I'm stakeing out the first berth at the docks for my project, the Encore Models 1/232 Protected Cruiser USS Olympia Premium Edition. It has everything I need in the box (wood deck, PE, metal barrels, etc.) and will be a pretty hefty undertaking. Am shooting to start on this one around May 1st if all goes to plan!
Nice subject. And what a strange scale. Never heard of the brand either, but seems to be jolly good fun with all of those goodies
Encore is the in-house brand for Squadron. They rebox kits with upgrades or details added as limited run issues. In this case the original molds are Revell and that's why it has the odd box scale. This is the only ship they've done, usually they focus on aircraft. I'm building it for a friend who is a retired history teacher. Got it on eBay for about $70 with shipping so was a great deal.
I started in on the hull halves today and there's a lot of work that has to be done to them before they can be joined. That includes the usual clean-up and flash removal (which there's a good bit of in various places due to the age of the molds) as well as removing a lot of molded on parts that are going to be replaced with either resin or PE components. I got one of the halves done today, removing all the railing stanchions that weren't needed, drilled out the portholes, and used a micro-chisel to carefully remove the bow torpedo tube and stern life ring cages. There were also a couple of sink-hole spots that needed some putty help and I also closed up the mounting hole for the access ladder since it wouldn't be needed.
The total hull length is right at 18 inches, so it's a lot to work with. For the time being, I've left the plastic mount pegs that were originally meant to go into a plastic base as they will help glue the two halves together. One side done, one to go!
Don't sweat it PJ, I had no idea either until I did the research on Olympia in preparation for the build! Even had to look up what 'protected cruiser' meant...it's roughly the equivalent of the 'heavy cruiser' designation used after WWI as opposed to a light/unprotected cruiser. Since cruisers were meant originally to be commerce raiders operating individually or with other cruisers, they were usually supposed to be fast and lightly armored if at all with the expectation that their opposition would be other cruisers or unarmed merchant ships. Battleships on the other hand like the Maine were ships of the line meant to stand toe-to-toe in fleet actions so they had the big guns and heavy armor to do that. Kind of ironic when you think of it given Olympia's fame as Dewey's flagship in the fleet action at Manila Bay!
My congratulations on the beginning of the new project! Good luck, Bill!
Thanks Martin! The other hull side has a Revell 1959 mark, so that gives you an idea of the age of the original molds.
Yes, I represent this model. But, me very much will run to work with vintage models. In them there is the charm. I try to reproduce shape of model 50-60 of years, but not shape of the original tank, the plane, ship. At me several models Matchbox, Revell, AMT, Monogram, Aurora of those old years lie in the storeroom.
... I become sentimental, so old...
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After another long session of prep work and clean-up, I got the second half of the hull ready to go. I did a quick test fit with the main deck portions to see if I was going to have any issues there later on before committing to gluing the halves together and nothing popped up. The joint surface along the bottom of the hull isn't that big, so I started at the bow first and used liquid glue applied from the inside to get it together. Once the glue had started to grab, I applied clamps and/or strips of masking tape to hold it together as I worked my way towards the stern. That way I didn't run the risk of glue getting under the tape and marring the exterior. A little tricky, but it worked out well. I was also careful with the rudder installation so that it would remain movable since that's key to being able to install the resin parts for that area for the stern torpedo tube.
With the hull setting up, I worked on the 10 6-pounder quick-firing (57mm) guns that go into the lower hull sponsons. The kit includes the brass barrels to replace the kit parts, so the plastic barrels were snipped off and the mount holes drilled out with a #72 finger drill. CA secured the barrels in place. These snap into the sponsons and there's enough room to do that with the hull joined, so they will go in later on after I finish working on the other details that the hull still needs.
One of those details will involve drilling out holes for it to be able to mount onto the kit-supplied wood base. I stained the base and installed the brass mounting hardware, so it's ready to go once I have the holes drilled.
Plenty still to do with the hull before it's ready to take some paint.
After the hull had set up overnight, I removed the clamps and tape and cleaned up the joint where needed. I used a simple paper template and Sharpie to mark where the holes were needed on the inside of the hull and drilled out the holes with a Dremel and 5/8" drill bit. The plastic base pins were cut off with sprue cutters and the nubs removed with a #11 blade to complete the transformation.
Next up were the resin details for the bow and stern torpedo tubes. The kit had included the bow tube as a simple round opening while the resin kit part has the correct oval shape and hinged door arrangement. I attached it with CA gel and filled the gap around its edge with Squadron White putty. The bow Union Shield crest was annealed and attached as well to round out the bow area. Some malformed detail that I had to remove next to the anchor chain opening was replaced with a flattened piece of styrene rod as well.
At the stern, the original kit didn't have anything for the stern torpedo tube. The rudder had been surgically altered to remove its incorrect top portion earlier and I added the kit's resin 'plug' for that area first with CA and sanded it to match the hull's contours. Then the resin stern tube was added and putty used where necessary for it as well. The PE 'Olympia' device was annealed and attached as well to complete the detail in this area.
Next up will be more fun with PE in terms of the life ring racks, the side keels, and all the 6-pounder gun mount shields. Then it will be time to paint the hull. Moving right ahead!