Whew, after almost a week of finishing off the rivets, priming, fixing stuff, priming again, and then painting, here we go!
First off, when I did one last dry-fit, I noticed that there wasn't enough room under the funnel area to clear the AA gun turret. Some grinding and shaping of the underside, and now things are great!
When all was said and done, the rivet count clocked in at about 750...
I also used the CA glue to make bands for the rivets and weld beads. This whole thing was especially terrifying because the CA (Zap-A-Gap) dries clear, so I wasn't really sure what exactly it would look like after paint. It really could have gone either way, but luckily it turned out fine. In fact, I can honestly say that it turned out better than I hoped!
And so, instead of a plain, perfectly smooth hull... we now have much more visual interest. To me, this adds much more "weight" to the piece and makes the model seem even bigger. There will have to be some tweaks here and there where the paint ran under the masking, Chrysanthemum needs to be painted, etc..
When I think that I considered the 1/200 Yamato at one point, I'm so happy I stuck with the 1/250 Musashi. This big thing is a hassle to wrestle around already-- doing this work to the 1/200 Yamato would have driven me crazy!
Speaking of wrestling this model around, I want to take a moment to talk about paint. Anyone who has followed my work knows that I prefer Gunze Sangyo acrylics. However, when Gunze decided to leave the water-based acrylics market, I found myself in a lurch. There's good old trusty Tamiya, but Tamiya's paints are generally prone to scratching and are very delicate. I would have to use paint that would stand up the abuse of man-handling a 40" hull around...
I had been using Testors Model Master's "Acryl" dull coat for the past few projects I've done, and I recently used their flesh on a figure. The paint flows on smooth and is very tough. So, I decided to try it out for this project.
After priming with White Primer #4622, I settled on Dark Gray (F-15) #4754 as a pretty good IJN Gray; and Insignia Red #4714 for under the water line. The Yamato class had a pretty bright hull red (as opposed to the brownish hull reds of ships like the Kongo), so the Insignia Red worked well.
A word of caution regarding this paint: Due to it being so tough, it will generally laugh off 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, unlike Tamiya and Gunze. If you try to clean up with it, it will generally gum up, or just plain not work. I recommend the dedicated Acrylic cleaner that Testors released for this line-- it'll free up the sludge and take care of any dried paint.
Also, while it is possible to thin this paint with alcohol for airbrush (as I have done with the Acryl flesh colors and black), the paint seems to work even better with the dedicated acrylic thinner. This isn't a requisite (and some people have done really well with 90% Isopropyl), but for me personally, using the thinner with the red and gray worked like a dream. I'm very happy with the finish and can't praise the paint quality enough. Give it a shot sometime and see what you think!
I'm going to let the hull sit for another day or so and let the paint really settle in. In the meantime, I will begin to strip the plating off the propellers to prepare them for painting. Then it will be time to start weathering the hull before it gets mounted to the stand permanently.