The Devil is in The Details

Discussion in 'Tips & FAQs' started by treadhead1952, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi All,

    I do like my ship models, fortunately in card modeling, ship models take off from where the styrene world of ship models pretty much leaves off. I have done the 1/700 scale trip to the point of exhaustion and while braile scale is great if you want to work on a lot of models in a small space, the level of detail is a "little" limited. It usually requires investing in brass photoetch, lasered wood parts, and resin aftermarket bits that can easily double or triple the cost of a model kit. And while they do make them look better, you still have an under four inch long Destroyer model along with the amount of detail that it can carry on it's decks.

    Card Model Ships go in at 1/400 and 1/200 and up from there for most classes of ships. At 1/200 you can really get into detailing parts. From learning a bit of magic building card model buildings where simple layering of parts can make them "pop" to truly elegant models and carrying that over to ship models I have begun to figure some things out.

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    I like the Ship Models at GreMir Models, Michael uses a downloadable format so you can print out the pages of your chosen model on your home printer. This means you can make multiples of them to come up with 3D looking effects. Where a simple set of printed lines along a hull can go from representing an armor belt to actually printing a second or third copy to give added dimension and gluing it in place after edge coloring the parts. It also helps in situations where the colors from one page to the next of a printed model in magazine format may not quite match. Using Photoshop or other photo manipulation software can help fix these issues.

    At any rate, using a few small parts from one of Michaels' kits, in this case the IJN Nagatsuki I am currently working on, I started working out how to add a little detail to some of these small parts. The ship includes four small boats, three "Oar" boats and a Sampan. The "Oar" boats are supposed to represent the small "Cutter" type Life boats that were present on IJN Ships of the time. These would be too short to represent the official 9 Meter type Naval Cutter so I can't give you an official title.

    While the original boat in the kit requires roughly 5 parts to come up with one, I am going to use a few extra print outs to give me the parts that I want to use to make it a little more detailed. Two of these boats would go on either side of the pilot house on blocks and one more on a pair of davits just a little aft of midships.

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    The parts that I will be using amounted to these clipped from the sheets. Having this many extra pieces will work out for me as I intend to build another vessel of the class later. The second one will be more detailed than the first.

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    Clipping out the inside parts from the two deck sections of the print outs and then edge coloring them on the inner side starts the project. I also clipped out and edge colored the inner deck sections. There are two sets of these as one set will be sectioned up to get the cross pieces to glue on to the main pieces.

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    Folding and gluing over the keel parts, cutting out the upper most edge parts of the upper deck section and then gluing them in place on the main upper deck part gives you an idea how detailing them up like this works. The hull parts also get clipped out and a line is sliced in the center of the bow section to allow me to form it easier. The little steel rod is one of the punches from my Mini Punch set, I use it to roll the paper parts over an old mouse pad. This puts a little curl in the paper making gluing and forming these parts easier. Putting the curl in the bow and then laying it the other way for the stern curls the rear edges up to follow the shape of the stern parts. You can see the progression of the three parts for the hull.

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    With the parts glued together after shaping I also added a small bit on the stern pieces where the rudder part of the keel piece would be going on. It makes the rudder stick out just a little more than it would other wise. Using some of the extra colored parts from the trimmed out bits also let me make a horizontal tiller handle to glue to the top of the rudder post.

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    Putting the pieces all together makes up three small Cutters for the next Mutsuki Class Destroyer,

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    More to follow as I work over other small parts on the model to come up with a bit more detail on it.

    Jay
    treadhead1952
    Las Vegas, NV
  2. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    I really appreciate you pointing out GREMIR's methodology. I personally think he is the only online retailer person I would buy models from now. Thanks for this concise, but information full thread! If there is anything else you wish to add, please, do. :)
  3. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi Zathros,

    I will admit to owning most of Michaels' ship models and I regularly check back to see if he has added anything new. Having a kit that you can just print out on your home printer allows you to experiment with various ways to arrive at a completed model. You can find his online shop here:

    http://www.gremirmodels.com/

    And while I have had computer crashes wipe out my entire collection from him, he is first in line to replace, re-register and get it all back up and running once my system is back up and running. You can't get much better service than that.


    Jay
    treadhead1952
    Las Vegas, NV
  4. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi All,

    Beginning another installment to this one, ths time on another small detail part that is found on ship models, depth charge racks. Some model kits will provide one option some times two. As these are found on older kits, they were mostly flat printed fold up types that relied on shading of the print to replicate the curved surfaces of the depth charge cans inside the racks with a few small white spots to stand in for open areas. The Nagatsuki kit from GreMir Models has these as an "Easy" option and are shown in the top of the first photo, as assembled and printed out immediatly below.

