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Louie da fly

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  • Location
    Ballarat, Australia
  • Interests
    History, particularly the Middle Ages

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  1. Thanks for all the likes and encouraging comments. I think I've come a long way since the first figure I did for the ship (which I now consider not good enough to be included). Christos, I've got quite a few figures made now - they're scattered through the build log. The helmsman is incomplete till I get the steering oars in position (I have to work out exactly where his arms go), and the seated Captain probably won't be included now because he has to give up his seat when the Emperor is aboard. There was a quantum leap in the quality when I got the magnifying headset, though. Though I'd carved wooden figures before, I'd never tried to carve anything that small with that amount of detail, and the headset made it so much easier to see detail. Compare the face of this guy with the Emperor and his courtiers and bodyguards, which I made after I got the headset. Steven
  2. Started work on the pseudopation (forecastle), making use of the lessons I learnt making the xylokastra - such as making the deck and parapet before I make the supports. Here's the cardboard mock-up (version 2) along with the lion's head which forms the outlet for the nozzle of the siphon for Greek Fire (which will be added after the structure is complete and in place). Deck structure, Decking added And in the meantime for a break, a bit of carving - the Emperor's second Viking bodyguard. More to do, but coming along nicely. I believe the faces are getting better as I gain more experience, but the magnifying headpiece has made a big difference as well. Steven
  3. Thanks everyone for the likes. Patrick, I may still have to adjust the frames. The upper part of the new frame second from the front seems to have a slightly different angle to the others, and may have to be packed out a bit. I'll be better able to sort this out when I replace the upper planking. Steven
  4. Thanks, Druxey. Yes, it's 1:200. You can blame Bjorn Landstrom (sorry, can't add the correct accents to his name) - I directly copied it from the 1:200 reconstruction side view in his book The Ship. When I built it in 1970-odd, I carved three people out of bamboo to inhabit the ship. They were pretty tiny. Sadly, they got lost along the way along with many of the other nice detailed bits I made. Still, 1:200 pales into insignificance compared with the guys who routinely make ships at 1:350. I have no idea how they do it. Patrick, you were right; the frame was out of line. I've fixed it and moved on somewhat, putting in cross-beams which will support the upper deck. This is all a bit rough and ready - I have yet to work out exactly the run of the deck - the black lines are where I think the deck will run - and of the hull below the water line. Which is part of the reason for using balsa - it's so easy to work and to "bodge" if it's bit out. Still lots of work to be done, but slowly making progress. Steven
  5. Thanks, Pat. Patrick, I'll check this out. You may well be right, but photos can often be misleading. Steven
  6. Igor, I missed your return to this project back in May. I'm so glad you came back and completed it. You've done a beautiful job. Steven
  7. I agree, Dick. However, it will be a while before I'm confronted by this problem and I've decided not to worry too much about it till then (the problems I have to resolve at the moment are quite enough for the time being). I'll be re-using as much of the original upper-work planking as I can, but there'll be a certain amount of new stuff I'll have to add, and the whole of the hull below the water line needs new planking. What I have now is walnut, rather than the "Queensland walnut" I used when I first built her. I think I'll be trying to match the timbers as closely as possible; the overall goal is to repair her to be as she would have been at the time, rather than to show up the repairs. The main deck is bamboo, made from old blinds. I may be able to get something similar. If not, I have a piece of bamboo I'll probably cut into planks for the upper deck. I've added the extra frames I needed. I had to reverse engineer frames, to be the right size to fit inside the existing planking (instead of making the frames first and then putting the planking on afterwards). The second-last frame is a bit skewiff so I'll have to undo and re-glue it, properly square. I've marked where the tops of the upper deck-beams will be on each of the new frames, and now I have to decide exactly what to do next. I'll be putting beams in, of course, but I may cut the frames off above the beams and add false frames where they're visible, in some wood more appropriate than balsa. Steven
  8. Louie da fly

    Greetings from Wollongong Australia

    Welcome to MSW, Paolo, from far-flung Ballarat. You'll find everybody here very helpful. Are you going to start a build log? Steven
  9. Louie da fly

