SS KRAKOW in 1:400 scale by JSC No. 42

Discussion in 'Ship & Watercraft Models' started by Jim Krauzlis, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Hi, Gang! :D

    This is another diversion project whilst I idle away the hours tying up gun tackles on the Constitution...besides, I had the urge to build something besides little carronades. :lol:

    One of the great bonuses with the JSC kits is how they sometimes include more than one model in the issue. This is the case with their publication No. 42 of the SS KOSCIUSZKO passenger steamer...they also provide a cute little steamer called KRAKOW. What caught my eye was the neat, thin stack this ship had, and the interesting single cargo boom set up that was apparently common at the turn of the last century, i.e. in the early 1900's. There are not a lot of parts to this kit, so I figured it would be a fairly simple build, but I then noticed the print was uncharacteristically out of alignment on some the sheets (normally I have found JSC to be very good print quality-wise, so this came as a little surprise), but luckily it was not that far off.

    Anyway, in looking over the kit it seemed to be just what the doctor ordered for a quick but satisfying build...I'll try to tackle the more complex KOSCIUSZKO at some later I scanned the pages I needed (all of two parts sheets and one illustration sheet) and went to work.

    First thing I noticed was this hull does not have any hull former supports. Those familiar with the JSC line know their construction method is a bit different from the common ship kit, they basically call for the creation of an inverted shell in the shape of the hull with an open bottom (no base plate is used) with cross formers to help stablize the sides of the hull and to support the upper part of the sheel, what is the underlying deck plate. Now, depending on the shape of the hull this is accomplished in many different ways by JSC designers, but this is the first one I came across that had no hull formers, just the deck (stepped for the forecastle and quarter deck) and the side hull sheets...the printed hull sides are then glued to this inner hull sheet. I would have prefered some internal supports besides what the kit desided, but I decided to give it a go and see how it worked out. The trouble with this type of construction is the tendancy to have the hull corkscrew if you are not real careful...I normally try to glue the opened bottom hull shell to a forecore base...just because I need the added assurance to avoid the warping. Ah, but I didn't do that this time around...and I was surprised the hull built up fairly flat. Of course, I used a bit of trickery, I left the hull under the weight of various tools whilst the glue set overnight, and the next day I was rewarded with a fairly straight hull. One of the other problems I face, and always seem to forget, is that at the break between the forecastle and quarter deck the construction design is simply a double fold or step in the main deck, no support or other aid to keep the step square to the deck and sides. Next time I think I will try to remember and put some support under that step because invariably a slight difference or warping appears across that step from side to side. It's slight, but annoying nonetheless.

    The other problem, and one of my own doing, is the joint at the transom where the ship's name appears. There was a little gap because I just was not careful enough to make sure the piece was snug up to each other...had I done it right, the name would wonderfully appear as if one continuous name, instead of the stutter name I ended up with. Oh, well, live and learn. :roll: I do hope to remember to do it better next time. :(

    Anyway, less talk and more action. I got so far as to make up the inner hull former and then covered the side plates, added the decks. So far, so good...and pretty sturdy, to my surprise. I actually added more than the photos show, I just haven't had the time to download them all yet, but I will do so later...along with a way to make funnel vents to replace the 2D versions the kit provides...I hate those flat funnel vents on a model, don't you? :lol: Hopefully, you will feel the replacements are a bit better...but that's next time. For now, here are photos of what she looks like so far.

    More later.... :D


  2. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    And here's a few views of the underside, including the errant transom markings... :x

    BTW, I have no idea why that first post is so wide...I couldn't figure out how to narrow it up...I even edited the photo sizes time and again, but no success. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.


  3. jrts

    jrts Active Member

    Hi Jim

    A nice little diversion you have :D

    Good start mate more soon I hope of both.

  4. barry

    barry Active Member

    Nice one Jim and again an excellent write up

  5. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    Cool 8) ...............there is a city in north Mississippi named's really funny to hear people try and pronounce it. :D

    One time while watching a College Footbal game that had a player from there, the announcer after four or fives tries just gave up. He NEVER got even close to how we pronunce it............ which is probably wrong too! :shock:

    I'd love to a see a have to give it a try and see if they want a copy in city hall!

    Great build so far................y'all are going to make me give that ship thing a try yet! :shock: :D

  6. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks, Rob, Barry and John! :D

    Here are some updates...I built up the midship house a bit. It was pretty straigth forward, except I removed the tabs from the pieces. I don't like using them and they seem to distort the joints a bit.
    Anyway, there's a way to go before she'll be done but she seems to be coming along major fitting problems and pretty straight forward build.
    Next I hope to post the way I made the funnel vents.... :wink:


  7. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    Just to extend the trivia about Polish military leaders - the tallest mountain in
    mainland Australia is Mt. Kosciuszko 7310 feet (2228 m) high. (Australia
    doesn't do mountains very well - something about being a very old continent with no recent mountain forming events). There are endless debates on how
    to pronounce Kosciuszko.


