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  1. May depend on how soft the pencil lead used was (a 2B is going to leave a lot of waxy graphite i nthe pores and fibers. You might just need a lightly mor eaggressive sandpaper. Alternately, if you can find a suitable office-supply joint that has the two-colored erasers, the non-pink side is often a harder rubber composition which can get stubborn lines out. Barring thar, see if the store has an "art" section that has what is known as an "art gum" eraser. This is a soft and maleable product that will lift charcoal and well as grahite lines. You knead it back to gray to keep using it. My preferred lead for layout is 6H, as it holds a sharp, precise, point, and makes a crisp faint line (and, also, because I have a lot of those to spare having converted over to CAD decades ago ). Note that you probably want to lay out the deck furniture as well, as the planks were only laid up to the combings for those structures. As to plank length, 24 foot lumber was available for a long time to American boat builders (still is, somehat, if not in the exuberant widths of old). That's 9" long, to scale. But, that is likely only going to be found in the planks outboard of the deckhouses, and that with a sizeable stagger (around 4 frames worth) and butt joints not aligning but 3:1 or 4:1 (either three planks staggered be for another land on the same frame as the first, or four). 1:32 scale (3/8" = 1'-0") can be unforgiving. That's because it's 1/32" (0.03125" [0.79mm]) = 1", so you can "see" things to as fine as 1/2" out of scale (more or less).
  2. A well-known thing in both the furniture and the casework trades--contact dermatitis can result from contact with the sawdust, esepcially from the really fine-toothed veneer blades used in those trades. Now, getting a "runny nose" is probably more due to the particulate size, than a histamine (allergy) reaction per se. Factory workers are genrally OSHA required to have breathing protection related to the airborne dust (and for having 8 hours' exposure, too). Actual ship-building woods, like teak and cypress can be really irritating (the latter I can personally attest to from my 1:1 boat building, at least with the "swamp cypress" I was using). Sme of the South American hardwoods can be irritating, as I learned doing some display bases. Goncalo Alves has gorgous figure, but it dulls tooling in an eyeblink, and the sawdust can burn. Cocobolo has even more figure, and is equally hard on tooling, and it kind of burns. Ipé is the most benign, but still irritating (it's a lot more uniform in figure, too, and stains beautifully). Not that any of the above have a thing on working with ACT treated softwood; that stuff will give chemical burns on unprotected skin (the stuff is corrosive to zinc).
  3. Pertinent to the U-505 capture photos, that's late war paint, which would not have been to pre-war or early war standards. It's peeling, but the primer is preventing really obvious rust (which is its job). Now, for 2¢ it might be worth drybrushing some primer red, and some surface color over the rust. Let the rust be an under-coat, but under state it a bit. But, it's not my model. Do what makes you feel best. And, it's paint, not stone, you can undo amlost anything you do that feels "too much.".
  4. Since this is 1/96 (1/8"=1'-0") scale, thnigs get tiny. Like 1" to scale is 1/96th inch, or 0.0104" (0.264mm); not large stuff. So, if you want to put reef points in, my dodge is to take a suitable thread diameter, and tie a knot--like a figure of 8, with another on top of that. Repeat thr process about 3/4" (20-25mm) apart until your eyes cross (or several dozen). Tie off one end of the thread, and put just ehough weight on the other end to keep the tread pulled straight-isih (large paper clip, teeny binder clip). Then, coat the knotted thread with very dilute water plus PVA glue, and leave to dry. Once dry, nip the thread right at the knot. Trim the tail to around 1/4" (6-7mm) long. Mark off the sail for location and glue the knot to the point on the sail with an appropriate glue. Note that by glueing the knot, you can get the reef point to "hang" off a sail in the correct orientation. For 1/96, my preferred material is 100% linen rag paper (often referred to as "résumé" paper here in the US), as it's very thin (only slightly more thick than scale), and seams can be scribed or drawn (6H pencil) directly on them, and they will starch (with laundry spray starch) into shape if you want them "wind filled."
  5. That would be a "club" spar. It's bent to the sail, not to the mast. it will have a halyard near its mid point (as a bet, the spar will have an eye, and the halyard will be bent to that eye with an appropriate hitch). I want to recall that that a line was passed around the mast to act as a parrel. The whole thing has to be lowered to change tack, and the parrel rope (if I'm remembering right) helps you fetch the club back up to the mast on the correct side of the mast on the new tack. "Club headed" topsails are a way to increase the sail area beyond the limits of the mast.
