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Blue Ensign

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About Blue Ensign

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  • Gender
  • Location
    The Green Shires of England
  • Interests
    Eighteenth Century Naval History, ship modelling, wandering the Lakeland Fells, cocker spaniels, Golf, and too keen an interest in red wine.

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  1. You’re making a fine job of your pinnace Derek, it’s a great little kit, and I think your mini version is excellent, well done. B.E.
  2. Thank you Derek, microporous tape is also good for stuff like canvas hatch covers, subject to size limitations. Lots of domestic items find a home in my boatyard😉 B.E.
  3. Thanks Rusty, I sometimes wonder if I give too much information in the log, but I use the text as an aide memoire to myself, I still refer to my previous logs as I often can't remember how I did things.🙄 If others find this stuff of use all the better.😃 Cheers, B.E.
  4. Post 56 Build Part two – Masting and rigging Marking the seven month build stage of this fine little kit from Vanguard Models. 4373 The work bench is cleared of the detritus built-up over the past months in preparation for the second build stage. 4378 Ready to go now with the masting and rigging. B.E. 18/01/2020
  5. Post 55 Finishing off the mast. There are sheaves to be cut, cleats to be added, and the mast surface to be finished. Below the cheeks are the rigging stops; these are what the shrouds and other tackle sit on. The kit provides (4) etched cleats to perform this function, they are the same type as used on yard arms and look a little light weight to my eye. My concern is are they enough to stop slippage of the shrouds down the mast. The Alert Book shows what is called a rigging stop (iron hoop) to perform this function. It is very difficult to determine what was used from models as all the mast head tackle hides this support from view. 0115(2) I opted for a hoop style rigging stop and fitted this 44mm below the trestletrees which is some 5mm lower than the kit plan. I need to make sure that there is enough space to fit all the rigging between the stop and the cheeks. There are a dozen or more large diameter served lines seized around the masthead at this point. At the base of the mast 7’ above deck (kit dimensions) is the saddle to support the jaws of the boom. 0105 I remade this out of Boxwood to add a profile. I note that the Alert book drawings at 1:64 show the saddle only 5’4” above the deck (25mm) which barely clears the winch bitts. At deck level the kit provides an octagonal ‘mast base’ 0104 I built this up and covered it with microporous tape to represent the mast coat. 0113 The kit also provides an etched spider band placed below the saddle about 4’ above the deck. 0118 I’m not sure about this and I used cleats around the mast in preference. 5mm Boxwood cleats from Syren are spot on for the job. Main Boom I have already modified the jaws of the boom, but I preferred a stop cleat atop the boom for the sheet tackle. 0116(2) Lees suggests that up to 1818 a ferrule and eye were fitted to the end of the boom and a sheave cut in about six inches from the end. 0130(2) I adopted this arrangement rather than the kit set up. Gaff 0124 As with the boom, the jaws have been modified and in the case of the Gaff the inner face is angled somewhat to suit the angle of the Gaff in normal use. T’Gallant Mast 0121(2) Two small detail additions are made to this mast; eyebolts beneath the mast cap, and the top rope sheave at the mast heel. 0109 Apart from the black painted masthead area, wipe-on poly is used to seal and enrich the colour of the birch dowel mast. So, the full masting set is now complete, and the second build part can begin. Once the mast is in place keeping the model dust free becomes more of a problem, so at this point I have ordered the case. For a relatively small hull size the model case dimensions are quite large; Internally 750mm long x 555mm high x 280mm wide. This is not very much smaller than the case for Pegasus but is explained by the lofty rig and long Bowsprit of Alert. B.E. 17/01/2020
  6. At model scale I never use commercial black thread, it is far too stark. My approach is to use natural thread and dye it with dark Jacobean oak wood dye. It produces a far better scale effect and over time fades slightly, to even better effect. B.E.
