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Blue Ensign

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  • Gender
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    The Green Shires of England
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    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. Hi Nils, I’m curious about how I’ll master it too😀I note that on the NMM model of the Hawke 1777 flat nail heads are visible along the lap lines. @ Steve, the first strakes above the Garboard have to follow a tight curve around to the stem. Hopefully it will look better when a few more strakes are added, and I’ve smoothed out the clinker towards the bow. B.E.
  2. Thank you Nils, If you're referring to the copper fastenings, I'm not really sure at this stage. At 1:64 scale they will be pretty small, particularly to represent the roves. I was thinking that maybe fine copper wire with a flattened end may suffice. Watch this space! Regards, B.E.
  3. Post 17 More clinkering For the next few planks up from the Garboard it looks like I will need to spile each one individually. 1912 I have used tick strips to mark down the hull at the bulkheads and used those to gauge the taper required towards the bow. The tick strip spacing is of the net 4mm width of the lapped plank. 1910 I can then measure down from the lap edge to where the taper marks will come, and shape what is the upper edge of the plank. Once satisfied with the shape and fit the 2mm lap line can then be drawn in for the following plank. 1913 The tapering at the bow begins at the third plank from the Garboard, but before fitting it is used as a template for the corresponding plank on the opposite side. 1917 The clinker at the stern. Where the strakes approach the stern post the clinker will eventually be pared down. 1914 I will be adding a thin veneer Boxwood to the stern post which will act as a rabbet for the strake ends. 1918 In the midships area the clinker will remain more pronounced before being fayed down towards the bow. 1916(2) This is a much more involved business than straightforward carvel planking; four strakes fitted but I still don’t really know how it will turn out. Still it is an interesting exercise to have a go at. B.E. 24/08/2019
  4. Thanks Dave, Glad you have had success with Speedwell’s fashion pieces, I modified those on Alert based on the Cheerful experience. Maurice
  5. Thank you Nils, I wish I had your confidence, I'm very much a novice in the world of clinkering, but I hope visually at least it will look ok to the average eye once completed. 🙂 Regards, B.E.
  6. Post 16 Planking below the wale. So time to get to it. For the clinker planking the hull will need to be inverted during the whole process. 1860 First a new support base is cobbled together to hold the hull in position. Referring to the Alert book there is a mid ship section drawing showing the clinker boards, conveniently at 1:64 scale. 1886(2) I am using 0.7mm thick Boxwood strip and I start with an 8mm wide (midpoint) Garboard plank. Marked on this is a 2mm overlap for the next strake up. The first task is to re-mark the bulkhead positions on the hull and fix the Garboard plank. 1885 I don't use ca for second layer planking preferring to continue with a good quality pva. 1887(2) In the case of the Garboard plank the upper edge is held down using the heads of the provided steel pins. 1890 1888 Moving onto the adjacent plank to the Garboard the first thing I discover is that the 0.7mm strip at 6mm width is not conducive to an edge bend at the degree required at the bow. It is too thin and buckles rather than bends. 1892 The answer is to take a pattern and cut it out of some thin Boxwood sheet. Hopefully this is an issue where only severe bends are required. 1899 These second planks are attached using fine brass pins along the bottom edge, and the heads of the steel pins to secure the top edge. (The hull is inverted remember) 1905 1903 I have not cut a rebate or a chamfer on the plank edges to accommodate the lap, they are too thin for that. The laps will be fined down to suit later. So that's the start of the clinkering business. With the first two planks in place I can now try to work out the run of the following strakes. Between the wale and the overlap on the Garboard plank, there is 72mm at mid point. Using 6mm planking with a net 2mm overlap results in 18 strakes of net 4mm planks. B.E. 22/08/2019
  7. Post 15 Laying the deck. Before fitting the false deck I had marked the deck beams and planking layout in pencil. It is far easier to do this before the deck is glued into place. Because I like the option to leave covers off I install carlings below the deck to give the impression of depth if the gratings are left off. The waterway has already been installed so the decking can begin. I am using Boxwood, not the provided stuff, but 0.7mm thick strips which I can get in varying widths. I will be using nominally 4.5mm wide planks which equate to 11.3" 1821 The first two strips either side of the centre line are run full length down the deck, marking the cut out positions for the hatches etc; The planking then continues using the butt joint plan. 1856(2) I don't sand decks , I prefer to scrape them. For this I use an old plane blade. 1852(2) 1851(2) Once I am happy with the deck smoothness I will seal with a water based varnish, using Caldercraft Flat Matt Varnish. I now turn my attention to the lower hull planking. B.E. 20/08/2019
  8. Thanks for looking in Alan, Chris's new crop of models do look really good, I loved his Pegasus designed kit marketed by Amati, one of my favourite models. I'm pleased if anyone takes an interest in my build Alan, and as Kurt also has this kit I guess he's interested in my approach. One of the great aspects of MSW is the sharing of information, and the way members give of their experience, I've learned such a lot from others on here, and I hope you find it as beneficial as I have. Cheers, B.E.
