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Keith S

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  1. I agree very much with what David says here. My "HMS Terror" model is my first ship model. At first, I was satisfied with my work. But because I have no experience, my work improves. Then I look at my work from before and I am not satisfied with it. I would say that every part of the ship other than the basic hull, I have made at least two times. If you look in my rubbish bin you would find enough broken parts almost to build TWO Terrors: one nice one, and one very ugly one. Every time I replace something with a better one, I am happier in the end. It is no good having a part of your model that bothers you. It will never stop bothering you. Better to replace it. You can't really do any damage that isn't repairable.
  2. Nice work. Contact cement is a terrible substance. Many of the outer planks on my model have "sprung" and have been glued back down with CA. I will not be tricked into using cobblers' glue on a model ship a second time!
  3. Amazing the two ships are in the same scale! Victory is very, very large and Terror is very small. Also amazing both ships survive to this day, one under the sea and one above.
  4. Yeah if you look really closely it looks like there's still some shiny spots on them where the varnish hasn't flaked away yet. Unbelievable how well-preserved she is. She must be the most intact Royal Navy ship from this era in existence, considering restored ones have a great deal of their original wood replaced. This seaweedy picture shows one of the bulwark pin-racks, which compares favourably to the size of the 5mm ones on the model.
  5. The reason I'm worried about the book is that so far Canada Post has been doing quite well; everything else has arrived surprisingly early. I don't like ply either. There are a lot of ply parts around the bow, such as the bulwark tops and the wooden fairleads on either side of the bowsprit. As I get better at building, I become more fussy about my early work, which leads to a lot of tearing-off and re-do-ing. I have resolved to leave the bulwark tops alone however as this would be a level of tearing off that would be pretty heartbreaking. Speaking of which I am in the process of tearing off all the fife-rails and pin racks, because the holes in the previous ones are so big, the 5mm belaying-pins fall right through them. I've done the more difficult ones: the main-mast fife-rail was the worst because I had to rip off the pump shaft supports, re-make a new pair, and reinstall with the new fife-rail. The foremast ones are an integral part of the windlass assembly, so in this case I cut little plugs out of the old pins, used them to fill the holes, and painted over them. I think it looks quite good. Among other things there is now more room for tweezers between the pins, whereas before they were crammed into place with no room between them. In 1/75 scale, the belaying pins provided in the kit would be the size of a man's leg in real life, so this is worth doing. Here are some pictures. One must bear in mind that in 1/75 scale, where a grain of dust is the size of a snowball, there are going to be a lot of imperfections that aren't visible to the naked eye. It would be very impolite to press uour eyeball this close to a person's model in real life. This doesn't seem like a huge step forward, but I am now fairly confident that my model comes close to the real ship in terms of location and number of belaying-pins.
  6. Most excellent and much appreciated Keith-thanks! I am in the midst of tracking down my rigging book. I am not going to let Canada Post get away with losing my stuff. It was sent from an American bookstore, and they used Federal Express, with a tracking number and the whole thing, but it handed over to the Post Office at the border and disappeared into thin air. I have documentation from the American side proving FedEx did their job. Now it's on to Canada Post. I hate them. Worst part of being Canadian. Other than the weather.
  7. Thanks guys for your encouragement. The spider band is just friction- fit on there for now. I'm planning on trying to yellow it a bit with a felt pen and then varnishing it, which hopefully will make it look bronze. As for squaring the tops- I this is especially necessary now, not just for appearance, but because the kit's fittings won't fit the larger diameter spars unless I do. It would be a lot easier to know what to do if the post-office hadn't lost my book.
  8. Wow, well after all my melodramatic whingeing yesterday, I actually found myself in the basement today looking at the dowels I ordered to replace the spars on mini-Terror. Right then! It turns out the model LOOKS much better with the proper-sized masts. I've replaced the bowsprit, fore, and main. The main is 8mm and the fore&sprit are 6mm. The mizzen is the same 5mm dowel that was provided in the kit. I addition, I took some needle files to the rather chunky-looking spider band and put proper-sized belaying pins in it. What a difference. The model is transformed with these improvements. I guess I never realized how much I hated my home-made over-sized spider band. Now the aft skylight looks much more like the real thing.
