USS Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by jasco, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Several years ago I received the DN USS Arizona as a gift. I figured it was about time I built her. As I looked on the net for inspiration I learned that her sister ship, USS Pennsylvania, had also been at Pearl Harbor but escaped major damage and went on to fight through the rest of the war. I didn't want to rehash the Az, and do an inferior job of it,so I decided to do an inferior model of the Pennsylvania instead!
    As is my habit I went off half-cocked with incorrect assumptions and a poorly thought out strategy. Thus began the framing of the ship. Although the instructions for the Az. clearly state to laminate the frames and deck to 1mm , I chose to use card that was just over 1mm and laminated my patterns onto that, bringing the total thickness to just over 1/16th inch. My apologies to the rest of the world, I still can only work in inches. I'll post some pictures now at the beginning of the project and will add on as time and progress allow.
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  2. eibwarrior

    eibwarrior Member

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    Jasco,

    Those kinds of hiccups are easy enough to overcome. We all make our fair share of mistakes.

    It looks like a good clean start none-the-less. I really have a soft spot for USN BB's so I'll follow your build with great interest.

    Keep up the good work and frequent updates!
  3. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Although I installed the spacers between the frames, I didn't think that the frames were ridgid enough, so I inlaid the thick chipboard between each frame. This should prevent "oilcanning" of the bottom plating when it finally goes on. I will do the same topsides as an underdeck, hopefully preventing wavy deck syndrome.
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    An isometric view
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    Please note the square holes in the bottom of the hull are for the mounting posts for the display stand.
  4. barry

    barry Active Member

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    Looks like an interesting build coming up
  5. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Excellent start, Jasco!

    I built the old small scale Revell kit of this interesting battleship as a kid, and just loved the way she looked, a real battlewagon...I am very much looking forward to your build and your comments on how to change the Arizona kit to Pennsylvania.

    Nice idea using the chipboard for support/strength; it should work out quite well.

    Cheers!
    Jim
  6. jasco

    jasco Member

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    When I started this model, I thought I would plank the deck with real pine strips. I started by cutting some pine strips on my spiffy miniature table saw. I proceeded to glue them down to a copy of the deck with the idea that I would sand it all down smooth afterwards and add the details like the anchor chain pads later. Then another problem reared its ugly head-insufficient research. The decks were painted blue during wartime, so all of my not-so-careful planking would go unseen. Into the garbage that gluey mess went. I've included some pictures of my attempt nevertheless just for fun. This is the real beauty of cardmodelling... I'm much more likely to experiment with different techniques because if it doesn't work out, all you have to do is reprint the part and do it over untill you get it right. I think this techinique will work on another ship, but the planks have to be cut a little more precisely.
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    And here's the ill fated deck in progress.
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  7. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Happy New Year! I've had some time over the holidays to work a little on the Pa, so here's an update:
    I have completed inlaying triple-thick chipboard between the bulkheads as a "sub-deck" At the bow I started just putting in some cross-beams but decided they would not be adequate to prevent the 1mm deck from warping and sagging. The lighter-colored areas are a result of sanding the sub-deck with a large, sanding block to flatten it out. I used a peice of 1/2 " plywood just the size of 1/2 sheet of sandpaper and some 100 grit paper. Small enough to easily handle, yet long enough to do a good job of evening out the lumps and bumps. I have left adequate space around the areas where the 14" gun turrets will go for the shafts on which the turrets rotate.
    Also note my work area. Although I have a large workshop in the basement equipped with 2 desks, lots of storage space, my PC and a drafting table, I do most of my work on a TV tray set up in our family room. I usually only have an hour or so per day to work on models but I still want to spend time with the family in the evening, so I work in the family room while we all watch TV! I'm available to the kids for any homework questions they may have and respond to some of the more mundane tasks life has to offer like the cat and/or dog needing to be let out or in, or answer the phone, etc. This also keeps objections to my disappearing for long periods of time from my better half down to a minimum, too.
    More later
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  8. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Some more progress: I began the bottom plating. I followed some advice I saw here in the forums and printed out 2 copies of all of the hull plating to avoid inconsistencies in color. The paper I initially printed on is 67 lb Exact Bristol by Wausau papers. It looks good when laminated to cardstock, but if you look at the pictures, you can see where the pieces are deformed by the bulkheads giving the hull an uneven look. By the way, I'll try to keep the TV out of future pix! (See the upper right corner of the second photo?):cry:
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    In order to alleviate this problem, I reprinted the hull plating on 110 lb cardstock by Georgia Pacific. This paper is much stiffer and less apt to deform, but I decided to go ahead and plate the whole hull with the lighter paper first and I'll apply the 110 lb card over it as a laminate. The one piece I have on so far can be seen in this picture as a different shade of red. It shows up very plainly in the picture, but is indistinguishable to the naked eye.
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    I started out using Elmers glue as usual but decided that all of the water in the glue was causing too many deformation problems so I switched to Uhu. The heavier sheet is laminated on with 3M Spray 77. Really aggressive, and no water at all. The parts have to be well formed before applying so you can position the piece accurately the first time. This stuff is NOT very forgiving.

