Jump to content

Merit Ark Royal 1/350 Finally Completed (In September)


Recommended Posts

Almost exactly two years ago I started building the Merit Ark Royal.  I started a related thread (LINK) where I pontificated about hull colors, and intended that to be a build thread.  Well, I build slowly due to work and family constraints, and I am often too lazy to post things - so I never added to that thread.  I finished the model  in September and am finally posting some of the finished pictures.  I will post some of the build pictures later in this thread as well. 

 

These are just phone pictures so please forgive the quality. 

 

spacer.png

 

 

spacer.png

 

 

Edited by PolarisPrime
Updating Pictures
  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tried the salt method to weather the hull the way Ark Royal was weathered near the end.  It didn't come out perfect, and I learned things I could have done to make it better, but all in all I am pleased with the effect.  One thing to note is that using the phone camera washes out the weathering effects.  The deck and hull have much more weathering that you can't see in these pictures.

 

y4m2Jhn3tCANfcajMzf2kxB9jMx6VHsb1-J1mFBo

 

y4m8M9wKbJ_7zvNT9tiRW9Hx6IuQP-R-vcluidm3

 

y4mTltANOU-T3m6h_tvaW3_gNZ2134ADKyk1S5rM

 

y4mEY3vq1SYE5lmS8jsx7CuhR6pKQN9BjghTOJas

 

y4mBOgQs8cem8dSmBAMfy_eA8Kg1IjmU3EEV6gzc

 

y4mO3sAGx1G4Iua8Xz5N-TG-oVER3ChqrjaEEqcC

 

y4mKVF87Z2XhMNT3Tc9W63rA-_C9tAWiJQLE0Fhh

 

  • Like 37
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

You've done a great job there!! Very nice indeed! I have always wondered exactly what Ark's hull colour actually was? The pics of her listing indicated a very worn dark grey, but I've yet to come across any books or ref material detailing her colours?

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since I am deeply into the process of building this very Merit-Tetra combo (see my endless “Sink the Bismarck” thread), I fully appreciate just how much work it takes to get to this point, and she looks great; really well done.

 

I’m not sure I agree 100% with some of your conclusions about the paint scheme, but now is definitely not the time for that discussion to reopen.  Two minor things that you may take or leave entirely as you please, however.  1.  As far as I am aware she never had Fulmars and Skuas at the same time.  2. She definitely never had the Yagi radar aerials on her HACS directors - whatever Merit’s PE designers might think!

 

Those are mere quibbles; you’ve done a great job - and I think you are the first person to finish this kit on Britmodeller; I’ve certainly never seen another, and I’m probably about a year behind you!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 hours ago, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

Since I am deeply into the process of building this very Merit-Tetra combo (see my endless “Sink the Bismarck” thread), I fully appreciate just how much work it takes to get to this point, and she looks great; really well done.

 

I’m not sure I agree 100% with some of your conclusions about the paint scheme, but now is definitely not the time for that discussion to reopen.  Two minor things that you may take or leave entirely as you please, however.  1.  As far as I am aware she never had Fulmars and Skuas at the same time.  2. She definitely never had the Yagi radar aerials on her HACS directors - whatever Merit’s PE designers might think!

 

Those are mere quibbles; you’ve done a great job - and I think you are the first person to finish this kit on Britmodeller; I’ve certainly never seen another, and I’m probably about a year behind you!

Thanks for your input Crisp, I really appreciate it.  I figured that I might be the first one to post a finished Ark Royal here, but I can't wait to see yours finished.  I just perused your Sink the Bismarck thread (61 pages and counting!!!) and that is some amazing work.  I took about four months fixing discrepancies on the hull.  You took a year and counting.  It definitely shows.  Way better than mine.

 

I had heartburn about the Yagi aerials.  All the pictures just showed the covers on top of the directors, and I thought I might scratch build some of those.  But really I prefer so show radars uncovered most of the time so I followed the instructions.  My bad I guess since I didn't know they weren't on Ark Royal.  I also didn't know about the Fulmars and Skuas.  That's easy to fix if I ever get the desire. 

 

I know that you saw the thread where I talked to Jamie about colors on the boat, so you know what I was thinking.  I want to see your interpretation when you are finished.  I also want to see your method of weathering the hull.  One thing I didn't mention there, in one picture in Morsky's book the funnel top 2/3 is painted a light color.  So in order to add some visual appeal I decided to paint mine that way.  Since that is the only picture I have ever seen with a light colored funnel it must not have lasted very long. 