  9. Hi Keith, I'm just doing a bit of spring maintenance on my little "Weekender" which is a small amateur-built from American plans with a flat bottom and hard chines rather like a decked-over dory. She has a four-sided mainsail with a gaff and a small foresail. I've modified it from the original design with a deeper fin-type keel, like a fixed centre-board. It was designed to be easy to build and easy to sail and isn't a very impressive boat really but I've had her for 18 years now and I like her well enough. I've stuck an old "Neptune" 1.7hp motor, built in the 1940s, on it for a bit of fun. Right now I'm just scraping and varnishing in preparation for the summer. These boats are roundly disparaged by fans of "proper" wooden boats, but I've always had a lot of fun with her. I stay out of deep water (usually) and just poke around the islands near shore. I'm probably not going to wait too long before working on Terror again. I just received a lot of the extra details I ordered at once, and NOT the book about rigging, and was feeling a bit snowed-under.
  10. It think I'm going to take a bit of a break from building this kit. For one thing, it's now Summer and that season only lasts a couple of months here in the subarctic. For another, I feel like I need to step away from the model because I've become a bit neurotic about it. I have become very particular about the accuracy of the model, and I've learned a lot about the real ship. I've just received all this crap in the post, and it's proper-sized masts, proper-sized belaying pins, proper-sized blocks, all of which will require a lot of work to remove from the model and replace with the correct ones. The block and tackle I built to tie down the boat turns out to look very over-scale, and in fact a 5mm block, which is what size they seem to be in the kit, would be about 15 inches in real life, which is pretty big for little tie-downs. Also the rings on deck they've used to tie down the boats in the kit are not there for that purpose on the real ship. I believe that line of rings along the deck on either side are for tying little "snubbers" to the anchor chain. I have two more Master Korabel and one Model Shipways boat to build to replace the metal ones The holes the masts are stepped in will need to be enlarged on the fore and main, All the pin-rails and fife-rails will need to be pulled off and re-made for the smaller pins AND it seems the book I ordered on rigging has been lost by Canada Post, seemingly. Altogether, it looks like doing a proper job on this kit is going to stretch into years of fiddly building. I intend to finish her, but right now I need to step away and re-align my expectations. If anyone is planning on building this kit, I think it's a fine little model for what it is, maybe a beginner's boat, but if you are looking at the "Victory" by Billings, or one of the little Revenue-cutter kits that seem popular on this website, and you think your "Terror" would look nice with THAT level of detail, you're going to be scratch-building everything from the deck up. I'm beginning to feel a bit exhausted by it, and a bit frustrated by the nature of the research that went into the production of this kit. Between the missing parts, oversized hardware, undersized masts, wrong assumptions, and shortcuts, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed trying to work out what measurements to trust and what not to trust. How do we REALLY know how TALL the masts were? They got the diameter wrong. What else don't we know? How much more research will be required to find out? When I first started this model, I thought it would be easy to simply build it like it says on the tin, with a couple of minor corrections from Mr. Betts' research. Well it turns out this is more like scratch- building a model ship, and I'm starting to understand why there aren't very many scratch-built Erebuses and Terrors: It's because it's a "Master's Thesis" level of rooting around (in the British AND Australian sense of the word) and squinting through a magnifying glass at some dockyard matey's scrawly 19th-century handwriting on a shipyard draught to find out anything like the mast heights or the hardware installed or how many boats there were, or what colour the captain's hanky was...&c. Sorry this turning into a bit of a rant. I'm still going to finish it, but I'm going to go outside now and work on my real boat, and this will give the various other Keiths who are also working on this model a chance to catch up. I think maybe spending several years getting it right, and only working on it on rainy days, is better than spending only one or two years trying to finish it "on schedule" which is meaningless for a hobby anyway.
  11. The ones in my kit were wood, too. I did replace the boats with little wooden ones.
  12. Oh that anchor chain does look nice. Where'd you get that?
  13. I suspect you're right. Period drawings of the Erebus & Terror seem to depict the furled sails ABOVE the yards. Pictures from the television programme show them BELOW the yards, but they also show the yards at an incorrect height, I think. I will bend my sails to the jackstays. A sketch of Terror on George Back's expedition clearly shows the sails the way you've described. Seems tidier to do it that way anyway. Here's a screen shot from the T.V. show, which I think is incorrect, and a sketch done from the period, which I believe is accurate, especially given what you say about ships from that time-frame. One would expect the expedition ships to have had the most modern rigging. Even their bells had "1845" stamped on them. I think a lot of these old sketches were drawn using a "camera lucida" so they can be quite accurate even though they are hand-drawn.
  14. I haven't totally made up my mind. The reason I wanted to do sails furled is because of the steam-engine. It's my impression that the funnel and propeller on Erebus and Terror would have spent most of the time stowed- there is evidence the funnel was removeable and it's a certainty the propeller was. I was hoping to depict the ship in some kind of intermediate state. "Down funnel; up sail"!
  15. I'll have to check it out then. I bought some silkspan already for sails. Here is the technique I was considering: https://youtu.be/g_m_VWzk4w8

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