|Look Ma! No hands!|
Work has started on the model! I've decided upon making U-69 as it has some rather neat looking features that you only find at the very beginning of the war. Sure, there were others that may have had this configuration, but what seals the deal for me is U-69's insignia - the Laughing Cow. It really takes me - such a funny (dare I say cheesy?) insignia for such a deadly looking boat. From what I've seen it's also one of the few (only?) insignia that look like an actual painting rather than a stencil or screen print. It's a nice bonus that the timeframe I'll be looking at lends a nice tonnage count to U-69! The other major deciding factor is that being one of the more popular of the 600+ boats of this type, I can cut down the time needed to research on my own, instead doing more revision of previously compiled research.
To give you an idea of the scale of this project, here's a ruler in inches, and what a 6 foot man would look like next to the parts. For all of these pics you can click on them to make them huge, actually I think they're larger than life-sized, so keep that in mind!
As for the actual build progress..
Here you see that I've opened up the drainage holes in the bow, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I just left them as dents in the plastic and painted them black like the kit wants you to. U-69 didn't have the last 3 holes that are added on the model part, so I'm preparing to fill them up so later they won't really be there. I'm using a trick I picked up from earlier model work - baking soda and superglue make a really tough, really fine gap filler. I filled the holes up with baking soda, pressed it in a bit, and then added a drop of glue to each hole. As you can see, the filler dries up semi-clear and it'll sand very well.
Here's a shot of the bow, you can see I added the breakwater here (that flared-out bit above and behind the drainage holes). The edge of the join is still fairly fat, it was pretty near impossible to sand it thinner without breaking it, so I'll smooth it out later with some cosmetic surgery.
Some more small flooding holes. I used a 1mm flathead micro-screwdriver with the head filed down to a chisel to punch these out. This is the worse of the two sides, the picture was better though!
This last photo is where the driveshaft for the propeller exits the hull. I'll be punching out the flooding holes around it too; I've found that my mini chisel is small and accurate enough that it can work around nearly anything so there's no need to do all the hull modifications in one step at the beginning.
Song of the day: Ben Samples - Autobot
Page of the day: Welsh Rarebit Recipe