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Blue Ensign

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About Blue Ensign

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  • Gender
    Male
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    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. I see you’ve not wasted any time getting started Caroline, it certainly has the look of a Pinnace, looking forward to seeing how it works out. B.E.
  2. Thank you Dirk, Nils, and Rusty. 🙂 Post 22 Looking at the rudder I prefer to fit the rudder at this stage of the build while I can still fully manipulate the hull before any of the deck fittings are in place. The provided kit rudder is good for profile but does need pre-fit fettling. No mention is given in the instructions that ideally it should taper somewhat from fore to aft and from the hance to the base. There is also a chamfer or bearding on the forward edge of rudders. 2929(2) I have scribed the line of the Back piece of the rudder Those who may wish to enhance the rudder could do no better than have a look at Chuck’s online instructions for his Cheerful kit (Chapter 11) or his own log (p25) 2926 There is a lot of trial fitting of the rudder. For the Gudgeons and Pintles the kit provides pe parts with a simplified arrangement that allows for easier fitting but does not allow for movement in the fitted rudder, and looks slightly odd to those with an eye for the proper set up. I happen to have parts of Chuck’s Pintles and Gudgeons kit left over from my Cheerful build which even at 1:48 scale can be tweaked to suit Alert. I applied this system and it does work, allowing movement of the rudder and unshipping. 2955 Fitting the gudgeons from the Syren kit. 2954(2) A length of wire is used to align the holes for the pintles. 2958 Fixing the pintles to the rudder. 2961(2) I also used the fibre board straps from the Syren kit, which if anything look more in scale on Alert. With everything in place small blobs of pva are used to represent the bolt heads. The final touch to the Rudder head is the addition of the ‘iron’ hoops. These are represented by my old standby slivers of heat shrink rubber tubing. 2964(2) With the rudder completed the tiller can be added. This is scratched from a scrap of boxwood section. A piece of stiff wire connects with a push fit to the rudder head. A question arises in relation to the length of the Gudgeon braces. The kit indicates they are fairly short and contained within the width of the stern post, and this is the arrangement on the Admiralty plans. This is also mostly the case in the Alert Book drawings, but the General arrangement drawing on p52 shows them extending onto the hull, as do the photo’s of the contemporary model of the Hawke circa 1777. The lower gudgeon straps of Cheerful also extend beyond the stern post. 2988(2) I have opted for the short version given that it reflects the admiralty plans. 2984(2) In rudder hanging the aim is to get as narrow a gap between rudder and stern post consistent with rudder movement. 2983(2) The subtle taper of the rudder is apparent in this photo. 2980(2) Lemuel my Helmsman confirms the fit of the tiller before final finishing. Next up – a look at the ordnance. B.E. 13/10/2019
  3. Thank you Nils and Dave, and to those who have looked in on the build. Post 21 Finishing the hull – part 2 With a few coats of white paint applied to the lower hull and being more or less satisfied with the top line, I could at last get some poly on the topsides above the waterline. I quite like the combination of varnish and white paint on a model. 2951 2947 2943 2942 The inevitable stepped waterline is clearly apparent in this shot. 2953 2941 2940 2939 2938 2936 2935 2934 So after four months, and at this point I can review the changes made to the build thus far. The most obvious is of course the clinker planking using thin Boxwood planks cut from sheet material. Clinkering is not an easy option, can’t be done with kit supplied timber, is time consuming, as each plank is individually spiled, and then there’s the application of copper ‘bolts’. My approach has been fairly simplistic but at this scale I think it works even tho’ I would have wished for better execution of the work in places. Above the wale I used Boxwood planking rather than the supplied Pear wood. Scratch made Side counter timbers and extensions to the boom crutches. I really didn’t like the two piece add ons in the kit arrangement which to my eye looked unconvincing. 1 I have also tweaked the internal counter to better reflect the counter timber arrangement. Enhancements to the hatch openings by the addition of carlings. Creating a lower deck view thro’ the openings. Pre-formed Capping rails replaced with Boxwood strip with thinned down width. Sheer and Counter rails replaced with Boxwood strip scribed with a pattern. I am now starting to feel a little happier about the build, altho’ I still wish I had replaced the stem piece with Boxwood. Moving on to the Rudder. B.E. 11/10/2019
