Beginners build of Digital Navy's USS Arizona

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Bargee61, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Well, in my intro I threatened to start a thread once I had made a start on my model of the Ariizona, so here goes.

    This is my first attempt at building a card ship model, so I trust you old hands will bear with me, and for any other novices like myself I hope what follows may be of use.

    Right first requirements, basic tools. As you can from the following picture have lined up 5 different types of glue. The PVA, Pritt Stick and UHU are all well known and proven. The UHU Power spray I had not used before having only recently come across it in a local craft shop. Experiments have shown it to be very good for laminating card stock with little or no curl. The Evostock Impact adhesive I am in two minds about and will most probably not use it - all the four others give me what I need. Leather punch for possibly punching out portholes, circular cutter for cutting out/scoring larger round things, varying size metal rules for measuring and straight cutting (the two larger ones have non slip strips on the bottom), two type of knives - Swan Mortin scalpel using No. 10A blades which I prefer to No. 11, and a heavier snap-off blade type for the thicker card cuts. Pencils for marking, different grade sanding sticks and finally wooden coffee stirers, cocktail sticks and paintbrush for slapping the PVA around!

    The next requirement was a good supply of card. Ok I could buy quite cheaply 160gsm, 200gsm, 210gsm and 300gsm card, but the heaviest of these only came out at 0.41mm thick. I needed 1mm stuff for the keel, bulkheads and subdeck assembly. Having resigned myself to having to do a bit of laminating, She Who Must Be Obeyed suggested I pay a visit to the local picture framer to see if they used anything thicker for backing pictures. Bless her - 3ft x 2ft sheets of 1mm thick card at a very reasonable price and any offcuts they didn't want for free!

    Three days later ( and a sore index finger ) all the main keel/bulkhead/subdeck pieces had been cut out and a start on the lower hull assembly had been made. The pictures show how far along I am to date.

    That's it for now. Back sometime soon.

    Mike J :D
  2. jasco

    jasco Member

    Bargee61- , too am building the DN USS Az. So far, mine looks just like yours! I'm in the process of putting the stabilizing pieces in between the formers. I will try to take some pix and post them. Maybe we can help each other out. My only problem is that I am incredibly slow at building due to the usual work, family, work routine. I look forward to seeing more of your build. So far, you're a lot neater than I am!

    P.S. My finger was pretty sore after cutting out all of those bulkheads too!
  3. Gil

    Gil Active Member

  4. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member


    Thanks for the info on Fiskars

    Mike :D
  5. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member


    I know the problem, I took early retirement a year ago and I have seem to have less spare time that I did when I was working.

    Mind you, my work rate on the Arizona will slow once the warmer weather arrives and I can get back out to my workshop. She Who Must Be Obeyed, my Grand-daughter and my son's friend's daughter all want dolls houses built for them, I have several model ship projects on the go, etc.

    Happy days ..... beats working!

    Mike :D
  6. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Have this evening completed the bracing pieces between the lower hull formers. The whole structure is now very rigid and suprisingly strong.

    I intend to complete the covering of the lower hull before I move on to the upper hull. To that end I have built a test piece of formers 7 through 10 to experiment with fitting of former support strips and the hull plates ala Scorpio. The photo shows the test formers assembled with support strips fitted and painted.

    That's it for now. Back sometime soon ........

    Mike :D
  7. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Well, using my test piece proved to be very useful, if only to hammer home just how tricky hull plating is to do well. Experimented with painting also, using water colour, acrylic and enamel paint. Of the three I think I prefer enamel. Does anyone know what the equivalent paint that Scorpio uses is in the UK ??

    Following photos show the lower hull with strips applied to all the bulkheads, keel and sub deck ready to start plating.

    That's all for now, back sometime soon ........

  8. barry

    barry Active Member

    Looks impressive so far. Scorpio uses Humbrol same as in the UK. Not sure about the hull bottom though.

  9. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

  10. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Barry / Jim,

    Thanks for the info.

    No more for a week or so, off to Scotland for a short break (with forecasts of heavy rain, flooding....!!)

  11. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Not had a lot of time to devote to the model recently. However, have completed the setup of the upper formers and as you can see from the photos have fitted the decks. Have also start the lower hull plating, the intention being to start from the bows and the stern and meet admidships, thereby taking up any 'drift' at the 'easiest!' plate. Had a bit of a problem making the plates fit properly as you can see from the photos. Must have done something wrong with the formers setup but can't for the life of me see where. Anyway the white correcting plate has put things back on track!

    Progress will likely be slower for the spring/summer months but will post updates as when I complete various stages.

    Back sometime soon .........

  12. barry

    barry Active Member

    If that's how well you build as a beginner what will you do in the future I wonder. Really beautiful build.

  13. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Brilliant work, Mike! :D

    Really looking forward to more. :wink:


  14. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Ok, I have finished the basic hull plating, as you can see from the attached photos. Now I have sat back and taken a long hard look at it and decided it's b***** awful!!!. So without more ado I going to start again. The current attempt will be consigned to being used for experimenting with paint finishes.

    So far for attempt number 2 I have all the bulkheads, deck, keels and bracing pieces cut out and hope to get the basic skeletal structure completed this week.

    Bye for now, back sometime soon ......

  15. barry

    barry Active Member

    The middle sections look no worse than Scorpio's(Christoph) at the painting stage try overlaying the fore and aft sections with thin card especially since you are going to use it as a paint test rig. A little steam often helps the curves in tight places.

    Seen a lot worse and I never build full hulls anyway.

  16. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Scorpio's plating is in a completely different league to my effort. His level of expertise is what I aspire to ... doubt I'll reach it tho.

    Using th hull from attempt number 1, have been trying a red coloured polyurethane paint as a base which seems to be sealing the paper card nicely, to be followed by spraying a more correct underwater colour using White Ensign Models ( Colourcoat - US Navy Antifouling Red. Will post a couple of photos later if it works out Ok.

    Bye for now ... back sometime soon ....

  17. Maurice

    Maurice Member


    Polyurethane is ideal. Clear polyurethane varnish painted with Humbrol enamel has shown me no distotion or deterioration over a 40 year period.
    I recommend a lot of dilution for full penetration of the initial application on thicker card.

    I seriously doubt your inability to reach Scorpio's league.

    (one time Kentish Man :D )
  18. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member


    Thanks for the info. Hadn't thought of polyurethane varnish, but makes perfect sense especially as I don't really need a coloured product since the hull plates in the kit are already coloured red! Anyway have already started using the red paint on the aborted attempt no. 1 and its covering nicely so will persevere with it for now.

    Bye for now ... back sometime soon ...

  19. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Have finished experimenting with a paint finish for the lower hull. As you can see from the first two photos I used a coloured polyurethane to cover the whole hull, using the paint in the third photo, then using enamels painted the anti-fouling red, the black waterline and the grey hull side as you can see in the fourth and fifth photos. All this has been done on the aborted hull No. 1. Reasonably pleased with the result. As per Maurice's suggestion will most probably replace the coloured polyurethane with a clear version on attempt No. 2.
  20. Bargee61

    Bargee61 Member

    Anti-fouling red, black waterline and grey hull side ....

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