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Amphitrite: Detailing

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1 July 2007page first published

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Personal logo Virtualscratchbuilder Supporting Member of TMP Fezian of Virtualscratchbuilder writes:

Once the painting was finished, I decided I could not let this ship go without a little detail. I decided that I would see what I could do in two hours, with materials at hand and in the parts box, with minimal scratchbuilding. Using the following materials:

  • Evergreen styrene rod, .40, .50, etc.
  • Evergreen styrene sheet, thin, like .030 thick
  • Black thread soaked in superglue to make it stay straight
  • Candle and match
  • Hobby knife (for cutting things and making small holes in the resin)
  • Hat pin and wire cutters
  • Tweezers (for positioning things)
  • A parts box containing decades worth of left-over and cannibalized model parts
  • A ton of old styrene and brass sprues

This is what I came up with:

Sea anchor

First, a sea anchor. Amphitrite had a small deck crane which she used to handle her sea anchor. As it is not in some photos, I assume it folded down to the deck, but I decided to build it upright. The crane is thin Evergreen rod, the anchor was contributed by the parts box, and the anchor line is brass, cut from a spare photo-etch sprue and bent to shape.

Boat davit

Next, boat davits. Amphitrite had a pair of very large davits on either side. They appear to have been on gimbals, and could probably reach any boat. Boat cranes do not appear in any picture that I have seen, which is in contrast to Amphitrite's near sister, Terror, which had boat cranes but did not seem to have the large davits.

To build the davits, I started with small davit supports, 4mm x 2.5mm, cut from a strip of thin Evergreen styrene, tapered to a near point at one end. I glued these to the sides of the superstructure (actually, it would be a breastwork, but I'd rather type 'superstructure'). I then glued the davits to the deck and to the davit support. The picture shows the supports with one davit in place.

Boat davits

The net effect of the davits.

Steam release pipe

Next, I ran a thin strip of styrene rod up the back of the funnel. I believe this is a steam release pipe.

Bridge supports

Amphitrite had visible supports for her bridge wings. I used styrene rod for these. Some pictures show a large support flange under the wings. Some don't.

Plastic-bending candle at work

I like ventilation cowls... lots of them. So I pulled out my trusty plastic-bending candle and went to work, kinking up a length of thicker styrene rod.

Kinked rod

Once the rod was kinked enough, I cut some ventilators...

Ventilators installed

...and installed them - two flanking the funnel, two flanking the bridge, and two at the aft end of the br.... superstructure. There were probably more, but these will do. Now... if it was HMS Amphitrite, that would be a different story...

Rigging added

Then I cut a few lengths of superglue-soaked thread, and set them up as representative rigging.

Searchlights added

Then I cut some random shapes from the old sprue collection, and installed searchlights on the bridge wings.

Flagstaff added

Finally, a jackstaff cut from a hat-pin.

The detailed model, before final painting

The net effect of the details, pre-paint.

Detailed model (side view)

From the side.