Hasegawa 1/700 Shoho

So I’ve been working on the 1/700 Aoshima Victorious.  It was to be my first aircraft carrier.  I received some good advice on the model ship forum to start with a smaller one, specifically that the Shoho would be a good one to start with.  I couldn’t find the PE sheet for the Fujimi 1/700 Shoho so tried Victorious.  I have a nice PE set for Victorious, but I’m not that keen on the kit.  There are quite a few fit problems.  The flight deck fit to the hull has lots of seems in strange places.  I’ve filled quite a few and some of them look ok, but some don’t, and some are in places that are really hard to fill because of surrounding detail that would be lost in sanding.  The superstructure isn’t a lot better.  I’ll finish it, but when I saw that Hasegawa released a super detail edition of their Shoho model with extensive PE I decided to jump on it.  I plan here to document the construction of it.

 

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I intend to do a lot of the PE for this kit.  It’s going to be my first serious attempt to put a lot of PE upgrades on a model.  In addition I bought a bunch of Fujimi upgrade sets for Japanese equipment for directors and AA armament.  Will see how much of that I use but I have it for comparison at least.  There are two sheets of PE and a nice instruction set for it.  Looking at the photos on hobby search of the box contents on the regular set, it looks like the sprues are identifical, so I assume this is the old kit with the PE upgrades included here.

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That is a photograph of the fold-out that comes for building the PE, full of instructions front and back.  It all looks manageable except perhaps for the ladders.  We’ll see how construction those bits go.

I put together the hull and put the flight deck on just to see how it all fit together (without glueing anything).  It all goes together beautifully and I’m not studying the instructions to anticipate any issues in putting it all together.  There’s a lot of PE for the structures below the flight deck so I anticipate a lot of work before the flight deck goes on.

The flight deck is interesting and brings up my first interesting questions.  The flight deck has a lot of relief in it – not only the wooden deck part but there are recesses that are flat where the white is painted on the flight deck.  So, I guess I could just paint that white and paint the wood deck and not use a decal.  I imagine I’ll paint the wooden parts tan along with the recessed parts and then just put the decals in.  That seems a little strange.  I’m not sure how well this shows up in the following photo.

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The rear of the flight deck has relieved detail for the red and white striping on the tail end of the flight deck and the instructions say to shave that smooth if you intend to use the decal.  I would like to use the decal, sanding that smooth sounds like a lot of work.  The area just in front of that is modeled with wooden decking, but I believe that was steel deck.   The steel parts of the flight deck are modeled with an anti-skid surface.  I’m wondering if I should sand the wooden decking smooth and leave it smooth, or replace it with PE anti-skid decking.

More later.

 

 

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Perry French Napoleonic Heavy Cavalry Review

I purchased a box of Perry French Napoleonic Heavy Cavalry to make some late wars French Carabiniers.  I’m very disappointed.  I find this set really inadequate, and after assembling 8 of the horses and riders have just given up on it.  Happy to sell if someone wants a partially assembled set.

So, after you read this you may ask, why did I even bother buying it in the first place, so I’ll start with what attracted me and what I think is good about the set.  It was appealing to me to be able to do both Carabiniers and Cuirassiers from the same set.  The math of 14 figures per box doesn’t align perfectly with what I wanted to build, but pretty close and at around 3USD per figure, the price was right.  If you look down through my blog you’ll see that I’ve done quite few Perry plastic WotR figures for WotR and Venetians in the 15th century.  I like those figures a lot.  I am not particularly fond of the mounted figures in that range primarily because of the horses.  But I’d read a lot of nice reviews about the Perry horses in the Napoleonic range so assumed many of my concerns there were fixed.  Lastly, I’ve become quite fond of plastic – not because of the cost but because of the ability to do conversions easily.  For Napoleonics for battles the conversion ability is not that important as I really just want big units of guys marching or guys charging and doing a lot of one off conversions isn’t that important.

