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Scratch build the 1/700 Life Ring
What is Life Ring? / From Bead / From Metal Tueb / From Brass Wire / How to build a Ring Buoy Rack

What is Life Ring?

Life ring (life buoy) is omitted at ships model because it is a very small part. But it is colorful and good one point accessories for ships model.

Life ring is manufactured as photoetch by some model makers. In the case of 1/700 scale that is the mainstream in Japan,
We can replicate a life ring easily if we get these maker's products, but it can be made ourselves because it is simple form, and you can get it cheaper. In the case of 1/700 scale, The diameter of the life ring is about 1.2 mm - 1.5 mm (0.048 in - 0.02 in). If you are the dexterous model builder, you should try it. :)

From Bead
This is the way how I was taught by a reader.

I got a beads set in a discount store. The price was a mere 100 yen.

Worked it thinly by rasping.

This is a way to paint a exact red cross line. I found it in an overseas website.

First of all, paint a red color.

Next, mask a closs line with masking tape, and paint a white color.

An example, (The stern of Hasegawa 1/700 Akagi)

It is a just fit size!

From Metal Tube
It is the most easy way.

I used an aluminum tube this time, but any metal tube will do, as long as it is easily worked.

This is the aluminum tube with 1.0 mm (0.04 in) inside diameter, 1.4 mm (0.056 in) outside diameter, and 30 cm (12 in) long. The price is a mere 80 yen (About €0.51 Euros; $0.66 USD) in Japan.

Cut the aluminum tube into round slices with an art knife.

I fixed the ring on a flat rod with double-stick tape, and worked more thinly by rasping.

Painted white and a red cross line, and it was finished.

From Brass Wire
This is the way that applied to "How to build the Loop Antenna". The degree of difficulty is high, but I think it has best quality.

Coiled a 0.2 mm (0.008 in) brass wire up to a 0.7 mm (0.028 in) microdrill neatly. Be careful not to be hurt!

Cut one point of coil of brass wire, and a few rings were made from it. Poured a pre-thinned putty into the joint of the ring.

Painted it and was finished. The shape looks like real life ring best, because a section in brass wire is a circle.

It is an installation example. (Ventilator of the battleship Yamato)

How to build a Ring Buoy Rack

Life ring for the side of a ship is held to a ring buoy rack, and put to handrail. I made this type from photoetched parts of handrail and mesh.

Cut the one flame from a IJN handrail part. Two flames are necessary for one rack.

Bent both ends of a frames. These parts become the holders of life ring. Long holder is for length, and short holder is for side. The rack part was made from photoetched mesh from Hasegawa Try Tool Series.

Painted the rack and holders, and sandwiched the life ring between them. Life ring for the side of a ship was finished.

It is an installation example. (The stern area of carrier Soryu)

That's all.
(Uproad: Dec, 2006)
(Correction: Jan, 2008)

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