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Hatsuzakura IJN destroyer by Landlubber Mike - Pit Road - PLASTIC - 1/700 with FiveStar PE

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I had a little time last night and put together a few of the 25mm triple MGs.  These were built up using four PE pieces and I think I counted 16 folds, but weren't too bad.  Like the other guns, I think the PE gives a little more detail and the barrels at least are more in scale.  Under extreme magnification like in the pictures they don't look very crisp, but without any optical help, they actually look quite nice.


I only have to make four of these, and then can start putting together the single MGs.







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1 minute ago, popeye the sailor said:

holy moly Mike!  amazing work with such small parts!  I'd be daunted to try one.........:blink:


With your skills, you should definitely try it!  You have done a great job with the 1/72 scale planes, this is just a bit smaller :) 

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5 hours ago, cog said:

The only advantage youhave at this scale is the numbe of parts. Where at 1/350 you might have some 16 - 20 individual parts, you have but 4. However, the size would drive me nuts! Well done, not to say, very well done


It is easier in some cases, but it's almost by necessity because the pieces are so small.  Beyond the folds, what is tricky is cutting them out of the fret.  You have to be careful to press straight down or you might cause serious bends to the rest of the piece.  For an example, here is a picture of the base unit of the triple MGs (part C4) - this wasn't so bad, but some of the others like the tower pieces which involved long thin brass, were extremely tricky.  Even then, I find i have to flatten or rework the piece to get back to the original shape once out of the fret.




Here are the instructions for the various guns and rangefinder.  If you look at part C4, you can see what was involved - 14 folds!



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5 hours ago, EricWilliamMarshall said:

Stunning!! I didn’t know there was etched bits for such small scale and size! It seems insane, so my hat’s off to you. What is the basic tool kit for you work with PE? 


There is actually a huge aftermarket for 1/700 ships, probably at least as big as that for 1/350 thought the players are a bit different.  It's amazing what people are putting out in terms of sets.  You can get wooden decks, deck masks, resin-cast guns and other deck items, etc.  Sometimes the manufacturer has sets that are included in the kit or available separately, but generally, it seems that the more comprehensive sets are available from third parties - Five Star, Rainbow, Artist Hobby, Flyhawk, Shipyard Model Works etc.  For me, I've generally been seeing what's out there in terms of aftermarket and then buying the associated kit, rather than start with a kit and get the aftermarket.  You can, however, add generic detail sets for ships like carriers or seaplane tenders if you have a kit that doesn't have a dedicated PE set - places like Toms Model Works and White Ensign make a number of very good generic sets.  You can also buy various detail items a la carte if you want more detail for a particular item from places like Fine Molds, Rainbow, Ocean Hobby, etc.


People are also starting to put out resin sets which have limited PE, but the hull, guns, funnels, etc. are cast in resin.  The detail is amazing, and less to obviously remove from a fret, fold, glue, etc.  Take a look at Niko models - I just picked up a couple of their kits and was really impressed with what they are pulling off in resin at this scale.


I've mentioned this before, but what is great about 1/700 is the incredibly diverse range of subjects you can build that aren't available at 1/350 or bigger scales, especially things like auxiliary ships like oilers, seaplane and submarine tenders, minelayers, etc.  I personally find those workhorses a little more interesting than something bristling with guns.  


Sorry for the digression.  For tool kit:


-- Optivisor


-- Good tweezers are a must!  Get the finest tweezers you can get.  I have some Swiss ones that I picked up a while back that work nicely.  The general hobby ones you see will be too big, ooo imprecise, etc.  I sometimes use a self-locking one to hold a part, while using a standard tweezer to make folds.


-- Then you will need something to remove the pieces from the fret.  They have clipper type tools you can use, but I think they will be too big as 1/700.  I use a #10 X-acto type blade (the one that has a bigger profile and a curved cutting surface at the end.


-- Cut off set - to help see the piece and remove it from the fret, I find the black acetate and hold downs to be incredibly helpful.  You can get them from The Small Shop:  https://thesmallshop.com/collections/photo-etch-cut-off-sets


-- For folding, at 1/700 I can get away with mostly using tweezers, though sometimes I use Tamiya PE folding pliers (they come in two sizes) especially if I have to flatten out a piece that got bent on removal.  I also have a couple of "Hold and Fold" PE bending sets from The Small Shop:  https://thesmallshop.com/oollections/photo-etch-bending-tools  I haven't needed to use them yet, but they will come in handy when I get to larger scales.


-- Glue - I generally use medium CA that I apply via a pin.  You can use white glues too like Gator Glue, but I've found medium CA to be a little better dealing with the small parts in 1/700.  Thin sets way too fast to be able to adjust a piece, and white glues take too long (at least at 1/700).  I'll be using Gator Glue when I start my 1/350 kits.