  8. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Okay, as I mentioned, I didn't like the way the funnel vents were portrayed in the kit so I figured I would try something least for me. Now, the end result isn't as nice as I would have liked but I think it's at least an improvement over the kit parts. As with anything I think as I made them over and over for each vent I needed each one was a bit better than the last...after another hundred or so maybe they will start to look more like they should. :wink:

    The idea is to first roll a tube out of regular paper the diameter of the finished funnel. The diameter can be adjusted using different sized pins or mandrels, for smaller or larger vents, but the idea is the same for each. The first photo shows the roll on the pin I used for the medium sized cowl vents.

    Once the tube is rolled, the end is pushed off the pin a bit to allow for trimming of the end. I decided upon a 45 degree angle for the cut, which will become the opening of the funnel. I noticed the raw 45 degree cut left a bit too much on the top of the cowl, an excessive "peak", if you will, which if not adjusted gives you more of an oval than a rounded cowl, so it was trimmed back a bit. The opening of the cowl is then made, first using either a tweezer or larger pin, just to begin opening up the cowl at the end. I then lightly wetted the end with water and used a rounded off toothpick to form the cowl shape. I first laid the end on the work surface and pressed and rolled the rounded toothpick into the opening of the cowl, trying to widen the opening for the classic cowl shape. Next, I found if I lifted the other end of the tube, still on the forming pin, while keeping the rounded toothpick in the opening, pressing the cowl to the work surface, I could deform the tube part of the vent and form what resembled the bend in the cowl so the opening now was facing another 45 degrees from the original position. Clear as mud, right? :wink: In essence, the cowl opening is first formed using the 45 degree cut, the opening flared more using water and then finally the cowl is forced a further 45 degrees (90 degrees total) so it now the face of the cowl is 90 degrees from the original axis of the tube. The second photo shows the cowl deformed into the 90 degree position, as well as the rounded toothpick I used to form the cowl.

    I found using a bit of water helps in manipulating the cowling very well, but the touch needed to form the cowl and the final angle is all a matter of practice, as there is a bit of delamination to the tube that could occur is you push it too fast and too far...and I could do with more practice to make them better, but this was an ongoing learning process for me. :lol:

    The next step is to use acrylic paint, after the water used in forming the cowl has dried a bit, to finish up the cowl vent. The paint helps to stiffen the cowl vent, and you can even make some final adjustments to the cowl shape as the paint is drying, then just touch up for the final paint job when the first paint application has dried thoroughly. I used white paint for the cowl vents being shown, with black accent added to the interior of the cowl.

    Anyway, I hope the final result, the third picture, suggests to you that the end result is worth the effort. I am using this same technique to make all of the vents, even replacing the ones built up from the kit supplied tube and disc/cone parts, as I feel this method provides a more realistic looking vent. I could have tried building the vents using some of the techniques you might be more familiar with as used in the larger scaled models, but that would have involved a lot of fine cutting of sections of the tube to create that right angle turn, which would have been a bit more involved (read "exceeding difficult) than this method in this small scale. Anyway, I hope you try this out and find your results come out better than my efforts.


  9. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Finally, a photo to show a comparison to the kit parts and the scratch built funnel...and finally a view of the funnels installed on the midship house. I still have a few more vents to make and install. I used the kit parts to provide the height of the finished vents and the circles on the decks showing the location of each vent to give me an idea of the correct diameter. Okay, I realize these are not perfect looking :roll: , but they seem to get better as you make one after the other. BTW the stays on the funnel shown in the last photo haven't been secured yet so don't get on my case about the slack wires, okay? :lol:

    Well, that's about it for the vents! I hope demonstated is clear, but, if not, let me know and I'll try to clarify it as best as I can.

    Oh, by the way, the ship here is the SS KRAKOW, not the KOSCUISZKO...but I have been told since I was a kid that the General's name is pronounced "ko-zous-ko", emphasis on the middle syllable...I ask my Polish friends to forgive me if that is not right. :?


  10. Janusz

    Janusz Member

    Hola Charliec
    Hello everyone
    Still searching for Your wet tank...
    Oh it is not that hard to pronounce...
    The closest possible transcription using the fonts on my spanish keyboard would be
    KOSH(sh as in show)CHOO(ch as in China)SH(sh as in shot)KO
    I normally use word Tenochtitlan to ilustrate the sound of CH but I think You would find it difficult too.
    Nice work Jim.
    And by the way what is the reasson for which the mountain has such a name???
    Or putting it in a different way who called it with such a name???

  11. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks, Janusz! Sorry if my attempt to pronouce this hero General is a bit off.... :?

    Come on, John, take the plunge...try it, you'll like it. :lol:
    BTW, I think these little 1/400 kits are a great way to start.


