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Greetings all,

 

I've come back from a short holiday and a week back at day job and decided whilst listening to a new podcast that I want another new model. "Not another one" I hear you say. Yes, well, I can so I will. I would like opinions though at this very early stage because I need to make two key decisions almost immediately and all seem like attractive ideas.

 

Why USS Yorktown? Generally I'm not that motivated to build models of US Navy ships. I've nothing against them but few appeal to me as modelling subjects. I've always been interested in the Yorktown though, probably because of the ship's prominent role in The Battle of Midway. The 1976 film "Midway" was one I enjoyed many times over and to be honest it still gets a watch now and again. More modern films depicting the same events which are more "accurate" make we want to imprison the entire film crew and every idiot who thinks its better than the old. I'm sorry but a computer model of the correct TBD-1 isn't better than real footage of the incorrect real aircraft when said TBD-1 3D model moves like a demented midge and there are smoke and flames trailing from bullet holes through the fabric on the rudder. That's not better, that's a very expensive cartoon for people who know nothing about water, air, ships, aircraft, firearms or physics in general.

 

Anyway then, as a little company on the side of real life, we grew too big in terms of time commitment and we reached a point where my wife and I had a talk and agreed that constantly packing up orders, particularly for third party products, wasn't why we started this venture. Furthermore, third party stuff is really bad for cash flow as essentially you're spending thousands at a time to hold on to stuff for when someone here is ready to buy it, only it's difficult to perform systematic tax fraud as a UK based business long term (unless you're this guy https://www.walesonline.co.uk/whats-on/food-drink-news/award-winning-crispy-cod-owner-21348260). The upshot is that you have thousands sat on the shelf and you can only ask for minimal margins back in return because most in the market for these products price check you against Chinese vendors on eBay and figure they can probably dodge the import taxes and therefore you're charging "rip off" prices. The stuff will sell here, of course, but only if you don't really have a margin worth the hassle. It was hurting our paint investments, so third party stuff was divested of last Christmas. I kept the quite expensive Merit International USS Yorktown kit and the beautiful (but admittedly very expensive) Infini Model Detail Up sets for myself. There's actually a few things left including a Pontos set or two but we'll probably flog those off cheap at a show eventually - they're not going back on the website - that's for certain, because then everyone starts asking you to order in everything else and/or broker spare frets to replace parts they pinged off or mangled and their eBay vendor laughed at them.

 

So:

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Plus:

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Equals a project.

 

The kit is passable accuracy-wise. At least, any shape-errors are far less pungent than the utterly grotesque Trumpeter USS Hornet CV-8 abomination. One of the main criticisms it received was Trumpeter's grossly overdone implementation of the hull plating, something which apparently the kit's sponsors absolutely didn't intend but by the time they'd seen what the factory had done the single most expensive set of dies for the whole had been machined and funding couldn't accommodate a redesign.

 

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I've seen a few threads start online which begin with someone plastering the hull in putty then the threads go dark. Unlike my usual self, I've decided to just let it go. I've softened it down with sanding sponges and will try to be judicious with paint to not highlight how exaggerated it is.

 

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You may notice the portholes are typical cheaply-moulded Trumpeter affairs - i.e. elliptical, since they make hull dies as cheaply as possible and extract the sides horizontally, so portholes cannot be in-plane with the hull plating since that would need more clever ejection of the parts. To improve on this I drilled them out in-plane with the plating.

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There is a more or less complete hangar deck in the kit:

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But one of the first things I have to do with the detail set is start adding PE in and about the hull. Not unsurprising...

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This is fine, but it does force my decision around about now I think.

 

I have the Warship Pictorial book on Yorktown which contains many useful diagrams and photographs. The timeframe of the model is going to be within a week of the Battle of Midway, which was the beginning of June 1942. I have diagrams of the damage received at Coral Sea, photographs of Yorktown in drydock and lots of photographs of her listing and eventually sinking after the battle.

