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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. Post 44 Bits and pieces Side steps These are plain affairs that will stand a little enhancing with extra profiling. The kit items do however include the hand holds. Two outboard steps are indicated although I note that four are shown on the Marshall painting. Same problem here as with Cheerful; it looks like there ought to be additional steps. Two steps may just pass muster with the open drift arrangement, effectively an extra step, but the distance between the upper of two steps and the closed in Drift rail is the same as the distance taken up by both two lower steps. 3862(2) For this reason, I have decided to fit three outboard steps, the added third step being fixed just above the sheer rail. Inboard steps: the kit doesn’t provide these, whereas the Alert book shows a three-step inboard entry ladder between deck and Drift rail. With my current set up a ladder would cover the shot rack and interfere with gun side tackles for the second from aft gun. Still, I think there should be steps, so it looks like re-visiting the Rough-tree rail and shot rack. 3630 I identified the problem as the hance coming too far forward on the Drift-rail, preventing the ladders clearing the side tackles. Worth mentioning that use of pva allows for painless removal of the rail, quite a delicate fitting, which would not have been the case had I used ca. I keep use of ca to the absolute minimum on my builds, there is often a need to do modifications and ca tends to make the wood brittle and using acetone to loosen ca can be a messy business. 3852 The hance has been modified, the shot rack moved aft, and the inboard ladders installed. 3864(2) 3860(2) Layout looks more logical to my eye now. Not yet ready to fix the deck fittings but it’s been a while since I reviewed the layout. 3839(2) 3840(2) 3845(2) 3843 3842 3838 Time to move on. B.E. 12/12/2019
  2. Nice result Skip, your hard work has paid off. if you're going for authenticity, remember that the rudder straps over the copper plating were made of a cuprous alloy, and would be of a bronze colour. B.E.
  3. It seems to be the case, altho' the Topsail and T'gallant yards are the same as on three masted square riggers. The spread- yard which holds the foot of the deeply roached Topsail would be better described as a Crossjack as it performs the same task as the Crossjack on a three master in relation to the Mizzen Topsail. The Crossjack yard on a cutter is really equivalent to the Fore yard but it is a rather strange yard, narrower than the Topsail yard, which it sits below. Cheers, B.E.
  4. I did a test and found that the deadeye wasn't affected by the diluted blackening fluid so I just dunk the whole lot in, and then quick dry with a hairdryer. Cheers, B.E.
  5. It all looks very complicated to me Dirk. I've had a look at Steel in relation to cutter rig and I can't see a specific reference to a truss pendent or for that matter parrels. The narrative in the Alert book says that 'contemporary sources indicate that the Square-sail yard (Crossjack) and T'gallant yard were normally set 'flying' It sort of makes some sense if the Square-sail yard (Crossjack) is rigged from the deck and runs up and down in front of the Spread- yard on a horse. In that case the Spread - yard may well have had a truss for it to be kept in place the serve the Topsail. I think it would be reasonable to fit the Topsail yard with a parrel in the usual way. Marquardt, (Eighteenth-century Rigs and rigging) shows drawings of the arrangement for rigging the Square-sail yard which is hauled up over the Spread-yard to sit below the hounds, but I have to admit I haven't really got my head around as yet. Cheers, B.E.
  6. Post 43 Iron work along the Channels. I prefer the look of a finer Chainplate and smaller deadeye so some extra work is involved in shaping the plates, drilling the three bolt holes, attaching to the strops, and blackening the metal. 3731 Having formed the basic plate, the first action is to test fit along the hull, mark the bolt holes, remove and drill, and generally clean up and file in the taper and shoulder where the plate fits around the Deadeye strop. The second part of the exercise is making Deadeye Strops. This is a fairly simple exercise if you invest in a silver soldering kit. A ring is made using 0.5mm ø Brass wire wound tightly around a nominal 5mm dowel rod and snipped. 3735 Applying the silver solder paste to the joint which should be very close. 3734(2) Heat is applied until the silver flashes, and the jobs done. The success or otherwise of the joint will soon be apparent when the ring is squeezed around the deadeye to form the strop. 3738(2) Sufficient excess of wire is necessary over the actual deadeye size to form the strop and a little trial and error may be required to gauge this. 3745(2) The two elements can then be brought together for blackening and fitting. Fitting is probably the trickiest part of the exercise, ensuring the deadeye tops look level along the Channel. 3748 The Starboard set completed. 3749(2) The copper bolts securing the clinker planking are evident in this shot. 3751 3756(2) B.E 05/12/2019
  7. Given the scale of this kit I think you've made a great job of the stern detailing. Those pilasters are a pain even on the Heller Victory. Way back I did build the Revell version of Victory, which is slightly smaller, as a practice build for the Heller 1:100 using the Hackney book. You may be interested in the relevant sizes of these two kits. This is version 1 of the Heller Victory which is now long gone, replaced by version 2 which I still have on display. Building the Airfix kit will give you valuable experience for taking on the 'beast'. Cheers, B.E.