The riders in this set are pretty nice.  They all have separate heads and the heads are kind of same-ish.  But what can you do with guys with mustaches in a helmet like that?  So those are fine.  They have arms so you can make shouldered are swords extended and that is a nice touch.  I was only interested in the charging pose really so experimented with positioning the arm at various heights and it was easy and believable in a number of positions.  The scabbards are a little bit fiddly.  The instructions note that the built terminates under the cuirass and the turnback which was a helpful instruction.  The end result is really nice because the strap is clearly separate from the rest of the figure casting for a good result.  I gave up before I glued the carbines on their straps.  I was curious about the note instructions that say to attach them to the saddle rather than the rider?  Maybe if I got to glueing the rider onto the horse I would see what they meant but that’s really a bit of a head-scratcher otherwise.  There is a nice touch with a separate piece of plastic for the sunburst on the carabinier officer.  And lastly, the cleanup of mold lines on the riders was hardly necessary.

That’s about all I have to say about this set that is nice.  The rest of it is, shall we just say, extremely disappointing.  You get a command sprue with two horses, one for the officer and one for the standard bearer, presumably.  Interestingly the officer will set in the standard bearer’s horse, but not vice-versa.  The lower body of the standard bearer was carved too deep for the horse with the portmanteau.  You can’t really swap them because then you’ll end up with two layers of fringe underneath the cuirass for the officer and none for the standard bearer.  I ended up stealing a body from one of the other sprues and sticking the standard bearers torso on that.  You end up still not having fringe under the bottom of the cuirass, but at least it fits the horse.

I’m also not keen on having only one officer’s horse in the set.  I had envisioned doing 4 squadrons of carabiniers, each with an officer and a trumpeter, and the thought of the same horse for every officer in the two regiments sounded a little boring.  I’m told by folks online that I could raid the dragoon command sprue to get additional officer horses and that seems reasonable.

I wanted to do the units as charging so needed the horses in galloping poses.  I think the officer’s horse in the set might be thought to be believably at the gallop, but I’m not quite sure.  At first blush it looks like a horse that has had a mild fright and is starting to rear rather than a horse somewhere in stride at the gallop.  It’s clearly not standing or trotting, so not sure.

The rest of the horses come in two parts.  I fiddled around with them for awhile.  I ended up making three of the horse out to be in a reasonable trot.  I tried making the others somewhere in a gallop.  None of them are really convincing, and only one of them is really plausible even as a horse in a gallop.  And actually apart from the horses that are clearly trotting, I’m not at all sure what these horses are supposed to be doing.  Some kind of horse fantasy contortion I guess.  Of these 4 I think the 2nd from the left is possibly believable as being at the gallop.

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My second gripe is the amount of gap filling that is needed on the horses.  That was kind of my main beef with the war of the roses horses was the seam down the back of the horse’s rump that needed to be filled.  These are better, or so I thought, because there is a strap down the middle of the rump that will hide that seam.  It does, which is nice, but there are still gaps in a couple of places on most of the horse.  Here is the gap in the saddle furniture.

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And in the right front flank.

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On the first 8 horses I put together, 7 of them needed gap filling to hide rather noticeable gaps.  In fact, I prefer fixing the seam on the WotR horses because it’s a little bit of filler and a little bit of careful sanding and it’s done, whereas on these, the gaps are noticeable in places that either need sculpting afterwards (in the middle of the portmanteau in the top picture) or hard to reach (in the neck below the reins in the lower picture).  I don’t know whether this is a sculpting problem or a casting problem, but it’s a lot of work.

And that brings me to my last issue.  I’ve been building a lot of plastic models in the past year – 1/700 ships, 1/48 tanks, 1/72 planes – and coming to these after doing those made me think how awful the casting quality is.  I wasn’t able to get a really good photo of this, but here is my one attempt:

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It doesn’t show it all that well, but there’s a pretty clear mold line down the middle of the horse’s nose and along the front and back of both legs.  This is true and noticeable on the back legs also.  It makes for a lot of work to clean up and I’m just thinking about how these kinds of casting lines are all but non-existent with model making companies.  I imagine these are harder to cast than halves of ships or tanks, or planes, but still, the amount of work on this is quite noticeable.  Is that really the best we can get?

In conclusion, the tradeoff of the extra work required for assembling plastics is worth it to me personally, but not this much work, and not when the end result is pretty hard to believe.

 

 

Flames of War bits for sale

A failed project.  I have started two old UBX07 US 105mm battery sets.  I painted a jeep and crew and two command stands.  The rest of the box is in tact.  I’d like to sell these for $40 each, postage included in the continental US.  If interested, drop me a note at aphillathehun at yahoo dot com.

