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HMS Sheffield, Gibraltar & the Med, Sept 41


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Gidday, thanks guys. And no, I'm not going to rush it. Anyway, here's the next small update of HMS Sheffield. I've attached the superstructure to 'B' turret deck and so now I can work on the hangar roller doors. But before I glued them together the other night I tried a dry fit and went "URK". The upper sides of the hangars weren't vertical and didn't match the lower sides. Fortunately they leaned in and not out so I glued in some 2mm square section styrene near the edges of the lower level as spreaders, plus did a bit of judicious slicing with the scalpel. I left the two alone overnight to make sure the spreaders were firmly attached and then glued it all together.

SHEFF450 port hangar door

       That large square section styrene inside the hangar near the outer edge is the spreader I was talking about. There's one inside the port hangar too, although the starboard side was the worst. Then the three vertical bulkheads that surround the void space (the fwd funnel will fit there) were fitted, and next the hangar roller doors. I left the starboard hangar door off to show the innards inside.

        I've also realized I've made a rather major mistake with the superstructure under the compass platform (not visible in this photo). In the Airfix Belfast kit there is a cross passage way behind the lower bridge but photos of HMS Sheffield seem to show that bit of superstructure is solid. It would have been easy to correct it earlier but now not quite so. I could leave it as it is but now that I know I don't think I'll be happy with it. I think I can slide in some styrene packing but I'll have to scrape off some paint first. It won't be perfect but better than it is now. I'll have a bit more of a think.

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

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Gidday All, here's another small update on the Shiny Sheff. This photo was taken without a flash so the colours are a bit more accurate to the model.

SHEFF460 dry fit test 2

       The superstructures are dry fitted but the shelter deck (the raised deck abaft the catapult) is glued in now, as are those two vertical screens either side of the torpedo tubes. Since the photo was taken I've painted the screens and also added tracks leading out of the two hangars.

 

       In the previous post I mentioned an error in the forward superstructure. I decided to have a go at filling it in. 3mm styrene strip was a perfect height but it needed 1.5mm thickness to match the width of the upper bridge above it. This was too thick and rigid to insert so I inserted three separate pieces each of 0.5mm thickness on each side. The port side also had a 0.25mm thick bit inserted first. I painted the final piece on each side before insertion.

SHEFF480 fwd structure 6

       I didn't know how far aft I had to extend these pieces, so I went back just over half the distance of that deckhouse. If it's wrong I can live with it, it's better than it was. As usual close-up photos show warts and all.

       I've also started the funnels. The forward funnel needs to be raised 4mm, the aft funnel lowered by 2mm. I wanted to keep the rims at both top and bottom so I've robbed a bit of the aft funnel to raise the fore. I staggered the joins to help with alignment. I'll have to add spacers to the aft funnel to get the correct height. With hindsight I should have done the aft funnel correctly, it's more visible, and added spacers to the hidden lower section of the fore funnel. But I cut them where I did so I could use the internal joining pins to help with alignment. Oh well, if it looks horrible I have spares for a second attempt.

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

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An ambitious conversion Jeff, good to see it moving along, even if it ends up in Maritime.

 

You must have the biggest stash of 1/600 Belfasts in Australia! I've often wondered why 1/700 (and hence 1/350) became so popular, given that 1/600 is such a round number (and 50ft=1in for dinosaurs like me). Maybe Mr Tamiya likes numbers divisible by 7? After all , we have 1/35 instead of 1/32.

 

Anyway, hope it's going well and looking forward to more!

 

Regards,

Adrian

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2 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

You must have the biggest stash of 1/600 Belfasts in Australia!

Gidday Adrian, yeah I've bought a few over the years. Until a few years ago they were quite cheap here and a good source of spares for doing modifications. I am resisting the urge to buy any more though. I can make many of the items now that I originally bought them for plus I'm looking into doing more non-British/Australian vessels in the future. I've got a few in the pipeline.

 

2 hours ago, AdrianMF said:

1/600 is such a round number (and 50ft=1in for dinosaurs like me).

I like the scale too, and as 1mm = 2 feet it make it easier to visualize the size of the items I make, for example the height between decks, the height of balustrading, the diameter of propellers etc.

 

Thanks for your interest and maybe you'll succumb to the urge to do another ship. 😁 Regards, Jeff.

