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1/350 Fujimi IJN Kongo Build Log/ Review
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 02:13 AM UTC
I've been wanting to put something up on this for a while but wanted to wait until I had everything in hand. The final component came today. This will be a build log chronicling the construction and detailing of Fujimi's 1/350 IJN Kongo.

The build will contain the following:

Fujimi 1/350 IJN Kongo
Fujimi Kongo Deluxe Photo Etch
Fukuya 15cm and 12.7cm brass barrels
Shinsengumi 1/350 wooden deck set (I chose this over Fujimi's due to Shinsengumi's known quality and material in this area)

The Kongo was graciously provided by Dragon USA and I have purchased the supporting materials. When this build log and model is done, I'll consolidate it into a Build Review Feature.

I'll post pictures in a few days as I have to a.) get pictures taken of my community build up for deadline tomorrow, and b.) I've been working like gangbusters on the latest Admiralty instructions...

The Kongo is in a dead heat with the Washington as my favorite ship of all time, so I'm really looking forward to this. Special thanks to Dragon Models USA for the kit and to our own Mark Smith (Gunny) for getting the ball rolling on this project.

More to come...
Rab
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Queensland, Australia
Joined: October 03, 2006
KitMaker: 353 posts
Model Shipwrights: 207 posts
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 07:11 AM UTC
I really wanted to get one of those wooden decks as well, but there were nil in stock at the time of purchasing the photo-etch. A few things you should look into are the Veteran Models replacement 25mm twin and triple and type 87 12.7 AA guns. These items are excellent and are just head and shoulders above the kit parts.
The deluxe photo-etch set just about doubles the number of kit parts.
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 10:20 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I really wanted to get one of those wooden decks as well, but there were nil in stock at the time of purchasing the photo-etch. A few things you should look into are the Veteran Models replacement 25mm twin and triple and type 87 12.7 AA guns. These items are excellent and are just head and shoulders above the kit parts.
The deluxe photo-etch set just about doubles the number of kit parts.



Since this is a build review, I'm trying not to completely throw out complete assemblies of stuff made by Fujimi. That's why I got the barrels for the 127mm guns, so I would still be using the kit parts and PE (by Fujimi) for the gun bases, etc. If this weren't a build review, I might go further, but for now it doesn't serve the intended purpose. The deck doesn't significantly alter any construction, so I feel it's acceptable.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: October 18, 2007
KitMaker: 1,694 posts
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Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 04:12 PM UTC
great! Look forward to this one for sure... cheers
Clanky44
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 15, 2005
KitMaker: 1,901 posts
Model Shipwrights: 934 posts
Posted: Thursday, July 31, 2008 - 05:17 PM UTC
Hi Dade,

I look forward to seeing the build progress. The Kongo is a fascinating ship, a meshing of the old with the new, designed 4 years after the Dreadnought and still a foe to be feared in the later part of the war.

Frank
blaster76
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Texas, United States
Joined: September 15, 2002
KitMaker: 8,938 posts
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Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 02:19 PM UTC
I've got real itchy figers when it comes to his one. I ve got so many kits in the stash, and after a while you start to look at them and say "Why did I buy that?' Yet at the time it made perfect sense and in most cases, I really hankered after it when I bought it. But then, something new and exciting came up and it was off on another tact. Right now I am hankerin on getting an M4 high speed tractor and some figures for my 155 long Tom. Just the other day I saw a real cool looking kit of a Stryker. Next month it will probably be the Repulse, then the ISE when she comes out. A year from now I'll wonder why I lusted so hard on the Kongo and the Nagato. THat is hy I try to make a plan. I fnally got around to the BR 52 I bought 2 years afgo with a ton of brass. It was a blast to build and I am finally down to just painting the exterior of the Loco and tender, then some detail exterior painting and weathering. Next a post war British tank, then hopefully the Hood.
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
Joined: June 12, 2008
KitMaker: 552 posts
Model Shipwrights: 493 posts
Posted: Sunday, August 03, 2008 - 08:00 PM UTC
Go Dade Go!