    The deck is not glued on yet, I just like looking at it. The deck is where I am going to start to really deviate from the stock Arizona kit. I don't know how to repaint on the computer so I am going to paint the deck with....Paint! I think this will mean that the rest of the ship is going to have to be painted to keep the overall look consistant. I'll see how I like it as I progress.
    Also, the chipboard I inlaid onto the bottom of the framework is keeping the hull very flat on the bottom. Pretty bomb-proof, too.
  9. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

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    I though Sally Struthers lived with ya!:grin:

    I think you will like the cardstock, that is what I use for everything.........
  10. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Hey, Jasco, looking really good!

    The only question I have if you use a laminated 110# stock on the hull plating is how is that extra thickness going to line up with the deck sheets you already have installed...it might not be much of a problem, but it might extend out a tab too much at the joint where the plating meets the deck, maybe not.

    I applaud your idea about using wooden planks for parts of the deck. I was wondering if, on a model in which the planks are not hidden by paint, if you had considered using veneer, which is a pretty thin wood material. I believe it can be obtained from model shops and possibly other home improvement shops, and comes in a variety of colors and tones.

    One problem with using real wood is the grains for most are too thick/large for the scale you have here and sometimes look out of place; I base this on my experience with wooden ship models. One idea I saw used by a modeler was to use a bunch of stirring sticks, the ones that are found in some coffee shops. It's not the best wood, the finish is often rough and often they are not perfectly flat, but this modeler glued the best pieces he could find to a cardboard backing and sanded it down very thin, finished it with a satin clear varnish, then trimmed and cut the carboard to fit the area of deck he was working on...it turned out pretty nice! Working the planks off of the model seemed to be a good idea given the amount of sanding and finishing that was required, but it seemed to be worth the extra effort.

    I'm a big fan of trying different things to solve some modeling problems and to incorporate different media to paper models where appropriate and some of these experiements work out fairly well. I feel it's never wasted time even if the first attempts aren't exactly what you are looking for because it's experienced gained and helps in eventually getting what you're striving for.

    Keep at it, mate, she really is looking good!

    Cheers!
    Jim
  11. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Thanks for the responses to my posts. I always enjoy watching other people's builds and I enjoy contributing to the collective wisdom. I think it's early enough in construction so that any additional thickness of the hull sides can be compensated for. The decks are not glued down yet, so I haven't committed any fatal errors. I actually had not considered using veneer, Jim for exactly the reasons you cited. I have some walnut veneer in the basement that may end up on a boat.

    Not to hijack my own thread, but I built this little boat about 10 years ago I used alternating strips of bass and mahogany for the deck.
    [​IMG]

    The problem is I don't remember how I cut them! I thought I used my mini table saw, but when I tried to cut planks for the battleship, they turned out really crappy. Maybe I used an x-acto knife. Maybe I was just better at cutting planks. I was ahead of you on the popsicle sticks. I tried tongue depressors and was very disappointed with the results.

    I'll have more time this weekend to work on her.
  12. jasco

    jasco Member

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    I have an update on the Pa., but no photos yet. The instructions for the hull said to start plating the hull in the middle to allow for discrepancies to be worked out by the time you get to the ends. Due to a lack of foresight, not only did the discrepancies not work themselves out, but they were different on the port and starboard. :mad: I ended up having to rip out a few pieces of plating and re covering the hull at the stern. At least I am going to put another layer of plating on to cover the poor seams. Also in the game plan for layer #2: I will start plating at either end and work my way toward the middle. Then I'll be able to fill the midsection in with whatever size of material will fill the hole. The unforeseen consequence of having two layers is that the excess thickness will manifest itself by increasing the length of the ship as well as the beam. :-? I've always been of the opinion that the difference between a master craftsman and a beginner wasn't that the master's efforts were perfect, but that the master knows how to cover up his mistakes better. I hope I can cover well enough to prevent me from chucking the whole thing and starting over. THAT'S simply counterproductive. :cry: More pix this evening.
  13. Gil

    Gil Active Member

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    Hi Jasco,

    I'm really enjoying your build and your journal of effort. Could it be that you used a "balsa stripper" to cut the planks?

