1:250 Scale USS Helena

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Darwin, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. jrts

    jrts Active Member

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    Hi Darwin

    Good set of photo's worth watting for to see the work done.
    It does look good Ted's right on with that!!

    As always with us MORE :lol:

    Keep at it mate

    Rob
  2. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    The software seems to be acting up again....just lost about 20 minutes of irreplacable prose in the attempt to add the photos. Try, try again.

    Hull sides are now redrawn and in place. Biggest problem was one of the ink bins in the color cartridge going dry just before printing, so the hull is closer to teal than navy blue. Oh, well, what do you want for an alpha build. I still don't have the airplane parts redrawn, but that will be far easier than gluing them together....leave them to the end with the other tiddly bits. Yes, I wimped out and am not cutting out the "empty space" between the girders of the catapult and cranes. My finger tips are about ready to drop off after manually sanding down the 15 main gun barrels to get something approximating the proper taper. They rebel at the thought of still having another 8 barrels to go for the secondary armament.

    As an aside, Michael's Crafts carries packages of mini-dowels....about 250 2-inch long pieces of 1/16-inch diameter dowel per package. About a jillion possible uses for them. The pedistal of the ventilator stacks (the "pill-on-a-stick" thingie outboard of the searchlight tower) is made using them. The legs of the searchlight tower (the spidery looking thing between the funnels) are split bamboo skewers.

    So far, I've been really happy with the way the enlarged parts have been fitting together. Well, enough gab...on with the pics (provided the #$&*# software doesn't decide otherwise).
  3. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    More shots
  4. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    Final shots for this week. The second pic of the D and E turrets is just to show the gun barrel elevation can be changed....MOVING PARTS. I wimped out again and didn't make them individually adjustable. Next cut at the design and I might try adding that level of complexity to the build. I got lazy and didn't allow for rotating the turrets....another possible future tweak to the design.
  5. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    A few pics of the secondary armament. This seems to be as good as I'm going to get on photo quality (at least while using flash indoors). The first turret resulted in a bad case of the dreaded glue shinys. I built that one from the base up, with the turret top being the last one to be glued. White glue was taking too long to dry, and the wetting from the water based glue was giving some serious problems from trying to turn the parts into a lump of paper mache. Superglue was the only good alternative, but the bottom-up building technique required applying the glue to the visible side of the seams, hence the shinys. The second turret (the one with the least elevated guns) I built from the top down, letting me apply the glue to the hidden side of the seams....much better result, but lots slower. The superglue I'm using is Loctite "QuickTite" brand. It has a terrific container, and does it's job without problems. The container includes a brush applicator integral with the cap, and is designed to provide a reasonably spill-proof container while in use. Another product (discovered at Michael's) that I highly recommend.
  6. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    HELLO......Is anyone still alive out there?
  7. jrts

    jrts Active Member

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    Hi Darwin

    Watching and reading with great intrest as others are.

    I like the idea you and a few others have had to enlarge these small kits.
    I have a lot on right now but have been itching to do this sort of thing for ages :roll:

    Doing a dam fine job on her for shure, look forward to the next steps soon

    Keep at it and don'tlet it beat you

    Rob
  8. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

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    Darwin,

    Superb job. Like Rob says I have been thinking about taking some of the JSC 1/400 kits and doubling them up. When is another thing ...!!

    Mike
  9. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

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    Darwin, I'm watching in amazement. You've got the entire cruiser almost built, and I can't get past the masts on a little destroyer, she's lookin' good.
  10. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    Glad to see there is interest in this string, so I will keep on trucking with it. No progress pics tonight (the other half monopolized the camera taking pictures of the new little goslings we have running around in the goose pen. I have encountered the first major parts misfit problem, and it is JSC's screwup, not mine. :p For anyone contemplating building the kit, be warned that parts 99 and 102 (the rangefinder towers) form tubes with too small a diameter to fit properly on the model. In the original size, the tower diameter will be about 1/16 inch too small. One might get away with that much misfit, but in the enlarged scale I'm working with, it is about 1/8 inch too small....which is definitely enough gap to notice. For those in the group not too familiar with graphic manipulation software, I thought I would throw in a mini-tutorial on how I resized the parts.....using Image Forge by Cursor Arts, a totally free drawing package.

    The first step was to determine how much needed to be added to the part to make it fit. Using the part positioning outline on the deck the tower glues to, determine how many pixels the tower diameter is. This is easy in Image Forge. In the bottom left corner of the Image Forge window is a handy pointer position indicator, x and y coordinates in pixels. (I think this is visible in Figure 1.) Set the cursor over the right edge of the position outline, and write down the x coordinate. Move the cursor to the left edge of the outline, note down its x coordinate, then subtract the two coordinates to give the diameter in pixels. (Sorry, no diagrams to illustrate this process....I had already gone through it before thinking about doing a show-and-tell.) Multiply the diameter by pi (3.14) and that is the required width of parts 99/102 to exactly fit on the location outline.

