(Continued from 1st post)
The Build - Forward Main Gun, VLS, and CIWS, Aft Helo Hanger (May 25, 2012)
The Main gin can be built to tutn on its mount and for the barrel to rais e and lower its elevation, I built the model to do this. All decks are painted in TEstors flat gray. All major side housings and the VLS and gun mounts are painted in Testors Light Gray. By painting the gun covering in off gray, and the CIWS in black, as well as the mount for the VLS missile reloader in a ghost gray, contrast can be added that is realistic and pleasing to the eye.
I detailed the hanger with various poieces of equipment, and also cut the door to be shorter than the two provided. The long door covered the entire hanger which would have completely hidden the inside, but the shorter one was half height and also covered most of the opening. I wanted one 3/4's open and so carefully cut the 1/2 height door and removed a middle portion of the roll-up structure and then glued it back together again and painted the rull-up structure of the door with steel by testors.
This is how all of that turned out.
The Build - Forward Main Structure, port and starboard fairings, Aft VLS and CIWS(May 26, 2012)
Continuing, I build the main forward deck housing with its PAR radars. This was not a straight forward process as the parts had to be build with very little support and they tended to want to move as far as their angle was concerned. This ocvcurred several times with this model as will be pointed out where the joints could have benefited from either holes and pins, or stronger flange attachements that held them at the right angle. But, with careful attention, I was able to get them fitted properly, just be aware that this type of thing on this model can sometime test your patience and you need to work slowly, methodically, and with attention to detail. I painted the windows high up on the main deck housing using a weathered black, which is not quitre as dark or uniform as a standard flat black. I find, in the absence of cut out windows with smoked clear plastic inserts, that this provides a better glass solution.
I then built the aft housing around the hanger. This is not as bad in terms of fit and maintaining correct angles as the forward housing, but it still has the same issues and care must be taken.
Part of this issue with the fit now came was fitting the faired side panels along the side of the vessel to the sid of the center deck, to the main deck housing just discussed, and to the after housing around the hanger. Unless these pieces are positioned just right, a good seam along the side of the vessel is difficult to maintain and some sanding, putty, and careful alignement or realignment may be in order.
All in all, it worked out nicels and is seen in the following pictures.
The Build - Forward Main Mast, Amidships Engine Exhaust and mast housing (May 27, 2012)
The main mast has many small pieces for antennae and sensors. They need to be cut off the sprues carefully and then handled carefull to be able to be properly placed. Attention to detail and patient, painstaking placement is the key here to build the mast and properly prepare it for the placement of all of those pieces. I found it easier to build the main structuire (this section) and then paint and place the smaller pieces later, many of which were small intricate assemblies of their own.
I then build the Engine Exhaaust structure and the two funnels for the Gas Turbine Engines. These were painted in the weathered black I use, inside and out. I painted the exhaust panels on the sides of the structure using steel.
The Build - Forward main deck and mast detail/Equipment/sensors, Amidships Mast, sensors and ASW Missiles, Aft Sensors and details (May 28, 2012)
The details for the vessel at this point, particularly for the masts, are intricate, and as stated above, many of them involve fairly detailed assemblies of their own. In addition, there are some inconsistanceies between the model configuration and the actual vessel. I have not placed those yet and intend to build them as seen on the vessel. For example, the antennae that are located on the exhaust structure are not cioncluded. There are four of these that need to be painted flat black. Also, the intricate antennae that are on the secondary housing are far too thick and configured towards the very initial configuration of the first vessel, DDG-170, LAnzhou. Since initial launch, this has changed and has a different configuration and much thinner more delicate antennae. I intend to build these as they now exist.
Actual Mast and Antennae Configurations of DDG-171, Haikou
Other than that, the life rafts, the sensors, the antennae, blast deflectors, and particularly the intricate and highly detailed anti-surface missile luncher quad packs were all built. Thoe quad packs are relatively difficult to put together. The joining of the parts is not too sturdy and you have to spend time, be patient, and put them together carefully and then let them dry and get strong before proceeding. when you do, the results are ver nice indeed.
(Continued in next post on this thread.)