    -Gil
  14. stagecoach

    stagecoach Member

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    just a hint

    buy a case of wood coffee stirrers for planks great for deck and sides.
    double layer best for visual.
  15. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I assume you mean the cofee stir sticks that are about 1/8" wide, Stagecoach. Good idea. I don't know what they are made of, but it's pretty tough. And Gil, the more I think about it, I did cut those planks from 1/32 or 1/16" sheets with just a straight edge and an xacto. I started my modelling career building balsa model airplanes, so I have a lot of practice.
    Here are some photos that show the problems I am having with the hull. First off, we can see the huge gap that has worked its way into the plating and will have to be filled in with scrap before putting on the second layer.
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    I don’t have a picture of the other major problem, which was that the profile former was about 1/16” longer than the waterline former at both fore and aft ends. When I originally put the aftermost plating on, the profile former was flush with the ends of the plate. This picture of the Arizona on the ways clearly shows the stern was pointy.
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    At both bow and stern, I had to trim the profile former 1/16” while retaining the correct shape. This seemingly simple task was complicated considerably by the fact that the frame was already glued together. Also, at the stern, I had used water to soften the glue that was holding the plates on and it was starting to soak into the profile former. The cardboard was soft and wet, but I knew that if I didn’t amputate the affected area, it would just keep soaking further up the former like gangrene. Earlier in this journal I said I had switched to Uhu glue because of the water content, For some reason I switched back to Elmer’s for the last 4 plates at the stern. They were a lot easier to remove than if I had used Uhu. That is either serendipity or just plane dumb luck!
    These pictures illustrate some of the problems I will have to overcome as far as the shape of the hull goes. The main problem is the old Digital Navy version of the AZ has the torpedo blisters incorporated into the sides of the hull instead of add-ons after the main hull is built which is more prototypical. This way, the midship section can be fairly well defined, but the ends of the blisters are not well represented I am going to represent the outline of the torpedo blisters with a slightly different shade of red.
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    Here is the picture that has been my main source of information regarding the hull...
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  16. jasco

    jasco Member

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  17. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Just got back from a trip down Kartonist lane and the build of a ship by "Cristoph" I suspect he may be "Scorpio" on this forum. Now I am considering ripping off all of the hull plating and just doing it over instead of trying to cover up my mistakes. :oops: I will not rebuild the framework.:mad:
  18. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

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    Hey, Jasco, don't be so hard on yourself, she is coming along beautifully. I have started over on many a model, so I understand, as do many others who have gone down that same path, probably not once but a few times. Keep at it, we are loving this build thread and your model.

    BTW, using those thin wooden coffee stirers can be tricky as they split easily at time, sometimes in the most inconvenient manner. That's why I was wondering if you tried a veneer wood, which is a little thinner and easier to cut using a new blade and steel ruler, if you take your time. I have in the past found them online in wooden ship model supply sites. Our old friend Rob was working on a recolor of the GPM Missouri a while back and came up with a very nice wooden deck pattern; unfortunately when the site moved the photos were not keyed into the thread...I wonder if there is a way to retrieve them so you could see what he came up with?

    Yes, Christoph is our Scorpio, a true gent of a man and an awesome modeler.
    He is kind enough to go into great detail in his build threads so others can learn a few things, not to mention his photographs are superb! I learn something new everytime I read his threads.

    Looking forward to seeing more, mate!

    Cheers!
    Jim
  19. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

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    I not a ship builder so if this sounds dumb please excuse it,

    But.......... if you plan on replating(?) the hull, Why not fill this layer in the problem areas with putty? Sand and shape it, then replate with another layer of cardstock?

    An I being clear? It seems like doing this it would give a smoother finish for the next layer and make it easier to line the parts.

    john
  20. jasco

    jasco Member

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    Thank you for all of the kind words and encouragement. I don't consider it as being hard on myself...I'm just trying to get this thing finished. It's a pretty major undertaking and I want to do my best work, especially at this early stage. I built the free V108 4 times before I had a keeper. If Scorpio can make his hull look like it was carved out of solid plastic, I can at least get the hull parts to fit.


    And yes, Bowdenja, your thoughts parallel mine exactly. I think some styrofoam at the bow and stern are in order. Of, course, Scorpio didn't need to do that!:-D

    I'm not sure why I didn't sand the sides of the bulkheads before plating. I sanded the top and bottom.:? I guess I'll never know.