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HIJMS MIKASA 1902 by Jeff59 - Hobby Boss - 1/200


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Hi fellow ship buffs and modellers, this is a first for me, so your patience and guidance needed probably by the bucketful! 

I bought this model in my local shop in Edinburgh December 2018.  I was directed there by my other half whilst she went Christmas shopping. Is there many of us who get away with languishing in a model shop while the Xmas shopping is getting done😀Anyway, I treated myself to this model, so starts this journey.

 

This version of the Mikasa is the 1902 Hobby Boss kit, the dark grey - light grey colour scheme, which I think is the most striking.

 

My usual approach at the start of a build is to drill the portholes out; my preference is to drill the holes from outside then countersink  the holes on the inside, easier done with the hull in two halves. This is a slow process using a pin vice, finger covering the hole on the outside and you lightly work a larger bit from the inside until you can feel the bit touching your finger - then becomes a visual (and don’t drill my finger affair) until you get the desired effect.  Although this is time consuming, it gives the desired effect of a porthole instead of looking into a hole. Which is much better if you are using fibre optics etc.

 

The hull halves went together reasonably well with the usual filling dressing gets a good result. 

 

Probably at at this stage, I found the Pontos detail set online, which as we all know is an absolute must for ship modellers these days.  I remember when they first came out in the early 80s I had a 1/350 set for Yamato - brilliant! Still have some if this set with the instructions. Gold medal models I think. Positively lego Like compared to what’s on the market now. 😂 Problem is, it must add about 2 years to a model build. Don’t actually know - never finished one! Here’s hoping I can change that. Incidentally got the Pontos set for Christmas 2019 I thin.  Can’t remember. 

 

 Having found this web-site showing all the builds, this has inspired me even further.  (I shall mention their builds later.) I am impressed with all the interaction and help on this site. You know what they say; you are never finished learning until you are 6 feet under!

 

Anyway I started with the porthole etch to the hull.  My advice- never hurry, treat every porthole as if it is a one off. Tricky trying to glue these; ended up with my standard practice with a small amount of glue on the end of fine tweezers, applied at the side of etch trying to tack it. Give it a few seconds until it has a hold, then work around the porthole to seal it on the hull. Less glue is best result. Then tidy up with a sharp blade when dry.

 

I shall stop at this point and pick up where I left off on my next post. I have a question, Is it alright to post photo of kit instructions as a reference to what you are trying to achieve?

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On 1/17/2021 at 5:52 PM, Jeff59 said:

Hi fellow ship buffs and modellers, this is a first for me, so your patience and guidance needed probably by the bucketful! 

I bought this model in my local shop in Edinburgh December 2018.  I was directed there by my other half whilst she went Christmas shopping. Is there many of us who get away with languishing in a model shop while the Xmas shopping is getting done😀Anyway, I treated myself to this model, so starts this journey.

 

This version of the Mikasa is the 1902 Hobby Boss kit, the dark grey - light grey colour scheme, which I think is the most striking.

 

My usual approach at the start of a build is to drill the portholes out; my preference is to drill the holes from outside then countersink  the holes on the inside, easier done with the hull in two halves. This is a slow process using a pin vice, finger covering the hole on the outside and you lightly work a larger bit from the inside until you can feel the bit touching your finger - then becomes a visual (and don’t drill my finger affair) until you get the desired effect.  Although this is time consuming, it gives the desired effect of a porthole instead of looking into a hole. Which is much better if you are using fibre optics etc.

 

The hull halves went together reasonably well with the usual filling dressing gets a good result. 

 

Probably at at this stage, I found the Pontos detail set online, which as we all know is an absolute must for ship modellers these days.  I remember when they first came out in the early 80s I had a 1/350 set for Yamato - brilliant! Still have some if this set with the instructions. Gold medal models I think. Positively lego Like compared to what’s on the market now. 😂 Problem is, it must add about 2 years to a model build. Don’t actually know - never finished one! Here’s hoping I can change that. Incidentally got the Pontos set for Christmas 2019 I thin.  Can’t remember. 

