My goodness is that a mouthful. Probably not if you are a Russian, but it definitely is for me. Of course, not only is it a mouthful, but it’s a handful (or two) as well. This thing is huge! It’s so big that it doesn’t even fit in my home-made photo box. At over 31 centimeters in length (more than 12 inches), this thing takes up a lot of display space. But it’s also chock full of details. So much detail. Sorry the header photo ended up so much white-space, but that’s what you get if you want to keep it all in focus…
Also, it’s so big that a 360 video didn’t make any sense. So I pulled this together (there’s actually a pun in there), and made a mock flyover video instead. And no, my hands are not actually that steady, Google Photos has a nice stabilize function that works a charm. Especially if you run it twice. I’m going to break this model down into a couple of galleries this time, so that I can keep some like-sized photos together – basically the full-length photos are going to have their own gallery, and the close-ups get another.
You can hopefully see why I did that. Those super-wide-panoramic like photos deserve their own arrangement. Also, I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you didn’t figure out already. I was actually able to take those photos in my photo box, but only by cheating – the ship is actually stood up on end. Due to storage constraints, my photo box is taller than it is wide, but I can’t turn it on it’s side due to the light windows in the sides. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do my header photo like that – how would I get Chewie to behave? Anyways, on with the close-up photos…
I took a whole lot of photos, and yet it still feels like I’m not capturing enough detail. But seriously, there’s so many tiny things, so many layers, I could take a hundred shots and still leave something out. Also, it’s really easy to miss something being misaligned when there are that many details. Just wish I had managed to notice before taking the photos – those crooked antannae / radar / whatever thingies are driving me nuts. C’est la vie.
Of course, you probably know what I’m going to say now. With great detail comes great difficulty. Okay, you probably didn’t expect me to make a really, really badly mangled reference to Spider Man. I gotta keep you on your toes. Anyways, seriously, this is a rough and tough model. And it’s a long-term commitment – It took me over 11.5 hours to build, not including the time I spent knolling it out. But man, when you are done… well, it’s just worth it. It’s gorgeous and leaves you with quite the sense of accomplishment. And the fun task of finding a place to display it.
I’ll do my best not to write a ridiculously long post this time (as opposed to the Terminator model). I’ll try to focus on just the really tricky parts and the areas where the instructions are ambiguous, misleading, or just plain wrong (and there is definitely one of those). In reality, a large part of building this is just the sheer number of parts, most of them super tiny. Just look at this photo of all the parts knolled out – keeping in mind that there are a lot of gold-colored brass parts hidden under the steel parts (because brass is not magnetic).
Before I get into the specifics, I want to make one general observation about this model that might help out, and it took me a little bit of failures to get it through my skull. The walls of the ships superstructure are not always vertical, nor do they always meet the roof above them at a right-angle. Lots of sloping walls, usually sloping outward, but not always. So… just be aware of that and don’t force things into straight up-and-down angles… take your time and try to figure out what seems to be right for where it’s attached (or will be – look ahead!), both above and below.
The first specific pointer I can give you, as I walk back through the instructions, is that if you are wondering just how much to fold up the long flap at the front of the aft deck (part 3), you can look at upper aft hull sections (parts 172/177). The aft deck spans across the top of the “lowered” section of these two pieces, and you can see the angle to target at the transition between the two “segments” of these pieces.
When it comes to the pre-formed barrel parts that are used in some of these large naval ships, I’ve found that I like to add a little bit of glue of some sort to where they are attached. In theory, the design for how they are secured is supposed to hold them in place rather tightly, but in practice, it always ends up seeming a bit loose, so I’ve started adding the tiniest dab of glue in there. In this build, that occurs in Step 5, and I dabbed the glue on the back of the barrel thing just before securing part 8 (with the barrel inserted through it) to part 9. On a less technical note, I love the shape of the turret that forms over it (built in Step 6).
On Step 8, the instructions are not clear, but the bottom of the boards (part 15) is supposed to meet in the middle. However, the same is not true for the boats in Steps 9 and 10. Speaking of that second set of boats… that’s where I made my first big mistake. I decided to “streamline” my build process by building all four of those boats (parts 16/17 and 18/19) at the same time, and then form all the storage lift thingies (parts 20 and 21), and then put them all together. I even tried my best to keep everything sorted correctly and not mix anything up. Unfortunately, I tried too hard, and forgot the fact that the lift things are supposed to be mixed. And by that, I mean that one of each boat type is supposed to be attached to each of the hanger types. This came back to bite me later, when attaching those to the deck. I didn’t realize until after securing, had to untwist some tabs, and ended up breaking both tabs on one… it’s not super-delicately attached with UV-cured resin/glue.
