HMS Lively in 1/700, Part 2 (Electric Boogaloo*)

Posted June 14th, 2020 by Devin and filed in HMS Lively, Modeling

I assembled the forward bridge as the first major bit of construction. Lots of paint touch-up, using Lifecolor paint, which of course is a slightly different shade than the Tamiya mix I made for airbrushing. I went back over everything with light mists and dry-brushing of the Lifecolor to blend it all, resulting in a quite-nice weathered effect.

While the kit goes together very well, the size of the parts are a hindrance. Most of the small bits, such as cranes, depth charge mounts, bridge equipment, and nearly everything else, are smaller than the injection gates that attach them to the sprue. Removing and cleaning parts takes considerable time and concentration. Still, the end result looks decent.

I used an older Gold Medal Models 1/700 scale Cruiser and Destroyer photo etch set for the railings. Etched in stainless steel, it’s a real chore to cut. Fortunately I have a set of Xuron metal shears that make short work of it, as the X-Acto and scalpel blades weren’t cutting it. Literally.

Other third-party bits are leftover 1/350th scale ladders from a previous resin DD build, which I used to replace the oversized and short-shot lifeboat mounts. I also replaced the plastic mast with a Master Models turned brass mast and yard arm, soldered together.

At this point I need to do final small bits, such as anchors, boat booms, and figures. I can then gloss coat, apply washes and weathering, then figure out the sea base and rigging.

*I have to say “Electric Boogaloo” after every “part two”, as it drives my wife nuts.

 

 

HMS Lively in 1/700

Posted May 17th, 2020 by Devin and filed in HMS Lively, Modeling

Decided to jump-in with a build of the HMS Lively kit that I reviewed for the Model Warships main site back in October of 2019 (which seems much longer ago than it should considering the past couple of months in quarantine). I’m working on this on conjunction with the USS Chickasaw build, as Chickasaw is fighting me every step of the way, but I suppose that’s to be expected of a scratch-build that was started well before I knew what I was doing.

Not long after completing the review, I picked up the Flyhawk pre-cut desk mask set for the kit. I immediately picked out the kit parts that used the masks, and mounted them for prime and paint. And there they sat for months, until I pulled them off the Shelf of Doom last week. I’m ramping up to start a build of USS Yorktown (CV-5) in 1/700, and since I’ve only built one 1/700 scale kit in the past 30 years, my USS Luzon, I want to practice some things first.

As stated in the review, the kit is beautiful and precise. It’s not Bandai snap-together fit, but it’s not far from it. Some of the pieces are tiny; too much so for my enjoyment. The main armament guns come with barrels in styrene, all one piece, and very delicate. But, if you want, there are also brass turned barrel replacements. I thought of shaving off the existing barrels, drilling locator holes, and applying the brass, but I have a zero-percent chance of getting them all lining up parallel and looking as clean as the styrene, so I’ll skip those. Also, doing all of that just is no where near fun for me.

This build has already taught me a bit for future reference.

1.The instructions call out for Tamiya paint mixes, which likely match full-scale colors, and as such, the hull especially is WAY too dark. I’ll be able to pull it back with glazes and weathering, but in the future I’ll remember to lighten for scale effect out of the bottle.

2. Also, I’m realizing that in this scale a lot of fine detail painting has to be done by brush; it’s simply insane to try to mask and spray absolutely everything. So, when making custom paint mixes, don’t thin all of it for airbrushing; set some aside, unthinned, for brush touch up.

3. I wish I had built her full hull, instead of using the waterline plate, even though I’m going to put her in a water setting. There’s more leeway on where to set your waterline if you have the whole hull to work with.

Book Review: The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

Posted May 16th, 2020 by Devin and filed in Review

The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying VampiresThe Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hendrix takes the concept of “humans are the monsters” further in this book. The majority of the horror isn’t outright violence or hostility, but that of mistrust, fear, apathy, and a genuine inability of some to value the opinions of others, especially if those opinions are counter to our belief, or present us with an uncomfortable or inconvenient truth. So, while a vampire tale, and therefore there’s truly a monster involved, the greatest monstrosity for the characters is the indifference we can all feel towards another’s value and knowledge. Very well done.

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USS Chickasaw Part 10: The Resurrection

Posted April 21st, 2020 by Devin and filed in Civil War, Ironclads and Gunboats, Modeling, USS Chickasaw

It’s been a while, just over 7 years since the last update. With more free time as of late (furloughed due to the Covid-19 crisis), I’ve been tackling some shelved projects. USS Chickasaw was put aside those years ago because… hell, I don’t remember why. But now, with CAD experience, and an in-house 3D printer, I have everything I need to finish her.