 

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On 9/23/2023 at 10:07 PM, AdrianMF said:

I've often wondered why 1/700 (and hence 1/350) became so popular,

Given that 1/72 is the only proper scale for aircraft, the right scale for really big things like ships ought to be 1/720!

 

AW

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1 hour ago, Andwil said:

the right scale for really big things like ships ought to be 1/720!

Gidday, that would be 60 feet to the inch. I did a very basic Prinz Eugen in that scale many decades ago, I might still have it somewhere. But I'll be a Philistine and stick with 1/600. 😁

Regards, Jeff.

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       Gidday All, I think I've had a win with HMS Sheffield's funnels. As I said earlier I had to lengthen the forward funnel by 4mm and hence I used the the same method that I've used for lengthening hulls - cut the long funnels of two kits. I cut them to give a long top and long bottom, then rejoined the two long bits. Repeat for the other side, with the location of the cuts staggered to help with strength and alignment.

       The aft funnel had to be shortened by 2mm, and I was about to cut more kit funnel sides when I looked at the left-overs of the forward funnel and thought "I wonder?" I tried them and they were only 1mm short, so I used them with a spacer included. And after a few filler/sanding cycles I think they look OK. I used both Tamiya filler (white) and Mr Surfacer (dark grey).

       Below is a photo of them.

SHEFF500 funnels done

       The funnels were sanded with 400 grit paper followed by 800 grit paper. You can see the two colours of the filler and the height addition to the shorter aft funnel. I also added two locating pins to each, the front pin of 2.5mm styrene rod and the rear pin of 1.2mm rod. They weren't fitted to the kit parts. I'll shorten them after I've painted the funnels. Below the aft funnel is the casing that it will sit on. I tried to modify the kit parts but I botched them up so I scratch built the casing you see. The forward funnel sits straight onto the deck which is why it is so much longer.

       Also in the photo are the two gun tubs for the quad pompoms. The stbd tub is sitting in it's location above the hangar. And you can also see the two 4-inch gun crew shelters. They are permanently open on their inboard sides but Airfix molds them closed so they needed a slight modification with drills and saw. One is done, the other is getting the treatment.

 

       The funnels and masts of the Town class cruisers were raked, about 9* off the vertical. To drill the holes for the mounting pins I set up a sloped frame for the model to sit on then used the drill press in the shed, a technique I first used a few years ago for my build of HMS York. You can see the mounting holes drilled out in the photo above. And the frame and drill press:-

SHEFF490 drilling funnel rake angle

       I am getting forgetful or careless in my old age (dotage?). I first sat the model with the bows UP and drilled the first pilot hole. IDIOT! 🤪 Fortunately I realized the error before I went any further. And earlier today I began to remove the outboard sides of the 4-inch gun crew shelters, not the inboard sides. DUMBKOFF! 🤪 Again I'd only just started, so out with the filler.

 

       Well, this is the state of the build up to now. I've got the other gun crew shelter to finish then I think it's look at the 4-inch gun deck and the boat stowage. So thank you again for your comments, responses and interest. Stay safe and keep on modeling. Regards to all, Jeff.

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38 minutes ago, ArnoldAmbrose said:

bows UP

Took me a second to work it all out... :)

 

Most kit locator sockets are normal to the surface of the part so that the parts will come out of the mould cleanly, of course.

 

I'm now wondering why they rake funnels and masts back at all. It can't be because they are approaching the sound barrier!

 

I think I need a second cuppa...

 

Regards,

Adrian

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37 minutes ago, AdrianMF said:

I'm now wondering why they rake funnels and masts back at all. It can't be because they are approaching the sound barrier!

       No, ships aren't that fast. I think it's usually to keep funnel gasses away from bridge structures and spotting tops. Masts I think follow suit for appearances or to keep the mainmast equipment or lookout positions on them from sitting over any funnel just forward of them.

       One disadvantage of having them raked is that it can give away the ship's approach angle to an enemy - the angle of rake changes with a change of approach angle.

Regards, Jeff.

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On 9/23/2023 at 1:37 PM, AdrianMF said:

I've often wondered why 1/700 (and hence 1/350) became so popular, given that 1/600 is such a round number (and 50ft=1in for dinosaurs like me). Maybe Mr Tamiya likes numbers divisible by 7? After all , we have 1/35 instead of 1/32

Around 1970, the Big Four in Japan (Tamiya, Hasegawa, Fujimi and Aosima) got together on the large project of offering every major ship and representatives of each class of smaller ships, in the wartime IJN.  The various classes where shared out fairly well between the companies, and for some reason they decided on 1/700, possibly (my hypothesis) so that gaijin companies wouldn't be tempted to  butt in and steal some of the market.  They extended this to a few representative major vessels from other nations.