 

Decision 1 is Full Hull or Waterline. I'm a technical person by nature, and I've always liked the near-battlecruiser hull form of the Yorktown class. This ship isn't a big fat tub, it has a long slender bow and interesting bilge keels. There is also good weathering opportunities for the underwater hull and boot topping. On the other hand, I'd quite like the ship to look like its in a natural environment. Whilst there are good photos of the ship in drydock, I don't particularly fancy a model of a drydock.

 

Decision 2 is Undamaged or Damaged. Most of the Coral Sea damage was dented plating and sprung rivets. The flight deck was repaired and photographs of the flight deck following Midway don't show any obvious areas where repair has taken place. I could however model the ship with a list on and the mangled gallery below the flightdeck to port, which was ripped up by a water column from a torpedo hit. There are a couple of planes stranded on deck behind the island and some smoke damage and debris around the AA guns ahead of the island. That could be an interesting modelling exercise, but is it tasteless?

 

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I've got a little smoothing over of holes that needed filled in the forecastle deck and I'm going to start painting the hangar deck whilst hopefully a few of you offer your thoughts on how I can best display this ship :)

 

 

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43 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

but is it tasteless?

Gidday Jamie, I'm not sure what you mean by tasteless. Battle damage is an occupational hazard for warships which many suffered from. To me battle damage on models is a form of weathering and I can't see anything wrong with it. The photo of USS Yorktown listing prior to sinking is quite a famous photo, seen by many I would think so I can see nothing wrong in modeling the ship as such, if you choose to. I apologize if I've misunderstood your question. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

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12 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday Jamie, I'm not sure what you mean by tasteless. Battle damage is an occupational hazard for warships which many suffered from. To me battle damage on models is a form of weathering and I can't see anything wrong with it. The photo of USS Yorktown listing prior to sinking is quite a famous photo, seen by many I would think so I can see nothing wrong in modeling the ship as such, if you choose to. I apologize if I've misunderstood your question. HTH. Regards, Jeff.

 

Hi Jeff, you've understood perfectly. That's exactly what I was asking. I'm not normally a fan of modelling death and injury in-progress as it were, but I might be able to do some mental gymnastics and argue that it's a scene of the crew trying to save the ship.

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Looks a lovely project Jamie. 
 

I’ve definitely got a carrier project in me somewhere and so will be very interested to follow what you do. 
 

I think damage wise, it’s completely subjective. I’d do whatever you fancy. There seem to be two definitive schools of thought on presenting models - Museum type factory (dock) finish and heavily weathered (battle damage goes further!). I personally fall between the two, I like a nice clean finish with a hint of weathering. I’m not a fan of heavily weathered unless it’s done beautifully & realistically - very rarely seen in my opinion. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

 

I think you probably must know subconsciously already what you want to do… go with that 😀

 

I haven’t done a sea base yet, but again, I’ve got one in my head at some point, what’s best for these - waterline or full hull? I guess if it’s a choppy sea you need areas showing below the bootline?

 

Whichever, enjoy the build and post all your progress so we can enjoy it too 🙂

 

Guy

 

ps it’s a shame re 3rd party stock for us, but I 100% agree that it must be pointless for you.

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32 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I'm not normally a fan of modelling death and injury in-progress as it were,

Gidday, me too, usually, but I don't think this would be the case here. If you had crew members as casualties on the model then it might be questionable as there are people alive today who might have lost family members on the ship, and this could possibly be personal and upsetting for them. But you're not doing this. And as you said, you're displaying a scene in a positive sense, trying to save the ship.

     I think most of us would agree that warfare is a terrible, wasteful activity. But at times it brings out the best in people, their bravery and self-sacrifice. I don't think history should be hidden, or forgotten. I think it should be remembered, good and bad, as a source of lessons to be heeded. I think your model showing battle damage is a good thing.

     I'll get down off my soap-box now. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress. Regards, Jeff.

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26 minutes ago, Gisbod said:

Looks a lovely project Jamie. 
 

