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1:200 USS Missouri Build Log - Trumpeter w/ Pontos Detail Sets


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Hi Guys,


It's me again.  I must be crazy as a loon for starting two build logs at the same time, but I figured that hey, since I'm building both models at  the same time, why not?  Besides, I've been working on my USS Missouri since the fall of 2015 and I have a lot of catching up to do here.  Luckily, I've been posting tons of pictures of my progress on my model warship forum so I'm able to pick out some of the more interesting ones to post here.


After I sold my Scarab, I was itching to build another big boat.  What I really wanted to do was to build a 1/4 scale model of a Chris-Craft barrel back and power it with a weed-eater gas engine. I still may do that someday - if I live long enough, but now I'd power it with an electric motor.  They've come a long way in the past few years.


But then I happened to run across Trumpeter's big model of this battleship, and when I started investigating and found that there was oodles of detail add-on's I was hooked.  No, I didn't get enough for my Scarab to offset the cost of all this, but hey, as I told my wife, it keeps me out of the bars, right?  So, after I ordered the ship itself, the Pontos Detail-Up set, the Pontos Advanced Detail set, the Eduard Big Ed set, and a set of 1:96 plans from the Floating Drydock, I had very close to a thousand bucks tied up in this model.  And that doesn't include all the random miscellaneous stuff like paint at $4.75 for 1/2 oz, glue, tape, and so on.  Damn well better take my time and do it right, huh?


The box this monster came in is huge!  46 inches long and weighs about 15 pounds.  And once you open it up it's overwhelming; 4 boxes marked A-D plus the hull and the larger superstructure pieces.  The box says there are 1573 pieces, which I have no reason to doubt, plus 13 frets of photo-etch and a 44 page assembly manual.  This is definitely NOT some kid's plastic toy boat!






As you can see from the picture below, the front 8" of the hull are separate pieces that are glued on.  I'm told that this is because of some limitation of the box length and it would have cost lots more to make it longer.  The overall length of the ship is 53", or 1347mm for those of you who are smarter that us idiots here in the US!  Why we still use a measuring system based on the length of some king's shoulder to the tip of his middle finger is beyond me!




Now, if that isn't daunting enough, I opened the Pontos Detail-Up set for this ship and was blown away again.   18 frets of PE; 297 turned brass parts; adhesive backed actual wood decking for all deck surfaces, and 12 11x17" pages of instructions.  Now, those of you who haven't had the pleasure of trying to figure out Pontos' instructions, let me tell you - they leave a LOT to be desired!




Boy, this is like Christmas time, right?  Next we have the Pontos Advanced Add-On set with even more goodies.





The main reason I bought this additional kit was for the brass screws and also for the Veterans Models 40mm Quad Bofors gun platforms.  They are so much more detailed that the ones that came with the ship that there simply is no comparison.  Also, since I planned on making this ship as detailed as possible, the fire suppression valves also a nice addition.  And, in addition to all this was 11 more sheets of PE from Eduard.  A lot of this was duplicates, but the Eduard set did have quite a few pieces of PE that were not in the Pontos set, nor the PE with the ship itself.


Once had all the goodies and had established a decent work space with a new light, a new Opto-visor (more$$$) and a new set of tweezers, I started to work.  From the other modelers on the model warship site, I knew that the most boring and tedious job was making the 50 20mm Oerlikon AA guns, the 20 40mm Quad Bofors, and the 10 5" gun turrets.  After these, the rest was fun - so they said!  So, I started out making the 20mm Oerlikon AA guns, and they were right - it was boring.  Each one of the 50 little bastards contained 11 brass parts and they all had to be assembled and painted individually.  The picture below shows 25 of them and for comparison, I've placed a dime next to them. (A dime is about 18mm.) Let me tell ya, by the time I finished these little buggers, I was beginning to wonder whether I was cut out for this after all!




But, after a break of a few days, I refilled my wine glass and set out to tackle the 20 40mm Quad Bofors platforms.  These were even more intricate than the Oerlikons, with 7 resin pieces and 28 brass pieces in each one.  With a lot of help from each other on the model warship forum, we finally finished them and after they were all completed, we sat back and said "Damn, those look nice!"  And they do!  Especially since they are located in such prominent places on the ship, their detail really sets the ship off.




You can't see it from these pictures, but on top of each of the 4 cannons there is a magazine of 5 brass shells which have their tips painted red with 1 green (a tracer).




OK, I think this is enough for now.  The nest post will continue with more of the major sub-assemblies.  Each one is like a little kit in itself.


Take care, Gents, and thanks for looking!  And Happy Father's Day to all you hard working Dads out there!




Edited by steinerman
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I'm on board for this, I've got this kit and the pontos set as well, but I need to finish off my Arizona first! 

Great start on the AA's and quad bofors, looking forward to seeing more! 

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Before I go to bed I thought I'd post a few more pictures of my USS Missouri (The Mighty MO, or, as I call it, my "Monster Mo")  Like I said, I started out doing the guns first, and then progressed to the larger of the sub-assemblies.  Each one is kinda like a little model in itself and I figured that if I screwed up something on one of these it wouldn't be as bad as messing up the hull itself. 