    The more detailed versions are shown around the older type. These are meant to be cut open then removed from the carrier section of the sheet, folded up to form an open rack and then filled with assembled "depth charge" cylinders also printed out on the carrier section. The darker colored prints are printed out on ordinary sheet paper while the brighter white ones are on 110 pound card stock. The cylinders are much easier to roll up from sheet paper that has been formed around a small bit of round stock material rolled over a mouse pad to form a curl. They do benefit from having the card stock end cap circles used though to offer a bit of stiffness in the structures.

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    Since these little racks hold two individual depth charges and I am planning on making up two of them as would be appropriate on the fantail of the IJN Mutsuki Class Destroyers I will need at least four cylinders to be made up plus two more to mount on the K Gun type dischargers that were used making for a total of 12 end cap cylinders. Also were I going to be attempting to make them up as the designer intended just two of the racks would need to be trimmed out. But I have found out that it is actually easier if I section the racks up into five square and rectangular frames and put them together. When I try to do it the way intended, they rarely work for me. I think it has to do with the delicate fine bits that make up the rack once trimmed out just don't stand up to my ham handed working methods.

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    What you see in the photo above is what I will use to make up one rack. First I will use a Slate Gray Sharpie marker to go over the frame parts and edge mark the caps. The next step is taking a bit of CA or Super Glue and soaking the rack parts to make them much stiffer and less suseptible to damage as I cut them apart. Cutting out 6 of the paper dark printed rectangles to make up the sides of the depth charge cylinders after edge coloring things is where I get to with this installment. More to come tomorrow.

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  5. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi All,

    Back for the second installment for this entry to the thread. I cut out a second set of rails, trimmed them up and then edge colored them as well as went over the face and bottom sides to insure that the pieces were all uniform in color. Using a disassembled prescription bottle top I filled the clear plastic section with CA or Super Glue and dipped the rail parts twice holding one side with a tweezers, setting them down to dry then holding the opposite side and dipping them a second time to harden the parts.

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    I also clipped out the parts to assemble a pair of "K" Gun type launchers to go with my racks. Edge coloring helps to make the assembled parts appear more uniform overall. I also added a set of adjustment wheels on the sides of the upright figuring that they would need a method of adjusting the aim of these.

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    Sectioning the rack parts up yielded the five parts required to assemble them. I also used a top of one of the "Easy" assembled racks to form a bottom for these racks. Rolling the sides of the depth charges on an old mouse pad with a steel pin from my mini hole punch set pre-curved these pieces. Gluing the tabs and then adding the end caps assembled the depth charges.

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    Using the top panel from the "Easy" assembled rack for a bottom of my racks. Gluing the rack sides to the bottom panel makes for a quickly formed box to add two of the depth charge cylinders to. Placing the last rack frame on the top finishes the assembly. So here is where this all comes to, a little extra detail to add to a ship in a manner that is easier for me to deal with than the way intended that never seemed to come out right for me.:twisted:

    [​IMG]

    I'll be back with another installment in a few days.
  6. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    The bits are what really make a model "pop" and they look excellent! :)
  7. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Thanks Zathros,

    I needed to add the torpedo trolly rails to my IJN Nagatsuki. While there are lines printed out on the deck to represent them I wanted a little bit more than what they offered. In reality the rails sat atop little metal blocks welded to the deck. The torpedos were rolled onto the trolley from their storage lockers on deck and moved to the torpedo tube launcher to be loaded.

    I started by cutting up some strips of laminated 110 pound card stock and then colored them black with a Magic Marker. Chopping them up into appropriately sized blocks I started adding them to the deck right over the printed black lines that were already present using a small section of card stock cut to the spacing I wanted and advancing it around the deck as I added the blocks. As the tracks run from midships on one side all the way around to the forward deck area in front of the pilot house where the forward torpedo launcher is, I used a few of them.

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    Cutting out a set of rails from another print out of the deck area was easy enough. Edge coloring it all on both edges was also required, I wanted everything to be uniform in color. Next starting at one end and going all the way around I glued the rails down to the blocks With a raised railing all the way around it looks a little more 3D than just a printed on black line.