  8. Post 42 Channels. The kit provides clean laser cut channels which correlate to the scale plan* drawings in the Alert Book with the Deadeye spacing to match. They take the form of a traditional Channel arrangement incorporating what would be a strip securing the Deadeye Chainplates in slots along the Channel. However, because of my experience with Cheerful I am aware of a different style of channel on cutters which is a narrower, deeper section, wedge shaped channel with the Chainplates supported in shallow slots, without a covering board. *Confusingly some of the drawings in the Alert book would suggest this simpler form, as does the book cover illustration, whereas the plan drawings show the kit style arrangement. The model of the Hawke also shows the kit style arrangement, whereas the painting by Joseph Marshall of the Alert model shows the other style. Looking too deeply into such matters can seriously affect your sanity so I guess it’s a case of you pays your money and takes your choice.🤔 I have decided to fit a modified version cut from some 4mm Boxwood sheet, and as the channels are to be unpainted, use of Boxwood will match the hull planking. 3716 Working the Channels. Before permanently fitting the channels it is worthwhile checking how the chain plates will fit along the hull. Having made the channels these are pinned into the hull without gluing so that the position of the plates can be checked. 3709 Don’t want any late surprises of shrouds fouling gun ports. 3702(2) Fitting the plates is not quite as simple as it may seem as the bottom end of the plate is pinned immediately below the wale, follows the profile of the wale, (where it is also pinned) then angles outwards up to the channel where it is either pinned in shallow slots or fitted thro’ the slots on the channel if using the kit arrangement. The provided etched chainplates and deadeye rings are nicely done, but I decided to make my own in the manner of the Cheerful build. 3720(2) I am using 1.5 x 0.25mm Brass fret which equates to a 3¾” wide plate somewhat narrower than the kit version. 3728 Test fitting a Chainplate. At this point I have drilled thro’ for the bolt below the wale, but I can’t further advance them until I have made the deadeye strops. On the subject of deadeyes Steel gives the diameter of the Deadeyes as 12” (for a 200-ton cutter) which scales to 4.76mm. 3723 Kit deadeyes often exceed the given nominal size by up to 0.3 mm as is the case with this kit, but they are very nicely made and finished with none of the misplaced holes you often get in a proportion of kit provided deadeyes. Coupled with the provided Channels and etched Chainplates they do provide the oob builder with a straightforward and effective method of dealing with what can be a tricky area of a build. 3722(2) My preference is to use Boxwood versions at a nominal 4mm (4.3mm) which with the built-in excess come closer to the given diameter than the provided 5mm (5.4mm) versions. Strop and plate making will be engaging me for the next couple of days. B.E. 01/12/2019
  9. Thank you Christian, I rather think it is Chris who has reproduced those wonderful lines in the design of his kit.🙂 Post 41 Completing the Swivels None of the kit parts were used in the production of the Swivel guns. I have the remaining six bow guns to complete and then blacken the set of twelve. 3672(2) The crutches in their raw state. 3676 Bringing crutch and gun together. 3678 Cleaned and ready to blacken. 3683 A few dips later and the guns are ready to seal. 3685(2) For the ball on the end of the handle I use my old standby of pva. This is very useful for creating such features where other methods are impracticable. I also use it for such things as handles on gun quoins, and bolt heads on metal straps at small scales. 3704(2) 3691(2) 3688(2) 3694(2) 3698(2) The ordnance is now completed and will be put aside until final fitting. Moving back to the hull where another puzzlement arises. B.E. 28/11/2019
  10. Post 40 Rough Tree Rails This involved more than a little trial and error. Each section had to be independently fitted between the Swivel posts, whilst hopefully maintaining an even run of the rail. Before I started I both pinned and glued the Finger and Thumb timberheads between the posts; I used the kit provided items. The forward end of the rail ends in a curved hance. This was fashioned from some 2mm Boxwood Sheet and cut out on the scroll saw. 3628 3630 Went a little easier than I thought it would be. 3638 A re-check of the swivel fit. 3650 Lemuel my Helmsman assists with a scale check. 3657 Whilst I was on a roll I continued to complete the Timberheads and swivel post at the bow. I used the kit provided Timberheads (Finger and Thumb) as they are nicely shaped and good for scale. As they are to be painted I didn’t think it worth the effort to reproduce in Boxwood. 3654 The provided Swivel pedestals, rectangular affairs, I replaced with Boxwood Octagonal versions. The measurement I took from the Alert Book. 3669 3665(2) 3666 3664 B.E. 25/11/2019
  11. That looks to be an interesting site. In the UK the smallest eyebolts I have found are these: www.jotika-ltd.com/Pages/1024768/Fittings/83505.htm I use them extensively in my builds. B.E. PS. The link doesn't seem to be active, The Company is Jotika who manufacture Caldercraft kits. I am referring to mini brass etched eyebolts sold in sets of 250.
