Man, starting new builds at 90... I’m impressed! I hope I'm still cuttin’ and gluin’ plastic if I make it that far! (My wife assures me that this will undoubtedly be the case...)
I'm glad you're enjoying the pictures, it is fun posting them. In answer to your question, the portholes on the kit aren't bad, but I drilled them for better depth. Didn't think painting them black would work very well on a white painted vessel--too much contrast. I'll probably leave them painted white along with the surfaces they're on and fill them in with clear resin for the glass. Or maybe I'll just leave them unfilled as if the crew had them open to vent ship.
As for photoetch I’m no expert, but you might want to check out Art Braunschweiger’s piece on the subject on the Titanic Research and Modeling Association site at http://titanic-model.com/articles/photoetch/Photoetched_Brass.htm
. He really knows his stuff!
Speaking of photoetch, while testing the fit of the photoetch ratlines to the foremast I discovered an error in the kit: the forward bridge deck (part 44) is too wide. Designed by Revell to match the superstructure deck (“main deck-center” part #11) below it, the bridge deck should actually be a little narrower. The Booklet of General Plans drawings show this clearly:
I hadn't noticed the discrepancy earlier, and the deck seemed fine when I test fitted it; the problem only became evident when trying to fit the photoetched ratlines to the mast. Because the bridge deck sticks out too far, the ratlines bump into it instead of hanging clear.
You can see this on the Squadron/Encore build up on their Facebook page.
So, using the plans and the photoetched ratlines as guides, I cut the deck back.
The picture shows the cut-back deck over the scrap left over from the unaltered wood deck upgrade part. The trimming wasn’t much as you can see, but it was still frustrating since I had to undo some of the detailing I had previously added to the bridge deck underside. Still, it is better to discover the problem now than later on!