5" 38 Twin Turret Cutaway

To nestle Upper Handling Room’s floor to the sides I had to do some minor surgery to remove some of the corner glue strips from the walls as shown in these images. The choice was to trim the floor of the wall. I Chose the wall.

The walls now fit nicely.

Printing the hoists is halfway done. It would be “all the way” done, except the slanted one had some fatal print errors that I traced back to fatal drawing errors. When I went about removing some internal faces that were making the part more complicated, I also eliminated some of the external details and didn’t realize this until I tried printing it.

The little lugs that protrude from the door are really, REALLY, tiny! And they printed just about perfectly. I need to be careful in future handling and painting so I don’t remove them.

The slanted hoist wasn’t so lucky. One of the critical side details didn’t print at all because the part in the drawing wasn’t connected to the main surface. Also the entire hoist chamber filled with resin, whereas it did not do this on the vertical one. I did some major internal surgery to attempt to preventing it happening again. I will attempt to print it again tonight.

This is interesting (at least to me). I did a wire pass-through test to see if the wireway in the upper projectile hoist was sufficiently large to pass the two-lead power that will feed the gun house lighting. It worked! BTW: This is the same place that the wiring goes through on the 1:1 mount.

My old friend, Bryant Mitchell, (the fella who’s building the wood base for this and the big gun models, suggested making an electronic “tour guide” of the model showing closeups of those details that won’t be available to the viewer. This idea has immense possibility. Having the model so people can walk around it makes it difficult to get power for the lighting. Having against a wall blocks viewing anything that’s facing rearward. Having a the back plane of the case being a mirror could work, but doubles the viewing distance. When I brought this idea to Ryan he immediately thought of those digital picture frames. I have to find out more about what they need, but making the photoplay wouldn’t be a problem for me. I could caption each frame describing what they’re seeing. The images would only be of the model and maybe some exterior shots of the guns on the New Jersey. It’s great to have more than my mind on this project.


Have you ever used Sketchfab? you could upload your model there and add annotations. Then have a QR code next to your physical model for people to access on their mobiles.

Haven’t tried SketchFab, but I do have SU Layout which permits all kinds of annotations. As for the QR code, I did do that on the Missouri turret so folks could directly access the build thread on one of the forums to which I contribute. I can do the same thing here by creating a YouTube production of the walk through. Either way, it sounds like an opportunity is presenting itself. The model itself is all high tech, so the display should follow suit.


Took two tries to get the angled hoist to print properly AND fix the entire geometry. Ryan sent new images which showed clearly that my original slant angle was too steep. Since I was having printing problems with the main body, which I couldn’t figure out, redrawing it solved that problem. I did have a couple of minor breakages with the print, but by printing them two at a time, I was able to cannabalize off the lesser of the two and fix the good one.

First of all, here’s what’s printed and completed so far. Imagine how many pieces would be on the table if it was a conventional styrene kit…

This was the hoist as it first came off the printer and cleaned up. The very fine piping—which was a ■■■■ shoot from the get go—did print pretty well, but failed during cleanup. With very small amounts of Bondic I was able to reconnect some, but for two of them I had to cut the same intact pipes off the other one and graft it to this one. The results were basically perfect.

And here are the results. I had the same problem with this one as the other ones: the hydraulic motor were missing (probably stuck to the FEP). I thought I had reinforced the motor connections in this drawing, but it still came off. So I just found one of the rejects and using Bondic, put it back on.

A couple of the tiny lid clamps got broken, but they are beyond may attention (or anyone else’s) and I’m not worried about it.

Painting these will be fun… no… seriously… I like painting these things.

These were some of the images sent by Ryan that helped nail down some critical details.

The weather is cooperating this week, and my wife, after some adjustments, is tolerating her Chemo treatments well, so I may be able to get outside and prime paint all of the work completed so far. I have to get serious about the magazine itself, and how to represent all the intervening decks in such a way to not over-complicate the display, but convey the geometry. I was originally going to craft some of the “egg-crate” structure, but now I’m thinking of 3D printing it. Could allow for some better detailing.


Thought I was going to paint today. It was almost 60°, but I got involved in a lot of prep work prior to paint. Things like ladder rungs open and closed hatches and the like I realized needed to be in place before paint so I wouldn’t screw anything up after painting.

I started by finishing up the curved rear mount wall. I removed the printed-on rungs, which were either missing or very beaten up. I made a drill jig out of the base used to support the print. There were three on each side that needed adding. I pilot drilled with a tiny one, and then opened the holes up with a #55 drill. CA plus hardener holds them in place.

Then I had to decide “to add the door or not add the door”… that is the question. I chose to add, even though this makes this part much more fragile. If I didn’t add it, I would have risked really messing up the finish. I tried first to glue it with Bondic, but Bondic’s downfall is the UV curing light must reach ALL of the resin. No light, no cure! Since the hinge plates were opaque, the Bondic wasn’t working. I resorted to med CA with accelerator.

