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Trumpeter 1/350 USS Texas BB-35
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 5:53 pm    Post subject: Trumpeter 1/350 USS Texas BB-35 Reply with quote

Build log for Trumpeter 1/350 kit #05340 USS Texas BB-35 in combination with a Master turned aluminum and brass barrel set.

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:10 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-11-15 Reply with quote

Got off to a start, of sorts, today with this project. I knew going into it that the hull was going to require a lot of work due to the massively over-scale weld lines that Trumpeter produced. No idea what they were thinking...1mm wide raised weld seams translates into 350mm wide welds on the real deal, so a lot of sanding and adjustment is called for. Got half way done on the port side before calling it a day. Lots more to go!



I also checked the hull fit alignment and there's potentially another nasty surprise waiting for me. See below...that's quite a gap but perhaps once the bulkheads are fitted it will help pull it all together.



As you can see, Texas is a big girl! Barely fits inside the photo booth's light tent. Wink
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:37 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-12-15 Reply with quote

Managed to get the first hull half done today in terms of sanding down the waffle-iron weld seams. One of the casualties in the course of doing that though is the vertical plate lines/joins. After giving it some thought, I decided to scribe in some division lines. A metal ruler as a straight edge and a sharp new thumbtack did the job nicely. I had debated using some super-fine copper speaker wire to do the same thing as a raised pattern but I don't think it would survive all the masking and painting that I have to do on the hull to create the Measure 22 scheme. Better to err on the side of caution...besides, I can always add the wire after I've painted if I decide I don't like the look of the scribed dividers and the scribed lines will ensure I can at least faithfully recreate the pattern if I decide to go that route.



One half down, one to go!

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-14-15 Reply with quote

After spending several hours over the last three days correcting the hull weld seams, I finally got a chance to glue some parts together on this project! Smile

Step 1 in the instructions calls for the hull halves to be joined together in combination with the bulkheads and deck supports. These fit somewhat loosely with a little bit of play which is a good thing considering the hull gap that I pointed out earlier. The hull fits snugly at both the bow and stern but needs a good deal of coercion to meet in the middle. I started by inserting the bulkheads in position and then used a couple of sliding clamps to bring the halves together in the middle. I did a quick test fit of the deck inserts to make sure they would sit properly later on and to ensure the bulkheads sat properly with their alignment. I had to place the clamps carefully so that they didn't cause the bulkheads to warp or buckle slightly at their top edges. Once that was sorted out, I applied some liquid glue to the bulkhead mount pins so they wouldn't shift again. Then it was time to glue the main hull join. For that task I opted to use a slightly thicker liquid glue produced by Mr. Hobby called Mr. Cement. This was run along the seam from the inside of the hull and then rubber bands added as I worked a section at a time from the bow to the stern to ensure everything played nice.

The Texas is now in traction and will stay that way overnight to ensure everything sets nice and tight before removing the bands and clamps.

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:23 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-15-15 Reply with quote

Removed the clamps and bands and everything held together as expected. Just a small amount of sanding and putty work here and there ensured a solid join all around. I also added the stabilizers as called for in Step 3. Step 2 calls for the main decks to be installed, but I'm not ready to do that just yet.



The rest of Step 3 deals with the installation of the prop shafts and the rudder. The base mount includes the long shaft but, unfortunately, the diameter fit with the shaft supports is a little too tight...and I ended up horribly mangling one shaft during the test fit attempts to slide the supports into place. Out came the brass rod for replacement. Clipped off the mangled rod, drilled out a hole in the base part before its install on the hull, and fed the rod through to the right length, then clipped it so there was enough to support the propellers later on. I didn't glue the shafts in place as that makes life just a touch easier for painting and detailing later on. The attachment points molded into the hull are larger than the parts themselves, so a little putty work was needed to correct that too.

Step 3 also calls for the assembly of a whole bunch of detail parts like the AA guns and ladders, but that will be tackled much later on. It's worth noting at this stage though that they repeated the diagram count from the USS New York for the 40mm guns and 10 are needed instead of the 8 called out.



Next up will be getting some paint on the hull!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:05 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-17-15 Reply with quote

As I was checking whether or not I could add the little side sponsons that make up the elevated 5" gun mounts (parts E29 and E31 in Step 5) and attach to the hull before painting, I discovered 2 things. The first is no, I couldn't add them since the main decks have to be in place first. The second is that the top edges of the hull now that they are joined were just a little too narrow for the decks to slot in properly and needed to be spread slightly to avoid putting too much tension on the decks and causing fit problems. The solution to the 2nd problem is fairly straightforward, I needed to put in some braces at strategic points to spread the top edge just enough to eliminate the tension but not too much to create gap issues.

