Custom carriers from OOB's and painted pieces

  • @DMcLaren Just like the picture !! The tricolor flag on the tail is great. That will be the first plane on somebodies ANZAC carrier.

  • Just gorgeous.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Thanks, guys. Glad you like the pieces. I replaced the pictures of the Vals on the bottom of page 2 with recent pictures of the finished bunch with their canopies done. We realized we’d never finished the canopies on the Oscars, so when those are done I’ll replace the picture of the Japanese fighters. We wanted to show how the camouflage schemes of the Imperial Japanese Navy went together so we put a few sorties together for a few runs down The Slot.

    The Night Raiders:

    The Coastal Fleet:

    And my personal favorite, The Fleet of Fog:
    (Can you find the 6 airplanes in the Fog Fleet?)

  • @DMcLaren awsome

  • 2020 2019 2018

    awesome ! is right ! Looks like too much Fun ! 🙂

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    I added a final picture of the Japanese fighters to the Zeroes picture post on the bottom of page 2, right above the finished Aichi D3A Vals. There is a slight difference in Zero sculpts between sets- one set has a thinner rudder and wings, but not by much.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Added final Japanese bombers pictures to page 2 and forgot to mention the added UK finished fighters on page 3. If you like them, please click the little heart at the bottom right of the post and show them some love!

  • Wow! You guys do some outstanding work. I am trying to paint my own sculpts for about a year now. I live in an isolated community in British Columbia, Canada. I use whatever acrylic paints I can lay my hands on. That goes for the brushes as well. I tried using masking tape to get detail, but it hasn’t worked out great. I will probably have to order online to get some of the supplies that you have mentioned. Again, great work! Fantastic patience! Kudos to you!

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    @tatsu Thank you very much! Your appreciation means a lot to us. My buddy and I are fortunate enough to live just outside Detroit, Michigan where we have a few nice hobby shops. He does the ships in acrylics and I do the aircraft in enamels. The acrylics come from the local hobby shop, as do most of the brushes (Micheal’s for good brushes, as well), but I can’t find Testor’s (also under the Model Master brand) enamel locally so I get it on Amazon (and the dullcote). “Army Painter” makes some great acrylics and fine, tiny brushes that allow fine lines and details (like their “Psycho” & “Insane Detail” brushes- get both!). Its the smaller brushes that will allow you to get the fine squiggly lines for camo and smaller lines for carrier decks. I’m pretty sure they’ll ship to you:

    I tried masking tape when I was trying to get straight black lines on the tops of the Japanese bombers, but the pieces are too small for masking tape to work effectively. I ended up using the reflected light from my magnifying lamp on the fuselage as a straight edge guide and hand lined it with a 20/0 brush and filled it with a 3/0. I have, though, made “stencil guides” out of 3x5 cards to do things like line up the “red tape” on the Spitfire wings by cutting a small piece of card and punching the nose of the aircraft through the card and folding it onto the wings, marking where the guns go with a pencil, removing the card, cutting a small hole where I marked, and then putting that on the nose of the aircraft, dab a spot of color in the hole to be squared later, and then reversing the card on the nose for the other wing. Also helps with decal placement if you don’t have a better measuring tool.

    FOlewnik has started on the US Navy while I’m working on some UK bombers and US tacticals. The GHQ destroyers and destroyer escorts that FOlewnik got at last year’s “Check Your 6!” gameday in Dayton, OH are finally getting a coat of paint and some proper hull numbers and are looking good. Testor’s makes decal sheets that I’ve been experimenting with to good effect for the underside of the Dauntless SBD and their top side control surfaces (like dive flaps and ailerons). Below are HBG’s South Dakota BB and GHQ’s DD USS Helm (NOT DE Lansing as previously thought- Helm received 11 battle stars for her World War II service in the Pacific). by FOlewnik in acrylic (I’d just put the hull numbers on and hadn’t put Microsol on them yet and they’re not dullcoted-BB needs touch-up), and my test tactical (try not to chuckle at the sound of that) in enamel with my home made decal top and bottom. I’m not happy with the inked rudder and the rest of the tacticals won’t get the full bottom and top that the test piece got. It still needs the exhaust drawn in and another engine vent on each side, and the test decal isn’t straight on one rear wing on the bottom, but I’m pleased with the potential.


  • 2020 2019 2018 2017

    I’ve looked at these so many times over the last couple years. Just had to finally post and say how incredibly awed I am at your guys’ work. The detail done. The color schemes, everything. Just incredible.

