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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:07 am 
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Hello everyone,

I don't normally do full build logs but this one's fairly unusual so I thought I'd share. This is my project to build USS Portland CA-33 as she appeared in 1942, using Tamiya's Indianapolis as the starting point and converting with 3D printed parts by ModelMonkey (https://www.shapeways.com/designer/model_monkey?li=pb). Note that I didn't buy every single upgrade part ModelMonkey sells for the Portland. There are for example turrets and gun shields that I'm not using. The selection of 3D printed parts I bought are what I consider "essential" to get an accurate conversion while minimising effort and cost, your mileage may vary. In addition, I'm not planning this as a super-detail build and while I will strive to make her as accurate as possible it will also not be an exhaustive log of what you need to make perfect Portland (due to time and research limitations). Hopefully you'll enjoy the build for what it is and be inspired to try something similar, either with Portland or with other 3D printed parts and conversion sets. The technology has really blown the hobby wide open in terms of options!

So without further ado, let me show you some photos. You will not believe how hard it is to take pictures of parts that are transparent! These don't really do justice to the exquisitely fine detail present in the ModelMonkey conversion set. The walls are thin, all windows and portholes are open, there is bracing structure on the underside of the bridge levels, basically the parts are everything you would want in terms of accuracy and detail! The purpose of this is not to write an essay build review of the parts themselves, suffice to say I consider them and excellent investment and the pictures will speak for the rest.

Firstly, as you can see I was very eager to start before taking a picture of the parts. The hull halves are glued together to the base as per kit instructions. I did this first because it made my life much easier measuring the location of the 3D printed parts by test-fitting. Note I've cut off the rear of the forecastle deck, sanded flat various details on both fore and aft decks and marked off on the hull the areas that need to be removed. Portland had a shorter forecastle than Indianapolis because she was not fitted as a flagship.

Image

A close-up of some of the parts, the bridge is particularly impressive. Although I've progressed significantly with assembly, I'll try and take some better pictures with a real camera (not my phone) before I paint her up.

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Further modifications to the kit forecastle deck and the 3D printed aircraft handling deck/forward funnel piece. Note that the 3D printed deck section comes full width. To save myself a lot of trouble (and given how incredibly thin it is) I chose to simply glue it down on top of the kit hull + maindeck instead of trying to make it slot in the groove between the hull halves as a replacement for the kit main deck. This deck however extends forward into the forecastle, so I had to sand the corners down to allow it to slot into the hull forward, and make some bulkheads from plastic to close it off, otherwise the viewer would be staring into the hull. I also cut a slot out of the kit forecastle deck so that it fit neatly either side of the deckhouse supporting the funnel. You can see the major changes circled red here:

Image

Aircraft handling deck test-fitted here:

Image

And forecastle deck test-fitted here:

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The following picture shows all the above as well as the forward superstructure parts up to the navigation bridge level glued in place. One thing I noticed at this stage, that really blew my mind, was the the 3D printed aircraft handling deck was thicker in the middle than at the edges. Yes, it's printed with the DECK CAMBER designed in! :big_eyes: Unfortunately the rest of the kit doesn't match, but oh well. Notice also I sanded additional notches to the rear of the deck, so that the curved fairings at the front of the hangar side walls fit correctly. For fitting purposes, I measured this whole section from the bow going aft, using the forward superstructure 3D printed parts to align the aircraft handling deck via the tripod mast leg sections. The fit is very good overall, the locations of the catapults come out almost exactly on top of the location holes for the kit parts. However I noticed when test fitting the hangar that this will leave a small gap between the end of the aircraft handling deck and the hangar doors, where I will have to raise the kit deck to match the 3D printed camber. That's a story for another time though!

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Another angle of the forward superstructure assembly showing the excellently detailed open bridge windows.

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That's it for now. Feel free to ask any questions about working with the 3D printed parts, one of the reasons I am doing this thread is because the technology is still quite new and not many people are showcasing using it, so I want to share any experience I gain doing this!

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:03 am 
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Go Vlad, go! I will be watching this with mucho interest! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:39 am 
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:big_grin:

Thanks, Vlad! Awesome work, as always!

Regarding the rationale for the intentionally full-width aircraft handling deck, the Tamiya and Trumpeter plastic kits's hulls are of slightly different widths. In order to make the 3D-printed part useful for both kits, I chose to design the deck wide and let the modeler sand-to-fit or sit the deck on top the hull edges as Vlad chose to rather than design the deck at actual width and leave the modeler a nasty gap to fill. This is also true of the 1/350 scale deck.

