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HMS Sheffield, Gibraltar & the Med, Sept 41


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8 hours ago, Courageous said:

I have to ask, your deck guides fitted to the main deck, how are these fitted correctly? 

       Gidday Stuart, I use the deck house itself to position the guides. If you look at the inverted deckhouses three photos up you'll see the internal bulkheads I add. The deckhouses are inverted (upside down) in the photo. The midship deckhouse has only fore-and-aft internals but after the photo was taken I added cross-deck bulkheads too, like the aft deckhouse. In between the inner and outer bulkheads are spacers from styrene strips (they also help the bulkheads set vertical). I've chosen 1.5mm for spacers but an arbitrary size that seems to suit my size of model.

       When I'm ready to fix the guides I pack some 'filler' styrene strips into the slots then the guide piece itself, the filler pieces lifting the guide piece slightly proud. Below is a photo of the aft deckhouse of HMS Onslow, the photo is already on Flickr.

Onslw380 aft deckhouse guides

The guide pieces are those two, second in from the sides. You can see the filler pieces under them. These are temporary. The reason the guide pieces are slightly proud of the deckhouse is so I don't accidently glue the deckhouse to the deck under it prematurely. I add a bead of glue to the exposed face of the guide pieces and then push the whole lot down onto the deck. See below:-

Onslw390 aft deckhouse dry fitted

You can see that the deckhouse is lifted off the deck, preventing it's premature attachment to the model. When you think the glue is set you can lift up the deckhouse and remove the temporary filler pieces. You don't have to do all the guide pieces in one go. You can do the longitudinal guides that prevent sideways movement of the deckhouse only if you like, then do the cross deck guides that prevent fore-and-aft movement. In fact with more complex situations such as my build of HMS Sheffield I recommend that, do a few at a time.

       With very small deckhouses that don't have internal bulkheads you can make a single guide that fits the piece snuggly and fit it to the model the same way. Below is a photo of my HMS Hardy getting the same treatment. The aft deckhouse has three guides, the small midship deckhouse has a single snug guide piece.

HD250 making deckhouses 2

 

       In the case of this model, HMS Sheffield I used the trunk of 'X' turret to position the deckhouse at the aft end and lined up a pencil centreline mark on it at the fore end with a pencilled centreline mark on the deck. Those aren't very visible in the photo. The shape of the deckhouses marked on the deck is for painting purposes. This method helps me get a nice sharp demarcation between the paint on the deck and the paint on the bulkheads because I can paint them separately before gluing them together.

 

HTH. Regards, Jeff.

 

 

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Gidday all, and thank you for your continued interest. I have a modest update on HMS Sheffield, the "Shiny Sheff". I think I can use a lot of the forward superstructure of the Belfast kit for this ship.

SHEFF240 hangar roof 2

       The grey piece of plastic on the left is an unaltered Belfast kit piece, the hangar roof. The corresponding area of Sheffield is a little different in that the hangars are a bit further aft, and the fore funnel sits between them. So I've narrowed the piece I'm going to use to conform with plans, and extended the hangar rooves further aft and outward a little using 1mm thick styrene, to match the thickness of the kit part. A pair of quad 2lb pompoms will sit on top of that area. I've also removed 1.5mm from the front of the piece as the bridge face of the Sheffield group wasn't as rounded as that of the following sub-classes. I don't have plans of the bridge structure of Sheffield, only a line drawing. The plans I have are of HMS Manchester of the second group. These seem to follow the bridge of Belfast quite closely so I'm going with that, which will save me a lot of work I think. I'll invoke 'Modeler's License" if there're any errors or differences.

       Anyway, that's it for now. I probably won't get much more done until next week as our annual model show (WASMEx) is on this weekend, quite probably for the last time. So I'll be getting my entries ready, I'm submitting six model ships this year. Thank you again for your continued interest. Stay safe in these times, and regards to all, Jeff.

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40 minutes ago, Courageous said:

Is that your last or the shows last?

The show's last I'm fearing. Those that have been running it very well for so long now need others to take over but as I understand it there haven't been enough volunteers offer to do that.

I can't criticize, I haven't volunteered - I live too far away for starters. It's a pity though, it's something I really look forward to.

Regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, now that WASMEx is over I can concentrate on HMS Sheffield. I've completed the main turrets and barbettes.

