Sunday, May 23, 2010

South Korean Ships

I'm finishing up the ships for my Enfilade Bulldogs Away! game and instead of doing one long post, I decided to break it down into one for the South Korean ships and one for the North Korean ships. That way I can provide a little more detail on what I did with each group.

Starting with the South Koreans, I picked up four Sea Dolphin (also know as the Chamsuri) class gunboats and a pair of Pae Ku (also called the Paek Ku or PSSM 5) class missile boats. All the ships are from the PT Dockyard and I'll use the names listed on the website in my descriptions.

Sea Dolphin/Chamsuri Class
This class is a general patrol/gunboat and has been involved in actions against North Korean ships along the Northern Limit Line. There are several versions of this class that primarily differ in armament. Early versions (ships with hull numbers in the 200s) typically carried a twin 30mm Emerlec mount on the bow and one or two 20mm Sea Vulcan guns aft. The later version (ships with hull numbers in the 300s) upgraded the bow gun to an enclosed 40mm. These ships are getting old and are expected to be retired as the new Gumdoksuri class comes into service. Some of the early versions have been sold to the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Kazakhstan, giving more uses for the miniatures.

For my models, I decided to go with the later version with the 40mm gun. The PT Dockyard kit includes parts for both types, but I had other plans for the Emerlec mounts. Here is a nice profile view of some of these ships.

Putting the kits together was pretty straight-forward, with only four pieces (two 20mm turrets, the 40mm turret, and the mast) to glue to the hull. It is a little more challenging if you use the 30mm turret, since you have to glue on the gun barrels, but still shouldn't be too bad for anyone that has assembled resin kits before. You might need to fill in some holes in the resin, which can be hard to see until you prime the ship, but still not too bad. One issue I had was trying to figure out how to paint up the 40mm and 20mm turrets. I had to do a lot of searching on the Internet to find some good pictures that showed the turrets from different angles. I finally figured out that the 40mm gun is only glassed in on the port (that's left for you land-lubbers) side, while the 20mm guns were glassed on both sides. I used a metallic blue color for the glassed-in sections and lined it with a scale black to separate it from the rest of the turret (a trick I learned while painting cockpits on airplanes). Here are some views of what I finally ended up with.

Pae Ku/Paek Ku/PSSM 5
This class is based on the old US Ashville gunboat design. The last of these were retired around 2005, but I needed some heavy hitters for the scenario I'm running and since no one makes any of the other South Korean ships, I decided these would have to do.

The Ashville class and variants were/are used by quite a few navies around the world. For Korea, there were a couple variations to this class. There were early American-built ships and the Korean-built variants, both with Standard missile box launchers aft, and then the upgraded Korean-built versions that removed the box launchers and added a twin 30mm Emerlec mount and two Harpoon missile launchers (each with two missiles). The PT Dockyard version is the Korean-built version with the Standard missile box launchers, but I wanted to make the upgraded version with the Harpoon missiles, so it was time to do a little kit-bashing.

I dug through my 'box o'parts' with extra parts for ships and pulled out a box of Skywave Equipment for Modern Ships-5, which has guns and missiles for US and Japanese modern ships.

I cut down the quad Harpoon launcher so that it was only two tubes. Next I put together the twin 30mm mount, which I scavenged from the Sea Dolphin kits. These needed a little work to put together, since you have to glue the barrels onto the mount and my fat fingers had a little trouble with that. But I think they turned out good. Finally I changed the mast from the same one used on the Sea Dolphins to a square lattice-type mast (basically I took a square piece of Evergreen Scale Model styrene and cut it to the size I wanted and painted it up with the lattice look). I almost swapped the forward 76mm gun with one from the Skywave box, but decided that the one included withe the kit looked better on the model.

Putting the Pae Ku together was a little harder than the Sea Dolphin. The superstructure is separate from the hull, along with the exhaust stack, fire control radar, and weapons. Overall, not too tough, but as I mentioned, my fat fingers sometimes have trouble with little parts.

I went with standard navy gray for the main ship color and flight deck gray for the deck. I outlined some of the doors on the superstructure and painted an orange life presever on each side for a little detail.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how the ships turned out.

Coming next, the North Koreans.

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