Thursday, August 23, 2018

Moldable Majestic

A little more progress today on the Majestic class battleship in 1/2400 scale.

The process of making these ship models has been described as the 'sandwich method,' but I think it's more like a making layer cake, with each level built up to form the whole. Like any model this size it's not what to include that matters, but what to leave out. Some prototypical details are so small they won't be noticed or are near impossible to scratch build.

So far I have the hull, the two teardrop-shape main turrets and most of the upper works done. I've yet to work out how to represent the 6-inch secondary armament casements which took the form of hemispherical bulges along the top of the hull. I'll probably use Miliput to sculpt these. Part of the aft upperwork has also been left out since on the prototype the mizzen mast passed through it and the masts will have to be fitted separately in any case. I've also left out the main armament since these will be too thin to cast in resin. Instead I'll fit them later using cut-down pins or wire.

I'm going to use a method of making a mold from silicone caulking, which works out cheaper for a small scale limited-run project like this than OOMOO 30 or similar. I've avoided making too many deep undercuts on the model, although silicone caulking is surprisingly good at rendering these.

One of the most noticeable variations between this ship and others like her lies in the funnel arrangement. Majestic and her sisters had two funnels mounted side by side. Sometimes the arrangement was slightly different from ship to ship. Quite often as new and improved boiler systems came into being ships were refitted to mount a tandem pair. The Majestic's near twin Mikasa was one such. For this reason I've not modelled the funnels, leaving the basic form to give maximum scope for this kind of variation. The same goes for the ship's boats, which had a variety of positions.

Next up will be a Cressy class Armoured Cruiser.

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