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mfarina71208

Senior Aircraftman
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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
I purchased Trumpeter’s 1/144 USS Gato a few years ago and I have officially started the build! It’s a good size for a WWII submarine, not too small but not the 1/72 Revell monster either. The kit is nice but it lacks a lot of detail. I decided to go aftermarket with White Ensigns photo etch, Nautilus Models flood vent templates and some 3D printed guns from shapeways.com. I purchased JBOT’s 1/144 scale decals and I plan to build the USS Barb the way she looked in late 1944 / early 1945.

I started the build by filing some of the limber holes with epoxy putty. I felt this was easier than styrene or squadrons green putty. I pushed the epoxy through the inside of the hill and sanded it down after it dried.

Unfortunately I made a mistake and drilled flood vent holes too far forward. Thankfully this can be fixed easily later with some more epoxy putty. I test fitted the hull and applied all of the flood vent templates correctly to the keel of the boat. I’ll drill them out next.

I’ve also test fitted the conning tower and placed the 3D printed 5 inch 25 caliber deck gun, 40mm single bofors aa gun and 20mm oerlikon aa gun. The guns that come with the kit are useless. The 3D printed guns will look much better.

The conning tower looks like it is too long so I’ll have to do more research to see how much shorter to cut it. Thankfully Barb never had her conning tower cut down vertically so that will be less work in the long run.

That’s all for now, more later.

Michael

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Kpnuts

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Reply with quote  #2 
Looking good
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mfarina71208

Senior Aircraftman
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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #3 
I’ve finished drilling and scribing the free flood holes and ballast tank vents on the keel. I also filled the port side anchor well, Gato class boats only had one anchor but the kit provides two. Position of the anchor varied depending on where they were built. A quick spray of black and with just a little more work I’ll be ready for the next step.

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mfarina71208

Senior Aircraftman
Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #4 
Snow = model day!! Unfortunately winter isnt done here in Virginia so I spent most of the day in my workshop. I finished sanding the filler on the hull and glued styrene inside to simulate the pressure hull through the free flood holes.

I also shortened the aft cigarette deck by 10mm using Tamiya tape as a guide. It looks a lot closer to the reference pictures now. The forward cigarette deck could be shortened a little but I’m going to leave it. I’m not sure how much room will be left for the 40mm gun once the railing is on.

Shortening the conning tower meant removing the lip on the top deck. I used a pin vice and needle to remove some of the lip and then filled it in with styrene. Filling the seam won’t be hard but I’m not looking forward to scribing the deck planks.

Finally I glued the main hull together. I have a few more things to do before glueing the top deck but it’s on the horizon. Not bad for a lazy Saturday.

Attached Images
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Kpnuts

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Reply with quote  #5 
Well as I said I know nothing about this genre but I know a good model when I see it
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mfarina71208

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Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks, my dad was on subs in the 1970’s so I got to hear all about them growing up.
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