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

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  • 1 month later...

Greetings friends.  With this quarantine in effect I thought I'd be able to make tons of progress on my ship.  Alas, such is not the case.  My wife just has that much more time to spent on her "Honey-Do" list.  And, I've come to the realization that if you spend too many hours a day working with little tiny pieces of PE, you soon get to the point where you have to take a break and walk away for a while.  This is a hobby, remember - not a job.  It's supposed to be fun, and when it isn't, it's time to do something else.  But, I have managed to make a little headway from when I last posted back in March.  So, here I am again, with an up-to-date report on my progress. There’s around 40 pictures in this batch, so lean back, grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine) and let’s begin.


I have 3 decks finished above the main deck.  According to the plans I have, the lower most one is referred to as the 1st Superstructure Deck, the one above that is the 2nd Superstructure Deck, and the top one is the Flag Bridge Deck. This is an overall shot of the whole assemble, to date. Since my last post, I changed my mind on how I wanted to build this model. I intended to attach the hull to the base at this point and then build upwards from there.  Due to the weight – and the size of the hull and base, I decided to build the superstructure (called the citadel) by itself and attach it to the hull at a later date.  Makes for a much easier build – and I don’t have to worry about knocking all sorts of things off!




OK, a couple things to point out here.  One is the American flag.  It was actually mounted where you see it at the time of the Japanese surrender.  And, you’re right, it does appear to be backwards, but that’s the way it was hung.  I had to search for a 48 star flag, then copy it and reduce it to 2/10” wide and print it on photo paper.  The other thing here is that I tried my hand at making windscreen wipers for the windows (Yes, there is clear plastic in the windows).  The first one isn’t all that good, as you can see, but the second one turned out great. I now have to replace that first one and then make 2 more for the other side.  Wanna know how tiny these little things are!!!  They’re made from 0.2mm (0.008”) copper wire.




Several new things here.  One is the mops and their rack.  All hand made from .25mm plastic rod and unraveled string. Also note the fire station under the gangway to the 2nd level.  Also, note that all the life rafts now have tiny oars in them and are tied down to the deck with 0.2mm copper wire.  The oars were made from plastic rod with the tips heated and then flattened.




 Lots of detail added since you saw this last. The vents are painted flat black and then fine mesh copper screen is cut to shape, painted, and glued to the frames.  I had all the compressed gas cylinders painted and attached to all 3 decks when something didn’t look right.  I did some checking and calculatin’ and discovered that the tanks that came with the ship kit were about 20% too big. They looked out of place.  So, I ordered new ones from a place that makes 3D printed parts (more $$$) and did them all over.  Then I wrapped 0.2mm copper wire around the tanks to simulate the cables holding them in place.  Looks a lot better, don’t you think?




The little short, squat tanks are acetylene and if you don’t think it was a pain painting the red band around them!!!  The little buggers are only 2/10 of an inch tall to begin with. The boxes on the 2nd deck are ammunition lockers and are scattered throughout the ship.  The white hoses are fire hoses and are located every place you see a red fire suppression valve.  Look close and you can see the nozzles of the fire hoses are painted red.  The hose reel on the side of deck 1  is made by wrapping a layer of real fine copper wire around a toothpick and painting it flat black. The things you don’t have to do to add detail to a model!  The gas bottles are painted the same way they were in 1945.  Three 20mm Orlikon Anti-Aircraft guns mount on the angled platform.  The diagonal tubes on the side are spare gun barrels and the protrusions on the top edge are to hold loaded 20mm shell canisters so they are ready for the gunners at a moment’s notice. They're called "Loader Frames". 




Note the gas cylinders in the enclosed walkway and the tiny steps leading up to the 20mm gun platform.  I’m not installing any more guns until much later in the build.  They’re too easy to knock off  (I learned that the hard way!)




Here we have a couple new things for you to see.  One is a spare float for the float planes that are catapulted from the stern of the ship.  I had to buy an extra set of airplanes just to get this float! $$$.  Also, do you remember when I left off last March , I said I needed to make some “Stokes Litters”?  Well, nobody makes any in 1:200 scale, so I did some research on the Internet and discovered that they were about 7’ long and roughly 3’ wide, and were made out of canvas webbing.  I carved and sanded what I though was a reasonable looking part, then made a mold and pressed glue saturated toule fabric into the mold. When the glue dried, I carefully cut it out, wrapped a border of 0.2mm copper wire around the outside, and painted it.  An old sailor from that era probably would take one look at it and laugh like mad, but hey, it’s the best I could do.  You can see 2 of them in this view.  There are 5 altogether.




Here’s a view showing a ventilator, stokes litter, gas bottles, hose reel, and fire suppression equipment.  Also, two stacks of life rafts, with oars, tied down to the deck.




There are several places on this ship where I cut out the hatchway and installed photo-etch doors that are partially open.  When the ship is all complete, I plan to have about 300 sailors and officers placed throughout the ship’s decks.  Also, please note the gun crew’s helmets mounted on the outside of the gun tub’s splinter shield.  To make these, I bought extra oversized compressed gas cylinders, cut the rounded tops off, and painted then dark grey.