    I’ve recently decided it’s high time I paint my own units. I’m going to be so incredibly happy with anything 10% as good as what you have here, so I can only fathom how you guys feel playing with these!

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Thank you, Chris. We appreciate your compliment!

    My pal FOlewnik has been knocking out some amazing pieces for the US Navy. We’re using a mix of out of box (OOB) pieces, HBG South Dakota BB’s and Omaha class light cruisers, GHQ destroyers, and Shapeways carriers & BB’s from EBard for the unique ships of the fleet. We found some great source material sites for references- and Some phenomenal pictures on both sites! Here are a few ships wearing US Navy Camo Measure 12; an OOB Iowa dressed as the USS Alabama (BB_60)-note the added deck guns, life boats, launch catapults and Kingfisher scout plane, an HBG Omaha CL class USS Milwaukee (CL-5) that also later got a scout plane, and GHQ’s USS Fletcher (DD-445), all circa 1944:

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    GHQ makes some very detailed pewter pieces in 1/2400 scale, the same scale as the A&A destroyers. Last year FOlewnik bought a set of Fletcher DD’s, and I’m pretty sure the sets of DE’s are Benham and Edsall Class. Here are one of each, with the middle DE wearing US Navy Camo Measure 5 Painted Bow Wave. The other two will get hull numbers:

    Edit: Almost exactly a year later the Benham class USS Rowan (DD-405) gets its hull numbers:
    DSC_0254a.jpg DSC_0253a.jpg

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    FOlewnik is currently working on an OOB Iowa BB sculpt modified to be the USS Missouri wearing US Navy Camo Measure 33, circa 1944. The box sculpt is an earlier representation that doesn’t have the added improved radar mounted fore of the bridge stack, so FOlewnik took a chunk of an OOB Fletcher sculpt and added it to the Iowa sculpt and cleaned it up with a tiny bit of putty. The sculpt required a lot of flash plastic removal and smoothing of some gun mount surfaces before the base coat could go on. I convinced him to make some sort of holder so he wouldn’t have to hold the piece with his fingers while painting (which causes paint to wear off and need touching up) and this is what he came up with, and has 3 of them now. The piece sits on two sided tape with a toothpick underneath so the bottom edges can get painted under. This piece has the base coat down & the mods done with the exception of the little Kingfisher that will go between the launch catapults under the recovery crane. The next step is to build up pigment “bumps” on the deck to represent deck guns and anchor bases. Then the tiny AA battery gun barrels get added to the little bumps and the anchor chain will be painted in, just like the Iowa as Alabama above. I grabbed some pictures from one of the above mentioned links to show the comparison with the real thing as well.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Using the day off to add decals to the Kingfisher scout planes FOlewnik added to a few of the ships. These just got a few drops of Microsol and will go back to FOlewnik to get touched up and look more rounded before another coat of clear is applied. Each is a little smaller than 1mm.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Some comparison shots of the “Mighty Mo” to a bare sculpt.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Wearing camouflage measure Design 3d in the Measure 31-32-33 series, light cruiser USS Detroit (CL-8), heavy cruiser USS Baltimore (CA-68) and battleship USS Missouri (BB-63) circa April, 1944, by FOlewnik.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Light cruisers USS Raleigh (CL-7) and USS Cincinnati (CL-6) from HBG with Washington Class battleship USS North Carolina (BB-55) from Ebard at Shapeways. Once again, FOlewnik relied heavily on for references.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    No matter what version of the game you own, the US Navy has only ever had the one sculpt for its cruiser. The Portland class. Granted, its probably the most known because of the USS Indianapolis, but only two of the class were ever built. They were preceded by the Northampton (6 built) and Pensacola (2 built) classes, and succeeded by the New Orleans class (7 built). These two sculpts got antennae & radar upgrades, and the center section has been cut away to make room for scout planes. Both are painted as two versions of the Indianapolis (pictures for comparison are from’re HUGE!), but since the USS Portland (CA-33) also wore the dazzle camo pattern, we’re using the one on the left, with the dazzle camo, as the USS Portland. The one on the right is painted as the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was painted on her final voyage. She also received a different set of launch catapults for her scout planes.
    DSC_0519a.jpg USS_Indianapolis_(CA-35)underway_in_1944(stbd).jpg
    Here are two larger pictures to show the detail of the center cut away before the scout aircraft are glued into place. First Portland with lower added launch catapults, then Indianapolis with the higher added launch catapults.

