Sunday, December 27, 2015

Assembling the Bay Area Yard's CSS Selma kit

My ACW naval collection addiction knows no bounds. So when Bay Area Yards added a model of CSS Selma to their product line I quickly purchased a copy. And that's where 'quickly' died. I think the hogging means intimidated me from tackling assemble.  Selma went into the backlog queue and garnered no attention.

Until now.

I pulled the kit out this week with the goal of assembling the model. The first step was a quick wash in hot, soapy water to remove any lingering mold release agent. After a year spent 'aging' on the shelf, the model appears to have cleaned up nicely after it's bath.

Second was trimming and sanding. The bottom of the hull had a little bit of flash. Nothing unusual when working with resin kits. The hobby knife and a file made short work of the flash. More troublesome were some bubbles of resin under the deck overhang. Using a # 58 drill bit on my Dremel (tm) tool, I was able to remove the resin bubble residue. This was being really picky as once the model is based, no one will see the work I put in under the decking.

Okay - let's get this party started! The hull in a nice single piece that contains the superstructure and wheelhouses. There is an identation for the hole that accepts the pin in the stack, but you need to bore it out. Again using the #58 drill bit in the  Dremel, I bored out the hole. The mast pin slid in easily. Using a little CA glue, I glued the stack in position, carefully lining up the secondary exhaust stack in line with the long axis of the ship.

The pilot house is a little rectangle. This is glued atop the superstructure on the forward edge facing the bow.

There is a skylight that is added to t he superstructure aft of the smokestack. A little CA glue will hold this part in place.

Overhead view showing the instaslled pilot house, stack and skylight over the cabin.

Next up is the hard part - the hog frames. These timber beams served as 'hog chains' designed to prevent the bow and stern from sagging or rising. The frames give Selma a distinctive look. Each frame needed light sanding to clean up the pieces and sharpen some edges. This was a delicate task and the hog frames are delicate pieces of resin.

The hog frames. You can see some rough spots in this close up that required a little sanding and filing.

Installation was done by applying a CA to the back of the frame facing the wheelhouse and the to the bottom of the four contacts with the deck. There is a little bit of guesstimation in where ti align the frames. I tried to center them best I could without blocking the view from the pilot house. Once one frame is installed, repeat the process on the other side.

The assembled model sans ordnance.

Overhead view of the bow end...

...and the stern end

At this point assembly is done. Next up will be painting the model and the guns.

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