I’ve definitely got a carrier project in me somewhere and so will be very interested to follow what you do. 
 

I think damage wise, it’s completely subjective. I’d do whatever you fancy. There seem to be two definitive schools of thought on presenting models - Museum type factory (dock) finish and heavily weathered (battle damage goes further!). I personally fall between the two, I like a nice clean finish with a hint of weathering. I’m not a fan of heavily weathered unless it’s done beautifully & realistically - very rarely seen in my opinion. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

 

I think you probably must know subconsciously already what you want to do… go with that 😀

 

I haven’t done a sea base yet, but again, I’ve got one in my head at some point, what’s best for these - waterline or full hull? I guess if it’s a choppy sea you need areas showing below the bootline?

 

Whichever, enjoy the build and post all your progress so we can enjoy it too 🙂

 

Guy

 

ps it’s a shame re 3rd party stock for us, but I 100% agree that it must be pointless for you.

 

15 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

Gidday, me too, usually, but I don't think this would be the case here. If you had crew members as casualties on the model then it might be questionable as there are people alive today who might have lost family members on the ship, and this could possibly be personal and upsetting for them. But you're not doing this. And as you said, you're displaying a scene in a positive sense, trying to save the ship.

     I think most of us would agree that warfare is a terrible, wasteful activity. But at times it brings out the best in people, their bravery and self-sacrifice. I don't think history should be hidden, or forgotten. I think it should be remembered, good and bad, as a source of lessons to be heeded. I think your model showing battle damage is a good thing.

     I'll get down off my soap-box now. I'm looking forward to seeing this progress. Regards, Jeff.

 

7 minutes ago, johndon said:

Not tasteless at all for me, one of the best models I've ever seen is one of the USS Lexington shortly before she sank:

 

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/cv/cv-02/Lexington-700-mvg/index.htm

 

 

 

Thanks everyone. I hope it's ok to answer collectively. The battle damage realism is a point I completely agree with, @Gisbod, isomuch as it's usually rubbish. It can be done though and if I'm ever going to improve as a modeller I need to take risks. The work I've completed over the past 2 years has been pretty formulaic and the only thing I've learned is that I'm always going to be dissatisfied with whatever I make and that's just my nature and I need to make peace with it. If I'm following the same A-Z procedure to make models the safe way, I'm just filling shelves without improving. Ship modellers like Marijn Van Gils produce stuff that sometimes makes me think "what's the point in trying?" but other times I have a light bulb moment that goes more like "well it's clearly possible because he's just done it, which means I could learn how to do it":

http://www.shipmodels.info/mws_forum/viewtopic.php?f=59&t=167367

 

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Or indeed his previous project:

http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/cv/ijn/Amagi-700-mvg/images/Marijn_Van_Gils-Amagi_01.jpg

 

 

 

So, perhaps I'll do it afterall, but that does mean I should crack on with degaussing cables and so on but probably not invest much time in the propeller shafts which will be in the way if I set the model in a styrofoam base.

 

In the time since the first post, I airbrushed the hangar deck with #20 Deck Gray, our US02 enamel of course, which is a matt colour. That dries nice and fast but the deck looks quite shiny in the pre-war photographs I have. As painted steel plate and for a hangar I suppose it would have been so.

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So to that end, I polished up the matt paint quickly with a 4000 grit Infini sanding sponge.

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Clearly that isn't "job done" though if the shutters on the bulkheads are to be open which they usually appear to be in reference photos:

 

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So to start with I've got some raw umber and ivory black oil paint dobbed onto some cardboard for an hour to sook out some of the linseed oil then I'll start working the deck a bit more.

 

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I do have a concern though. The deck pieces are correctly installed, I am quite certain. The bulkheads forward do not fit very convincingly. The gaps at the bottom here shown with a red arrow will be hidden:

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... but they transpose a different issue to the top here and I'm sure that will cause me problems but unfortunately I don't yet know what, so I'm probably going to have to do what I wanted to avoid and separate more hangar deck parts from the sprues to dry fit it all and see where corrections must be made. Best face up to it not than lament later once the hangar deck level is mostly made from brass!