  12. charliec

    charliec Active Member

    The mountain was named by an early explorer of Australia Paul Strzelecki
    who was the first European to climb(walk) to the top in 1840. Strzelecki was
    born in Poznan in 1797 - much more at

    I'd forgotten about the "wet tank" - hint it's American - arguably the most useless AFV of WW2.

    Edit - I won't describe how Australians pronounce "Kosciuszko" - it may offend.


  13. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    I've heard there's a strong lobby to rename the mountain to its native name, but I gues the unpronounceability of the good general's name may have something to do with it. Then again, it's easy for people whose language includes gems like "chrzaszcz" and "trzcina" :twisted:

    BTW, nice little model. However, your pictures would be easier to see if you cropped them -- especially the detail shots include tremendous expanses of background.
  14. Leif Oh

    Leif Oh Member

    Jim, that was a jewel of a tip on making the funnels, appreciate it very much. You realize of course that the method could be used for modelling exhaust stubs on aircraft models, too, just as an example. Very nice.

    I especially enjoyed noticing that you, too, seem to make your own little tools out of various bits and pieces, attaching them to shafts of your own making.

    Cut-off brush handles is my favourite for handles. I cut the water-colour brushes to make them fit my little cigar-box of a tool-chest, and save the cut-off pieces for making handles later on.

  15. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks, Guys! :D

    @ Simon,

    Yes, indeed; I actually did try to crop the images before posting, to cut out most of the extraneous should see them before I did that! :lol: BTW, just so I can try and improve my photography in the future, which of the photos did you feel this was particularly a problem? As you can see, some of the pics had to include some background just to be sure the entire subject was included...but photography is not my forte', obviously, and I am always open to some tips on how to do it better. That goes for the modeling part too, of course. Ah, to be like Leif, Michael, Christoph, Rob, Barry, Darwin, Ted, Erick, Max...(the list goes on!) with their beautiful models and superb photo spreads! :D

    @ Leif,

    Thanks, and, yes, I imagine you could use this method to make exhausts, or any other part that has a slight curve at the end of a fact, now that you mention it, a lot of those "funnels" look more like aircraft exhaust pipes than funnels! :shock: I think the funnels need more of a flare at the cowl end then I introduced during the process...I'll try to use a larger rounded end on the next group and see what happens.
    I do tend to recycle a lot of stuff into different tools, or make unique little gadgets to perform a job I need to get done. That pin awl is just a straight pin that I have glued to an old dowel handle with C/A...I've had that old fella for quite a number of years now and it comes in handy for many jobs. The other one is just a bamboo skewer shortened and also fashioned with an old straight pin, but the nature of bamboo is it tends to split when you drill into it's core, so it's not as sturdy as the dowel tool...and the handles of both come in handy for rolling short tubes, as well as the pin ends.

    I do appreciate your taking the time to visit and to give me feedback, guys. One thing that bothered me is the pilot house...if you look at the "closeup of house" photo you will notice the upper edges are a bit rounded, more so than I first noticed. Try as I might, I never seem to be able to get those crisp folds, particularly at this scale. I think I am resigned to cutting the parts out and gluing them up, much as I ended up doing with Yuki's Arleigh Burke...if anyone has any suggestions, tips, etc., on how to make the folds better, please let me know.

    Anyway, thanks again everyone...hopefully I can post more later. :D


  16. Bowdenja

    Bowdenja Active Member

    I just might have to give these a try.

    And just as a side................we pronounce it

    Cause see ess co

    You have to remember I'm down in the south and everything comes out really really loooong!

    Keep up the good work.

  17. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    Eeeek, I didn't want to come off criticizing your pictures so much. However, I'm attaching something to illustrate what I meant.

    bowdenja: You need some more practice in your Polish pronunciation. Say after me: "szczekoscisk", "szczescie", "pszczola". Got it?
  18. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Not at all, Simon! :D Your point was well taken. Your attached photos clearly illustrate the point about clutter, and I am glad you pointed it out. Not only is it easier on the eyes, but it probably helps keep down the file size for posted photos to the forum.

    Okay, what IS the correct pronunciation??? All I know is that last word you quoted, Simon, looks awfully close to Pepsi Cola... :lol:


  19. cygielski

    cygielski Member

    :lol: I had to think a while to come up with these. The "szcz" is equivalent to a hard "shch" in English -- of course Russians have a single letter that takes care of the whole mess. Much more efficient.
    Anyway, since you're curious: "shchen-koh-shchisk", "shchen-shchie" and "p'shcho-wah" -- "lockjaw", "happiness" and "bee" (yes, that's right, bee :lol: )
  20. Jim Krauzlis

    Jim Krauzlis Active Member

    Thanks, Simon...but how is "Kosciuszko" pronounced?
    I know of a bridge in New York and a wonderful mustard that bear his name...the traffic reporters have used all sorts of pronounciations for the name...Koz-Zee-Os-Ko is my favorite. :lol:



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