Category: Superstructure

Shelterdeck, part III

One of the issues that complicates any HMS Hood build is the area below the shelter (or boat) deck; the main deck parts should be fully painted before securing as the region cannot be accessed. The number of photographs of this region is modest and I made post earlier here. The ceiling of the shelterdeck was populated by structural elements, mainly a few larger longitudinal girders A & B). Some transverse girders appear perforated (C); I copied this style to multiple locations while playing with my milling machine. The outer girder appears to be placed where the shelterdeck used the end before it being widened in 1938. The bottom-right image is reproduced with permission from the HMS Hood association and shows the area below the boat deck quite clearly; other images from this 1940-41 album indicate a few minor changes to the model were in order!  A few details could be seen on other images: the hammock rails (D) and support stanchions (E)  placed below the boat crutches on the boat deck. These pillars have a white centre, covered by a sewn-on canvas gaiter (painted stanchions are also observed on other ships). Now we can also find the ammo lockers for the UP launchers that according to Northcott were stored below decks (4 lockers per launcher, F) . A series of Denton rafts is found (G), a very large vent trunk (H).  At (I) a Dan buoy is found stored against the ceiling as identified on the Britmodeler forum; these buoys were used to mark a channel swept of mines. All warships were fitted with mine sweeping gear (paravanes) that was only effective only against contact mines and useless against magnetic, acoustic, or pressure mines, and there’s something counter-intuitive about using HMS Hood as a minesweeper and having her carry danbuoys. But once noticed I started spotting them in more places, see e.g. Jonhston’s & Buxton Battleship Duke of Yok, page 161, with a buoy next to the engine room vent. More on a small model of these buoys in a later post.

I bought a few original plans of HMS Hood earlier showing the shelterdeck and the structural details; these support beams are spaced 4 ft apart.  I previously added some random detail to the ceiling of the shelterdeck when my favourite modelling tool apparently was putty and everything was glued with Uhu plast (bottle with a small needle); I switched  to bottle of Plastic Magic and Tamiya (ultra) thin cement last year and this was really a step up in build quality. Some damage was collected during handling so the girders were readded in the form of strips. I had some fun with the milling machine and added a few larger perforated beams. I can only see one of these clearly on one image though but why not. I also changed the angled outline of the deck slightly, letting the angled parts end exactly on a beam end; the original plan set that I have does not seem to follow the outline very well and the model now matches the photographs much better. The position of the support pillars was drilled in earlier; the pillars themselves were made from three Albion-Alloy tubes, so that the centre can be neatly airbrushed white. Unfortunately, the pillars positions were added based on the general arrangements and do not end up exactly below the girders. I cheated a bit and lowered all pillars, the outboard row of pillars end up behind the main longitudinal girder and I added some strip at the ends of the inner row where all pillars should end.

The overall effect is quite nice… (pillar strip apparently not yet added here).

The hammock rails were added next, using a simple alignment tool to glue to etched parts in place. I put the rails right between the girders. If all goes well, none of the support stanchions and hammock rails intersect (did a lot of measuring and drawing to convince myself).
These are very fragile so the part is now much more difficult to handle..

The larger trunk is the the dynamo room vent and appears on the boat deck. It is open on the sides on some images and closed off on most others and copied that style. The trunk didn’t really end up nicely with the position on the main deck on my model. I already had a vent there, but that one was in the as-built configuration: I missed the extension to the boat deck. I gave it a slightly larger sweep to the side than on the original drawings. This was a really tricky part making an angle in the horizontal and to the side, and only after fitting the entire part I could see if it would align well; this took a few attempts. The main deck on the hull took some damage and Ill probably add a very denton rafts to cover it up.

Bridge Superstructure, Part V

Image A171 from the Imperial War Museum was recently uploaded to their website and shows a few interesting details that were noticed on the modelwarships forum. Note the additional splinter shielding below the signal’s platform just behind the sailer and how the flag lockers are mounted. This part was actually ‘finished’ for my model but tot yet painted so could still be modified.

So some local demolishing was required. Fortunately the image shows there’s some girders flush with the deck; I added a strip to simulate that and used it to cut of the former flag locker positions.

The supports were glued to the forward shelterdeck. The funnel position looks horrible with that green putty!

After some work the splinter shields were added; here you can see a small spacer template for the flag locker support.

And nearly done. Some additional putty and sanding is probably required after closer inspection, but the weekend is done!

Bridge Superstructure, part IV

According to the original plans of HMS Hood, a set of signalmen shelters were built between the fwd Hacs pedestals and the superstructure.

