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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 8:43 am 
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Taking the cue from (member)Jepot's 1/700 build of a the same ship, I started doing my version of ex-USS Bowers (APD-40), which became RPS Rajah Soliman (D 66) of the Philippine Navy. Her service duty was short. Commissioned into service on 21-April 1961, but to an abrupt end on 24-Jun-1964 when she was sunk by Typhoon at Bataan National Shipyard while awaiting for drydocking.

I'm not actually a detailed builder, but I chose to go 1/350 because of tired eyes. My base kit is the Trumpeter USS England (DE-635). Reference photos for RPS Rajah Soliman is so scarce, I only found about 4-5 unique photos, and only two were clear enough and both are quarter-bow shots. Thus I have to correlate her with photos when she was still with the US Navy was USS Bower (APD-40). I correlated photos of the other units of her converted class (Charles Lawrence APDs) so as to provide an approximate fit. There are a number of subtle but significant differences between ships, including when she was with USN until she became of unit of the Philippine Navy.

Build started late last year. One of my pixelated reference is this photo, along with my annotations on the modifications required for the superstructure and bridge.

Image
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:01 am 
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I build very slow by most standards, as slack time was limited. By the middle of March I was able to dry-fit the modifications. The original 'Buckley'-class unused 'B' mount and wings, and after-structure deck are also in view on the photo below.

Image

The WWII APD conversion included the replacement of the forward 'A' 3-inch main gun of the original Buckleys with a 5"-gun (Mk.38), and 'B' 3-inch with a twin 40mm Bofors. A Mk.51 fire control on an elevated platform right was added behind the Bofors. Also, the 20mm Oerlikons at the 'B wings' were relocated to four midship tubs. These, however, were ultimately removed when she was transferred to the Philippine Navy.


I 'borrowed' a 5-inch mount and turret from a WWII destroyer kit. I bore the deck so that I can retain a moving rather than a fixed turret. Instead of modifying the 3" gun tub at 'B' position, I decided to scratch-built a new one.

Bulwark at the bridge deck level were all removed, retaining only the flag bin. Styrene replacement, including a protruding forward extension was scratchbuilt. Port holes on the bridge was also puttied and sealed, for future detailing.

Side access doors on the modified superstructure were imprinted/etched.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:24 am 
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April was crazy, and momentum was regained by May. I actually bought an Iron Shipwright's USS Lloyd APD-63 1/350, but it only served a limited purpose -- comparison as fits were slanted toward WWII time. I also got myself l'arsenal's LCVP and 40mm Bofors.

The LCVP davits were rather tricky. In the absence of actual dimensions and schematics, I expanded by research on LST davits photos. Approximate dimensions were made based on relative references, -- example on estimated average height of sailors.
Image

Bofor gun tubs were built using technique I learn from this forum -- boiling and rolling the cut styrenes into a 0.5" bolt and setting them in place by a tube clip. Photo below with dry-fitted and unglued parts.

Additional details were also added on the bridge and forward superstructure. Bar ladders used sliced styrenes, as I found no equivalent PE on my research.
Image

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:42 am 
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This is where I'm at now. Open bridge still has to be partially detailed. I need to discern if I need to bulk up the Trump England part that holds the Mk.52 fire control. The kit doesn't include that later part, -- only the direction finder is included. I might have to use ussslater.org as reference.

The fits/parts near the funnel and the area between the davits and the 40mm gun tubs can be considered most challenging to discern. ALL INPUTS here is welcome. This photo reference from Navsource actually gave the most clues on the fit for my build.

Based on this :
Image

* A, L, and I looks to be stairwell access
* B and K are rectangular exhausts?
* C and E are a bit challenging -- I assume this to be a 'half-circle' ventilation exhaust, but I don't know where the opening actually is.... so I need inputs.
* D and J are also engine ventilation?
* F is a platform for magnetic compass.

Actually, ex-Bowers doesn't have the usual pilot house found on other APDs. I tried comparative-tracing on where each units were converted, and it seemed a number of yards performed them. She was by Philadelphia Navy Yard.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 1:29 pm 
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I can't answer your questions. But I will say: Wow. That's really nice.

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"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." John Wayne

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Winches... need help on which one could have possibly been the correct one?

This photo lifted from the Liberty ship thread, give some clues on how they look like during the war :
Image

However, a partial photo from USS Bull APD-78 suggest a different version, maybe a lower-capacity one (left side of photo gives a clue) :
Image

But this one from a later Rudderow class -- USS Tollberg APD 103 offered different perspective :
Image

Any thoughts, pls?

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:02 am 
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..


Last edited by carr on Tue Jul 02, 2019 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:47 am 
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A couple of photo updates :
Image

Dry fitting the bridge and superstructure (not glued yet) :
Image

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Hello J! Im am very honord that you were somehow inspired by my efforts- and great job there! keep it up!....havent finished my as need to put all PE's and riggings...


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