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WymanV

Banner 1/350 USS Pennsylvania 1941 conversion

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January is the time I set all builds aside and tackle The Naughty Closet so this group build is timely. By definition (stalled builds) I have 13 residents including 2 cars and 2 ships. Here's one of the ships.

This build started in the winter of 2005-06 as a weeknight project. After a ton of research (which continues, of course) and relying heavily on Charles Landrum's Arizona build on Roll Models' website, I decided I wanted to plank the deck on this one. The best recommendation I found was HO scale 1x6 planks, cut to 10mm length. It started with clearing the deck of details I felt confident I could replicate later:

JPEG_012138.jpg

After this was the somewhat tedious but interesting task of planking:

JPEG_012144.jpg

Once it was done I started with the superstructure. There are corrections made based on Alan B. Chesley's 1935 drawing, which I believe to represent her 1941 appearance. There was also the Admiral's Bridge to deal with, which is scratchbuilt:

JPEG_012136.jpg

After this I started collecting photo etch sets. Tom's Modelworks came first, then White Ensign Models. Both sets had bits on them the other didn't, and similar parts on one set were "more" correct than the other:

Photo_etch_011.jpg

Along with photo etch I also picked up brass gun barrels along with some resin deck guns and a mixed bag of oddities (resin turrets, white metal screws, etc) I found on ebay. Not all was useable, but the barrels certainly were:

DSCN0502.jpg

Here's a couple of the last progress pics I took-assemblies set in place, not fastened yet:

DSCN0501.jpg

DSCN0500.jpg

When I picked up on this build again last winter, I had scratchbuilt walls for the upper decking to hide that ugly seam and then I came upon the Eduard photo etch set...

The Eduard set has everything. EV-ree-thing. Except oddly (for the money) handrails, but both of the other sets have them and one is correct. Among the parts on the Eduard set is replacement for the anchor chain mess I didn't strip off the deck when I planked it. Being a rather ugly place after being planked (it's lower than the wood), I didn't want to admit I had to strip off at least the bow planking and redo it. So it sat on the bench, mocking me since April:

USS_Pennsylvania_002.jpg

So being that time of year and with a suitable ARC Group Build, it seems like a good time to tear it down and rebuild what I must. The walls under the upper deck too will be torn down and redone with PE.

We'll see how far this gets in the next 6 months.

Ken

Edited by WymanV

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Wow, the title ("Capsizing under the weight of photo etch...") sure makes sence now :lol:

We'll see how far this gets in the next 6 months.

I hope you get a fair amouth of work done on this one, I love the amouth of detail so far!!

Daniël

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Very nice ship. I have not done a ship for fear it will be too much for me too

You in luck, I'm setting up ship GB for later in the year! Plenty of us to give tips and help.

Bill

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Yes I did. And they keep falling off...

So it starts. Again. First thing was to strip the bow as far back as necessary and hopefully without going clear back to the mid section. The plastic was ground down with 80 grit (I'm not playing). Then I picked the planks back to where they ended. Some had to go back farther as they were damaged:

Pennsylvania_071.jpg

Then replanking begins. Here's about an hours worth of work. The "planks" as they came were slightly different widths and along with the variations in color, they give it a "busier" look. And it's hard to tell when it's done, as you can see by the older work:

Pennsylvania_072.jpg

Much of this will be under brass but it'll look a lot better than the plastic did.

Ken

Edited by WymanV

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Whoa that's some awesome work there :thumbsup: ! I have the "Pennsylvania" in a smaller scale...but I have yet to build a ship model in 35+ years of model building :doh: .

Well done...I will be following along with interest.

Cheers!

Don.

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Thanks y'all.

Planking done:

Pennsylvania_076.jpg

Almost looks like a Pearl Harbor repair, but I'm sure it'll dirty up and blend in as the build progresses. Plus, plenty of it will be under anchor chains.

Now to have a look at all that photo etch.

Ken

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And here are gobs of photoetch. Eduard set first:

Pennsylvania_079.jpg

And the rest. Flagship Models (not Tom's Modelworks, as previously mentioned) and W.E.M.:

Pennsylvania_081.jpg

So it's time to sit down with the sets and determine which parts of the three sets are correct, or better than the others.

Ken

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Ah yes, the PE conundrum that comes with ship modeling, something you don't have to deal with that much for aircraft. I just finished doing the same thing with my Bismarck build, 5 Eduard sets, 7 frets from KA, mixing, matching, and figuring out which ones have parts the others don't.

Fantastic work, you are a master at your craft sir!

Bill

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And here are gobs of photoetch. Eduard set first:

Pennsylvania_079.jpg

Pennsylvania_081.jpg

That's an intimidating amount of PE (specially for an aircraft builder!)!

Nice job on the planking, I guess it requires some patience to get it done ;)/>

Daniël

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In the interest of wrapping up what I undid, I cut out a new anchor chain plate from .005 sheet styrene:

Pennsylvania_087.jpg

I'll fasten it down later. Before I get too much farther I want to finish up the hull. It'll be a lot tougher with the deck assemblies on. In the years of kicking this around the hull seam cracked in 2 places. Here's one:

Pennsylvania_083.jpg

The screw shafts took a beating too so I straightened them out (aluminum tubing is pretty easy) and started fairing in the other center shaft with filler:

Pennsylvania_084.jpg

Not that I can't work on some of the superstructure assemblies as well.

Ken

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Seeing all that PE gave a a feeling that perhaps Custer had finally seeing the Indian camps across the Little Bighorn - Holy Crap Man.

