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Everything posted by wefalck

  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.
  16. No, shellac is a solution in alcohol: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shellac The solvent-based filler I was talking about earlier is usually in fact a 'filled' nitrocellulose varnish.
  17. What kind of varnish are you talking about, acrylic-based ? Even water-based acrylics may give off fumes, as they often contain some alcoohol. I believe there are also water-based acrylic sanding fillers. You may have to experiment with the wood you are working with. Something I haven't tried on wood myself, but that may give reasonably good penetration are pure acrylic emulsions, without pigment and and fillers. You can buy these in art-materials shops as primers. It may be also possible to dilute them with alcohol to further enhance the wood penetration, but this requires some experimentation.
  18. Well, the NMM went downhill since the late 1980s, when the Thatcherism ideology demanded to withdraw funding from a lot of 'public' interests, meaning that, if you are interested in something you should pay for it directly and not through general taxes. Another problem seem to be directors/curators of museums: today you can study this at university. Of course, once you are out, you have to look for a job and there are not that many, so you have to go for one when you see it, even if the subject of the museum is not one of your interests. So, today we have a lot of museum directors, who don't really have a clue of the specific subject of the museum, being just 'museum' people. In the old days it was a vocation ... Until the 'refurbishment' in the early 1990s the NMM had a full-size paddlewheel steam-tug, the RELIANT ex-OLD TRAFFORD (http://www.maritima-et-mechanika.org/maritime/reliant/reliant.html) , on display. They scrapped(!) it and only the two engines survived (one of them is on display in the NMM, I believe). Last year the Newcomen Society wanted to publish a book about her and ended up on my Web-site looking for pictures that no one in the museum seems to have had ... What fills me with apprehension is that the Musée de la Marine here in Paris will close at the end of the month for about four years - for refurbishment. Already the previous one in the 1980s resulted in a loss of the old display cases that allowed to really see the models. I hope we will not have another theme-park. At least, traditionally the director is a (retired) naval officer.
  19. Acrylic paints are water-based and will raise the wood-grain. So one would need to sand it again afterwards. Assuming that you are talking about a fully covering, opaque layer of paint, I would prepare the wood with a good solvent-based sanding filler, sand/scrape it smooth, and then apply the paint. Solvent-based fillers are to be prefered over water-based (acrylic) fillers, because they penetrate the wood better.
  20. This is my most recent attempt in 1/87 to show the reef points in a realistic as possible way:
  21. As I have used this technique on virtually all my models made over the last couple of decades, I may be allowed a couple of comments : Not sure what scale you are working in, but 'bond' paper seems to be rather heavy even though it would be a good quality of paper. I would rather go for something as thin as possible. If I wanted to stich-on the bolt-rope (I never worked in scale, where this would be possible physically), I would use the thinnest fly-tying yarn I could get holds of (something like 18/0 and perhaps even split it). The reef-points are actually held in place by stiched-on crown-splices on both sides of the sail. These can be simulated by two figure-of-eight- or over-hand-knots that are pulled very close to the sail. Not sure, whether 'dafi' presented his technique (already) in this Forum, but for his 1:96 scale HMS VICTORY he developed a three-layer technique using self-adhesive tapes as used by book-restorers to (almost) invisibly patch up ripped pages. Strips of that paper-tape are pasted from both sides onto a backing of very fine silk weave ('silk-span') to create the effect of the sail-panels. This composite can be crumbled and creased to give a realistic cloth effect and when stitching-on the bolt-rope the silk-weave prevents the edges from ripping out. Interesting technique, but I have not yet used it myself.
  22. Do you mean deck-houses by 'deck-furniture' ? Deck-houses were normally built using carpentry 'tongue-and-feather' techniques, which make caulking unnecessary. This building technique is possible, because the differential movement of the parts is limited, so that no seams will open. Decks could be laid in the same way, but it is not (normally) done, because it would make it virtually impossible to replace single planks without ripping out the whole deck. This is not an issue for deck-houses.
  23. I have a box full of them in all sizes and shapes. However, as I am working a lot with steel, I have always some swarf and filings flying around that seems to collect on these magnets ...
  24. "The message seems to be that, if one is attempting to model a ship of this period, it shouldn't look too tidy." This opens another can of worms ... shoddy workmanship of the modeller vs. representing shoddy workmanship on the prototype. One has to work carefully untidy ...
  25. We tend to think too much in terms of (building) rules, regulations and standards - because they have become so prevalent and institutionalised since the early 19th century. We also tend to think that any material could be 'ordered' at any time. However, wood is a natural material with limited supplies of the qualities and dimensions the builders may have wanted. So in practice, they may have had to make do with whatever was available in a particular yard. (Hard)wood supplies tend to follow an annual cycle, with wood being cut during the winter, transported to the rivers for rafting during the high-waters in spring. You couldn't just place an order for a particular kind of timber, when you ran out of it ... So one should expect a lot of variations dictated by these boundary conditions.