Heck of a choice, the last foreign built capital ship accepted by the IJN before hostilities commenced. I built her divine scale sister Hiei a year or two ago and enjoyed it greatly. Can't wait to see how Kongo looks with the goodies you have in a larger size, should be excellent.
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 01:44 AM UTC
Okay, got everything squared away and construction began in earnest today. There is a really painful part of clean up on the hull that I'm taking care of. It's a slide mold seam that runs up and along toward the forward end of the bilge keel on each hull half. You can almost see it in picture 24 of Frank's in box review. It's easy to miss at first, but once you see it, it's glaring. Still, nothing fatal- just annoying...

I've taken pictures and will have them up soon with explanations.
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 01:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I've got so many kits in the stash, and after a while you start to look at them and say "Why did I buy that?' Yet at the time it made perfect sense and in most cases, I really hankered after it when I bought it. But then, something new and exciting came up and it was off on another tact.



Ah, yes, I know that feeling all too well. A few years ago, it was popping into my head a LOT!
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 08:54 PM UTC
Here is the seam that appears on the hull of the Kongo. It's not glaring at first, but once you notice it, it's major.


It's basically caused from the mold that can be better seen from the inside of the hull:


I used the panel line removal tool to take away the seam and then sanded it down. Be careful not to sand off the lines that are supposed to be there! Now it's smooth to the touch and will look good once painted.


The hull halves go together well without the braces, but with braces installed, it gets a little more finicky. Clamps of all shapes and sizes become the order of the day and everything goes together after some negotiation. This process took a couple hours to get to this point.


Once the hull is dry and set, I will post pictures of the interior bracing. I have also begun one of the larger PE replacements- the airplane deck. Stay tuned!
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 02:18 AM UTC
The hull has set up and is looking good. I've drilled out two holes in the bottom and added tubing inside supported by Tamiya epoxy putty for strength to be attached to a base. The pictures were taken before the prow and chrysanthemum were attached.






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 deck as with older 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...




Okay, 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. I'm a big fan of Shinsengumi's work. Their 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. Time is money and when I think about how I won't have to mask all of this stuff off (yikes!), and then spend forever painting and shading the deck to look good, my heart soars. And note how the wood covers that two-part deck seam...






There are more wood pieces for the superstructure decks that have wood flooring, so everything looks nice and uniform. The Kongo is really coming together and I can't wait to tackle those decks to get a better visual feel.
skipper
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Lisboa, Portugal
Joined: February 28, 2002
KitMaker: 5,180 posts
Model Shipwrights: 4,068 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 11:05 AM UTC
Hi Dade

Looking very Good!
I must say that I was very curious about the Shinsengumi's wooden decks.... I never have seen one (just on the HLJ catalogue, and the image don't give real credit to the product! )
I might try one of the 1/700 wooden decks! Thanks for sharing this


Keep up the (MONSTER) Good Work
Rui
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 11:40 AM UTC
Hi Rui,

Thanks for the nice words. Yes the Shinsengumi decks work very well in 1/700 scale also because they really are paper thin- they're not like some of the other wood decks out there that are 1/8" or 1/16" inch and mess up the look or need a lot of surgery. The Shinsengumi decks work for any scale you like. The etching on them is also very nice- planking is in scale. It's hard to see in these pictures, but when I take the final presentation photos, you'll be able to better see.
DrDull
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Illinois, United States
Joined: February 23, 2006
KitMaker: 133 posts
Model Shipwrights: 128 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 12:00 PM UTC
Dade - I thought your Hiryu was wonderful work and then ran across this - to which I am now subscribing. Great modeling and terrific pictures. Barry
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 12:16 PM UTC
Hi Barry, welcome aboard! Since this is a review with model donated by a sponsor, I'll be working on this pretty hard and updates will come fairly quickly. I'll be working on the Hiryu in earnest afterwards, so at that point, I'll be making more updates there too.
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
Joined: June 12, 2008
KitMaker: 552 posts
Model Shipwrights: 493 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 12:59 PM UTC
Wow!, those wooden decks do cover things nicely. Not to mention make a whole lot of painting and masking to create the look needless. You sure got a workout getting rid of bits on there, I wouldn't have any fingerprints left after all that sanding in miniature.

