Blue Ensign

HMS Pegasus by Blue Ensign - Victory Models - 1:64 scale

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The top Strake of the Main Wale is fixed. I cut a little mortise in the stem to rabbet the strake into to assist the hold.

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Quite easy to cut into the stem, a piece of Walnut cake one might say x4x
Fixed with ca the strake presented no problems, individual plank lengths of 130mm will be marked and scribed. I prefer to do this where a plank follows a sheer so that an even curve is obtained.
Getting the wales to look right is a critical part of the build and it is a relief once the top strake is in.
If I had a criticism of the plans it would be that an extra drawing should have been provided bow shot on purely for the wales position at the stem. The only drawing of this view is cluttered with other fittings.

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So crisis over, I can now progress to seeing how well I can cut Top and Butt planks for the lower two strakes.

 

B.E.
 

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Considering Top and Butt Main Wales

As mentioned previously the depth of the wale is a scale 12mm which is fine.
In considering Top and Butt some 2mm of the overall depth of the wale is lost using the standard 4mm strips because the lower two strakes are tapered to half their widths and the middle strake has to start with a 2mm plank rather than 4mm.

The rules for Top and Butt are one edge is straight, each end tapers to half its width with a short taper one quarter of the length in, and a long taper to the opposite end. In each case a long taper meets a short taper at the butt where two such planks meet.

I first needed to work out the plank lengths in relation to the hull, and decided as follows:
Top strake: First plank from bow 130mm = 27.29’ (Short taper =32.5mm)
Middle Strake: First Plank: 65mm = 13.’ (no taper)
Lower Strake: First Plank: 97.5mm = 20.5’ (short taper = 32.5mm.
This gives around a seven foot shift between the butts on adjoining planks.

In order to achieve the overall 12mm depth of wale and given that the top strake of 4mm stuff is already fixed I am going to have to use 3mm stuff for the initial middle strake plank, and 5mm stuff tapered to 3mm for the rest.

Looks like another order to the Model dockyard. :roll:

Here’ s my rough sketches and a mock up to get a feel for the layout.

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About 16 planks cut top and butt will be required to complete the wales and whilst waiting for the timber to arrive I need to work out a method for replicating accurate cuts.

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The general run of the planking can be seen here with the short and long tapers.
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One of the problems with doing Top and Butt is that the whole arrangement may disappear under the sanding and painting, the trick is to have it apparent but not too much so.
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The width of the wale is now up to the scale 12mm.
This modification is not too difficult to do and adds a little more authenticity to the build. All that is required are a few wider walnut planks, a ruler and a fresh scalpel.

 

B.E.
 

 
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Completion of the Main Wales
Everything went fairly smoothly, the trickiest part is the last short plank of the lower strake which has to be shaped and follows the curve beneath the counter, but even this is fairly painless given the 1mm stuff which bends easily.

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Had I thought about it earlier I would have done the Upper deck with the correct top and butt planking for the outer four strakes but I had advanced the deck planking too far by then.
Something to bear in mind for the future.

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Hope this looks fairly matched port and starboard, too bad if it isn’t at this stage, there’s no going back.
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I am satisfied with the sheer of the wale.
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Joint gaps that are a little too wide will be filled and re-scribed for the caulking, but thankfully there is not much of that to do.
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How well defined the top and butt will be once the wale is blacked I don’t know at this stage but I’m hoping the joins will show thro’ the black paint.
How that translates to photos remains to be seen.

 

B.E.

 

 

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48 hours and two coats of Admiralty Dull Black later and the wales are finished.
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It is as I suspected quite difficult to get a good image of the Top and Butt, but it is apparent on the next few pics and in reality it shows thro’ as well as I had hoped.

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This is a modification I would recommend to any Pegasus/Fly builders at little extra outlay.
Now I must turn my mind to that interesting question of the Guns.

 

B.E.

 

 

 
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THE SUBJECT OF GUNS

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The supplied guns measure 35.38mm. this equates to a length of 7.42’(excluding the cascobal - 38mm incl)

 

Details in the Swan Class sloop books suggest that short six pounders would have been fitted to a small vessel such as Pegasus.
These have an o/a length of 6’ 6” with a bore of 3.66”
Converting the 1:24 scale drawing to 1:64 would give an o/a length of 31.63mm. a muzzle diameter of 4.11mm. Max dia (at the Base ring) of 5.44mm and a bore of 1.3mm.
In terms of Length and bore the Amati version gun is somewhat out at 38.03 length o/a and bore of 2.40mm. Maximum diameter (at the Base ring) is close at 6.09mm, the muzzle less so at 4.75mm.
Although they look superficially ok I don’t know if the bronzy cast guns will take a blackening procedure and I would have preferred turned brass versions.
I ordered a sample 32mm brass turned gun from JB models and this is much closer to the given scale dimensions. o/a length 32mm, muzzle dia 4.19mm, max dia (at Base Ring) 5.96mm, and bore 1.7mm.

Here’s a comparison of the two.

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The JB version is closer to the British model and is nicely turned and reasonably priced at Euro 0.60 each. To arm Pegasus would cost Euro 9.60.( £8.37)
Jotika also do brass turned barrels , but not at present in six pounder configuration. Their four pounder guns are £2.99 for two which would equate to £23.92 to kit out Pegasus.
My own view is that the JB brass guns look nicer than the Jotika ones and are considerably cheaper.
The muzzle swelling is a better shape than the Amati gun but it does lack the representation of the vent, which is present on the Amati item, something that I think could be easily addressed. The overlarge muzzle bore is also an issue for me with the Amati gun.
I also checked out the provided gun carriages for scale and they are pretty much on for size.

 

So a sample carriage is assembled, there are a couple of extras in the kit, so I can afford to play with one or two of ‘em.
Already I can see things that need fettlin’
The transom piece (that what fits between the carriage sides) at the front looks a little low and should properly have a convex shape to it to allow depression of the gun.
What Amati call the gun quoin is really the bed (part 302) so quoins will need to be made additionally to adjust the barrel angle.
They also call the cap squares the trunnions, but all this is probably down to translation.
The carriage is shown here in a completely raw state but the oversize of the provided gun is clearly apparent.

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Note how the cascobal overhangs the carriage.
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Note the bore, got a gaping mouth like a siege gun.

The guns are a disappointment, to me, anyway, given the effort Chris Watton went to design the kit it's a pity Amati cheese-pared on the guns by using old stock items, the kit deserved better. The kit provided guns on the Fly version are even worse, sporting dolphins.
 

By contrast the JB gun looks in scale.

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The barrel looks like it belongs to the carriage.
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A temporary styrene quoin in position.
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The finish of the muzzle is light years ahead of the Amati model , note the clean muzzle face and realistic bore.

I rather think it is a no contest.

 

Gun carriages

At first sight the parts look a little thin but the dimensions are not far out according to the information in the Swan series books by David Antscherl.
The trucks and the brackets were both the same thickness, 3.625" which scales to 1.43mm, spot on for the kit pieces.
The wheels (trucks) are given as 12" diameter Fore, and 10.5" diameter rear, at scale 4.76mm and 4.16mm.

Working from the Peter Goodwin drawings in the Cutter Alert the wheels at 1:64 scale work out at Fronts 5.65mm rear 4.76mm with a thickness of 1.23mm

The kit provided wheels work out at around 6mm ø for the front and 4mm ø for the rear. I say around but round is a debatable point in relation to the rear wheels.
The kit wheels (trucks) leave something (a lot) to be desired and require some work. The rear wheels in particular suffer from poor moulding with off centre holes.

Visually, regardless of scale, I think the front wheels look a little large in relation to the rear and my feeling is that a 5mm ø wheel would probably look better.

In the end I couldn’t live with the wheels and I bought some 5mm and 4mm Amati wheels from CMB.

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Here’ s a comparison of the carriages fitted with the original and replacement wheels.
They are of a much better quality than the ones provided with the kit and the ratio of 5 and 4mm diameters looks far better, to my eye at least, albeit the thickness is a little over-scale, but this can be addressed.