 

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It is a beautiful hull form, perhaps my favourite amongst large warships of the era. Perhaps a stylised presentation on keel blocks would allow both for weathering and display of that fine form? I have one of the Merit kits in the stash but I will admit to being one of the folk who has baulked on seeing the way the plating has been depicted. The old Revell kit was, on the whole, an easier proposition http://www.modelshipgallery.com/gallery/cv/cv-05/Yorktown-487-sa/index.htm and was my first use of Colourcoats too! Only having access to white spirits back then it took a fortnight for the standard navy gray to dry (Used exactly the same tin of paint two months ago with your proprietary thinner and it sprayed perfectly and was touch dry in twenty minutes - not bad for a tin first opened in 2003).
I don’t think you have to be pure about the full hull unweathered versus waterline weathering debate either - a weathered Yorktown sitting on a stylised base of keel blocks would look very fine, and let you concentrate on the ship rather than the scenery.

 

cheers

 

Steve

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I think I got the source of that misalignment sussed out. The hangar deck parts do align.

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The issue is that the two hangar deck kit parts sit approximately 1mm higher than they should compared to the forecastle deck piece. Each appears correctly located in the hull moulding, but they're incorrect relative to one another. Furthermore, the forecastle deck appears to be 1mm too far aft relative to the hangar deck. This latter point prevents the bulkhead forward of the elevator fitting in its slots.

 

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These are the areas which need trimmed:

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Whilst the bulkheads forward needed shimmed. I used square styrene rod.

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This is better, but I need to move the forward facing bulkhead's slots forward in the forecastle deck piece also. I think it should all still fit i.e. there's space on the forecastle deck for the right bits to go in...

 

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The hangar deck has had some oil work started:

 

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Damn do I see a pontos Yorktown set. Once I hesitated between that and Bismarcks, ll follow with interest what it turns out like. 

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27 minutes ago, IJNfan said:

Damn do I see a pontos Yorktown set. Once I hesitated between that and Bismarcks, ll follow with interest what it turns out like. 

 

 

Ahh almost! There is a reason why they look so similar though. Park SangHyun was chief designer at Pontos Model for a number of years. I don't know what happened (I've deliberately avoided discussing it with either of them, because a) it's none of my business and b) I like them both - so if anyone does know, there is no need to inform me here on my thread :)) but Mr Park fell-out big time with Pontos Model owner Keumho Kim. Mr Park found a new invester in Mr Choi KangKuk, owner of IPP, International Plamodel Paints and together they started Infini Model. This set for USS Yorktown is an Infini Model set. Mr Park's style is clear in both. 

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Nice one Jamie will follow and be taking notes for another project the concept of battle damage would mean a lot more work but will give a lot more interest to the displayed model.

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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This is about as good as I think I can manage for the hangar deck. By that I mean I've run out of ideas.

 

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What I do have to do is go read my books and find out what sort of state the hangar deck would have been in. Implementing whatever needs done later could be difficult.

 

The bulkheads forward are now in and are weighted down to dry:

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2 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

 

 

Ahh almost! There is a reason why they look so similar though. Park SangHyun was chief designer at Pontos Model for a number of years. I don't know what happened (I've deliberately avoided discussing it with either of them, because a) it's none of my business and b) I like them both - so if anyone does know, there is no need to inform me here on my thread :)) but Mr Park fell-out big time with Pontos Model owner Keumho Kim. Mr Park found a new invester in Mr Choi KangKuk, owner of IPP, International Plamodel Paints and together they started Infini Model. This set for USS Yorktown is an Infini Model set. Mr Park's style is clear in both. 

Infini is great stuff too. I love their 25mm cannons. “Easy” to build and well designed never did a full set of m though. Do you know how the new designer is at pontos? I got the nagato set but thags likely the new style i guess?

 

looking forward to seeing the endresult. 

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5 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

I think I got the source of that misalignment sussed out. The hangar deck parts do align.

resized_c5c820a4-4b69-4634-bee9-7a3bc9b6

 

The issue is that the two hangar deck kit parts sit approximately 1mm higher than they should compared to the forecastle deck piece. Each appears correctly located in the hull moulding, but they're incorrect relative to one another. Furthermore, the forecastle deck appears to be 1mm too far aft relative to the hangar deck. This latter point prevents the bulkhead forward of the elevator fitting in its slots.

 

resized_86938513-616b-4316-a7ed-4cd298e1

 

resized_06469c6d-80f5-4ae2-a264-07bc72ec

 

These are the areas which need trimmed:

resized_354450c6-01ff-4e63-a800-6aabe59c

 

Whilst the bulkheads forward needed shimmed. I used square styrene rod.

resized_d510b90f-fad9-43da-bba9-cf1b71ba

 

This is better, but I need to move the forward facing bulkhead's slots forward in the forecastle deck piece also. I think it should all still fit i.e. there's space on the forecastle deck for the right bits to go in...

 

resized_14afd9c7-19b7-4e7e-b348-512a85f2

 

The hangar deck has had some oil work started:

 

resized_12bd7750-98f1-4adf-bff9-2039aaae

 

 

How long do you let the oils dry in these cases?

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33 minutes ago, IJNfan said:

Infini is great stuff too. I love their 25mm cannons. “Easy” to build and well designed never did a full set of m though. Do you know how the new designer is at pontos? I got the nagato set but thags likely the new style i guess?

 

looking forward to seeing the endresult. 

 

Kim has several designers and I've met two of them - they're not very talkative in English and I speak no Korean. Kim is still actively designing himself so I think he's defacto "chief designer" now. Nagato is definitely one of the new designers' sets. :)

 

24 minutes ago, IJNfan said:

How long do you let the oils dry in these cases?

 

As I didn't leave the enamel paint very long I was more pin washing the deck so there wasn't really much drying time to speak of. I left the oil to dry for an hour before using it but on bare, freshly painted enamel there isn't much working time before the thinners will lift the paint. I can probably move the brush over the same area of paint maybe 3 times before the paint lifts. To use the oil paint as a wipe-off wash I'd need to use an acrylic clear barrier coat. It dries quickly though in naptha enamel thinner provided you've done the cardboard trick for an hour first to get rid of the excess linseed oil. If you don't de-oil the the oil paint first it'll be very wet for days.

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46 minutes ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

It dries quickly though in naptha enamel thinner provided you've done the cardboard trick for an hour first to get rid of the excess linseed oil. If you don't de-oil the the oil paint first it'll be very wet for days.

Oh, please elaborate. Even though I prefer oils for woodgraining, I've taken to acrylics due to oil's week or more drying time.

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5 minutes ago, dnl42 said:

Oh, please elaborate. Even though I prefer oils for woodgraining, I've taken to acrylics due to oil's week or more drying time.

 

I am acquainted and friendly with Chris Meddings wot used to be the editor at SAM. He's recently started a podcast with Will Pattinson and Tracy Hancock which I'm going to recommend to modellers looking to grow. It's called the Sprue Cutter's Union. They've not long started but have had Al Murray ("The Landlord" comedian and keen modeller) and David Parkins from AFV Modeller on so far. I've never listened to podcasts before but thought I'd give it a go. I listen to it on Spotify but there are other ways to access it too:

https://spruecuttersu.buzzsprout.com/

 

In episode 3, Tracy Hancock was just talking about oils and mentioned that he does that cardboard thing. Previously I used oils straight out of the tube and it stays wet for eons. He just said to dab it onto cardboard and wait an hour. You can see a clearish stain moving out on the cardboard as the linseed oil leaches out leaving drier oil paint. It's proving useful not to have the brush too wet also so I'm starting to get a feel for it in a more precise way rather than paint on/wipe off like I've done before. I'm starting to learn how to control it, which is what it's all about I suppose :)

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10 minutes ago, robgizlu said:

I'm already hooked by this build

Thanks for the link to the podcast 

And FWIW - I don't think it's tasteless either

Rob

 

Thanks Rob. I'll try not to either screw it up or abandon it half way through... :whistle:

 

I made a start on the PE. I thought that was important to do. Well, it's essential actually since I need to paint the hull. The forecastle deck gets improvements around the anchor handling equipment mainly, which starts with a brass overlay through which several 0.5mm holes are drilled.

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On to that are affixed 4 resin parts. Nothing too exiting here. I'll get this airbrushed next before adding all the sticky-uppy bits which will be a different colour. On that front, the hangar deck is #20 Standard Deck Gray whilst according to the instructions JohN Snyder wrote on my own website that all external decks other than the flight deck are 20-B. So is the forecastle deck external? The very forepeak does extend forward of the flight deck, so I think 20-B is probably the way to go here. If anyone thinks differently, now's the time to chime in :)

 

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I've also managed to get the degaussing cables fitted between meetings / over lunchtime today. I just stuck these on using PVA but the ends of the bent bits are tacked with CA.

 

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I happened across these photos taken during the damage control efforts during the battle. I need to make a lot of hoses.

 

c838ac75-d55a-42c8-ac61-ee4f72bca14a.jpg

 

Notice in the following photo that Tom Cheek's Wildcat is still lying upside down in the background and there is a TBD-1 without the folding wing panels hanging overhead. This TBD-1 has possibly been there a while as it's still carrying the red and white stripes on the rudder and meatballs in the fuselage insignia.

ebc2cbb8-3344-451e-ab2c-ec09fd1910e9.jpg

 

I think this one shows one of the hangar deck bulkheads which would tally given the white paint. There's a lot of splinter damage evident by contrasting with the paint and severed cables. I'm not sure I'll go that far but if someone does peer through the model it needs to look like a carrier that's had a bomb down its throat.

b880b6eb-01ea-495c-a59f-ab93cb82b39c.jpg

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3 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Thanks Rob. I'll try not to either screw it up or abandon it half way through... :whistle:

 

Yes I know that feeling but it looks like you are progressing along at quite a pace there Jamie.  👍

 

Stay Safe

beefy

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Quite a pace already indeed! I particularly like that I've now got a podcast, several links, and this log to help me improve! So thank you. Anyone here suggested installing hangar lighting yet?

 

I don't have a problem with battle damage either, but I think there is a question of taste. Where that falls is entirely up to the modeller - it's their art after all (and art of warfare). I've seen amazing tank dioramas with gruesome detail, but conversely wouldn't myself model 1/700 sailors strewn about the decks (although sometimes their feet do seem to naturally fall off). I know from a few interviews that US sailors were quite proud of their damage fighting prowess too, so the above seems a very fitting tribute.

 

David

 

Ps. Seems to me like you might be able to get close to that splinter damage photo with a toothbrush flicking paint instead of layers of paint/chipping medium approach?

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10 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

adding all the sticky-uppy bits

Gidday Jamie, it's good to see you using correct naval terminology. 😁 Seriously, that idea of David's above with flicking paint with a toothbrush seems an interesting idea. That first photo above of the fire-fighting crews I've seen before but not the other two. Thanks for showing. Regards, Jeff.

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10 hours ago, Jamie @ Sovereign Hobbies said:

Notice in the following photo that Tom Cheek's Wildcat is still lying upside down in the background and there is a TBD-1 without the folding wing panels hanging overhead. This TBD-1 has possibly been there a while as it's still carrying the red and white stripes on the rudder and meatballs in the fuselage insignia.

I was going to ask if any of the aircraft were triced. The answer is clearly yes!

 

Thanks for sharing the photos.

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