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About Fuji

  • Birthday 01/23/1958

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  1. Made some progress on the Calypso the past few days. Not a whole lot but still some forward progression! Started adding the furniture to the decks! Got the anchors and anchor chains to the winch and believe it or not the anchors are attached to the chain and the chain is looped from one anchor to the other! Thank goodness for thin wires and patience! I also started adding the handrail posts and handrails! The handrails aren't as hard to add as I thought they would be. I learned to super glue the railings to the first and last post before trying to bend the railings. The think wire is super easy to bend when glued to the post... the glued handrail almost acts like an anchor so I can bend the handrails just using my fingers. The hardest handrails to bend was at the bow and atop the wheelhouse. Sometime over the weekend I'm going to try and tackle the stairway and stairway railings. I think I have a plan but we all know how that goes! More to come! Happy Fourth of July y'all! Fuji
  2. Made more progress on the Calypso the past few weeks! I've added the windows and portholes and also painted the upper cabins and the bridge. Didn't come out too bad I think! I've also planked the upper deck, upper cabin roof and the bridge's roof. That was a challenge but also very fun! Built and painted the funnel and the helipad is now glued to the helipad supports! I am also pretty happy as to how the stairs to the bridge came out! I scratch built the stairs as the model instructions would have had me build a "slide" consisting of a angled piece of wood stock. NOPE! That would have looked tacky even though you would never see it behind the stairway "wall". On the side I've built and painted the radar dome and support and have started building the Zodiac inflatable and skiff. Did I mention I don't like the vacuform parts of this kit?? OH! A co-worker asked my why am I hand painting most parts without using paint masking tape? Well besides the hull I want to hand paint as much as possible as what I am building will become a family heirloom of sorts. I think anybody can use masking tape, but to paint those line with aging shaky hands.. well that says this model is custom made by me! Since the weather is somewhat nice progress will slow on this build, but I will post progress photos ASAP! Cheers! Fuji
  3. Making some good progress on the Calypso lately! I started building the bridge and the upper cabins. Let me start by saying the stairs up to the bridge according to the kit instructions was supposed to be just a single piece of wood glued from the bottom of the stairs up to the landing. Boooo! I took that piece of wood and created two stair treads following the angle formed by the upper and lower formers. Wasn't too hard to make but I can tell I'll need to paint these black or a dark color to distract from the fact the stair tread is a tad too thick! The forming of the stairway wall wasn't as hard as I thought it would be! What I did was steam the piece and bent it around a Tamiya paint bottle. Took about 3 steaming sessions before it created a good curve but patience is a virtue so they say! I next super glued the part of the stairway wall where it attaches to the bridge and added more super glue on the formers. Clamped that portion down then added super glue to the remainder of the former and clamped the stairway wall from one side to the other. I think it came out great! Now about the multi-faceted bridge windows... I loosely tapped the edges where the panels line up to each other using paint masking tape. Then with the bridge assembly upside down I slowly tacked each piece to the styrene former making sure the top (now on the bottom) of each window frame was on the cutting matt and the edges lined up with the adjacent window frame. It took about 20 minutes to get the shape and look that I wanted... along with a few choice words thrown in there for effect! I'll paint the upper structure tonight and pray that it comes out looking right. More to come! Fuji
  4. Worked a little on the Calypso over the week. Glued down the upper deck! I was pretty nervous about doing this as the initial dry fit didn't seems as if it would go smoothly as I could never seem to get the centerline of the deck to line up with the centerline of the cabins on the main deck. Used a 15 minute epoxy and ta dah! It didn't come out as bad as I thought it would. Still off center but by only about 1/16" so I'm a happy builder! The upper deck and the cabins on the upper deck are supposed to be removable if the ship is made as a RC model, but since this will be a static display I glued the upper deck down. It took eight cans of beer to glue down the upper deck! No not to drink... but to weigh down the upper deck to the tops of the main deck cabins! I purposely left off the last two posts towards the stern of the main cabins as there is supposed to be a large diameter post right below the starboard and port davits on the upper deck. I'll probably install 1/8" or 3/16" diameter dowels to represent the posts after I mount the davits on the upper deck. Next I'm going to glue 1/8" wide strips of styrene along the edge of the upper deck to mask any mismatches between the hull and the upper deck and all along the rear portion of the upper deck. It'll look much cleaner than just having the exposed plywood over the main deck. More to come! Fuji
  5. Despite the weather turning nice and the draw to do more outside being very strong I got some work done on the Calypso the last two weekends! I managed to paint the hull (had a LOT of issues with over-spraying so there is literally 3 coats of paint on the hull!) but still need to go back and hit the areas where the painter's tape wasn't quite aligned. I also cut the acetate for the circular portholes using the Thinnerline Circle Cutter I bought from Shadow Hobby. For those of you who are looking for an accurate way to cut circles in variable diameters on acetate sheets this is it! I used a blue tinted acetate sheet for all the windows as I wanted to mask the fact that the cabins have no interior detail. Overall I'm pretty happy how the windows all came out. If you look at the last photo you'll see the passageway that I created with windows representing 2 sets of double doors on each cabin. In that same photo you'll also see the "door handles" that I created using thin piano wire. I had to do this as what's a door complete with hinges without some kind of door handle? I glued the 2 cabins to the main deck in preparation of adding the support columns and the lower half of the upper deck cranes before gluing the upper deck to the top of the main deck cabins. Not really looking forward to installing the upper deck as I can see there will be a lot of alignment issues since both halves of the deck appear to be longer than what is physically possible. Could mean a LOT of trimming and retrimming in order to get the deck the correct length and in the correct position. I'll probably get to those in a couple of weeks as the wife will be having surgery soon so my free time to work on the Calypso will be slim to none. More to follow!
