This model was 13 years in the making. My wife bought it for me at a LHS that no longer exists, somewhere around 1995 while we were still dating and not yet married. I did not start it until after we were married. At that time we had two cats and both of them took turns smashing the main mast. I found it one time upside down on the floor. I think I broke it myself once for good measure. Disgusted I put it away. After our first daughter was born I went back to it and made a brave attempt to finish it, somewhere in 2000. I used an old GMM King George V class PE set that I think is no longer available. It had some incredibly intricate steps in the construction of the cranes. Tiny wheels and scratch wire axles. I was really scared of PE the first time, but after I did it, it really got me excited to do more. I'm sorry to say that 'lattice work' is a factor now in buying any kit. I recently bought the Trumpeter Minsk just so I could do up those wonderful GMM radars. I got it to within 99% completion somewhere around 2004 and began rigging with stretched sprue. It was so difficult I put it away for a while. Weeks turned into years of course, and in the mean time I got more and more heavily into the Hobby. I also discovered pre-colored nylon monofilament in bulkó otherwise known as a doll hair wig at Hobby Lobby for 5 bucks. It's great stuff. I realized over this Christmas I was getting really close to finishing some of my new kits and had still not topped off George. Even with the stronger thinner and more uniform doll hair the rigging was difficult. I redid the horizontals more than eight times.

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'Allied Battleships of WWII' by Garzke and Dulin was my only reference. Many tiny scratch built parts, many imperfections and doubtless inaccuracies as well. But at least it's done! These terrific pics are by my friend and favorite photographer J. Christopher Little. If you're a modeler in Oklahoma and want first rate pics of your build he can help you out. I also want to thank Woodward's Arts Crafts and Hobbies for the great display case that enabled me to finally finish the build. At the time I did most of the detailing there were no aftermarket pompoms or mg's available, or if there were I was unaware of them. In finishing her up this winter I attempted to remove the pompoms in the hopes of replacing them with some nice WEM goodies, but they were very firmly glued in place. Discretion is the better part of valor, and I decided to leave them. It also gives me an excuse to have another go at the KGV sometime. I got so sick of fixing that mast I told myself I never wanted to build another one. But that was in the previous millennium.

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Neal Clarke