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One additional benefit of the replacement wheels is that the guns sit more central in the port allowing both elevation and depression of the gun. The larger wheels tend to push the barrel higher in the port, in some cases only just clearing the upper edge.
I like to make a little jig to assist with gun assembly, here’s my humble effort, not very pretty but effective.

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Note the splay towards the rear.

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Bed fitted, and that’s the basic carriage completed.
Two spare carriage sides are used as templates to mark the holes for the ring bolts and loops for the gun tackle.
The kit provided carriage parts cut from 1.5mm walnut sheet are quite delicate and need careful handling. The axles in particular are very prone to breaking.

My next post will cover additional detailing of the guns.

 

B.E.








 

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Meanwhile down at the Gunwharf things are moving apace..............

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I decided to go with the black filler method of representing the truck bolts, adequate I think for this scale.
I surely am glad I'm building a Sloop and not a Seventy-four.

 

Enhancing the Guns
Quite a time consuming little exercise adding all the bits to the carriages, still, assembly of the guns had to be done by this stage so the build can continue; the (6) guns placed beneath the Quarterdeck and Foc’sle will be required earlier than the remaining (8) in the open waist.

All the guns were assembled so that the best specimens can be selected for the ‘show’ guns.

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There are a few enhancements that can be made to the guns, the major one which I have already done is to replace the kit barrels with 32mm turned brass jobs from JB Models.
The kit provides (18) gun carriages. I only need (14) so there are some spares to play with.

Note:
Although
Pegasus is pierced for 16 guns she carried only 14, it was only from 1779 that Swans actually carried 16 guns.(Winfield)
Pegasus unfortunately had a very short Career, she was launched on 27 Dec 1776. She sailed on her first commission on 3 April 1777, and was lost with all hands in a storm off Newfoundland in October 1777.
Apart from adding the tackle rings etc, there are other little modifications to improve the carriages.
The front axle (axletrees) incorporates the transom which should really be angled backwards and have a recess cut into the top to allow gun depression.
This is easily addressed.

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I have already replaced the wheels, and marked the six bolts that would hold the two halves of each wheel together, I used a 0.4mm drill, and filled with blackened filler to represent the bolts. The axles were pierced for the truck pins which hold the wheels on. I used the 0.3mm brass etched eyelets to make the truck pins.
The squared ends of the axletrees still need to be rounded off at this stage, but it is a delicate operation the bally thing break under the lightest pressure.

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The bed of the carriage sits on the rear axle and extends to the bed bolt (a piece of brass wire which spans the two sides of the carriage) I filed a recess in the underside of the bed to sit on the bed bolt.
Quoins are not provided with the kit and will have to be made.

Iron work on guns
Gun tackle loops – in scale 0.6mm internal size
Breeching ring bolts - in scale 1.19mm
For the ring bolts I used 2mm eyebolts and 2mm brass rings. The eye of the eyebolt was reduced in size a fraction and closed around the ring.

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The side tackle loops were formed using Amati fine 2mm copper eyebolts again with the eye reduced in size.
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I also tried to take the round off the back edge of the eye by counter sinking the bolt holes a little so the pins would sit well into the gun carriage sides. Once assembled the ring and eyebolts were dunked in Metal black before fitting.

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The final action is the trial testing of the barrels for fit and adjusting the sit of the trunnions on the carriage to ensure they are square on.
No further work will be done to the barrels until I have decided about the insignia, but they won’t in any case be required for a while yet.
For those six guns that sit beneath the Foc’sle and Quarterdecks the carriages will be fitted and pinned to the deck, and the barrels fitted just before the decks are put into place.

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Each gun has been marked for its position in the broadside so I can make minor adjustments to achieve an even line of barrels thro’ the ports.
Fine sanding of the bed and use of Quoins should allow sufficient leeway.
(that is why the beds have not been finished off)

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A little more fine tuning to go but then I can fix the under deck carriages in place. I am thinking that if I can pin the capsquares at one end it should be fairly simple to bring them over the trunnions and pin and glue if the holes are pre drilled.
Once done the beams and partitions can then be added, and I can move on to further work on the outside of the hull.

 

B.E.

 

 
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Complications with Cap squares
Amati have provided pre drilled and pre scored brass etched cap squares for the guns, (they call them trunnions- something lost in translation perhaps)
Wonderful thinks I, but when it comes to forming the little beggars they become tricky in the extreme, the pre scoring hinders rather than helps, and they are very prone to snapping off.
Having scrapped two at the outset a little jig is essential I think.

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It is not advisable to bend them over the gun with the barrel in situ, the pressure is likely to snap the axles.
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My approach has been to bend them over a trunnion bar set in a groove, after first trying to start the bend holding them in fine long nosed pliers. A shallow groove and a deeper groove is required to progressively increase the bend whilst trying to ensure that the thing remains central and the pre scored ends don’t break off.
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I’m not even sure if I like them, they look a little too long to my eye, but then I don’t see how they could be any smaller in a practical sense to pin to the carriages.
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Perhaps they will look better once blackened.
Amati suggest that the cap squares are pinned to the top of the brackets using cut down brass pins, which look a little thick to my eye.
Not much room for error here the bracket is only 1.43mm wide and the hole is 0.4mm ø
I think the 0.3mm brass etched eyelets of Jotika fame may come in useful to represent the cap square retaining bolts on the forward end .

 

B.E.

 

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I have been slowly progressing the internal fittings below the Quarter-deck before I turn again to the exterior hull.

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The deck beams have been fitted, partitions installed, and the chequered Sailcloth floor covering fitted.
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The two hatches beneath the Quarter-deck are in place along with the Lower Capstan.

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The four gun carriages are pinned thro’ the bed down to the Lower deck, but at this stage can be removed.

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The recess in the deck beam to allow connection of the Upper and Lower Capstan.
The pawls will lock the lower Capstan in position.

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Trial fitting of the Bitts and foremost deck support, these will be removed to allow easy access for fitting the aftermost waist bulwark gun tackle iron work .

 

B.E.


 

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I have also at this point been giving some thought to the colour shade for the ground of the Frieze work.
I know what I don’t want but the jury is still out on what I will ultimately decide.

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All the colours are brighter on the screen than the actual hues
David Antscherl favours Prussian Blue, and for Humbrol paints suggests No 25, slightly darkened.
The Admiralty French Blue by Caldercraft probably represents the modified result.
These shades are too dark and strong for my taste, what I am seeking is that sort of dusky blue with a slightly grey tinge as seen on contemporary models.

This is what I mean.

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Now it may well be that the paintwork has faded with age, not that the use of Blue on models can be relied upon entirely as being historically correct, the recorded (1715) official ground colour was always Black, and model makers may have used a degree of artistic licence.

Still if it’s good enough for the wonderful Eighteenth century craftsmen it’s good enough for me and In any case I am more concerned with the aesthetics, and I like the combination as shown above particularly with the boxwood planking I have used.

I was initially quite pleased with the mix I made up.
The base paint is Humbrol Matt 89 (Middle Blue) to which Matt 25 (Matt Blue) and Matt 27 (sea Grey) and are added.

The proportions are roughly 60% (89) 30% (25) 10% (27)

Having pondered on it a while I’m now not so sure, it now seems a little too bright.

The third sample shown is in fact RAF Blue (96) and it is my current favourite, it has that sort of subtle tone to it that I associate with 18th century colours.
It may well be that models planked with a darker walnut timber would stand a stronger blue, but on Boxwood I think the mellow toning suits very well.

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Again both of these look brighter than in reality.
I think I have a little way to go before I am entirely happy, and before I finally commit I will try a little frieze work painting by hand on a suitably sized Boxwood Strip to ensure that the yellow ochre designs look good against the ground. I remember agonising over the shade of blue for the beakhead bulkhead on my Victory build, it looks like this is going to be no different. x38x
 

More on this later.

