So no wash or no need to seal it,just wondering because I have a couple of wood decks on hand.
You don't have to but because the hull will get a dose of Future and then dullcoat, the decks also get the same. I've never had an issue with the decks going that way. You may have to tack down some edges with CA but that's unrelated generally speaking.
As is often the case when dealing with superstructure components, little things can often absorb a considerable amount of time and attention to get them squared away. Such is the case with Step 8 in the instructions. This is compounded by the fact that it involves 28 parts designed to create the three independent direction finders, the conning tower, and the support box rooms that go under the AA gun mounts on the superstructure wings. Each of the direction finders gets another 4 pieces of PE detail parts so that brings it all to a grand total of 40 parts to get them together. I deliberately left off the direction finder that sits on top of the conning tower to avoid damaging it and will install that later after the tower itself is in position on the deck level.
The instructions would have you assemble the AA support boxes separately and then attach them to the main superstructure in Step 9 but that makes life far more complicated than it should be. Instead, I installed each of the panels directly to the superstructure support frame to create the two boxes as needed. The superstructure also received the wing extensions and some other details like ammo lockers to round out the basic details of the structure. Once again, a #74 finger drill was used to open up the portholes on the support boxes and wing extension panels where needed to increase their detail.
There's a ton of little detail stuff that installs on this deck level but much of that will have to come later to allow for painting and masking to separate the steel deck areas around the boat deck portion from the wood bridge deck portion to be done first.
More work done in the small details department, this time the focus was on the smokestack and main pyramid structure elements. The intent for these areas was to assemble as much as possible while still being able to keep things separate since I need to airbrush two different colors between the vertical elements and the horizontal decks.
Step 5 deals with the smokestack. I assembled the main halves of the stack along with the top deck. The kit large angle supports were replaced with Eduard PE items and this required filling in the mount tab slots with putty and adding the PE braces in place over them. The top portion of the stack was also assembled as a two-part affair while keeping the top plate separate for easier painting. The top plate had the exhaust and steam vent pipes molded solid, so these were opened up with a combination of drill bits and round needle file work. I deliberately held off adding the mast and support arms to the top plate and will include those later after the stack is all together.
Step 6 is a monster step, it involves assembling the pyramid superstructure along with all of its side deck extensions. The structure itself is a collection of four flat panels that only have small support tabs to help support each other, so it was slow and go to get it together and not have it distort out of shape. Each panel was cleaned up and the portholes drilled out with the #74 finger drill before gluing. I used the top deck as well as the main bridge deck to check the alignment both top and bottom to make sure it stayed square while the glue set.
The top deck also received its spars and a couple of small PE access ladders. The direction finder and fire control room that installs into that top deck was assembled separately to allow for easier handling and painting for this area. The direction finder received some PE detail upgrades as well while the main radar antenna was left off for now as I want to assemble and attach it at the last possible moment to avoid any potential handling damage.
Last but not least, I cleaned up all the support decks for the pyramid structure so they would be ready for painting. Some PE details were added as needed and the one area that the Eduard set missed was on the little cabin extensions for the 2nd level deck areas. The Eduard parts were way too big to fit in the space called for so I went with the standard kit parts here instead.
Next up I'll deal with the smaller aft superstructure module elements to get them together and ready for painting as well.
Sometimes the little things on a build project like this can be deceptive in their ability to become a massive time-sink. Such was the case today in terms of working on the secondary superstructure module. What I thought would only take a little bit of time ended up using up the full day's session, but that's the way it goes!
Step 12 in the instructions deals with this module and once again the flat-pack panel design applies. The module assembles out of 6 side panels plus the top deck part to create the superstructure itself. As with the previous larger module, I found it best to use the top deck as the main attachment structure and added the panels to it individually instead of trying to get all 6 together as a frame first like the instructions call for. Once the module was together, I added the PE combat shutters for all the windows one at a time using a toothpick moistened with spit as a handy 'pick and place' tool since they are so tiny. There are 14 of them per side, so that was a lot of spit involved!
This meant I could now check all of the placements of the superstructure elements with the wood decks and see what needed attention. I already knew that the cut-outs for the AA box platforms were out of alignment, so those were re-cut and strips spliced back into the position where needed. I also needed to add back some small sections in various places around both superstructure modules where the original cut-outs proved to be too wide. I used the left-over scraps that I had saved from the main panels and used that to fill in where needed. This is a handy trick since the entire wood sheet is treated with the adhesive backing, all I had to do was cut the small strips I needed and stick them down in position and voila!
I still need to get some of the other components together for the secondary module's deck before I sling some paint but it's pretty close to time for another round with the airbrush.
Last Edit: Jul 16, 2017 18:41:39 GMT -5 by wbill76
Got the rest of the major superstructure components done and ready for the first round of deck painting today. The rest of Step 12 deals with the aft fire control station and direction finder. Getting it together involves 14 separate parts plus another four PE detail items, so a lot going on for this one component for sure.
I also needed to evaluate the best way to go about painting the large deck sections on both of the superstructure elements as they are a mix of steel and wood sections as well as having some molded in place details that need to be painted to match the superstructure base colors. The Pontos set includes large PE overlays to create the correct steel deck plate patterns and I cleaned it up to allow for a test fit around all the raised detail that it interacts with. Fits like a glove, so I'll paint it separate to make life easier. The PE mesh sections were installed around the AA gun mount platforms and the wood sections that go between them and the boat deck tested for fit as well. Last but not least, the wood section around the bridge deck was cleaned up and checked for fit. Everything is playing very nicely together, always a good thing!
The aft superstructure decks are simpler but still split between a steel deck and wood deck design. The steel deck surrounds the base of the floatplane catapult station, so I added the base to the superstructure so it would be integrated for painting while still allowing the PE plate to slide in and out. The small PE screens were installed and the wood deck portion cleaned up and checked for fit as well.
Next up will be getting the dark gray deck portions airbrushed and then it will be a masking marathon to protect those areas when the light gray gets applied.
Todd, thankfully the decks are designed to be user friendly in terms of getting them configured. Pontos did a great job with this set, the only modifications needed were removing the pair of plastic boat supports and replacing them with new PE supports on the boat deck. Something I forgot to do before I took the picture but have since addressed!
Today's effort focused on advancing the deck painting schemes so the first step involved airbrushing some MM enamel Gunship Gray on the horizontal surfaces and levels where needed. The PE deck overlays were also airbrushed at this stage in preparation for their upcoming installation. MM enamel Light Ghost Gray was airbrushed on all the main superstructure areas but not on the support decks just yet as they would need some serious masking before that could take place.
Speaking of which, I used small 1-2mm wide strips of blue painter's tape cut to size and applied with tweezers to the interior spaces on all of the support decks. MM Light Ghost Gray was airbrushed to the vertical surfaces inside and out. I also took advantage of the painting session to get the main pyramid structure as well as the fire control and direction finders painted up and ready to go.
I removed the masking and used a small 10/0 spotter brush to touch-up a couple of places here and there. I also hand-painted the horizontal deck on the aft fire control station since that one wasn't possible to do with the usual airbrush-masking combo. The PE overlays were also installed on both superstructure modules using CA gel to allow for some flexible work time and a cotton swab used to carefully press it down into position so as not to mar the paint in the process.
Next up will be figuring out the best way to get the ship's disruptive camo scheme added since that's going to be easier with everything separate I think vs. trying to do it all assembled. Will mean a little bit of puzzle-piecing in the approach but should work out I hope!