Looking forward to the next installment.
goldenpony
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Zimbabwe
Joined: July 03, 2007
KitMaker: 3,529 posts
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 01:12 PM UTC
Those decks do make a great deal of difference.

This is one great project already and you just started.

Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
KitMaker: 846 posts
Model Shipwrights: 740 posts
Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 01:30 PM UTC
Thanks guys. Jay, this is a project where the rotary tool is a huuuuge help...
Harry_at_BFM
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Colorado, United States
Joined: February 04, 2007
KitMaker: 505 posts
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 01:32 PM UTC
Very Nice Build.

I am especially interested to see how the wood deck works out.
Clanky44
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Ontario, Canada
Joined: September 15, 2005
KitMaker: 1,901 posts
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 09:33 PM UTC
Great start Dade, the wood deck looks great, and should reduce the tedious task of masking. Look forward to seeing this project flourish.

Frank
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
Joined: June 12, 2008
KitMaker: 552 posts
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Posted: Friday, August 08, 2008 - 11:34 PM UTC
Rotary Tool! And here I was thinking that you were working hard, slaving over styrene.

The last time I used power tools in relation to models it didn't fair so well, in my case I better stick to manual labor. But it does look like you have a handle on things, so full speed ahead.
Karybdis
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Maryland, United States
Joined: December 27, 2006
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Posted: Sunday, August 10, 2008 - 12:49 AM UTC
After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, the decks are all attached. The instructions show to attach all the little vents and other doodads before mounting the decks. Trust me, this is a bad idea. Because 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.

Here's some of that clamping action...



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 I sand it down tomorrow, there's no worry about messing up deck planking detail because the wood will cover it anyway.





By the way, notice how the flight deck is completely smooth. It used to look like this...



But the entire thing will be replaced with PE, so all the molded on detail gets removed. Speaking of PE, I'm beginning to notice a very disturbing trend regarding the PE instructions. Often they don't show what the finished part is supposed to look like. You will make good use of your reference material with this kit (the catapult immediately comes to mind- it looks great, but without references you'll scratch your head).

The PE instructions are very vague- for example they tell you which PE boat cradles go on the main deck, but NOT the upper deck (where there are the most). So for that, make sure you measure each plastic cradle and make a note, so you'll know which PE replacements go where.

Finally, we have a big problem with the forward deck area bowing, causing the forward superstructure to sit askew like so (I hollowed out the portholes):



Ouch!

My remedy for this will be to cut out a sizable chunk of the "dead space" that goes under the superstructure so I can better level out the bowing. As it is now, there is too much surface tension- if I really force the structure down, the deck flattens out, but that won't work in the long run, so I'll have to relieve the pressure.

Stay tuned...
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: October 18, 2007
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Posted: Monday, August 11, 2008 - 07:08 PM UTC
great build log! cheers
blaster76
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Texas, United States
Joined: September 15, 2002
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Posted: Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - 02:48 PM UTC
Glad to get to read about all the problems before I encounter them. Forewarned is forearmed. It saved my rump when I did the North Carolina.
LittleHawk
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Canada
Joined: August 14, 2008
KitMaker: 6 posts
Model Shipwrights: 5 posts
Posted: Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 11:52 AM UTC
Here's what I'm wondering about...what's the best way to attach those Shinsengumi wooden decks so that they go down nice and snug everywhere and don't lift or bulge later? I have a set of them here for the Hasegawa Nagato, and will be ready to mount them shortly...they look fabulous! But I'm worried about what kind of glue to use. Any water-based glue will probably cause the wood to swell, and that wouldn't be good. Cyano might work, but also might soak through and show on the topside. I'm thinking of maybe spraying them from the back with contact cement, then just pressing them down, but I'm not sure.

A set of these decks costs about $100 and I don't want to screw them up by using the wrong gluing technique.

Has anyone got experience with gluing them down and can give me some advice about that?

And would there be any sense in pre-sealing them with a light coat of clear satin varnish, I wonder? It would help certainly keep them from expanding in higher humidity weather.