 

 Having found this web-site showing all the builds, this has inspired me even further.  (I shall mention their builds later.) I am impressed with all the interaction and help on this site. You know what they say; you are never finished learning until you are 6 feet under!

 

Anyway I started with the porthole etch to the hull.  My advice- never hurry, treat every porthole as if it is a one off. Tricky trying to glue these; ended up with my standard practice with a small amount of glue on the end of fine tweezers, applied at the side of etch trying to tack it. Give it a few seconds until it has a hold, then work around the porthole to seal it on the hull. Less glue is best result. Then tidy up with a sharp blade when dry.

 

I shall stop at this point and pick up where I left off on my next post. I have a question, Is it alright to post photo of kit instructions as a reference to what you are trying to achieve?

427DA205-EE19-4C48-9752-290B06EAAF42.jpeg

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C809DB63-2727-42AD-8473-0F7F9EED5E2F.jpeg

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Well, I eventually got the portholes finished. Next topic for discussion is the lower hull. Glueing on the bilge keels is easier done by glueing about two inches at a time and letting set working your way along the length of the keel, doing any fine tuning.  Will presume that most people building this kit will have been swayed into buying the detail sets. Can recommend the Pontos set, very comprehensive and quality is excellent, although I think they could do better with their propellers and resin, the rest is highly commendable. Sorry don’t have photos of props at start, let’s just say they were shiny and toy like, but still much better than the plastic ones. I used a Dremel with a fine metal burr, contouring the blades and thinning them at the same time, finishing with filling sticks and fine emery paper, patience, this is not a quick job, happy with the end result though. Photos show difference between metal and plastic. Guess this is why we can’t help spending a fortune on detail sets.

The kit shaft were flared up like a blunderbuss to fit the oversize plastic props, so l whittled them down to match brass props

Was quiet at my work, trying to think of a homer, since didn’t have the Pontos pedestal stands, thought I might be able to make my own, came up with this graze set up, stainless steel and brass hex bar, has a 6mm plate inside, tapped for m6 bolt. You can see bits of plastic frame inside hull the metal plate then glued in place with some resin glue. Think I shall fold up a thin piece of metal sheet to form a channel just short of the waterline to allow for masking, this should let me set the model on its side whilst fitting photo etch and painting, also will protect the paint on hull bottom from handling. I plan to fit all the details and photo etch to hull before painting, then work on the main decks separate from the hull, with sub assemblies.

 

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On 1/21/2021 at 8:52 PM, Jeff59 said:

 

Well, I eventually got the portholes finished. Next topic for discussion is the lower hull. Glueing on the bilge keels is easier done by glueing about two inches at a time and letting set working your way along the length of the keel, doing any fine tuning.  Will presume that most people building this kit will have been swayed into buying the detail sets. Can recommend the Pontos set, very comprehensive and quality is excellent, although I think they could do better with their propellers and resin, the rest is highly commendable. Sorry don’t have photos of props at start, let’s just say they were shiny and toy like, but still much better than the plastic ones. I used a Dremel with a fine metal burr, contouring the blades and thinning them at the same time, finishing with filling sticks and fine emery paper, patience, this is not a quick job, happy with the end result though. Photos show difference between metal and plastic. Guess this is why we can’t help spending a fortune on detail sets.

The kit shaft were flared up like a blunderbuss to fit the oversize plastic props, so l whittled them down to match brass props

Was quiet at my work, trying to think of a homer, since didn’t have the Pontos pedestal stands, thought I might be able to make my own, came up with this graze set up, stainless steel and brass hex bar, has a 6mm plate inside, tapped for m6 bolt. You can see bits of plastic frame inside hull the metal plate then glued in place with some resin glue. Think I shall fold up a thin piece of metal sheet to form a channel just short of the waterline to allow for masking, this should let me set the model on its side whilst fitting photo etch and painting, also will protect the paint on hull bottom from handling. I plan to fit all the details and photo etch to hull before painting, then work on the main decks separate from the hull, with sub assemblies.