So far, the major work has been on body work, repairing seams that have cracked over the years, and prepping the hull for paint. I’ve been drawing all of the other components in CAD, using Rhinoceros v6, as I don’t have the original files for the turret, stack, screw, etc., and the prints of those items that I purchased from Shapeways years ago have degraded significantly.

Here are a few photos of Chickasaw as she stands today.

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Model Completed: USS Keokuk

Posted March 9th, 2020 by Devin and filed in Civil War, Ironclads and Gunboats, Modeling

I’ve added the finished photos, and a few from the build, of my USS Keokuk.  A 1/200 scale resin kit, it depicts the Union ironclad as she appeared during her short career in 1863.

This was a simple, yet fun kit. It’s a shame that Verlinden isn’t around anymore, especially since these 1/200 scale American Civil War kits were quite nice for what they are.

Added to the Model Making page, and can be accessed directly HERE.

Book Review: Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy by Donald L. Miller

Posted February 23rd, 2020 by Devin and filed in Civil War, History, Ironclads and Gunboats

Vicksburg: Grant's Campaign That Broke the ConfederacyVicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy by Donald L. Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Donald L. Miller’s book is a mid-level look at the events from Grants first arrival at Cairo, Illinois, in 1861, up through the capture of Vicksburg in 1863. Miller covers the planning and thought behind the push to recapture the entire Mississippi river valley, focusing more on plans, logistics, and political intent than on the soldier’s eye view of the conflict; there’s still some of this, but those looking for pages of “a day in the life” of the soldiers on the line, they need to look elsewhere.

Two aspects of Miller’s work are a refreshing change. Continue Reading »

Book Review: The Pioneers

Posted October 11th, 2019 by Devin and filed in Review

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal WestThe Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David McCullough
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

McCullough covers a little known window of American history with THE PIONEERS. Set in the Northwest Territory, the area that would one day make up the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the book tells of the ordinance formed to allow settling in the lands ceded by the British at the end of the Revolution, and how it grew over the following decades.

With the ordnance ratified by the architects of the Constitution and the very country, we then are shown the difficulties of even reaching the site of the first settlement, Marietta, in Continue Reading »

Book Review: The Last Cruise of a German Raider: The Destruction of SMS Emden

Posted September 14th, 2019 by Devin and filed in Review

The Last Cruise of a German Raider: The Destruction of SMS EmdenThe Last Cruise of a German Raider: The Destruction of SMS Emden by Wes Olson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wes Olson’s book, THE LAST CRUISE of a GERMAN RAIDER: THE DESTRUCTION of SMS EMDEN, is a fascinating read, not only about the career of Emden, but it also provides a window into the warfare of the early 20th century. Also, I do love a good solid book, and this is one is very well-made, with thick paper, and solidly constructed, so much so that it really jumped out at me how well made the physical book is. Besides that, the book covers everything from ship design, operational logistics, area of operation, operational requirements, and the final battle between Emden and Sydney, making this an informative and satisfying read.

There is a more in-depth version of this review over at Modelwarships.com.

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Model Completed: USS Sentinel

Posted July 28th, 2019 by Devin and filed in Modeling

I completed this one late last year. A fun build of a decent kit. More on the USS Sentinel page.

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WonderFest 2019

Posted June 9th, 2019 by Devin and filed in Modeling

Last weekend I attended the annual WonderFest sci-fi model show, in Louisville, KY. For those that have attended JerseyFest here during the fall, this is a somewhat similar show, yet much larger, and the break-down between ships/hardware and figures is about an even split (whereas the JerseyFest show is predominately figures). WonderFest set a record this year, it’s 30th, with over 800 models entered in the contest. The quality of work is amazing, and I was quite stunned to take away a bronze award for my USS Sentinel kit build. This year I also took part in a group build display, with the theme of Star Wars Concept Models. Each of us picked a Joe Johnston concept drawing and built a model based on it. My B-Wing wasn’t finished, but that didn’t stop me from taking it to the show as an in-progress.

The show’s dealer’s room is quite impressive as well, with at least 125 individual dealers, according to the show’s flyers, as well as personalities taking photos and signing autographs. The two conference rooms taken up by the dealers is easily 1.5 or 2 times the size of our usual MosquitoCon.

If anyone’s looking for an excuse to visit Louisville the weekend after Memorial Day, I highly recommend WonderFest. They have the date set for May 30-31st, 2020, with more information on their website: https://wonderfest.com/

I took photos, per my usual of not trying to get everything, just the stuff that really catches my eye, all of which have been posted HERE.