    Open the part to be resized into Image Forge. (Figure 1) Using the cursor coordinate technique already described, determine the width of the part in pixels (it just happens that the part I worked with was positioned on the parts page vertically rather than horizonally, so the "width" is oriented in the y, or vertical, direction). In this particular case, the width of the part needed to be increased by 50 pixels. Since the part is symetrical around its vertical centerline, I decided the easiest way to do the enlargement was to add 25 pixels on either side of the centerline. This part has some nice, big expanses containing virtually no detail, and it is a simple rectangle, so the width increase is dead easy. Use the selection tool, and enclose one end of the part in the selection marquee. When that segment is selected, click and drag it at least 25 pixels from the original location (Figure 2). Using the Line Draw tool, extend the part outline by 25 pixels. (Figure 3) (In Image Forge, once the tool is selected, an additional display appears next to the cursor location that tells you how many pixels long and how many pixels high the line you are drawing happens to be as you are drawing it....for those mathematically inclined, the vector coordinates of the line. Similar little helper dialog is provided for the circle and rectangle tools.) Again using the selector tool, recapture the portion you cut out and moved asige, then click and drag it back to join up with the outline extensions (Figure 4). Notice on the left side of the Image Forge window, there is a magnifier slider. For magnifications of 3 or greater, Image Forge automatically adds a grid that outlines each and every pixel in the image, which makes alignment of the pieces being joined dead easy. Draw in any internal lines that were broken during the resizing (only one such line in this example). When the outlines are again continuous. use the color picker tool to add the part tool to the palette, then use the flood fill tool to color the extended area of the part (Figure 5). Repeat the process on the other end of the part, and it is accomplished....perfect-fitting part. This took far less time to accomplish than to describe....the entire resizing was completed in under 5 minutes.

    For those doubting Thomases out there, I hope these screen captures give some insight of why I think Image Forge is the best and simplest drawing progie I've so far encountered. If there is enough interest out there, I could be persuaded to do up an indepth tutorial in pdf format on the features and use of the program as pertains to paper modeling.
  11. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    Figure 3 doesn't look nearly as dark and grungy in real life....screen shots, image size reductions, etc. again take their toll.
  12. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    I thought I had this attachment system figured out, but again I can't seem to get more than one picture attached to a posting. Guess you are going to have to put up with one posting per pic....I've spent enough effort on a string that appears to be eliciting little interest.
  13. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    The wife has been giving me grief this past couple of weeks about the more I work on it, the more white spaces show up. Finally to the point of elimination.
  14. barry

    barry Active Member

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    Hi Darwin

    Course I'm watching it where do you think I got half the ideas for Eskimo somedays I just get too idle to reply, not remembering that often I wish somebody would say something even if its "Thats rubbish".

    I never liked this kit until you recoloured it and made it look more real, got to admit I would never have tackled converting JSC to a "normal" build. Please keep on with the thread and maybe you could shove the pics up onto the net which seems to be the fashion these days. I'll risk the stray cookies that go with it.

    I look forward to the next few anyway.

    regards

    barry
  15. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    May have solved the problem. For the last pic, it seems that even though the file size displayed by Microsoft Explorer was safely under the 45K limit (it said it was 43K), the posting software condisedered it greater than 45K and wouldn't accept it in the attachment string....and when attmpting multiple attachments, there is no dialog box as to why one of the pics isn't accepted. I guess the moral of the story is to keep file size 40K or less, even though the limit is stated as 45K.
  16. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    I thought I'd pass on an idea that finally seems to have worked. Rather than spend days trying to roll paper to a small enough OD tube for the liferaft sides, I tried forming the liferafts from 18 gauge copper wire, like Scorpio makes his portholes. I used two dowels placed side-by-side for a mandrel, wrapped on the wire, then cut them so they looked like chain links. After flattening the "link" and joining the cut ends together, I "painted" them with a felt tip pen. This almost worked....the felt tip ink didn't adhere to the wire surface any better than some of the enamel paints I've tried using on wire in my days of plastic modeling. I found that if I first "painted" the wire with superglue, the ink would adhere a bit better, but it still left the surface looking more like anodized copper than canvas. While wasting time at Michaels waiting for my wife to get off shift, I ran across some florist's wire that is wrapped with green thread to make it look more realistic. To make the story short, I tried it for making the sides of the larger life rafts. Eureka!!!! The thread soaks up the marker ink just fine, and makes a much better gluing surface...and helps hide the join. You just have to apply a bit of superglue to the florist's wire where you are going to cut it, in order to fix down the thread ends (my first attempt, the thread merrily unwrapped soon after the cutters went snip).
  17. cmdrted

    cmdrted Active Member

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    Darwin, I'm very interested in this thread, the build is going fantastic. As was mentioned before you're breaking new ground, and this is one of my future projects. The rafts look great, are they rolled up tubes mitered to an oval shape? Also to answer your question on the "masting process" I don't even own a soldering iron, the masts are a combo of brass for the central part, and plastic or tooth pic for the side pieces. I figure the brass part holds most of the strain of the rigging when applied. I use the gel super glue that you can get in little tiny tubes. I also use some accelerator in an Insulin syringe to hurry the process. I just have the handicap of having to build the things on the ship and not separately. Anyways shes looking good and thanks for the "builder's rudder" you're giving us.
  18. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    The last part of the redraw is complete. Finally did the aircraft. I made no attempt at redesigning. I regret not reworking the ships boats....the original design do not take well to upscaling. In fact, they suck. The airplanes are a different story. I took a few pics midway through building them (I don't know if my eyesight is up to building them in 1:400 scale). While I get my hands to uncramp and the eyes to uncross, I'll share with you.
  19. Darwin

    Darwin Member

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    Despite my doubts, I managed to make the float go together looking like a float. Here are pics of the installed scout plane.
  20. jrts

    jrts Active Member

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    Hi Darwin

    I think that turned out very well, love the plane 8)

    Keep at it

    Rob