Iron Shipwrights USS LCI(L)
Building notes and impression:
There were a few small bubbles in the hull casting which were filled with putty and sanded smooth. The putty surface was sealed with CA to prevent a porous appearance.
MODIFICATIONS TO THE KIT:
I replaced the landing ramps with some strips of Evergreen V-Groove sheet. The ramps supplied with the kit had a definite bow to them. I could have straightened the resin pieces with hot water, but it was quicker and easier to replace them.
For the 20mm guns -- I cut off the barrel and replaced it with
wire. I also added wire training handlebars on the guns and a magazine,
which is a piece of Evergreen stock. When I trial-fit the guns in
their tubs I felt that they sat too low. I raised the gun mounts
up in the tubs using some brass discs that I had photo-etched myself,
Shack rub-on electronic circuit board transfers as the resist material. These were cemented to the bottoms of the gun pedestals.
The life rafts were modified by sanding off the molded bottoms replacing the bottoms with some brass radiator screen from the railroad detail department at my hobby store, and adding a water/supply cask of styrene stock and some crossed tie-down lines made from fine wire.
The ship was painted overall using Polly-Scale acrylic Navy
Blue (5-N), lightened to show wear and the sun bleach affects. The
light gray squiggle camoflage pattern was done with a Prismacolor water
color pencil. A light brushing with a damp, almost dry brush, of
will help feather any sharp edges on the squiggles. The deck was painted in Polly-Scale
Weatherdeck Blue (20-B). The hull colors were masked and the bottom was sprayed with a mixture of Tamiya Hull Red, lightened with orange to show some age and wear. Once the paint was dry, I overcoated the ship with Polly-Scale acrylic clear gloss. I applied some decal stripe material for the boot topping and sealed them with another light coat of
Once all the paint was sealed I applied the railings and other brass details. I pre-painted all the brass. The brass went on easily as there are not many bends needed. I measured the length of railing necessary with a pair of dividers, then cut the rail to length, tacked it in place with white glue, and ran a bead of CA along the inside rail base. I then touched-up the paint on any cut ends.
The kit instructions give the dimensions of the mast. I soldered the brass wire supplied with the kit using these dimensions and glued a length of ladder stock in place. I then painted and clear-coated the mast as well as all the guns and rafts. I added the flag halyards and a the flag. The flag is a 1/700th flag applied to a piece of brass stock - with a bit of a wrinkle. I cemented all the remaining detail parts in place using CA.
I applied turpentine and oil paint washes to deck corners and
details to darken the shadows. The acrylic clear gloss is not affected
by the turpentine solvent. I used some raw umber oils for the rust
streaks on the hull. Once everything was dry and I was satisfied
with the dark shadows, I went back and dry brushed the ship with the base
Navy Blue color. I tried to hit the edges, corners, and areas
where I wanted the pop out of the background. I applied the hull
number decals and oversprayed everything with a clear flat. As a
final touch I tried to show this LCI was hard working and didn't get regular
yard maintenance. I added some splotches of white below the boot
topping to replicate
The 20mms gun mounts seem to be too short and needed to be
shimmed-up in their tubs. The only problem I had with this kit was
the stern anchor detail. I found that this detail is missing on the
instruction sheets and there are not very many photo available which show
this detail. Jon Warneke of ISW has said that this detail will be
covered in future
instruction sheet revisions.
Tip: Mounting a whole hull resin ship to a base.
When I'm planning to mount a whole hull resin ship onto a base or pedestal, I use a brass machine screw threaded insert for wood. These are available in the screw and fastener department at your local hardware store. They have an external coarse thread designed to be driven into a piece of wood, and an internal threaded hole which will receive a threaded bolt or machine screw.
Before I begin painting the hull I'll mark the location of
the inserts. I use a drill press to ensure the correct vertical hole
alignment, with a drill bit that is the same size as the outer
dimension of the threaded insert. Carefully determine the depth of the hole you will need, and set the drill press stop so that you will not drill all the way through the hull and out the other side. Once the hole is drilled, apply some slow set CA and position the insert. A screw threaded into the insert will help in getting the insert positioned correctly. When the glue hardens you can remove the screw and fill the area around the insert with your favorite putty and sand it smooth.
When you're ready to begin painting the hull, you can thread a screw into one of the brass inserts as a handle. You could also devise a clamping fixture using a "third hand" to hold your ship in place while you attach details.
When I'm ready to attach the ship to the base I drill some
holes through the base at the same spacing as between the threaded inserts.
Counterbore the underside of the holes to receive the screw heads.
I will use either keel blocks or a pedestals to support the ship.
source of brass pedestals which I've found is table lamp finials from the electrical department at the hardware store. Cut off the closed end to the desired height. Aluminum hex-nut standoffs from electronic circuit boards are another option, and give a utilitarian look. You will also need to cut the screw to the desired length. Measure the total depth of the threaded insert, height of the pedestal, and base (less the counterbore depth), then file the cut end smooth so that it will thread into the insert easily.
Once the ship is attached the model may be handled by the base without worrying that the ship will fall off. An additional benefit is that the model may be removed from the base without having to break a glue bond.
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