Before applying I had to replace all the broken off door dog handles with 0.020" phos-bronze wire. I had to put handles on the movable and fixed doors and the rear of the fixed door, which may or may not be visible when complete.

And with the fixed door finished.

It’s not quite done yet. i still have The mount sides needed lots of foot rungs.

It was here where the drill jig really worked. When I drew the parts, I spaced them at the correct spacing for the project. After clipping off the parts, I drilled the holes at the junction spots.

I also added the telescope hoods. I’m having the pointer’s hood in the open position and the sight checker’s in closed. The sight checker only did his job during training actions.

There’s an open door in this wall also, but gluing it in place now would block being able to paint behind it. That’s going to have to wait till the paint is on.


I was going to try and paint outside again today, but there was way too much wind, and I still had a lot to do in preparing the parts for paint. Again, I had to make a decision about what got glued before paint. And I chose to build up as much of the gun house as possible. It would be very hard to finish and fill joints if it was all painted, besides the difficulty of making a clean joint. Before the roof can go on I had to glue in the upper framing. Instead of using CA I chose to use Gorilla Glue construction adhesive. I wanted something that was multi-material and had some decent working time to position the part. It takes 24 hours to totally cure.

I did get the port side wall finished with all its rungs and made the faux backing piece with the bolt holes (like the other side) so I can pose that side’s access hatch open as well as the starboard side.

While this cures (over night) I first glued the rear roof to the curved back. Here I used Bondic since I was gluing resin to resin and it looks like a weld bead when it was applied.

I realized that there was a problem putting in all those ladder rungs. Any pressure I put on the walls during the gluing created a wonderful opportunity to break them. I didn’t! But I did break off that door which I was sure that I would. I hate being right! I’m leaving it off and will re-attach with wire reinforcement. Any thoughts of attaching the little cartridge chute door are now dispelled. That will also wait until further along.

If I can get the walls all built, I will probably be able to paint tomorrow. Maybe… I have a urology appointment. My PSA took a jump and we’re watching it.

Today’s work is a clear description of the difference between kit and scratch-building. There’s no instructions telling you what goes on before what. You’re constantly building it in your mind hoping that you’re not overlooking anything. Don’t worry… you will be.


Urology appt was nominal. We’ll recheck PSA in 3 months. Right now the results are anbiguous since everything else seems pretty good.

I woke up this morning realizing that I better not do another assembly op until I install the gun house lighting. If I glued the rest of the walls, light installatoin would be much more difficult. Like I said, “No Instruction book!” I use the copper foil-surface mount-LED method of lighting a lot of my builds. I don’t like putting foil directly on resin, and especially not on styrene. It melts at solder temps. I use thin 1/64" ply off the model, and then use 3M Transfer Adhesive Tape to attach that to the model.

I used a paper template to shape the ply and cut it with scissors. I tested the fit with the roof beams and it will work.

I’ve described my soldering method for attached the SMLEDs to the foil tape in other threads, but briefly, I make a 1mm gap in the foil with a sharp #11, put a reasonable amount of solder on each side of the gap, hold the SMLED so the two poles underneath are properly position with a light touch of a tweezer, and then heat the solder NEXT to the LED. Once I see good flow, I get off. The heat can destroy the chip. I test the chips off the foil, then after soldering, a lastly after the circuit is complete. I use CL2N3 LED driver chips exclusively.

Two leads are on this board. I also have to make another set for the front part of the gun house. I have a limitation having a 12 VDC power supply. The CL2s don’t like parallel circuits limiting the circuit to three LEDs in series. These SMLEDs drop 3.3 volts, so three of them in series is 9.9 volts. Adding a fourth brings the total to 13.2 volts, exceeding the 12 volt supply resulting in dimly lit LEDs. Generally I limit three LEDs in series and then set up another circuit with another driver. The 12 VDC power supplies have a ton of amps so I can run many parallel circuits each driven by its own driver chip. In the 16" turret I had nine paralllel circuits. The gun house is going to have four LEDs. I may try and see just how much light I get with the four in series. If it’s not sufficient, I will have to run one LED down one deck and combine it in series with LEDs with two others in the Upper Handling Room.

I tied the loose leads to the substrate with some Bondic “cable clamps”. I started using this method a couple of models ago, and it works really well. While it works on styrene, it’s really super on the ply.

My roof didn’t quite fit the rear wall. The roof was about 1/32" too wide. Instead of forcing anything and getting some splayed walls, I scribed off the amount that was excess and, using a fine razor saw, carefully excised the extra.

I was rewarded with a good fit. This was a bit harrowing since any false moves could have meant a ton of rework. It’s hard enough building this once, I really don’t relish doing it again (and again, and again).

I still have some more trimming to do on the curved gun shield sides (inside the glacis plate). Right now they’re interfering with some of the complicatd stuff at the front of the mount proper. I have to fit those before paint also.

