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Trumpeter 1/350 German Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee

 
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:21 pm    Post subject: Trumpeter 1/350 German Pocket Battleship Admiral Graf Spee Reply with quote

Build log for the 1/350 Trumpeter kit #05316 German Pocket Battleship (Panzer Schiff) Admiral Graf Spee using Eduard PE, Master turned brass barrels and Pontos wood deck set.

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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: WIP 06-15-17 Reply with quote

Work has begun on getting the hull ready to go and the first order of business is a little tedious but worth it for the result it provides. The portholes along the hull sides aren't molded very deep, so I decided to drill them out with a #70 finger drill to improve their look. The top row was drilled out completely since the plastic is thin there to accommodate the deck plating that will install later. That plate will provide a backing for the opened holes, so no issue there. The bottom row has thicker backing so they were only deepened to avoid creating any see-through problems with the holes on the opposite side.



Trumpeter provides the hull separate from the bottom to give the option of either full-hull or waterline construction and that also helps with manipulating the hull and holding it while doing the drill-out work. There are 185 portholes per side, so it's a bit time-consuming to get them all done. The payoff will come in the end with the painting and finishing process though as a test-fit with the deck plate shows that the effort does increase the look of the detail significantly.



One side down, one to go! Smile
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: WIP 06-18-17 Reply with quote

Father's Day provides the perfect excuse to make some more progress on the Graf Spee! I got the other side's portholes drilled out making a grand total of 370 in total and I can honestly say I'm glad to have that over and done with. That meant I could move on to the rest of the lower hull. The kit provides either a waterline or full-hull option and I'm going with the full hull. The kit's included stand leaves something to be desired, so I used a set of bronze drawer knobs from Lowe's instead. Holes were drilled out using a Dremel and similar-sized bit and the holes carefully enlarged with a #11 blade to take the threaded bolts. The bolts and knobs are removable for now to make it easier to paint the hull and will get permanently installed later.





I'm not sure why the Trumpeter instructions wait to the very last step of the build to attach the hull halves together. Even if you were doing the waterline version, it would make sense to have that solid before working with the deck plates and all the other details, but then kit instructions don't always have to be logical! Regardless, I went ahead and attached the hull to the upper portion and dry fit the deck plates so that the rubber bands would have something solid to hold onto and avoid causing any buckling of the top edge while the glue set. The fit of the hull halves is pretty solid, the only areas to watch out for are the bow and stern where there's a little bit of play that can cause things to slide out of sync if you're not careful.



Once the glue has set up, I'll remove the bands and lightly sand the join line to make sure everything is lined up nice and smooth.
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 6:06 pm    Post subject: WIP 06-21-17 Reply with quote

After letting the hull set up nice and solid, I removed the rubber bands and the temporary deck plates. Overall the fit and join line of the upper and lower hull are pretty good, it just needed some light sanding to smooth things out along the length.



The mold lines on the bottom hull also needed some attention. These were removed using a combination of a #11 blade in the delicate/small areas and sanding.



That cleared the way for the installation of the propeller shafts and mounts at the stern. The support posts are smaller than the cut-outs in the hull for the top mount points so those required a little bit of putty-and-sanding work to fill in but otherwise was uneventful. The rudder was cleaned up and test fit but will not be permanently installed until much later. Experience is a wonderful teacher and rudders invariably get knocked loose during the painting and handling process so it's better to just paint it now and then set it off to the side for safe keeping! The propellers themselves will also be dealt with at later date for similar reasons.



The hull is now ready for the major paint work to begin!
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Bill Plunk



Joined: 17 Sep 2006
Posts: 1743

PostPosted: Sat Jun 24, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: WIP 06-24-17 Reply with quote

Ships are always a little different when it comes to the major paint work steps, it's always a case of building a little, paint, build, paint, etc. until it all gets done. This is the first round of that back and forth as the hull represents the largest piece to deal with. I started by airbrushing a primer coat of Model Master enamel Flat Black over the entire hull. This does triple duty as a primer, a pre-shade, and also to help create the boot stripe. Masking tape along the hull top edge prevented any overspray on the deck plate join areas.



For the hull red, I airbrushed MM enamel Insignia Red over the Flat Black. This is built up using several thin passes and creates some nice tonal variation in the process.





I'll let that set up and then mask the top of the boot stripe so I can spray the gray for the upper hull portion next.
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