 

It became popular probably because suddenly there were a lot of new warship kits available, and covering a wide range of rather interesting vessels.  The quality varied, but details were at least as good as Airfix whilst being significantly finer because of the scale.  Revell and Italaeri tried half-heartedly competing with 1/720, and Airfix basically gave up.  Matchbox produced some non-Japanese ships but these were of lower quality - about level with Aosima, significantly the poorest of the Four.

 

When these releases began petering out Skywave/Pit Road widened the range to include smaller and more interesting vessels (Fletcher. O/P, LSTs and LCTs), and the agreement between the Four broke up allowing competition on individual ships.  Since then of course the quality of the individual kits has improved.

 

So basically 1/700 came to dominate because of the quality of the product and the wide range of subjects, with a constant stream of new releases, meant modeller's needs were being met to a vastly larger extent.  Now, of course, there is the drive to do the same with 1/350, another new and fairly inane choice of scale in engineering terms but one that clearly satisfies modellers worldwide.

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       Gidday @Graham Boak, and thanks. Yes the range of 1/700 clearly outstrips that of 1/600. And the detail of the many I've seen on the forum and the few that I've built is better than the majority of the Airfix ships that I've done. Oh well  .   .   .

       Regards, Jeff.

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3 hours ago, Wings unlevel said:

That’s quite an ominous photo!

Yeah, probably. I have the drill set at the slowest speed and increase the hole size in increments. But using the press gets the angle of the holes much more consistent, better than a pin vise I think. That drill chuck although large can take drill bits down to 0.8mm

Regards, Jeff.

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Nice work again, Jeff. Chiming in on the ship scales, I was at the Brampton show yesterday and there were a few 1/200 kits of some large warships. Those were VERY big kit boxes!

 

James

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       Gidday All, HMS Sheffield has her forward superstructure attached now. The funnels, aft superstructure and 4-inch gun crew shelters are just dry fitted for the photo. The casing under the aft funnel is glued down though.

SHEFF510 fwd structure fitted

       The fit isn't the best. The part popped up a bit when the glue set. I think the cause is the foc'sle deck sits slightly lower than the outer edge of the hull. When dry fitted earlier the gaps under the superstructure weren't quite as apparent. You can see a bit of white under the hangars at the rear of the superstructure. Oh well, I'll see if I can poke some paint under it. I've painted the catapult and the tracks leading out from the hangars, plus I've opened up the inboard sides of the 4-inch crew shelters and painted inside them. As I said, the shelters and aft superstructure aren't glued down yet. This is to make it a bit easier to work on the 4-inch gun positions.

       That's it for now. This may not be the worst model I've done, fit and paint wise, but it's certainly not the best either. But I'll keep going with it. Thank you all for your interest.

Stay safe, and regards, Jeff.

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Gidday, and thank you for your encouragement, guys. Here's the next progress report on HMS Sheffield. This photo was taken without a flash.

SHEFF540 total progress 2

       The funnels, pompom and searchlight platforms are dry fitted for the photos, as are the removable main turrets. I decided to glue in the aft superstructure and 4-inch crew shelters after all, as I thought it would be easier to make the 4-inch gun positions fit them in situ. The 4-inch gun positions are in the foreground, in various stages of construction. You can see where they fit on the model as I've scraped off the paint where they'll fit.

       I mentioned in the previous post the poor fit of the forward superstructure. On both sides I've applied some filler into the gaps and then sanded them, then redid the paint job. I nearly lost one of the 4-inch crew shelters while doing so, as I forgot they were only dry fitted. I eventually found it in the small bin I'd been holding the model over while I sanded. The repair job isn't the best but better than not doing anything. I also masked the bottom of the hangar roller doors then 'poked' some deck paint into the gaps under the hangars. The gaps are still there but as white styrene isn't visible anymore the gaps aren't as noticeable. It's a case of deceiving the eyes - well, your eyes anyway. 🙂  I didn't think I could do a neat enough job of that with filler or styrene shims. That area isn't visible in this photo due to the camera angle.

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

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