 

Thanks again

Bruce

Edited by PolarisPrime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to post a few work in progress pictures in the next few posts.  I won't bother posting that many because Crisp has done almost everything I did plus much more in his Sink the Bismarck thread. 

 

Anyway - here are a couple of pictures of the first day.

 

y4mcpiGr8_2HJo6cYLbaTBdY2NbEhcQTn6Y-02r1

 

y4mapzUpH_Tx2G9RB_VAurkMrCJm5XYkPIB5pVY9

 

It's all pretty exciting at this point...  Before millions of hours of bending tiny brass parts. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Merit kit is pretty good.  Like most Trumpeter kits, it is pretty good, but not great.  Seriously though, a 1/350 Ark Royal?  I'm not going to complain too much.  Outside of Tamiya's new Yamato or Dragon's Scharnhorst all ship models need a lot of extra care and attention to make them look good.  Here's hoping for an Illustrious or Victorious some time in the near future.

 

In case you don't know the relationship between Merit and Trumpeter, it was explained to me by the owner of my local shop, who is also a wholesaler (used to own Douglas Models).  Here is what I know - or at least think I know.  Merit, Trumpeter, Hobby Boss, I Love Kit, Gallery Model and some others all use the same production facility, and definitely have some connection.  I have the Merit USS JFK, and "Trumpeter" is stamped in the hull, which is the same hull used for Trumpeter's USS Constellation kit.  But Merit is (now was) owned by a different person than Trumpeter and had independent distribution channels.  Hobby Boss is owned by Trumpeter but has a different distribution channel in order to sell to different wholesalers, at least in the US.  I think I Love Kit and all the others are similar in nature to Hobby Boss in that they are subsidiaries of Trumpeter.  Merit was the only independent company of the bunch - except maybe Gallery - but they both appear to have been bought by Trumpeter now).

 

Anyway - there are a few major flaws in the model.  To me the most egregious is the shape of the flight deck, especially the shape of the ends of the catapults. 

 

y4mwojV5rcjiTk8uIw3byMz8Q9UiE1jap7a-CN1l

 

The ends of the launch rails should be symmetrical.  The notches on the outboard sides don't exist on the Morski and Kagero plans or on the new Aoshima 1/700 model.  And I see no evidence of them being like that in any pictures I have.  The starboard side also had an additional ridge added to it, running from the bow to the gun platform, that wasn't on the port side. 

 

y4mrOeQ6TBavIEXvnnimkf0ETpFt9PTFHrg1kkIq

 

You can see here that the flight deck sides at the stern is also asymmetrical port and starboard on the round down.  According to the plans I have it should be the same on both sides.  Maybe the builders plans show it differently.  To me though, it seems like bad engineering.  I would be willing to bet that the flight deck was molded too narrow for the hull and they were forced to alter the mold, thus accounting for the strange shape of the launch rail ends and the uneven shape of the stern. 

 

y4mmYzo0RmAQ5wjAyro1cTmlGabkYyvPdbp8hWnQ

 

The fit was also quite poor at the front end of the hull. 

 

y4mosgEbI_2FK74udixKAQvscVmzVcvJ-IQkpJcq

 

Generally I don't do a lot of alterations when I build, and just live with the inconsistencies, but this was too much for me.  So I set to work modifying the hull and flight deck.  I just wish I had noticed before I glued on the degaussing cable.  I didn't bother with the stern because it would have required a major structural rebuild for a not very obvious problem.

 

y4mbSZvgrPjI-8xhkDrzUwqGF-YojPnUwBrsO24U

 

And this is the end result.  The port side only needed the notch filed down to the proper angle.  The starboard required shaving a major amount of plastic off the hull to make everything match. 

Edited by PolarisPrime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are a few pictures of the clamping methods I used for the degaussing cable.  I really liked the cable in the Tetra kit, but I put it on too early in the bulid.  There were some other modifications I wanted to do to the hull that were not possible after the cable was attached. 