I took this picture to show the 4 layers of ammunition clip hangers around the insides of the 40mm Bofors gun tubs.  If you recall, the shells are fed into the 40mm Bofors cannons in clips that hold 5 shells at a time. These clips are stored here and are retrieved and fed into the guns by the loaders when the ship is in action.  Also, there is a 20mm Orlikon AA gun mounted just aft of the 40mm gun tub and the helmets for this station are hanging on the aft of the 40mm gun tub.




Here’s a close up of the life rafts and oars.  If you’re new to these progress reports, you might be wondering where all this detail is coming from.  I have a set of blueprints for this ship that are 9 feet long and show the tops and sides of every deck in sharp detail, along with the masts and rigging.  Expensive as heck, but worth every penny!




Here's another open hatchway and a couple more Stokes litters.  There’s a ton of crap that goes on top of this upper deck and it’s going to take a long time to get it all installed.




My plans show a rack with oil hoses is installed here.  No such animal in the kit, so to the rescue comes Evergreen plastic rod and strips. Looks just like the real thing!




The port 20mm gun platform and more gas bottles.  It was a real pain having to tear out the old ones and paint and replace with the smaller ones, but I’m glad I did.  They look a lot better!  Only took about 12 hours all told.




Another stokes litter and more gas bottles.  Sure wish there wasn’t so many acetylene tanks.  It's a real pain painting that red band!  Also, note the mop rack and hose reel on the aft side of the 5 inch gun mount.




Stepping away and looking at all 3 decks.  There is still quite a bit of hardware that goes between the main deck and the 1st superstructure deck that I won’t be able to put in place until the superstructure is glued in place to the main deck.




Port side at the front of the superstructure. More gas bottles, another mop rack, more life rafts.  I see a problem where there’s a sizeable gap in the plastic parts near the front.  I’ll have to correct that before I go on.  It’s way too noticeable.




Port side of 16” gun turret #2.  The ladder on this side of the storage shed is all bent out of shape. Might be a good idea if I replaced it. I opened this hatchway too.  I don’t know if you recall or not, but the red fire hose hanger is made from 1/64” automotive striping tape.




This is the very front of the superstructure.  It’s referred to as the “Conning Tower” and extends all the way up to the navigation bridge. The rack holds spare rail stations and the two side protrusions are antenna outriggers where the antennae tie off and feed into the conning tower.  They are made from 0.3mm copper wire and anchored inside through .3mm holes drilled in the plastic. This view also shows another gap between the port windows and the conning tower. Close-up photography is excellent at locating problem areas that are not noticeable when looking at the model with the naked eye.




Close up of compressed gas bottles and both open and closed portholes. Every porthole has a brass photo-etch ring glued to it. I can show portholes either opened or closed at my discretion. The 4 objects attached to the side of the adjacent 5” gun platform are spare barrels for the 5” guns.




This photo shows the ammo clip rings for the 40mm Bofor guns in detail, as well as the gun crew helmets.  These rings are brass photo-etch (PE) and have to be glued in place one at a time, starting with the bottom layer.  There are tiny tabs on the outer perimeter of each ring that you bend down to rest on the ring below.  This maintains the proper distance between rings, but it’s a real pain in the butt to hold them in place and apply glue to the tabs at the same time.




This is looking down on all three decks at the front of the port side. Note the mop rack, the oxygen bottles, the life rafts, and the ladder up to the 40mm gun director.  I elected to open the hatchway to the flag bridge.  I do need to make windscreen washers on this side.




OK, I know this is what you’ve been waiting for.  What this latest module looks like on the ship.  Here it is.




If you’re new to my built posts, I elected not to mount my ship on brass pedestals, as is normally the case.  Instead, it’s mounted on walnut blocks laid out to represent the keel blocks under the ship when she was in drydock for her last refit.  I think it looks a lot better than having it stuck up on some brass pedestals, don’t you?




OK, here’s the lower 3 decks of the superstructure mounted on the hull (not glued down).  Also, the #2 16” gun turret is in place.




The next few pictures give you an idea of the complexity of a modern (WWII) battleship. And, the amount of detail that goes into a model of this size and scale.  In case you don’t remember, this model is 1:200 scale (1” = 200”, or 16.67 ft).  The model is a fraction over 53” long – almost 4-1/2 feet, and the actual USS Missouri (Mighty Mo) is 883 feet long.  The ship is on permanent display at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.




Traveling down the starboard side.




I know many of you think I’m anal, and you’re probably right.  But, every time I finish a sub-assembly or a module, I stop and count the number of pieces that went into that particular assembly.  I keep an Excel spreadsheet that totals up the number of parts, the number of assemblies, and the total parts count.  In case you have any interest at all, so far there are 4864 individual pieces in this model.  That includes all the guns that are not mounted yet, as well as the 40+ gun directors built but not yet installed.  It does NOT include all the tiny pieces of plastic glued to the safety net baskets.  These are counted as I piece.  This total includes 1041 plastic parts, 3272 individual brass photo-etched parts, and 348 resin parts.  Told you I was anal!




