USS San Diego done just in time for 2013 end

Happy old year!

Finished the kit.  Pushed to day to get it done so i could claim it for 2013.  I doubled my output (only finished two kits this year).

Put the railings and rigging on.  I might have been able to do it a bit better but this was a learning kit (my first 1/700).  Working with super fine photo etch and water modeling were my big take aways with this kit.  That and painting mostly with acrylics.  Here are the results.

IMG_0101 IMG_0102 IMG_0103

To finish it I need to complete the moldings around the plywood then on the shelf.

See you next year.


CL-53 San Diego in final stages


Been working slowly on this as well as being busy for the holidays.  No matter how much I fantasize about spending my holiday break in the garage doing hobbies something or someone always seems to need my time.  But it’s been a nice break and I’m pushing to get this thing done by the end of the year so I can claim it as a 2013 kit.

san diego

In the last post I spoke about paining with acrylics.  The acrylics have been nice as I  usually weather with oil washes and for this I didn’t need to coat it in Future Floor Wax before washing.

The method I used for weathering/washing the kit are explained in a book that I found invaluable to help me through my first 1/700 kit; Ship Models from Kits by David Griffith.  Here is a link to Amazon

To weather I first applied a very diluted black filter wash.  This is to break up the mono-tone of the camo.  Then a white diluted wash in certain spots on the topside as this will break up more of the color and help the colors be more sun bleached.  Then a blue oil wash to the sides of the hull.  Reason given in the book was that the ships reflect the sea water around them.  Along with this I did a pin wash of black around some of the features then a pin was of burnt umber in places where I wanted to show some rust.

Next I glued a piece of water color paper to a piece of plywood and painted it blue.  Before the glue dried I cut out the shape of the ship in the middle and epoxied the ship to the base.

Next, using the techniques described in the book I used acrylic paste to set up the bow waves of the ship and put some rough water shapes down.  After that dried, I used some more paste to create the rest of the water outside the ships movement.

Once dried I painted it all blue (I think the blue is too bright, I will use a darker blue next time.  I then took the blue and added some black and highlighted the low areas of water, followed by the blue mixed with green and generally laid some patters in the water to break up the solid blue color.

This is then followed by arcylic gel.  Lay down a layer and whip it up into rough water/waves using a wet paint brush.  The gel took 24 hours and dried clear.

Finally I applied the white in small batches to form the bubbles and wake of the ship, as well as dry brushing sections of the water to highlight waves.

Once all dry, I shot the model with dull coat and the ocean with semi-gloss coat and the model is ready for rigging and photo-etched rails, which I will cover next.

San Diego bow     San Diego stern

Happy Modeling.


USS San Diego – CL-53

Happy Hollerdays!

While I’m on a role posting my first blog in a few months I decided to continue on and talk about my lastest project, that which I’d like to have done before the end of the year!

I’ve been sitting on a DML USS San Diego.  My guess is that this is the old Matchbox Atlanta class cruiser model.  When I bought the model years ago it came with a etch sets from Tom’s Model works for Atlanta class ships.  Here it is in it’s current state…


I decided to build the ship as it was painted in the early war.  That camouflage is a rather elaborate set of blotches and squiggles (I never can seem to build the mono-color projects) and so we were off.

I don’t do US Navy ships so I don’t have the colors to paint them.  I could tell you about various RLM and FS colors and probably have jars full but when it cones to Haze Gray or Deck Blue – nada!  So I went off in search of what colors I needed.  There are a number of places you can Google bu I found this link to be particularly helpful.

Doing some research I discovered that the colors for my ship in the early war were called Measure 12 and they consisted of;

5-S Sea Blue – Sides of Hull, part of camaflouge

5-O Ocean Gray – Other color for hull and for topside camo

5-H Haze Gray – Other color for camo on topsides and the remaining fixtures like masts and and rafts

20B Deck Blue – for all horizontal surfaces

I decided to go way out of my comfort zone on this and I ordered Vallejo paints based on the link above.

The acrylic paints have been a blessing and a curse.  First they are real easy to use and go on pretty good.  The Vallejo Air color goes on straight from the bottle and the Vallejo Color requires a few drops of Liquatex Air Brush medium to thin the pain and help retard drying (which will gum up the point of your brush).  The cure part is that after I primed the model and painted the first color I thought I would try liquid mask to created the complex camo but when I went to take it off it took off the first color with it.  I had to repaint the hull and hand paint the camo, and the Vallejo paints take a couple of coats to hand paint and are therefor thicker.

Next post I’ll discuss building and weathering the ship and prepping it for further work.


Century series is finshed

Finally finished the F-106.  I’ve been working on that for a while and it’s been a couple of years since I started to build all of the Monogram 1/48 Century series.

Here was the goal;


and here is the last of the fighters completed.



But wait there’s more!  I found an old Monogram F-4C in the stash that I’m going to have to build as and F-110A.  But that’s another post.

Happy Modelling.