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USCGC Duane by RCboater Bill - FINISHED - Revell - 1:305 Plastic - ca. 1980


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This old kit doesn’t seem to have a lot written about it, so I figured I might as well document my ongoing build.  I started this as a build thread over on the Ships forum at Fine Scale Modeler, but I figure there isn’t a lot of overlap of readership between the two sites, so I’ll post it here, too.  ( I do see that Fright is doing the same thing with his Lindberg Lightship Nantucket build.)

 

The first several posts will be to document the work that was done over the last month or two- once I get the posts caught up, updates will be further apart!

 

The molds date from 1956- the kit is one of Revell’s first attempts at a real scale model-  their previous efforts had been the (now infamous) flat-bottomed models that were better for “sailing” on the bedroom floor.  The kit represents the Secretary class cutters from the Korean War era.  The kit was sold as both Campbell and Taney over the years, with no change to the contents except for decals.  The model is about 12.5 inches long, and is one of Revell’s box-scale kits, at 1/305 scale.  

 

The seven “Secretary class” Cutters were built in 1936-37, and were 327’ long.  The Alexander Hamilton was lost in WW2, but the other six served from 38 to 50 years!   They were named for former US Treasury Secretaries (the Coast Guard was part of the Treasury Dept until the 1960s).  The ships initially carried the full name such as “Roger B. Taney”, but the names were shortened soon after.  

 

The William J. Duane was named after the 11th Secretary of the Treasury, who served under President Andrew Jackson. The ship entered service in 1936, and was decommissioned in 1985. 

 

This Revell kit is certainly not up to modern standards, but it is the only one on the market.  I never sailed on a 327 in my time in the CG— but a good friend and classmate was on the Duane did, so that’s why  I am building it as the USCGC Duane in her circa 1980 fit.

 

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Edited by Rcboater Bill
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The 327s went through a lot of changes over 50 years they were in service.  The kit isn’t an accurate replica of any of the class at any given time, though it was originally released as the Campbell from the Korean War era.  There are a bunch of changes I’ll be making to build the  1970s-1980s  Duane. But the basic shapes  are pretty good...

Gold Metal Models does have a detail set for this kit- I’ll be using at least some of it (railings, for sure) to replace the infamous Revell “railing walls”. 

 

My goal for this build is to make an improved, more up to date model, but not necessarily an absolutely accurate one.  I will create a model that looks like a 327 near the end of active service, but there are lots of little things I won’t be correcting, as this is supposed to be a relatively quick build....

 

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The kit’s main deck has fine raised wood planking detail, but the wood decks were gone later in the ship’s career.  The deck is covered with oversize, clunky details— there is a poor representation of the anchor handling gear, and bitts and bollards that look like oversized traffic cones.  The deck also has various oversized locating ridges for other parts, lots of which I won’t be using.

 

Rather than try to carve and sand all this away, I decided to just make a new deck from .040 sheet styrene and add new details. My model won’t have any depth charges, so the deck extensions aren’t needed, either. I also filled in the stern ports.

I ordered a few  1/350 scale parts- I’m going to use resin bitts to replace the traffic cones.  I figure that 1/350 scale cruiser bitts make fine 1/300 scale Destroyer sized bitts!

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Some early work, showing the new one-piece deck.  I started  with the foc’sle, as that was the area requiring the most scratch building. I wasn’t going to glue up the deck and hull halves until I was OK with this...

 

One of the reasons to make my own deck was the desire to replace the foc'sle anchor handling gear with something better.   

Here is a shot of the new deck in the foreground, with the kit's original two part deck in the background. (You can see the “truncated cones” bitts, too.)

At this point, I still need to add the access ports in the deck where the chain goes down to the chain locker.  The replacement chain came out of the scrap box.  It isn't standard navy stud-link chain, but it still looks a heck of a lot better than what Revell molded into the deck....!

 

I also made the capstan drums from some scrap styrene- I glued a piece of tube over a piece of rod, and then clamped it into my cordless screwdriver to turn and shape the piece with files and sandpaper.  