  9. I certainly will have to devise a jig of sorts to hold her during planking. The stern is always a worry, particularly those boom crutch extensions, which is why I have left them oversize for the present. I have started the deck planking so that should keep me busy for a while. Regards, B.E.
  10. Have you thought of silver soldering Kevin. I haven't done much of it, but I have made attachments to fine brass work and I use Palmer Metals combined solder/flux in a syringe which is applied in a very neat bead and comes in different melt points for repeat additions to a unit piece. More expensive than the ordinary sort, but gives a satisfying result. B.E.
  11. Post 14 Capping/Drift Rail (Part46) Much as I liked the idea of the pre marked capping rails, when I came to fit them they just looked too broad to my eye. This would have been exacerbated by my desire to add even a very thin edging strip with a profile moulding cut into it. 1820 The provided strip measures 4.5mm wide which equates to 11.3". The scantlings table in the Alert book gives the Drift rail width of 7½" which equates to 3mm at scale. I understand the over-scale width maybe a necessary simplification to incorporate the cut outs for the timberheads etc; and ease construction, but I have decided to go another route. I recall that I had the same issue with the Pegasus kit where the Drift rails also had to be reduced in width. 1806(2) For Alert I used Pear wood strip of 3x1mm which is a perfect fit for the drift rails, and add a moulding to the outside edge. 1812(2) The provided rails may come in to use as a template to mark the cut out positions but for the dedicated kit basher they aren't really necessary as the positions are clearly marked on the plans. New Paint job. I wasn't really happy with the shade of blue I first painted the topsides with. On reflection it looked too bright, somehow at odds with the red internal scheme, perhaps too modern looking. These things are hard to pin down. The revised scheme is based on Humbrol Matt 96 which is RAF Blue. At a pinch I think you could get away with this on its own, it has a muted dusky blue/grey tone. 1800(2) However, I thought it needed making slightly paler and a tad brighter. To achieve this I added white paint by degrees, testing each sample, until I arrived at the final shade I was happy with. 1811 1816 That's it for the outboard work for the present. To reach this point has taken some seven weeks of fairly regular work time. Amusing to think how many models Chris Watton has completed in this time, I think he must have an army of Elves down in the Forest of Dean working night shifts. I will now attend to planking the deck before I begin tinkering with the clinkering on the lower hull. B.E. 16/08/2019
  12. L.G. Carr Laughton in his book Old Ship Figureheads and sterns, covers this subject at some length. He specifically notes as a curiosity that in paintings and models the upper works of the period sometimes show the ground as blue or red, when "we know with some certainty that there was strict regulation that the colour should be black." This appeared to go back to the17th Century, and he cites an Admiralty order of 12 July 1715 that "the outsides of ships be painted of the usual yellow colour and the ground black". This doesn't mean that the rule was always adhered to, but in terms of fancy frieze works, it was usually restricted to ships of importance, and less so even on those, as the Napoleonic war ground on into the 19th c. With regard to cutters like Alert, they were utility vessels, commanded by low ranking officers, probably without the wherewithal, or authority, to pay for special paint jobs. If the topsides were painted at all I would guess it would be black. Even so I am happy to display my Alert with blue painted topsides, but I won't be adding the etch decoration. B.E.
  13. Thank you Kurt, she's still looking a bit rough at the moment, but I like to get some paint on her so I can judge the effect before I proceed too far. I think you're on the right track regarding the shade of blue for the topsides. This is the sort of tone I will ultimately aim to get. Of course using blue anyway is probably artistic licence as the official colour was black, but blue does make a nice contrast with the wood. Cheers, B.E.
  14. Post 13 Laying down some paint. Having taken a minimalistic approach to paint on my Cheerful build, with this model I am going to broadly follow the paint scheme as indicated in the Alert Book. I am using Vallejo Flat Red 031 for the internal paintwork, as I did with Cheerful. 1716(2) This is a good point to coat the internal bulwarks and internal faces of the ports. 1719 Once the spirketting had been painted I added the Waterway using 1/32" Boxwood square stock. For the stern and topsides the suggested Humbrol Matt Blue(25) is a tad too dark for my taste. 1770(2) I concocted my own mix based on the formula I used for Pegasus. 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) 1769(2) Still not entirely convinced that I've got the shade right yet, but this is ok for a base coat. Mouldings and rails There are mouldings across the stern at Counter, Transom and Tafferal. 1721 I used 1/16th Boxwood strip for the purpose thinned down a little. These are much enhanced by scribing a simple relief using a razor blade cut pattern. 1718 For the Sheer rail which runs beneath the gun ports the kit indicates using plain 1mm x 1mm strip. I used a tad wider Boxwood stuff and as with the stern rails I scribed a profile on the face. The kit paint scheme indicates this be painted black, but I prefer to leave it bright. I rather liked the look of treenails on my Cheerful model. After some thought I decided to add the treenails along the broadside above the wale. 1759(4) Taking the arrangement from the Alert book drawings, I used a 0.6mm micro drill and filled the holes using a filler mix. Not very distinct but that's how they should be. A coat of wipe-on poly is applied to seal the surface. B.E. 14/08/2019

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