michael mott

Restoration of Bassett Lowke "Albertic" by michael mott - Scale 1:100

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I was recently commissioned to restore to "Original Condition" A 1:100 model of the steamship Albertic. The model was knocked over and sustained considerable damage to the port side lifeboat deck Funnels and railings along with vents and all sorts of lines and wire stays.

 

I have made extensive photographs of the condition as I received it, and have begun recording the removal of the damaged parts that were still attached, A few surprises that were not evident when I viewed it at the clients premises have come to light.

I cobbled together a quick trolley so that I can move the model around, I will make a lightweight dust cover to keep the dust off the model.

 

I will no doubt be calling on the expertise of the membership for advice as I move forward.

 

As tragic as the damage is I am hoping that this will be a good experience and that I  rise to the occasion with a smile as things become repaired.

 

here are a few pictures to show the extent of my task.

 

Builders Name plate

post-202-0-00760600-1477106063.jpg

 

Port side sustained the most damage

 

post-202-0-39062800-1477106175_thumb.jpg

 

Starboard side suffered mostly inertial damage

 

post-202-0-58013000-1477106133_thumb.jpg

 

The funnels took a beating because they are heavy and brass

 

post-202-0-05038700-1477106099_thumb.jpg

 

A lot of loose parts were piled on the deck in front of the bridge

 

post-202-0-00638000-1477106077_thumb.jpg

 

The stern end of the port lifeboat deck is badly bent and twisted

 

post-202-0-55267500-1477106118_thumb.jpg

 

The stairs didn't fair too well either

 

post-202-0-80361100-1477106152_thumb.jpg

 

Below the port lifeboat deck is the most damage on the hull I am really hoping that this area can be reworked without having to repaint the entire side, we will see?

 

post-202-0-77278700-1477106193_thumb.jpg

 

A box of the loose pieces now lifted off the ship

 

post-202-0-33188200-1477106215_thumb.jpg

 

Ouch

 

post-202-0-23871400-1477106230_thumb.jpg

 

This will keep me busy over the next couple of three months. As I was removing all the big loose parts I was noticing how much of the fine lines and wire cables have also been damaged. many of the parts were attached with micro brass pins, all the lifeboat davits for instance.

 

Michael

 

 

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Hi Michael

 

Tragic as the damage is, there is a something fitting about how the restoration has landed in your lap - you know, built by master craftsmen at Bassett-Lowke and now, restored by a modern day, master craftsman by the name of Michael Mott!

 

There's no doubting that you're up to the task.

 

I'm in!

 

Cheers

 

Patrick

druxey, mtaylor, Jack12477 and 6 others like this

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Hi Michael,

 

I`m very happy to see a model of this beautiful liner (former NDL "SS Muenchen", completed by Bremer AG Weser in 1923).....

The sub waterline rudder- and screw arrangement reminds me of my own current project

Do you know how and why the damage occurred to the model. Hat off to the take over of the restoration, surely a very ambitious project of yours.

Wish you all the best, much endurance and patience and a lot of fun with the mending of this fantastic shipmodel...

 

Nils

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It's always surprising to find more problems as one begins to assess damage in detail, Michael! I think your biggest challenge will be to inpaint the hull locally rather than have to repaint the entire side. It's not so much color matching, but getting the surface reflectance right.

 

Best wishes as you begin to restore Albertic.

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wow!!!!   your gonna do the work of two people..........I'm in  ;)   so,  how did you come to get commissioned.......right place,  right time?  anyway....it's a great looking model,  and I'm sure you'll be up for the task.   I'm sure your metal-urgy will be put to the test  ;)

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Oh dear goodness!!!!! I wonder what went through their minds a split second after it was knocked over? A massive undertaking if you have to paint the whole port side. Look at all those brass portholes! The very best of luck to you.

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the worst part may be the life boats.......I notice that a couple of them have some significant damage.   they look to be of hand carved wood.   even if you were to find a decent replica,  would you think you'd need to replace them all,  to insure that they all look alike?

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With Michael's skills, repairing the lifeboats should not be a problem. The hardest damage to fix is the subtle stuff, as well as amateur previous 'repairs'. In parenthesis, I have a model here with significant hull damage. Some bright spark 'fixed' the hole using expanding polyurethane foam!

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Pulling up a seat also, Michael.

 

Druxey: "expanding polyurethane foam" ? ! ? WOW how much did that distort the model? Seen that stuff used are door jambs to the point where the door wouldn't close anymore.

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Do you know how and why the damage occurred to the model.

Hi Nils yes the original base had a narrow footprint and the model was knocked over, this was the first image that I saw. It looks like a few of the rectangular port holes got swept up with all the broken glass,when they cleaned up the area.

 

post-202-0-59885000-1477148179.jpg

 

 

I think your biggest challenge will be to inpaint the hull locally rather than have to repaint the entire side. It's not so much color matching, but getting the surface reflectance right.