Fortunately, the sprue runner that held the hull halves had some sturdy lengths of sprue that would do the trick nicely. It also helped that the diameter of that sprue is larger than any of the others but is the same diameter as the ejector pins that were used on that mold. All but one of the places I needed to spread the top were at the ejector pin locations...a happy coincidence perhaps? Lengths were cut and sanded down to provide the right tension and voila! One spreader was needed for the bow half, three spreaders for the stern.



That meant I could proceed with the hull painting, so a trip into the spray booth and an airbrushed primer coat of MM Flat Black was laid down in short order. This will do triple duty...primer, pre-shade, and create the boot stripe without having to mask it individually.



The sanding work done earlier looks good under paint, just the right effect in my opinion, so that's a relief! After it's set, I'll work on the hull red section next.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:15 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-18-15 Reply with quote

More time spent with the airbrush today, this time on the hull red portion. I used blue painter's tape to mask off the lower edge of the boot stripe and applied MM enamel Insignia Red in very light thin passes to build up the red and allow for some shading/variation to show through. Having the rudder attached makes it virtually impossible to set the hull on any kind of level surface, so it's being handled separately to avoid having problems with it as the build progresses.



The moment of truth...the tape was removed and did its job beautifully. No touchups required!



Next up will be masking the top edge of the stripe and adding the 5-N Navy Blue portion of the Measure 22 scheme.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:11 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-19-15 Reply with quote

Round 2 in the masking and painting department is complete. This time, the top of the boot stripe was masked and an airbrushed coat of MM enamel 5-N Navy Blue applied. I went ahead and sprayed it over all the exposed areas even though some of it is going to be painted over with the 5-H Haze Gray for the final component of the Measure 22 scheme. It just makes life easier since there's going to be some complicated masking involved to add that final color.



After the paint had touch dried, the tape came off once more. Voila! Boot stripe. Wink



One more round of masking and painting to go before the hull is done.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:19 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-20-15 Reply with quote

Got the final round of masking work done today. This time, I used thin cut strips of masking tape to create the demarcation line between the 5-N and 5-H. There are some complex curves/areas to deal with, so using the thinner strips helped a lot in that regard. Airbrushed MM enamel 5-H Haze Gray as the third color in the Measure 22 scheme.



I also airbrushed the side bulges that have to stay separate until the main decks are installed. These were airbrushed with the 5-H first then masked to line up with the rest of the hull and the 5-N airbrushed for the areas that overlap onto the lower hull. It's a little ironic in that the 5-H is almost an exact color match to the kit's bare plastic, so that will make things possibly more interesting as I start working on all the little details going forward. Masking tape was removed and voila! Measure 22 is in place.



Next up will be getting the 20-B Deck Blue on the main decks.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:46 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-21-15 Reply with quote

I was playing around in the photo booth today and decided to shoot the hull again on a white backdrop to see how much of a difference it would make with the color scheme. In the previous shots, the 5-N was showing more of a gray tone than blue...something I attribute to the light blue background, so here it is with the white. I'll probably stick with the white from here on out as it seems to be giving a much more accurate representation of the tonal variations achieved so far.



Speaking of tonal variations...more time with the airbrush got the 20-B Deck Blue sprayed on the main decks. All three of the MM enamels I've been using for the Measure 22 scheme are listed as semi-gloss, but the 20-B is probably the only one that's actually been behaving that way. It's much thinner straight out of the bottle vs the other two which makes it a little more challenging to spray consistently. It's also a grey-blue combination but darker than the 5-N. Once I get the details picked out, I might see about giving it a blue filter treatment similar to dealing with Panzer Gray to give it more of a nudge towards the blue side of the spectrum.





Next up will be doing a lot of hand painting on the details to restore the haze gray appearance to all those gun tubs and other features. In looking at the reference photos of Texas in this scheme, it's interesting that not all of the raised details were painted haze gray. Some were left in deck blue, others were given a combination treatment where the tops were deck blue and the vertical stuff haze gray, and others just all haze gray. Definitely going to make life fun and it's a much easier prospect to deal with that with the decks separate before they are installed.
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Bill Plunk



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Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:06 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-22-15 Reply with quote

So after doubting the look of the 20-B yesterday, I did a little digging and came across this handy little color chart over on Cybermodeler. http://www.cybermodeler.com/color/usn_matrix.shtml

Now I know that digital color matching is always a kind of fool's errand, but I compared what it had on my monitor with how the Testors 20-B looks on the deck and it's a pretty close match. I decided to give it a small nudge in the blue direction using Ammo's Blue Filter for Dark Grey. I sprayed it as a mist coat through the airbrush and it altered it just enough to match I think.