    Yet Another Returnee

    I think the idea that "My work is not good enough" is common to 90% of the people who start build logs, and often a disincentive to start one. But do it anyway. Nobody's going to criticize and you'll get a lot of support in your build. And (from my own experience) the "faults" that loom so large to you often turn out to be part of the learning experience. We've all been there, even the legends of MSW (which I hasten to add, don't include me). Fear of making mistakes often stops us doing anything at all, so jump in regardless - make mistakes and learn from them. And next time you don't make that mistake again. And every time you make a new model, it'll be better than the last one. Steven
  10. Louie da fly

    Yet Another Returnee

    Hi Kevin, Welcome to MSW. I agree, the members of this forum are unusual in their helpfulness and generosity. It makes it a lot better just knowing there's someone out there who can probably help with information or problem-solving if you happen to get stuck or need to find something out. It would be good to see some photos of your models in progress. Are you planning to start a build log? Steven
  11. A nice piece of work. The ships of this period - the great days of exploration - are really interesting, and you're making very good progress with a very good-looking model. And I agree, a scratch build is a very special thing. I like the fact that you are cutting and seasoning your own timber for the ship. Walnut and pear are beautiful woods, and pear is also great for carving. You're lucky to have these timbers growing native in your country. In Australia where I live most people have to pay a lot of money to get even small pieces of European timbers. However, my home town of Ballarat is unusual; the street trees are mostly European - ash, oak, elm. Two of my neighbours have pear trees, and one had a walnut tree that died, so I got the timber. The translator seems to be working well. Though it uses unusual words for some technical terms (such as "plating" where we would say "planking") it's quite easy to make out your meaning. Best wishes with your project. I'm enjoying following it. Steven
  12. Thanks everybody for all the likes. Cog, unfortunately the wood is as tough as old boots, so I can't just shove a pin into it, much as I'd like to. And the smallest drill bit I can get is considerably larger diameter than a pin, so it would slop around in the hole. Druxey, Pat and Patrick, thanks for the comments. And Christos, Ευχαριστώ πολύ φίλε μου. Best wishes to all for the New Year, Steven
  13. Beautiful weathering work, Greg. She really looks like she's been at sea for a good while. Looking at your post #173 I couldn't figure out why a WWI battleship would have a WWII funnel. Then looking further on I realised it was the funnel of the model behind her . . . Yamato? Steven
  14. Another piece of "learning by doing" - probably the only possible way to construct the bow framing; hard to predict in theory, but the obvious road to travel when doing it in practice. Steven
  15. Thanks for all the likes, and thanks Druxey and Pat for the encouraging comments. Very much appreciated, particularly with what turned out to be a very frustrating stage of the build. Well, I've finished the xylokastra at last. Parapet planking nearly complete on the first one - with a crewman for comparison. Planking complete. I sanded it all smooth, but it looked a little bare, so I added some horizontals nominally to strengthen the structure but really to make it look better. Another column came loose, so I "pinned" it. I ended up doing this to all the corner columns, and even then I had to repeat the procedure with at least one of them because the pin broke. Next time I do this (for the forecastle or pseudopation) I'll do the columns last, because a lot of repair had to be done to damage which occurred while I was working on the superstructure. And I'll carve an integral pin into the end of each column to hold everything together, rather than (a) butt-jointing the tops of the columns and/or (b) drilling holes in the tops of the columns to add the pins. The same problem came up with the corner pieces of the substructure, and in future I'll pin these as well. As you can see below the corner piece came away along with everything attached to it as I was working on the superstructure, and the whole thing had to be repaired. The first xylokastron complete. The second one under way. And a comparison with the finished one. Both xylokastra complete and inhabited, with a crewman, a Varangian guardsman and a flute-player (for giving the rowing pace to the oarsmen). These aren't the guys who will be there - they're to go elsewhere on the ship. In fact I might leave the xylokastra completely uninhabited, as the vessel's not in combat. It's been a long and difficult process, but I've learnt a lot while doing it, which will stand me in good stead later in this and future builds. Steven

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