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Old 02-19-2012, 01:16 PM
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Akitsushima Hull - 1/200 scale

I'm building Answer's Akitsushima and I've tried out some ideas about building the hull -- mostly gathered from this forum.

I used balsa for the formers. I'm not sure I would do that again. On small parts, it splits too easily. I laminated computer paper (24#) to the back side of some of the formers and that seemed to help. One or two of the "rib" formers split while I was gluing the deck to the hull, but they were not laminated on both sides. 1/16" Balsa is a lot easier to cut than 2mm card, but I'm not sure that outweighs its fragility.

To skin the hull, I first added extra formers between the ribs by photocopying parts P4 and P5 (the horizontal formers), laminating the copies to 1mm card, and cutting pieces to fit between the ribs. (See photo 1).

Then I cut a half-inch-wide strip of TyvekŪ -- the plasticized paper that FEDEX envelopes are made of -- and stretched and glued it along the length of the hull, centering it on the edges of P4 and P5. Tyvek doesn't stretch, doesn't soak up moisture, is impossible to tear, and glues like paper--handy stuff. (It makes great hinges.) And it was free from the FEDEX store. (One large shipping envelope will go a long way--no pun intended.)

I set the hull aside and assembled the hull skin in two halves, fore and aft, using joiner strips made of computer paper. Where the two halves would meet I used a joiner strip of cardstock (scrap from the kit pages). I ran a line of rust-colored marker pen along each strip where the skin sections would meet, so no white paper would show through any gaps. I let the skin halves set up overnight.

The next evening, I carefully glued the forward half of the skin to the hull. I first glued the skin at the keel, gave that an hour to set up, and then carefully smoothed and glued the skin, section by section to the Tyvek strip, working from the center forward. I set the end of my 6" steel ruler behind the Tyvek strip to keep each section flat as the glue first set up.

I let that dry for an hour or so, then glued the aft half of the skin to the hull in same way: keel first, let it dry, then section by section from the center aft.

The result, as you can see, is a pretty smooth hull, with few gaps and very little distortion, except along the keel --where no one will see it.

This is only my third ship model -- Maly's Orp Piorun and and unfinished Uhu's U-boat came before. I like ship models, even with all the little fiddly bits, and I'm running out of ceiling room to hang airplanes.

I had originally planned to scale the Akitsushima up to 1/125 or so, but I came to my senses. At around 2 feet long, 1/200 is big enough. I still want to scale up Halinski's Jeremiah O'Brien to 1/100 -- for about $75 in duplicating costs.

--David
Attached Thumbnails
Akitsushima Hull - 1/200 scale-akits-hull-1.jpg   Akitsushima Hull - 1/200 scale-akits-hull-2.jpg  
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:41 AM
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David: Nice hull.....I have the "Akitsu" too, on my build list.

Re your planned upscale: if you want the model, DO IT!! If anything, it will make me feel less bad about what I spent on the I-400!!

Best regards!

Jim
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:49 AM
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The hull looks great...what kind of glue did you use?

Akitsushima almost got the call for my next build, but I went with a Japanese cruiser instead. I'm looking forward to watching yours come together!

Russ
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:50 AM
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This does make for a very smooth hull, David!

Your paper laminated to balsa brought back memories of building stick and tissue models and transferring the former patterns by that method.

Don
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:50 PM
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Hello David,

using balsa for the formers is a very good choice; you can stiffen it with PA glue if necessary. Smoothly sanding to follow the contour ... absolutely fine. The AKITSUSHIMA upscaling should be possible; the print screen of the YMCK could be a little problem? Anyway I willl be a close follower of your construction report.

With lovely greetings
the Wilfried
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Old 02-20-2012, 02:59 PM
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Your hull has come out very well, very smooth...
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAFleischman View Post
The hull looks great...what kind of glue did you use?
Russ
Ailene's Tacky Glue and Avery and 3M glue sticks. Most of the glue sticks I've tried don't seem to provide a permanent bond. In a lot of cases I end up tacking down corners and fiddly bits after the parts are cut. I think the 3M glue was the best but I can't get them here. (I bought one while on a road trip.)
--David
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Old 02-20-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishcarver View Post
David: Nice hull.....I have the "Akitsu" too, on my build list.

Re your planned upscale: if you want the model, DO IT!! If anything, it will make me feel less bad about what I spent on the I-400!!

Best regards!

Jim
Great encouragement...I think.
The J.O'Brien just seems like the perfect subject for scaling Up. Besides, I don't have room for an 8-foot Yamato, as tempting as that might be.

Another idea in my project file is to scale up the surperstructure and surrounding deck of Uhu's U-boat from 1/72 to 1/35 scale.

So many projects, so little time!
Attached Thumbnails
Akitsushima Hull - 1/200 scale-drollnation-random-3519-500x373.jpg  
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Old 04-24-2012, 01:38 AM
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Smooth hull and I wish I could do the same, maybe someday... I have a nice workboat frame waiting for skinning but I don't have the courage to try it yet. I scanned the parts so if everything goeas wrong I could work out a recovery of some sort but I'd rather use the original parts as neatly as you. Good tips and good work David, thanks.

Tappi
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Old 04-25-2012, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapcho View Post
Smooth hull and I wish I could do the same, maybe someday... I have a nice workboat frame waiting for skinning but I don't have the courage to try it yet. I scanned the parts so if everything goeas wrong I could work out a recovery of some sort but I'd rather use the original parts as neatly as you. Good tips and good work David, thanks.

Tappi
Give it a try. This method worked very well on the Akitsushima and it was really very simple to do--easier, in fact, than gluing the hull panels one by one to the formers, as I did on the Orp Piorun. This method also makes it very easy to dry-fit the hull skin and adjust for any fit problems.
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