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Ships by Class/Type: Destroyers
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Mirage 1/400 ORP Wicher
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 11:52 AM UTC
Ahoy Mates,

The subject of this WIP piece will be Mirages' ORP Wicher Destroyer and its' Photoetch set in 1/400 scale. Since I reviewed it, I figured that I might as well go ahead and build it. Besides, playing with all those parts sort of inspired me. For the history of the ship and a look at the parts and pieces you can refer to the Review Section.

First off as is my habit, I washed all the sprues in a bath of lukewarm water and liquid dish detergent. This gets rid of any oils from my mitts as well as anything that may be left over from the manufacturing process. The Photoetch set got its' own bath in a small dish of lacquer thinner to remove the clear coat that is put on there as well as any residues from manufacturing. Yes, they do clear coat the brass stuff, keeps it from turning a nice dark shade from oxidation while waiting for sale in the rack. While some may debate the issue of washing this stuff down, I just like to have as many things going in my favor as I can. When it comes time to paint and glue stuff together, I hate to have anything mess with my progress.

The first parts to go together were the three pieces that make up the display stand. As this is going to be a full hull model, it makes it sort of hard to get it to stay upright without something to hold it. After sanding down the mold lines with a sanding stick, I put the pieces together and glued them up with some Testors' Liquid Cement using a small paint brush to apply the stuff. Capillary action draws the Cement into the joints and makes a nice quick and easy bond. You need to be careful where you place your fingers when doing this, capillary action will also draw the liquid cement right up under an errant digit if placed too close to the joints.

Once that was accomplished I broke out the two hull halves clipping them off the sprues and cleaning up the nubs. I noticed that the top center sprue attatchement point had a small dimple for some reason. A bit of Squadron White Putty soon sorted that out and I glued the hull halves together without any other incidents.

The next bit involved the PE set and there in lies another tale. They give you a pair of nicely done three bladed sections to replace the overly thick kit parts. According to the destructions, you have to remove the three blades from the small conical end pieces and then Super Glue the brass replacements in place. Not wanting to hassle with removing the blade remanents after trimming the blades loose, not to mention trimming my digits as well, I chose to heat up a bit of sprue, draw it out into conical shapes, cut them out and use them instead.



Once I had this stuff assembled, I used some more Testors' to add them to the bottom of the hull as well as the rudder. Next up came masking off the bottom of the hull to shoot a coat of Red on there. Being a cheap old goat, I keep a full sized rattlecan of plain old red enamel handy for such things. For basic colors like Black, Red and such, I don't see the need to spend money on the little expensive cans sold in Hobby shops when a $1.99 can will last ages for the small uses I have for it in model making. After it dried I brush painted the props with some Testors' Brass enamel and used some Testors' Steel enamel for the shafts.





The next bit involved some more of the PE set. I like working from front to rear on these things so I clipped the foredeck part loose and working between the PE instructions and kit instructions figured out that a bit of sanding was required before I could apply the PE foredeck part. I used three sanding sticks in consecutively finer grades to whittle off the kit molded on parts and then replaced the hatch cover for the anchor windlasses with a bit of styrene sheet using the outline shadow of the original molding as a guide to placement. I used some Super Glue to add the foredeck treadplate section, the hatch cover and the two covers over the anchor chain locations. Next came the two anchor chain windlasses from the PE set. These were fairly easy to deal with using a pair of flat nosed pliers to hold and bend the parts ears up. A bit of 1mm styrene rod provided the axles and then rather than using the tiny PE one dimensional chain provided I substituted some Model Shipways 27 links per inch brass chain. The breakwater was Superglued in place, the two chain windlasses then I assembled the two cable reels, these look remarkably similar to the anchor windlasses, and put them in place behind the breakwater as well.



Looking at the two bare cable reels, I am used to working in 1/700 scale, the divine scale not requiring much else than a bit of styrene rod, I used some black thread to wrap around the bare reels. As I go from here the sides of the forward deck house will be next and on from there.



skipper
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Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 12:05 PM UTC
Hi Joseph!

Looking good - please keep us posted!


Rui
Gunny
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Pennsylvania, United States
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Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2008 - 10:03 PM UTC
Ahoy J!