 

B.E.
 

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I have now settled on the shade of blue ground for the frieze work.

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This is a modification to my original mix by the addition of Humbrol 96 and black to reduce the brightness a little and darken the shade slightly.
It is now somewhere between my first two choices.

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These photo's also show the waist rails which are now fitted. 

In scale only 2mm deep.(full scale 5½”) which hardly allows for producing any sort of clean profile moulding in timber, and even in other mediums 3mm seems to be the minimum depth.
Still I thought the plain walnut strip provided in the kit needs a little fancying up to give the impression at least of a moulded rail.
The first important job is to mark the lower edge of the strip and provide the sheer line. For this Tamiya tape is used.
The second important job, because the strip is cut into sections between the Gun ports, is to take care that the sheer curve is not lost.
I used the provided Walnut strip as the base of the rail and once fitted I overlaid a 1x1mm strip of Boxwood at the top edge which was then given a round on the lower edge.

 

The Sheer Rail
This sits above the blue ground and runs parallel to the Waist rail, the spacing is such that the frieze work sits between the two.
Plain Walnut strip is used for this rail as the Channels are fixed to it. Once they are in place the free area can be fancied up a little.
The strip has been stained with an ochre enhanced varnish to blend it in with the boxwood.

Above the Sheer Rail sits the Drift Rail again with Frieze work between it and the Sheer Rail, and herein lies a problem.
I am satisfied that the Waist rail follows the correct line, just touching the aftermost Gun-port top as it passes to the stern parallel with the Main Wale.
The Sheer rail runs above it just allowing enough space to take the Frieze work.
The space between the Sheer and Drift rails also follows the line again allowing sufficient space only to take the Frieze work.
Using this arrangement the Drift rail naturally follows the line to end at the very top of the bulwark at the stern, at least on my build it does.

There now appears to be something adrift with the Drift rail; on the plans it appears to run parallel with the top planking line some 3mm below from Quarterdeck to the stern.

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The five Swivel gun posts then rest atop the Drift rail and key into the counter rail above (yet to be fitted)
As can be seen on these photos the Friezes sit tight between the rails, and the rails look right in relation to each other.

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However on this basis the two aftermost Swivel gun posts would encroach down onto the Frieze work between the Sheer and drift rails, although on the Swan book plans the posts do appear to extend below the Drift Rail.
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I am rather at a loss to see what has happened here, looking at the many other Pegasus/Fly builds around the forums there is a clear space between the Drift Rail and the bulwark top, yet the Waist Rails seem to follow the same lines along the Gun ports as do mine, intersecting across the top of the aftermost gun port.

The waist rails determine the position of the other two rails, and to alter the strips to give them less sheer would I think spoil the lines.

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It may be that I will have to modify the bulwark as it rises towards to Tafferal, not too much of a problem as adjustment can be made when I do the inner bulwark planking on the Quarter deck.
But....
A major board of inquiry is now sitting to look into the circumstances of this apparent departure from the plans, x8x but I’ve a feeling that a satisfactory explanation will not be arrived at any time soon. x38x

B.E.





 

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DECORATION
Having resolved the shade of the Blue ground for the frieze work I now need to decide on the colour of the Frieze.
I tried my hand at free painting but decided to go with the brass etched frieze work.
The etch was first primed with Admiralty metal primer, and the fret fixed in an open frame for painting.

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I had three colour options in mind;
Admiralty yellow Ochre, Humbrol Linen (74) and Humbrol Pale yellow (81)

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These were trialled and I discounted Linen as being too bright and pale.
The Yellow ochre looked ok, but by a nose I think the Humbrol Pale yellow looked best against the blue ground.

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Left - Yellow Ochre;  Centre – Humbrol Pale Yellow 81;  Right – Humbrol Linen.74

It has a slightly sulphury tone to it and seems to look more like a painted frieze than the stronger yellow ochre which stands out more.
In the Swan Volume II book there is an excellent description of how to achieve a relief look with painted friezes using highlighting and shading.
In one sense the etch frieze is already in relief but the flatness can probably be enhanced using David Antscherl’s method and I will probably give it a go once the base coat is on.

I shall return to the frieze painting later.

 

B.E.

 

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Thinking about the Foc’sle
One of the things that has been flitting in and out of my mind is how to edge the Foc’sle deck.
I have pinned the carriages in the two forward ports, and I need to consider fitment of the Galley stove and deck arrangement for the Fo’csle.
There are two beams which span the Foc’sle (4A and 39) that require some attention as they are way over scale at 6.6mm and 6mm deep. The beams should be 5” deep which equates to 2mm at scale.

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For strength purposes I have reduced the beams to only 3.5mm deep and a notch has been cut in beam 4A where it would otherwise encroach on the aft steam grating for the galley stove.
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Beam 39 which is provided in Walnut is a facing beam for the Fore deck, and is supposed to be fixed to the underside of the deck flush with the back edge.
In reality it is the breast beam which should have a moulded facing and be rebated to take the deck planks.

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This has also been reduced in size and a camber put on the underside to match the deck curvature. This has the effect of a better scale appearance and also allows a better view beneath the deck of the stove and guns.
I have decided not to fit a Foc’sle bulkhead as I prefer the open look.
I will however look to install the Bulkhead cants which would otherwise secure the bottom edge of the screens when in place.
To re-work the Fore deck breast beam the reduced beam is set a fraction back from the edge.

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A 4.5mm boxwood plank is set athwartships overhanging the edge to which a 1mm square section boxwood strip is glued, later to be rounded. There is a sort of lip to the edge of the breast beam which will be formed from this strip.
The deck planking will butt up to the athwartships plank.
The 1mm square section strip is now fayed back into the beam strip and rounded down on the aft side to meet a strip of half round styrene. A channel is filed into the edges to allow the water to run down onto the Upper deck and away thro’ the scuppers.

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The actual deck planking will take a little working out.
A margin plank is required and the deck planking at this time period is not joggled into the margin but is tapered and scarphed. Should be an interesting exercise, one I’ve yet to get my head around. x3x

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This then is the initial modification to the Foc’sle deck. Still not able to finally fit the deck and fittings until I am clear in my mind how to sort the Foc’sle guns and for that matter those beneath the Quarterdeck.
When to fit the ‘hidden’ guns seems pivotal to the whole bally build.
I don’t want to simply push them thro’ the gun ports in retrospect securing them with a blob of ca, but I can’t have them properly fixed whilst the hull is still being turned about not least for any coppering.
Life is so much simpler doing an oob build :roll:

 

B.E.

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Elm Tree Pumps
Returning to the Main Mast area of the Upper deck the holes were drilled for the Elm tree pump tubing which was then inserted and glued down tho’ the lower deck.

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This is a good time to sort the pumps out before the area gets too cluttered with other fittings.
Swans had two Elm tree pumps just forward of the Main Mast and slightly aft of the Bitts.

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The Walnut dowel supplied with the kit will not be used for the masts, I just use stump pieces to align the holes.
With Walnut the masts have to be painted Yellow Ochre, too strong a colour for the Boxwood finish I am using, so Lime -wood dowel will be used instead.
This can be varnished to a more sympathetic tone.

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In their wisdom Amati decided not to supply the makings for these pumps or indeed mention them at all.
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Fortunately Jotika make a 1:64 scale set from brass etch (part No 87160) that will just fit the bill.
So many aftermarket pump kits are way out of scale having yokes and brakes that are far too heavy.
The yokes and Brake handles are brass etch and the trunks are fashioned from some 4mm dowel. The base is cut at an angle to allow the trunks to slant outwards in line with the tubing that converges to the bilges at the centre line of the ship.
Pictured in a raw state here I am going to try dunking the assembled pump in metal black to see how well it covers and whether it will affect the cyano used to glue the bits together.
The problem with blacking small bits like this is that much of it is rubbed off when handling.