SHEFF270 turrets done 1

       Each turret trunk has a key glued to the front of it, and a keyway cut into each of the barbettes. These allow me to leave the turrets off during the build but to fit and lock them in later. I do this now to preserve the gun barrels during the build process. You'll also notice that each barbette has three pins, which will protrude down into the decks below. Currently the barbettes can be positioned accurately by a 4mm rod/tube down the centre holes but later the holes through the decks will be enlarged to about 7mm, to allow clearance for the keys when the turrets rotate. The 4mm holes through the barbettes will remain at 4mm diameter.

       The gun barrels were a pain. They were attached to the sprue about a third of the way along the barrels, making their removal and clean-up fiddly and a bit difficult. A bit of flash didn't help. Why Airfix molds some gun barrels (but not all) this way is a mystery to me. They took me over two hours to cut, trim and fit them this evening.

       As you can see I've painted the upper decks, using Humbrol Hu94. The paint is going off, right now it's the consistency of porridge but a bit of thinners helped. These are the only decks requiring wood colour and I didn't want to open another tin for this one model. It's a bit rough though. Also visible is the breakwater. It's made from 0.25x2.0mm styrene, with the braces from 0.25x1.5mm styrene strips cut at 60* angles. I'm not sure if that's correct but it's what I'm going with. The number and spacing of the braces are guesswork on my part.

       Anyway, that's it for now. Thank you for your interest. Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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Very nice work there, Jeff! I'm liking the keys on the turrets and your breakwater, the neatness of the latter is really good

 

James

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Gidday guys, thanks very much. I only have a little progress on the Shiny Sheff I'm afraid. I've fitted the hull decks.

SHEFF290 hull decks fitted

       The foc'sle deck was fitted only a little earlier, the tape is still on and will remain there until tomorrow. The aft shelter deck is inverted in the photo, to show that I've painted the bulkheads under it, and also those under the foc'sle deck forward of the catapult. Those aren't visible in this photo. I don't know what colour the deckhead (ceiling) should have been, probably a bit lighter (it's done in Hu64) but I doubt it will be seen under normal viewing angles. I used the same colour as on those bulkheads under the shelter deck. As I said, the deckhead probably won't be seen but as the saying goes - "I know it's there".

       Normally I would have had the hull painted by now but as the forward superstructure decks ('B' turret deck and the aircraft hangars) protrude all the way to the edge of the hull I want to fit them before painting in case I need to do a bit of filling and sanding to make the sides flush.

       So that's it for now. Thank you for your interest, Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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Nice work Jeff, it's coming along really well. The horror of dealing with thin dowels attached to the sprue by fat gates halfway along the length is something we can all related to. Add to that flash, mould seams and misalignment, and it'd be amazing if you've ended up with 12 things that even moderately resemble barrels, but these look very nice.

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  • 3 weeks later...

       Gidday All, I think an update on HMS Sheffield is long overdue. But I've been a bit hung up on which colour scheme to use. The very simple camo scheme she wore during her time with Force H would have been the easiest but would also have shown up the many blemishes the hull has. The later mid-war scheme was a bit more colourful but the model would have needed many additions, such as extra radar and 20mm Oerlikons, which I don't know the locations of. Neither would it have been appropriate for the parameters of the GB. So to make it easy on myself I've chosen what I think is the most difficult scheme, if that makes sense.

       The scheme I've chosen to use is what she wore on her return to the Mediterranean in late 1941. I found a colour diagram of both sides of the ship. I don't know how accurate it is but I'm going with it, or as close to it as I can anyway. I won't go into the trials and tribulations I've had in depth but when I printed the image the colours changed a bit due to the printing, and when I resized it on a photocopier the colour shades altered even more. One grey shade ended up looking sort of pink, another sort of brown. I've tried to copy the pattern as best I could but it's hand painted on. Another issue I had is that a rather long bit of the filler came away, requiring me to redo it. Anyway, for better or worse here's what I'm going with.

SHEFF320 upper hull painted port

       The very light grey is Humbrol Hu147, the medium light grey is Hu64, the medium dark grey is Revell Re matt79 (which I used to paint over my mistaken pink) and the very dark grey/almost black is Hu67. The blue is Hu25. The photo was taken with a flash so the colours appear slightly lighter. The starboard side has a different pattern and doesn't have Re79.