Yep, deck camber designed in. It may be more visible from renderings so here you go:

Attachment:
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Aircraft Handling Deck.jpg
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Aircraft Handling Deck.jpg [ 196.73 KiB | Viewed 2016 times ]


The next two decks aft are also cambered, although tougher to see among splinter shielding.

Attachment:
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Upper AA Deck.jpg
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Upper AA Deck.jpg [ 159.02 KiB | Viewed 2013 times ]

Attachment:
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Lower AA Deck.a.jpg
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Lower AA Deck.a.jpg [ 198.58 KiB | Viewed 2013 times ]

Attachment:
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Lower AA Deck.b.jpg
ModelMonkey 1-700 Portland Lower AA Deck.b.jpg [ 189.07 KiB | Viewed 2013 times ]

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:32 pm 
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Thanks for the input Steve. I understand your design choices, it wasn't a complaint about the parts merely an observation. The fit to the deck edge is good and the thickness makes it easy to hide. It wouldn't be fun if it didn't require some work to make it all fit but it certainly wasn't a pain to do. :thumbs_up_1:

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 1:22 am 
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Most interesting topic for a build thread!
I'll be following it with great interest. I have so far only purchased Steve's Lexington '42 bridge purely out of curiosity, but haven't used any 3D-parts yet on an actual build, so I hope to learn a lot here.

Many thanks,

Marijn


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Update time :wave_1: I'm making quite swift progress with the large assemblies. All major 3D printed parts are now attached, except the upper part of the tripod mast and fighting top which I need to leave off while I paint the inside of the bridge. This is the progress on the rear superstructure.

First, and again to help with alignment and test fitting, I build the hangar from the kits parts. To stiffen the frame and provide the locating elements, I cut off one of the bulkheads that's part of the kit lower AA deck (circled).

Image

Next test fitting the parts and making adjustments. I sanded down the kit parts to fit and notched the 3D printed lower AA deck so it slots into the hangar frame.

Image

I glued on the upper AA deck/aft funnel section, aligning with the front face of the hangar doors. I also built up the bulkhead at the rear of the hangar using plastic card, cut out the openings near the rear of the aft superstructure and removed part of the locating rails on the kit deck so they do not cover up these holes. At this stage I decided that while the hangar itself was quite sturdy, the walls of the aft section were too flimsy to allow locating the lower AA deck, so I went ahead and glued this whole assembly down. And yes, the auxiliary piping on the rear funnel is bent, slight manufacturing imperfection, but I've since glued this down so it sits where it should.

Image

Image

Here you can see the notches I sanded in the aircraft handling deck to allow the curved fairings forward of the hangar to fit in. Also spot the gap between the end of this deck and the hangar doors. This is probably a fault of the kit proportions as opposed to the 3D printed part, and is by far the lesser evil to solve compared to the tripod mast leg alignment issues I would have had if I had sat this part flush without measuring the forward deck/superstructure.

Image

The addition of the remaining rear superstructure parts was fairly uneventful after this point:

Image

Image

That's it for now, I usually make a lot of progress at weekends and not much during the week, but I need to do some paint testing and general detailing of the hull, plus filling holes and fixing details I accidentally sanded off.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Wow, that is a lot of 3D printed material! Looking good, Vlad.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 1:52 pm 
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I can't wait to see it after it is painted. :thumbs_up_1:



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:17 pm 
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Quincy wrote:
I can't wait to see it after it is painted. :thumbs_up_1:



Bob Pink. :wave_1:


That's actually causing me some problems at the moment. Despite following detailed UV curing instructions from Steve, I'm having trouble getting Enamel paints to dry on the 3D printed parts (I painted the inside of the bridge plus a small test section, the test section wiped off with my finger leaving no trace... 24 hours after application). I've bought two different pots of Humbrol Acrylics to do some more testing, but the colour I was planning to use is in their Enamel range only so I need to decide on shade.

On the other hand, since the ship is in Measure 11 revised to Navy Blue, I'm planning to "cheat" and just paint everything, deck, hull, superstructure, a single colour. I'll use various weathering effects to shade the deck and bring out raised detail. The advantage is also that I don't need to double up on my extensive Enamel paint collection with Acrylics, only one or two tins for this project!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:26 pm 
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Just a thought, what about a good quality primer?

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Jabb

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:35 am 
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Nice!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:50 am 
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I used Tamiya Light Grey Primer and the paint sticks.

Looking real good! Yeah, that's a lot of 3D printed parts...

Aop.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:19 pm 
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Cool project, Vlad.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 9:39 am 
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Thanks for doing this.