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The trunks are quite small affairs being only 8mm high with a 23mm brake handle length.
The Gallows atop the bitts shown in this photo is another area where some modification may be required.
The dimensions do not accord with the Swan book, and the shape is not one I am familiar with although it does have a certain practicality for storing spars and the boat.

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This shot shows the relative position of the pumps to the Bitts and mast.
With the tubing cut to protrude slightly above decks it will be a simple matter to fix the pumps later in the build when risk of damage to these delicate items is less likely.
A small enhancement to the kit but one that is easily made.

 

B.E.

 
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The Quarterdeck Upper Capstan.
I don’t know how true the kit Capstan representation is, but on my
Pegasus I have modified it to reflect the model shown in the Swan Books.
Firstly the whelps:
There are too many of these around the central spindle and they are too thin.

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Six are required and by gluing two whelps together a more realistic size is achieved. (I had to fabricate a couple of extra whelps from spare walnut sheet)
Fitted towards the top and bottom of the Capstan and between the whelps are the Chocks. (Amati simply have a ring fitted around the bottom of the Capstan.)

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The chocks are made from some walnut strip shaped to fit between the whelps.
An interesting feature of these chocks is that the upper ones are convex in their outer profile, and the bottom ones concave.
Around the top of the drum head is fitted an iron plate, here represented by a card circle, and the domed central top is from the central cut out from the walnut rings used in making the drumhead.
The two Capstans are now aligned and connected as they should be, or at least will be once the Quarterdeck is installed.

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This is a fairly simple modification to make requiring only a bit of dowel and a recess cut in the deck beam.
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Another fitting connected with the Capstan is the Capstan Partners, a platform on which the Capstan sits and which has the pawls fitted. This does not feature in the Kit.
This again can’t be fitted until the QD is installed and planked. The Partners need to be fitted level against the rise of the QD at 90 ⁰ to the capstan base.

 

B.E.

 

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That waterline business
This needs to be attended to before the build progresses.
I seemed to have trouble marking the waterline, it required several goes with much rubbing out and muttering before I thought I was anywhere near. XNUTSX
Getting the model square in both horizontal and vertical planes and keeping it there I found quite tricky. In the end I marked the line with the model in the keel clamp, backed up against a wall to stop the base moving whilst the line marker was run around it first one side then the other.

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There was no mention on the plan of any drag on the stern so I went with the keel set square and horizontal.
The plan shows the waterline about 1mm below the wale midships but I didn’t want the Elmwood batten atop the copper line rubbing up against the wale.
Yes I have made the decision, Pegasus will be coppered. XALRIGHTX
To this end a strip of 2mm wide evergreen was taped below the wale midships beneath which the marking line was begun.

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Having pencilled the line in, I then used Vinyl lining strip to tape on the line to more clearly see the run of the waterline.
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This shot also shows the lower counter rail I am working on.
The lining strip also has the advantage that minor adjustments can be made to the line.
In this respect I am thinking of the optical illusion of sag at the bow and stern which may require the strip lifting slightly in those areas to present a ‘straight’ line when viewed from the broadside.

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Once I was fairly satisfied with the line the strip was replaced with Tamiya tape which will remain on the model until the coppering is complete.
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I suspect that I will be looking critically at the line right up until the plates are getting close, but now I can work out my plating strategy and begin...

B.E.

 
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Copper sheathing
I quite like the supplied copper, thinner, and a great improvement over that supplied with Jotika kits which is much thicker with over-scale domed rivet heads.
The copper comes in sheets which easily fold and separate into single plates.

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Before I divided the sheets they were cleaned with white vinegar, rinsed and dried.
From this point on they will only be handled when wearing surgical gloves, I hope to minimise finger prints and smearing on the copper plates.
My intention with Pegasus is to leave the plates to tarnish naturally, hopefully to an even dull brownish finish.

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The supplied plates are ‘handed’ –separate sets for port and starboard – must concentrate to ensure I fit them all the right way up.
I think the plates are designed to butt up against each other rather than overlap, and that accounts for the particular nail pattern which only runs around two sides of each plate.
To accurately plate using the overlap method on naval ships, the upper edge of a lower plate overlapped the lower edge of the plate above it. This presents a far more difficult job when plating a naval model rather than a merchant ship where (more logically I think) the lower edge of the upper plate overlapped the one below.
I can imagine it being very difficult to avoid glue marks trying this method.
In both cases the overlaps also ran forward on the narrow side each overlapping the preceding plate. This is not such a problem.
The coppering will begin at the stern keel and run forwards and upwards each successive strake staggered brick fashion.
I’m going for a butt method rather than overlap, the plates good as they are are in any case overscale in terms of thickness, even the nail heads are more visible than they should be in reality.

See this close-up of the plating on Trincomalee.
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So the plating has begun

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and will now continue ad nauseam to completion.
The shiny areas on the copper are where I have cleaned the plates as I go along using acetone and fine steel wool to remove ca.
One of the problems when I coppered my
Pickle was the excess glue I failed to remove that eventually showed itself when I began to ‘weather’ the plates, and took some considerable effort to get rid of.
I am being far more proactive in cleaning this time around hopefully to reduce the problem.

 

Plating of the cutwater will be left until the other side is completed, and I have worked out how to finish this area.
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Standard modelling practice would be to run plates vertically up the face of the cutwater and butt the side plates to it.
Strictly they should be folded around the cutwater and slightly overlap where the hull and cutwater meet.

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I am fairly satisfied with the plating at the waterline, no gaps and with a fair run along the hull. Application of the elm batten will complete the effect and protect the fine slivers at the top line which are very prone to snagging.

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It is impossible to complete the plating without getting surface marks from the ca, so the whole area has been cleaned with acetone and fine steel wool, followed by a wipe with white vinegar.

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The plates are then covered with cling film to keep finger marks off them.
I am fairly careless in my use of plates, a slightly misplaced plate meant removal and relegation to the ‘seconds’ pile. Even so I have over 100 pristine plates left over from the starboard side, so Amati have not scrimped on the plate supply.
Onto the Port side

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At the bows I cut the plates into the point where the stem meets the hull and overlapped the stem plates onto the hull by a scale 3”

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More authentic, but I’m not sure at model scale whether a neat cut into the two joins would have looked better.
The plates that run up face of the knee barely allow for an overlap so the arrangement doesn’t really apply.

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In reality the plates folded between the keel and false keel. To replicate this I added an ebony strip along the keel base to represent the False keel.

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The top copper line is fairly straight but is much improved by the addition of the 3” Elm batten (1mm square boxwood strip reduced in thickness to 0.6mm)
Applying this is a little tricky but it went on better than I had feared, thick ca and a damp strip eased the operation.

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Not snapping the batten where it meets the stern post is a main concern but liberal amounts of water to further soften it, and teasing it around the sharp join did the trick without mishap.
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I will now complete and fit the rudder to finally finish work in the copper area, before the copper is given a final polish with acetone and steel wool and cleaned with white vinegar.
I can then get on with the build parts that really interest me, fitting out and finishing off the hull.

B.E.

 
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Looking at the Rudder
Not too bad a shape as provided in the kit but it is rather blocky and could do with a little fettlin’ to improve the finished article.
I have already touched on the bearding applied to the inner edge of the rudder to allow for turning; some taper now needs to be applied in the north south line to match the taper put on the stern post prior to hull planking.
The rudder is fitted to allow marking of the waterline and position of the pintles.
The rudder requires plating up to the waterline including the inner face which contains the Pintle pins. For this area I have opted to use thinner copper tape rather than the provided plates.
I am somewhat at odds with the plan for coppering the Rudder which shows the brick pattern as used on the hull.
In practise there seems no need to adopt this arrangement as the plates are sufficiently long to cover the side of the rudder including the return around the aft face.
I have gone with single plates along each side.
Applying the Pintle straps is another exercise that requires some thought.
Little Brass etched jobs are supplied for the purpose , but they are not fixed in a horizontal line across the rudder but have a slight downwards line, but parallel to each other.

