I originally set out today to get all of the turrets and decks painted in preparation for the deck installation but realized that I still hadn't taken care of the false bow wave on the hull, so that got priority instead. I used the kit-supplied painting guide and counted portholes to get an idea of where they should start and stop since there are two parts on each hull side needed to create the wave pattern. I masked off the boot stripe to preserve its straight edge and then used blue tack poster putty to create the wave pattern. I used a wooden toothpick to ensure the putty was seated firmly to avoid any feathering or soft edges and also add a little fine variation to the pattern in the process.
I used MM enamel flat Light Gray and airbrushed the waves into the masked-off areas. I let that touch-dry and then carefully removed the blue tack masks to check the pattern. I had a couple of overspray areas due to my own carelessness in keeping the airbrush tight inside the masked areas and that was easily fixed with some airbrushed Medium Gray. Before I did that though, I installed the bow and stern anchors since I'd been waiting to do that until after I had the bow wave patterns on. The anchors were also airbrushed in place to match the rest of the hull.
Even sitting still, the Graf Spee now looks like she's at full speed ahead!
Last Edit: Jul 10, 2017 17:56:32 GMT -5 by wbill76
Thanks PJ! Ship camo patterns have all kinds of oddities designed to either a) make it hard for an enemy to gauge speed or b) make it hard for them to pick out key features for targeting/distance estimation. As Joel mentions, there are some pretty spectacular 'dazzle' schemes out there from both WW1 and WW2 that were very effective!
Joel, that would be quite the detailer's nightmare to be sure! Now just imagine the crews having to actually create those schemes by hand-painting themselves!
Spent a good deal of time today working with the airbrush, first order of business involved laying down a primer coat of MM enamel Flat Black. All of the turrets got a full primer coat and the deck plates only where there would be potentially exposed areas once the wood decks are added. It does double-duty in the sense that it makes it easier to paint the details that stick up above the wood planks and also safeguards against any bare plastic showing through if the wood needs trimming for the rest of the stuff to play nice with it. It's a lesson I've learned the hard way on previous ship builds!
Next I airbrushed some MM enamel Gunship Gray for the steel deck areas at the bow and for the anchor ports and hardware. The Pontos set also includes PE baseplates for the torpedo launchers, so those also got a dose of Gunship Gray. For all the other exposed elements and gun turrets, I airbrushed MM enamel Light Ghost Gray as their primary base color. Camo patterns will get added later once I have a good idea of what will end up where and can match it up with the superstructure components for consistency.
A big moment had arrived, time to add the deck plates to the hull! The three main deck plates interact with each other so they all have to line up perfectly to avoid issues. I started with the stern plate and used regular glue to install it in place in the hull. Once the plate was set, I added the wood deck overlay since the 2nd main deck plate has the overhang that needs to line up with it. The torpedo launcher baseplates were added with some CA gel so I could be sure they lined up properly with the mount holes and have a little bit of work time before they grabbed onto the wood surface. I also permanently installed the stand components at this point using some CA to secure the screw threads to ensure they wouldn't come loose but still allow me to remove the base knobs for handling in the future should I need to do that.
That cleared the way for the other two main deck plates. I used regular glue and added the 2nd plate first, checking the alignment with the bow plate to make sure nothing had slipped out in the process. Then the bow plate was glued in and a pair of rubber bands fitted to make sure the decks would sit nice and level once the glue had set.
Next up will be getting the rest of the main deck wood portions installed.
Thanks PJ! Got to make the most of the available time, there's a silent timer counting down to the end of July that I'm working against. Once August 1st rolls around, I have to start thinking about getting ready for the next school year.
Post by panzerjager2 on Jul 12, 2017 10:43:43 GMT -5
That "timer" issue sucks....but just think about when you finally earn retirement.... And you can lock yourself in your man-cave model building area. Tell the wife and kids, "never bother me again"...... Have a separate entrance just for Amazon and Pizza deliveries...
PJ, it's always good to have a fantasy/illusion when it comes to retirement!
Joel, very similar situation to the 'invasion stripes' painted on Allied aircraft. Pictures show that they were very rough in some cases but if you took that to a contest and tried to claim 'realism', you would have a hard time indeed!
Dierk, doing my best to not have it mutate in the process.
Another productive round of effort to report on the Graf Spee. The rest of the main deck sections from the Pontos set were added but not without a little adventure along the way. The main deck is divided into three different sections and I started at the stern and worked my way forward to the bow. The stern section started out with the cut-outs accurately aligned but some of the holes for the secondary battery turrets and the king posts for the cranes were slightly off. I got them as close as possible and then used a round needle file to open up the holes further as needed through the wood so that everything can install properly later on.
The mid section went on without any major issues but did involve a lot more trimming around the outline for the main superstructure elements, so that took more careful work with the #11 blade to ensure I didn't accidentally cut too much or split some of the narrower sections away from each other. There's a slight gap where it doesn't match up with the stern deck section but that's not a real issue since that will be hidden away behind the AA gun platforms. I hadn't planned for those platform areas when I airbrushed the decks earlier, so a detail brush and some careful painting around the wood deck quickly corrected that problem.
The bow section was the smallest of the three and involved creating the necessary cutout for the breakwater. I used the kit part to help gauge where that needed to be and everything lined up just as it should. I'll wait to install the breakwater until I'm ready to add the anchor chains since they pass underneath it and the slight added height of the wood deck makes it challenging to feed the chain through the openings vs. place the chain and then install the breakwater over it.
Getting the full deck on definitely changes the look of things! Nothing like real wood to create a wood effect IMHO.
In the spirit of the ship-builders maxim of working from the 'bottom-up and inside-out', I turned to the main superstructure that the instructions deal with in Step 7. They must've had a consultant from IKEA helping out here as it's all 'flat-pack' panels that need to be cleaned up and assembled together to create the full structure. The Eduard set provided some added detail for the open bridge area and also some combat shutters for the larger windows. I also drilled out all the standard portholes with a #74 finger drill so they would match the detail level of the hull in that department. Putty filled in the notches for the kit ladders that will be replaced with Eduard PE items later on and I also used some white sheet styrene to blank off the molded opening left behind when I removed a molded-on access ladder on the forward bridge section.
I used liquid glue and the support outlines on the deck bases to add the different panels one at a time, leaving the forward section last so it could be matched up with the elevated bridge section correctly.
There's still more to be added to this superstructure module but it's together now as a solid foundation for more work to follow.