 

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Hello folks, going to continue with my catch-up on my build as best I can. By the way, these cameras on i pad are brilliant, even shows up the dust. On the bow and stern 3” gun positions , you will see when you look at photos of instructions how fittery they are, even under close examination, ends up try it and see approach. Here’s what I learned. Gun shield, once formed up try for a tack on open end corner, it is fiddle no doubt about it. Turn upside down onto shield roof and glue this from the inside. You will never see it, same as everything behind the shield, the framework for holding the barrel and the shield together was another yuk moment. The instructions show nothing but 90 degree folds for shield supports, doesn’t work that way, the folds next to the pedestal have to be folded well past the 90 degree, the last fold that lines up with the inside of shield I only a bend of approx 30 degrees , you can see this more clearly on the gun lying on its side inside the shield, and that’s not the last problem with this gun. When you eventually get the gun fitting in, I couldn’t get the gunsight with eyepiece to pass through the front shield due to height, eventually just removed the eyepiece and done what I could to bring down the height of the gunsight itself. A awful lot of guddling about. But we’re this gun is mounted there is no room for the gun to be oversize. Spent quite a while trying to get this right. All this info only good for someone using Pontos set. In other words beware. Best of it is when in position you can’t hardly see any of the gun, but you can see how tight it is. Also blocked the gun in using styrene stock, otherwise you could see right through to the other side plus’s the last thing you want is it ending up inside the hull accidentally. Wow hope that helps someone. The small ladder rungs on the side have a nice little template for drilling the holes, nice one Pontos like it. Stick to the drill size asked 0.4 works a treat, just big enough to take the rung hit the little rib there to stop It going in to far, very light pressure with your nail, almost like a push fit. Took photo of scale so if I can do it anybody can. 😂👍 The little cleats beside the davit arms, fiddle and fragile, this is a mission on minimum glue, five each side front and rear decks. Was wondering what these were for, my guess is possible for tying down awnings when they were erected ? There are more of these than numbered in the instructions, all different lengths. it’s to do with trying to keep the pins vertical to the hull, with the hull changing angles along the side. Incidentally you can visit the Mikasa museum and look at photos of ship on line, it’s the only British built battleship surviving, how ironic is that they couldn’t even keep Rolls Royce cars in House, and the only pre dreadnought battleship in existence. Thanks Japan we only just managed to hang onto HMS Victory. Anyway lots of good photos for people looking for details. Right, the davit arms, all from the kit, the Pontos one we’re done in flat etch doubled up with lots of lovely detail, couldn’t by it, might try cutting some of the details of and fit them to the kit parts. You may have noticed my boat davits at the stern stop at deck level, this is because l have decided to totally build and complete the hull up to deck level, thus t only gets painted once, theirs never a point when these types of warships are not going to be delicate to handle so you make your own choice as to what suits you. I have no doubt I shall break something, already have, name somebody that hasn’t ? Don’t expect a reply to that. So the davits were cut at that point for two reasons, painting to this point will be in black  grey, above this point light grey. Also stops me braking them, that would be a guarantee. Drilled small 0.3 holes in centre as best I could for pining them much later in the build.  Incidentally the first porthole on port side the one that looks huge and out of position at the bow is. Photos on real ship confirm this, also the fist porthole below this doesn’t exist had to plug it with styrene stock. Easy fix. All the existing attachment points for replaced plastic parts filled using suitable stock styrene and extra thin cement, then trimmed and dressed. Just about up to speed now. Other photos show plastic stern deck with raised details removed, used this electric chisel recommend by one of the excellent builds on this site, maybe CWD might be wrong, it’s brill, tad expensive by the time the customs and excise finish fleecing you. No regrets. Used wood dye, shown to stain wooden deck using cotton bud, can see difference to circular part. The rest is just deck fittings for this area. Need to make a choice for light grey, white grey looks really striking, or light grey for more authenticity ?  Thanks Canute for your help with info for spray painting, and to Ron Thibault for the video, started the ball rolling for me. 👍

 

 

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3 hours ago, yvesvidal said:

Beautiful build. I love the details that you are adding with that PE set.

