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PostPosted: Fri Aug 28, 2020 1:19 pm 
As a way to relieve stress and spend time with my kiddos, I have finally gotten around to building a 1/350 scale USS Enterprise as she was on her 2001 cruise during Operation Enduring Freedom. This includes the compliment of CW-8 and the ship will be modeled as if she is conducting flight operations in support of on going combat operations. I am building her from a Tamiya kit and am using Trumpeter, Orange Hobbies, and Veteran Models aircraft.

I have wanted to build this model since I was a child and now that I can finally afford it, I am taking on the challenge! As such, I thought posting the build to the forum as it progresses would be a fun way to share the experience and document its progress. I started on this around January and figured I would tackle the airwing first to get a handle on using PE (yeah, I'm new to it and finding it both rewarding and soul crushing all at once) and scratch building as most of my experience is only assembling kits as is. To date, I have only been able to complete the Sea Dragon and have the other helos done except for the decals and final clear coat. The decals for the airwing are on order from Mark at Starfighter and I am really excited to see the finished product. I am currently working on completing the F-14A's and adding various scratch built parts to them to make them more realistic.

Anyway, the below photos are included to show what I have got so far and any and all helpful advice is greatly appreciated. I uploaded the photos through Imgur as I have no clue how to add them otherwise :heh:

Sea Dragon Photos
https://imgur.com/a/6Et3xtl

SH-60 Photos
https://imgur.com/a/5l6auJ5

HH-60 Photos
https://imgur.com/a/ApwBs2O

(The HH-60 was created by altering the SH-60 from Veteran Models and then resin casting a copy in order to produce a seamless version. I attempted to model it as if it were about to take off from the deck in support of flight operations. Any thoughts on the spinning rotor effect are greatly appreciated.)

F-14's
https://imgur.com/a/LL1AyGa

(The canopies on the F-14's are smoked and on the ones I plan on having open, the canopies are scavenged from Trumpeter's F-14D variant in order to produce a better effect.)


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:19 pm 
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Nice start. Interesting effect with the main rotor. I quite like the concept. Did you try the tail rotor in the same way? To me it looks odd the main rotor one way then the tail a different method.

Like the 3D print accessories for the Tomcats. They are a nice touch to add that bit more realism.

Look forward to some further progress.

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1/350 USS New York (LPD-21)

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1/350 - USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7 2010)
1/350 - USS Abraham Lincoln (2003)

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1/350 - USS JFK (1991)
1/350 - USS Hancock (1965)
1/350 - USS Valley Forge (1951)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 1:13 pm 
Cam,

I did try to make one that matched the main rotor but due to the size it was almost impossible. I'm not sold on keeping the tail rotor the way it is at this point but overall I'm pretty happy with the way the main rotor came out.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 02, 2020 5:05 pm 
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Location: Cincinnati
This will be great to watch come together! Lots of work on those aircraft will really show well on the finished model. Gotta agree that rotor movement looks cool. You getting the kiddos to help any at all or do they hang out for a bit and then drift off (my experience lol)


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:20 pm 
cam wrote:
Nice start. Interesting effect with the main rotor. I quite like the concept. Did you try the tail rotor in the same way? To me it looks odd the main rotor one way then the tail a different method.

Like the 3D print accessories for the Tomcats. They are a nice touch to add that bit more realism.

Look forward to some further progress.


Cam,

After going back through my reference photos I realized why I did the tail rotor like I did. When you look at the helo while the rotors are in motion on multiple photos the tail rotor is a blurred disc while the main rotor looks like it is a sweeping arc with the rotors almost identifiable in the blur of the arc. I have linked a reference photo I used to show what I mean by this. I am not sure I am happy with it yet but I think it's as close as my skills will allow me to get at this point.

https://imgur.com/a/SXm4V96


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:37 pm 
Themongoose,

Thanks! My kiddos have been in and out, particularly due to the small size of the aircraft and my own obsession with attempting to replicate details like the open access ladders and fixing the angles on the support struts on the nose gears. I seem to have let my OCD take over and all of sudden I'm adding details no one will ever see :heh:. But, because I decided to scrap the Tamiya aircraft due to not wanting two different looking planes of the same model I gave those to my oldest. Since she is able to work on smaller details, she is working on doing her research to properly paint and detail them. My youngest has some coordination issues she is still working through and I noticed she was getting frustrated with the smaller work. They have both enjoyed putting together models in the past, previously we built a 1:48 P-61 and a 1:535 USS Missouri, but those were both OOB builds with no extra detail work. As a way to keep the youngest involved, I bought her a 1:144 F-14 so she could build the same model as I and her sister, just in a larger scale she could work on. That seemed to keep her interested but you know how kids attention spans are lol.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:58 pm 
So, I got the decals in from Starfighter, and let me say these things are amazing! I can't thank Mark enough for the excellent service and the quality of his work! I got the decals completed on one of the SH-60's and designated it as the squadron leader's bird using the Hi-Viz decals. I also got half of one of the low-viz birds done as each one takes me about 4 hours to trim the decals, place them, and go over them with the Micro-Sol. However, I am extremely happy with how they are coming out and the time it takes seems to be worth it.