What’s nice here is that you get a nice, long stretch of straight-forward building. Lots of fold, tiny pieces, and many, many details. But it’s all really easy to understand. At least it was for me. Oh, except for where I broke that stinking tab while attaching the hanging boats in Step 12. And discovered that the boats from Step 8 needed to have a V-shaped bottom. I kinda attached them and then twisted them “into place / shape.” Oh, and there’s one more thing to watch out for – they sneak in several of the sub-assemblies built in previous steps, but without calling them out very well, so it’s easy to miss them. And this happens throughout the instructions – I know because I missed some and had to go back and check several times, wondering where something magically came from. So keep an eye out for that. Oh, and a side-note… you might want to hold off attaching those hanging boats until you complete Step 84 – I’ll explain that advice later.
I do have a quick thing to say about Step 34 (yeah, we’re jumping that far ahead, I told you… a nice smooth sailing section, pun fully intended). There’s a littl section at the end of part 76 that is supposed to be curved around and meet a tab on part 75. And the instructions seem to suggest that you can somehow curve this so it meets flush to the bits of part 74 that were folded down earlier in the step. I don’t think I did anything wrong here, but I’m telling you, there is no way to curve that and not leave a big open gap. At least none that I could find. So be warned.
I’ll follow that up with a bit of advice on how I approached Step 35, because I did this one completely out of order. Or, well, I ended up wishing I had, in some cases. Anyways, there are some things you can do to make life easier. The first thing you should do is fold the small flaps on part 77 down (1). Then pre-crease part 78 a little bit (2), and attach to the tabs on the flaps folded down on part 77 (3), followed up by finishing the fold on part 78 (2). Next you’ll fold the larger side flaps of part 77 down (4) and finish forming part 77 by folding down the thin flap at the end (5). Moving on to part 79, you’ll want to form the cylindrical section (6) but NOT fold the flap up under the cylinder. Because, you’ll want to form Part 80 and secure it to part 79, making sure to fold the tabs outwards / away from each other (7). At this point, you will then fold the flap of part 79 up (8), and finally attach that to the 77/78 assembly (9). And because reading all that probably doesn’t help much, I scattered some numbers through there to reference in this image:
Step 40 introduced my least favorite part in this model. Part 87, which is used extensively throughout this model from this point forward. Or at least it seemed that way to me. Now, for some reason, the directions say to fold this with the etched side facing down. I don’t rightly understand that, so I did it the opposite. Why hide the nice etching that the put on this part? Anyways, that’s not why it’s my least favorite part. The real reason is because I broke so gosh darn many tabs, and there isn’t a single spare! Not only that, but getting the tabs folded at the right spot is near impossible, because it’s apparently not right on the edge as it suggests in the instructions, but slightly out. Which I kept not figuring out until the end. When it was too late. And I’d had to delicately glue these on (and they are freaking tiny and hard to hold in place while you attempt to do something like that). Even still, the ones where I didn’t break a tab are loose and/or crooked, because I didn’t have the fold at the right place. So take some time to compare the spacing of the slots to the distance between the tabs before you start folding these things up. Oh, and for ease of attaching, always attach from the topmost down. It’s way easier. Trust me, I did both ways.
In addition, if you hate trying to reach inside stuff to secure tabs, I suggest that you lightly pre-fold part 86 at the 4 long edges, and wait until you’ve attached all the greeblies (through step 42) to the surfaces before completing those folds and “closing” it up. At least that’s what I chose to do. I don’t even want to know how much worse it would have gone with part 87 if I hadn’t done that. There is a down-side to it, though. I didn’t get the platforms on there very level to the ship deck, due to not knowing the right “level” because I hadn’t closed it up. But I have no regrets about that, cause things would have gone much worse if I had closed it up… loose and wobbly parts everywhere (or tons of glue).
Step 43 has a tricky, but rather creative, way of achieving the layering of parts at the top of this pyramidal structure. I rather like the design that lead to this, but it can be tricky to get the little flaps that support part 94 folded out the right amount, while also folding the tabs up at the right angle to slide through their slots, and then secure it cleanly, and straight. I don’t have a lot of advice for this, but I wanted to call it out for an interesting challenge, and because it’s cool how there’s another layer attached to the tabs at the very top of the pyramid in a neat way.