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To assist getting it right, tape is applied to the top of each strap line and the rudder held in position to check it looks ok to the eye.
Once satisfied the straps are ca’d into place. These straps will be coloured to reflect the alloyed metal used over the copper plates to prevent electrolytic reaction that would otherwise take place with iron straps.
The two straps that are above the waterline are presented as iron and blackened.
With the Pintle straps in place the holes can be drilled and the pins* fitted that will go thro’ the Gudgeon eyes.
*The lowest pin should be somewhat longer than the others to allow for proper shipping of the rudder.
The position of the Gudgeon eyes (represented by copper eyebolts) on the stern post can be marked with the rudder held temporarily in place. I fit them progressively making small adjustments as I go.
The aim is to get the rudder as close to the stern post as possible whilst still allowing for some turn.

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Once satisfied the Gudgeon rings are placed thro’ the gudgeon straps and ca’d to the face of the stern post.
The straps are then glued to the hull ensuring that they follow the same line as the Pintle straps.
The screws for the straps are represented by copper wire, I use the ends of copper eyebolts – it shortens them only a little.
The Rudder is hung so that its sole is just above the level of the False Keel.

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In deciding the colour of the Pintle and Gudgeon straps I need to bear in mind the eventual patina of the copper plating.
Metallic Bronze paint with a touch of matt rust brown added gives the shade I am seeking.

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One item of iron work not mentioned or provided in the kit is the Spectacle Plate which fits just below the Hance on the Rudder.
This is fairly easily made using a length of brass fret surround and a couple of brass etched eyelets.

A few more general shots of the completed assembly

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The copper can now be given a final clean before I move on.

B.E.

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Time for a little gun blacking.

I need to black those ‘hidden’ guns that will fit beneath the Fore and Quarterdecks.
I use Carrs Metal Black for Brass.
The barrels were thoroughly cleaned with liquid soap, scrubbed, and well rinsed.
They were then put into a container with neat Acetone and further scrubbed.
Rinsed under running water and then dipped into de-ionised water for a final rinse before drying.
The guns were suspended and swished about in a solution of Carrs diluted with 30% de-ionsised water for about 90 seconds in which time they turned solid black.
Rinsed again, they were then dried off with a hairdryer and buffed up with a paper towel.
This is the result

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An unbuffed gun is on the left
A further dip in the solution deepens the colour.

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Not quite there yet but coming along and the results so far give me confidence that a good finish can be achieved without resorting to paint.
 

The surface of my previously blackened guns proved insufficiently stable to maintain an even dull black finish. Even with careful handling some rubbed off giving a patchy effect.
A further clean and scrub in acetone, a rinse in de-ionised water, dry, and then immersion and swishing in diluted Metal black for brass for a minute or so resulted in an even matt black finish.
A sample gun was coated in Carr’s Electroflux, a clear lacquer which is supposed to prevent metal black patinas from being rubbed away.
The lacquer went on by brush without disturbing the surface and resulted in a denser black finish albeit one with a sheen to it.

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This would no doubt help protect the patina but the finish was too shiny for my taste.

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These are the various trial stages I went thro’.
1) Basic blackened gun (paler than in reality)
2) Gun buffed up – not a displeasing result, metallic in appearance but lacks a depth of colour.
3) The lacquer coated gun
4) Gun coated with Admiralty matt varnish; again no disturbance to the surface in application and a deep black matt finish resulting.
This was the option I decided upon.
The first gun is fixed in position beneath the Fo’cstle, the cap squares were super-glued into position and the Capsquare joint bolts and eye bolts fitted.

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These were represented by modified eye bolts.
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The breeching rope of 0.7mm (JB models) hemp line was ‘spliced’ around the button fed thro’ the breeching ring bolts on the carriage and secured to the bulwark.
I was pleased with the way the line draped naturally around the gun, no coercion was needed to persuade it to hold its position.

 

Note: the strange beetroot colour is the result of taking the photos on my desk using an ordinary 60w opal bulb. (My 150w daylight bulb blew up yesterday)
Because the carriages for the ‘hidden’ guns are fixed it proved a little trickier to fit the barrel, life will be easier doing the ‘show’ guns as they can be fitted off the model.
Having six ‘hidden’ guns to work with at least allows the fitting skill to be honed and a strategy to be formulated.
More enhancements and detailing will be applied to the ‘show’ guns.

 

By diverse means I have obtained some brass etched GR monograms to tart up the six pounder barrels.
These are incredibly tiny things, in fact it is difficult to see which way up they should be when applied to the gun. Even under close magnification it is difficult to make out the GR and the crown is just about discernible.
The etching is oval in shape and badge like with a rim around the edge which doesn’t really look authentic.
The main value of adding the monogram will be giving an impression of something that should be there, and the purpose of this post is to record the results of my test.
I am interested to find out how well it sticks to the barrel and what effect the blackening process has on the ca. and vice versa.
The barrel is first chemically cleaned and the monogram is applied with ca. Quite tricky getting the position correct between the trunnions.

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Don’t even think I have got this one the right way up, but it will do for the test.
To reduce the badge effect a needle file is used to shape the edges into the round of the barrel.
The other addition to the gun is a vent with the touch hole.
I thought about using brass strip for this but it proved very difficult to drill the necessary hole in strip of the required dimension
I therefore tried some 0.25 x 0.75mm styrene strip. Easy to work and worth a punt for the purposes of the test.
So this is the gun prior to blackening.

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Another dip in the neutralising agent and then into the black for brass.
Evidence of ca contamination can be seen.

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Further scrubbing and a touch of acetone on the affected area* and the cover comes good.
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*Slightly risky operation given the effect of acetone on ca.

I am pleased to see that with scrubbing and dipping the vent has held good as has the monogram.
A touch of matt black paint will blend the vent in.
A buff up and this is the effect.

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Better than I had hoped and the vent has held.
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So are the additions worth the effort.
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I think so.

B.E.

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The final eight Guns–Tarting up and blackening.
I trialled gun blackening further back in the log but I will detail the final procedure I adopted here.
Firstly all the required potions are gathered together.

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Attaching the ciphers.
The area is cleaned using an acid dip and neutralising rinse.
The gun is set in a blue tack mould to secure it and the cipher is applied using ca.
The ciphers are exceedingly small, and can only be checked for proper orientation under high magnification.

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The crown and if you squint the GR can just about be made out.

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A spot of ca is applied to the gun in the required place and the cipher is pressed down using a simple jig with a concave end to match the round of the gun.
The primary aim is to limit any ca spread that will need removing before the blackening is done.
Needle files are then used to blend the edges into the gun, this has the added benefit of winkling out those ciphers with a weak bond. I had a 1 in 8 failure.

 

The vents.
For these I have used 0.25mm x 0.75mm styrene strip, again fixed with ca. The vent is drilled out using a 0.3mm drill.

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The vents are in place and the cipher edges have been softened into the barrel.

The area is now very carefully cleaned around the ciphers and vents to remove any stray ca. which would ruin the blackening effect.
Acetone on fine wire wool is used for this purpose. I am careful not to let the acetone seep around the glued area as it is a debonding agent for ca.


Preparation for Blackening.
From this point on the guns will only be handled wearing surgical gloves.
First an acid dip and scrub to clean the gun, followed by a dip in a Neutralising rinse.
The guns are then dipped in Carrs Blackening for Brass diluted by 30% with de-ionised water until the desired depth of colour is achieved. This took some 30 seconds in my case.
The guns are then rinsed again in de-ionised water before being blow dried with a hair dryer.
The end result showed up small areas of contamination (ca) on all the guns.

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These are then further cleaned with acetone before repeating the cleaning process, and re-blacking the guns.

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Here’s the evenly blackened guns, awaiting the final sealing process and attachment to the trucks.
 

Finishing of the guns
Before deciding on the final finish I once again experimented with different sealing types.
I settled on an unbuffed surface sealed with Humbrol Mattcote.
This is the result.