Very pleased to see that you've given this project the go ahead and are sharing it with us in this "BLOG", my friend, especially after studying your recent review of the kit....looking forward to watcher her progress!
~Gunny
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 04, 2008 - 08:35 AM UTC
Thanks Mark and Rui,

While I didn't notice too many sinkholes when I was reviewing the kit, perhaps it was a shiny new kit and grew them once I opened the box, yeah right. Upon taking parts off the trees to use them I did discover a few here and there. Most of them merely required a swipe with a putty laden single edged razor blade to fix.



Others were a bit more challenging like this bit with molded on details.



The only thing to do in such a case is to sand down the surface flat and then replace the detail with some sheet styrene replacement parts to arrive at something close to what was intended.




Once a little patchwork was done I could continue on with adding parts to the deck and hull. The PE set provided a lot of parts that were molded in place originally so that required some hacking and whacking to make room for them to fit. The brass is very easy to work with and between my Hold and Fold tool and a razor blade and #11 Hobby Knife it was fairly quick to get to this point.





I get to make up the eight small boat davit sets and start working on the main pilot house next. There are lots of brass pieces to add to the deck houses as I go along. I did consider opening up the bridge, however it would require thinning out some parts that were needed for mounting the upper works and would have been a lot more work to get there. I also noted that I will have to add a half round shape of sheet styrene to the forward funnel mounting location to make up for a slight difference in height in the mounting position or face a rather sloped looking forward stack. But these are just little adjustments required to make things line up properly.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 04, 2008 - 12:32 PM UTC
Jay, very nice build, and thank you for taking the time to write up such detailed build blog!
i like the Mirage offerings, have a handful in my stash, following and bookmarking this thread for future reference! Cheers mate
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 04, 2008 - 02:49 PM UTC
Thanks James,

I enjoy working and writing these things up as I go. Sort of slows things down a bit so I can take a little more time and those pictures show you things that you wouldn't notice ordinarily sometimes.

Despite the sinkholes, I am not finding many problems with the build. I do have to compare the two instructions sheets and refer to them often since there are so many PE additions to the build. It is interesting to have so many parts to tinker with though.
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008 - 11:53 AM UTC
Ahoy Mates,

Sorry for not having anything new to add to this one in the last few days. I ordered up a set of 1/400 scale Naval Doors from Toms' Model Works to add to things on deck and had to wait for them to arrive, not wanting to get too far ahead to make placement more difficult. But Tom Harrison is pretty good about availability and getting his parts right out to customers, so today when I went to the PO to check the mail, I was greeted by a nice cardboard reinforced mailer from Tom with my doors inside. Now I can get back to battery with this little project. I hope to have another installment happening by my upcoming weekend (Thursday-Friday).

Thanks for your patience.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Monday, July 14, 2008 - 12:54 PM UTC
Looking forward to the rest~! Love the job you have done so far for sure... cheers!
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2008 - 02:34 PM UTC
Ahoy Mates,

Thanks James, I have been busy with my job so that limits me to a little work each evening and then waiting on more bits to toss in costs even more time. Of course working on a couple of builds at a time helps to keep one busy at the bench.

Once I got the doors set from Toms', thanks to his speedy delivery when ordering direct, I was able to chose from four different styles as well as two types of hatches and these are all able to be posed either open or closed. For this build they will be posed closed, later ones that they will be used on, I will no doubt get braver and open a couple of them up. I used about 15 doors overall then started back to work on the stacks. The forward stack was first and I found that the engineering shack roof was just a little shy of level with the back of the gun deck level. So that the stack didn't develop a slight tilt backwards, I cut out a half moon shaped bit of styrene sheet and fitted it once glued in place by sanding it level with the gun deck. The stacks themselves are three piece units, two sides and a cap. They do come with a molded on divider if you don't have the PE set but since I do, it required a little drill and hobby knife reaming. I used a tiny drill for a pilot hole then went through two sizes of drill up and then hogged it out some more using the trusty #11 blade as a reamer. A round swiss file cleaned it up so that it looked right to me.



I next tackled a bit of humdrum work, assembling the eight small boat davit sets. These are made up of two end pieces with a third blank piece in the middle to make the arms. The lower section is a bit of folded brass that I used a section of sheet styrene and a pair of tweezers to hold and fold. There are two of the kit provided molded ones on the end to show you what is being replaced with these bits.



