Okay, lets get this show back on the road, shall we?
In our last thrilling episode, the deck from Shinsengumi arrived, and while looking beautiful, it didn't fit just yet. This is because the deck is in many ways a generic 1/250 Yamato class deck.
Unlike say, 1/350, where there is a definitive Yamato class model (by Tamiya), or 1/200 (by Nichimo), the world of 1/250 is more hazy. Here we have four Yamato class kits (five if you include the Shinano): Yamato and Musashi (and Shinano) by Doyusha, and Yamato and Musashi by Otaki/ Arii. None of these kits are the stand out sales leader of the bunch (although the Otaki kit I'm building has better detail than Doyusha), so Shinsengumi wisely made a generic deck that would work with all of them-- albeit with modifications.
So first up, we have to remove a bunch of stuff from the deck. Ammo boxes, gun emplacements, etc. Replacements for these items can be scratch built and Shinsengumi includes parts to aid in this (to be shown in a future installment). I also decided to remove the vents and stuff behind the breakwater with scratch items to be added later.
The gun tubs will have to be used after the deck is installed, so they will be removed and saved.
While you can always try to measure out the area and cut a hole out of the wood deck to go around these tubs, I personally am afraid of any extra cutting done to this rare and pricey deck. So, I just cut the tubs out and filled in the holes. Thin styrene was added over the holes to add stability for when the wood deck is glued on.
Remember what I said about the wood deck being a generic deck? Well, that means, some cutting will have to be done on that deck to get it to fit. Terrifying...
Specifically, the housing behind the second turret will have to be added. Shinsengumi gives a helpful pattern...
But this pattern isn't perfect, so you'll still have to make lots of small cuts and tweaks.
Still, when it's all worked out, the deck looks great. Note that Shinsengumi split the deck at a spot that after the superstructure is attached (and overlapping), will only be visible by .25" or less. The planking matches up great and when the pieces lay flat, the seam is barely visible. MUCH better than the stock deck that was split at a large area with uneven planking...
There are some other things we have to do before the hull is finished. Remember the degaussing cable that was added in place of the anemic one that was molded on? Well, that cable needs clamps.
First we need to measure where the clamps will go. A tailor's tape measure goes a long way here as it can wrap around the curves of the hull, unlike a normal ruler. The center point of each clamp will be spaced .25" apart.
What about the actual clamps? The Grab-handler seemed like a good idea, but a long and involved one. Then I came across some plastic channel that would fit the strip I used for the cable. Here is where a labor swap occurred: My father was in town visiting and had brought along some figures he wanted me to paint and weather. So, while I did that, he cut 410 clamps, each measuring 1/16" wide. He had surmised that I would need at least 360 clamps (Musashi is 40" long x two for each side, plus 10" allowing for width, divided by 1/4" for the spacing = 360 plus 50 extras). I ended up using 369 clamps.
The visual interest that these clamps add to the cable, and the plastic plating from before is fantastic. The hull appearance is starting to get "weighty" and I love it.
But we're not done yet! Now it's time to start adding rivets to the plating. As I said at the beginning, this build isn't really about accuracy-- it's about "presence". Having these big bolts definitely add to the presence of this monster. I'm using stainless steel PE rivets (I have a few packs) because of their strength and toughness during the man-handling this model will see until it's mounted on the base.
I started by peeling the rivets from their backing over a piece of paper. But the rivets kept wanting to bounce or slide off. So I lit upon the idea of dumping the rivets into water as I went. Then they would simply stay in the water instead of getting lost.
And here is the beginning of mounting them on the Musashi. I thought the clamps were tedious (9.5 hours to mount), but this process will be going much longer. Still, I really like how they look so far.
Okay, 4:22am here. Gotta get some sleep and get back to the rivets tomorrow...