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Painting the deck, Part II

A small update of some work that was done earlier and then stalled a bit. The fore deck was next in line for painting. Unfortunately I had a minor disaster with a coat of Humbrol H72 giving rough spots. After brushing the model with alcohol I lightly sanded the deck and removed the grainy surface where I could using pieces of sanding paper glued to toothpicks; etched parts could be scraped clean. Many details are soldered or glued firmly, but the vents around the barbettes are most fragile and took a bit more time. It went well enough, but I was otherwise very much not pleased loosing a day or two that could have been spent painting. Not sure if it insufficient stirring or thinning but it was probably my fault somewhere along the line. Learn by failure I suppose. The result is still not too bad but macro shots will show the bad finish in some areas. Perhaps one of the reasons I dread painting;  some errors are very difficult to correct.

The entire deck was masked after a layer of primer, corrections, and a couple of coats of Humbrol H72, rough-spot corrections and a barrel of Whisky. There’s a lot of detail to work around, so this takes many wee bits of tape. As the deck will be painted by hand it doesn’t have to be too exact.

The rest was sprayed with two coats of my AP507A/B mixture (Humbrol 34  White, 77 Navy Blue and 140 Gull Grey). I initially stored some batches on paint in Badger jars and most of this dried in the jar; I bought a stash of empty tins at, including some 125ml tins for storage. Meanwhile, the new Humbrol colours I ordered do not mix to the same colour I had; too blue. With some black and some drops of red the colour might be used as a base. Fortunately I have a a few tins of my old paint  lying around, more that enough to finish the model but if they spoil too more Whisky is in ordere.  Note that the sandy layer of H72 on the deck shows patterns of masking, as a final insult to my painting troubles, but that didn’t worry me at all.

Then it was a matter of painting in all the plank work again, using the same recipe of Humbrol H72 Khaki Drill, H72+H110 Natural Wood, H72 + white and pure H187 Sand (a discontinued colour). The deck edge details were touched up in the base colour and bollards and steam winch positions in black. The colour of the chains is typically hull colour but one shot from 1940 shots the starboard chain to be a bit lighter, so I copied that to add some variation, in Sovereign Hobby’s AP507C.

Three washes of van Dyk brown followed.  I used Winsor & Newton’s Sansodor as a solvent that dries very slowly, allowing for some touching up and clearing excess wash from the deck with a wet brush (when the wash is starting to set).  The contrast between planks is perhaps too pronounced, but it’s tricky to strike a balance between having contrast differences while at the same time having the deck appear as one colour. The contrast is a bit more than on the quarterdeck with the darkest brown being more brown. Probably the universe telling me to paint as much as possible in a single pass.

The background receives a dot filter first, that is random dots of colour (red, blue, brown, yellow) applied to the base surface spread out by a wet brush. The next stage followed the approach as described by Marijn van Gils in his stellar book “Lexington’s final battle”; the main idea for enhancing contrast not to add a (pin) wash plus a drybrush run, but adding shadows and highlights by a fine brush where needed without affecting the base layer (much). T

he first step in increasing contrast was adding shadow lines using a very fine #000 brush and a black/raw umber mixture plus a #1 brush standing by for corrections. This gives a bit more contrast than a pin wash but also requires more time and control. At first these lines appear to be too dark, but after drying the results become less pronounced, so you really need to try it a few times and overdo it just enough that the results in the end are fine.  It’s particularly well visible at the edges of the deck or top to the capstans. The second step is adding highlights, starting from base colour for correction work where required)a nd adding more H140 Gull Grey the smaller the details get. This really makes all details pop up, especially for the etched details. This phase  was followed by a layer of white spots and smears representing salt deposits of Humbrol Radome Tan; I tried it first on a separate part of the model to see how this would work out and the result is: actually quite good. The light part of the anchor chain was (reversed) drybrushed with the base colour to simulate wear of the light coating; the entire chain received a subtle wash with Humbrol Leather for a combination of rust and sediment. An additional layer with adding darker spots and deposits will follow later. The shadow & highlight stages takes time and some regions are difficult to reach, especially the breakwater where adding these long lines is tricky. Mushrooms and winches were painted separately; hose reels are still on the to-do list. Some minor work will follow to finish this bit but I got distracted be the boat deck…

The launch of HMS Hood

HMS Hood was launched on the 22nd of August 1918 at John Brown & Co shipyard. These images were originally owned by Sir Thomas Bell, the MD of John Brown & Co and I was fortunate to obtain them. Some of these images—and quite a few others—can also be found in Ian Johnston’s highly recommended “Clydebank Battlecruisers”, (2011) and “A Shipyard at War” ( 2014),  Seaforth Publishing.