I have been agonizing over whether to start my old Classic Warships (at least I think that's what it is) 1942 Portland, or to buy the MM Conversion kit.

My biggest complaints about all of them is the lack of dedicated PE sets, as I am a real stickler about the damned stanchions on the deck railings lining up with the appropriate deck edges (i.e. where the chain railings turn a corner, you have a stanchion AT that corner).

And given my current malaise with life in general (I have been having complications of a medical problem, and disability that has made not just being able to build models frustrating, but life itself very difficult), I don't want to start anything else until I have a better handle on my current projects and work.

MB

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1/700 (All Fall 1942):
HIJMS Nagara
HIJMS Aoba & Kinugasa
USS San Francisco
USS Helena
USS St. Louis
USS Laffey & Farenholt
HIJMS Sub-Chasers No. 4 - 7
HIJMS Sub-Chasers No. 13 - 16


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 5:12 pm 
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Matthew, hope you are feeling better, soon.

I revised the aircraft handling deck design, lengthening its aft end. Although this doesn't help Vlad, other modelers with the Tamiya kit will find the part fits to the hangar better. The camber is still there. :cool_2:

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:47 pm 
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MatthewB wrote:
Thanks for doing this.

I have been agonizing over whether to start my old Classic Warships (at least I think that's what it is) 1942 Portland, or to buy the MM Conversion kit.

My biggest complaints about all of them is the lack of dedicated PE sets, as I am a real stickler about the damned stanchions on the deck railings lining up with the appropriate deck edges (i.e. where the chain railings turn a corner, you have a stanchion AT that corner).

And given my current malaise with life in general (I have been having complications of a medical problem, and disability that has made not just being able to build models frustrating, but life itself very difficult), I don't want to start anything else until I have a better handle on my current projects and work.

MB



I'll be working the Classic Warships kit in the near future myself. I've been looking rather closely at what is going to be involved and instead of trying to get "cute" and finesse the parts that are already molded into the CW kit... I am going to get medieval on this thing. Plans are to completely shave the deck down to NOTHING! Superstructures are gone, deck details are gone, planking... gone! I'm going to have to be somewhat careful with the deck edge scuppers since I don't want to ruin the hull profile but I will thin them out a bit to allow for those ultra fine rails from GMM to look proper. I'll be laying a new deck from grooved styrene sheet and then build up from there. There will be more comprehensive plans in the future but this is my preliminary mode of attack for now.


This is going to be a LOT of hacking and slashing!

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Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:49 am 
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That will be a lot of work but, at least the hull looks perfectly flat!



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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:29 am 
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Quincy wrote:
That will be a lot of work but, at least the hull looks perfectly flat!




Oh it is! I have the Indy kit too and compared with the CW kit I just do not like the hull shape on the Tamiya product. Something seems out of balance for some reason. It is going to be interesting to see how Vlad handles his build and how this resin block of mine is going to accept the same 3D upgrade parts.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 12:52 pm 
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Hmmmmm.......

I wonder if I could just convert the CW Portland kit into an Early-war Indianapolis model?

And then make a new Hull from a Tamiya (or other source) Kit for the Portland using the MM parts???

I think I have a set of plans for the hull.... Hmmm....

MB

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Working on:


1/700 (All Fall 1942):
HIJMS Nagara
HIJMS Aoba & Kinugasa
USS San Francisco
USS Helena
USS St. Louis
USS Laffey & Farenholt
HIJMS Sub-Chasers No. 4 - 7
HIJMS Sub-Chasers No. 13 - 16


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:20 am 
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Uff, I don't envy your choice to pursue that resin kit, those pictures tell me enough. Best of luck though, I imagine with that determination you will get a good result regardless :wave_1:

Steve, I hope the lengthening of the aircraft handling deck doesn't cause issues for people using other kits as a starting point, although I suppose it's always easier to sand a bit off (even though filling in isn't that much of a chore).

A small update from me. Miscellaneous details added, the aforementioned aircraft deck to hanger gap filled and some paint testing. Since this project will end up being mostly one colour I invested in acrylic paints for it, since my tests with enamels didn't work out. You can see that the bridge area is painted as a test, this is Humbrol Acrylic 104.

I would like to point out that the AA gun tubs around the aft area are in the Model Monkey store, but I have chosen not to use them since I considered it an unnecessary extra cost for something that is quite easy to scratch build (or in some cases cobble together from spare parts).

As I said before, the rest of the project involves mostly dressing the ship up in a variety of things from my spares box. I may progress quite quickly without taking too many pictures since the "meat" of what is most interesting about this conversion (the detailed fitting of the 3D replacement parts) is done.

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