  7. Post 54 Yards There are four yards to be made. T’gallant Yard, Topsail Yard, Square-sail Yard, and Spread-sail Yard. The kit follows the dimensions of the drawings in the Alert Book. There is a problem in correlating sizes to other sources as not all described yards are included. The Adm Plan only includes the Topsail Yard (4’ shorter) and the Square-sail Yard (2’ longer) I have decided to follow the yard dimensions as per the kit/Alert Book. I start with the Spread-sail yard, the largest spar. Altho’ the kit instructions don’t cover the detail; the centre sections of most yards were octagonal in shape and for this reason I am making the yard from square stock. 4325 To form the octagon the yard is put in a ‘V’ jig and thereafter the arms are rounded on the lathe, tapering down to 2mm ø. The Square-sail and Topsail yards are made in the same manner, but the T’Gallant is made simply from dowel as there is no octagonal section. Not indicated in the kit but Alert carried a Mizen mast. This slots into iron brackets attached to the face of the stern platform. 4339 Simple enough to create one. 0095(2) Made from 3mm ø dowel with a length of 170mm. 0086(2) 0091(3) This won’t be displayed erected on the model but stored on the deck. The yard furniture consists of Sling cleats and yard arm cleats, provided in brass etch form in the kit. 0101(2) I initially had mixed feelings about the kit pieces; on one hand they are a neat and effective way of adding these items but look a little thin to my eye and will need painting. On the other hand, making these items is a fiddly business, and only a wood like Box or perhaps Pear is suitable, and they are very tiny. 4362(3) When I tried the etched items, I thought they looked ok, so the kit items it is. I chemically blackened them before use. Had I intended to varnish rather than paint the yards, then the wood option would have been necessary. One other item to consider is the addition of thin battens covering the octagonal sections. To batten or not to batten, that is the question. Goodwin in the Alert book writes that in ‘all probability’ the Square sail yard was made from two pieces and had battens; but was ‘not altogether certain’ that the Spread-sail yard was similarly made but thought it likely. Lees indicates that the battening of yards which began in 1773 related to two-piece yards on larger ships, and that the practice was normal on most ships after 1805 except for small vessels. David Antscherl also omitted them from the yards in his rigging book on the Sixth rate Sloop. (Vol 1V) I didn’t add battens to my Pegasus build. Apart from some historical doubt and the absence of this feature on contemporary cutter models I have some reservations about adding these simply from an aesthetic viewpoint. At model level there is a tendency for them to make the yard centres look too bulky to my eye, even tho’ at 1:64 scale they would be a mere 0.3mm thick. 4360(2) Even so out of curiosity I mocked up an example starting with some 0.5mm strip. 4359 I prefer the unbattened look and am happy to omit them on this build. 4361 Completed Spread-sail Yard. 4363(3) The Yard set for Alert. B.E. 14/01/2020
  8. Perfect touch of colour Dirk, nice job on the pennant, alway difficult to get hanging right. What did you base the ensign sizes on ? B.E.
  9. Coming along beautifully Steve, nice progress.👍 B.E.
  10. Hi bitter, You have made a very nice job of completing the hull, but the run of planking up to the bow is not as you say historically correct in relation to Pegasus in particular, and British ships of the era in general. This is not going to really detract from the beauty of your hull as a model, but if it bothers you, coppering would cover most of the lack of tapering of the bow planking. Regards, B.E.
  11. Thank you Vane. I used Boxwood strip for both Deck and hull planking. Above the wale I used the kit provided 1mm thick Boxwood Strip, (which is actually supplied for the decking), and below the wale some thinner stuff, 0.7mm thick. I also used the thinner Boxwood strip for the decking. Cheers, B.E.
  12. Post 53 Booms and Gaffs Another case of confusing terminology here. The kit lists a Main Boom (283mm) and a Driver Boom(181mm) I think the Gaff has been misnamed as a Driver Boom in the kit instructions, altho’ the overall dimensions are in keeping with a Gaff. The Alert Book Drawings have a (Main)Boom (273.75mm) and a Gaff, (171mm) but also show a Storm Gaff (79.5mm) and a Driver Boom (184.5mm). Sizes scaled up from 1:96 drawings. The Admiralty plan lists: A Boom 58’10” (280mm) 12⅝” ø (5mm) A Gaff 40’ 0” (190.5mm) 9” ø (3.6mm) A Storm Gaff 17’ 0” (81mm) 93/8” ø (3.72mm) A Driver Boom 27’ 0” (128.5mm) 6¾” ø (2.7mm) The Alert Book links the Driver Boom to the Storm Gaff, presumably for carrying reduced sail. The Main Boom is linked to the Gaff. Steel Main Boom 66’ (14¼”ø) (314mm) Gaff 49’ 6” (10¼”ø) (235.7mm) Driver Boom 42’ (8”ø) (200mm) Storm