A wonderful shot of HMS Hood’s hull on No 3 slip (Johnston, 2011). This is my favourite image, showing the chains used to stop the hull during launch (more clearly visible in the following image bottom right), the large 150 ton derrick crane in the foreground, the yard’s shops and stores, a forest of cranes, the buildings and train yard, church towers at right.

This close-up shows the port side underwater torpedo tube; the starboard tube on the opposite side was slightly more upstream. The openings in the hull upstream and downstream of the torpedo tube are seacock openings with discharge openings above them.

As my work focuses mainly on propeller design a close-up is in order.

The crowd after the launch, with traces of Champagne visible on the ramp at left.

HMS Hood on the 18th of March 1920 running her speed trials.

Royal Navy Ship’s Boats on WWII

I started a new notes page here: Royal Navy Ship’s Boats of WWII

This page is taking the biologist’s take on the subject; a list observations of specimens I encounter in nature combined with what source material I have. I know that there is a ton of information in various archives and the National Maritime Museum but ship’s boats are too much of a niche subject (to me) for any serious effort (time & money).

Ground Tackle, part II

With the cables slowly progressing as discussed in part I a few other bits & pieces were built to fully detail the area in front of the forward breakwater.

The capstan was remade simply because I lost the one I had. These are a nice combination of etched parts and styrene. The main (Napier) capstan is built up from disc and making these discs were tricky to do on a lathe: the parting tool would always deform the styrene. I played with tool angles and revs for a while, but in the end used a different approach by first cutting of a piece of rod with a small step in the diameter (top left). The part would then be reversed and work would continue from the other side with the cutting tool going fully against the chuck (carefully). The top etched parts were a bit of an experiment with three layers of PE and the small eyelets on top. Normally etching 0.1mm holes is asking for trouble as these holes are rarely etched through but now that I have a series of miniature drills I felt confident enough to drill in the etched holes; this went well enough. Too bad the eyelets are are too small to notice…

The Napier capstan can also serve as a cable holder when its whelps are removed and this holder has five spokes. The main cable holder dimensions were estimated from photographs and I estimate six spokes the holder for a proper spacing of the cable around the holder; otherwise the distance between cable on either side of the holder would not really match the photographs. A small template was helpful to keep the spacing at consistent angles.

After I thought the main deck was done I made a few passes finding out small details I might have missed. The top row of images shows a small Y-shaped manifold behind the forward breakwater and against the rear quarterdeck bulkhead (a pair of them). I do not see more of them and they also do not show up on any of the plans. The forward hatch received a small support roller and some hydrant manifold. All parts are mainly soldered Albion Alloy tubes.

There are two pairs of paravane fairleads and the rear pair was replaced by some small support structure. Initially I thought this was added to keep any paravane cable away fro the degaussing cable but this structure shows up in 1939, prior to fitting the cable; a small plate was added in front of the structure when the degaussing cable was present though.

Top right shows the floor plate of the navel bonnet under construction. With the Proxxon drill press and divider it’s very easy to drill a polar array of holes on a plate. A small jig was built using 1.5mm rod and some strip with a hole punched out. The rod was made on the lathe as my experience showed that stock rod by Evergreen or Plastruct is not round enough.

The bottom right show the cable holder arrangement, a collection of strips finished by Magic Sculpt. The arrow indicates some detail but I do not know what it was for.

And here is the entire fo’c’sle. After the chains and capstans were replaced a few lifting eyes were added that are scattered around the deck. The cable holder brake handles were reproduced as well as a pair of staghorn bollards near the torpedo loading hatch (the wide hatch in front of the breakwater. A few hatches, capstan and support rollers are not yet fixed for ease of painting. One thing I do not really like is that the skylights on front of the breakwater should have a bit more distance between them; ah well.

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