Well, I finally got started with the Kilo after going through some major setbacks with my other models. It would seem I needed to do something positive involving a submarine before I ran over the lot of them with my car. So I went ahead and started the work that is possible without the fittings kit and sub driver.
The very first step to any sub build (that isn't made from scratch) is to get it out of the box.
As usual it came in a coffin of styrene peanuts, that inevitably ended up all over my garage floor. What a joy. At least the kid seems to think they are lots of fun. I then removed the shrink wrap from the model box and had a peak inside. Yup everything is there and intact. How do I know? Well, I have built this boat once already about a year ago. That also means that I am not surprised this time to find that the hull comes in 3 pieces. A little odd considering every other sub model I've built comes in 2 piece. Actually this turns out to be a good thing for this model. The third top piece is cut right along the water line. This means you don't even have to make a hull cut to access your Sub Driver. What did I say? So easy a cave man could do it!
So the first obvious step for this model is to assemble the two lower halves.
Simple task right...... Yup your right. To get the two halves together I first removed all the plastic injection points with a file and sandpaper. I then gave the two halves a bath in some "hot and soapy" to get all the film off of them. Now I merely aligned the to halves and spot glued them at the front and back using a dab of medium CA. I then plastiwelded the rest together in 4inch segments so that I could ensure correct alignment. So, why plastiweld over just using CA on the whole thing? Well Timmy that is because although CA is strong, and the ductape of the model world, it is brittle. A few impacts with the pool wall or another boat and you might get a hull crack. That's bad mojo. The plastiweld makes a great bond that is flexible.
So, that was a pretty easy task wasn't it but try as hard as you might there will be gaps. Why would there be gaps though? The answer to that is easy and you can find the answer yourself. Get the top half of the model and flip it over. All the answers you need are right there in writing.
For me the next logical step is to fill the gaps. A seamless model is a happy model!
For this I used Evercoat Metal Glaze. When using this stuff i recommend making small batches. About the size of a quarter I find is best. The reason for this is that it hardens in about 5 minutes. There is no more waiting for it to air dry like squadron putty. Its ready for filing almost immediately but does work best when left to set completely for a few minutes.
Of course I am the impatient type so after I got the filler on my hull I moved on to the sail.
I first prepared the sail pieces the same way I did on the hull.
Once again I used the same technique as the hull and tacked to two halves in place with CA and then plastiwelded them together.
I then did the same to the top and of course filled the gaps with Evercoat.
OK time to let that bad boy set up and move on to the top half of the hull.
Sorry for the fuzzy picture on this one but its to late now so you'll have to deal with it. To get started on the upper hull I got out my 1/32 drill bit. Now, I have found that it is almost impossible to get a 1/32 drill bit at a local store. The only way I have found them is in the little Dremel drill sets. Get one. They are awesome. Anyway, I first went around the hull and drilled out all the holes in the side. I think they might be countermeasure but, I have no idea. You want certain, contact Wayne Frey! I then went around using the same bit and drilled 2 or 3 holes in each of the upper hull vents to open them up for my xacto knife. Using my xacto knife I carefully cut a rough rectangle out of the vents. I then used my flat jeweler's file to open up then vents to equal size. Now every time you file plastic with a fine grade file it will leave a kind of lip in the back. I simply went around the inside of the model with my xacto knife again and removed it.
I also took the time to take a scribe and deepen all of the scribe lines on the upper hull and sail. This will ensure that after primer and paint the details will still show. The key to this is to use a very sharp point and take your time. Trace over it once very slowly, then go back again a little deeper. Don't forget to clean out the left over plastic when your done. Also, if you make a mistake (and I always do) you can just fill the mistake in. Don't worry!!!!!
This is what the finished product looks like.
Now that all that junk was done it was time to go back to the sail. And clean it up.
I first took down the thicker parts of evercoat with a file and then went back over the rest using sand paper. Once everything was down and smooth I gave it a shot of primer to show the mistakes. Yeah that's right its red primer and I don't give a crap. I ran out of grey OK, and I don't let simple things as this hold me up. I found a few places that still required attention and fixed them again.
Next I used my 1/16" drill bit and drilled out all of the sail windows. I then used my square jeweler's file to open them up to size. I may try to make clear windows for these or just leave them open. I have not yet decided. I also removed the back wall of the bridge to allow for a place that air can easily escape. I did this by drilling a couple holes, then cutting it out using a very sharp xacto knife.
Time for another shot of primer to make sure everything is good.
One of the things I hated about making this kit the first time was the flimsy railings and crapy masts. I plan to remedy this problem on this go around.
First step was the railings. I got some 1/32" brass rod and cut it to the same length as the rail I was going to replace. I then tried to copy the angle as much as possible by bending it with my thumbs. Then I taped the piece to a scrap piece of wood and using a pencil marked where the railings needed to be. Scientific isn't it!! I then took some lengths of brass and lined them up next to the rail and taped them in place. Next apply heat and solder and bang you have the beginnings of a quality railing.
Next I trimmed the pieces to length and used the left overs to continue the railing.
Before you know it you have a complete set of railings ready for install.
Now the original railing is only glued in using on rung after every two. this means you'll need to get out that 1/32 bit again and drill holes for the new rungs. Lay a flexible ruler down and make a guide line using the other holes to help you find the right spot. Now you only need to figure out where to frill the holes. I used another scientific method to to mine. I put my railing on the sail and used it to scratch the primer where the rungs were. The I drilled the holes and installed the railing. To glue it in I applied CA on the inside of the sail and then cut the excess railing.
Here is a shot of the sail with the railings installed and a few of the masts I've been working on. More on those next time!