Here are the MK37 gun directors.  There are 4 of them on this ship and each one consists of 41 tiny brass parts and 10 plastic/resin parts.  It took me several days each to build and paint these and yes, the little port covers do open and close!






The next thing  I tackled are the two airplane catapults.  The (4) Iowa class batttleships carried spotter float planes on the stern during the war and they were launched from the stern of the main deck on (2) catapults that were fired by dummy 5" rifle charges.  These ships also had a crane at the stern that was used in retrieving the float planes as they returned to the ship.




I also took a picture of the catapults before I painted them so you could see the amount of brass detail that went into these sub-assemblies.  Each catapult has 6 plastic parts and 47 individual brass parts, and each one is only 4-1/4" long (108mm).  The two carriages off to the right are the cradles that the float planes are launched from.




Once the catapults were built, painted, and safely stored away, I turned to the crane.  Again, this had to be built up from individual tiny framing pieces (44 brass; 3 plastic). 




For a ship that is four and a half feet long, there sure is a helluva lot of tiny parts that go into it.  Tweezers, a good magnifying glass and a class of wine nearby are a must, believe me!!  Plus, Pontos instructions aren't the most easiest things in the world to understand.  For example, here are their instructions for assembling the rotating drive mechanism for the catapults.




Clear as mud, huh?  OK, the next thing I did was to build the 36" searchlights and the cable reels.  The searchlights were fairly straightforward except that the insides were painted silver and a drop of white glue was added to simulate the bulb.  Also, the Eduard PE set had 8 grab-irons for each of the 4 lights (4 in front and 4 in back).  The cable reels however needed some sprucing up.  For the (4) large reels I wrapped very thin copper wire that I tore out of an old TV set years ago around the empty reel and then glued it in  place and painted it flat black.  For the 8 smaller ones, I took a round toothpick and wound a single layer around the length, then glued it, painted it, and cut it into 8 lengths that would fit in the brass cradle.  Looks a lot better than just an empty cradle, don't you think?






OK, the last thing I want to show you tonight are the MK51 Gun directors.  Each of the 40mm Quad Bofors gun platforms had a MK51 gun director associated with it.  These were not very complex, but they were so damn tiny the parts kept snapping off my tweezers.  Here is one of them before painting with a dime alongside for reference.  I know you're going to think I'm anal, but the two handles of these buggers are painted brown!




OK, as Bugs Bunny used to say; "That's All Folks!"  (For tonight, anyway!)


Thanks for looking.



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Absolutely amazing work. I think that even on a massive battleship, it's the smallest details that pull it off. 

I don't know what reference material you have, but I have the Paul Stillwell book for when I get on to my Mighty Mo, I would definitely recommend it. 

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5 hours ago, Squizzy said:

Absolutely amazing work. I think that even on a massive battleship, it's the smallest details that pull it off. 

I don't know what reference material you have, but I have the Paul Stillwell book for when I get on to my Mighty Mo, I would definitely recommend it. 


 Hi Squizzy!  How are things down on the other side of the world?  Yes, I do have the Paul Stillwell book and you're right - there is a lot in it.  But, it's mostly history and I didn't seem to see a lot of detail about the ship itself.


Besides that, I also have the Stefan Draminski book of 3D drawings from Kagero, but you have to be careful because not all of the detail there is 100% accurate.  I also have a PDF file on a CD that I ordered from The Floating Drydock (www.floatingdrydock.com).  This is over 300 pages of photographs and plans for the Missouri and if you're building this ship, I strongly recommend you get it.  There is a ton of information in there you won't find in Stillwell's book.  It goes into detail about things like the stanchions, the breakwater, details of the various vents, decking, and all sorts of little goodies like that.


Also, The Floating Drydock (TFD) has numerous plans for naval vessels.  The best ones I've seen yet for the Missouri are are the TFW series of plans drawn by Tom Walkowiak, who used to own TFD.  I have known Tom for years and he does an excellent job.  I have both the 1:192 scale plans as well as the 1:96 set. ( The 1:96 scale set is 9 feet long - 2750mm) There are 5 sheets to the set and any detail you can possibly think of is shown on these plans.  They are exterior plans only.  They do not show anything below or inside decks.  These are an invaluable source if you plan on doing any extra detailing on your model.


I don't know how the moderators of this site are about listing other forums, but another invaluable source of information on the Iowa Class battleships can be found at www.modelwarships.com.  They have a forum called "Calling All Ship Fans" and if you go there and click on "Battleships", they have a thread called "Calling All USS Iowa class (BB-61) fans". Right now there are 197 pages of reference material regarding these 4 ships (Iowa, Wisconsin, New Jersey, & Missouri).  Be warned that a lot of the earlier posts are missing pictures due to Photobucket's asinine pricing structure last year, but there is still a ton of valuable information there just from reading through it and looking at what photos there are.



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5 hours ago, LSP_Ron said:

Wow,  I have such a hard time with PE yet you make it look so easy!


Hey Ron!  Let me be the first to clue you:  IT AIN"T EASY!!!!  It's damn tedious work and it takes patience, patience and more patience, along with an ability to improvise when a tiny part snaps off your tweezers and gets eaten by the carpet monster.  And oh yeah, a glass of wine helps tremendously as well! :BANGHEAD2:

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