 

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Calpe Prussian Artillery

Finishing up another started unit.  This limbered 6lber has been sitting in a box next to my desk for years.  All painted, just not based.  I had glued the gun to the base so when I built up the base it would look like it had become buried in the mud.  It took me forever to just put it in water and pull it off the base to insert something underneath so it would be on the same level as the horses hooves and the men’s feet.  Glad I finally did it.

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A large part of this is motivated by a new set of rules – General d’Armee – which we’ve played a couple of times recently.  It inspired me to finish basing a bunch of painted stuff, and even to paint a new unit.  Hopefully I’ll photograph my Steve Barber Westphalian lights soon.

The rest of the battery has been done for awhile.  The ammunication cart:

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And the guns themselves:

I painted up a bunch of leaders for use in General d’Armee as AdCs.  This has made me remember how much I love Calpe miniatures.  I haven’t photographed all my napoleonics, but perhaps I’ll get to that soon.  I have close to 2000 figures.  I didn’t paint them all, perhaps not even half of them, but I’d like to document them.  And I’d like to get back to painting Calpe napoleonics.

 

1/700 Nisshin Sub Carrier

Some of my friends are into a game called Check Your Six.  WW2 plane v plane combat.  For some of their scenarios sinking a ship is part of the victory conditions.  There is a series of scenarios around attacks on the IJN Nisshin – a submarine/seaplane carrier – in 1942.  I’ve been wanting to build a 1/700 ship model so I volunteered to do this.

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It’s been 40 years since I made a 1/700 model.  I have to say, “Hats-off” to guys who build 1/700 ships.  It was a lot of fun but all those small parts require an incredible amount of patience and skill.  Guys who do it well impress me tremendously now.

This kit is by Fujimi.  It’s a really nice kit with a couple of criticisms including one word of warning.  I built this kit entirely out-of-the-box.  (Well, I lost a couple of 25mm directors to the carpet monster and had to get after market versions, but I need not replace anything with PE or other after-market parts).  I have two criticisms of it.  The first are the “smoke stacks?” coming out of the midship superstructure.  There are four or five little parts on each side that need to be glued into the superstructure.  There seems to be a lot of variability about where they will end up, so I’m not entirely sure I got it right.  Seems to me it would be a lot easier to cast those as one part that needs to be glued to the superstructure.  But maybe casting that part would be too hard?

The forward mast is really a bit of a mess.  I should have checked before I put it all together but the instructions indicate that you assemble it all then glue it to the superstructure.  THIS WILL NOT WORK.  There is a plate on the bottom that goes under the platform on the superstructure and then you connect the front arm of the tripod mast to it after you have slipped that through the hole.  Having assembled it all, I couldn’t undo it and ended up just cutting the front arm off half way down.  It’s probably fine but pretty annoying.  There are these cross bars connecting the rear legs of the tripod to the front leg.  They seem really overscale and I couldn’t get them to fit in correctly so they kind of bulge out.  Seems like an aftermarket set could help this piece.

Other than that, I was very impressed with the kit.  I really like it a lot!  Everything went together really well.  I really need to practice patience in getting things lined up correctly.  When you look at the rest of the pics you’ll see some things that could be aligned better.

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I think I’ll touch up the painting on the planes.  They looked ok through my magnifier but this shows they need a little work around the edges of the wings.

Seven Years War 28mm Saxon Chevauxleger For Sale

I’m offering three regiments of 28mm SYW Saxon Chevauxleger for sale – each consist of 12 figures including command figures, based, and with the appropriate flag.  The miniatures are Eureka miniatures.  I’d like $120 each and $20 for postage in the Continental US.  If you buy all three I’ll pay postage.

First up is the Price Karl Chevauxleger.

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Next is the Prinz Albrecht Chevauxlegers.

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And finally the regiment Graf Bruhl

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Frankish SAGA Army for Sale

Except for the monks, the figures are all Wargames Foundry.  I’d like $425 for the whole lot – that includes postage in the continental US.  Drop me a note at aphillathehun at yahoo dot com if interested.

There is a warlord.

There are 8 armored warriors that could be two groups of hearthguard or another group of warriors.

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There are three groups of 8 unarmored warriors.

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Two groups of 12 archers.

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12 warrior monks and a bard.

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