 

Druxey, I fear you are correct on this score, I also notice that the hull was brush painted (very well I might add)

 

 

 

so,  how did you come to get commissioned......

Denis The credit goes to Brian Small, we have crossed paths on a number of occasions related to models, on this site as well as some others, the client contacted Brian and Brian contacted me.

 

 

 

I wonder what went through their minds a split second after it was knocked over?

Scott I would think that they had a very sinking feeling.

 

 

 

the worst part may be the life boats.......I notice that a couple of them have some significant damage.   they look to be of hand carved wood.

Denis funny you should mention the lifeboats, I woke up in the middle of the night and I started to think about what I had let myself in for and specifically thought about the lifeboats, it was a standard practice in England to use Jellutong for a lot of small parts like these, and I just happen to have lots of scrap bits of Jellutong. I plan to scarph in small bits and re-carve those areas. 

 

Michael

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Druxey, we must have been typing at the same time, the comment about repaired damage by previous folk made me smile, because there are a couple of the small cage fans pinned to the top of one of the skylights at a 45 degree to each other and obviously in the wrong location.

 

Jack, I can assure you I will not be using any foam, I might end up foaming at the mouth dealing with the hull side though.

 

Michael

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Michael,

 

as sad as it is, thanks for sharing that pic of the "minute after", now its fully understandable how the damage took place..

I have 5 models in glass cases (3 of them on a shelf behind me), and was often thinking what possibly could hapen if the shelf dowels give way, a nightmare !!...

 

Nils

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Jack, I can assure you I will not be using any foam, I might end up foaming at the mouth dealing with the hull side though.

 

Michael

 

Michael, never thought for a nanosecond that you would even consider it.  ;)  Makes for okay flotation in an RC model if you leave room for expansion while it cures but not a closed boat hull. 

WackoWolf, mtaylor and Mirabell61 like this

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I was just looking at the "cables that are used for the funnel guy cables. they are made from 4 groups of 3 wires cable laid the individual wires are brassand are .007" which is 34 gauge on the Stubs Wire or Birmingham gauge which was likely the standard used by Bassett Lowke.

 

Anyone know where I can get some rather than making my own, I do not want the aluminum 34gauge that is brass coloured sold by the craft folk.

I have had a cursory look on the web but really do not need a Ton of the stuff from Alibaba.

 

Michael

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Michael,  You do the most interesting models.  A 1:2 scale to actually sail in, a 1:500 cutter just to see if you could, a live steam engine for a launch and now this.  I don't know if I can help in any way, but I'll be here watching and cheering you on.

 

Bob

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Thanks bob, I am looking at the cable damage and have some thoughts that I will have to make my own to make it match

 

post-202-0-04950900-1477158306_thumb.jpg

 

post-202-0-97138800-1477158318_thumb.jpg

 

the last picture shows some 34 gauge copper wire and some control line stranded it is a little heavier but the difference in the look of both types leads me to think I will need to make up some strands of cable using my rope making skills 

 

post-202-0-07948700-1477158291_thumb.jpg

 

Michael

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Michael, what about the braided electrical wire used in wiring telephones or model railroads, would that be small enough? Of course you'd have to strip off the insulation.

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Large and heavy model; very narrow table stand; stand in middle of room in library - give me any reason why that wasn't a disaster just waiting for the right time to happen?

 

I think Popeye has a good idea there, Michael.  Brass pictue hanging wire might be just the job if you can get it in the right gauge.

 

By the way, I think it's interesting that the legendary Bassett-Lowke apparently got the detail of the wire stays wrong - wire laid up left handed instead of right handed.

 

John

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Denis I am thinking that I might replace all the funnel stays.

 

Joe , yes is was kind of Brian to make the recommendation.

 

Jack, that has occurred to me but I think making new cables might be easier.

 

John, if you look at this model it appears to have all the hallmarks of being made by the same model builders but an upscale version, I am not sure that they are correct either although they look much tidier. I am wondering about replacing all the funnel cable stays This model appears to be the same level as the one I am restoring.

 

Given the number of guy cables that have been damaged My preference would be to replace them with new properly laid up cables. What is the opinion of the experts?

 

The model will go back on public display at a future date in a contemporary enclosure appropriate to the vocabulary of the architecture of its surroundings.

 

Thanks Ed for your encouragement.

 

Michael

 

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Michael,

 

It's interesting that both Bonhams and Vallejo Gallery describe their models as 'builders models' which they are patently not!  If they were builders models she would be named 'Munchen' and not 'Albertic', for a start (just an observation).

 

The Vallejo Gallery model appears to be a particularly fine example and you are certainly fortunate to have those photographs as reference material.

 

I think if I were doing the restoration (thankfully, I'm not), I would replace all the funnel guys as you suggest.

 

Johjn

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