1⁄700Scratchbuilding the NRP Alvares Cabral
Cut, glue, filler, filler, sand, sand, sand...Motivated by all this info and goodies, and with the MSW members support, the project started to take shape, day by day at a rate that I wasn't really used to! Perhaps I should start to tell the scratchbuilding experience, right? Well, the hull top shape was cut in accordance to the plan top view and then layers of 1mm evergreen were glued with Tamiya Extra fine liquid cement, clamped and let dry for about an hour - just for sure! After that, I removed the clamps and using negative cuts for the rib curves, I sanded and checked, sanded and checked until they match all the length of the hull. This was one of the most difficult parts of the project and the start of this adventure, mainly because it is the most noticeable feature of a ship and being able to capture it or not, could make this a "Titanic"... After this, it was a question of analyzing the plans and dismantle the superstructures in a way that I could make them in a convincing way. A already known motto is applied here: measure twice, cut once! This is really very important, especially at this small scale, half of millimeter more (or less) could turn a disaster. Another thing that I could advice anyone that is willing to try a project like this is to use for some more risky areas, brass! This tip was given by Harry Abbott from Battlefleet Models. You could use the edges of PE sets or any source of thin brass, but these are valuable for ships bow (as you can see in some photos, it lost some of it's sharpness and needed a surgical replacement that wasn't easy to preform!) and also curved guards. The rest of the superstucture and smaller details were made one by one, checking the plans and since most of them are box shaped, it was a question of patiently making little boxes with evergreen. Box by box, all was starting to get shape, and smaller details started to be added.... small squared/cubic shaped ventilators on the main deck (drilled the hull in place, inserted a rod of streched sprue and on top, a cubic section of evergreen square rod drilled on the bottom part for security - this looks easy, but if you think that the square portion had 1 mm and I had to preform this about 32 times, it can get a little bit tedious!). Another interesting and characteristic detail was the wind deflector on the forward edge and adjacent sides of the open bridge. These were accomplished again with small strips of evergreen. First, you have to place the "braces" (0.5 mm x 1 mm) around the bridge in 2 mm intervals - this revealed difficult, because the parts were so small that the contact with Tamiya Extra Thin Glue melted them! I managed to glue all the braces in place, and then fitted the long horizontal parts easily - it really gave another look to the bare bridge! Other details were placed using the photos as reference, and it was time to get to the PE parts!
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