 

Yves

 Thanks Yves, made a mess of that write up, even I couldn’t understand it. 😂  better not to rush things, that’s a lesson learnt. As regards details, always end up going in deeper and deeper. Got to try and complete this, that’s my mission. 

 

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There is some really great things going on with this build and the effort you're putting into the details is really going to pay off.  Also, I like the stand you built, it's a very creative use of items that wouldn't ordinarily be used in this fashion.  One question though: how do you plan on keeping it from rocking on the screw heads?

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6 hours ago, wemattson said:

There is some really great things going on with this build and the effort you're putting into the details is really going to pay off.  Also, I like the stand you built, it's a very creative use of items that wouldn't ordinarily be used in this fashion.  One question though: how do you plan on keeping it from rocking on the screw heads?

Thanks fo

 

6 hours ago, wemattson said:

There is some really great things going on with this build and the effort you're putting into the details is really going to pay off.  Also, I like the stand you built, it's a very creative use of items that wouldn't ordinarily be used in this fashion.  One question though: how do you plan on keeping it from rocking on the screw heads?

Thanks, that’s encouraging. Quite easy actually, drew a circle and divided the circumference into five, then experimented with lines to the centre. As regards the fixings, shall get my brother to recess the base for screw heads. But I do plan to drill through the base of display cabinet into the stands thus securing the model to the base securely.  Just finished lower hull seams and fixtures with fine primer, not to bad , but now see how the paint doesn’t stick to etch without cleaning with vinegar etc,  shall have to learn what the procedures are. Hopefully I can still clean the built etch with a fine pain brush. Still learning, that’s one of the benefits of being a member and sharing knowledge. 👍

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On 1/26/2021 at 8:50 PM, Jeff59 said:

Thanks fo

 

Thanks, that’s encouraging. Quite easy actually, drew a circle and divided the circumference into five, then experimented with lines to the centre. As regards the fixings, shall get my brother to recess the base for screw heads. But I do plan to drill through the base of display cabinet into the stands thus securing the model to the base securely.  Just finished lower hull seams and fixtures with fine primer, not to bad , but now see how the paint doesn’t stick to etch without cleaning with vinegar etc,  shall have to learn what the procedures are. Hopefully I can still clean the built etch with a fine pain brush. Still learning, that’s one of the benefits of being a member and sharing knowledge. 👍

Hello, hope you are all keeping well, shall try to improve on my grammar this time. I mentioned how I did my pedestals , or at least I tried to. This is a photo of the process, sometimes a picture is better than words. Drawn onto paper, thick paper preferred, good for templates. Mark your outer circle, then divide into five as numbered. Then drew the five points into the centre, number 1 on sketch. Next thing to do is an inner circle to suit the size of what you want to use as a pedestal, number 2 on sketch. Line number 3 as shown, from the outside radius to tangent on inside radius, number 2. This completes the star.  Needless to say this can be any shape or design that enters your head. I cut out template, then traced onto 5mm thick stainless plate, then cut it out with a five inch grinder using 1mm cutting disc. Then cleaned it up.  Wemattson asked me about it rocking on the screw heads, so done another sketch to show what I plan to do. This secures the model to the display base.  On model progress, not a lot happening. After watching video on  how to spray with Vallejo paints, I was keen just to try a bit primer from aresol tin. I had some Tamiya fine surface primer so thought I’d have a shot. Held it in one hand and sprayed it with the other. Basically just wanted to see the glued areas were acceptable, got away with it. Apart from bit over spray onto upper hull, then found out why you have to clean the etch brass before painting. 👀 that will be my next task and learn. Advice and knowledge requested. Couldn’t find a bat signal for help, to put in here. 😂.  One other thing maybe of interest, this is my method of cutting etch from fret. I have a dressed piece of tinted toughened glass for cutting on, tint helps show up the brass or stainless etch. The orange craft knife I have used for decades, the curved blade is a treat for cutting the etch from fret. Always cut the tabs big, as you do with the plastic parts, then turn the etch over and trim from the back. The curved blade is excellent for this, no filling necessary. This blade is also brilliant for dressing seams. Try it , it’s worth a shot. Finally found my airbrush with compressor, hope this is good enough? Don’t know what size the needle is though, told I require a 0.5 for Vallejo air. Take some photos now.  Regards Jeff.🤛

