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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 1:16 pm 
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Joined: August 5th, 2012, 9:58 pm
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Yes, it's me - you are not in the wrong section. The Airfix SS Canberra was a recent impulse buy from a local charity shop. At only £3, how could I turn down the opportunity to support a good cause at the same time as providing myself with several days of harmless entertainment? I couldn't.

As you may have noticed, I’m not usually a ship person. I do, however, occasionally dabble in the watery craft. I am rather lacking in the skills needed to build and paint ships, especially passenger liners. They give me the same problems as models of commercial airliners in that they need flawless construction, sharp paint lines and above all, a way to show very small windows.

I decided to build the Canberra as a waterline model, set on a sea base. I always build ship models in this way. That involved sawing off the bottom of the hull, resulting inevitably in some problems in attaching the decks to the remaining parts of the hull. I then spent hours painting and detailing the various decks at the stern, only to discover later that none of this work can be seen.

I plodded on and assembled the parts, usually painting them before fitting them. It seemed like the right thing to do. The colour I used for the decks is too dark, made even darker by layers of Klear and varnish. I took a few other minor colour liberties with some areas, but nothing too outrageous.

Then came the windows and portholes. They are marked on the kit by small raised areas. The kit does not provide decals for the windows and although the portholes could have been drilled out, the same would not have been possible with the windows.

I tried to black them in using a fine tipped pen. The problem, however, was that the ink was water-based, so prone to spreading and smudging. Smudging over white paint became a problem. I tried to seal the ink with a spray of clear varnish, but that was not entirely successful. The result looked crude. I rubbed the ink off, repainted then tried again, marking in all the windows and portholes one at a time, using the same ink marker pen. It was no good – I just could not get straight lines and a result that looked anything other than bad. It was time for Plan B.

Plan B was to make my own decals for the windows (the portholes were fine with the ink pen). I drew them in MS Paint then printed them on clear white decal paper. I then had to cut them out, sometimes just for one window, some in pairs, some in groups of three, some in ….. etc. etc. as needed. They were then painstakingly applied, a procedure that sorely tested my patience. The result, however, was far better than using the marker pen.

Getting sharp lines between some of the colours mostly defeated me. The problem seemed to be caused by the fact that the mouldings were old. If I were to build another (which I won’t), I would spend far more time sharpening up the edges of parts.

I measured the model so that I could buy a picture frame to make a sea base. I struck lucky in a local charity shop when I saw one that looked about right, i.e. about 20 inches long and 6 inches wide. I picked it up and began to measure it with my tape measure. I ran out of fingers. The frame slipped. It headed for the floor in slow motion then on impact, the glass shattered in a thousand pieces. Shop workers rushed at me from nowhere. When one of them noticed that I was not in the full flush of youth, she showed concern for my health and called me ‘sweetie’. I explained that I wanted to buy it and that I did not want the glass. They swept up the pieces, I bought the frame then beat a hasty retreat.

The result is that the Canberra is now set in its base, steaming gracefully towards the distant horizon.

I should mention that I did consider converting the model to its Falklands configuration. I rather liked the amount of rust streaking on the hull by the time it came back to Portsmouth. I thought it would be easy to find someone who had already done it, but I couldn’t. There are a few photos on various web sites, but although I could see where the helicopter pads and containers were placed, I could not find anything that showed the weapons that were installed. Life was difficult enough without further bother, so I just went with the passenger liner version.


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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 2:54 pm 
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Joined: July 31st, 2013, 11:04 am
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Location: Milton Keynes
That's a lovely looking build and your window decals are spot on!

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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 2:56 pm 
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Joined: July 16th, 2013, 4:03 pm
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Very nice work on a very handsome liner, Vacant. I too usually remove the keel for a waterline result myself, as it makes displaying them somewhat easier.

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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 3:27 pm 
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Why is he so confused ?
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Joined: April 5th, 2011, 3:42 pm
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Location: Living on a sandbar - Nags Head, NC.
Very nice .. and entertaining !

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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 7:16 pm 
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Very nice... wait a minute, did you say you BOUGHT and BUILT a kit rather than someone handing you four bits and some fresh air??? :shock: :shock: :shock:

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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 8:54 pm 
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Joined: May 19th, 2013, 10:21 am
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Location: Worthing West Sussex
:frown: I can never get them that good! That a proper job mate , a proper job and no mistake. The last one I did was QM2. if it had been the real thing it wouldn't have lasted as long as Titanic ;-)

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"there is not a difficult task in plastic modelling; if it becomes hard, it's because the wrong way had been chosen" (Unknown)
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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 11:25 pm 
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Joined: May 1st, 2011, 12:31 am
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Location: Adelaide. South Australia
That's a fine looking ship model. The pic made me look twice, I thought it was for comparison purposes :) Until I aw it was the only pic :grin:

Nigel


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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 4th, 2017, 3:18 pm 
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Onto the Clever Stuff, Now.

Joined: January 20th, 2017, 11:15 pm
Posts: 194
Superb build those port holes look the business. You must have the patience of a saint.


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SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
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 Post subject: Re: SS Canberra; Airfix 1/600
PostPosted: August 4th, 2017, 9:37 pm 
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Joined: May 19th, 2013, 10:21 am
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Location: Worthing West Sussex
I went on a school cruise on her in 1973ish swimming pool was a canvas bag over a cargo hold :grin: ;-) had a great time though, Funny thing was my sister who was 8 years older than me went on a school cruse and it was the same dammed ship!

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IF IT AINT BROKE DON'T FIX IT!
I love the smell of avgas in the morning!
"there is not a difficult task in plastic modelling; if it becomes hard, it's because the wrong way had been chosen" (Unknown)
Ron Butler "RONBOW"


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