  4. Post 20 Finishing the hull This involves scraping the boards to clean and fair them into the bow and sternpost, and then drilling the estimated 2500 holes for the securing bolts. I have taken the measurements for spacing from the Alert book, which work out to a 7mm spacing at scale. I am using 24swg 0.56mm ø copper wires to represent the bolts. 2814 A week of fairly concerted effort sees the hull bolted. With this done the tricky waterline question remains. Not one of my favourite jobs and the clinker is an added problem. How do I get an effective waterline marked? In marking the waterline, it seems best to me, having set the level at the bow low point, to start at the centre high point of the line and work fore and aft. That way the line runs with the lap and the pencil is not thrown off by the ridges. 2815 Once the line is marked, Tamiya tape for curves is run along the lines to check by eye that both sides look even. 2819 I’ve never found that this Tamiya tape works particularly well, doesn’t seem to have as much grab as the yellow version. 2824 Altho’ I’m satisfied with the line of the waterline, inevitably I’m not going to get a sealed line to paint along, and my main concern is that the waterline line looks good with the clinker effect at model scale. The top line will have to be painted free hand using the tape as a guide. The rub is that once committed it would prove difficult to go back to an unmarked hull. I would hate it to look like a wobbly line, but doing it is the only way to see one way or the other, so time to bite the bullet. I have used a basic white Humbrol acrylic paint to lay down a base coat and assess the effect, but I intend to use a less stark paint for the finish, perhaps Admiralty paints Light Ivory or Coral white. 2832 2838 I am relieved that the top line is far better than I had envisaged just a tiny amount of fussing and tweaking will be required. 2839 2840 2844(2) 2849(2) I will now try to get the lower hull finish looking as good as I can before the upper hull is sealed with poly. B.E. 08/10/2019
  5. Thank you Dirk and Dave. The copper wire has arrived and I'm good to go.🙂 2406 Following a trial I am going with 500gm 0.56mm diameter copper wire. So the tiresome business begins, there are some 50 bolt holes per strake and 17 strakes per side. I just hope I come out the other side with some degree of sanity remaining.🙄 B.E. 23/09/2019
  6. Post 19 The end of a long and spiling road After what seems to have been an interminable time at last all the lap strakes are in place. 2394 2393 The square tuck planking has also been completed. 2388 2381 With the last strakes in place the final shaping of the wale can take place. 2385 The wale at the bow is also fined down a little in thickness. This is not the end of the process, the planks have to be cleaned up and faired at the bows and stern, and approximately 2500 copper bolts have to be inserted to ‘secure’ the laps. I gave some thought about representing the roves as shown on the Alert book drawings but they would be incredibly small at 1:64 scale, and in any case the photo’s of the contemporary model of Hawke don’t appear to show such a feature, simply the bolts. The bolts will be represented by copper wire ca’d into pre-drilled holes cut close and tapped with a hammer to flatten the heads slightly. I now await a supply of copper wire to complete the task, but there is plenty of cleaning up work to do to keep me busy. B.E. 21/09/2019
  7. You've worked wonders with the Sherbourne kit Dirk, a great looking model. B.E.
  8. Thank you Nils and Mustafa. @Nils - still working out a strategy for the copper bolts and roves, but first I will need to clean up the planking strakes.🙂 @ Mustafa - The pins are very fine and easy to remove. I use a fine blade beneath the heads to ease the pins out a little and then remove with mini pliers. Cheers, B.E.
  9. Granado was a little too early for coppering as she was sold out of service in 1763. In the British Navy coppering of the fleet was underway in the 1770's and included not only larger ships but also cutters and sloops. The cutter Alert for instance was coppered in July 1777. B.E.
  10. Post 18 Clinkering on. Time for an update, and review of progress. 2033 A fairly slow process this clinkering business, I am doing two strakes per day. 2035 Thus far each plank has been individually spiled, cut from boxwood sheet. I think this will be the case for all of them. 2038 Each plank end at the bow is thinned slightly and an individual rabbet cut in the stem to hold it. Very fine pins are used with the glue to hold the planks in place. I use Amati (Very fine brass pins (A4136/10)) These have a flat head just shy of 1mm ø with a 0.5mm shaft, perfect for the job. 2046 These are then removed. The pin holes aren’t a problem as the lower hull will be painted but will be re-drilled for representations of the bolts to be fitted. Before fitting, each plank is trimmed to the tick marks and is used as a template for the opposite side. 2045 At this stage I have completed 11 strakes and have started to fine down the lap of the strakes as they approach the stem and stern post. All still very much wip at this point but I’m now feeling more confident that it’s starting to look like a clinkered hull. B.E. 02/09/2019.
  11. Well the contemporary NMM model of the cutter Hawke had it's name on the stern. I would be happy to put a name on the stern of Sherbourne, but not those supplied letters. They supplied the same with the Pickle kit which I didn't use. I prefer dry transfer lettering which looks far more authentic. B.E.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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

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