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1 hour ago, Jeff59 said:

Hello, hope you are all keeping well, shall try to improve on my grammar this time. I mentioned how I did my pedestals , or at least I tried to. This is a photo of the process, sometimes a picture is better than words. Drawn onto paper, thick paper preferred, good for templates. Mark your outer circle, then divide into five as numbered. Then drew the five points into the centre, number 1 on sketch. Next thing to do is an inner circle to suit the size of what you want to use as a pedestal, number 2 on sketch. Line number 3 as shown, from the outside radius to tangent on inside radius, number 2. This completes the star.  Needless to say this can be any shape or design that enters your head. I cut out template, then traced onto 5mm thick stainless plate, then cut it out with a five inch grinder using 1mm cutting disc. Then cleaned it up.  Wemattson asked me about it rocking on the screw heads, so done another sketch to show what I plan to do. This secures the model to the display base.  On model progress, not a lot happening. After watching video on  how to spray with Vallejo paints, I was keen just to try a bit primer from aresol tin. I had some Tamiya fine surface primer so thought I’d have a shot. Held it in one hand and sprayed it with the other. Basically just wanted to see the glued areas were acceptable, got away with it. Apart from bit over spray onto upper hull, then found out why you have to clean the etch brass before painting. 👀 that will be my next task and learn. Advice and knowledge requested. Couldn’t find a bat signal for help, to put in here. 😂.  One other thing maybe of interest, this is my method of cutting etch from fret. I have a dressed piece of tinted toughened glass for cutting on, tint helps show up the brass or stainless etch. The orange craft knife I have used for decades, the curved blade is a treat for cutting the etch from fret. Always cut the tabs big, as you do with the plastic parts, then turn the etch over and trim from the back. The curved blade is excellent for this, no filling necessary. This blade is also brilliant for dressing seams. Try it , it’s worth a shot. Finally found my airbrush with compressor, hope this is good enough? Don’t know what size the needle is though, told I require a 0.5 for Vallejo air. Take some photos now.  Regards Jeff.🤛

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again, hopefully you can see some progress. Started with cleaning the photo etch with vinegar, did not realise the importance of doing this.  Went round all the parts all ready fitted to the hull with a fine brush, doing a small area with vinegar for 6 to 7 minutes then brushing down with water to clean of the vinegar, slow process but lesson learnt.   Did make a mess of the six inch guns though, don’t think I cleaned them well enough before putting them back in small bag. Next day looked at them and said oh dear, or words to that effect, looked like I had burned them in an oven, they were all black and green.

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Had to polish them up with sanding stick and wet and dry Emery paper, then clean them again with vinegar. Successful this time.  Incidentally the metal burr in photo is what I used on the propellers to dress them up.  Waiting on Vallejo paints and sundries, so decided to start the main deck, first process being the removal of raised details shown in purple, this was done with electric chisel and my craft knife with curved blade, clamping the deck to work surface for using the chisel.  Then used punch and die set, with thin styrene sheet for small circular discs, to fill in the kit coal scuttle points on deck.