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The guns are now ready to be seated on the carriages.

B.E.
 

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Next up is to check the alignment of the gun on the deck and fix the securing pins that will hold the carriages in position thro’ the carriage bed.
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The guns are then trialled on the deck to check the alignment in the ports.
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The Vents and the ciphers do show up reasonably well.
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There seems to be a fair run along the broadside

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The aim is to get the gun muzzles central in the port, so that theoretically both elevation and depression would be possible.

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Dressing the Guns.
The guns have already been enhanced by replacing the Amati generic stuff with RB models brass barrels, adding ciphers and vents, and replacing the kit wheels with aftermarket Amati stuff.
The kit does provide brass etched capsquares that are supposed to be fixed to the carriages with brass pins.
Fair enough but it is possible to do better than that and further enhance the effect by replicating the Joint bolts and eyebolts that should properly fasten these items.
The Joint bolts, at the aft end of the capsquare, effectively a hinge mechanism, are formed from a small eyebolt. The capsquare eyebolt (at the fore end) is fashioned from brass etched eyelets.
The Key and Chain that lock the capsquare in place thro’ the eyebolt present a problem – finding chain small enough. The finest chain I had is 27 links to the inch which is way over scale; I did find some 42 links to the inch chain from Jotika that just about fit the bill.

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Untrimmed chain at this point.

Time consuming exercise dressing the guns, attaching the chain to the eyebolt, the eyebolt to the capsquare, and the chain to the carriage, trimming it down to the number of links required, is a testy business.


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There are aspects of a 1:64 build that are still quite bijou.

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So here is the completed set, a full weeks’ job on only eight, thankfully I am not building a ship of the Line.
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Still the rigging to be done but that’s another story.

 

B.E.

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Swivel Guns

Thinking about ½ pounder swivels.
The ½ pounder swivel gun is three feet in length equating to 15mm at scale.
The provided kit swivel guns are integrally moulded affairs with the yokes, and are not quite the right shape. They are slightly over-scale and too thin at the muzzle.
Another example of generic Amati fittings creeping into a specific kit.
I have replaced them with 15mm turned brass barrels from JB Models. These match the replacement main armament six pounders and are spot on for scale.

Here then is a comparison between the prototype replacement and the kit provided gun.
 

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The Amati version looks more like something out of the 17th century and the moulding does not bear close scrutiny.
The JB version is a perfectly formed little gun and a great improvement on the cast Amati offering which can be seen does not stand up well to the macro eye.

Disgraceful really and not worthy of the kit, but for very little expenditure and a little more effort, the build can be so much improved.

I invested in some 15mm turned brass barrels from JB Models. These match the replacement main armament six pounders and are spot on for scale and at a replacement cost of £4 well worth the investment.

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The makings of a swivel gun.
To form the yokes I originally used fine copper eyebolts flattened on the anvil and super-glued into a length of 1.56mm diameter brass tubing which represents the pivot.
The prong on the cascobal was also made from partly flattened fine copper eyebolts. These had a grip that could be slipped onto the end of the prong when the gun was being used.

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This time around I didn’t seem to have much success with the copper eyebolts (too flimsy) so scratching around for an alternative I lighted upon these little fellows.

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Brass etched hooks.
Not an immediate candidate I admit but the eyes were exactly the right diameter and the hook part once straightened out allowed for the shaped stem to be formed into the yoke.

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Much more robust to stand up to the rigours of final finishing.
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The fitted swivel, the trunnions still have to be trimmed at this stage.

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At the scale size involved which is quite small this is a satisfactory method of producing these items without recourse to soldering or drilling of brass section.
The swivels now need to be trimmed and cleaned up prior to blackening and final fitting into the swivel mounts already fitted to the hull of Pegasus.

 

The swivels are now blackened, I used the same procedure as I did with the six pounders.

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On some swivels I have attached the prong onto which the grip is fitted when required.
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I am quite pleased with the way they have turned out. 

B.E.

 

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Beneath the Foc'sle (Part 1)

The Foc’sle guns are  fitted and the Riding Bitts and Galley Stove are put into place.

 

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The Riding Bitts could use a little chamfering of the cross piece which is not bad to scale for this item. I ran a pin thro’ the back of the uprights into the crosspiece to give a little more strength.

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The cross piece also had a separate facing nailed onto the aft side, this I have represented with a scribed line and slightly different colour.
Side tackles have been fitted to the aft side of the Foc’sle guns as they are visible beneath the deck.

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I am keen that they should not look over-scale, the generic Amati 2mm blocks are a tad large, but the smaller JB blocks are the very devil to strop and include a hook in the end made from an eyebolt, to attach to the bulwark ring bolt.

The starboard gun tackle I rigged with hooks made from blackened eyebolts and the strops from 0.25mm line.
There has been a high attrition rate in drilling the holes to take the hooks.
The port gun I stropped the blocks with copper wire and formed a hook out of the tail.
Not sure which way I will go with the ‘show’ guns, but the scale is spot on and hopefully by the time I get to them I will have it right.
My instinct is to frap the tackles as in the two above; I’m not really a fan of those pretty little coils, but I will probably include a couple to show the difference.

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The Galley chimney here in its raw state will be refined by the addition of the baffle plate and fittings.
Note I have recessed the deck beam where the steam grating will fit.
I have decided not the fit the Foc’sle bulkhead screen preferring to see a glimpse of the stove and Foc’sle guns.

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The screen was in any case removable, but I have fitted the cants on the deck which held it in place. To get the correct location I still had to make a mock-up of the screen.
Note the curve to the Hatch grating, a simple modification but one that improves the look of naval models of this period.

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The cants were only tacked to the deck so that they could be easily removed if necessary.

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I had done this before I decided to modify the Foc'sle detail, which is the subject of the next post.

In retrospect it would have been easier to do the modification first.

 

B.E.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Beneath the Foc'sle (Part 2)

This is a little modification that can be done by those who may be technically challenged (me) yet are concerned about what just may be glimpsed thro’ the foremost ports beneath the Foc’sle. It may also appeal to those who are reluctant to weaken the deck support system, or get too involved in serious modification at the bows (me)

Firstly, the solid false keel extension piece between the Foremast lug and the bowsprit step is converted into a beam and pillar arrangement by removal of the solid centre.

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This allows light to pass from one side of the ship to the other thro’ the foremost (Bridle) ports.
Next a section of dowel which represents the continuance of the bowsprit to what would be the chock and step, is cut to the stive and fitted in the available space.

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This can be seen thro’ the Bridle ports where a gun is not situated, but cannot be detected as being separate to the actual bowsprit.

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Once the legs of the Fore Topsail sheet Bitts are in place they form what would be in reality the angled uprights of the bowsprit step.
This is completed by the addition of the Bowsprit step chocks.

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With the Bitt uprights in place, the set up is complete.
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Next the Manger boards and the related deck cants.
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Are also seen thro’ the ports, and are cut to meet up with the second bulkhead frame.

The final modification is of the Fore Jeer bitt uprights.
In the kit these travel thro’ the Foc’sle deck to seat in the upper deck, just forward of the Galley stove and abaft the Foremast.
In reality they should be pinned to the Fo’csle deck beams, this frees up a very crowded area on the Upper deck and gives more space to work the stove.

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The modification involves fixing short sections of brass square section tubing beneath the Fore deck into which the Bitt legs can be glued. The arrangement is formed into a deck beam.
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With a tight fit and strong glue the bitts should hold against any pull of the rigging.

All of this of course is totally unnecessary in the overall scheme of things but.......
you never know who you may find peering thro’ that open port.

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Hi Daniel.

And this does provide tantalising little glimpses of what one would expect to see without revealing the sham nature of the modification.

So what does lie beneath..

