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1/700 USS Montana. Wicked.

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Guest PetrolGator
So, I was offered a chance to build a sample of this beastie if I was willing to prioritize it over the San Francisco and get it done.


...it was not a difficult choice. :big_grin:


The Montana class is simply huge. These monsters were ordered early in the war and promptly cancelled once someone in the Navy had the sense to do so. Still, they're magnificent looking ships.


Kit: My sample came with the prototype instructions and all three versions of main guns that Brandon offers. Had she been built, she would have been armed with the 16"/50 turrets. Nonetheless, BRM has decided to include the Navy's proposed (and built) 18" guns and some insane 20" bloody rail cannons.


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Box. It's pretty.


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Turret options. Sorry for the odd angle.


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Included PE. I think there are plenty of 20mm, but you'll need more bofors for a full outfit. I planned on using Fine Mold guns, so I'm not worried. PE is excellent with the guns from Five Star Models. I'm unsure who makes the main fret but it's beautiful.


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Superstructure.


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More resin and the wood deck. I did want to note that the resin ship was designed with the wood in mind. The deck is recessed and will avoid the usual "sticker" look of the thicker wood piece.


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Dry fit with the 18" guns. I'm still stuck between the 16" turrets and outfitting her with 18" guns. Engineering wise, I know for a fact that she's be waaaay overweight with the bigger turrets, but it looks so damn cool.


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Montana and Iowa.


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The kit also comes with PE doors and hatches which I strongly suggest using. Fit is good, though you'll want to sand the lowermost resin superstructure at the 3rd turret for perfect fit. It's a little long but should be easy to remedy. I haven't noticed any bubbles or warping.


I'll start work as soon as possible and work as the holidays permit. She'll be in the attractive Ms 22 unless I get adventurous and do her up in a dazzle. Pictures will be taken with all three turret configurations.

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Sweet! What a monster that would have been! Imagine that Bad Boy going up against Yamato with those 18" guns....

 

Oh how the mind reels!

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I lived in Montana for over 10 years and have always been interested in this ship because of that.

 

But then again I still want to build NCC-1941, USS Bozeman because I went to college there.

 

Will keep an eye on this build.

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KA-BOOM!

 

That is going to look stunning. You have to do the BIG guns...just have to.

 

That looks like a great build, just seeing what come with it.

 

Good luck.

 

Bill

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Massive!

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Guest PetrolGator
Well, I will try not to disappoint, but no promises!


So, getting down to business.... I've noted in my four short years of building, that initial prep, especially with resin, is key to a good result.


I've become a huge fan of the mass dry fit. This revealed a slight problem with the lowermost superstructure part. It was too long. I could either shave the side against turret three OR cut it along a narrow portion, shave off about 1 mm, and call it good.


I chose the easier option.


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Fit is now perfect after about five minutes of work. With resin shrinkage issues, having this be the ONLY problem I've come across is impressive. Turrets fit perfects as do the other superstructure bits, after shaving off excess resin from the bottom.


78495394-EC1B-49CB-806E-23DB7D1A98F8_zps


I spent most of the rest of my time with this model ensuring all the major superstructure fit properly. Minus small and expected gaps, it all went together well. I'll have to do some very minor filling, but nothing terrible.


D33D3F6B-F669-4750-BB64-9FB4F427965A_zps


All for now on Montana. I'll be spending a good amount of time on this and my San Fran tomorrow.

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Excellent! I'll be watching this with great interest...

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Guest PetrolGator
I've spent most of the holidays adding PE, detail, and other bits. The BRM kit fits great, but absolutely cries to additional details. With the Montana being a well, not-built, there's a lot of room for your own interpretation of what these beasts would have looked like. I decided to stick with the late '44 through early '45 Iowa open bridge both to illustrate the BRM kit's configuration AND because, frankly, I like it. I also added the six midships 40mm quads. I hate building boats.


F64F5DFF-B8F0-4E87-8E45-2EBC81869AF8_zps


Most of this photo etch came off the included fret, though I have been using Lion Roar's deck details which come with PE wood planking, wiring, vents, fire hoses, etc. They add a LOT to any 1/700 ship. I've purchased a few frets for other builds.


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Rear funnel has been glued down, though I plan to add a LOT of ladders, platforms and whatnot (some included) before painting. Note that the superstructure is still all dry fit. If there's no evidence of putty, I haven't glued it down.


My plan tomorrow is to finish deck detailing and decide if I'm going to build some catapults or keep the banks of 20mm guns molded to the hull. I'll then prime and paint, do finishing work and build myself to the top mast.


All for now.


