Wow, Tom, your scratch teak decking looks FANTASTIC! Hand salute and BZ, bro'! And Paul, your stern is going together wondrously. I'm so envious of both you guys.
As for my own efforts this weekend, here's my overall comment:
HOW COME NOTHING EVER GOES AS PLANNED?!
I did manage to start my keel flood hole project today, but things went quickly awry.…
First, for reference, I shot a lot of photos of the flood holes on my Fine Art Models 1/96 USS Cod
. This was easier said than done, since I was shooting black holes against black paint in poor or uneven light. A lot of brightness and contrast tweaking in PhotoShop was required to actually make these holes visible on-screen and especially in printouts. This effort took far longer than anticipated, but I eventually did get many worthy reference shots printed out. Only a few appear below. Anyone desiring copies of all of them need only contact me.
With this shot, note the underside of the bow planes as reference. Note also how two of the holes are actually receptacles for the raised sound heads.
WHY did I do this since, like many of you, I do own the Nautilus Models' stick-on 1/72 keel flood hole template? Simple: I wasn't so sure I could trust the Nautilus folks for accuracy, based on known accuracy issues with some of their other offerings. I wasn't necessarily against using the Nautilus template (yet), but I wanted to give myself an option. Y'see, Fine Art Models is known and lauded worldwide for their accuracy, and with obvious recognition of the incredible level of detail and quality visible above the waterline on my Cod
, I could only assume Fine Art was accurate below her waterline too. I believe they not only worked from EB plans when creating this amazing miniature, but with their company based in southeastern Michigan and Cod
actually on display in nearby Cleveland, I'm sure she got a very thorough going over for research as well. I wouldn't be at all surprised if this included divers going over her side to map out and measure the size and configuration of her entire keel flood hole pattern. I'm just speculating about this, I admit, but what is undeniable is that Harder
was an EB boat and so was Cod
, so I'm thinking their flood holes are gonna be the same (or at least VERY similar), even though separated by 33 hull numbers (a lot of THEM quite-different Portsmouth-design boats built there and at Mare Island, as you guys well know).
Ahem. I digress. The point here is that once I'd flipped my Cod
on her side to get a good look (something I hadn't done in many years), I found that her flood hole pattern was indeed UTTERLY DIFFERENT from the one depicted by Nautilus' template. By the way, Kisler, the holes also featured longitudinal gratings as you can see, so I'd been wrong in assuming the pattern was simply open holes only—though because I've heard there's disagreement among knowledgeable sources over whether said grates were actually added postwar, I defer to others better-informed on this issue while I consider how I might make or get grates to go into those holes.…
Anyway, not only do I now feel the Nautilus template inaccurate by a wide margin, I also find ITS SEPARATE SECTIONS DON'T EVEN FIT the hull as shown in their positioning diagram! This is because the kit hull's weld lines (used for alignment) don't match Nautilus' instructions—rendering the entire Nautilus effort useless as far as I'm concerned. I'd hoped to somehow still use their appliques with my own pattern transferred from my Cod
photos, but now I see that won't work either.
So now I get to START OVER...and I'd planned to tackle these flood holes first because I thought they were gonna be easy!
My new plan: gingham patterned low-tack shelf paper used as a grid. I've put it on the boat (below) and now intend to rough sketch out the hole pattern, then take it off, lay it flat and formally draw in a finished configuration with the aid of drawing tools. Note that this shall include some oval and square shapes too (where the Nautilus template only showed circles!). Then I'll X-Acto out the shapes, put the shelf paper back on the boat, quick-scribe all the holes, peel it off and start drilling and filing like mad.
It's now gonna be a long, arduous process. (See again my statement at the top of this post.)
Sure writing is easy: just sit staring at a blank page until the drops of blood start forming on your forehead.