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About Mickgee

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  1. Hi Mike, I went to the basement again and viewed the rests of the ebony wood strips, I was hoping for a changed opinion after 5 years. Still, the charge that was sent to me is just junk. Back then I complained and got my money back. The wood is difficult, fact. Now I can say a black stained reddish wood will turn out quite similar. I made a test sealing procedure, now I know what to use. The black stained strips, as well as the ebony get a much darker and deeper shade, but both woods keep their wood structure and grain. Just the wood get quite a bit deeper and darker, without becoming a real black. I imagine the outcome to be an almost black....a very dark, dark brown. Sunlight, should show some lighter enhancement here and there, exactly as the wood is. I like this look and will go with it. Also, this is a real heavy duty paint supply material and not environmental friendly. The stuff stinks to high heavens and can only be applied in an air vented cabin. I have this possibility at hand. Not an acrylic based sealer for sure. OK. Pics soon. Michael
  2. Hi Mike, the ebony wood used had no specific name, just sold as ebony. The strips were terrible too, very long, and they were tied off as a circle. So, the splintery wood strips were for the most part just ripped apart, what a shame and a waste. I ordered enough to do the whole hull, but not even 30% could be used. I tried different treatments, staining different sealers, basically, it can be made to appear very dark, the lighter areas darken also. I'll use the ebony for some roofing on the deck houses. Here an update on the hull. Except the stern, the planking is complete. Sanded with 240 grit paper, then re-stained with black, once. I'm liking the dark brown shade and am convinced that a pure black would not have a positive effect on the overall look. So, I'll apply different clear sealers on trial pieces of wood to see which method will look best, just not too 'wet' looking. I like the comparison of the real ebony, and the black-stained 'mahogany' from the Occre kit. Here a peek at the hull things in present trim; Soon the trial surface finishes are complete and I can see which way looks the best. I do kind of like the dirty dark brown as compared to a black paint job. More later, Michael
  3. Ropewalks, again..

    Thanks Michael, that's something I can start with.
  4. Hello modelers, I just read about "which Ropewalk is the best" from Doc, if you don't mind I have a couple of questions pertaining to the technique. Do you use the ropewalk for all lines, or just the standing rigging? I don't understand yet about the sizes. Thicker single thread for thicker scale, heavy duty ropes? If a single thread is needed for, let's say a 0.8mm size line on a ship, which size thread for instance is used with a ropewalk for the same diameter size. In other words, if a 0.8mm line is needed, how is the thread size for the ropewalk determined? Thanks in advance, this really interests me. Michael
  5. Hi Mike, excellent build reporting on the Pegasus, I had a look. Wonderful. Hi Darrell, thanks for the info about painting. The thick, let's call it tar look is what two famous Italian modelers recommend for a period correct look to the hulls, at and below the waterline. I can't bring myself to do it though. Blackening the hull is radical enough! Guys, I've some excellent news! Only three runs left, then the planking is complete. I couldn't wait any longer, I had to know for sure. Did I clean off the leim properly? After sanding the planks smooth, will the original wood take another staining and become blackish again? Will the overall re-staining be an even layer? Or will I have to airbrush the hull to make it a uniform black? So, I sanded an area relatively smooth, the natural wood came through of course. I re-stained....and all is black again! No painting necessary! Love it. Soon updated pics of the finished hull. Michael
  6. Very interesting Steve, thanks for the info. Black paint on a model is difficult, it looks often too harsh and unnatural. 'Flat black' is even worse. Nothing looks flat black in real life.... Look here, this is mahogany wood from the Occre, stained black on the 'Dos Amigos' that I'm building now. First off, it doesn't get really black, just kind of an anthracite looking dark shade; Here a comparison to the bulwark done in ebony wood, untreated as yet; So, after manipulation, and a damp cloth to clean off the rest of the wood lime after application, the wood is no longer a grey tone, but a dark brown, darker than the ebony wood. The ebony wood will get very dark when sealed. Very dark, I've done some probes already. Just, the wood is not black. To get a real black, I'll have to get paint on the hull. Meantime, I'm not sure anymore if I want to go this route. I'm liking the dark, the very dark brownish tone of the wood at this time; Even though the wood on the hull has not been sanded smooth and sealed, I'm liking it better than a solid through and through pure black. Michael
  7. Master and commander, the movie..

