This is my build of the Dragon Premium Edition 1/700 scale kit of the U.S.S. Juneau.  This is repop of the old Skywave kit, with a full hull option, some newer Dragon weapons sprues, and a photo-etched fret added.  The PE fret provides some, but not all of the railings you will need, as well as radars.  Conspicuously missing is the boat crane.  The newer weapons sprues are a big improvement, for example the 5 inch gun houses are much better than the old Skywave examples.  The hull still has its problems with an out of scale armor belt, no hawsepipes for the forward anchors, and completely missing the stern anchor.  The instructions are a real weakness.  They do not mention the 20mm Oerlikons or their gun tubs.  They also indicate 40mm Bofors instead of quad 1.1 inch medium for medium AA.  In fact no 1.1 inch weapons are included in the kit. I received a copy of David Griffith's fine book "Building Ship Models from Kits" for Christmas, and decided to use this build of the Juneau to try out some of the techniques he described.  Thanks go to David for some advice and other help.  The first thing I set out to do was replace some of the styrene splinter shields with 2 thou brass shim.  Once I got the hang of rolling this material into circular curves, I was very pleased with the result.  In the close up photo of the amidships area of the model you can see examples of this on the splinter shields around the 20mm guns, the searchlights, and the gun directors. I also tried some of the finishing techniques he described.  This was the first time I had used filters, and you can see the result of that on the starboard bow.  I also did a lot with pin washes and dry brushing to bring out detail on the vertical surfaces.  You can see this on the close up amidships photo too.

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Finally, I tried rigging with Caenis, an incredibly fine black thread used for tying small fishing flies.  Here I had mixed results.  Overall, I like the in scale look this material provides, but I am going to have to work on my technique to get everything on the model and tightly stretched. The overhead photo of the starboard quarter shows the rigging and the problems I had.  Keep in mind that this larger than life photo makes it look worse than the actual model does, but still, I'd like it to look better.  I will keep working on it with future models, but for now, this is taking one step back to make two steps forward later. On the whole, I am happy with the build.  If you don't try something new, you never get any better.

Jim Kloek