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And now the part you've been waiting for: What are we going to build?? Answer: We will build the 1/200 scale V108 torpedo boat from Digital Navy. Some reasons for this model: First, I have it printed already, and my printer has shown a recent propensity for not wanting to print on card stock, so finding a different model was problematic. Second, I have never built it before, which means that I'll have more motivation to build it, plus you and I will encounter the inherent construction problems together at the same time (all card models, no matter how top-shelf they are, have some construction problems; overcoming these is part of the challenge of card models). Third, it is a reasonably-sized model - not too big, not too small, and not overly difficult (based on parts count). Fourth, it is a torpedo boat, and torpedo boats are cool - who wouldn't want one? The first thing you will need to do is acquire the model. Roman at Digital Navy has been kind enough to allow MSW to host the files here. Be sure to visit his web site - perhaps send a note of thanks and maybe even spend a few dollars! Each of the four pages comes in the form of a PDF. Download the files to your computer. Page one is a cover sheet. V108 diag1.pdf Page two is construction diagrams. Construction diagrams are very important for card models, since most card models are printed in non-English-speaking countries; therefore, the translation of instructions (if there is any) can be a little tortured - just like those infamous Italian-to-English instructions in many wood kits. So, diagrams are the chief construction guide for card models, and their number, completeness, and clarity can make or break a build. V108 diag2.pdf Pages three and four are parts sheets. Two sheets is a small number for a card model. V108 sheet1.pdf V108 sheet2.pdf Depending on your printer, you can try printing the model at normal resolution, or at 'best quality' for better color density. You may also need to tell your printer that you are printing on card stock. You can print the first two pages (cover sheet and diagrams) on 20 lb bond paper (regular printer paper). The pages are formatted in 26 cm x 19 cm, so they should fit on both 8.5 x 11 and A4. You'll want to print the parts pages on 20 lb bond as well - some parts will be easier to form on the thinner paper. The parts sheets also need to be printed on card stock (after all, it's a "card model"). Finding card stock can be intimidating, because it comes in different thicknesses and is measured differently in the US than elsewhere. The easiest way to get some is to go to your local stationery store and ask for "card stock" - chances are, whatever they direct you to will do the job. Once you have the model printed, it will be time to prep the parts.
The first armament to be installed will be the torpedo launchers, two seemingly complex and fiddly structures consisting of 16 parts each. The parts for these are conveniently located together on the parts sheet. Believe it or not, I have built models where this wasn't the case - go figure. There are two launchers on the model, one forward of the bridge, and the other aft of the superstructure. The launchers are identical, and on assemblies like this I prefer to build them simultaneously instead of first one, then the other. This is another construction sequence where it makes more sense to me to assemble the parts out of sequence. We'll start with the pedestal. Cut, color, roll, and glue the pedestals (52g), then add the caps (52f). Glue these down to the deck. Next, add the triangular support brackets (52i); these are tiny right triangles, and the long leg of the triangle goes on the deck. The finished pedestals look like this: Next comes the ring-shaped structure that I'm presuming is a kind of track that the tube support brackets (52k) travel around when the tube is aimed. This consists of two parts, the ring (52e) and the circular track (52d)(the upper parts in the picture below). The inside of 52e needs to be colored, because it will be visible on the finished launcher. The ring, when closed, will be rather flimsy, and mating the track to it will be difficult. To fix this, we're going to use the spare deck printed on 20# bond. Remove two small squares containing the launcher locations from the spare deck, then laminate these to a couple of sheets of card. When dry, cut out the circular mount location, being careful to cut inside the line. Presto! Now you have a circular former to help you get the ring (52e) nice and round before adding the track (52d) (the temporary former is in the lower left of the previous photo). Work the ring carefully around the former and be sure it is seated at the bottom of the ring - we don't want to accidentally glue these two parts together. Next, cut out and add the track (52d); remember to remove the inner circle first, color the inner edge while the part is still on the sheet, then cut the outer circle. After the ring and track are glued together, the temporary former can be removed. The finished ring/track is in the lower right of the previous photo. Here's the forward ring glued down to the deck. Return to Part VI: The Superstructure
Before starting the superstructure, take a few moments to study the diagram for that assembly. The cover sheet artwork also has a nice view of that part of the ship. Assembly of the superstructure starts with wrapping the walls (23b) around the deck piece (23a). Score the fold tabs on 23b, along with the two fold lines where the wall wraps around the aft corners of 23a; after cutting it out, add the hatch door on the port side (part 55), Now here's another tip - if you apply contact cement to only one surface to be joined, it doesn't grab as tightly as when both surfaces are coated, but it does allow a small amount of working time. I glued 23a and 23b together with contact cement in the following order, applying the contact cement incrementally only to 23b: starboard rear corner, starboard wall, front of the bridge, port wall, port rear corner. When I got to the rear port corner, I discovered that the wall, 23b, was about 0.5 mm too long; if this happens to you, just trim the overage away from the end of the wall, crimp a new corner where the wall and corner meet, and then finish attaching the wall. After the wall is completely attached, the superstructure roof (23c) can be added using PVA. The finished assembly looks like this: If you study the last image carefully, you can spot a minor error. While I was dry-fitting 23b around 23a, the assembly slipped from my fingers. It is a very rare person who can suppress the reflex to grasp at a dropped object, and I'm not that person! As a result, there occurred a crease in the forward bridge wall (it runs down through the front porthole). When card is creased like that, the crease is pretty much there forever. Next, the superstructure assembly needs to be mounted to the main deck. The kit supplies a couple of joiner strips for this task (parts 23d). I happen to dislike such joiner strips for this job. When paper is folded, the fibers in the paper have 'memory' - they want to return to their previous shape. As a result, folded paper acts like a weak spring. In this case, the folded joiner strips will have a tendency to push the superstructure assembly upward. To avoid this, and to do a better job of positioning the superstructure walls, I prefer to add locator strips to the model. These can be made from leftover chipboard or strip wood, if you have any lying around (what ship modeler doesn't?). Here, I've sliced some ~1 mm wide strips from the edge of a chipboard sheet. These are then cut to the appropriate length and glued down to the main deck just inside the superstructure outline. The idea here is that the strips will position the walls exactly where they need to be, right on top of the outline. Notice I've cut and shaped a piece for the curved forward bridge wall as well. By the way, those colored patches on the deck are where I tested some markers for color matches to the kit. I used ordinary white glue to mount the superstructure, because the fit with the locator strips is tight, and I wanted as much time as possible to get all the walls down over the locator strips. The mounted superstructure should look like this, with nary a bit of white peeking from beneath the walls: Back to Part V: Building V108 - The Hull