 

 

 

 

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The hull is glued up with my replacement deck.  I epoxied a strip of 3/4" square  basswood in the bottom of the hull, to serve as an anchor for whatever mounting (pedestals, keel blocks, etc.)  I end up using for the finished model.   

An advantage of the blocks is that I can also mount a handle to make it easy to hold the hull while painting...

The hull was primed with Tamiya rattlecan fine white primer, then airbrushed with Tamiya flat white and hull red.  

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Edited by Rcboater Bill
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I masked and painted the CG "racing stripe".  Coast Guard Red is a red-orange color (FS 12199), which isn't available in any model paint colors.  (CG Bob says that ModelMaster Chevy Engine Red is the closest.)  That color is only available in enamels, so I kept looking.  (I ended up using a color from the Citadel gaming line-- a scarlet with a bit of orange tint to it.  The photo makes it look darker and redder than it is in person.)

After I applied it to the model and removed the masking-- I realized that I had made the stripe about only 2/3 as wide as it should have been.  So I ended up remasking and re-painting.   

Too narrow:  

 

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One last catch-up post to get this thread up to date.....

While waiting for the paint to dry, I did some work to improve the small boats.  The kit comes with four WW-2 era boats, including three open whaleboats.  I took a shot at reworking two of them into something that looks more like a USCG 26’ Motor Surfboat (MSB).  Some sanding to reshape the hull and the addition of scrap bits of styrene made a big difference...

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Bill - really good to be able to follow along on your latest build! I certainly want to thank you for all of your help that you have shared with me on my lightship. Right off the bat, I tip my hat to anyone that works with smaller scale vessels :imNotWorthy: LOL especially working with PE parts. Looking great so far!

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I have been working on the superstructure lately. I used my razor saws to cut off all the molded in railings everywhere they appeared.   There has been lots of filling, sanding, priming, and painting. Lots of masking, too- every little sub-assembly has white on the vertical sections and gray on the decks.  

 

One feature of the ship was the black stripes behind the vertical ladders. They were painted black there because it would be impossible to keep white paint looking clean from all the black toed scuffs from the crew climbing up and down those ladders all the time!

 

I decided I would do more harm than good if I tried to sand away the molded on ladders to replace them with PE parts. So instead, I masked the ladders and airbrushed them black. (Actually a grey-black, as pure black is too stark in this scale.). After it dried I used the edge of my knife to scrape away the dark paint, letting the white on the raised ladder show through.  I rather like the effect- and it looks better in person than in this extreme close-up!

 

 

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Edited by Rcboater Bill
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Working on the rest of the main deck and 01 deck structures...

Sometime after the Korean War, the ships all got a tripod mainmast for the air search radar, with a radar room under the mast on top of the aft end of the main deckhouse.  The Revell kit doesn’t have any of this, so I’m going to try to make it....

First, I cut the various pieces of “detail” off the aft end of the 01 deck with a fine saw, then sanded it flat. Getting rid of it does get me out of having to fill a bunch of sinkmarks!

The new structure is just a simple box made from sheet styrene, with extra PE doors and bits of styrene for detailing. Should look OK once it is primed and painted.

 

 

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Another catch-up post— about the 5”/38 turret...

I saw that Model Monkey offers a 1/300 scale turret set for the Taney kit-  you get two in a package (but no barrels.) I ordered them and they came quickly.  They are nicely made, and show how far off the Revell turret is. Compared to the MM 3-D printed turret, the Revell one has some issues:

- In profile, the two turrets are about the same size. But from the front, the Revell turret is noticeably wider.

- It is square when looking at it from above- it is missing the  taper- the back of the turret is not as wide as the front.

- the gun is centered on the face of turret, and should be offset to the right.

- the turret has the Gun Captain’s observation hood, which most, but not all, of the class photos seem to not have.

 

So what am I going to do?   Keep the kit turret! 

 

Here’s why— my new, custom deck was made long before I found out about the replacement turret, so the base I made was sized for what I now realize is a too-wide turret.  The correct turret won’t fit.  