At this point, I enjoyed another stretch of relatively uneventful building. Lot of tiny, simple forms, and lots of tiny, challenging forms. And some big chunks, and more and more subassemblies being build, and nothing large forming together. Also, a handful of that accursed Part 87 to torment me. But not a lot of stuff that merits calling out as especially troublesome.
That is, until you get to Step 69, which had me quite baffled, until I realized there was a major error in the instructions. What appears to have happened is that the original model design had the wall (part 145) under this structure follow the outline of part 144. But at some point, it was revised, and no longer followed the two “side bulges” and cut straight across under them. The diagram of the part itself (right under the part number bubble) was updated to show the correct number of fold lines, matching the actual part itself in the new design. However, the folded result (along with blue lines) were not updated, nor was the diagram that shows it attached to part 144. And so… I’ve attempted to cobble-together a “corrected” version of those two diagrams, along with including a picture what the folded part looked like when I finished forming it.
Proceeding from there, the next suggestion I’ll make is in regards to Steps 80-83. As you make these two platforms, I would recommend that you actually fold up the side-wall flaps/trim of parts 165/169 before attaching anything to them. Those walls don’t really get in the way of attaching parts and assemblies. The reverse cannot be said, though, as those parts can get in the way of folding that trim up cleanly.
And finally, finally, you get to start putting these various sub-assemblies together to start marking something that actually looks more like a ship than the wreckage of a ship. It all starts at Step 84, which also has one of my least favorite parts of the build – attaching sub-assembly C to the joined sub-assemblies B and D. The diagram makes it look so simple, and yet… not so much. You see, the long spurs of decking coming off the back of assembly C have to be manipulated and forced past the hanging arms for the hanging boats so that it rests below them, on the 4 boxes in that general vicinity. And the decking is not secured on that end, it just rests there. so be careful not to bend it up too much, and to straighten it out afterwards. You might even consider not attaching the hanging boats until after you complete the join of assembly C to assemblies B/D (as mentioned before).
From here, the process builds out the rest of the main deck of the ship, and then putting together the various parts of the hull. Just take care to watch for the little sub-assemblies that need to be attached in Step 85 (so annoying with sausage fingers!), and the tiny parts (174) in Steps 89 and 92. Also, despite it not being indicated at all… you will want to add a bit of curve at the top-edge across the whole of the side parts of the hull. Especially under the parts where there are large jutting rectangles and such. Don’t curve those rectangles, though. They become outer walls of some of the super-structure, so you want them to be flat. Also, the very back edge (vertical) of each side is curved at the top, but not as much at the bottom. Basically, the top curves to meet the back hull at the top, which also curves, so they meet in the middle of the curve. Compare the curvature of the deck at the aft of the ship to the curving of the end of the bottom hull.
And just prior to my least favorite part of any ship build (putting the hull together and securing it to the main deck), you’ll get to attach the parts that include the propellers. That thing is a rather challenging bit of forming, as you have to form a cylinder with spurs sticking out of it, and a flat segment on one side. I don’t have much advice for this, I don’t know that I really did a very good job. I just want to warn you that it’s coming, and it’s tough. But it’s do-able.
And then the madness of joining together hull segments and main deck begin. The ultimate challenge of handling something with lots of delicate, easily mangled greeblies sticking out of it to something that doesn’t quite want to line up or stay in place. Thankfully this model does have some nice flat areas with less mangleable bits on it, and those can be used. Just take care, and go slowly. And for the love of all things, add that curvature to the tops of the hull (kinda along the bottom of the railings) before you start this. It’s really hard to add it afterwards (which is what I had to do). Also, notice the two tabs in the top of one of those rectangular extrusions, and the slots they are supposed to secure through. It is NOT easy to secure those at the end, after having completely joined together the hull. If you want to know how hard that is, you can look at the sloppy results on my build, and/or watch me struggle with this for quite some time during the last build video. It sucked.
After that, you button up the rest of the hull, and you are done! It’s been a long journey, and some of it has probably made you quite frustrated, but it’s gorgeous and totally worth it. Like I said before, this took me slightly over 11.5 hours, not including the time it took to clip out and knoll the parts beforehand. So here’s a playlist of ALL 11.5+ hours of building. I highly recommend you only watch these videos if you must, for reference.