IJN Aircraft Carrier Deck

Published: November 9th, 2010     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Michael Novosad, IPMS# 36721
Scale: 1/48
Company: Eduard
Price: $7.95
Product / Stock #: 8803

First Impressions

This review product arrived in the mail wrapped in cardboard and amply reinforced duct tape. Upon opening the mailing package I found a heavy-duty, injection-molded black plastic, 11 3/4" by 15 5/8" long, enclosed in a clear plastic bag wrapper. A small sprue of clear plastic parts was also enclosed. The aircraft carrier deck is molded as an inverted tray, and is quite sturdy.

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The engraving for the deck planks and elevator were clean and crisp, but might be considered too pronounced for an airplane model. For the bean counters, there are 190 tie downs. The welded seams are almost too finely rendered, with only a small portion that appears to have "faded". There are four rectangular depressions that I assume receive the clear parts. On the underside of the tray was a date: 2001.

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There are no instructions or painting suggestions. Inserted in the tray bottom side was a larger color picture of an IJN aircraft carrier deck, showing the wood deck, elevator and tie downs which would suffice as the painting guide. Paints and colors were not identified

Preparation

I used Dawn detergent and warm water to remove sanding dust any oils on the surface of the plastic. Once dry, I applied a coat of Tamiya white primer. After the primer had dried I discovered another scratch worthy of repair. I applied a few coats of Mr. Surface 500 and sanded it smooth once dry. Again, a bath in Dawn detergent was in order before any further painting was undertaken. The whorl had disappeared completely.

Painting and Finishing

The first step in the painting and finishing process was to do a Google image search to determine the colors used by the IJN for the wood decks of their aircraft carriers. As usual there were several interpretations and solutions to the color question. I was on my own.

I pre-shaded various elements of the elevator. Next I airbrushed several thinned applications of Tamiya light grey over the elevator until the pre-shading effort was just barely visible. Once dry the elevator surface was masked off to protect the paint from the next steps.

The wood deck was airbrushed with Tamiya Deck Tan, and some planks were painted a slightly lighter shade of the base color. I removed the elevator masking then masked the surface in preparation for the painting of the white stripes.

Now that everything was properly painted I again masked the elevator and white stripes. I applied a light coat of Raw Umber oil paint to the wood surfaces. The oil paint was then rubbed with an old tee shirt to remove the bulk of the oil paint. The oil paint gave the Deck Tan paint a more wood-like appearance.

Once protected with clear gloss, the plank joints and tie downs were given an oil wash. This is tedious and took several days to complete, but the overall effect was worth it.

The tie downs were dry-brushed with Rub-n-Buff silver. I used a punch and die to create masks from Tamiya tape. This was expected to be tedious, and it was!  But, it was well worth the effort.

Conclusion

Many of the models I have seen in various contests are mounted on a base of some sort. Some are stained wood, while others are detailed with road surfaces, earth and vegetation. This effort often adds interest to the model. I have often thought about adding a carrier deck to one of my models, but have not made the effort until now. When the offer to review this product came about I jumped at the opportunity. The cost is much less than what I had expected and would make this addition well worth it.

Assembly of all five parts, is not complicated. The painting required much effort and offers a great opportunity for the modeler's artistic talents to shine through. I would recommend this accessory for those fans of Japanese World War II naval aviation enthusiasts. The only task I have left is to add a wood frame to the outside edges for a more finished appearance.

Many thanks go to IPMS/USA, and Eduard for the opportunity to review this product.

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