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Building The Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo, Part 1

Part 2: The Deck…

Now it's time to prepare for the Shinsengumi wood deck. First some items have to be removed- mainly the deck mounted gun shields and boat cradles. There are also two reels and boat rails that have to be removed. The shields and cradles aren't an issue as the deluxe PE set comes with replacements, so the plastic ones would have been removed anyway. The deck reels are also no problem as they'll be replaced by after market pieces. That leaves the boat rails to be scratch built, but two pieces of small styrene lengths will do the trick.

There is also a rather annoying separation point on the two-part deck as seen in older 1/350 kits. Thankfully, the wood deck will cover this nicely and no tedious filling will be necessary. But for those without a deck, this will be an issue...

All of the offending items have been removed (the deck is only dry fit at this point, thus the small gaps).

And now the wood deck is dry fit to see the placement. Shinsengumi's work is proven, paper thin, and the use of materials is excellent. Even at this stage, with the decks not glued on and everything just dry fit, it looks great! Note how all the mounting holes for vents, etc., as well as molded on structures all fit wonderfully. Using tis deck will cut down on the time it would normally take to mask, paint and weather the plastic deck. And note how the wood covers that two-part deck seam...

After a lot of work, the decks are all attached. The instructions show to attach all the little vents and other doodads before mounting the decks. This is a bad idea as you will be doing a lot of pushing, pulling, and clamping. Leave all the little guys off till the very end. I would have to anyway because of the wood deck going on first, but even without the deck, skip those steps until the end.

Another issue is that there are fairly large gaps between deck and hull. Lots of putty is needed. It is at this point where I highly recommend a wood deck. Not just for the masking and painting times savings, but the fact that you don't have to worry about scraping off any planking detail when you smooth out the putty. In this way I put the putty on and when sanded, there's no worry about messing up deck planking detail because the wood will cover it anyway.

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