I decided to build what was the only Hasagawa model in my stash, the deluxe 1-700 scale IJN ISE. I picked this particular model up at the Yeovilton show 3 -4 years ago, and it is one of those kits that actually kept its value over the years. I started with this build in December and it only took 5 months.
So then, open the box and what do we have? 1 etch fret came as standard, a wooden base and loads of plastic. In fact this was quite daunting as there were so many parts, but the detail on these was actually very high. The same could not be said for the instruction sheet. The instruction sheet was put all 300+ parts together in one step, and it was in a foreign language just to make it more difficult.
I decided to get some after market stuff to increase the detail yet higher, and this came from a wooden deck kit and the rear flight deck from Lionroar. Both of these upgrades certainly looked easy to work with, but as I would find out later it was not the case.
The assembly began, with the hull forming together first, followed by Mr Surfacer filling the gaps and sanding down till eventually all was well. Then some of the structures on deck were assembled and glued in place. Because the wood deck was going on, every time a structure was about to be added, it had to be test fitted and either the deck or the structure modified to ensure fit later will not be an issue.
I then began work on the rear flight deck, and this was very fiddly with the etch parts for the rails being very fine. Lionroar have managed to get their etch very thin, which can easily lead to paper cuts. Initially I used the needle method to apply the superglue, but at the end had moved over to using very fine wire wrapped around a paperclip.
In order to keep the fine etch in place while it was glued, I created a jig with a handy hold, (the stand with two crocodile clips) and tweezers in it. This actually worked rather well. The whole process to put on the rails was very time consuming and took quite a few evenings to complete the rear deck.
Once the majority of the upper structures were assembled, I then flipped her over and began work on the rudders and props. I really should have done this sooner as this was a real pain. Once they were fitted, I carried on with the upper decks.
Once I had as much as I could fit on the ship without fitting the deck, I began painting. The ship was a simple paint scheme, hull red and upper section sasebo grey, with the flight deck in a medium grey. So I masked off and painted without any hiccups. Although every time I handled the ship, I ended up snapping off a rudder or propeller. Eventually I got so angry with this that I glued the ship to the base…. Twice. The first time the glue didn’t set properly and so it slipped off and snapped off a rudder.
After the gloss coat, on went the deck. Next the smaller parts were fitted, these were the guns, the anchor chains and other fiddly bits. At this point the ship was pretty much there. Some basic smoke weathering was applied to the ship including some very subtle streaks down the side of the ship, which really are not that visible under poor lighting. I did not want to go overboard (pun intended) with the weathering, as the ship had only recently come out from its refitting. A general matt coat was applied as ships are not really shiny from the viewing distance in this scale.
The aircraft were now assembled and next time I do this, I am getting a magnification visor. 1-700 scale aircraft. These were painted, glossed, weathered and then matt coated. They were then glued to their stands and glued to the deck.
The next major task to be carried out was rigging this ship, and thanks to Jim for giving us a demonstration on how to do this. Even with this demonstration, it still took me a few evenings to get the hang of the basics.
THE LITTLE THINGS I LEARNT WERE……
Set the black sprue on fire, blow it out, then smear it in a sideways motion onto the CD, then draw the fine string till the desired thickness. I was very surprised as to how fine you can get this. One of the threads I got was so thin, I could feel it like a spiderweb on my hand, but I could not see it. I still could not see it when I put it on a shiny white tile. I got out a magnification lens and there it was…wow.
Initially I pressed the melted sprue into the cd, then tried to stretch away to make the fine sprue, but this didn’t work that well. The sideways motion now works every time. As the molten sprue cools on the surface of the cd, it eventually adheres and the stretching produces nice fine strands.
The next thing I learnt is that the finer the strand of sprue, the easier it is to work with. This may sound silly but the glue, reaction to heat, and weight of sprue all play their part.
I’ll start with the reaction to glue. With thicker thread, the glue takes longer to eat into the thread, so holding it in place while the glue softens the thread and sticks it to the paint can take ages, with very fine thread, the glue instantly melts the thread onto the paint where you applied the glue.
With thicker thread comes more weight, so after placing the thread where you want it, if it slips off the tweezers, it will just fall out of place. Having very fine thread pretty much defies gravity and so stays roughly in place while you position it.
And the final point is reaction to heat. With thicker thread, I have to bring the heat source fairly close to the thread for the sprue to tighten. With very fine thread, the heat from the smoke is enough to trigger the thread to tighten. This makes it a lot easier to work with and so not risking snapping already tight rigging lines.
So, with the rigging complete, the ship is finished. And with this one kit complete, one has purchased 5 more (curse you ebay). Looking back on the build, it was a challenging build, and many lessons were learnt.