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Water-line Conversion of Injection Molded Full Hulls

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"MSW crew-mate Kym Knight (Rab) shares a treatise on his technique of converting full hull model kits to water-line style, in this step-by-step tutorial feature!"

Many of the recently produced kits are released as full hull only, leaving the water-line/ diorama builders in a bit of a bind as how to show them 'at sea'. I've used a couple of different methods, including the little rotary saw on my Dremel, but the completed cut line always ended with unsatisfactory results.

So after some thought, I think I've come up with a process that, (though may take a little longer - the Yahagi hull took me 1.5 hours, not including glue drying time) adequately solves the straight cut problem and the constant danger of using a X-acto blade scalpel knife to repeatedly score a line. So here is a basic step by step on what I did to cut down the Hasegawa's Yahagi hull.

...shoving off!

The two hull halves fresh off the sprues. Notice the internal hull bracing locator holes. The water-line is located somewhere between the two upper and lower points and as I have to know where to cut the bracing pieces, I will have to mark the line.

On this hull and many of the Japanese kits, there is a very faint but raised water-line and using a sharpened pencil, carefully run it along this rib. On other kits without a discernable line, I use the 1:350 scale colour chart supplied to measure and mark it onto the hull, then lay Tamiya tape along the upper side of the line. Once I am happy with the finished result, I'll drill a 1mm hole at each bracing point, thereby able to see where the internal braces must be cut.

About the Author

About Kym Knight (Rab)

I just love modelling stuff with big guns!


Great feature Kym!
FEB 03, 2010 - 02:27 AM
Very interesting Kym.....will try it out on my next project which will probably be the Trump Richelieu..... Take care Louis Malta
FEB 03, 2010 - 05:34 AM
Very nice feature. I have a ship in my stash that is a full hull in 1/700 scale that I want to make into a waterline. This will be of great help. Sam
FEB 03, 2010 - 05:58 AM
Thank you Kym for the tutorial.
FEB 03, 2010 - 06:31 AM
Kym Superb work on a clear & concise tutorial. A lot of work and its greatly appreciated. Cheeers Sean
FEB 10, 2010 - 12:18 PM
Kym - thanks for taking the ime and effort to put this together; instant bookmark for me! Cheers
FEB 13, 2010 - 07:40 AM