Gaff 21’ ( 8¼”ø) (100mm) As can be seen there are variations, some of them greater than others, so you pays your money and takes your choice. For my build I am going with the kit despite the gaff about the gaff. Booms were not evenly tapered, and ship and cutter booms differed in their proportions. According to Steel:- For Cutters. The maximum dimension is towards the outer end at the point of the sheet, just inboard of the stern. Taper is then made both inboard and outboard to given proportions. The inboard section is quartered as follows; Max scale diameter 5mm 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 40/41 11/12 7/8 2/3 4.87mm 4.58 4.37mm 3.3mm Outboard section Mid Point End 11/12 ¾ 4.58mm 3.75mm I made a boom to these proportions and it looks good to my eye. 4318 This shape is not reflected in the kit where the maximum diameter is at the inboard end, tapering to 3mm at the outboard end. The Jaws The kit provides a simplified all-in-one version that simply slots over the end of the boom. In practise the jaw and tongue were made up of separate sides, port and starboard, fayed and bolted to the chamfered boom end. 4317(2) The ‘iron’ bands are only there temporarily at present. I don’t really like kit boom jaws they always look unconvincing. I did use the kit version, but I split it and fined it down to suit my eye. One of the worst examples I have seen of pre-formed boom jaws, is a lumpy, clumpy, blocky, example provided in the Pickle kit, but it is easily remedied. The Gaff 4320(2) This was made as per the Boom, but the maximum dimension is 19mm from the inboard end. Maximum scale diameter 3mm. 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 4th Qtr 40/41 11/12 4/5 ¾ There is still the finishing to do but that can wait until the yards are made. My aim is to get the sawdusty element out of the way and clean up before I get onto the finishing. B.E. 10/01/2020
  13. Post 52 Mast and Yards In preparation for mast and yard making, my standard approach is to firstly compare the given dimensions across several sources. I compared the scale lengths as per a) the kit. b) Steel. c) The Alert Book. d) Admiralty Plan. The Bowsprit I have already made to the kit dimensions, which are very close to the Admiralty plan notation. The main/topmast is the first job. (In Cutters the main/topmast are combined to make one lower mast. Kit Steel Alert book Adm Plan Length 367mm 419.1 423.9mm 373.8mm Diameter 8mm 8.7mm 8.7mm 8.0mm With a diameter of 20” (8mm scale) *The quarters work out as follows: Partners 1st Qtr 2nd Qtr 3rd Qtr 20” 19¾” 18¾” 17⅟8” Scale 1:64 8mm 7.83mm 7.44mm 6.8mm *Taken from Steel. The kit taper from 8mm to 7mm is close enough, and the dimensions given in the kit instructions matches those of the Alert Book. I like to mark the quarters on the dowel to get as far as possible an even taper during sanding. 4236 I am making the mast from some Ramin dowel, so this will entail either adding the square section above the cheeks with some square stock or taking the riskier route of squaring off the top end of the mast. 4286 I squared off the top section by hand and eye using a fine chisel, content in the knowledge that I could always cut it off If I didn’t like it. Where the cheeks fit, the mast needs to be flattened off and some more fine chiselling is required to set the cheeks into the mast sides. 4285 I somehow lost the kit provided cheeks, but they are easily replaced, cut from Boxwood sheet. Treenails were added to secure the cheeks. Note: there is an orientation to the cheeks, the top is angled upwards aft. This is to compensate for the rake of the mast when fitted and will bring the trestletrees level. With the cheeks in place, the Trestletrees can be test fitted, these follow the line of the cheeks. I used the kit provided laser cut versions which were accurately cut and robust for what is usually a fragile kit item. T’gallant Mast All the references agree to the scale length of 170mm (35’6”) A shorter Storm T’gallant mast of 25’ scaling to 119mm could be used if height is an issue on the model. The kit indicates use of 4mm dowel for the T’gallant mast, but I think there should be a square heel on the mast to fit into the trestletree. 4288 I made the mast from 4mm square stuff and rounded the mast on the lathe. The incorporated Pole head is very narrow (1.5mm ø). 2mm was the smallest diameter I risked on the lathe lest the part snap, and the pole head was finished by hand. The final test is does it all fit together with the Mast Cap. Yes it does.😃 A minor point for the detail obsessed, the hole in the mast-cap to fit the tenon on the lower masthead should really be square not round, as should the Masthead tenon. 4294 I replaced the kit part with a Boxwood version. 4295 4293 4292 Still stuff to do on the masts, sheaves to cut, cleats to add, and finish to be decided. B.E. 08/01/2020

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