    [​IMG]
  8. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    That is a fine looking model, need more detail shots though! :)
  9. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

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    So that's what it is....
    Did USN destroyers had the same setup, or was this Japanese secret to extremely fast torpedo reloading that caused US Navy so much grief in the early stage of the war?
  10. spawntan

    spawntan New Member

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    I'm impressed and I congratulate
    see skill level
    I was thinking that is cheaper, buy the plastic model or do
  11. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Thanks Guys,

    Zathros, once I get it all done I will shoot some photos of it and put it up in it's own thread. At this point it is handy to illustrate working out some detailing tips that can be added to various nations' ships, in this case Imperial Japanese Naval types. As the thread develops I will be using other ships of other nations to highlight other things that can be done with them.

    Michael, the US Navy stored their torpedos in the early model destroyers below decks, later destroyers turned to deck housed storage that made servicing the tubes easier, but they did not use the trolley system that the IJN had. The IJN was pretty much on the bleeding edge of torpedo technology while the US had to play catch up. The US Navy was suffering fom an isolationist poltcy that the Congress was following as were all the other branches of the military between the wars. While Germany was rearming with brigades of armor, the US Army barely had any truely mechanized units to speak of and the ones they had were more or less, experimental.
  12. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    HI All,

    I found this section on the HNSA site on torpedo launchers as they would have been used on Fletcher Class US Navy Destroyers. It is basically the seamans' handbook on them so you know that it is pretty much the bible that they used for them. It illustrates the US Navy handling of torpedos, by crane and might and mane of the sailors on destroyers at the time.

    http://www.hnsa.org/doc/destroyer/ddtubes/index.htm
  13. shoki2000

    shoki2000 Active Member

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    This is an excellent reference source if anybody wants to super-detail the US Navy torpedo launchers.
    Great find :thumb:
  14. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    It's amazing that with their knowledge of torpedoes, how to handle them, make them, that in the "Battle off Samar", in the "Battle of Leyte Gulf", Lieutenant Commander Ernest E. Evans, sacrificing his life, along with so many of his fellow crewmen, was able to make the Japanese fleet break formation and slow them down, this of course being the beginning of a series of events which turned the world's possibly greatest naval conflict in the favor of the Allies (U.S., US!). Imagine the damage Taffy 3 could have caused if they could have sent out torpedoes with the greater speed that the IJN had at their disposal. Great stuff man! :)
  15. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi Guys,

    It was indeed quite amazing that one little ship convinced the IJN commanders that they were facing the beginnings of a formidable fleet and breaking their formation with the sheer audacity of their attacks. Lt. Cmdr. Evans' courage and the actions of him and his crew made US Naval history for generations to come.

    Getting back to the details of things, for the IJN fleet equipment, I find that Joe Lowe's website is hard to beat for a lot of their equipment details, "Mechanisms of The Imperial Japanese Navy in 3D".

    http://www.ijnwarship.com/index.html

    It is an excellent source to help in adding to what you may find is sort of glossed over in most models, no matter what scale they are.

    Now these are web resources, but a good library is also something that you can develop on your own to assist in your search for detailing. Squadron Signals' series of books, Osprey, and other publishers all feature books that can help if you really want to get into detailing in a big way.
  16. Zathros

    Zathros Guest

    "Good Library", they're sure getting harder and harder to find.

    The detail level you do does really reach out to people in different ways. I find that these kind of models make me look into History more, and my 12 year old son is the same way.


    Thanks for the link, it's bookmarked. I have created my own library of pictures and line drawings that interest me. It is amazing how much has disappeared from the web. New stuff comes up but a lot disappears too. :)
  17. treadhead1952

    treadhead1952 Member

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    Hi Zathros,

    And this is for anyone who may come across this little thread, please feel free to add to it, if you have a link that is showing off some excellent details or to a publisher who has a series of books or booklets that may add to the detailing efforts that we all would like to share. It can be saved and be a benefit to all who use the forum.

    Over the years that I was collecting up my stash of styrene and now card models, I always tried to add a book a month to my collection as well as keep current on modeling magazines. The Anatomy of a Ship series is a photographic record of a particular ship that is gathered up from public and private sources along with a rather vast amount of research that is invested in each book. If you are desiring a build at a particular point in time or action, these are particularly helpful.

    I used to haunt used book stores religously, not only can you find stuff that is out of print or from over seas, the prices are usually way below what you pay for a new book retail. As my modeling interests went from aircraft to armor to ships a new section of my personal library was added. You would be surprised at how your own library can grow if you keep at it on a persistant basis.