  6. Got a little more done on the Calypso build the past few weeks! Completed the helipad! I originally only assembled the very thin and flimsy truss for the helipad but when I started assembling the surface of the helipad the misalignments and warped truss framework started to work out with the help of styrene strips and the wooden planks! Then built the columns for the helipad and dry fit everything together. Will permanently attach the helipad to the support structure then the entire helipad to the deck once the upper deck has been installed to make sure everything is squared. Pretty happy how it came out so far. I next completed the Hughes 300 helicopter by adding the decals... err... stickers. Was disappointed in how poor the decals were as they are quite old and lost some of the adhesive due to the decal backing sheet warping. I discovered that if I was really careful and applied styrene liquid cement along the edge of the decal, the decal would adhere along the edges to the surface! So far so good! I finally started building the submersible saucer! To add realism to the display I added a couple of metal washers inside the body to add some weight. After assembling the two halves it was a quick add of the maneuvering jets using insulated wire and a quick paint job. Had to hand paint the rubber bumper all around the body, but overall I think my hand was steady enough. A few blotches but it was easily covered up with another coat of yellow. "Stole" a handwheel from the wench assembly below the helipad (hey you wouldn't be able to see it anyway!) and added it to the submersible hatch (this you WOULD see!) for realism. The last step was to add cable to the crane. I used waxed thread normally used to make bracelets from the hobby store even though the hook attached to the cable isn't what's used to launch or retrieve the submersible. BTW - The kit didn't come with any hooks for the crane (or at least I couldn't find any) so I scratch built them using spare brass eyelets and glass beads from the Virginia wooden ship model. I think it came out pretty good! Finally I scratch built and added lifting lugs to the submersible instead of just adding the metal eyelets which came with the model. They are a tad too big per scale but honestly I couldn't make them any smaller if I tried! Then it was adding slings to the submersible and attaching them to a lifting ring. I was pretty happy on how the submersible hangs below the crane and will only now need to trim away the excess thread from the slings to complete. But wait! shouldn't I add the lights etc. to the submersible? Hmm.. maybe not quite complete yet! LOL! Planning on painting the hull this weekend as long as the weather stays sunny and warm! More to come!