With that out of the way, I settled in for a long session with the Optivisor and the detail brushes to apply the haze gray to all the gun tubs and other details that needed it by hand.



Next up will be installing the decks to the hull and then the fun of dealing with the upper decks and superstructure can commence.
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Bill Plunk



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2015 4:30 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-24-15 Reply with quote

Major step forward today as I returned to Step 2 in the instructions. I got the main decks installed but before I did that, I did one last little step to help bring out the detail. I dry-brushed some medium gray that I keep around for this kind of thing to the various hatches and other bits that got the deck blue treatment to help add just a little bit more depth to the deck. I started with the stern deck first since it has a little support ledge that the bow deck sits on. No rubber bands needed since I had worked with the spreaders earlier to get just the right fit for both decks. Careful application of some Mr. Cement liquid glue and both decks are now a permanent part of the hull. Once they had set up, the bulges that create the elevated 5-inch mounts was added next.



That allowed me to move on to Step 5 and start work on the 02 Deck level. As instructed, I removed some molded on detail that isn't needed and also opened up the required mount holes for some details that will get installed later. I did make one small mistake as the diagram pointing out which holes to open up is small and I accidentally opened up one hole that wasn't needed. Filled it back up with putty and moved on. The area with all the gun tubs needed a lot of sanding attention to remove mold seams that show the limitation of the molding technology used I guess. They weren't huge but were in some tight spots. Sanding twigs and sharp knife point had to work together to get rid of them.



The instructions show the two deck components plus the B turret barbette all going in as a single module. That would probably work but when I test-fitted them, the gun tub part has a slight warp/flex to it that is going to require some special attention when I attach it so that it lines up properly. That plus the elevated nature of the barbette means it's going to be easier to paint the different haze gray and deck blue areas if I keep the three parts separate for now.



Next up will be getting the 5-inch guns done and fitted with their brass barrels before I sling some more paint on the 02 level.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2015 3:41 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-25-15 Reply with quote

The Master barrel set includes turned brass replacement barrels for the 5-inch guns and initially I thought there was some mistake as they are substantially longer than the kit parts. However, once I placed the kit parts and then compared the barrel protrusion length to the reference photos, it was obvious that the kit parts are both too short and too thick. So out came the sprue cutters to remove the kit barrels. I used a #76 drill bit and CA gel to fit the brass barrel after some careful sanding and trimming to preserve the recoil housing detail.



As I worked on each gun, I checked their fit and angle alignment on the gun deck. The angles needed are slightly different in the three different mounts so that they will properly clear the edge of the bulge.



The first step in getting the 02 deck level ready for installation involved airbrushing the Deck Blue where needed. Since I had cleaned up the 03 deck to see what areas it would cover, I went ahead and airbrushed it at the same time.



Next up will be getting the Haze Gray on so I can go ahead with the 02 deck install along with the 5-inch guns.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:41 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-26-15 Reply with quote

Some days the progress is measured in terms of inches. Today was one of those days, mostly due to all the masking that was needed for the gun tubs on the 02 and 03 deck levels. Following up from yesterday's Deck Blue session, today was all about the Haze Gray. I spent more time masking than I did actually painting, that's the way of it for this kind of paint scheme!

While I was at it, the B turret barbette and the 5-inch guns also got their turn with the airbrush.



Once all the masking was removed, some small touch-ups were needed with the Deck Blue. Easily taken care of courtesy of the Optivisor and a pointed 10/0 brush.



Next up will be the actual installation of the 5-inch guns and the 02 deck.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1772

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:07 pm    Post subject: WIP 09-27-15 Reply with quote

Focus for today was getting the 02 level deck installed. I had airbrushed some Haze Gray in the recessed areas as a precaution even though very little of it is actually visible once the deck is in place. Exposed portions of the bulge top were painted Deck Blue and the 5-inch guns installed at the desired angles. The base of the 02 level was also glued into place first so I would have a solid foundation to work from to correct the warp issue mentioned earlier.



The actual 02 deck is a tight fit with the hull bulge so that helps correct some of the warp but not all of it. I used regular glue to give me plenty of work time and pressed the deck in place starting at the rear and working towards the bow. A rubber band and a pair of compression clamps helped things along as well. Once the glue had grabbed a bit, I added the B turret barbette to help hold things in place.



After the clamps were removed, I decided that I wanted to do something besides use the kit-supplied base to display Texas when she's built. A quick trip to Lowe's and I found some excellent copper knobs that are perfect. That meant I needed to drill some holes in the hull to take their mounting screws. As a result of the drilling, the hull separated a little, so I dosed it with some liquid glue and the clamp once more to solve that little problem.



After a couple of touchups in some spots, the 02 deck is now on. That completes Step 5...out of 37...still a long way to go! Wink

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