Once I had the davits dealt with I got out the other two stack's parts and got them put together and drilled out the tops. The hardest part of all of this was getting the stacks set at the proper angle and lined up evenly in place. They do provide you with locating circles for tthe forward and center ones and the after one sits atop a cylinder shaped bit. The after stack ran into a little interference with the roof of the engineering deck house tail end that required a bit of trimming to make it sit properly on its' cylindrical mounting spot. All this tinkering is needed though, better to do it now than have to try and straighten things out after it is under layers of PE and other parts.



Overall, it is looking pretty good with all the bits and pieces moving along to make it look nice and busy. There are a lot of hatch covers that go the length of the ship that I will be working on next as well as ladders and ladderways leading to the various levels and spots.





Tomfan
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Slovenia
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Posted: Friday, July 18, 2008 - 08:55 PM UTC
Very nice build.... very nice.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2008 - 01:23 PM UTC
very nice build..and again, thank you for such detailed blog, Im taking MANY notes for sure Cheers
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Saturday, July 19, 2008 - 01:39 PM UTC
Thanks Guys,

I appreciate your comments. This is the first time for me in a scale larger than 1/700 for ships other than the old 1/72 PT Boat kits from Revell. It certainly is a step up as far as the level of detailing that you can do!

I have some more of Mirages kits in this scale and once I figure out all the little tricks that are needed to cobble one up, I will probably get a little braver with the next ones and open up a few doors and hatches. I do wish that there were more references available other than other modelers works and the few pictures that I have found, but such is not the case.
skipper
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Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 03:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Thanks Guys,

I appreciate your comments. This is the first time for me in a scale larger than 1/700 for ships other than the old 1/72 PT Boat kits from Revell. It certainly is a step up as far as the level of detailing that you can do!

I have some more of Mirages kits in this scale and once I figure out all the little tricks that are needed to cobble one up, I will probably get a little braver with the next ones and open up a few doors and hatches. I do wish that there were more references available other than other modelers works and the few pictures that I have found, but such is not the case.



Hi Jay

On the scale issue, don't be afraid!
I have scaled down, from 1/35 and 1/72 ship models to 1/400 (one ship: ORP Kazsub wz.25 - also from Mirage) and than took the plunge into 1/700 - and I might say, that I took the hardest road!! You're clear on this issue

On the references, this is a great issue, and I have sense that on more than one occasion... The answer could come from non-english books (in this case, Polish magazines or books - and the latest usually has the image/drawing captions in polish/english).

Keep up
Rui
treadhead1952
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 09:41 AM UTC
Hi Rui,

I was hoping to find a Morskie Monograph on the ship, you would think that it would be a natural for them to do one on a ship that was in their Navy, but no. If anyone has any suggestions as to any Polish magazines or books that may have some detailied information on this one, I sure would like to hear about it. I have found a couple of pictures from Wikipedia, the same pictures are on a few other places on the net, but then they are pretty much like the boxart as far as showing anything of interest on the ship.

I have a pretty fair selection of Morskies on a number of IJN, US and German ships and they are worth their weight in gold when it comes to detailing out a model. The one on the Tone got a workout when it came time to make up the masts as well as a host of other details that the kit I had just sort of left off or ignored completely. Of course, I can understand trying to make a kit that is buildable by the widest possible audience and leaving any detailing efforts up to the conscience of the builder, it does make them a lot less expensive that way at least for the initial purchase of the kit.
skipper
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Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 10:16 AM UTC
here it goes Jay...



http://www.jadarhobby.waw.pl/press-polish-destroyers-wicher-burza-book-p-8549.html

Hope this helps
Rui
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 12:41 PM UTC
Thanks Rui,

Went to site, signed up, found book, translated price, 50.00 of theirs is roughly 25.00 of ours, so far so good. Translated shipping, another 50.00 of theirs, well that ain't too bad. Then read down the page, shipping to the US by normal, as in not Air Mail, can take up to two months!

Wrote down all the information on the book, now to find a supplier of AJ Press books here in the States.

While being a somewhat slow modeler, I do believe that I will probably be done with the Wicher by the two month shipping time.

I do appreciate the information though, all is not lost, yet.
#027
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Louisiana, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 12:46 PM UTC
Looking very good Jay.

Gator
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 - 01:15 PM UTC
Thanks Kenny,

I am looking forward to getting my hot little hands on some of your wonder glue, hopefully it will arrive before I get all antsy and start slapping the rails on this bad boy.