  7. Had some great weather this weekend but was still able to dedicate some time on the Calypso between being outside enjoying the warmer temps and sunshine! I started building the crane at the stern of the ship. Got the pulleys and hydraulic cylinders temporarily installed for now. Need to file down the wire used to hold these items in place then add a drop of superglue and eventually paint over the ends of the wires. Ordered some thin and flexible wire online for the crane and will install that when it arrives. Built up the handrailing using Evergreen styrene rather than the wood strips provided with the kit. The results are in my opinion much cleaner so I'd highly recommend doing this! I also added some small pieces of along the door edges to simulate the door hinges. Fun! Paint seems to be coming out too think. Probably because it was in the mid-50's the day I painted so I'm going to sand it all down and try another coat when the temps get into the 60's. Finally I worked a bit on the Hughes 300 helicopter that comes with the kit. Not real happy with how the yellow paint came out but I got tired of fighting with it! Painted the canopy clear blue and after a couple of attempts at masking the canopy windscreen frames decided to hand brush the frames instead (the plastic doesn't hold paint well so every time I pulled off the making tape the underlying paint would come off with it!). Helicopter still needs to have the wire for the tail boom struts bent and installed and the tail rotor attached but I'm saving that for next week. More to come!! Fuji
  8. Got a little bit done on the Calypso over the weekend. I created the double doors in the new passageway between the fore and aft cabins as well as created the doors in the forward bulkhead. I started priming the cabin walls and will attempt creating and placing hinges for the doors before painting the cabins. Hopefully by then the temperatures will be warm enough to paint (I'm using rattle cans of Rust-Oleum paint). I also started building the transom and boy that was a chore! Instead of using the 1.8mm x 6mm wooden strips to build the transom I used .080" x .250" styrene strips. I had to glue the first styrene strip in phases by clamping the styrene strip from the rounded end of the hull to the opening of the aft hatch structure. It took 5 phases using superglue but in the end the styrene closely followed the curve of the hull's stern. The second styrene strip acts like a doubler so it was a lot easier to glue down in place using 6 mini clamps to form the curve against first styrene strip. After the glue dried overnight I came back with an x-acto miter saw and trimmed the ends to match the inside edge of the styrene hull. This is when realization hit! I noticed that the starboard railing (part 14) is actually too short! Based on photos this railing is supposed to go all the way to the curve of the stern. The part outline out of the box is about 1/4" too short, so I used scrap styrene sheet to build the additional 1/4" for the railing. So if you build this kit remember to leave the stern end of part 14 longer than the markings show! Tomorrow I plan on sanding the transom and the hull to (hopefully) have the stern's curve blend together using plastic putty (if required). I also started building the little Hughes 300 helicopter to keep myself entertained. I originally wanted to scratch build the cockpit but after a couple of attempts decided to just tint the windows clear blue and be done with it (the thin plastic coupled with a poor fit wore down my patience). Needless to say the fuselage is difficult to glue together and when it was finally glued together after 3 attempts it required a LOT of putty to fill in the gaps! I assembled the helicopter's pontoons and painted both the fuselage and pontoons that famous yellow color. Be warned that I had to put down 5-6 coats of yellow over a light gray primer before the yellow paint looked decent. I'm still not happy with how the paint laid down so I'll probably lay down another coat before beginning to assemble the whole thing together. No photos of the helicopter this time.. too embarrassed on the paint job so maybe next time! I also started building the helipad and boy that also was a chore! The plastic pieces for the helipad frame was warped and broken in a few places. I ended up using a hair dryer to straighten the pieces then gently glued the broken pieces back together. The frame came out "ok" but hey it doesn't need to be perfect as it'll be hidden (for the most part) by the helipad planking (I hope!). I also ordered a right and left hand brass prop from Dumas. I didn't like the plastic prop and so just I had to go with brass props! But after I ordered the props I realized the Calypso probably used 4 bladed props and not 3 bladed props like the one that came in the kit. SIGH! Oh well... I won't tell if you won't! Well that's enough rambling for now. Will post progress photos again hopefully this weekend. More to come! Fuji
  9. Since it was single digit (and even in the minuses) temperatures over the weekend I was able to get some work done on the Calypso. As I mentioned previously I found that the alcove on the main deck cabins was actually a passageway between the port and starboard sides of the main deck. Since this build is a static display (and because I never make models straight out of the box!) I decided to create the passageway using scrap material from the kit. The first picture is the passageway planking and a dry fit of the scrap built walls. The second picture is a shot farther away so you can see how narrow the passageway is and some orientation to the main cabin walls. The third picture is how this will look with the side railing in place. The final picture is how the passageway will look like with the upper deck in place. I plan on adding double doors in the passageway to each the fore and aft cabins. Since the passageway is so narrow (my guess is about 4 feet wide) I assume the doors into the cabins open INWARD, so I will scribe the doors into the walls with a 6" wide column between the doors and add square windows on each door using the door pattern for the exterior doors. Also note that while watching a Jacques Cousteau's TV shows I noticed that the forward bulkhead which in the model dead ends on the main deck actually has a door with a square window on the starboard side. I assume there is a door with a window on the port side so I will scratch build the two doors using the plastic scrap material and will add them to the forward bulkhead before gluing down the bulkhead to the deck and the forward upper deck to the hull. A note for anyone who is currently building (or will someday build) the Calypso - I discarded the 1.8mm x 2mm wooden sticks which were supposed to be used as the railing supports and used 0.80" x 0.80 Evergreen Styrene strips instead. The wooden sticks were inconsistent in size (and shape), but the styrene strips were uniform and so much easier to cut to length and attach to the railing. It's supposed to be another cold and snowy weekend so more to follow! Miles