 

y4m87Qyp_x8ZEP3pX9CK-8f8CEykyS7JLYk1-_VL

 

y4m5j4nzmkxSWNmzUuo_9jHOlbr55S6M4-3FJyHq

 

y4mNoTrv7Zo6rwgBrfL9eGEqz9hobTg7RwIIOFvp

 

I used the foam wedge to get the PE to sit tight around the curves.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like Crisp did, when I got to the bridge and the wind deflectors I bent them the wrong way, and when I carefully and very slowly bent them back they fell apart into about 1000 tiny brass pieces 😭 

 

At this point I just about quit.  I had already cut the kit parts off and trashed them so there was no turning back.  I actually dug them out of the trash and considered gluing them back in place, but the kit parts for the wind deflectors sucked sooooo bad I couldn't do it.  I looked for another PE set on line, but I really didn't want to drop that kind of cash just to fix it, but it's a very prominent part of the model.  So I painstakingly glued each little piece into place, two pieces a day, over the course of about 2 weeks. 

 

Compared to what it could have looked like without me screwing up it turned out as pure garbage.  Considering what happened I am perfectly fine with the result.  It's still light years better than the kit part.

 

y4mKvBhxz7T_zEaDK5VhszjyQnSHJp86nfhc9c-S

 

The funnel is also not so crooked on the finished model 🙄

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last post of the night.  Just some pics of the funnel pieces.  This is one of my favorite things about PE sets, the nice detail on the funnel.

 

y4mf733iGZdu8J2nBiffmcdpyBy2WOsdvmZOBQia

 

y4mBwAkSUYHTT3h021iEhtAOaH2fWgBSaUAQk9_H

 

I didn't worry much about alignment till I got to the last step

 

y4mpVNy7DYTfxXks0_n3gBrz7ymgchwG4e36QvNE

 

y4mShKRyjVyTeoCQED5EU5vWxuWHJKTT2LkrPLJ9

 

y4mZaZv2ektod0OoTjspcmXFr1c7v0dpnMBAxqFg

 

y4md7P-HzlkMcQj81wbtNsumR1UKLOswe_uHY5we

 

I think I fixed the unpainted brass and removed the cotton strands... But I may have to check on that before IPMS nationals.  If we ever have nationals again

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 14/01/2021 at 07:58, Ex-FAAWAFU said:

 

 As far as I am aware she never had Fulmars and Skuas at the same time. 

 

 

A correction to avoid this becoming an internet factoid. After her Nimrods had been disembarked, Ark Royal's fighter group was composed entirely of Skuas until October 1940 (with the brief exception of the addition of 3 Rocs embarked for her first deployment off Norway (Operation DX, April 22 - 3 May 1940). After April 1941, and until her loss, her fighter group was composed entirely of Fulmars. However, between October 1940 and April 1941, she embarked one squadron of Skuas and one squadron of Fulmars. 

Edited by iang
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, robgizlu said:

Super rendition beautifully presented - really like the seascape.

Are all the figures North Star?

Rob

Thanks for your comments Rob

 

Yes they are NorthStar.  Amazing little buggers but a real pain to paint.  I used about 150 of them.   I'll post a bit more about the figures tonight or tomorrow. 

 

Bruce

Edited by PolarisPrime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/14/2021 at 12:16 AM, Whitewolf said:

You've done a great job there!! Very nice indeed! I have always wondered exactly what Ark's hull colour actually was? The pics of her listing indicated a very worn dark grey, but I've yet to come across any books or ref material detailing her colours?

Thanks Whitewolf.

 

If  you go to this thread Jamie Duff posted some excellent info on some possibilities for Ark Royals colors.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That is impressive, such a large complicated build is not easy, but very nicely done with good finishing all round. Nice to see the famous Ark Royal completed to this standard.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of my great finds was to discover Black Cat models out of France.  They were just starting up when I was midway through this build - or at least that's when I heard about them - and they have some really amazing detail parts.   I got their carly floats to replace the ones on the model.  The kit parts certainly aren't bad, but the Black Cat ones are a whole new level of awesome.

 

Here are the kit part, an unmodified Black Cat part, and a modified one (I cut out the bottom so that it could sag like on the real thing.. 

y4mRd-a9MZg46eDt7tARy0EecLTrUxfkFRWDsUZN

 

 

 

Here is the real thing

y4mwrVDTt8IuX2IoxOe40IOVB1i6h16Yxi08HFA2

 

 

 

And here is a final version vs the kit part.  I went with a broader strap made from lead foil, but I think I like the wires I used on the one above better.

y4mf9APxDpIkoT46S9DnEc8R0HfR7K90R1xgpzce

Edited by PolarisPrime
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...