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Thro’ the port side bridle port a fair amount of detail can be identified.
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The Bowsprit is clearly in view here, along with the manger boarding.
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Here the manger boarding and bowsprit step are evident from this shot taken beneath the Foc’sle deck.
One modification that I didn't do, but wish I had, was to modify the Bridle port. On the kit the port is the same size as the other gunports, but it should be somewgat narrower.

B.E.

 
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Making a start on the Foc’sle deck

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The planking roughed out here on the false deck.
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Margin planks made.
 

The trials and tribulations of Eighteenth Century deck planking.
Planking the Foc’sle.
Firstly the waterway/margin plank is fitted, slight inconsistencies where it meets the bulwark will be covered by the bulwark inner planking.

Rather than just plank the deck in straight lines and either trim to fit or joggle into the margin, I thought I would follow the arrangement in the Swan book where curved and tapered planks were used once past the impediments of the hatches, gratings etc; and around the edges where hooded planks were fitted to meet the margin.
I seem to recall reading something about the shaping of deck planks before the use of joggling, but I’m damned if I can find it now, but apparently Pegasus had this arrangement in 1776.
The deck will not need any butts as the overall length is within the scale plank lengths. That’s the good news.
The planking scheme looked interesting but I didn’t have a clear idea of how it should be done, so it was a case of trial and error, mostly error with me.
To do this sort of planking wider boards are necessary to cut the hooded planks and shape the plank curves
I did start to use the standard 3.4mm planks with taper but I didn’t like the effect and ripped them all off. Plan A binned. x17x

A template pattern was made of the first plank past the central impediments, this was curved on one side only; and one of the following planks which were concave on the inner side and convex on the outer.

From these the pattern was drawn onto the plank material. Two adjoining planks were cut at the same time with a central join – in the hope this would afford a tight join when they were abutted on the deck.

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After a day fitting all the planks when I got to the hooded planks it was evident that an awkward little space would be left along the margin, and some of the planks looked too wide, so.... off they all came again. Plan B binned. x38x
Onto Plan C..
Back to the 3.4mm planks with each one being individually shaped to the curve. In practise not a huge degree of curve is necessary.
There are only twenty planks involved, but I must have cut around thirty-five to get the fit including one hooded plank which took five attempts because the fine point kept breaking off just as I slipped it into place. XNUTSX

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But with perseverance I got the set of three hooded planks in place with a final filler of reasonable proportions.
Each plank was glued with pva and wedged in place and held under weight until set sufficiently for me to set the next plank.

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The inward curve of the planking can be seen in this shot.
After some scraping the deck begins to clean up.

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I think the topsail sheet Bitts will need a little modification, can’t recall seeing mini standards on the fore side of those bitts on contemporary models.
Both sets of Bitts will need sheaves cut into the uprights, and additional cheek block fixed to the outside.
Next up will be cleaning up the margin plank, fitting the steam gratings, and fixing the inner bulwarks.
The bulwark will consist of 1.5mm thick lime wood faced with 0.6mm thick boxwood.

B.E.

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Finishing off the Fo’csle
There is a certain awkwardness to the inner bulwark due to its low and tapering almost to nothing profile.
To bring it up to the same thickness as along the waist 1.5mm lime wood is used. I have fitted this as one continuous strip around the bows.

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This entailed soaking and bending the strip around a suitable profile and leaving it for twenty-four hours.
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With the basic shape achieved it was glued using ca and sanded back to the exterior bulwark level.
The timber was then faced up using 0.6mm thick boxwood strip pre –painted before fixing.

Fore Topsail and Jeer Bitts.
These have been modified a little, the slight flare into a mini standard at the foot of the bitts has been removed, and cheek blocks have been added to the outside of the uprights, and similarly to the Jeer Bitts.
Sheaves have also been let into the Bitt uprights, for this the drill stand had to come out to ensure vertical holes.

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I rather feel the cross pieces are a tad short so this will be replaced.
The steam gratings.
Tiny little things these, could really have done with a finer grating set but they don’t look too bad once curved to shape.

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One additional item I have taken from the Swan book is the bowsprit Partner.
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The gratings are fixed but the Bitts will not be put into place until later.

 

B.E.


 

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The Foc’sle Rail and Belfry

This requires a critical look.
The main issue I have is that the kit double rails run parallel into the Belfry sides and don’t have the proper cradle next to the Belfry to take the ends of the spare topmasts. The heel end sits on the Gallows just aft of the Main Hatch, and the arrangement supports the Ships boats.
With the kit arrangement the forward end of the topmasts rest on top of the rail which is not very authentic.
The kit stanchions that fit thro’ the rail are represented by 1.5mm sq walnut strip that need beefing up to 1.8mm sq.
I used a boxwood alternative which allows for sheaves to be cut and a decent shaped top to be formed.

 

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The Walnut kit stanchions are in front of the assembly, the Headstock is in the original kit position.
This involves making the cradle to fit between the Belfry and the inner stanchion. The top rail at this stage has to be cut.

Before final trimming the cradle height has to be checked for level against the Gallows.

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Belfry
This is one of the feature items of the model, It is a fairly plain affair which is ok but a little additional detailing won’t go amiss.
I’m not too sure about the proportions, if anything the Belfry is too tall by several mm, they were quite small features.
Within the Belfry the Headstock looks too high above the deck. The bell should really hang quite low within the Belfry. A slight problem is that the headstock fits into pre cut mortises in the side uprights which limits modification of the original part.
After some faffing about I ditched the kit parts and scratched new uprights. The headstock was modified and set lower down. The head of the bell was slightly changed and the strap that held the bell to the headstock was fitted.
Cleats were added to the uprights to belay the Fore T’gallant braces.
With the canopy roof I took a little artistic licence. It should be covered in lead but I funded a more expensive copper covering.

So here are the modified Belfry parts.

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The headstock is in the lower modified position here.

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The coppered roof in place.
Before final fixing the underside of the assembly will require shaping to meet the deck camber.

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Trial fit of spare masts from the Gallows.
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The Gallows are not too far out for height, but I’m not too sure about either the shape or width, but that’s a problem I can defer for the present.
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All these parts will now be disassembled and stored for later fitting.

 

The modified rail is quite tricky to fit  which has to follow the camber of the deck, whilst keeping the Belfry uprights vertical.

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To achieve this I pinned and glued the rail close to the belfry whilst using a spacer block to keep the uprights vertical. The outer part of the rail was then clamped until the glue set.

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Finishing off the Galley Chimney Cowl.
I made this out of brass tubing and it passes thro’ the deck to join with the stove below.

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0.6mmø micro tubing was used to form the baffle slide housing and 0.3mmø tubing for the Baffle plate slide.
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The handles were made from some brass etched fret I had lying around.
The Baffle plate was punched out of some thin styrene sheet.
The cowl was chemically blackened, for the moment I have not buffed it up.


Fore Jeer Bitts.
These sit aft of the Foremast and are identified by the standards which support the uprights on the aft side.
Immediately a discrepancy, the kit cross piece is scored to fit in the aft side of the uprights, whereas the ffm shows it on the fore side.
Looking thro’ all my books it appears that the cross pieces are sometimes fore and sometimes aft but mostly matched as a pair. I can’t find any definitive answer as to why, or whether it was period thing.

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The problem with the Pegasus kit as opposed to the ffm is also that there is no room on the forward side to fit the cross piece without inhibiting the tackles for the Main Topmast and Preventer stays.
So for practical purposes I have gone with the kit arrangement.

 

Fore Topsail sheet Bitts.
These sit forward of the mast and apart from adding cheek sheaves I also removed the mini standards which don’t seem to appear in any of my reference books.

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The cross pieces to the bitts were fashioned from boxwood glued into place and then fixed with a pin thro’ to the bitt upright.

B.E.
 

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I am now moving onto the Quarterdeck but before I do the hidden guns need to be fixed.
Four guns are fitted beneath the Quarterdeck, although pierced for sixteen guns Pegasus carried only fourteen.

