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About wefalck

  • Birthday 05/01/1956

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  • Location
    Paris, France
  • Interests
    19th shipbuilding and naval history, indigeneous boats and their history

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  1. How did you do the cowl-vents ? By vacuum-forming ? I like the QF-gun, but would have constructed it from several pieces, given the technologies you have at your disposal. BTW, if you chemically tin the brass and polish it lightly, it quite looks like steel. Or are you going to plate it with e.g. nickel ? Are there still commercial brass-founders in Russia, or was this done in a 'back-yard' foundry ? Which may be the same actually ...
  2. In a way it is not the fault of the museums as such, it is the fault of political decision-makers, who decided to take the public funding away from museums. Now they have to find other sources of income in order to preserve the institution - and their jobs of course (who can blame them for this, we all need to eat). So it is a system failure to not fund the preservation of our material history adequately. But then, who needs history, but a few old nostalgic guys and girls ... the future is virtual ...
  3. Depends on the material also: cotton (as used in the USA) would be more whitish, while flax and hemp (as mainly used in Europe in the pre-industrial age) would be more greyish-yellowish. The older the sail the more light-greyish it would be, presumably, due to the constant exposure the elements and light. Small fishing vessels frequently used 'tanned' sails (as in the above botter), the resulting colour being anything between a dark red, reddish brown and yellow ochre, depening on what was smeared on the canvas.
  4. I gather the alum was used, like sodium silicate, rather as a flame-retardant on theatrical fabrics than to stiffen them ? I really wonder, whether this is a good use of epoxi-resin. Of course you end up with a sort of fabric-reinforced resin shell, but it seems a bit messy in comparison to using one or the other type of varnish.
  5. I am not French (though living here), but German. There used to be boat-training in the German navy, using the large launches that also could be sailed (with two lugger-sails). Not sure what the training covered (rowing, steering, steering under sail ?) and whether it was for everyone. Somehow it sounds strange that a navy-guy shouldn't know how to handle a (sailing) boat ... should have asked my grandfather how it was in the Imperial Navy before WW1, but I was too young, when he died. Somehow, I have the feeling, however, that he wouldn't have known either, being a torpedo-mechanic.
  6. The problem of getting a sleek surface in contact with the 'former' (balloon etc.) only arises when you soak the fabric with the stiffening agent. There is really no need for this. Otherwise, you can also suspend the fabric on its four respectively three corners, e.g. by pushpins driven at an oblique angle into a board, and apply the stiffening agent then. I did make sails from single pieces of model-aircraft silk ('silk-span') in this way, by soaking it lightly in poster-paint (today I would use acrylics). This closes the open weave of the fabric, while still keeping it flexible and as the material is hanging through while wet, you get the slightly billowing effect. Such sails are not translucent, however.
  7. I tend to put the pins into corks from Sherry- or Port-bottles, the ones with the plastic lid, that stand safely on the bench. You can pick them up and turn them around for spray-painting etc.
  8. I thought boat-training (including sailing) was part of the training in the navy ... but then the navy didn't want me, so I only have outside knowledge. Took an inland water sailing certificate, when I was 16 and have been sailing on and off since, more off actually.
  9. For depicting a ship/boat in a particular state, it is always useful to make up a (mental) story board. So I would ask myself questions, such as what would happen to the equipment when out at sea, what needs to be maintained/mended in between chases, what is 'personal' equipment and what belongs to the boat, how quickly would the boat need to be ready, is the ship pictured cruising the hunting grounds or on its way out/during return etc. So, during the outward and return-trips the boats would be probably empty and all equipment stored safely to avoid loss in heavy weather. If one believes Melville, harpoons were sort of 'personal' equipment and carefully maintained by its owner/user.
  10. Probably to thick. Try to find stainless steel or bronze wire of 0.3 mm diameter. Brass or copper may work, but coudl be too soft.
  11. Exactly ! Depending on how much you inflate it, you can adjust the roundness.
  12. Some people use air-baloons as formers. One has to check first, whether the choosen varnish doesn't eat the baloon though. A completely different technique is to hide a stiff wire in the bolt-rope of the leeches and feet of the sails.
  13. In principle yes. However, I would refreain from using such organic materials that are prone to microbial attack, commonly called mould. Other people seem to have used diluted PVA glue or, in my case, sanding filler. Matt acrylic varnish could be another option.
  14. Which ones ? To the best of my knowledge the respective red and yellow pigments have been phased out a long time ago, at least in the EU. The paints may have retained 'Cadmium' in their name though. Nothing really to worry about - a day out in a city gives you more exposure to nasty things ...
  15. Good point about water-based paints/sealers and steel wool. Some people use magnets to pick up the wire residues. There is also aluminium wool apparently, but I don't have come across a source for it yet. Apart from the steel wool, I also use razor-blades as scrapers after applying sanding sealers, which gives a nice smooth finish too. It only works on flat surfaces though.