Bringing a kit back from the dead
Posted by Don Murphy on March 13, 2011, 12:31:39
I don't know if you remember, but back in 2004, I was building Blue Water Navy resin destroyer kits on commission. I was building Arleigh Burke Class DDG's for a kind lady that sold them to crews for their change of command ceremonies. Well, it went pretty well, but UPS destroyed the last kit: |
It all started when they punched through the 1/8th inch thick plexiglass display case. Yeah...I know... Still not sure how they pulled that one off, but you gotta give their pick up guy, bonzo the gorilla credit. I was unable to punch through it with a drill when I was putting the finished ship together.
Things went downhill from there... The box was smashed in and the sound of rattling parts was everywhere when you touched the box. Opening the box confirmed my worst fears. The customer had called me saying she was refusing delivery and sending it back to me. I thought maybe just some superficial stuff.
All the photo etch was ripped off as well as the mast shattered, nose broken, etc. Everything was scuffed all to hell, removing all decals, most paint, etc. I remember trying to remove some paint and photo etch early on in the build where I had messed up and I had a hell of a time doing it. This UPS guy was a pro.
I filed a claim and UPS ponied up. They paid for everything. Funny enough, they never wanted the pieces back. So I just threw the carcass in my "junk" box and got on with my life. The kit was weird because although it was the two hanger version, the client wanted the no hanger version (Flight I). So I had special ordered a duplicate PE fret, some extra resin pieces, etc.
Well as you can imagine, I was clearing out the garage for the 9000th time and I came across an unmarked box. Inside was the carcass and the extra PE and resin pieces. Hmmmm... I sanded down the dents and dings and added putty to fill in the parts that were really destroyed. It didn't take that long and I made the decision to rebuild the thing.
For replacing the main mast, I used some resin parts "trees" that I had laying around and put a silver nail on top for the topmast. The spare photo etch and resin funnels were used to replace UPS damaged parts and basically try and approximate an Arleigh Burke Class DDG.
Two 1/35th scale tank pieces (minesweeper plow blade mounts) were used for braces for the main mast. All the mast pieces are scratchbuilt using photo etch scraps and a piece or two from the replacement parts fret. I had to rebuild most of the superstructure.
I'm glad I saved her cuz back in the day, she was a $200 - $250 kit and the only game in town in 1/350th scale of an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer. There is a Panda kit out now of one (also in 1/350th scale) but it covers the later Flight II ships (Winston Churchill, etc). I'll be building this ship as USS The Sullivans.
She's completed except for making two props and I have to scratchbuild some helo deck safety netting. Oh yeah, and I also have to fashion some rudders and a main gun barrel. The parts box has tons of brass tube for gun barrels. For a resin kit, it's pretty detailed and builds pretty quickly. But I don't like the two piece hull. The bottom had to spend time in the oven initially when I first built it.