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A tad tricky seizing the breeching ropes in this position.
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For these guns I have only fixed a side tackle on the side that may just be visible beneath the Quarterdeck.

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The blocks are stropped with 34 gauge copper wire, the extension of which forms the hooks that connect to the carriage and bulwark hoops.
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The guns are held in position by a pin thro’ the carriage bed into the deck.
I still haven’t decided whether to strop the ‘show’ guns with line and separate hooks, or go the wire way.

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Need to be careful now with four muzzles protruding from the broadside.

Note the uniform of my Marine, not the Round Hat and short Coatee of the Trafalgar era.
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I can now proceed to fixing the Quarterdeck and begin the intricate planking pattern which involves both tapering and hooking, scale plank lengths, and a four butt shift. x8x

B.E.

 

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Preparing for the Quarterdeck
A couple of little jobs to do before the false QD can be fitted.
The main Jeer Bitt uprights need to be put into place, they support the QD breast beam.
A little conflicting information here.
The kit plans show the jeer bitts cross piece fixed to the forward side of the uprights, whereas the ffm books indicate it is attached to the aft side; except that on the rigging plan in Volume 1V it is shown on the fore side. XCONFUSEDX

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From a practical point of view on the Pegasus kit the fore side is better as on the aft side the jeer belay would foul the QD breast beam.
Even so the pump covers are very close to the cross piece making access difficult.
Cheek block have also been fitted to the outside of the uprights.
A couple of small additions to the uprights are the Rhodings for aft crank handles of the pumps. On the kit the cranks don’t extend beyond the pump heads.
In reality the cranks should extend to be fitted in pillars further beneath the QD but which with the kit layout can’t be fitted in.

 

Finally the Quarterdeck support beam is faced with boxwood, and will also have a moulding attached a little later. This facing is allowed to rise above the false deck level to hide the false deck edge.

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Before the QD goes in I fix some strip beneath the false deck to represent the carlings etc and give depth to the hatchways etc.
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The representation of the breast beam is also fixed across the fore end of the false QD. and the King plank is put into place.
This is needed at this stage as from this point the deck planking stagger will be measured.

 

The Quarterdeck is fixed and Planking commences.
Unless you follow the basic route and plank in straight lines to the deck edges, the Quarterdeck planking presents an interesting little exercise.

I will be using 120mm long planks (25’ at scale) with 30mm (6’) shift between adjoining plank butts.
A three butt shift pattern will be used, that is three plank widths between butts.
A king plank of 12” wide will run down the centre of the deck.
A margin plank will be fitted and hook planks will abutt the margin.
Outside of the centre line impediments 3.4mm planks tapering to 2.8mm will run to meet the hook planks.

 

Well that’s the theory.
To get some idea of the layout a drawing has to be made to get an idea of how the planks work out.

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A centre line is drawn and parallel lines at 30mm apart to mark the position of the adjoin butt shifts.
These lines are transferred to the false QD as a guide for planking.

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I have fitted the King plank before fixing the false Qtr Deck.
With the False Deck fixed the bulkhead tabs can be removed.

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The Veener saw is so useful for this type of job.
 

Planking can now commence.
I start by filling in with 3.4mm planks until I am clear of the centre line hatches etc. These are parallel to the King Plank.

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The first full length plank is 120mm and stretches from the breast beam to line 4 on the deck. (120mm) Matching planks both port and starboard are fitted.
From this point on the planks are given taper.
To get a balanced run of butts the sequence of 1.3.2.4.1.3.2.4.1 etc; is used. The athwartship lines give the shift pattern and starting point for each successive plank.

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On the port side the next full plank will start in sequence to the right of line 4, at line I, then line 3 and so on.
The starboard side will mirror the port pattern.
The stern gallery is temporarily fitted to give a line to butt the planks to. There is a small gap between the fd end and the gallery.
Here the centre line planks have been fitted, and on each side the first full length tapered planks.
The divide into two planks was made after tapering to ensure a clean run and butt.
Next the Margin planks are fitted, not too problematical with only a gentle curve. 6mm strip was used for the Margins but the inside bulwark planking will reduce this to 4mm.
I am now left with a space of 9.9mm at the forward end and 32.9mm at the stern.
At this point there will be more than a little trial and error as I try to balance the remaining plank widths out.

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The first hook plank is fitted.
The Tamiya tape pattern for the next can be seen.
Once the first hook plank is in the pattern is largely set, the main concern is then hoping that a small gap is not left at the end.

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The process continues and the first four butt shift butt can be seen level with plank one.
Small adjustments can be made in the plank widths as laying proceeds, but overall scale has to be born in mind.

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I am now left with a final space that thankfully is of acceptable size.
The spile plank pattern is cut.

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And the final plank is put into place.
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The curvature of the planks can be seen here.
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The Port side decking completed.
I seem to have ended up with three more hook planks than shown on the ffm plan, but I can’t see how I could have done it differently without having over-scale wider planks .
The Treenails have got to be marked and the deck scraped to its final finish.
The margin Plank will be reduced in width once the inner bulwark planking is fitted.
Onto completion....

B.E.

 



 

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Quarterdeck bulwarks
Sooner or later in any pob build a point is reached where things just don’t seem to fit quite right.
In my case that point was reached when fitting the Quarterdeck inner bulwarks and accommodating the planksheer and capping rails.

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Previously pristine paintwork is now scarred as the bulwark is built up and the margin plank cut away to fit in the Planksheer at the break of the QD
The inner bulwarks were pre cut to meet the deck curvature and then faced up with boxwood strip . The inner facing was painted red ochre prior to fitting.

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With the QD bulwark now completed attention can return to cleaning up the deck planking before the fittings are added.

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The deck is scraped and the butt join treenails marked by the simple expediency of small drilled holes darkened with a lead pencil point.
At this scale at least I am not a fan of overtly marked treenails and prefer the subtle approach. For the same reason I do not mark the treenails along the planks where they would cross the theoretical deck beams.
In reality they would be barely seen at 1:64 scale, but the eye expects to see something, and the impression at the butts fulfils that expectation.
Up next are the centre line fittings.
The kit shows two small gratings in raised coamings positioned just forward of the Ladderway. These are the scuttles for the topropes; I have gone with solid planked flush fitting scuttle lids which I think would be the more likely arrangement.

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In this pic the scuttle lids, not yet bedded down flush with the deck can be seen. Just aft, the ladderway coamings and head ledges rise above the deck by only 2mm with a head ledge roundup of 0.8mm.
Behind the ladderway sit the partners for the Capstan. These are wedge shaped tapering aft to bring the surface level to the base of the capstan rather than follow the slope of the deck.
As with the lower capstan I have modified and beefed up the whelps and fitted the capstan on partners rather than the deck itself.

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The run of three gratings I am not happy with and these will be replaced.
There remains the question of the Companion lights.
The kit version is the familiar pitched roof style with opening lights whilst the ffm book suggests either another grating or a clerestory style companion.
I haven’t quite decided which version to go with but I will make a coaming into which either a grating or a clerestory light can be fitted.
When in doubt defer the decision. x3x

B.E.

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Quarterdeck Fittings

Coamings and Gratings.

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The companion coaming was made as a separate item and the leading head ledge was made to slot into the aft grating head ledge. A grating was also made to fit the companion (fall back position if my attempt at the clerestory lights failed.)

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Grating coamings in place and the Quarterdeck ladder fitted.

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Gratings in place, also the Toprope scuttles let into the deck just forward of the Companion.

 

According to the David Antscherl in the ffm book the familiar pitched roof skylight as provided in the kit was a later development.
Not fully convinced about this as the concept seems so simple, but I rather like the idea of an interchangeable grating or clerestory light, and besides I am usually up for anything that modifies a basic kit.
I rather suspect that the inclusion of the kit version was an Amati soft option.
My initial attempts at a clerestory light using timber strip were less than successful .The timber kept splitting at the small scale I am working, so  I reverted to styrene to make the four sides.

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Onwards....

B.E.

 

 

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