    The USS Indianapolis get its scout aircraft glued into place prior to adding decals. This makes it easier to apply the tiny, tiny stars to the scout’s wing, as it will have a larger, more steady base while attempting to apply a ridiculously small decal decal to the wing.

    After applying the hull number first and giving it liberal coats of Microsol, I added the stars to the wings of the scout planes. You’ll notice one of the aircraft has 2 stars- this is to make sure that a good star is in the proper place on the wing and still have enough decal sheet for me to hold on to with the tweezers while I’m soaking it and applying it. That double star is a little less than a millimeter wide and almost 2mm long. After a little bit of Microsol on each, being very careful not to move the decal while applying a drop as large as the decal is, it dries before I give up the chair to FOlewnik for touch up paint, making each as round as possible and covering the extra star. To the right of the Indy is a cruiser sculpt in preparation to become a New Orleans class cruiser.

    Finally, the touch up paint makes the wing roundels actually round, giving the ship its finished appearance.

  • @DMcLaren how do you do apply portholes… pen brush or other micro paint brush, ink pen? Please advise.

    Truly fantastic… i can appreciate the before and after!

  • 2020 2019 2018 2017 '16 '15 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Incredible amount of detail; I’m very impressed. As a point of trivia, the portholes about which Harvard3X1 was asking are a feature to look for when comparing cruiser designs because they’re a potential tip-off about how well armoured a particular cruiser is. DMcLaren’s custom paint job correctly shows Indianapolis as having a single row of portholes (also called scuttles) located high on the hull. If you compare photos of Indianapolis with the Deutschland-class heavy cruisers (a.k.a. pocket battleships), you’ll notice that the Deutschlands have two rows of scuttles and that the second row is quite low, about halfway between the waterline and the deck. This showed that the armoured belt of the class did not extend very far up above the waterline.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    @Harvard3X1 When FOlewnik was doing the Japanese carriers in the beginning portion of the thread he was using a black 005 pen from a set by Picma Micron available at Michael’s in the US. On the IJN subs he used a brown 005 pen for deck details. After having difficulty keeping the row straight due to the difficulty of seeing exactly where the rounded tip of the pen will land on a piece somewhere down the line, he switched to a 20/0 brush and has been getting better consistency. On the USS Raleigh above, the portholes are in dark grey so those had to be brushed. The dark grey works well with the two camo colors and looks better than switching between black on the light camo and grey on the dark, since its more consistent.

    @CWO-Marc It’s actually FOlewnik’s custom paint job on the ships. I do the regular size aircraft (no way I want to mess with those tiny little things! Decaling the wings is bad enough!) and the decals, where needed on the ships (scout aircraft wing roundels, hull numbers, country flags & numbers on the IJN subs). And thank you for the compliment- your customizations were a big inspiration to us so it means a lot.

  • @DMcLaren thank you for the insight. I’ll have to re examine my painted vessels for my Global 1940 after I complete soldiers. its a lot of work but your have established and set the bar for finished work. Freaking Amazing… I already know I’m working under a magnifying lens to ensure my units are painted in detail…but even then the ships are on another level of

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    @Harvard3X1 FOlwenik says thank you for such a great compliment. He can’t seem to get a working password on the new forums here despite many attempts.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    Taking a brief break from FOlewnik’s ships to show the four Lancasters I finally finished for the UK. FOlewnik’s nephew owns the copy of the 1941 A&A set and has the rest of the Lancs so these were the only 4 we have. I’ll have to get at least one more from HBG. I’m doing some Halifax bombers as well, but they’re far from done. On these sculpts, the rear rudder is rather square and it should be a sort of tear drop shape, so each had to be filed to the correct roundness before painting. I wanted to ink the cockpit glass and top turret in brown and the nose and tail guns and bombardier window in black, so it was a several day process once the pieces were painted and decals were applied. The black separation line at the edge of the camouflage was extremely difficult to make straight on a piece that isn’t really straight to begin with and took a long time to get satisfactory. But once the piece was painted, I brushed some dulcote on the silver paint so the ink pen would take, then applied decals (14 per aircraft). The dulcote gives the ink something to adhere to, as it wouldn’t adhere nor dry on the gloss silver paint. From handling the piece during painting, I knew the ink process would take a few days, as each inked section would have to dry before the piece could be handled to apply the next. The pilot’s cockpit was done first- there are some windows molded in, but not nearly all, and not really all that correct, but close enough to make work. Then the pieces had to dry for 24 hours, and then the top turret was done and the pieces set aside for another day. The next day was the tail gunner in black, then the nose turret and bombardier window the day after. Then the whole piece (all 4) gets a shot of dulcote spray and dries for yet another day (just to be safe- it was pretty humid) before final inking. The first picture below shows the wet ink of the last applications- top fuselage light holes, wing flaps, and the little red square on the starboard wing. The rest are the finished bombers. Squadron markings were taken from illustrations on Wings Palette ( The dark circles on the wing roundels only show up under a photo flash- the decal looks good under normal light but its more difficult to get a good picture without a flash.

