With the superstructure now in place and the join line sealed and painted the next task is to add the final details. The first job was to construct the funnel this was done by making a frame work first and then covering it with .5mm Plasti card and making a solid section for the funnel top from timber. This took a little time to complete but when finished and detailed was well worth it, this too was then fixed in place ensuring correct alignment at all times. Now that the funnel was fixed in place the next task was to make up the guns and torpedo launchers and all the other fittings attached on the main superstructure of which there are rather a lot which all add to the extensive detail on this model.
At this point of the build I decided to leave off the masts and main radar simply for ease of access especially as the next job was to fit all of the stanchions and hand rails. This job as you can imagine took some considerable time to complete and once completed they were very carefully painted and checked to ensure correct alignment was maintained. With most of the detail now in place now all the deck markings and warning signs could be applied all of which were made to order from Becc model accessories. Now that the fine detail was completed the next job is to construct the masts both of which are extensively detailed with some complex angles thrown in as well. Once I had studied the plans and the information supplied by the customer I started to construct the masts. The main challenge with these was to reproduce the angles etc as well as adding all the other details inc exhausts, cable mounts and lights plus ladders and lots of other fine details.
Once the masts had been completed I moved onto what proved to be one of the most difficult challenges of the whole build the main radar. Although the basic shape was straight forward enough reproducing the fine mesh for the curved section was indeed quite a challenge. In order to reproduce this I used a very fine plastic square mesh and then threaded very fine nylon thread through each of the holes to give the appearance of rectangular slots in the mesh which I have to say worked perfectly. When finished it was sprayed and fixed into place and the final details added.
This completed the main part of the build process the next job being to attach all the cable details as well as the aerials and cable supports on the funnel sides along with lots of fine extra detailing this included the stanchions and hand rails running the entire length of the ship followed including any parts that opened etc followed by very careful painting. The last of the details to be added to the ship itself were the anchors along with a couple of flags. Now that the actual ship is completed the very last task was to make up the ships Lynx helicopter, I was lucky when it came to this as I managed to source a correct scaled body on the internet and with a few modifications including wheels and a few other attachments including a new set of correct scaled rotors plus correct scale markings the job was complete.
The model was now completely finished and ready to have its display case made along with its sea scape as requested by the customer this took a couple of weeks to complete but certainly helps display the model to its full effect hopefully for years to come.
Overall this totally scratch built model of HMS Southampton 1:196 scale proved to be very rewarding as well as at times very challenging but in the end I think the end result was simply stunning.