  12. Post 39 Rails and Swivel Gun pedestals This is the last main hull construction job outstanding. The kit provides a pre-formed Rough tree rails with the slots for the pedestals and timberheads pre-cut. 3550 I used the provided rail as a template to mark the positions of the posts and timberheads. The kit part is perfectly fine as a simplified arrangement, but the rail of necessity is too wide, as it is designed to allow the Swivel gun pedestals to run thro’ it. Both the Alert book and the Admiralty plan show the typical octagonal shape applicable to such pedestals, and a narrow Rough Tree rail that runs thro’ them, or tenons into them. The pedestal bottoms are angled as they run down the drift rail with the tops horizontal. 3548 I made the octagonal pedestals from Boxwood Square stuff and used a simple jig to cut the angles using the kit parts as a template. 3580 With the Swivel crutches made the holes can now be drilled to take mountings. At this point I have glued the posts into place as I need a solid base to fit the swivels and more importantly the Rough Tree rail. 3586 Testing the fit of the swivel guns and mounts. Since the previous post I have re-visited the Swivel mounts and made them slightly smaller. That is the easy bit. More tricky is the fitting of the Rough tree rail running between the posts and topping the Timberheads each side of the port before ending in a hance on the Drift rail. For the Rough Tree rail I planed down a 1x4mm Boxwood strip supplied in the kit, until it was 2.0mm wide. I am then faced with the problem of how to fit between the swivel posts. Mortise them in perhaps or pin them; the main issue is keeping a smooth transition between the posts. I will report on how it goes in my next post. B.E. 23/11/2019
  13. I'm sure you will enjoy the Alert kit Phil, it has a lot to offer both novice and kit basher, and Chris's decision to upgrade the guns in the newer editions, goes a long way to improve the basic kit. I look forward to seeing your approach. Cheers, B.E.
  14. Cheers Alan, I've no immediate pressure to complete the guns so I can ponder the subject a while longer.🙂 Post 38 Swivel guns I had started making the Swivel gun pedestals but have side stepped to look at the Swivel guns and their ‘iron’ yolks that fit into the posts. For the Swivels I am using RB 15mm Brass guns which are spot on for scale. 3558 They do need a little fettling because for some odd reason the trunnion hole doesn’t go all the way through the Barrels, but at least only completing the drilling is involved. 3560 The button also has to be removed and the gun drilled to take the tiller. 3561 A mornings work on the little Miller and it’s all done. 3568 The kit provides neat photo etched Swivel Gun yolks which save a lot of time fiddling around making these small fittings, a boon to those modellers less inclined to indulge in habitual kit bashing. The photo shows a mock-up of one of the early Resin Swivel guns. However, I decided to make my own yolks using the method I used on my Pegasus build. 3564 As with the last time I made these items they were formed from etched brass hooks but this time I silver soldered the two halves to form the yolk. 3570 The wip RB gun alongside the Resin Kit version. 3573 I do prefer the crispness of a brass gun, and personally I don’t think you can beat the look of a chemically blackened gun. With the Yolks made I can now return to looking at the posts and drill out to take the mounting. B.E. 21/11/2019
  15. An interesting project, and great approach to the start, Christian. I look forward to seeing her progress. B.E.

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