This HMS Wolf kit is moving along so quickly that I’ve hardly had a chance to stop and get caught up with the build log. I’m so far beyond what you’re seeing here, so I’m going to minimize my writing and try to close the gap between build log and current model a bit.
The third layer of the hull is pretty much actual, individual hull planks. There are two sheets of thin, laser-cut card stock, one for each side of the hull.
In the image below, some of the individual planks have been glued into place. To make it clearer, I marked the last plank to go on with an arrow. The planks are added from the bulwarks down toward the keel, as per the instructions.
It was just a matter of time before I had all the planks added. I ended up with some gaps close the end. This turned out to be less of an issue than I thought it might, as the whole model gets painted later anyway.
There is some excess length to the planks, so that has to be trimmed trimmed off. Below, you can see I’ve now added the keel and stem.
I had some high spots with the edges of some of the planks still, so I did a little light sanding. I also applied some gesso to the bottom of the hull to fill in some of those gaps in the planking. Finally, I used my waterline marker, then masked it off using some Tamiya brand masking tape.
Following the kit instructions, I painted the upper hull yellow and then remasked and painted the bottom white.
I decided I didn’t want to use the paint as it looked straight out of the provided jars. The colors seemed too intense. My only concern was really about the use of red. The outside hull gets some pre-printed frieze design with red background that looked like it matched the color of the paint straight from the jar. Fortunately, the designs were only on the outside of the hull. All my painting of red would be on the inside of the hull.
As for the yellow, I lightened it up to reduce the intensity a little, which I decided was only on the outer hull, so it wouldn’t be an issue there either.
Below is the first piece of the printed frieze design. I don’t know if the design was actually on the operational ship, or if it only appeared in some painting somewhere of the proposed ship, or if it might have eventually been painted over. I considered not using it. But, it adds so much to the decorative nature of the model that I saw no good reason to leave it off.
At last, I got to work on the face of the stern cabin, which is such a cool little project and looks so nice on the model. I decided to paint it red, but to give some depth to it by painting the underlying piece a dark brown to add contrast. I also painted the columns brown as well.
There are several pieces here and it was a lot of fun to put this all together. I think there were 22 or 23 pieces here. Plus, there are 5 clear acetate pieces for the window glass, which was added later and glued into place using Formula ‘560’ Canopy Glue, which dries clear.
After that, I added the wales piece, which covered up some of the irregularities in the hull that were bothering me. I painted the wales black before applying it, then I finished off painting the black portion of the stem.
The inner bulwarks pieces went in just fine, though they were just a tad long. I carefully lined them up with the gunports to figure out which end I had to trim and by how much. You can’t see it in the photos, but the bottom edges at the forecastle showed a little gap, so before gluing those forward pieces into place, I painted the hull behind the pieces first where the bottom edge would show through. So, now, you can’t see the gap so well.
Painting the inner edges of the gun ports and the sweep ports resulted in getting a little paint on the outside of the hull. So, I had to clean up as best I could as I went along, then touched up the outer hull with the yellow paint.
Now, hopefully you got this with my last, out-of-phase, post about this build. But, I am super thrilled about how nicely this model has been turning out. It’s just incredible to get this far so quickly, and to have something so beautiful and amazingly detailed in your hands.
And now, let’s get NEARLY caught up here. Next step was to add the friezes to the hull. This comes as, if I recall exactly, five separate pieces for each side of the hull. The gun ports and sweep ports provide the perfect guides for alignment of these printed pieces of paper. This printed paper, by the way, is the only thing in the whole kit that needs to be cut by hand.
Then, the build actually gets a little tricky, when it comes time to add all the moldings that border the friezes. You have to look at the instructions very carefully to make sure the right pieces go in the right places. It can be very easy to get mixed up, and there are also some REALLY TINY pieces. With no extra pieces provided, this is one place where you have to be super careful with the build.
You might also notice that the yellow color is different from the hull. I did this on purpose, as the moldings are more decorative, and it’s not really clear from the instructions how these are to be colored. In the instructions it looks like they might actually be gold. But, I thought that would be too much. After all, this is not a royal yacht, though it certainly seems to have all the decorative elements.
Below, you can see the first really noticeable mistake. I didn’t notice when I glued the clear acetate to the back of the quarter gallery window frames and the frames on one side got deformed in the process. I left it, rather than trying to fix it and probably destroying it. I may eventually see if I can make the deformity less noticeable. But, for now, it’s only really noticeable in a close-up photo.
The next mistake, which I did manage to overcome was this knee. I thought it was a single piece, but turns out there was a second piece. They were supposed to be glued together to form one, thicker knee. But, the instructions don’t really make it clear and I only figured it out when I found the second piece.
I just sliced the second piece in half and glued each slice to either side of the knee that was already in place. Problem solved!
The stern gallery was another one of those cool detailed assemblies that would really stand out on the model. This one was 29 pieces, including the frieze.
And, here’s the model at this stage, with all the moldings in place. I was afraid that some of these molding pieces might get knocked off, so I made sure to brush some diluted Aleene’s Tacky Glue along the edges of the molding pieces to help secure them. Even so, I’m extra careful with the model as I’m working on it.
So, is the build log now caught up with the build itself? Well, not exactly. Just a little more to go. But, at least I’ve closed the gap a lot, and it won’t be so daunting next time I post an update, which should be very soon.