Looks kinda impressive, doesn’t it?  But, believe it or not, I’m probably about only halfway finished.




There is a lot of equipment that mounts on the main deck alongside the superstructure that I can’t glue in place yet.  This includes things like the lifeboats and divots, more 20mm gun platforms, and the like.  Also, none of the railings have been added – and there’s a ton of those!




Believe it or not, most of the remaining assemblies are smaller and more delicate that what’s come so far.  The higher up you go, the more complex things become, and the masts, with all the antennas and radars, are totally unreal!




I thought of placing the 5” gun turrets in place for this shot but decided nah, why risk damaging them.  You’ll just have to wait to see them in place.




Yeah, I know, there are a few mistakes I've made so far. I try to catch as many as I can, but some will undoubtedly slip through. On the whole, though, I think they will be relatively hard to see once the ship is done and in it's case.




01     I haven’t attached the boarding ladders to the sides of the hull yet either.  That will come later.




All ready to start working on the next level.




And oh yeah, I’ve already had a nameplate made for the ship when it’s finished.  Notice there’s no finish date on it!!




OK, friends, that’s all for this post.  I hope you liked it.  So, until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and stay home!


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Your attention to detail is obvious , it’s looking absolutely awesome so far, looking forward to seeing more! But I understand the pain of slow progress on a 1/200 ship first hand, I’m currently working on my Arizona, and I’ve done some work on my Missouri. I found the Missouri particularly hard to work on just due to the size, but that’s also the reason I love it!

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This just keeps getting better and better, really makes me want to to build one for myself especially since I was on the Mighty Mo in the early 2000s when I honeymooned in HI, but I have a whole stack of unfinished and un-started kits to finish first. Also, I know my ADD would definitely keep me from finishing a project of this magnitude.

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  • 4 months later...

Hi all you LSP friends out there. It's a wet, cold, gloomy day and since I can't be outside picking up leaves, I thought now would be a good time to give you an update on my "Plastic Toy Boat", or, as I call it - "The Monster Mo". I would say it's probably 75% finished ay this point. I have to put on the smoke stack assemblies and the front upper control bridge yet, then add the rigging (ugh) and add a bunch of little piddly stuff on the main deck. And oh yeah, I've got to do the airplanes that attaches to the catapults. And don't forget the people! I take that back, maybe it isn't 75% done!! Anyway, here's the latest 35 pictures.



It's actually starting to look like a battleship now. Still a ways to go, though.















Finally got the 2 20mm AA guns mounted on the bow. Railing on main deck won't be added for a while yet.









This is the area I've been working on for well over a year now. The higher up you go, the smaller the pieces are, and the more brass photo-etch there is. There are 2 masts on this ship. one mounted on each of the twin stacks.  The masts are 100% brass.



Yeah, I said I was gonna! You probably didn't see them. but there are 11 windscreen wipers mounted on the bridge windows. And, I did get the railings installed on the upper decks - not the main deck yet.





How's that for detail! I even have an open door under the gangway.



Can you see the big 36" searchlight in what looks like an inverted tub? That searchlight has 16 individual pieces to it, including a clear plastic lens and seats for the operators















One good thing, there is so much going on with this model that if I make a goof, I doubt seriously if you'll ever notice it! At least I can hope!!



Sure is a lot of guns on this beast. Can you imagine a Japanese aviator's thoughts as he flew towards this ship trying to attack it?



This is one area I had a lot of trouble with - trying to fit the two 5" practice loading machines in place along with the gun director and radar tubs and ladders, then adding the railings and net baskets. A bloody nightmare, it was!



There's a 12" searchlight that had to be glued to the top rail of the railing. Wanna know how much fun that was? Damn thing is so small you can hardly see it and you have to hold it in place with tweezers until the glue sets up. Then you get to do it on the other side as well.



Here you can see the hole where the aft smokestack goes. That's what I'm working on now.












With the addition of the 12 whip antennas, I can no longer cover this ship with a piece of plastic. So, I now keep it downstairs in the family room and keep the case on it. Then, as I finish a module, I'll add it to the ship. Next addition will be the aft stack with it's associated mast.







Edited by steinerman
Think I got it this time!
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34 minutes ago, steinerman said:

I'm trying to link some new photos from Flickr and I can't seem to do it.  Something has changed but I'll get it figured out - I hope 


Administrators:  Can you delete the blank posts.please!


What's happening, exactly? Things have indeed changed, in that bbCode is no longer supported, but there doesn't seem to be any evidence of an image link at all in your posts (now deleted). Apparently Flickr gives you access to the direct image link, which is the one you need to use, so I can only suggest you give that a try. Instead of pasting it in directly, you can try using the "Insert image from URL" function from the "Other Media" drop-down menu (bottom right of edit window).



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57 minutes ago, steinerman said:

Not sure what happened, Kev.  I couldn't seem to get anything to work.  Finally closed everything down and restarted from scratch.  Software glitch, maybe???


More likely a browser glitch, but glad you got there in the end! Great update, too.



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