I had toyed with the idea to 3D print scale-looking armored light fixtures to install micro LEDs within, but have dispelled that as overkill creating little value and a lot of potential problems. I want people’s attention drawn to the guns and their supporting machinery, not to neat light fixtures.


While watching a very boring Superbowl game I worked out where the the cutaways would go. I also played around with using Vray rendering with the interior lighting, but I have a lot to learn about this product.

Look closely at this one and you can see the rifling in the gun barrels. The print aslo shows them, but you need magnification to see them. The curved gun shields arejn’t in the drawings, but are in the model.

The lighting power I was using with Vray wasn’t enough. The LEDs I’m really using will be much brighter. I will be creating parterns from these drawings to accurately make the cutaways without damaging anything… or at least that’s the plan. I need to do some more learning with VRay. There’s a lot of functions and features that I have no idea what they do. It’s very different than Podium, with which I had a lot of experience.

All of this is going into the 3D Warehouse when I have final perfect drawings to contribute.


After flattening the drawing of the cutaway areas in SketchUp, I moved screen prints of the individual cut faces and imported them into CorelDraw. I then combined them in the configuration resembling a box unfolded and printed it out.

I tack glued this page to heavier stock paper abd cut the opening so I could trace the pattern onto the model.

I added some pressure sensitive adhesive to the pattern to help hold it to the model for tracing, but it really didn’t do so well. I just held it in place during the trace. I had to pay attention to the lighting in the rear and be particularly careful around the ladder rungs runner up the side.

This took place on Monday.

Today, I loaded a carbide router in the Dremel and went at the model. This was one of those scary kinds of modeling tasks where a false move could be a ton of rework. Since it’s a complete scratch build I do have the ability to re-create all the parts, but I don’t want to.

Before doing the cutting I mounted the rear lighting in place with the 3M Transfer Tape. Cutting went well. Actually, better than I expected.

The cuts, of course, were a bit ragged. I then used the Dremel with a diamond burr to refine the contours, and finally, files, sanding sticks, and my Micro-Mark power sander to clean them up further.

A lot of the roof is now Swiss Cheese and finding purchase for the front ceiling lights is now more of a challenge than I anticpated.

I needed to make some relief cuts on the roof beams where they cross over the rear lighting system. It’s a bit rough, but it’s the upper side and will not be visible.

I’m just about ready to prime this stuff. Today would have been a perfect day; 60 degrees, sunny and no wind, but alas, I’m not ready for that. The hobby shop has a spray booth in the back work room which I have access to. I may use that if the weather is not cooperating. Primer painting is on the critical path and I’m getting to the point where it will stop work if I don’t get it done.

You’ll notice that I whacked a couple more ladder rungs in all the rough handling during today’s session. Not to worry, I have another dozen or so printed and ready for installation. Drill out the old and install the new. Can’t do that with a kit. You break critical parts and you have to get customer service on the line to get a replacement.


In a short session today I got the light installed in the front of the gun house roof. That gives three relatively bright LEDs in a small area, so I think I have enough light there.

Running out of time, I just put the GH together to see how it will fit together. I had to remove a bit of the roof girders at the rear where they impinged on the raised rib that supports the rear, semi-circular roof piece. This assembly is so critical I need to take my time. I’m going to use the Gorilla construction adhesive so I’ll have some working time to get everything in perfect alignment.

It fits together okay and will glue up as expected. I replaced the broken ladder rungs and broke two more 0.020" carbide drills in the process. These holes are getting expensive. I bought re-sharpened drills this time since they’re cheaper, but they seem to break more readily so the reduced price may not be meaningful in the long run.

And I finally decidehd how to get the gun house together. There were two problems. The sight telescopes stick out and prevent the walls from sliding down into position. And the guns! In the 1:1 world, they fully elevate the guns and drop the entire shield over top. I suspect that the telescopes aren’t even installed yet. In my case, the guns are going to be fixed at 0º elevation. Getting the gun house over the level guns would be difficult if not impossible.

Answer: Clip the telescopes at the position at the edge of the base, glue the outer portion into the blisters. You will have difficulty seeing the joint between the two parts. They’re a little long anyway and the cut can remove some of the excess length.

As for the guns, I’m going to insert them into the slides after assembly just like they do in the 1:1 world when they have to replace the barrels. Incidentally, the barrels are held with a step thread joint with a retaining bolt, so they can be removed at sea with just a half turn. I had to further reduce the slide end diameter so they will slide in easily and not cause any damage by using excessive pressure. They will be painted and may have bare metal foil on the slide area that adds some thickness.

I got a communication today from the USS New Jersey Museum that the ship will be moved to the Philadelphia Navy Yard dry dock on March 26. Bottom refurbishment will be complete some time in May. Visitors will not be allowed on board during repairs due to none of the safey systems being active. That means my deadline is now in May or later. That’s actually good. I’ve got a lot to do and rushing never works. I have other projects in the wings too, so I will be busy.


Great progress ! :+1: