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Hr. Ms. Java 1925 by Piet - FINISHED - Pacific Cross Roads - 1:350 - Light Cruiser of Roal Netherlands Navy as she was in 1942

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Hello everyone and thank you all for your accolades on the diorama up to this point and also my thanks to those visiting and clicking the like button - it's all very much appreciated.


As usual I have been rather busy with other projects around the house, summer time and a lot of rain makes things grow rather quickly.  This didn't give me mush time to work on the diorama.
I managed to sneak a few hours here and there and managed to cut all the trim pieces down 1/8 inch.  Not only in the thickness of the pieces but also in the width.  I think the smaller size looks much better for this size case.  Gwen agrees and that says a lot - to me.

I now proceeded to glue them to the glass, keeping them secure with masking tape, which worked like a charm. I let this cure overnight, which turned into two days. After removing the masking tape I did a final sanding with my long sanding stick and prepped them for stain.  I used the same light oak stain as I used for the base. After the stain had dried I rubbed it with a lint free cloth to polish it up a little.

It was now time to clean the clean the glass and used a mild soap with some baking soda.  I'll most definitely have to finish it with a plexiglass polishing compound.


Well, I'm almost done with this build and hope to present it to all of you in the next day or so.


The wood trim pieces being glued to the plexiglass



First coat of stain is applied and drying outside the garage. Ready for the second and final coat. 




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Thank you Jan and Denis for your kind words.

I wanted to complete this project this morning but Gwen informed me of an ant invasion in our master bathroom. In searching for how they got inside the house I detected cracks in the stucco around the window. So, with hammer and chisel I removed all the loose stucco and sealed the gaps.  That kinda took most of the morning but I did find some time to apply the final coat of stain to the trim. It's now looking much better and I am VERY close to completing this build.  Just a little more polishing of the glass.



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Thank you Denis, Sjors and Carl for visiting and your comments. 

Ah yes, Sjors is making me to hold my breath awaiting his comment :o


Well, we have come to the end of this project.  I need to split my end posts into at least two parts because I like to add a few pictures I have not shown before. Let me start with the final diorama display as it sits above my drawing table and see what I can add that relates to the end of this ship and the rest of the ABDA fleet that was decimated in Februray 27, 1942 by the IJN.


I had a real problem taking decent picture with the glass case, too many reflection no matter what I tried.  For any other positions of the model please refer to some my previous posts.


Below the pictures of the diorama I have posted six photos made by Kevin Denlay, the first diver who saw the wreck of Hr. Ms. Java on the bottom of the Java Sea floor. Kevin was present during the memorial service in Surabaya on February 27, 2013 and send me these photos.



Taken outside in the shadow of the house



Taken outside the house with a light blue bed sheet as backdrop. The dimensions are 24 X 8 X 10 inches.


The diorama in her place above my drawing table and next to Hr. Ms. O19






"All Ships Follow Me" - - - Admiral Doorman's command was "ik val aan, volg mij"  (I attack, follow me)


Laying of the wreath - - - The bell in the foreground is Java's ship's bell.






Wreath with the colors and inscription "Koninklijke Marine"  (Royal Navy)



Crosses of the fallen. Yes, my father's name is among them.



Hr. Ms. Java's ship's bell, placed on board at her commission 9 may, 1925.




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I have obviously compiled quite a bit of history about the two most important antagonists of the ABDA fleet.  They are the Hagura and the Nachi, both are heavy cruisers with 8 inch guns and several torpedo launchers as well as spotter airplanes.

According to Jeffrey R. Cox, the author of "Rising Sun, Falling Skies . . ." It was the "long lance' torpedo of the Nachi that struck "Java' at her port side.

The United States Navy managed to sink Nachi in 5 November, 1944 with aerial bombardment, ship's gunfire and torpedoes. Bitter sweet revenge, if we can call it that.



IJN Nachi


5 November, 1944


5 November, 1944


5 November, 1944.  Here the bow is missing and the stern is separated from the ship and sinking.



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This will be the final post of my diorama project of Hr. Ms. Java.  I may have mentioned in one of my previous posts that unknown but presumable a Chinese salvage company lifted most of the ship wrecks from the Java Sea floor.  There were sonar images made  showing the depressions of the Ruyter, Java and other ships  but unfortunately only the sonar image of the Exeter remains available in public domain.  I like to show you all how "Java's" last resting place looked like, which is very similar.



Translation: "TODAY FOURTY YEARS AGO THE NIGHT FELL OVER JAVA, Doorman waited for the death with his wounded.

SURABAYA BY B. LULOFS, De Telegraaf (is a news paper), 27-02-1882,

This chart shows the locations of the last resting place of several ships with their crew.



Sonar image of the hole in the Java Sea floor where Exeter rested on her starboard side - Credit MV Empress - Public Domain Date November 2016.


By this time the wrecks have been cut up and send to the smelters.  Interviews with the people who did the cutting up revealed that they found many human remains and as best as they could were placed on bags and buried. There is even a makeshift burial place for most of the remains.

This then is the END, an empty hole, not only in the Java Sea bed but in my heart for the ignominious end by unscrupulous grave robbers of hundreds of men.

However, mu memory is still vivid of the wonderful times I have had with my father and that no one can take from me.


I wish all the best to everyone who joined me on my journey.



Edited by Piet
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Great model and great diorama Piet.  It is a fitting memorial to your Father. And thanks for the history lesson.  Very informative, albeit a bit painful for you, but informative for all of us and very well told.  Thanks

Edited by Jack12477
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No words, Piet.  This has been a very special project and at times, very hard to read but well worth every post and reveled memory.  To say: War is hell" is an understatement.  Many times moreso for the families than for those doing the fighting.  I salute you  and your father.  This is a fitting tribute not just to him but to all those who have gone in harm's way.

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4 minutes ago, Piet said:

My heartfelt thanks to all your kind words, they mean VERY MUCH to me.  I am truly at a loss for words in response, other then thank you, all of you have been very encouraging in this build. 


Till we see each other again on another build,



Dont make it too long piet,  your friendship and skill on here is so warm and your attitude to your work is second to none.



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I just discovered your wonderful project.  Your finished build has a terrific sense of motion and action, and combined with your story telling the diorama truly captures what must have been a harrowing moment of desperation.  Well done, and Godspeed to you and your family.


Thank you for sharing this remarkable journey.



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  • 4 months later...

Thanks Lawrence for your best wishes. Gwen and I wish you and Bernadette a very great and healthy 2019.

No more updates on Hr. Ms. Java, she is finished and parked above my drafting table.

I don't know when i can start building again.  I'm tied up with study in nutrition and a few other things.



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  • 8 months later...

Realise this is an old thread but just stumbled on it by chance (and read through it) and thought I'd join up and make a post in the hope that Piet see's it.


Now I am certainly not going to chastise you for posting my u/w stern photos Piet, far from it. No problem there whatsoever. It is just that I lost your email address some years ago with a computer crash. And hence, lost touch


Anway, will keep this brief for the time being and hope that I hear back from you.



Kevin Denlay

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