Rui, I found the US/Canadian distributor for AJ Press Publications, a company called Air Connections up in Ontario, Canada. I have sent them an E Mail and hopefully will get a positive reply. I haven't finished yet, I still have a few rocks to look under. But thanks again for pointing me in the right direction.
skipper
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Lisboa, Portugal
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Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008 - 01:47 AM UTC
Well Jay

MSW is all about this - helping each other!
And in this particular case, it was a snap just a link

And here's another one:
Pacific Front

Just in case


Rui
treadhead1952
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Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008 - 05:32 AM UTC
Well, that does make things a whole lot easier now doesn't it. Again I am in your debt. I will have to go from here to Bill's site and order that bad boy right up. I have yet to hear from Air Connection, not surprising, they are probably just now going through their morning E Mail list. I contacted a buddy in Australia who is into book things and he is also looking for me, but now it looks like problem solved. Thanks again.
treadhead1952
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Posted: Monday, July 21, 2008 - 11:15 AM UTC
Thanks Again Rui,

I placed my order to Pacific Front Hobbies for the book, $23, not too bad and less expensive than what other vendors wanted for it. I did hear from Air Connection this afternoon. They explained that they don't carry it in stock but would be glad to special order it for me and warned that it would take a month for it to get to them, plus time for them to ship it to me. I thanked them and told them that I had located it from another vendor.

So even if it takes a while to get the thing here, I have another kit of the Wicher as well as the other ship in the book the ORP Burza it will eventually come in handy. They also have the book on the Grom and Byliswicki(sp?) so it will probably be high on my list of things to get. Besides, like kits, one can never have enough references laying about.

Oh well, back to work at the bench.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 11:36 AM UTC
jay, I also have a handful of Mirage kits, I keep picking them up from Squadron, every month they seem to have 1-2 at half price. Your builds will be my 'reference" for sure! cheers

treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - 11:51 AM UTC
Hi James,

Yes, I know how that goes, I have two tall bookcases and a four drawer filing cabinet full of those sorts of sale items. I will admit that Mirage makes a pretty decent kit and PE combination in a decent scale size, that was what attracted me to them in the first place. Working my way through this first one is showing me where a few items need improvements as well as what to look out for in the instruction sheets. Having two of them to work from, one for the model and another for the PE set makes it sort of intense if you don't do a little studying first off. One of the reasons that I want to get my hot little hands on the book on the ships, I am sure that it will give me even more things to tinker at once I get it.

A good bet to get if you are wanting to work one of these up is Toms' Model Works 1/400 German Doors set, more than enough to do a few ships of this type as well as options to open them up if you like. The optional PE sets contain most of the hatches that you will need for the various places about the ship but for some reason the doors got left out.
JMartine
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New Jersey, United States
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Posted: Thursday, July 24, 2008 - 10:09 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A good bet to get if you are wanting to work one of these up is Toms' Model Works 1/400 German Doors set, more than enough to do a few ships of this type as well as options to open them up if you like. The optional PE sets contain most of the hatches that you will need for the various places about the ship but for some reason the doors got left out.



Thanks for the tip! I will put that on "my list" of goodies to get..cheers
treadhead1952
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Nevada, United States
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Posted: Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 02:34 PM UTC
Ahoy Mates,

Sorry for not being hard at work on the Wicher for the last few days, but I wanted to get my hands on some decent references for the ship before getting too carried away. Ruis' suggestion of Jerzy Lubkowskis' book on the Wicher and Burza came in today from Pacific Front Hobbies, thanks Bill, and I am not disappointed at all. Thanks Rui for a most excellent suggestion as to source material.

While the bulk of the text is in Polish, all the illustrations have dual captioning so that makes things much easier. Within the 112 pages are enough pictures of just about every area of the ships to make things go better. A couple of added bonuses in the form of three double sided heavy stock sheets with all the data needed to scratch build a rather impressive large scale model if one choses as well as a section devoted to the French Navys' Bourrasque Class of Destroyers which were a direct design extension of the Wicher Class. Aside from having to come up with some different weaponery and get creative making the different shaped fantail that the class sported, I don't see any reason why a couple of different versions, three and four stack types, of these ships can't be kit bashed from Mirages' excellent kit.

I shall be hard at it with some more photos coming soon.