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Next thing to do , was to cut the deck free from sheet, then remove all the small parts highlighted. You need a sharp knife and patience, this is not a five minute task. Cutting through that plastic backing can be a pain. Next was staining the deck same as after deck, think it worked out okay, never tried this before.

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Still waiting on paints, so decided to start the aft bridge superstructure, which is very similar to forward bridge set up. Started by drilling out port holes, the photo shows the difference when countersinking the holes inside, the three holes to left are done the one on right hasn’t. Hope you see the difference. The Pontus instructions asks for certain raised details to be removed for adding their details, done all of this with my craft knife with curved blade. Best way to do this for me is slowly. You can see what has been removed when compared to the untouched forward bridge. Also had to remove plastic bracing on one bulkhead missed by Pontos, that’s not like them to miss something that’s obvious, not a hard fix though, just removed the raised deal and added thin styrene replacements.

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Paints and sundries have arrived, this let’s me start painting process, bit apprehensive,  but going for it. Don’t have much experience in this department. Picked my colour for upper hull, light gull grey is my best guess, fingers crossed. The aft barbet to do first, that let’s me glue down wooden deck next. Wasn’t too bad considering jumping in the deep end, can only get better, also painted some deck fittings. The next day was final fit up for deck, trying to make sure it all lines up. Had some PVA floor glue so used that, should work 🤞removed the thin plastic film from back of deck, and started coating with glue, you don’t seem to have much time as the glue starts to dry quite quickly, panic stations, started to fit and line up deck, and press down, must have had slightly to much glue, it’s surprising how much starts to ooze out, more panic used tissues to wipe excess glue from offending areas. That was a hairy twenty minutes, All the pains and pleasures of modelling revisited in half an hour.  Cleaned up the deck, and filed excess wood flush to edge of plastic deck. Fit looks good, also fitted some deck fittings. Happy bunny. Now looking at how much I have still to do. 👀 Lol. Anyway take care folks, and happy modelling. Regards Jeff. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello folks, hope everyone is keeping well. Has been a good few weeks since my last post. Just discovered how much work is involved in the bridge superstructure area, the guys that have built this model I hope will agree. Not an area to rush things. Starting of were l stopped last time, glued down the main deck midships, used the white wood glue again, better result this time, not so much glue 👍 used plenty clamps, no point in them remaining in the toolbox. 😂  Also glued the decking onto bridge wing, when this was dry, fitted the painted photo etch running rails for the searchlights, wood glue seems to work fine here, gives you chance to line it up correctly. My plan is to then mask of the wood then fit handrail, then paint. Photo’s.

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Here we go again. Thanks for the kind remarks always encouraging.🤛 Start at lower bridge structure this time. Often, looking at early photos of ship at builders and photos as she is today at Mikasa museum probably the best way to pick out details. Don’t know if there is a book dedicated to modellers of Mikasa yet? Trying to make my best guesses though. So a lot of my building based on my interpretation might not be correct. Trying to get best balance between nice looking and being a warship.

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Since there is not an up detail set for Mikasa in her early years from Pontos, hoping this will change 🤞just have to go for my preference. Starting with decking, the lower bridge and boat deck should be wooden decking, if it comes out later I’ll live with my impatience to get on with the model. Have opted for a dark green for metal decks, Model Air 71.012, green seems a common colour for decks anyway, will be a nice contrast with light grey, handrails and such will stand out. Decided the bracing supports for mast stays were over thick so trimmed them down with my craft knife, scraping away the plastic both sides as much as poss whilst maintaining surface details, roughly 0.5 a side. Pain in the bum but worth it I hope. This also meant I had to trim the photo plate down in size on three sides, great fun. Also did not want to use brass etch plate on front bulkhead, felt the tiny brass rails awnings would not bond well just sitting against it, a knock off for sure, opted to drill and glue to plastic. Used a 0.3 drill , sometimes it looks like the holes are out a mile, so finger with etch on it puts things back in perspective. 😂

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