an ooze in 2 spots. Then the plan would be to reinstate the mould pieces, tack the submarine to the current surface with a couple of spots of CA, then mix another batch of resin with the same pigment (see, I made a note!) and pour up to the waterline.

 

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Partial success. It has cured very nicely and has not overheated. I need to use a release agent for the acrylic though and indeed managed to cut myself breaking a piece off. I think for this one I shall a) finish CAFO679/42 and CAFO2146/42 which I want to go on sale today, and will get the rest of that acrylic off the resin if I can. I'm now going to see if my power planer on the lightest of cuts can shave down this resin. That'll be very handy to know for future.

 

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Interesting project.  Responding to a question you posed right at the outset, I believe “sail” is a US term originally; this side of the pond we tend(ed) to use “fin” or “conning tower”.  My SM friends will no doubt correct a mere WAFU if I’m wrong

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4 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

My SM friends will no doubt correct a mere WAFU if I’m wrong

You're on safe ground.

 

Stuart

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Initial attempts at powerplaning were not a success, so I shall start over but this time I'll try some release agents on small batches of resin on the broken acrylic sheet to find one which works but without leaving an unwanted impression of itself on the resin.

 

Also, if ever I needed convincing that absolutely no good ever came from anything with "acrylic" in its name:

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That looks sore :( 

 

The resin-water looked good though B) 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

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10 minutes ago, Stew Dapple said:

That looks sore :( 

 

The resin-water looked good though B) 

 

Cheers,

 

Stew

 

The cut's just in an annoying place. It appears to be sealing itself up quickly but it's bruised underneath. I think avoiding doing much hand-sy for a couple of days will speed it along.

 

I liked the general effect of the water. The artists gel mediums can be added on top for more surface texture. I'm fairly optimistic that this will work in the end - it just needs a few practical details ironed out. I'll share all my failures here incase anyone else feels like skipping on rediscovering how not to do it :D

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It's but a flesh wound. In this line of work, their are many things that can bite back. I lost a scalpel once and found it with my bare foot!

Now, less fuss, lick your wounds and get on with it 'cos I want to see this thing work.

It was looking good though.

 

Stuart

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Yes Sir!

 

I need a faster way of sawing the stuff too. A modelling razor saw is not the quickest. I have a selection of big saws too obviously (typical man) but would be concerned that their larger teeth might chip and break up the edges of the acrylic sheet. Another test is in order.

 

The chain saw is probably right out... :(

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Jamie - sorry for your family loss.

Sorry about the thumb - looks sore.  

I think the resin has come out really well :clap2:

 

What did you use by way of pigments?

I'll be looking out for the new "publications".

Thanks for "breaking the trail" here :goodjob:

Rob

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36 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

The chain saw is probably right out... :(

Especially when we're a little accident prone...

 

Stuart

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2 hours ago, Courageous said:

Especially when we're a little accident prone...

That just adds a little extra frisson of jeopardy to the whole business.  More fun for the rest of us. 

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2 hours ago, Courageous said:

Especially when we're a little accident prone...

 

Stuart

 

I'll have you know that 100% of the trees I've felled around the property haven't landed on the car. So there!

 

I did accidentally burn down a gorse bush once. And have a minor road traffic collision with my own garage one particularly icy day. And Stew's the one who has a ritualistic painting of his shoes every time he comes to help fill paint tins :D

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14 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Yes Sir!

 

I need a faster way of sawing the stuff too. A modelling razor saw is not the quickest. I have a selection of big saws too obviously (typical man) but would be concerned that their larger teeth might chip and break up the edges of the acrylic sheet. Another test is in order.

 

The chain saw is probably right out... :(

 

Is a Dremel rotary saw blade too small?

 

I suppose there's a danger of melting the acrylic with a Dremel saw too...

 

They do seem to have blades that allegedly will cut plastic without melting it and I think I have one. I'll have a look and get back to you.

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For cutting acrylic you can find sets of cutting discs on ebay- I bought my wife a fancy German sewing machine cubby hole thingy that has a spring loaded "lift" that pops up and down.It has a thick acrylic (or perspex maybe) plate that is meant to fit snugly around the sewing machine.It is about 5mm thick,and the one she had wasn't correct for her machine. I bought a set of these steel blades which are made from about 1mm steel,and in a Dremel they cut the plastic pretty well. Use masking tape to mark/guide/protect the surface. You'll have to try different speeds of both tool and cut.

 

I used to use polyester resin for ship model casting-i would not attempt cutting it,it'll melt or shatter,or both.And ruin whatever tools you are using to do it.

 

As a release agent you might try some Vaseline mixed with white spirit,mix well and paint it on-the WS will evaporate and leave a thin coat of vaseline-works well on other things like mould halves so might work here-test it first,it is dirt cheap and if it don't work you have lost nothing-north of that border you are known for your "economy"....

 

Good luck.....

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16 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I'll share all my failures here incase anyone else feels like skipping on rediscovering how not to do it :D

Gidday Jamie, I think this is a very commendable attitude. Not everything we try works. (Einstein had two failed attempts before he got E=mc2. Apparently E=ma2 and E-mb2 didn't work! 😁) But seriously, even failures can teach us lessons, and these too can be passed on to others.

     And I hope your thumb heals soon. 👍 Yeah, I know, wrong thumb.       Regards, Jeff.

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Could we just go back to that gorse bush?  How do you “accidentally” burn down an entire bush?  Careless disposal of cigarette on unwontedly dry Scottish afternoon?  Test of survivalist flammenwerfer that went a little too well?  Collateral damage of arson attack on rival paint company?  It’s a concern...

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