About all I can do now is to sand away the observation hood....or not.  I found one picture of the Duane with it..

http://duaneassociation.com/Plymouth-74-042.gif

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Yesterday and today I worked on the display base.  The base is a piece of 1/2” thick poplar, with 1/4” square bass keel blocks.  I primed and painted the base, but not the blocks.  Plan is to airbrush a thin coat of brown to unify the color...

 

Here is the model being test fitted.  I’ll have to sand a little bit of a valley down the centerline to accommodate the keel...

 

 

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The display base is ready. ( I’ll build the clear cover last, once I know for sure the model’s final height.)

I am decalling  the hull now, so I can then flat coat it before attaching it to the base.  The red is painted, the blue stripe is from an old Lindberg Patrol boat decal sheet.  The rest of the decals are from the Alliance Modelworks 1/350 USCG decal set. ( I am really impressed with the quality! )

 

 

 

 

 

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I took a few days to focus on finishing up the base.  I added 3/4” high trim around the 1/2” base to cover the edges of the plank, mitered at the corners.  I then painted it gloss black. The trim forms a lip around the perimeter that will secure the clear cover.

While the base was drying, I also finished decalling and then flat coating the hull. I then mounted the hull on the base, so now I have a firm base for the railing work.

 

I am using the “tape and white glue” method to attach the railings.  A couple little pieces of tape hold the railing in place, and I then use a fine paintbrush to apply slightly diluted white glue to the seam. ( I find it much more controllable than super glue.)

 

 

 

 

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I have been slowly working on the railings.  The GMM set is intended to go on an unmodified Kit, so there are way too few railings for my model.  Fortunately, I had a stash of various 1/350 scale railings, and some of them are really close in size to the GMM ones.

I generally don’t like using PE parts, but there was no avoiding them for this build. This is only my fourth model with PE railings, and it is going a bit better this time.  Instead of using superglue, which can be very unforgiving, I am using white glue.  I am using Aileen’s “ Tacky Glue”, which is thicker than Elmer’s and grabs quickly. I dilute it with water a little and apply it using a fine paintbrush.  I find it also suits my schedule-  I put one or two pieces in place, then walk away to let it dry.  

 

With the midships section upper decks done, I am starting on installing the boats and davits. You can see one of my reworked kit whaleboats- I am pleased with how they came out.

 

 

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Almost done-   Just need to add the jackstaff forward and the flagstaff aft, and she’ll be finished.

 

A few notes about the masts:  

The mainmast was made by cutting up the kit part, converting it to a tripod was done using some styrene rod pieces of various diameters. 

The foremast is the kit part. Both masts have the yardarms from the GMM Detail set.  The rigging is EZ line- I wanted something that would be durable, and the elasticity should provide that. 

In hindsight, I think I should have done the antenna wires in a smaller diameter line- but too late for that now!

 

I do plan on making a cover over the holiday break....

 

 

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Edited by Rcboater Bill
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nice work on the Cutter Bill........have to agree how Revell dropped the ball on their boat kits.   although,  the 1:96 line of ship kits are among my favorites.    they did better with their car and plane kits.  I have the old U.S.S. Arizona kit.......it's just as I remember it.......but back then,  us modelers were so sheltered and hidden.....who knew >shrug<   great job on an old kit!   really nice  :) 

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On 12/7/2018 at 7:58 PM, popeye the sailor said:

nice work on the Cutter Bill........have to agree how Revell dropped the ball on their boat kits.   although,  the 1:96 line of ship kits are among my favorites.    they did better with their car and plane kits.  I have the old U.S.S. Arizona kit.......it's just as I remember it.......but back then,  us modelers were so sheltered and hidden.....who knew >shrug<   great job on an old kit!   really nice  :) 

I wouldn’t say they “ dropped the ball” with this kit. At the time, it was a big step forward by Revell, to make an accurate hull instead of something more suitable for a toy.  The kit is state of the art for 1957.

 

Removing the molded-on solid railings from any of those old kits is big improvement.  A lot of the other work I did was a result of my desire to build a ship as it appeared in the 70s, as opposed to 1954....

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  • 11 months later...

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