5" 38 Twin Turret Cutaway

Thanks for the input. I’m using the acrylic adhesive that they sell at the plastics house. It appears to work like other acrylic cements with very low viscosity and the ability to be attracted by static charge.

The replacements were available today. I picked them up in the early afternoon and got the case built by 4:30. I’m getting better at building these things, but I’m still not great. This one has a minimum of glue where it’s not supposed to go. For that I am thankful.

Before I retrieved it, I did more detail work on the model. I installed 3/16" square stock edge thickeners on the upper superstructure to provide more glue surface when I glue it down tomorrow. I also added a corner brace to square up that external 90º corner. I then started to paint it and realized I hadn’t installed the “eyebrows” over the portholes. It’s a little detail, but I wanted to include it. I was using a very forgiving paint (Life Color), wiped it off and made the eyebrows out some very small styrene strip. I got them on and painted the part. To fully cure it takes overnight.

I also finally painted all the cutaway edges of the magazine and 2nd Deck compartment openings, and final touch up on the gun house and UHR. They’re all ready for final assembly. I used Vallejo Crimson Red, and then back painted all the red that got on the outer surfaces with Vallejo White. Both paints have good hiding qualities and the final looks very neat and trim. I’m still worried about doing the planked deck. It could take a lot of time which I no longer have. I have two days!

Then I got the case parts. I was disappointed that the replacement parts were saw-cut and not CNC milled. They were much rougher and had some chipping. I’m not complaining. They turned the job over in less than two days. They’ll suffice.

To clean up the edges some… I have a edge sanding contraption that I built when gluing up balsa skins making a very large RC aircraft 13 years ago. It’s a 1X3 screwed to a 1X4 capturing the sandpaper in between. It provides a long, square edged surface with abrasive and works pretty well. The saw marks were deeper than it was reasonable to expect their removal via hand sanding.

After cleaning up the edges as good as I could get, I determined the edge that were going to get glued and created a very slight chamfer on the inside glue edge with a sanding block. The chamfer is very small, but enough to help guide the needle applicator and promote capilary flow. Speaking of capilary flow, I was also told to use a Q-tip and coat the glue edges with cement before taping together. It helps flow into the joint.

The fellow at the plastics house also recommended removing ALL the protective film. It just gets in the way. Acrylic has a lot of static charge. It’s a problem because it will draw cement off the applicator and deposit it where you don’t want it. Another trick he told me last time was to do all the work with the assembly sitting on a damp towel to reduce static charge.

I then used two micro-fiber cloths to clean off any dirt and sanding debris. One was damp followed by a clean dry one. These cloths are fabulous! I bought a stack of 100 of them from Amazon for something around $12.00. They’re washable and worked great on the stove, cleaning leather car upholstery, mirrors, etc. And they worked great on acrylic!

I started taping it all together using Tamiya wide tape, but it didn’t have enough grip strength to hold it together. I switched to 3M Blue Tape. I put the sides together first sitting on the top piece, and then errored thinking that I had to turn it over to get the top fitted. That attempt loosened a lot of the tape forcing me to reconsider. I replaced the taped-together-walls back on the top, slide it off the table a bit and so I could apply tape to its underside, rotated it off the edge and did the rest of the sides in order.

Tomorrow starts the full-court press. If I don’t get it done, I can’t blame the Plexiglass.

I applied the glue using the last tip I received; squeeze the air out of the bottle applicator and then release as you rotate the tip into position. This way you don’t get that “spurt” when you tip the bottle oveer to apply the cement. This tip really helps making clean job.

I made a measurement error too. I made the height measure for the new long pieces 1/16" too tall. It shows up here…

The effect is to raise the ends a little off the wood base, but it’s well supported by the long sides. Oh well…

After gluing, letting it set up about 1/2 hour, I was able to lift it, put it on the base and clean off any tape residue. It came out very clean and better than my past attempts.


The end is nigh! I got the main deck planked in a little over two hours. I woke worried that I didn’t have enough scale wood, but I had way more than I needed. I gang cut the wood in my modified Chopper 2. I built a depth stop on this useful tool, that lacked it. I makes it much more useful. I cut the scale 3 X 2s to scale 8’ lengths. I don’t really know how long the deck planks are, but they don’t look very long.

I laid the 16" long strips on the deck to estimate how many planks I would need.

In the past when I planked a deck that had dark caulking, I laid strips of black construction paper edge-on, and then shaved the excess off with a razor. I didn’t have the paper so I tried another approach. I mixed Aleen’s Tacky Glue with black India Ink to make a jet black PVA glue. I pre-stained the planks, but after sanding most of the color was removed. The black glue make the joints dark and looks pretty good.

When first applied it looked like a mess.

And when fully planked really didn’t impress me very much.

But, after sanding, it looked pretty good. When I started gluing I brushed the glue onto each piece individually. It was slow and let to the sloppiness. Later, I realized it was neater to brush the glue onto the substrate. Not only cleaner, but at least two times faster.

And with a coat of clear Urethane, it looks pretty nice indeed.

I laid out and drilled for the railings. The end stanchions have faux turnbuckles. They look good, but are very, very fragile. I’m going to rig with E-Z Line and will wait until I’m ready to put the case on before doing it so I won’t be reaching over it to do anything else. Tomorrow I’ll glue down the superstructure. Right now it’s just sitting there looking pretty.