https://imgur.com/a/K49EV60

I also got the F-14's painted overall and ready for detail painting of the fuselages and added the front set of wing flaps to the plane that will be landing on the carrier. These have taken forever to detail out due to the amount of stuff added to them and obviously still need to be color sanded and touched up to remove some of the rough areas. At this point, I am fairly certain I have lost my mind with using a magnifier to find flaws as when you look at them without magnification in the sunlight you don't see the same issues. If anyone has any advice on the proper viewing distance and lighting I'm all ears because at this rate I feel like I'm going to be chasing issues for the next 10 years :mad_2:.

https://imgur.com/a/xcvxPpE


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 03, 2020 2:24 pm 
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It may be worth noting there's no single "right" way of depicting spinning props in a static model based on photos, because photos can be taken at any number of shutter speeds that will result in the spinning rotors to appear as though they're a solid disc, a series of blurred blades, or even completely motionless. Most professional (or at least knowledgeable) photographers will go for a slower shutter speed to try to capture the blur of the main rotor (which spins slower than the tail, so you need a slower shutter speed), even though this risks make the rest of the moving helicopter blurry depending on the amount of light available. Meanwhile, casual/amateur photographers using, say, a modern cellphone are likely to let the phone's auto-exposure system set the shutter speed, which will be very high for daylight photos, and this results in the blades being sharp and static in appearance. Of course, the latter appearance can also be chosen purposefully by knowledgeable photographers.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:08 am 
Timmy C,

Very interesting! I wondered went there were so many variations in photos and that explains a lot. In my experience with helos all I could see was a blurred haze while boarding or exiting. Between the different photos and personal experience I tried to pick the best compromise to make it as realistic as possible. I figured if I split the difference and went with the solid tail rotor like the photo I would at least come close without having a blurred mess on top that obscured the helo itself. Thanks again for the info!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2020 3:07 pm 
I have made a little progress with the F-14's and helos since the last time I posted :woo_hoo: . The details seem to keep piling up and are taking a huge amount of time to complete.

The F-14's that will be launching and recovering on the ship have had "pilots" added to them. In order to make it look like there were pilots inside of them visible through the canopies, I used 1mm ball bearings and painted them with brighter enamel colors. I am currently working on getting the canopies installed without too much clouding, which has led to some frustration due to the small sizes :mad_2: :mad_1:. Next will be to mask them and get them painted properly to match the airframe so the bracing looks correct.

https://imgur.com/a/w9zYJhc

The helos have been gloss coated with Future/Pledge and have been weathered. Admittedly, this is the first time I have ever weathered a model and I was quite nervous about it. To weather them, I mixed black oil paint with a dab of burnt sienna and added Testors enamel thinner. I then lightly brushed the exterior of the gloss coat with some more enamel thinner and dabbed on the mixture. Afterward, I wiped them down with a damp cotton swab and ended up with this effect.

https://imgur.com/a/GiFAJEZ

I haven't added the final matte coat to the helos yet as I am waiting to complete the other two so I can matte coat them all at once.

Overall, I am pretty happy with how these aircraft are turning out at this point. If I could only get the small pieces to stop sticking to my hands, the tools, the table, or the wall and actually on the aircraft I would be even happier :heh:.

As always, any constructive criticism is welcomed! Thanks for peeking in at my project!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:35 pm 
So this week I finally managed to finish all of HS-3's helos and have to say I'm really happy with how they turned out with the final matte coat applied!

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As for the F-14's, after some more research I came to the conclusion that my original paint scheme was off :mad_1:. This was an easier fix than finding out that VF-14 handled more of the bombing missions than ANY Hornet squadron on the ship during Enduring Freedom :Mad_6: :bash_2:. This was actually because the Enterprise did not have enough fuel in theater to operate the Hornets during bombing runs. That tidbit of information I came across when researching the squadrons themselves. So, due to wanting to make as realistic a model as possible (within my own limitations) I decided to model the ship as if she were launching one of largest bombing runs into Afghanistan conducted by VF-14. During that run, a section of Tomcats was accompanied by a Prowler. So, the ship will eventually show a Tomcat being recovered from VF-41 flying CAP and launching two Tomcats, one of which I'm hoping to have at the very end of the cat and leaving the ship and the other mid-cat launch, while the Skipper of VF-14 is taxiing toward the cat. Cat four will have the Prowler positioned as if it were waiting for the recovered Tomcat to pull off.

This plan actually required the removal of ALL of the ordinance I had already placed and painted on the Tomcats as I had set them up as CAP aircraft prior to learning the above. So, I pulled the pylons and am currently working on adding bombs to the Tomcats leaving the ship and some of them parked on deck. I did get the canopies finished and the paint schemes corrected though so :woo_hoo:. I also started scratch building some empty pallets out of wood for the underside of the Tomcats which I will be resin copying to cut down on the amount of cutting, sanding, and cursing.

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Thanks for stopping in on my journey through this project!


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:07 pm 
Still trying to get the images to show automatically and failed miserably....

Here goes again.

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[img]https://imgur.com/rAfxdSqh.jpg[img]
[/img]https://imgur.com/ewTObr1h.jpg[/img]


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2020 3:09 am 
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Those helicopters look great! :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1: :thumbs_up_1:


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:21 am 
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Looking good so far. Will be following your build as it continues :thumbs_up_1: Keep them coming :)

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2020 8:02 am 
Thank you for the kind words Jacques! I have pulled a lot of inspiration from yours and other very talented builds I have found on this forum.

As for current progress, I have gotten the F-14s to the point where I am ready to finish touch up paint and clear them. However, the weather has been horrible and I finally decided to bite the bullet and build a spray booth before I do any further spraying. The parts are on order and should be here by the end of the week which will allow me to get it built and move on to clear coating them for decals. With that said, here is where they stand at this point:

This bird will be being pushed onto the elevator by a tow tractor on the flight deck and its canopy will be open.
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VF-14 bird
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It will be placed as if it is launching off of one of the cats.

VF-41 bird
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This bird will be placed as if landing and catching the wire on the angle deck.

VF-41 bird
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This one will be on the deck with its canopy open and entry steps down. For the entry ladder, I cut a 1mm x 1mm notch in the side, skinned it from the back, and used an Eduard's PE ladder. I bent the ladder almost in a Z at the top, cut the first rung, and secured the posts into the notch which left the ladder lying on the open door as it should be.

I also started on the S-3B Vikings, or at least the first one. I decided to build the Vikings one by one due to the modifications that need to be made to each one. I may end up group building them once I get a process down but each one requires quite a bit of initial modifications. The aircraft itself has a dome type sensor array under the fuselage, behind the main gear on the port side, which the kit does not have. Also, each one is getting a cockpit installed and there are several exterior details which were omitted from the Trumpy design.

Cockpit assembly:
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Entry door
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I am not sure, but I think this will be the only Viking with the entry door open and it will sit on the deck. Still need to sand the sides.

Sensor array
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I drilled a hole in the fuselage and glued a sewing pin with plastic bead head in place. Once dry, I clipped the needle off leaving the bead in place.

Glued and clamped
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I did not box in the entry door and cut a notch above the back wall of the cockpit assembly. The reason behind it is I want the light to shine through in order to show the two compartments of the crew areas are connected.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:03 pm 
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So, I made some progress with the Vikings. I am in the process of cleaning up the first one for priming and adding the sensors to the exteriors of the others. I am also working on a scratch built radar assembly to add to the nose of one of them. That one will be placed in the hangar deck as if undergoing maintenance. The sensor array door will also be open and the door is in the process of being built now. That one will also have the entry stairs open. The third one will have the bomb bay door open on the starboard side. I plan on scratch building a bomb cart and adding two torpedoes to it. The cart with the torpedoes will go under the plane on the flight deck as if they were being loaded into the bay. In all, building the Tomcats taught me a few lessons that I am applying here and I fairly happy with how these are turning out. They still have a ways to go but are getting there slowly but surely.


Attachments:
File comment: Bombay door open.
IMG_20200926_151426657~2.jpg
IMG_20200926_151426657~2.jpg [ 81.54 KiB | Viewed 308 times ]
File comment: Actual Viking sensor some array with open door.
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File comment: Open sensor array door.
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File comment: External sensors added.
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IMG_20200926_151338262~2.jpg
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:50 am 
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After building, rebuilding, and rebuilding again I finally finished the radar for the front of the Viking. I also finished the scratch built torpedo that will go on the loading cart. I have the materials to build the cart on order and will start on that when I finish the last three Vikings. The Tomcats are touched up and going to get the first gloss coat today so I can start on the decals.


Attachments:
File comment: I actually built two of these and this was the better one. It was a pain to hold onto so I glued it to a 1mm rod which will be cut off when the nose is ready to be painted.
IMG_20201001_083403205~2.jpg
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File comment: The radar itself is a seed bead and the bracket is photo etch that was left over.
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File comment: Here is a cutout diagram of the radar.
s-3-diagram-001.jpg_original.jpg
s-3-diagram-001.jpg_original.jpg [ 317.5 KiB | Viewed 224 times ]
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:16 am 
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Work on the Vikings continues in addition to starting the decaling of the Tomcats. I also decided I would scratch build a Sargent Fletcher refueling buddy pod for the Viking and a 350 gallon tank. Let me tell you, finding dimensional specs for either is something else. I think I have more time in finding the specs than I do in sanding, drilling, and attaching the material for the light fairings. I also started building the pylons for the Vikings. Not many photos but here is what I have so far.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:52 pm 
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I got the first 300 gallon tank done and the lighting flares done on the Sargent Fletcher pod.


Attachments:
Sergeant Fletcher Pod.jpg
Sergeant Fletcher Pod.jpg [ 90.79 KiB | Viewed 129 times ]
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