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<(stupid new computers and stuff...)

Edited by WymanV

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Sorry about the delay in posting updates. There's been plenty going on, but much of it is cleaning up damage done in storage and moving about over the years. Spent the past weekend building a new PC and nibbling at this. The plan here is to get the hull done to the point where I can paint it. This means anything that is a molded part of the kit will get sprayed like turret mounts as well as the upper deck. In order to do that the upper deck needed to be revamped. The Eduard photo etch came with replacement walls for this deck, but it didn't come with the walls that go around the guns. The Revell/Banner/whatever kit misleads one into believing the guns here are in turrets, but they are actually guns mounted to the deck with an opening to fire through. Here's a pic of the canvas curtains that covered the opening, I would assume whenever weather and seas permit:

0138001.jpg

The White Ensign models PE set comes with the steel casemate shutters and are already fitted, sans guns. The brass barrels kept falling off when I handled it so I pulled them all off and put them away...somewhere...

So since I have new photo etch walls in the Eduard set, one of the steps in the path to painting it was to rip that deck off and start over. Like this:

001.jpg

Then cleanup begins. The parts replace the plastic walls so they had to be removed:

003.jpg

Of course, the cringeworthy part of this is the damage done to the wooden deck. There was no avoiding it and in the big picture, what was on there would likely not work with the new parts anyway. I don't know it the walls will fit, will there be a gap under them the wood can go under, etc. The safe bet of course is to strip the wood back like I did with the bow.

While I was at it, I took the sag out of the upper deck. Gluing the wood on caused it to warp (dip in the center) and that annoyed me as well as giving me concerns about the superstructure fitting without gaps. Supergluing toothpicks on to create a bow seemed to do the trick:

004.jpg

Here the worst of the cleanup is done. Oddly (maybe not, considering the source) the inside "floor" is lower than the outside deck and there's a distinct step there. Not that it'll be visible, but a rather peculiar oddity of the molds. There are a few gouges from stripping the wood that could use some fill but it's pretty close. Another thing I picked up from the Eduard instructions is that the funnel is a bit too far back in the kit. Not sure if I'll correct that yet, but since I'm stripping off deck planking anyway it may happen:

USS_Pennsylvania_001.jpg

Not that Eduard should be taken as gospel, mind you. Page 1 tells the builder to NOT glue the main battery guns together and this is incorrect. Pennsylvania class main battery guns do not move independent of each other, but all three together.

Here's the dry fit with the deck on it:

USS_Pennsylvania_002.jpg

Another fun aspect is while I was seam cleaning I pushed in one spot to see if the seam had split and pushed a dent into the plastic with my fingernail. It seems from working the hull into shape, it's getting as thin as the master tape of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Once the final cleanup is done I'll pick out the broken planks, temporarily glue the deck to the hull with the (we'll call them for the sake of discussion) turrets in place and see how good the fit of the photo etch walls are. Tear it back down, replank and reassemble with all the parts in place.

As an aside, I decided to redo the bridge superstructure as well. The kit parts still look a little hokey-at least the photo etch has crisp window openings. The windows for the top are open as well, giving me the option to have a few closed.

Ken

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When I saw all that PE I was like :jaw-dropping: !!! Kudos to you Sir for tackling all that :thumbsup: . Being a Keystone Stater myself I am loving what you're doing to your USS Pennsylvania.

Well done.

Regards,

Don.

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Test fit is done and the photo etch walls sit right on the deck. Since I'll have to replank here up to the edge, the upper deck is first reinstalled and the photo etch walls added:

USS_Pennsylvania_001_2.jpg

A couple had to be trimmed-notably the front corner parts. But overall they went on pretty easily.

I learned something new while doing a web search for these walls on either the Pennsylvania or Arizona. Many of the links that came up were on line progress builds of this kit with all this photo etch and sadly, not many are getting finished. All the more motivation to finish this one but no guarantees it'll be before July.

Ken

Edited by WymanV

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Little to show for plenty of work, but it plods along. Got the deck planks cleaned up so I can start redoing it:

DSC01153.jpg

Fortunately, there's very little to do compared to redoing the bow. I had to pull one of the walls off as it was angled in at the bottom and has to be refit straight. Note also the catwalk on your right is farther out than the one on your left. One of several glitches with the kit, most of which (particularly this one) I have no intention of fixing.

Much of the work has been sanding and general clean-up. I'm also blending the screw shafts into the hull with Tamiya putty:

DSC01155.jpg

This is one of those scenarios where there is no light to be seen at the end of the tunnel until suddenly you're right on top of it and it's done.

Ken

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Sanding and filling and sanding and filling...

Mostly about fixing the kit output shafts for the screws. I can't find the originals to take pics of (I'm sure I trashed the ugly things) but Banner replicated them as elongated teardrops that didn't even fit on the hull. As shown earlier I replaced them with aluminum tube and in the process, found an excellent reference pic of Arizona under construction:

1_A35207_V_smaller.jpg

Here's how mine are looking so far:

DSC01160.jpg

They won't be perfect by any means but a considerable improvement on the original.

And "A" Battery:

DSC01159.jpg

Still needs a dullcoat or two. Sadly, Eduard only provides 7 rails. Seems like I should have at least 12, if not 16 for all four turrets. OTOH, they are very tricky to work with.

Since there is still work to be done on the hull before paint, I will also prep and varnish the deck. I'd like to get that done before painting the hull in case the masking tape pulls the planks off while unmasking.

Progress might be slow but I'm not letting this go.

Ken

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