Author Topic: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451  (Read 10176 times)

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Offline Mr. Bill

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1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« on: 18 Jan , 2010, 21:32 »
Greetings!

One of my more recent projects is the early Fletcher Class destroyer USS Chevalier from the recent Revell 1/144th kit.  I always wanted to build a large scale early round bridge Fletcher, but hesitated in attempting to convert the square bridge offerings that were available in a larger scale.  The Revell Fletcher is a very nice kit, but like most kits it has some areas that can improved upon with a little scratch building and some modifications.  I also wanted to build the kit with what I have on hand rather than invest in all of the excellent after market items available for this kit - those gems will have to wait for the next 1/144 Fletcher build. 

These are photos of early phase of construction.  Many of the parts are dry fitted in these photos and may appear to be our of alignment.  Also, please excuse the sanding dust and rough spots in some of these photos, these items will be taken care of later.

First shot shows overall basic forward superstructure and bridge.  Drainage slots were cut into the kit part for the 20mm gun shields in the arrangement carried by Chevalier.


Closer shot showing some details.  Note the ladder has been removed from the turret side.  Chevalier had these ladders located at the rear of all five turrets.


Overhead view of bridge area.  The Revell kit lacks all of the equipment items that were normally carried in this area such as pelorus, torpedo directors, and signal lights.  This shot shows my preliminary attempts are scratch building these items missing from the Revell kit.  I originally tried to thin down the oversize kit railings, but the result was poor, so I cut down some old PE which looks far superior and can be somewhat "rounded" with paint. 


Rear view of bridge area showing some details and the two antenna lead trunks - another item Revell missed.


Side view of forward superstructure.


Sorry for this poor quality photo.  This is my attempt to scratch build the quad 1.1 gun carried by Chevalier, but not included in the Revell kit.  I used photos and diagrams as my main references sources.  I am not sure I like the flash suppressors on the gun barrels, diagrams show this item but most photos do not.  I may remove these and replace with very short stub barrels as shown in photos.  This image also shows corrections concerning the gun shield which is not properly formed in the kit, a real design flaw in the kit.


Forward stack and torpedo mount with modifications to kit parts.  More details needed to torpedo mount.


Details of the aft emergency steering position.  This is another area that Revell neglected.  None of the equipment items are included with the kit and have to be scratch built.  Note antenna lead trunk.


View of after superstructure showing some details.  Mk 51 director still needs to be scratch built - the kit part is a bit lumpy looking.


Overhead view of forward stack.  The grab rails around the top of the funnel were a challenge!


Rear stack showing modifications to kit parts.  Old cut down PE was again used to replace the oversize kit railings.  This is a good clear view of the funnel hand grips.  The kit has the speed light at the rear of this stack which is not correct for Chevalier.  It should be at the rear of 1.1 gun shield as shown in the other images.


Last image for today showing the forward stack. 


Please let me know if you have any questions, comments, advice, or suggestions.  Whatever you have to say is important!

Cheers,

Bill


Offline Siara

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #1 on: 19 Jan , 2010, 00:52 »
Fantastic detailing Bill.
Your model will be beautiful with all the effort you put into the details.
I love this kinda stuff.

Big bag of popcorn in my hand, sitting in the first row, and watching. ;)

Offline NZSnowman

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #2 on: 19 Jan , 2010, 11:46 »
Also eager to watch the fabrication of the Fletcher Class destroyer USS Chevalier.

Offline Rokket

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #3 on: 22 Jan , 2010, 04:58 »
Yes, ditto on detail, it really "pops it out"
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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #4 on: 22 Jan , 2010, 12:58 »
It is probably just me and my way of looking at things, but I am a little surprised that Revell managed to get some very obscure details correct in this kit and yet totally ignored other, more obvious features.  It strikes me as a not very balanced approach.  With just a bit more effort, they could have made this a far better kit in terms of detail and accuracy.  My plan is to do what I reasonably can to improve the kit with some scratch build details, modifying parts, and creative use of items in the spares box.  This is a compromise between straight out-of-the-box construction and super detailing with aftermarket details and extensive scratch building / modifications.  I work very slow and would like to get this one done in under a year!

Cheers,

Bill

Offline Rokket

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #5 on: 22 Jan , 2010, 22:32 »
It's a good way to model, Bill! Pretty frustrating the balance thing. You'd think soem things woudl be sooo obviosu and necessary, especially if previous bits are included. But no.."logic" and "common sense" aren't that common anymore!
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Offline Rokket

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #6 on: 22 Jan , 2010, 22:32 »
...unless it's all a conspiracy to help aftermarket makers...
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Offline wildspear

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #7 on: 02 Feb , 2010, 10:39 »
Looking pretty good. Gotta love the Tin Cans. One thing I did notice. With all the great scratch work your doing on your build, have you given any thought in scratch building the railing?

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #8 on: 02 Feb , 2010, 17:52 »
That's a great question.  I have not yet decided what to do about the railings.  Initially, I was very reluctant to scrape/sand the railing details off and replace with styrene or modified PE.  My concern is the destruction of the surrounding detail.   I started this project with the idea of doing some scratch building and extra stuff, but nothing really significant.  My inclination is to live with the railings (and most ladders) as they are, but this could change.  I have so many projects already started and really struggle to get any of them finished because I seem to easily drift into the super detail stuff which takes me forever to do!

Cheers,

Bill

Offline Rokket

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #9 on: 02 Feb , 2010, 23:35 »
oh go on, you know you want to...
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Offline Greif

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #10 on: 03 Feb , 2010, 01:18 »
Looking great so far Bill.  I am going to watch closely as I will be building Revell's 1/350 Bismarck in the fairly near future.  It will be my first surface ship build so I'll be entering virgin territory so to speak.  I'm sure I'll learn a thing or two following your build.  ;D

Ernest

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #11 on: 03 Feb , 2010, 20:59 »
Hello Everyone!

I tried something new with weathering a deck and would appreciate your input.  Trying to plan ahead for my Chevalier build, but this applies to any maritime subject with a deck.  Right, has anyone ever attempted the following technique:

I painted a piece of styrene with enamel gray primer followed with a light coat of enamel deck blue.  Once dry, I vigorously rubbed a soft toothbrush under running water on the deck blue paint until the primer just faintly started to show through.  I am intrigued by the result.  I intially considered using 1500 grit paper, but opted for the toothbrush instead.  The goal is to simulate wear on the deck from foot traffic.   I don't think this would work for anything smaller than 1/350 and at this scale it would be very difficult to control on smaller vessels even with a tiny brush.  It does seem to give an interesting result for larger scales.

Anyone ever tried this?  If so, how did it turn out?

Many thanks,

Bill

« Last Edit: 03 Feb , 2010, 21:10 by Mr. Bill »

Offline Jan

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #12 on: 04 Feb , 2010, 04:47 »
Coool! Looking great! And I always wanted to see someone build this kit...

Offline Rokket

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #13 on: 05 Feb , 2010, 16:47 »
can you post a pic, technique sound really good
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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: 1/144th Scale USS Chevalier DD-451
« Reply #14 on: 05 Feb , 2010, 17:41 »
I took some snaps inside with the flash, but they didn't show the effect very well.  I think that if I take a photo in strong sunlight at the right angle it might show up.  I am using a Canon S200 that I got back in 2001 so it is not cutting edge in digital photography!

Bill