The Build - Putting together the hull and scartch building the Hangar Deck (June 12, 2012)
I started by quickly gluing together, and then screwing together with the provided nuts and bolts, the two hull sections. This went very straightforwardly and provided minimal seam which I will later add putty to and then level off through light sanding to eliminate the seam.
Then it was time to begin building the hangar deck. I do not have large sections of plastic (but may yet go out and buy some "cut to size" 2mil white plastic sheeting) so was left with using pieces I do have from other builds, particularly water-line flat sections I have not used, to fasten the hangar deck, and then various other plastic pieces to fashion the walls.
I decided to extend the deck from just forward of the second elevator (which come open in the model but is meant in the instructions to be closed with its blast doors, all the way to aft of the last elevatr. I used my dremel tool with a carbon disc cutter, my xacto knife, and my cutting dikes to make the pieces. I built ledges for those pieces out of spru parts from other models, supporting them with short sections of sprue glued vertically beneath them, and then did this all the way along the proposed hangar spaces on each side. I then pieced together the various section, painted the aft section using gray primer by Testor's Model Master, and then puttied the seams for the pieces I had used.
Later I will grind and/or sand these down to provide smooth surfaces throughout, paint the whole, and then begin adding details to the hangar spaces including piping, sections, blast doors, observation areas, and ultimately aircraft and equipment. I will also paint the tie downs onto the hangar deck like they will be on the main deck. I also am thinking of adding some lighting using a 12vdc source and small white or flourescentr lighting for the hangar bay, but will decide on that later.
SCHEDULE for Future Activities as of June 12, 2012
This is a very great build. Tamiya outdid itself all of those years ago and this is still a quintessential build today.
Once it is complete, it will be back to the Aircraft Carrier Battle groups. My current schedule calls for the following regarding those groups:
By Sep 15, 2012: Complete the USS Enterprise, CVN-65.
By Oct 15, 2012: Complete the USS Lassen, DDG-82.
By Nov 15, 2012: Complete the PLAN Ningbo, DDG-139.
By Dec 15, 2012: Complete the USS Freedom, LCS-1.
At that point I will go back and complete the remainder of the PLAN Carrier group, centered on the already completed the PLA Navy's Aircraft Carrier in 1/350 scale by Trumpeter, including Mini Hobby's's DDG-168; two of Trumpeter's Type 054A FFGs, one the FFG-570, Huangshan, and the Hobby Boss PLAN ChangZheng5, SSN-405. (The only ones I need there are the two Type 054 frigates which come out late this summer, I already own all the rest). At some point, should it come out, I also want to add a Type 071, Yuzhao Class LPD.
Then, it will be on to finish the US Carrier Strike group including Mini Hobby'ss USS Bunker Hill, CG-52, and the Los Angeles Class attack sumbmarine (which I have already completed), Testor's SSN-764, USS Boise (It was actaully the San Juan, but I built and marked it as the USS Boise), Trumpeter's USS Iwo Jima LHD-7, Cyber Hobby's USS Independence, LCS-2, Hobby Boss's USS Texas, SSN-775. (All of which I already own)
When a 1/350 scale USS Gerald R. Ford comes out from Trumpeter, Airfix, Tamiya, Dragon, or whomever else, I will add it to this group along with another AEGIS Cruiser and Burke DDG.
Once the US and PLAN groups are built, I intend on building a complete UK Group including the Airfix HMS Illustrious (which I already own), two Airfix Daring Class DDGs (which I have yet to purchase but have pre-ordered for delivery later this summer), and the Hobby Boss HMS Astute SSN and Airfix HMS Tragalgar SSN, both of which which I already own. One day, when a 1/350 scale HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier comes out, I will add it to this group.
Then it will be a complete Russian CSG (centered on Trumpeter's Kuznetsov) one of the Russian Nuclear Battle Cruisers, two Trumpeter Udalaoy DDGs and Hobby Boss's Akula II class SSN (which I alread have) and the Russian Alfa Class SSN which I have already completed.
Then, again, once the models are available, I'd like to build a Japanese group centered on their new 22DDH carrier and the Hyuga, an Italian Group centered on the Cavour, a French Group centered on the De Gaulle, a Spanish Group centered on the Jaun Carlos, and ultimatly an Australian Group centered on the new Canberra Class. If they ever build the models, an Indian group centered on either the Vikramaditya or their new ADS Carrier the Vikrant would also be nice. You can see all of these actual carriers, read their histories and specifictions at my site:
All of these along with their escorts will be in 1/350 scale. Literally years worth of building...probably be doing this the rest of my life.
WORLD WIDE AIRCRAFT CARRIERS
...and most of their surface escorts at:
AEGIS VESSELS OF THE WORLD