CE297EEE-944C-4320-A810-A7F62CB73D41_zps

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WICKED definitely describes it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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What a great build. Well done so far. Will be watching and drooling.

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The PetrolGator yards are certainly on a roll here! Way cool.

 

Question about the PE hatches: Are they going onto those little projections from the bulkheads, or do you shave those off? Any changes to their locations based on pix of the r/w ship?

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Guest PetrolGator

Yeah. Got two on the works right now and need to finish one review item this weekend before Dave kills me.

 

All the hatches replace the uh, protrusions molded into the resin. The kit itself is based off of plans that the master's sculptor purchased.

 

Thanks, ya'll. I'm hoping to have some paint on the lower hull this weekend.

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Thanx for the intell. I can envision this bad boy standing offshore, bringing the whip-ass in support of Operations OLYMPIC, CORONET, and any other TEN-GO type madness that may have come our way.

Edited by VonL

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Guest PetrolGator

I've restarted work on this ship. The hull and major superstructure bits got a coat of paint, but in the process revealed some flaws from my sanding that I absolutely had to correct.

 

...so back to the paint drawing board. I'll resand the hull and hit it again with 5-H. Once that dries, I'll paint the bottom part 5-N as per Measure 22.

 

Other issues that must be corrected:

- My little scratch built platform around the armored citadel looks like crap. I need to completely resand, reputty, and fix this. Ugh.

- Other tiny splotches. MM's USN colors are slightly glossy and small imperfections bother me. I'll fix what I can.

 

Neat discovery: Apparently, thinned enamel makes for a good stain on the wood deck provided. I still have need of a few layers, but it'll stain the deck nicely and still look like wood. Win-win.

 

I loathe this stage in the process. The first layer of paint on major sections always reveals problems.

 

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I am sure you will overcome this this loathsome challenge and make a superb finish!!!!

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Guest PetrolGator

...working on it man.

 

Note: NEVER USE BLUE PAINTER'S TAPE ON MODELS.
Ugh.
Stripped all the side paint in chunks. I had to clean the hull and redo. It blew. Still, fixed it. Sadly, the only PE I managed to finish were some ladders on three of her 16" turrets.
I've also thrown on the 18" and 20" guns, just because.

Overall, this has been a self-imposed frustrating build. The model itself is pretty good, but I keep making stupid mistakes. Note that I've got one more layer on the wood. I'll throw one more enamel filter on it, I think. I'll then mask (fearfully) and paint the forward and aft metal decks. HOPEFULLY, this'll result in an attached wood deck and, lord willing, some weathering on the hull.

Hopefully.

I'll then begin working on the after superstructure, detail wise.

 

Issues with paint on deck? Yeh. I'll deal with it tomorrow. I'm painted out.

 

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post-1852-0-70523800-1422506304_thumb.jpg

 

post-1852-0-02364600-1422506311_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

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Guest PetrolGator
Life's been busy but I've been able to finish painting the 16"/50's and some of the bridge railing. Aft superstructure is painted and all major components have been given a nice wash and dry brush.


I've still got a lot to do. I'm hoping to proceed with the 5" secondary guns sometime this weekend and get the 40mm's built. Once that's done I'll move on to the rangefinders and any other equipment that can be painted as a smaller module.


Sadly, the pictures make the wash difficult to see:


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Note that I've 90% hand painted this, minus the hull. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

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So theorize. If the Montanas had been built, would the Iowas have escaped the scrapers torch? Would the Montanas have been modernized for Korea, Vietnam, and beyond? You could hang a lot of Tomahawks on one.

 

Rick L.

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Guest PetrolGator

Montanas wouldn't have lasted long after the war. At best, they'd be museums.

 

These monsters would have been relatively slow fuel hogs and would not have been able to routinely keep up with the carriers. I imagine that, post war, the two or three completed examples would be mothballed almost immediately.

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Looking good Chris! That is one impressive beast!

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Guest PetrolGator

Thanks. I've done some more work to the ship, but nothing really worth posting. Between work and (good) life, I've had little time to build stuff. It'll get done this year, probably. :)

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Clunk along at your own pace. I finally got the Pavla seat for the Deuce and hope to have it installed in the cockpit by the weekend.

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Guest PetrolGator

I've managed to build a few 40mm guns (Fine Molds) but little else. I've added some railing but have been largely too busy to really make progress on the Montana. Professional Engineer certifications are not easy and I'm having to dedicate more and more time to studying. I may have a picture update this weekend. Maybe.

 

Sad part is I have some stuff I -really- want to build.

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Chris,

 

The PE certification is your top priority. Go for it and let the Montana rest for a while. We understand and can wait. Best wishes for your success.

 

Ed

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