I got the power system all button up and made a brass plate to hold the power switch. I’m not turning on the primary. Instead, I’m turning off the secondary. Everything is waiting for the wiring to come down from the model.

So… what’s left. Everything is painted and staged. I have to asssemble the layers together. Before doing that I have to populate the magazine with all of it’s appliances. I have to paint one exposed deck, that’s now white, but I want it linoleum color. I have to install the chunks of the hoist trunks during the stacking process. Lastly, I have to make the locking system for the showcase like i did with the big gun.

Meanwhile, we’re going to early vote tomorrow since we’ll be gone on primary day and I have a cardiology checkup at 1:00. Still, I’m optimitic that I can bring it all together. I was worried about the case and the planking and both are done and no longer an issue. The rest should go together pretty well. (Famous last words!)


My optismism was not well-placed. I came very close to finishing today, but, as usual, something in the final assembly proved much more challenging that it would have appeared. That said, I did get much done. I got the magazine finished, mounted on the base and fastened it’s roof on with the wiring led below. I got the splinter deck glued to this roof and then actually glued the second deck in place. I got the gun house and UHR joined and decided on the simplest of conduits for the rest of the wiring. But what got me was trying to install those segregated pieces of hoist trunk through the cutaway openings in the 2nd deck cabins. It was very difficult… it was getting messy… I was running out of time and I envisioned bad things happening. I gave up and will pick it up after we return. Besides, Ryan has his hands full right now and it might not have been such a good tie to bring it.

I you look closely at this image, you might pick up that I installed that first row of powder canisters backwards. I know it’s backwards because I spent a lot of time painting the yellow on the openning end of the canister and they’re not seen here. Would anyone care? No! But, it’s an indication that I was rushing. Things don’t go well when I do.

I got the little steps laind in at the base of the powder room doors and painted the mechanism steel color. I used 3M transfer tape to hold the hoists down. All the rest is held by the J-B Weld construction adhesive.

I pre-fit the stack with a couple of small screws holding the magazine ceiling and reckoned where the UHR wiring was going to penetrate the main deck. I marked this and drilled all the way through the stack with a 1/4" plastic drill bit. I then used a transfer punch to mark the location of this hole on the base. For the uninitiated, a transfer punch is a specifically-sized piece of tool steel with a center-punch point on it. They come in a set that matches a full set of drills and they’re used to mark locations using a hole as the datum. (harder to describe than used).

I drilled the base with the 1/4" brad point drill and now had a straight path for the wiring to go below through a brass 1/4" tube. The tube will be visible, but not obtrusive and will help support that very cantilvered from of the model. It also greatly simplified getting the wring done.

Here’s the punch before running it all the way down and tapping lightly with a jeweler’s hammer.

The conduit top opening fits directly under the openning in the UHR 's rear floor next to the back support.

Here’s the lead opening in the UHR floor.

I’m going to chemically treat the brass tube so it will be very dark and in the background.

My arrangement varies slightly from my original design bringing the splinter deck and cabin all the wasy forward. This changed the trajectory of the hoist trunks.

I used the plans to find the location of the Splinter Deck lattice and then to remove any interfering lattice so the hoist trunks can pass through. If you remember, I originally drew and printed openings. This all went out the window since I had slightly changed the geometry.

I made small drill marks at the corners of the rectangles that represent the hoist trunks at that posiition. After gluing down the lattic and the hoist trunk parts, they didn’t align well with the hoists themseleve and I had to position them back and to the left about a 1/4". I then removed any interfering lattice.

After assemblng and gluing the whole stack, In my agression fitting the rest of the hoist trunks the glue fell apart, but it was good it did. I was having trouble getting the middle to settle in properly. The reason was the hoist parts were about 3/32" too high and well keeping the whole center from gluing.

I broke them loose (they were CA’d) and ground off the excess on the belt sander. So when I finally glue it back together it should nestle down much better.

I glued a thin strip of styrene on the front deck edge as a scupper gutter. Needs to be painted.

This was the clamping scheme.

I finally put the gun house and UHR together with four small screws. I dont like the roof fit, but it was a 3D Printed affair and not a styrene part. I also don’t like that the UHR hoists are tipped forward and not centered in the space. Can’t be fixed now. That ship has left the dock.

As much as I wanted to finish it for this trip, we’ll be making other trips and, as I noted, messing with the hoist pieces was getting messier after each attempt and leading to something bad to happen.

So what’s left? I have to get the hoist trunks in and clean up the mess inside those spaces. I have to connect the field wiring. The railing needs to be built as the last thing. I have to mount the name plate and the one graphic on the rear case wall, and make the lock clamps for same. Instead of the construction glue, I’m going to use the J-B Epoxy designed for plastics. It needs to be secure. I screws the magazine to base with self-tapping screws so it’s not going anywhere.

Everyone have a nice Memorial Day and I’ll be back after that.


The wood deck looks fantastic!

1 Like

Thanks. Saw the ship’s under belly today and it did not disappoint. We had a private 2.5 hour tour. The weather changed just in time. Here’s a taste.

I’ll give more details when we return after the holiday.