       You can also see that I've fitted the rudder and anchors. Most RN heavy and large light cruisers initially carried three anchors, two on the starboard bow but most seem to have had the second anchor on that side landed and the hawse pipe plated over during the war. But I'm modeling HMS Sheffield before that was done and as the Belfast kit only comes with two I had to raid another kit for the third anchor. You'll see this in later photos.

       Anyway, this is as far as I've gone. Next task will be to paint the lower hull I think. Thank you for your interest (and patience). Stay safe and keep on modeling.       Regards, Jeff.

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Gidday All, Thank you for your comments, responses and interest. I have another update on HMS Sheffield. The hull is finally painted.

SHEFF350 hull painted stbd

       The photo above was taken with a flash so the colours are a little brighter than normal. After the upper hull was painted I masked the top edge of the boot topping and then painted the lower hull except for around the shafts and struts. These I'd left off. The underwater hull is painted with Humbrol Hu73 and needed three coats. Then the lower edge of the boot topping was masked. I often find this is easier without the struts and shafts fitted. As I'd taken a guess at the approximate water-line when painting the upper hull (not a good idea) I had to 'adjust' some of the upper hull paint pattern after the boot topping was painted. Note to self - mark the waterline before any hull painting is done in future. Most Airfix ship kits have a waterline finely marked on the hull but not the Belfast kit for some reason.

       Once the masking tape was removed the struts and shafts were added. The struts were a bit clunky but I sanded them thinner, and they fit fairly well. All except the port inner shaft. But that was my fault, I didn't seat it correctly. Of course, I didn't notice this until the glue had set. Fortunately I have spares. You can see the discarded shaft on the mat. You can also see the two anchors fitted to the starboard bow, and the rudder that was fitted at the same time as the anchors. The screws can wait until later. I don't know yet if I'll use kit screws or make my own. As usual Airfix hasn't supplied a handed set, all four are the same (except for flash) and are right-turning. I'll decide later, depending on time.

       As I said earlier the camo pattern was hand painted so it doesn't conform totally to the diagram I tried to follow, neither are the shades of colours exact but I'm going with this anyway. No doubt the hull will need a little touching up. This isn't the worst paint job I've done but it's a near contender I think. Don't look too closely at it.

       I've also started painting the turrets and barbettes, and some of the superstructures. Again the pattern is done by hand and hence is a close approximation. I think this is the camo scheme HMS Sheffield wore upon her return to Gibraltar and the Mediterranean in late 1941, not the scheme she wore while with Force H. I might rename the thread. @Wez, @Enzo the Magnificent, what do you think?

       Anyway, that's it for now. Again, thank you for your interest. Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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7 hours ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

As usual Airfix hasn't supplied a handed set, all four are the same

This kind of thing in a kit makes you wonder if they got that wrong, for convenience, what else is wrong.

 

Looking good Jeff, I know nothing of WW2 ship camo schemes but this looks terrific.

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3 hours ago, Wings unlevel said:

makes you wonder if they got that wrong,

Definitely wrong, I've seen photos of the screws of HMS Belfast and other RN cruisers. All that I've seen have both left-turning and right-turning screws, all turning outwards at the top of the rotation.

 

1 hour ago, Courageous said:

that's one milestone reached and looks great. Time to go upwards...

Yeah, with a kit hull I consider it painted as the first major milestone. The bridge structure is the next area to look at, I think.

 

Thank you for your comments, guys. Regards, Jeff.

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  • ArnoldAmbrose changed the title to HMS Sheffield, Gibraltar & the Med, Sept 41

       Gidday All, here's my next update on HMS Sheffield. I've renamed the thread, as the camo scheme I'm using and a couple of other details are inaccurate for her time with Force H. She wore this scheme in late September 1941 in the Mediterranean while escorting a Malta convoy, Operation Halberd. As she spent a short time in Gibraltar before and after this convoy I think this build still qualifies for the Group Build.

       Below is a dry fit test, mainly to see if the camo pattern lines up between decks, barbettes, turrets etc. I think it's close, maybe still a little bit more fine-tuning in that regard. Again the photo was taken with a flash. It would have been too dark otherwise.