There isn’t much to go on what isn’t already on the official HMS Hood site, but I suppose they reused the beam that was already present (top left). A number of voice pipes can be seen crawling around the bridge.

I added some semirandom detail with the voice pipes ending near the signaling area.

Adding railings was a skill I once had but now it seems to go fine. Too bad that stupid ladder hits the railing; this escaped my attention during the design, unfortunately. Perhaps I’ll replace the ladder or make the hatchway smaller…

Aft searchlight platform

The site is back up and I’ve enabled comments with the usual comment filters. I have a few side projects going on and some are nearly finished but I decided to post more unrelated images instead of ripening the posts on oak for a year…

Actually, I updated my blog to take my mind off my cat Mouse, Slayer of Photoetch, who was put to sleep today. She was only 10 year old and suffered from a tumor in her nose that suddenly grew very large starting to push out her right eye; for three months we thought she was fighting an infection as the X-rays were clean and she was finally getting better, but apparently not. We buried her in the garden close to one of her favorite spots. Good bye my friend.

I bought a new airbrush over a year ago, a Harder & Steenbeck Infinity (perhaps I’ll make a post later why this airbrush is really fantastic) and experimented with various paints, thinners, airbrush settings, oil washes and filters. The goal was to mimic the blue-grayish AP507B that Hood was painted with. I tried water-based paints but I think they hate me. I just cannot apply these paints to the smallest parts without suffering from tip-dry, overspray or grainy surfaces. Enamels are so much easier to use and cleaning the airbrush afterwards takes only minutes. The White Ensign Model colourcoats offer a premixed AP507B and spray beautifully although they are slightly less resistant than Humbrol when sprayed on PE and resin (might just be me). However, WEM suffered a few problems with restocking and as I (think to) know that several of their colors (based on the Snyder and Short color charts ) are wrong, so I decided to experiment with mixing. My local hobby shop had an old binder by Humbrol called the Colour System that had a few recipes and using Humbrol 34 (white), 77 (navy blue) and 140 (gull grey) in a 1:1:1 ratio is an excellent match for AP507B. (This doesn’t mean those color charts shouldn’t be in your collection).

Perhaps the result is a bit too dark, but the overall effect is nice, especially compared to the single coat in the previous image. The sides are sprayed with AP507B, and the top and bottom surfaces with a coat with more white and blue respectively. I added some filters and drybrushed in pure white (artist oils) and added some additional (artist oil) highlights in black, umber, and probably a few colors more. I want to emphasize all details without giving the idea of a severely weathered ship; HMS Hood was painted about a week before she sank. I have to experiment with the deck colors a bit more (wood) but I’m about ready to start painting the hull.

The old aft searchlight platform (ASP) was damaged during cleaning up for painting and needed to be replaced. I drew the part in CAD first. It’s both a building manual and a note combined. The old AOTS shows this platform in several views but the measurements do not agree with each other. So, the CAD file is my ‘new’ reference’ and I think I’m going to do this more often. I even drew in what styrene strips go where and assembly is then very fast. ish.

The lines were scribed in styrene using a steel ruler and the depth probe of the calipers. Very easy and very accurate. The two cylindrical parts of the top floor of the ASP do not have doors and as all pictures seem to indicate this area was open I decided to leave it open on the sides as well as on the aft bulkhead. However, cutting out doors and then folding the plastic won’t work, so I first folded the part around (lathed-to-size) rod, boiled the part for a while, and then cut out the door and added the slanted interior. Tricky but it worked.

The front bulkhead fits the top floor excellently. Caliper and CAD work give good results. The previous variant of the ASP had the bulkhead glue onto the deck, now it is glued against the deck. Can’t remember why I made this bad decision for the previous version, but it resulted in the part being tossed.

The old ASP had to be removed with subtle force from the deck part. A few positioning pins were added for easy fixing later.

The rest of the part is now simple a matter of stacking. I started with a core of several layers, added the sides, and puttied everything smooth. At least the forward corners (well aft actually) of the ASP are now round as they should be.

The wings for the two lower searchlights are very delicate. I never met a circle cutter I liked so when I need to carve a circle (or in this an arc) I make a disc on the lathe to be used as a template. The wings were added using a small template for both the right height and angle. I used some tape to get an ‘exact’ measurement and added the bulkhead cut to size and small strip later. Note that I add that strip on a flat surface; otherwise it will never look right.

Existing detail was transferred; some railing, stairs, Carleys and ammo lockers. The structure consists of two parts for easy painting and is still very open.


The structure and searchlights are now painted. The fog light still needs to be assembled so no pics yet.

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