I spent yesterday doing some basic research about how to go about building my newly acquired plastic kit of the British battleship HMS Nelson. As as usual - because I am an intermediate compulsive/obsessive - I ended up getting sucked down the deep rabbit hole of 'super detailing'.

...If you don't know what this is - basically - it's the addition of (usually very expensive) after market accessory items with which you can make your standard boxed model look 'more realistic'. It's the holy grail of scale modelling nerds who are keen to 'out detail' their fellow modellers! 😄

Above: Here's a quick look at the Tamiya kit I bought.

As easily distracted as I am and apt to go off at a tangent, 'super detailing' is an insidiously alluring thing that can end up multiplying the basic cost of your model by ten-fold if you aren't careful! The sorts of things you can buy are stuff like brass turned replacement barrels for your ship's guns and real wood veneer for the planking of your ship's desk and a plethora of other exotic replacement parts.

Before you know it a cheap and relatively quick kit project has gotten totally out of hand!

Breaks Applied!

Learning from past experience, I stopped myself before I started and managed my expectations about this project. I had to remind myself that the whole idea of this project was to ease me slowly back into scale modelling with a fairly simple model, so getting carried away with extra superfluous detailing would be counter-productive.

1/700 HMS Rodney/Nelson Deck Detailing Kit
Above: A 'wooden deck' detailing kit for HMS Rodney/Nelson.

One note though, brass gun replacements aren't all that exotic a replacement part these days, they are pretty standard practise and I had already done this before for some tank models. The reason for this is thin plastic guns tend to be a bit weedy and easily malformed, so exchanging them for metal parts is just good practise...Anyway...

Here's an example of why 'super detailing' is something of a questionable activity at times; you can buy an expensive replacement 'real wood' deck kit from China which replicates the look of deck planking BUT at 1/700 I think it's debatable whether you could really see individual planks. Just look at the following picture to see what I mean (and this is a fairly close photo)...

HMS Nelson - Deck Planking Visible?

See what I mean? The wooden deck planking is only barely visible at this distance, so it's debateable whether you should be able to make out planks when looking at a 1/700 model from - say - three feet away. Personally I tend to think that *some* super detailing is no more than one-upmanship between modellers and not so much the pursuit of realism (especially when small scales are taken into consideration).

Detailing is a love it or hate it thing, but my main issue with it here is that I don't want extra distractions...

Other Interests...

No, this isn't a 'master class' of kit building! 😄 I just want to see how I deal with small fiddly parts and how steady my hands are now, so just building a kit OOB (Out Of the Box) is sufficient challenge at the moment thank you!

That said, I do intent to add a 'mini-challenge' to the mix. As this is my very first ship model I would like to see if I can mount it on a seascape diorama and attempt to model some realistic ocean waves.

So, my research wasn't wasted as I found this terrific YouTube tutorial which the chap swears is 'easy' to do...

I know there's a variety of 'water making' resins available for dioramas, but as I say I've never used them and I also want to know how to paint the sea a specific colour - North Atlantic slate grey-ish! 😏

And finally, I also found this really interesting video about the history of HMS Nelson. As you have probably noticed, the Nelson (and it's sister ship) is a pretty unique lay-out, with all the main batteries arranged at the bow end of the ship and this video explains this and some of the other innovative features of this battleship...

And with that I'll get on with the prep work and medium tests before I crack on!

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post