  6. Given the number of flame wars on the topic, just wanted to be sure. And, given the level of online grief the venerable Revell kit sees, a not unreasonable position. And, it's fiddly details, like, if BatDiv Five had formed, would Texas' 4th, or 5th turret been red? In the spirit of the thing, probably turret 5, but, tray and find definitive proof. We build models for ourselves.
  7. Yes, the 1.1"/75 anti-aircraft gun. Also known as the "Chicago Piano." Nearly universally hated in service for it's propensity to jam. The need to supply water for sooling jackets on the barrels , oin a rotating mount, was less than endearing, too. Refer here for reasonably dry write-up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1.1"/75_caliber_gun Was also rather limited by the range of the weapon, in both slant range and horizontal fan. So, a 5 ton gun with only a 4x150rpm rate of fire (nominal) and only a 7000 yard range with a slow traverse--what was not to dislike. Which is why only 1000 were made.
  8. The 3 to 1 rule (or circumference of line) bending rule has a long history in maritime use (as in pre-dating the 1st edition of Knight's Modern Seamanship). So, a 7" lnie really "wants" a 22" bitt crossbar to not damage the rode. For perspective, a 7" diameter line if a bit bigger than most of our thighs, and, typically made up of individual lines laid against the lay of the rode. This is not a casual thing to take hold of and fetch up a loop into. Probably even more so in the limited room of a forepeak. As to bending off the rode before letting go, that suggests hauling up and flaking out a lot of rode. In a 10 fathom anchorage, you are asking to flake out 50 fathoms of rode--300' [91m] of 7" [17-18cm] line. Which is rather a lot of line to get out on deck, to let run freely. (everything I have read of RN practice is that 1:3 was considered short scope, and that 1:5 was considered more prudent, if on ground that was "well holding.") I also have a lifetime of being aroun Bos'un' and CPO (people would would have been Mates, back i nthe day). A s rule they are a frugal and conservative bunch. Suppose the tide goes out and you need to take in 5 or 6 fathoms of rode, or lay out another 10 as a storm brews up. Far easier to cast off a stopper lashed to the bitts and make the adjustments as opposed to figuring out how to take the strain off the rode snubbed on the bitts. But, then again, I might just be crusty and old and garrulous (I rather hope not, but, still . . . )
  9. Remember, too, that USN scaled the size of flags used by a ship, by the ship's size. This as by numeric designation, Size 1 through 7, largest to smallest. This is why the locker (flag bag) dimensions varied. The flags were made up wit ha toggle at the top, and a pendant that was at least the hoist of the flag, or five feet (152cm), whichever was longer. The signal would come down from the bridge, and then be broken out into groups of four flags, which would be laid out in order on the correct side of the ship (occasionally both sides ). When ready, the signal was hoisted up until only the last pendant was out of the box, so that the Signals LPO could check it. It then went to half-mast, this was known as Preparatory, The rest of the ships in the signal group (squadron, usually) would then match the flags they could see At the Half. With all the ships answering, the lead vessel then hoists to two-block the signal indicating Execute. The remaining ships repeat that, two-blocking the signal to indicate execution. To really make the signalmen's day, just Dress Ship, where the signals are laid out (in a prescribed order) from jack to tore top to main top to aft to the flagstaff. This emptied the lockers (mostly). It also exposed all the signals to the XO's eye, who might call for extensive washing of the signals (since they are stored somewhat in the weather). Although some larger ships had a stowed set of signals already made up to dress ship.
  10. The other issue on stoppering the rode was that natural fiber roe has a minimum radius it can be bent through/around (wire rope also has such a radius, too). So, the larger dimension cables could not actually be bent around the bitts for the diameter being too small to not damage the line. (There's a concurrent issue of just how you pull enough slack in the rode, while it riding, to bend it around the bitt.) Large circumference cables also have considerable weight as is (with a bit more when wet). There's considerable expense in making up a cable, too, so there's a financial incentive to keep it attached to the ship. So, it's my supposition that it was probably common practice to pass a Sling (a rope made up in a loop with a long splice) around the rode and lash that off to the nearest bitt, knighthead, or similar structural object to hand. And, that this was done both hoisted or set. Hoisted/housed because you'd not want a random wave to "grab" the cable and start it up out of the cable tier. Now that's just my 2¢ If informed by personal experience sailing vessels and Naval Service (and just a fe Sea and Anchor Details).
