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Protected Cruiser VARYAG by RGL -FINISHED - Artwox - 1/350 - Plastic, resin and photoetch

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I needed a change of scenery after a 10 year build on my Endeavour. I couldn't face another long term challange. Months ago I found the Artwox Varyag on the net on an overseas site and liked it a lot, but shipping to Oz is usually a nightmare. I found the kit at BNA Models at a reasonable price and thought that itn would be a nice change as I have not done a plastic model this century.

I suppose the advantage of a late 1800's early 1900's kit has the advantage of real photos. Also the aftermarket range of goodies for plastic kits is great, as plastic is a lot more unforgiving than wood.

The Artwox kit only has the original Zvesda hull, with their own false deck, wooden deck, resin, photoetch and barrels.

The instructions are fairly good but without other references I would be lost. After having done a tall ship model, I now know how important the rigging plans are (the kit has none) and I have orderd the Kagero book.

There are some things missing from the Artwox photoetch fret which are included in the Eduard kit and vice versa, so I also got that.


Edited by RGL
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The contents of the box; lots of resin, 2 sheets of photoetch, a false brass deck, a wooden deck, the hull, lots of little brass rods, and instructions. Also is the Eduard frets. As I progress I will compare the pair, but I have already noted that the wheelhouse for the Artwox kit is resin where the Eduard is photoetch, and Eduard includes the Bow decorations where as Artwox omits it. Eduard also does not included the hatches on the hull. Neither kit has a decent rendition of the rails on the hull. Artvox does not bother and it is only representative with Eduard. The steps on the hull are not included in the Artwox and the Eduard fret has them.




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Ok, 2 days work on half a hull. I've used Dafi's scaling system of a Tic Tac as everyones coins are different. Drilled out the portholes and started on the photo etch. The Artwox fret has the hatches, the Eduard Fret has the footrails and the steps. I need to get some really fine grain sandpaper for a bit of tidy up from the CA.


You can see at the bow how I've started to sand off the scrollwork as the Artwox kit leaves it as is but Eduard provide one.


It's been such a long time since I've usd Photo etch I've forgotten how fiddley it is. The steps are microscopic, and whilst they look a little out of line, in the broad view it won't really matter.






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A quick update, I ordered and received the Varyag nameplate fret from Northstar models which includes the coat of arms and nameplate for the stern (Eduardo & Artwox have omitted both) as well as the ship's wheel and telegraph.


The steps included in the Eduardo fret are nice but are 10 short, so the only place in the world that has them in stock are North Star (Latvia!)


I love internet shopping but it will probably take a month to arrive which will cause me the re think my building plan.


I'm really keen to figure out how to rig it and have ordered the Varyag book. Wooden ships really teach you to plan months if not years ahead when it comes to rigging as the belaying points are completely inaccessible once something is stuck on the hull so it has to be done before it is attached. Nice to have a new distraction. Wish it was in a bigger scale.

Edited by Greg Lester
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Steps complete. I did not shave off the hull steps that were on the original hull as I wanted a guide. It worked out that the prt side has less steps than the starbord side so I actually had enough. Note for beginners I suppose, I scribed a line above the bulges that are supposed to be steps and using a pin ran some CA and then used tweazers to place the individual steps. i did not do this on the starboard side so the alignment is not as good.



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Hi Greg,


It is great to see someone else doing this kit as well.  You have some fantastic research images here!  Unfortunately, when I visited the Independence Seaport Museum, they did not have anything other then the drawings that I posted in my log.  If I remember correctly, they did have the contract book, which may contain some interesting details.  


I hope to get back to this sometime soon.  The day after I went to the Seaport Museum I moved my family out of state, and still have not set up a permanent model workshop!  One of these days... 


I look forward to following your progress.

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Time to join the hull pieces togeather, which go with a minimum of fuss and putty to hide the seams. I could not find a decent set of pedestals anywhere on the net (there was one set at $85 before shipping from the US - no thanks).


I then had a mind storm and remembered I had some $2 brass rod which I had in my spares.


I cut down each to an easy working size (and can be cut down further and polished up when the model is finished. I then used some offcut wood pieces, cut into 4 square pieces, 2 of which I drilled to the diameter of the rod, then stuck one drilled piece to a not drilled piece to make a sturdy slot to hold the rod. Both pieces were then glued onto the inner hull each. 


An offcut of a floorboard aligned with the rods as a base will allow me to go hands off with the model.


The rods are not glued (they done't need to be as the model can slide on and off depending what I need to do with it. 





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Bilge keel added, its a piece of resin for each side. Thought I may as well get the resin bits on the hull done as I have ordered a photo etch tool and do not want to touch the stuff till it gets here. I was going to add the small anchors to the hull but there is no reference to them at all in the Artwox instructions (Serioulsy they are fairly crap). The photos from Artwox show the anchor and a set of braces but make no reference to them. As you can see from the book and the enlarged photos on the fret, they are there. The Eduard anchor is nothing but that, a small anchor. 