-- Wax pencil - one other thing I found helpful at times is using one of those wax pencils to help you pick up tiny parts.  They have just enough adhesion to lift a part, but not too much that you have a hard time getting the part off.



 That's about it.  Not too complicated.


Edited by Landlubber Mike
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Mike, Are you cutting the frets on your cutting mat or something less likely to give. I've been working on a brass flatcar and cut the big pieces out on one of my cutting mats. Now, I have to cut out finer details, like brake levers. I've bent some of the large pieces in places as I've cut them out, but they're not too obvious and easily fixable. I'm dealing with HO (1/87) scale parts, so it's probably not as intense as dealing in 1/700 scale. Plenty of light and an Optivisor are definitely needed.

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50 minutes ago, Beef Wellington said:

Just incredible what you are achieving Mike, hats off to you dealing with that insane PE at that scale, looks great though.  How do you fold the PE at this scale?


Thanks Jason!  I generally use very fine tweezers to do the folds, often times with the part being held by very fine reverse tweezers (not sure what they are called - the ones that start closed and when you squeeze them they open).  Sometimes I can hold a part in my left fingers and fold via tweezers.  


What's nice about the PE (at least in this Five Star set) is that the fold lines are already preset with very shallow grooves so you don't have to guess or exert much force to start the bend.  Amazing that they can pull that off in such scale.

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2 hours ago, EricWilliamMarshall said:

Thanks ever so much for overview ; most useful! I think I have to take the plunge now!


Go for it!  Definitely post a log on here so that I'm not the only one in the insane asylum.

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I've been on a roll moving this project forward this week, so continued it again the last couple of nights.  I've added what I think I can in the middle of the ship, including single AA guns, rangefinders, on deck davits, railings, etc., as well as the anchors.  I've been debating whether to add the outer hull details like the steps for fear of knocking them off, but I think I'll take the chance to add them now rather than later and have to touch up the paint to cover glue marks.  


Once all that is on, I think I can paint and prime the ship.  Then I'll remove the masking, and add the remaining deck details.  For those details, I think I'm going to have to prime and paint them on the fret, and then assemble and add to the ship.  Given portions of the deck are linoleum, I can't just add all those details now as many sit on the linoleum portions.


Here are some pictures of where things stand.  My apologies for the quality - it's a little hard to take them using my iPhone at such high magnification, though frankly, I'm impressed that the pictures even came out this well.  Thanks for looking in!

















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On 1/14/2021 at 4:21 PM, Canute said:

Mike, Are you cutting the frets on your cutting mat or something less likely to give. I've been working on a brass flatcar and cut the big pieces out on one of my cutting mats. Now, I have to cut out finer details, like brake levers. I've bent some of the large pieces in places as I've cut them out, but they're not too obvious and easily fixable. I'm dealing with HO (1/87) scale parts, so it's probably not as intense as dealing in 1/700 scale. Plenty of light and an Optivisor are definitely needed.

Ken - Mike, I have seen  ceramic tile recomended to cut the PE from the frets.



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While waiting for other models to dry in the spray booth, I have been plugging along on this one.  Lots added - front post, the larger davits, a few more single AA guns, depth charge rack, etc.  I think this is about all I can do at this stage before painting everything, and then separately adding the remaining details - which there are still a bunch!  I thought a destroyer would be a good entry to the 1/700 world, but there's actually tons of details peppered throughout what is a smaller ship.  Some fun comparison pictures...


Comparison of kit depth charge rack (left) with PE:




Davits - these are created with two pieces, the top part which you fold two halves together to build up the thickness, and then the base. The base is only maybe 3-4mm long, and you have to fold the two ends in to make it a U shape.  Then you take the top part and insert it through a very tiny hole in the top of the base, and have it settle into an even smaller hole at the bottom of the base.  I had the dreaded "ping" off the tweezers on one of them, but fortunately I was able to find it.  I don't know what I would have done if I lost it, but all is good.




I almost forgot that the front funnel had a long pipe that attached along the port side, so scratch built one since the kit one was way out of scale now that I added the PE rings.  I think I did this in 0.30mm brass wire - probably a tad underscale, maybe I should have gone with 0.50mm.  I'm worried about trying to remove it and ripping out some of the other brass on the funnel, so I'm just going to leave it.  I am wondering though about the kit radar on the top of the bridge - seems a bit overscale.  I might have a resin replacement I can use from FineMolds, will have to check the stash.  It's probably not too bad, and will look smaller once painted and no longer stark white.




Some other pictures.  I have to remind myself that these are taken at extreme magnification because they look a bit disappointing in the pictures, but to the normal eye, they look fine.












I think at this stage I'll prime and paint, then add the remaining details which include another 10 AA guns, the rails on the deck to cart munitions, small boats, rails, a bunch of things that look like crates, etc.  Then there are some optional details like ammo boxes.  Thanks for looking!

Edited by Landlubber Mike
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