PERRY'S PROCEDURE FOR GOLD MEDAL MODEL BENCHES
people have contacted me about having difficulties in building
their 1/350 Titanic deck benches. As I've stated these were
intended for expert modelers, but there ARE some tricks I've
learned in building mine that I'll pass on here to help those
who need help.
of all, they CAN be built. See the photos of my model on this
for proof; the benches aboard my Titanic were made from the
very same brass bench sets that many of you have ordered. I
built them all in one evening, and when I did it, no one had
ever done them before in this scale. I'm a 52-year-old guy with
bad eyes who needs magnifiers to see things closely, so if I
can do this, you can too.
to make these benches accurate replicas of the originals as
opposed to easy-to-build and simplified versions. This forced
me into making them in two parts due to the angle of the seat
back vs. the swept-back legs (the geometry of these items makes
a one-piece fold-to-shape bench impossible. At least I couldn't
do it, and believe, me I tried every angle before giving up.)
out the following and keep it as a reference.
assembly easier, you'll need a few tools to assist you. Many
of you already have them, but if you don't, here's a list:
An X-acto "Extra Hands" clamping tool.
This is made up of a cast metal base about two inches
square holding two double-ball-jointed "alligator clips"
mounted on opposite ends of a movable metal arm about
five inches long. It's available at better hobby shops
as well as mail order tool companies like Micro-Mark (see
their ads in Fine Scale Modeler and other good hobby magazines.)
Two (2) cross-action tweezers with pointed tips.
Cross-action tweezers act opposite to normal tweezers:
the handles must be squeezed to open them. These are also
available from the same sources listed above. You'll be
using these tweezers as tiny clamps.
Pacer's "Zap-CA" glue or equivalent.
is a very thin and watery brand of "superglue".
Micro-Dropper CA-glue nozzles.
23510 Telo Avenue,
Unit 8, Torrance, CA 90505
Telephone (310) 539-7680.
have a very thin end with an opening about .010" in
diameter. They come six to a poly bag for under a dollar
and last a long time. When the tip clogs eventually,
simply snip off a fraction and carry on anew.
X-acto's Number 11 knife blades and a handle.
One pair of regular tweezers with precision pointed tips.
One pair of precision miniature flat-nosed pliers.
An airbrush and source of compressed air.
A finely-tipped artist's paintbrush.
Black and brown modeler's paints and thinner.
You may not need all
these tools. Some of you can probably get by without a few on
this list. But together, they will make assembly much easier.
all the bench parts from the sheet of brass they came
on. Separate the upper halves into one pile and the
lower halves into another. Keep them in lids from small
food containers or something similar to prevent loss.
For the newer bench sets with the Third Leg, (on GMM
upgraded Set No. 350-15) keep these in their own separate
the flat-nosed pliers, carefully bend the arms forward
90 degrees on all the upper halves. Keep them in the
lid for safety.
bend the legs down 90 degrees on the lower halves. Put
them back in their lid.
a pre-shaped upper half into a pair of cross-action
tweezers, holding the part in the middle. Now using
your ZAP-CA glue and Alteco nozzle (or the tip of a
pin if you don't have the nozzles), apply a small amount
of glue to the bends in the arms. Fill the gap between
the arms and the back with glue. Set the part aside
to dry and repeat for all the remaining upper halves.
a pre-shaped lower half into a pair of cross-action
tweezers, holding the part in the middle. Apply glue
as in Step Four to the bends in the legs. Set these
parts aside to dry.
steps will strengthen the legs and arms considerably
and make accidental bends and/or breakage less likely.)
both pairs of cross action tweezers in the alligator
clips of the X-acto Extra Hands tool. Adjust the alligator
clips until the pointed ends of the tweezers face each
other at about a ninety degree angle and are about an
a lower half in the jaws of one cross-action tweezers,
holding the lower half by the front center of the seat
an upper half in the jaws of the other cross-action
tweezers, holding the upper half by the top center of
the seat back.
the alligator clips and tweezers until the upper half
meets the lower half along the rear corner of the seat.
Align both halves until straight.
your ZAP-CA and Alteco Micro-Dropper nozzle, run a thin
bead of glue along the joint between the upper and lower
halves. Avoid clogging the slats with too much glue.
Do not apply glue to the arms where they meet the seat
bottom - it isn't necessary and may clog the arms with
the newer benches having the Third Leg, remove the bench
from the tweezers and fasten the top center of the seat
back into one of the cross-action tweezers. The bench
should be held inverted.
a droplet of glue to the center brace on the underside
of the seat bottom. Now using tweezers, pick up a Third
Leg by its bottom and line it up with the seat bottom,
carefully pressing it into the glue droplet. Make sure
the leg is facing the same way as the end legs. (NOTE:
You can also use the slower-drying ZAP-A-GAP (also by
Pacer) or an equivalent gap-filling superglue for this
step. It's slower drying and will give you more time
to adjust the leg properly.)
of the bench is now finished. Repeat these steps until
all the benches are assembled.
requires an airbrush. Sorry, but the small size and fine wrought-iron
detailing demands it. If you don't have one, you can hand-brush
the paint, but it has to be very thin to prevent clogging. And
you'll probably miss some spots - shine a flashlight on the
benches to locate missed spots. They'll reflect the light brightly
back at you.
a piece of masking tape, about two feet long, to a long
platform made up of a piece of cardboard or plywood,
sticky adhesive side facing up.
press the benches onto the tape in an orderly line.
The benches are to be placed with their legs up (inverted)
and lined up front to back in a long row. Press each
one down firmly enough so the air blast from the airbrush
won't blow them free. You can press them down at an
angle so the backs and the arms are touching the tape
- this hold them more securely.
up a thin batch of black paint and airbrush all the
benches black. Take care not to apply too much paint
that can clog the fine detail. Repeat until all the
benches are painted. I prefer Floquil brand model railroad
paints, available at virtually all model railroad hobby
shops. Allow the benches to dry thoroughly, at least
24 hours or more.
the benches from the tape. Discard the tape and replace
it with another strip, adhesive side up, in the same
manner as before.
the benches onto the tape in an orderly row, this time
end to end, with the front of the benches facing you
as close to the edge of the cardboard (or plywood) platform
up a thin batch of brown paint (I used Floquil Rail
Brown.) Using the artist's paintbrush, carefully apply
the brown paint to the front and back of the seat back,
and the top and bottom of the seat bottom. (The underside
doesn't have to be painted if you really don't want
to - it won't show on the completed model.) Repeat until
all the benches are painted. Allow to dry before handling.
Now glue them all
to the model's decks. YOU'RE FINISHED!
Liners, by their very nature, require a lot of repetitive steps
in model building Liners have many identical fittings such as
lifeboats, davits, vents, benches, and other items. There's
no avoiding it. It will take determination and patience to successfully
create a detailed scale model of any liner, and especially one
as elaborate as the Titanic. If this was easy, everyone would
have these benches on their models. But they demand patience
and dexterity. There is no way they'll build themselves. For
those who successfully complete their benches, you'll be able
to grin from ear to ear when viewers see them and utter in a
low whisper, "Oh! My! God!"