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I have never worked with resin, and I was some what apprehensive. The prop shafts are on a sprue for want of a better word I supose. I eventually cut them off and accidentally clipped off a little noggin on the end of one, thinking crap, scratch build here were come. 1 obscure photo in the instructions set me right that it was supposed to be cut off. Who knew!


The instructions also told me to use a 1mm rod (not provided or numbered) so luckily had and used 1mm steel rod to align them onto the hull untill I can get some 1mm brass rod and blacken it. It has not been glued in but will act as a prace for protectioon. The braces have to be drilled all the way though to have one continious shaft. .


really happy to take resin tips from the pros.






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The stern gallery. This is fiddly as the platform has 8 individual struts underneath. The Atrxwox fret is nicer but about 1/2 as this as the Eduard fret (the darker one is eduard) and is paper thin and very fragile. The latticework is finer, more detailed and has extra struts.


There is also a stern torpedo tube with the fret from eduad which is not not even mentioned in the Artwox kit but is in all the reference stuff.


I have a stern nameplate and coat of arms which i will attach after painting. Both aftermarket.





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There are a heap of open source documents available on this ship I have discovered using Google translate. The Russian ship modeler's forums seem to have many hyperlinks to PDF documents.


As such I am finding more and more inacuracies. The Stern Torpedo tube's hinges are on top, not the side.  


The companionways in both Eduard and Artwox are wrong (You can see from the zoomed in photos of the real thing).  The Draminski book which I have purchased is nice, but the available blueprints are fantastic for every aspect. The files are too big to upload but easy to find at http://karopka.ru/forum/forum263/


Now I have two frets of companion ways that are inaccurate and have ordered ther North Star models version. 







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I read on a polish forum (love google translate) that the Artwox masts were poor compared to the master models one. The master models ones are soooo much better. I now have to learn to solder, but can proactice on the Artwox ones.


The zoom shot is a bit blurry, but it shows the mast caps which just appear to be a little piece of PE and another part which I just do not understand nor is it expalined.



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The next bit will be to put the stair into the decks which are attached to the false deck. Given I have extra's I reckon I'll use the stairs from Eduard instead of the resin ones provided by Artwox, as the level of detail is so much better and I'll be using difference hatch covers.


The brass sheet you are looking at is the PE false deck that the wooden one will go onto.




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I just recieved the North Star Russian hatch covers, which appear in an earlier photos, which also depicts the actual hatch opening up from the side not the end. 


Photos; The eduard is the most basic with no rims to the hatch, the Artwox one is lovely, with dogs on them which you just bend up, but I can find no evidence they were used, and the North star ones. I think I will layer the bottom of the north star one with the Artwox rim with dogs, then use the doors cut off the fret opening up from the side.






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Super glue slices all in tiny amounts, but I will have to solder the masts and yards unless I can drill them, as the tension with the rigging may pull them off, thus the practice with the spare yards or even some brass rod, they are tiny so I'll have to learn how to go from big to small, my Endeavour was much more forgiving.

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Ok, a test fit of the brass shim false deck, very tight in places.


As there are no linear instructions, I'm guessing a fair bit here, as this is the second build on the forum there is no one to follow except on a Polish site.


The circled bit is the first section of resin to work on. As you can see from the instructions it is fairly basic. From the Russian works (black and white drawing) it is an electric  winch, which has a separate machinery section running off it into the ship itself. I cannot replicate the cogs, but I made the braces up from the Eduard fret (an off cut) and used the cable drums to make up stands for the end of the fly wheels.I will trim them when I finally attach them to the deck after painting.


The ships bell is tiny (1mm) and is attached on an even smaller strut.


I have now discovered using one of the kids pencils and a quick bit of spit on the tip makes a great holder for photo tech (found that on U-Tube with a review of a Tamiya photo etch pencil, which is basically a grease pencil)







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Yet again, the resin piece is nice the detail on the resin will require incredible painting skills to make it ok at least somewhat realistic. As such I have added the Eduard bits to briing up the detail. I paid for it so I may as well.


Whomever did the diagrams (there are none for this in the instructions) have the hatch layout wrong compared to the Russian version which I think I'll have to use. The Kagero book and the Artwox kit mirror each other.


As you can see from the black and white drawings, the lay out of the doors is wrong as are the placement of the skylights. There is also a need for belaying point for stays.


Using the Eduad fret again I had enough doors to do the correct (I assume) 6 doors on the port side and 3 on the starbord. I drilled holes where the portholes/skylights will sit and will paint the photo etch off model for these.   







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