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yvesvidal

U-552 Type VIIc Submersible by yvesvidal - Trumpeter - 1/48 - Plastic

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Working on the torpedoes doors and the bow. 

Before as provided by the kit:

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I just acquired a Dremel 4300 with a flexible cable extension and a few bits. I wonder why I waited so long to own one. It is such a fantastic tool. I am trying to remove some of the plastic to allow the insertion of the PE. Very tedious and delicate work. The Trumpeter plastic is very thick and robust.

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It will definitely require some putty, but not too much.

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Now, to install the framing of the torpedoes doors. This is a supplement PE set provided by RCSUBZ: 

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From there, I have been thinking about how I will be presenting the model. The top door will be open and a torpedo will be pushed out of the tube. The lower tube will be also open but the inner door will be closed, showing the internal arrangement: 

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It is starting to become difficult to see the imperfections of my work. I may have to spray some primer over this area, to figure out what needs to be puttied and sanded.

 

Yves

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Another delicate PE insertion: 

DSC03585.thumb.JPG.68858214a31cfe6e0c13a8077a622c0c.JPG

That Trumpeter Hull is massive and so thick. We are talking about 3 mm or close to 1/8 inch. It takes time and energy to go through it .

 

After a coat of Vallejo Primer, I can see the areas requiring some putty and sanding: 

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Almost like the real stuff: 

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Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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The port hull is in full swing. I have puttied and sanded a few seams: 

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It is now a lot smoother. I started working on the beating of the main hull, and its moon like appearance. This is due to quick foundry work, lots of maintenance, underwater mines and all kind of abuses these machines were submitted to, during their very short lives: DSC03588.thumb.JPG.4841e702919089ce902d5a8305ffd28a.JPG

On the deck, we are fabricating a Nice slice of Swiss cheese, following the templates given by RCSUBZ: 

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The amount of dust produced is insane. The fitting of the PE is perfect, once again, and the openings match ideally the template and cuts: 

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Lots of cuts still to be done. And then we start all over on the starboard side.....

Yves

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The bow is starting to come along: 

DSC03592.thumb.JPG.2ee0778ae6fc29ef9f4b12635ba5ccd9.JPGas well as the deck. Of course, PEs will be glued at the last minute, when all the butchering of the main hull has been done and completed.

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The real stuff: 

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Yves

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Let me explain briefly how I am approaching the butchering of the deck.

 

First, we take a deep breath and try to forget how much this kit is (+PE)...☹️

This is our starting point, a deck already butchered at the bow: 

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Using a large file, we file away a few of the protruding molding, preserving the hatch. At that stage there is no coming back:

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The base for the kiosk also has to go, since the PE will cover everything. Then, we tape the template to the deck and I drill some holes to delineate the shapes that will have to be cut. Basically a hole in each corner:

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Then a rough contour of the shapes is done and we start cutting. Of course, we start with the starboard side (away from the hull), since the fabrication of the plastic "lace", weakens drastically the entire deck. At that stage, I am actually happy that Trumpeter molded the hull in a very thick way, even though it is nightmare to grind, cut and file.

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Every time an opening is done, I verify with the PE that everything lines up nicely. The hole for the gun is my reference. That is all for tonight, folks.

 

Yves

 

 

 

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

After producing about 2 pounds of dust, I just completed the lace cuttings around the Gun. There are five little spots that I decided to not cut, as I think it may turn into a disaster and weaken the deck too much. Let's not forget that the deck also holds the starboard side of the hull. You can see the five spots easily. They will be painted the color of the pressure hull before gluing the PE deck, and will then later on be blended with the deck painting.

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The final result is very nice and you can clearly see through in most places: 

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It definitely brings a different flair than the original Trumpeter deck. I wish The Trumpeter would have done this when designing that kit. It would have saved a ton of time and efforts in making this model the most realistic possible. As far as gluing these large pieces of PE, I do not think I will be using CA glue.  I need time to adjust precisely and also need a strong and somewhat flexible bond. I am leaning towards the two components Epoxy glue with 12 hours curing time. Most of the gluing will also be re-enforced from below. The brass pieces are large and thick. They will contribute to the rigidity of the deck.

 

What are the experts thinking about this solution?

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Little more progress on the hull. I finished drilling the 100 some holes to open up the vents: 

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Each opening requires 4 holes (#53), a careful couple of cuts and some sanding with a flat file. Edges are finished with a round micro file. Back is sanded and then brushed to get rid of as much dust and plastic barbs as possible.

 

Moving along towards the stern. Preparing more cuts behind the kiosk: 

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When it is over, it will be all "lace".

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)

Another section of the deck has been completed. Now, we are approaching an extremely fine "lace" and this is becoming critically fragile: 

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Not cutting the bottom openings first (away from the hull) will definitely collapse the entire deck. A methodical approach is required.

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The result is worth all the efforts and risks taken: 

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Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, CDW said:

Looking forward to realizing what we'll see underneath that photo etch deck.

That is a good question.... I do not know yet....☹️

 

I found that interesting picture, showing the pressure hull and the base of the main gun on top of it. The kiosk and periscope framing is also clearly seen. The rear is more difficult to examine for details. In a way, I am glad that the U-552 did not have a snorkel as it adds a definitive level of complexity. The Revell kit representing a different submersible has the snorkel installed on the Port side. 

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Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, cog said:

You don't have much left for structure on that deck. Wouldn't fixing the brass restore some/most of it's strength so you can continue more easily?

Very true, but I am getting to the end of that structure. A few more cuts and it will be finished. I can then move back to the hull and complete the installation of the PE parts. Gluing the PE deck parts will be done last.

 

I am also thinking about how to secure the other half of the hull, while allowing the opening of it, for access to the modules or for maintenance if something gets broken. I think miniature screws (near the keel) and micro magnets (under the deck) may be the way to go.... To do that, I need to have access inside the hull, through all the openings I created.

 

Yves

Edited by yvesvidal

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I decided to build some re-enforcement, inside the hull to support the delicate lace: 

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It is not visible from outside, but it gives me a piece of mind and should strengthen the deck significantly, until the PE deck is glued (and even after). 

 

I am getting ready to cut the final openings for this section of the hull: 

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After this, we are moving to the clear section of the stern. I am not looking forward to that part (same with the starboard side of the hull) as it is very brittle as all clear plastic are. I have ordered special cutting bits for my Dremel and I hope they will be efficient at biting into the clear polystyrene.

 

Yves

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I do not know about you guys, but I had the urge to see what all this PE would give. So I put the two halves together and added the tail: 

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Yes, almost 5 feet of PE deck. A pure marvel, if you ask me (okay, I am biased).

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Impressive beast to say the least.

 

Yves

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