  • 2020 2019 2018 Customizer

    As mentioned previously, the US Navy only had two Portland class cruisers in the fleet. With that in mind, FOlewnik is modding several Portland sculpts into other classes of cruisers, starting with five of the New Orleans class. The main difference between the two classes, as shown in the below comparison of a New Orleans class cruiser silhouette taken from vs a Portland sculpt, is that the 2nd smoke stack and the scout plane deck with launch catapults have swapped places. Pretty much everything from the 1st smokestack forward matches, and from the New Orleans’ recovery crane back matches (or will once the mod gets its crane).
    Comparison NOvsPortland.jpg

    FOlewnik’s first thought was that he needed to buy a better hobby saw, like a jeweler’s saw. But then it occurred to him that he could use the saw he has and just cut off everything starting at the back all the way up to the 1st smoke stack. In the picture below, that’s the sculpt in the upper right. That particular sculpt has a bad cut, but as you can see from the sculpt in the lower left, that gets filled with putty, and then sanded like the one in the upper left. Prior to cutting, the sculpt is cleaned of flash plastic as best as possible with an Xacto knife, the section of plastic in front of the 1st smoke stack is cleared away, and the radar hub “fin” above the bridge is cut to a nub to separate it from the rest of the tower.
    The cut off rear deck gun, 2nd smoke stack housing and launch catapult base are saved and separated (inset above) to be glued back onto the piece, swapping the front two sections but leaving room for the catapults to be added later. Notice the mod below hadn’t had the front radar “fin” cut away from the rest of the tower yet.

    The section of plastic on the launch catapult base that represents the recovery crane is only kept on the cut section long enough to measure the spacing of the 2nd stack before gluing. After it gets cut from the catapult base, the base is glued into place. After the glue dries, holes are drilled for the recovery crane (visible below- yes, FOlewnik got a drill small enough to go down the center of that tiny plastic pole to use it as the base of the recovery crane), the fore mast, and aft mast.

    Two sizes of metal hobby rods (for lack of a better term- available at the hobby shop, little steel and brass rods) are used- a thick one that gets filed into a square for the launch catapults, and a thinner round one for the recovery crane and masts. On the fore mast, a square section of putty is used to make the radar screen, and on the aft mast, super glue gel is used to contour the top and mid section to resemble the silhouette of the New Orleans above. After adding the catapults to one piece to get an idea of how it will look (in the back below), FOlewnik decided to wait on the rest since painting around them would be difficult, if not frustrating. The five mods in various stages of completion:

    To make the recovery crane’s chain, FOlewnik used synthetic brush hairs from a very large wooden handled scrub brush. They’re pretty much unbreakable, so it was a nice find. It gets super glued into place one section at a time then when dry, the excess is cut off. A drop of super glue gel at the end makes due for the recovery hook. Almost ready for primer, the one with catapults still needs some sanding.

    When little pieces break or get lost, it’s nice to have the sprues from the Shapeways pieces to use and shape to one’s needs, as seen on the first mod below. The white catapult base was fashioned from sprue, and the large square glued onto the rear will be filed and shaped appropriately.

    Sure enough, getting primer and paint around the catapults wasn’t easy, but FOlewnik got it done. These pieces will get the same treatment the Indy and Portland received. These five will be the New Orleans, Astoria, Minneapolis, Tuscaloosa, and San Francisco (yes, the Quincy and Vincennes are conspicuously absent but we will have the Astoria, which was sunk in the same battle).

    These five are still in the process of being painted, along with the USS Cowpens (The Mighty Moo) and some more destroyers. When I went to visit FOlewnik at the end of our recent Labor Day weekend, he’d been away for a few days and just returned home. Apparently he was really nice to the spiders in his garage where his paint set up is, or they’re US Navy fans, because they tricked out some nice rigging on one of the ships, so of course I had to get a picture of it while it lasted.

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