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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. Toothpicks are an obvious choice, but they are quite soft and difficult to get a clean cut. With treenails they are cut flush, which solves the problem but a small amount of the truck axle should extend beyond the truck to allow for the key. I see that as problematic. B.E.
  2. You could always give it a go Mark, but my initial thought is that the scale is very small, and may not be worth the effort. It can be quite difficult cutting tiny pieces of dowel without it splitting apart. B.E.
  3. Well done Jacek, this is what its all about, sticking with it until you get an acceptable result. 👍 B.E.
  4. Thanks Jason, it's of its time and not up the standards of todays fittings. Those headworks I just carved by hand out of yellow pine, I can still recall how many breakages I had to get a set. Still, I do have an affection for her, and as the largest ship model in my collection she has a certain presence. As an uncased model periodic cleaning is a bit of a pain, and seems to be less effective each time I do it. Cheers, B.E.
  5. That's my story and I'm sticking to it - there's an outside chance that Mrs W may read this.😉 B.E.
  6. Hi Jacek, These are the measurements applicable to 9 pounder guns. The Breeching rope is 4½" ø equating to 0.56mm ø at scale. I will be using Syren 0.63mm line for the purpose. The Breeching ring is 3” in the clear = 1.19mm. The ring thickness is ⅞”ø = 0.34mm at scale. The Amati 2mm rings are close to these dimensions. The loops are ½”ø thick, (0.19mm) and 1½” in the clear (0.59mm) The Amati eyebolts are close enough for scale, but need a slight tweak to make them loops rather than eyes. These figures are taken from The FFM, David Antscherl, and The Arming and Fitting of English ships of War, Brian Lavery. Chris is not a great fan of rigging guns, but the manual does provide details of blocks and line sizes. If following the manual advice I would go for the larger 0.75mm ø line to provide a nice contrast with the 0.1mm tackle lines. The provided carriage eyebolts are too thick, and are flat rather than rounded, as a result of the etching process. In reality this matters little in the overall scheme of things, very little will be seen of the gun detail once the Gangboards are in place, but the pedant in me drives me on.🙄 Hope this helps. B.E.
  7. Blimey Glenn, I expect to add around £100 in additional stuff for my build but I think you'll hold the record for the most expensive Sphinx build on MSW. B.E.
  8. Thanks for your input guys, as a weathering novice it’s all useful stuff. @ Bob – re the wheel axles – it only requires the slightest touch on the corners, I will do it even less on the other guns. @ Thuky – with these particular guns once they are secured between the carriage brackets there is no need to touch them again, or even during fitting. Held on a cocktail stick they can be fitted untouched by human hand, or in Jacek’s case a catspaw. @ Jacek – They don’t look quite as weathered from normal viewing distance but a spot of extra buffing will remove any residual rust. -re the carriage iron work – 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. For the loops I use the eyebolts set slightly into the carriage side. As fitted on a Pegasus carriage I also used the same approach for the tackle rings and bolts on the bulwarks. B.E.
  9. I'm pretty new to weathering as well, I'm just following Chuck's guidance. I suppose if you prime or paint them first, there's probably no need, perhaps it provides a key to hold the powders, but I just brushed it on dry and off again using a soft brush. Well worth having a go tho'. B.E.
  10. Looks like she's casting a critical eye, I hope she likes it. I do, her lines, (the model, not the cat) look elegant, nice job, Jacek. B.E.
  11. Post Thirty Looking at the guns At this point I make up a gun because it will prove useful in checking the level of the ports. Sphinx was fitted with Armstrong pattern Nine pounder guns which had a length excluding the cascobal of 7’ 6”. The barrel The kit has resin guns which are spot on for scale, and look very realistic, incorporating both Royal cypher and vents. They are so impressive that for the first time in my model building career I will forsake the blackened brass versions I usually favour. The muzzle face is nicely finished, the bore is scaled, and the reinforcing rings cleanly moulded. These barrels need no cleaning up such as the removal of moulding lines etc. When I think back to the appalling Amati guns supplied with their Pegasus kit, this is light years ahead. Well done Chris. The Carriages The good These are nicely finished in Pearwood. The trucks are engraved with both bolt holes and section joints, and the Brackets have the engraved planking line which represents the two parts that usually made up the Brackets. In reality these were secured with iron straps on the inside of the carriage. I am pleased to see that the trucks have round holes rather than the square versions supplied with the Alert kit. Chris has innovatively designed the capsquares as an integral part of the brackets. This has the advantage of securing the barrels, always a fiddly job when capsquares are separately added. This also makes it easier to add the Capsquare eye and joint bolts. My initial slight reservation about whether the capsquares looked too chunky was dispelled once I had assembled the gun. The not so good I am still not a fan of the provided etched eyebolts for the brackets. They look clunky to my eye, and the Breeching bolt lacks the ring thro’ which the breeching rope passes. As with my previous builds I will replace these with more convincing Ring bolts and tackle loops. 03531(2) Gun Carriage as fitted to Cutter Alert model. I find that Amati fine eyepins and rings are perfect for the Breeching rings. Even with these deficiencies which are easily addressed the guns overall are very nice, similar to to the ordnance supplied by Chuck with his Syren models. Assembly First job, gently remove the char from visible edges, I use a home made sanding stick for this purpose. 0873 Secondly, gently round the truck axles to fit thro’ the trucks. This takes very little, a slight rounding on the corners is sufficient. To assemble the guns the brackets require pre-painting because once the barrels are in place access to the inner areas is limited. 0915 The Trucks are fitted on a wooden toothpick to sand off the char around the rims. With the char left in place it looks like the iron rims fitted to land based guns, a real no,no, onboard a ship. With the trucks fitted to the axles I am pleased to see there is sufficient length to drill micro holes to take the keys. Fettlin’ the barrels. This is required before they are fitted to avoid any marring of the carriage paintwork. I am looking at using weathering powder to to create an ‘iron’ finish, using Chuck’s approach. Wash the barrel. Spray with fixative, I use Winsor & Newton professional. Apply weathering powder, and buff off with a soft brush. 0891 My pop up spray booth. 0887(2) The basic resin gun. Under macro I note a fault with the button, unfortunately on the top side. I checked the rest of the guns and a similar deformation was present in a further five of them. Not a great problem to put right, but it is an additional job to do. 0901(2) Fixative applied. 0903(2) Weathering powder applied, I used Revell Rust Red. 0907(3) Finished gun with buffed surface. Before fitting the barrel between the Brackets I paint the capsquares. For this I use Vallejo Black Grey which gives a good scale iron effect. This area is too small to apply weathering powders without the risk of marring the paintwork. 0927(2) 0931(2) 0940(2) Fairly satisfied with the result. Final check, how does it sit on the deck. 0944 0947 0951 0955 This gun remains unfinished; I’ll re-visit the ordnance later, but for the present it’s back to port lining. B.E. 26/10/21
  12. That’s the beauty of wood not much that cannot be repaired, unless of course your cat is into arson. 😉 Then I should worry. B.E.
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