SHEFF360 dry fit test 1

       All superstructure decks and barbettes are dry fitted at present. The turrets are and will be removable anyway. The breakwater and molded ground tackle fittings are now painted, plus the torpedo tubes under the midships shelterdeck. The tubes are glued in now, as it would be difficult to fit them once the deck above them is attached.

 

That's it for now. Again, thank you all for your comments, responses and interest, they're greatly appreciated. So stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

 

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1 hour ago, 81-er said:

Is the bit of wood the start of a base, or just an aide for taking the photo?

       Gidday James, the model is actually screwed to the wood block. I often refer it to a building block. Once the hull is painted I do this to nearly all my model ships now. The block gives me something to handle, helps protect the model during construction and can be placed in a vise if I need the model held at a set angle while glue dries, for example masts or screws/propellers. The screws holding the model to the block enter from underneath, for a model this size are exactly 70mm apart. I re-inforce the hull internally at these locations.

 

       Below is a photo of a previous model, a whiff 16-gun Belfast. You can see three holes on the centreline and the re-inforcing I add at an early stage.

BELF16g20 hull glued

 

And the holes in the hull seen from underneath.

BELF16g120 hull painted

 

And a later photo of the model. Behind it is the building block that my HMS Jamaica was attached to. You can make out Jamaica's hull behind it and can see the three counter-sunk holes that contain the screw heads. By screwing up from underneath I can easily remove the screws once the model is finished. And the holes in the hull usually can't be seen so I don't bother to fill them afterwards in case I need to reattach the model to a block at a later date.

BELF16g170 waist shelterdeck fitted

By drilling the holes a set distance apart (usually 70mm) the wood blocks are re-usable and compatible to any similar model.

This is pretty much standard practice for my ship builds now. I find it very useful. Regards, Jeff.

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       Gidday All, here's another brief update on HMS Sheffield. Progress is very slow, I'm afraid. Although I'm using as much of the kit's forward superstructure as I can to save some time I still have to make some modifications, and I'm finding the mods combined with this type of camo scheme is really slowing me down. Anyway, here's where I'm up to. I've sliced off the front of the forward structure (upper piece in the photo) and glued a piece of styrene 0.75mm thick to the front of it.

SHEFF370 fwd structure 1

       I've also added four tubs. The smaller two further forward are for pompom directors I think. The larger two are for single 20mm Oerlikons. You may be able to see a pinpoint hole in the deck near the base of the ladder/stair. That marks the position of the HACT (high angle control tower). There's one to be fitted on either side. These weren't fitted during her time with Force H and this is one of the reasons I'm trying to portray the ship a little later in 1941. As I've said earlier, the camo scheme is hand-painted, and is a bit rough.

 

SHEFF390 superstructures 1

       As you can see in this next photo (above) I've applied a bit more paint, fitted the lower bridge and truncated it to match the superstructure below it. What is a bit difficult to see from this angle is a thin strip of styrene glued down the front of it. This is to form the slight curve that the front of the bridge of the ship had, not the rounded bridge that HMS Belfast had. I've done a little bit of work on the open upper bridge (foreground) but still more to do.

       The aft superstructure has had a bit of paint applied to it too, and I've started making the platform for the two searchlights that were mounted on it.

 

Anyway, that's it for now. Still got heaps to do I'm afraid and am unlikely to finish this on time. Thank you for your interest and patience. Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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Definitely better not to rush it after all of that work, Jeff. I think you're selling yourself short with your comments on the quality of what you're doing, it's looking good to me

 

James

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Gidday All, here's a bit more on HMS Sheffield's forward superstructure.

SHEFF420 fwd structure 5

       Don't look at the paint job too closely, it still needs touch-ups. The bridge face is slightly curved but I think I should have made it a little more so. Oh well, too late now. The open bridge is a bit bare but I only glued in the 'duckboards' a few minutes ago. I'll add binnacles and such later, plus what I think is an enclosed chart table at the rear of the duckboards.

       I think I can attach these two levels together now, I was waiting until the curved face was done and painted. Once this is a single assembly I can start on the rear of it, the hangar doors and the bulkheads surrounding the forward funnel. Plus the two pompom platforms mounted on the rear of the hangar rooves.

       So that's it for now. Again, thank you all for your interest, comments and responses. Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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