  11. Somewhere--can't remember where--there's a build of Eugen as IX-9 (?) "USS Eugen" in her fitment for the Swordfish testing at Bikini. Would be a fascinating paint scheme. However, some of the fiddly bits would be complicated as she was fitted out with some odd weapons for the test--like a flakvierling and some Army howitzers, if memory serves. Which might be hard to source in 1/350.
  12. Sad part was that UNI was aware of the extended range, and the dual speed, capability of the IJN torpedoes. However, there was disbelief in the numbers that had been acquired as they were so phenomenally greater than US weapons (that, partially due to the Depression-era concentration of all torpedo production to the Torpedo Factory). There was some issue in that the Peacetime Navy did not hand out promotions based on a person's knowledge of gouge. There was an over-reliance on radar, but a distrust in relying on then Buck Rogers tech for operational readiness. IJN prided itself on promoting its officer and inculcating them in a decisive stroke (Ippon waza) mindset. The operative theory being that the risk of losing their most skilled officers and crews in suicidal attacks was balanced by the potential gains if successful. In many ways it was a horrible calculus.
  13. Merchant vessels, which have smaller crews can't "afford" to put that sort of manpower on the foredeck. The LPO (or CPO/Warrant) in charge of the Sea and Anchor Detail has a long list of things to mind setting or weighing anchor. They are expected to watch the shots as they come on deck and note if any have excessive wear or need repainting. The deck detail is expected to wash the rust powder that comes up out of the chain locker with the shots is washed overboard. In foreign anchorages, the Detail will need to ensure the buoy is bent on to the deployed anchor. On an Iowa, the Sea nd Anchor detail will likely have an Ensign or a JG (and a Warrant, like as not) supervising the detail. They--the 20-25 or so on deck, and who ever is needed for the capstan machinery belowdecks-- have a number of things to sort out. Like striking off most of the stopper and lashing them out of the way so the shots can ride out without interference. Somebody has to mind all the pins and shackles and the like for the pelican hooks on all the stoppers. There's even more to do if it's to be a two-point mooring, so that there will be a swivel on deck and four split links. And that, before rigging the snatch block to which up enough shots, to flake out on deck to fit in the other anchor (unless the rode is long enought to set the swivel over the side --usually through the bullnose). Capital ships are large, but they are limited places at sea. There's a long history of walking the deck for a bit of exercise, particularly if it's nice out. So, there's a very real possibility that the foredeck will be visited by the Department Heads, the XO, the Captain, the Admiral, his Chief of Staff or the like--all of whom gennerally have experience in operating a ship at sea. (Oh, and the GunnO [head of the Gunnery Deartment] is going to tour all the gun mounts on a middling regular basis.)
  14. That moulded raised area is actually covered wioth non-skid. During WWII, that was a coating that had some asphaltic material in it; ost war it was a rubberized compound that had grit embedded in it while wet. Repair compound ws stockpiled aboard, usually next to the forward paint locker, and the Special Sea and Anchor Detail was meant to not secure until touch-ups were complete (unless in horrible seas). Ditto pain on the exposed chain shots on deck and the wildcat flutes on the capstans. On capital ships, particularly flag ships with Flag Officers aboard, the SSaAD would usually send a hand down the hawsepipe to touch up the paint on the anchor shank and such of the hawse pipe as could be reached. Capital ships were seldom more than three months out of a port or organized anchorage. NOw, the bottom of the breakwater might collect some grunge as one got closer to the Area of Operations, where GQ drills got in the way of ongoing maintenance. Mast legs and tops would be similar--just too much work to get people up there for paint duty (and painting was for Deck Apes, not Sparkies keeping the gear working). Similarly, the steel deck around the ground tackle could collect crud, as it was exposed to the sea, as would the area in under the gun mounts on the Iowas. The forwards edge of the wooden deck wouls go gray and show some weathering, too. Mind, barring anything but a Saturday Inspection in port, or at GQ, the 20mm mounts would be in a blobby canvas cover painted to match the local camo color. And, there ought be tompions in the 5" and 16" barrels--but casual obervers do not grok that at all.

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