  10. Working slowly on the Calypso build. Started working on the main deck cabins and I became baffled on why there is what appears to be a small alcove between the two main deck cabins. I watched a couple of Jacques Cousteau's shows to see if I could figure out what was actually there. No luck. Then I stumbled across a photo of the Calypso's deck plan and viola! I discovered that what is modeled as an alcove is actually a passageway between the port and starboard side of the main deck! Now this makes sense! So I'm altering the model to add planks all the way between the port and starboard side and actually built the passageway using scrap board which used to be where the aft cabin cutout is on the main deck. Also finished gluing the posts on the port and starboard railings and will start adding the top rail sometime this weekend (it's supposed to snow like the dickens this weekend!). Photo of the deck plan I found (see the lower right plan.. that's the main deck and you'll see the passageway), Photo of the model instructions showing the alcoves, and photo of the dry fit of the forward cabin passageway wall. More to come! Miles
  11. Worked on planking the main deck over the weekend. Bought a pastel pencil and used it to emphasize the edges of the plank. Also used a five plank scheme to define the stagger of the planks and it seems to come out okay. Now only need to lightly sand away any excess glue and give the deck a couple of coats of polyurethane. While planking the deck I decided to cut off the wood pieces which I had previously installed as per the instructions. The wood pieces would have been used to define the inside edge of the structures, but I removed them as I can tell they did not dry perpendicular to the deck. Instead I'm going to glue the wood pieces to the inside of the structure walls once the structures are assembled and painted to help center them to the holes in deck. More to follow! Fuji
  12. Hi Don- Thank you for the insight on how you built your Calypso! Yes you really helped me out with detailing what you did... and also made me realize that I'm not imagining how poorly the fit is between the wooden deck and the ABS hull. I intend to do the same as you by adding the strips. I think that by adding the strips you made your build of the Calypso look very sharp and clean compared to just trying to model it as-is out of the box. I'm currently adding the planks to the main deck and should be ready to post some pictures soon. Thanks again for sharing how you tackled the fit-up issue! Best regards- Miles
  13. Hello Don- I'm also building Billing Boats' Calypso and couldn't help but notice your beautiful build! The level of detail is fantastic! One of the small details I noticed in your build is the upper deck trim at the hull. It looks as though you modified where the edge of the hull connects to the upper wooden deck. The instructions shows what appears to be forcing (and I do mean forcing!) the ABS hull contour to fit UNDER the wooden deck causing what should be a curved ABS lip under the edge of the wooden deck. I don't care much for that and was trying to figure out a better way to make that work until I saw your build log. Did you use scrap ABS to create that trim to run the entire length of the upper deck? If so, what a great idea to hide what would be an unsightly seam which the instructions would have the modeler make. Thank you in advance! Fuji
  14. Hello Yves Thank you for your comment! I also thought that the angle of the propeller shaft was too steep of an angle, but I rechecked the centerline of the shaft guide vs. hull penetration angle before epoxying it all together and it is pretty close to the section view provided. I believe the issue is incorrect forming of the prefabricated shaft guide. It could have been corrected by spreading the location holes for where the shaft guide attaches to the hull (and thereby decreasing the shaft angle), but since this model is intended to be a static display I decided to just build it as directed out of the box. Of course now I'll always direct my eye there! LOL! For those also intending to make this build as a static model be aware that the platform intended for the RC receiver and servos and the motors still needs to be installed as a forward bulkhead is attached to the platform. Another word of caution is to try and get this platform as level as possible to avoid a lot of trimming and sanding of the forward bulkhead as it will eventually be used to support the forward deck. Working on the main deck now! More to follow! Fuji
  15. Happy New Year all! I hope all of you survived 2020! All I can say is what a wild ride 2020 was and I hope 2021 is going to be much better. I had set aside my build for a few months. I got really frustrated with this build as the instructions are pretty light to say the least. The straw that broke the camel's back was trying to figure out how to attach the propeller shaft guides to the hull. NO part numbers shown. NO illustration provided. Just a diagram saying to drill two holes 2mm in diameter 58mm from the shaft exit hole in the hull and 8mm and 24mm from the base of the keel. Well I was surfing the internet the other day and came across a journal of this same build and viola! The builder showed pictures of the mounted shaft guides! I looked through the part blister packs and lo and behold there were 4 small bolts with nuts! And ONLY 4 bolts and nuts in the entire set of blister packs. So I guess I could have guessed what the bolts and nuts were for, but maybe I was just frustrated to begin with, with all this COVID-19 stuff, that I just needed to step way for a bit. So here are some progress photos of the Calypso! I still need to clean up some of the messy epoxy work but so far so good! To be continued...
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