    Hi Bob, yep I found several sites as well to view the movie....but I agree with your perspective.
  8. Thanks Bruce for the link, love it. I got a lump in my throat when the dry dock was flooded and the ship was afloat! True, the hull is shiny, looks great. I'll bet cash the boys didn't use the old-fashioned paint method this time around....
  9. I agree with Ulises Victoria, real black just doesn't work, and looks terrible on a model. @Clare Hess, that's wonderful information. I recently built a Peterbilt truck in 1:25 scale, using a So.Cal. flat bed theme. 1st time with pear wood, what a beautiful look! Love it. Here a look; Granted, not a ship, just a model that could use some TLC. It's scratch built, and entirely metal, except cab and tires. No black here. Also, my wife is loves to make her various (!!!!!) shoes different colors. Amazing, the girl knows her stuff, and knows about leather dyes. Love it! Thanks much for the insight.
  10. Thanks guys, I appreciate the feedback. @Chuck, yes ebony is very difficult. I was looking for something exotic and not from the Occre kit, man did I get exotic material. What a pita. I planked the wales with the wood, the other 85% of my order can only be used for smaller units, not good. I got my money back as the ordered goods had nothing to do with the website specs. @Bob, I had to read a couple of times, but I understand your thinking. I have 2 wooden ships, one light, one darker, neither is a Rogers' museum piece (but I love them anyway). My favorite ship, a Baltimore Clipper, needs a black hull. Period. I've doused the usual "mahogany" strips in black wood stain, and am just before getting to it. if needed, I can airbrush the hull later on, just have to find the right paint. I'm not worried about it now. I realize the grain should be still visible and not clogged up with thicker paints. Thanks fellas.
  11. The cooled down mold is now broken open. The investment is fairly soft. Lets have a look to see if everything cast out properly; The mass is just pinched off, then it's best to sandblast the remaining material away. The dust is quartz and dangerous, do not breathe in. I have a suction cabinet; Getting there; Great! No voids, no unwanted clumps of metal. Let's get moving; A high speed handpiece with lots of torque, and a mounted separating disc, cuts off the sprue leads to get the individual parts for finishing; Here the parts finished and ready for further assembly; The finished product upside down, and it looks pretty good; This is meant to be an insight for casting metals using investment for high heat metals. Not a thing for the regular modeler for sure. Just with some preparation and a little practice and guidance, an ambitioned modeler could do the prep work and give the mold to a jeweler or dental type acquaintance. This stuff happens a lot, no problems. I hope Richard you don't mind me posting this sequence. Michael
  12. Guys, if you don't mind, Richard asked for links concerning casting parts in brass in his original post, the theme of this topic. I've been doing this stuff for some 45 years. I don't have a link, but from former modeling forum builds I have some pics showing the casting procedure as I know it. The parts here are for a 1:25 scale car or truck model. My models are fabricated entirely from metal, excepting the resin or plastic bodies. Further on I'll show a few pics, the results are truly astounding, very real looking, and real metal motors just look, well real. Here the step by step procedure for investment casting of small parts using the lost wax technique. This is a rear axle housing for a model Peterbilt truck in plastic, as in the kit; The parts have 4mm sprue leads waxed onto the housings. A Bunsen burner and specific waxes are used to connect the sprue leads. When heated up, the wax will melt and a tunnel remains where the molten metal will be thrown into with centrifugal force; The thinner blue leads are for ventilation. It's hot in there, lots of metal coming in, the voids have to be evacuated to make a safe place for the molten metal. Another view. Realize, the axle housing has the front and back already fused together. Inside is hollow, but it's imperative the liquid investment material can flow into the very last crook and cranny, inside the housing. If not, a void exists, and this void becomes after the casting procedure a big clump of solid metal! Not good, and can usually be filed under "failure". Next a ring will be placed around this so that investment material can be poured in. The investment is a powder and liquid mass that flows readily from a rubber bowl, just dump it in; Side view; Here the investment is set, in this case 20 minutes, then pushed out of the ring former. You can see the small 1.5mm vents at the base. These are very important, and help to guarantee a high quality and dense metal casting result; The funnel shaped hole is where the crucible is slid into place when the form is heated up. More brass, nickel, alpaka and chrome/cobalt (a steel) the form is glowing red hot. Same temps approximately for gold, silver and similar metals. Here a funnel to feed the metal, in this case alpaka, or German silver (very similar to brass); A wonderful metal for hobby use. It does not tarnish when cast, and is hard but still malleable for polishing and working with normal hobby rotating instruments and burs. Here the investment mold in the oven, or kiln as ceramic folks say. The crucible has to be heated up as well or it will burst when heat from a torch to melt the metal for casting is applied; Here a "broken arm" casting machine, a centrifugal forced method to cast molten metals, with a torch for propane/oxygen gas mix. Cool enough for lesser metals, hot enough for steels, adjustable; Ready to go. The crucible is in the cradle, the metal pellets have been added, investment mold is situated and affixed, the heat is on; Done. The broken arm spins like crazy and throws the molten metal into the mold. The mols id pulled from the cradle with long pliers and laid away to cool down for about an hour; To be continued;
  13. UPDATE: Moving on now, just one more thing before the 2nd planking is started. Do you plank the keel, or the stem? Here the situation on the Dos Amigos; The area with the green line, plank it? Also the blue line area, I've seen modelers add a slim strip of wood here after the planking is finished. How do you treat this area with the planks? I'm trying to figure out how make this area appear less of a two-piece construct, but more fluid, hence 'watertight'. Anyone?
  14. I have a lot of experience in investment casting, the end result is only as good as the mold you want to reproduce in metal. So here the important part is preparing and making molds. The molds made by xken above really look magnificent. Instead of brass, I like Alpaka, or in the US it's called new German silver, a brass and copper mix. A kilo costs around $50, which would make for a lot of cannons. Here a 1/25 scale Diesel motor for a Peterbilt truck model I did 2 years ago. The motor has a lot of individual cast parts, this pic shows the finished assembly. The silver looking metal is cast nickel, the pale gold is German silver; A ship with a deck full of metal cannons would have considerable weight! The method used by Watson above, would be the way to go for a large number of objects.
  15. I've seen magnificent models of historic ships with black painted hulls. The 'Dos Amigos' is on the bench and I'm starting the 2nd planking, looking to painting the hull black. The search function turned up threads about 3 years old, so here's a new one. How and what wood and paint combination did you use? Did you thicken the paint to let it appear more "tar" looking, as in the old days? Any "Constitution" builders here that painted the hull black? I feel personally, painting a beautiful wood planked ship takes some nerve. I've taken a threshold or two before, and I'd like a black hulled wooden ship in my fleet. I'd be grateful for any ideas or links or pics of model ships, or to read of any experiences. Thanks, Michael