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DelF

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Everything posted by DelF

  1. The birth of model shipbuilding?
  2. Interlude I'd decided I wasn't going to post an update until I'd completed rigging at least the port or starboard guns, but as that is likely to be some time I'll post a quick update on two tools/products I've just got. The first is Quadhands. I saw this in other people's build logs and persuaded myself I needed one. I'm glad I did - it's so much more substantial and versatile than other helping hands I've used, with a solid metal base and five (not 4?) flexible arms. These are magnetic and are therefore re-positionable. Great for rigging jobs: The second product I got for protecting Speedy's copper plates. I quickly decided not to leave the copper to weather naturally - I must have touched the hull with unprotected fingers in several places, because in a few days there were several unsightly smudges. Using spare plates I experimented with a number of varnishes, both water-based and polyurethane, but didn't like the results. Finally I tried clear lacquer. The one I bought was intended for protecting touch-up paint jobs on cars: I toyed with the idea of airbrushing the lacquer but after a test I found it brushed on really easily. It dried quickly and to my eye enhanced rather than masked the copper. From now on it'll be a relief not having to worry about touching the hull. Back to the guns! Derek
  3. Beautiful. The time and care you're taking are really paying off.
  4. Thanks Glenn. 'Talking' these things through with you guys has really helped me make up my mind on the cannon rigging and several other Speedy issues. I'm so glad I'm taking a more active part in this forum now - it adds a whole extra dimension to my enjoyment of the hobby. So do your typos: ...another beaut! 😁 I've read the one about Cochrane carrying a broadside around in his pockets - all I can say is that with seven balls each weighing four pounds and just over three inches in diameter, he must have had big strong pockets! Derek
  5. Cannon Rigging (again) OK. this may be my last post on cannon for some time. I think I've figured out how I'm going to rig them, so it just remains to actually crack on with the task. My last bit of experimentation has been around replacing the carriage ringbolts and trying to make the side tackle look more realistic. I tried forming new ringbolts from 0.3 mm brass wire, but even my finest needle-nose pliers were too big. I ended up wrapping the wire round a 0.5 mm drill bit and pinching the end round with some long-nose pliers: Once blackened, the new ringbolts look much better, to my eye: Side by side with the original ringbolts the difference is obvious: On side tackle, I've decided to stick with frapping. Ideally I'd probably want to show the tackle freed up for action, but I'm not sure I could get ropes and blocks this small to lay loose and look natural. I've also decided against coils. So, for the frapping I've just lengthened the distance between the blocks, allowing the tackle to hang lower and show more of the breeching. Here's what I've ended up with, minus the inhaul tackle which I'll fit when I eventually fix the carriages in place. Now it's nose to the grindstone to get a production line going on the remaining 13 guns. I may be gone some time, as Captain Oates said. Derek
  6. I agree - you've made an excellent job of the first planking. Whilst I also agree with Glenn that the sternpost might be a little thin, I think you might also want to take a little more 'meat' out of the deadwood area in order to ensure you have a smooth taper into the sternpost. It's always difficult to judge from photos though, so you'll be best placed to decide once you've taken Glenn's advice with the strips of second planking.
  7. I apologise in advance if this is a point you have already considered, but are you sure you are not confusing circumference and diameter? As I'm sure you know, historical sources tend to give rope sizes in circumference. Even on a first rate like HMS Victory at 1:48 scale, very few ropes would be 2mm in diameter - the main stay and a few others, but certainly not the shrouds and the running rigging. Derek
  8. Thanks for your kind comments guys No, but I will now I've started obsessing about it! I understand your point, but equally, I see no harm in striving for greater authenticity. Besides, you helped persuade me to rig the blasted things in the first place so I blame you for my current obsession 🤪 That's what I plan to do. An alternative would be to put pins through the front and/or rear axles to the deck, but that's not really an option once the barrels and cap squares have been fixed to the carriages. Derek
  9. Thanks for the thought SpyGlass, but on reflection and considering Cochrane's penchant for prizes, I don't think he would ever have stowed his guns in the hold. That may have worked for the great navigator Cook when all he had to contend with were islanders' canoes, but I think Cochrane must have been almost permanently ready for action considering the number of vessels he snapped up. So, I'll have to stick to plan A and press on with the rigging
  10. Hi SpyGlass Thank you so much for taking the time to put together such a helpful and informative post. That last picture captures exactly what I meant when I said I was thinking of lengthening the side tackle to let it hang more naturally and allow more frapping. I like the frapping on the breech ropes too. Here's a photo I took a few weeks ago: I've been putting off replacing the PE ringbolts, but I'm putting so much into these guns I think I may as well go the whole hog. Conversely, I may take a leaf out of Captain Cook's diaries and stow the guns in the hold! Thanks again for the kind words and encouragement. Derek
  11. Thanks Edward and Vane. I've been so close to the work for the last few days that I'm probably not the best judge - your kind comments are very reassuring. Derek
  12. Cannon rigging #92 (ish) Sorry Ernie - other duties around the house and garden have limited the time available for more important dockyard work. I'm still not 100% comfortable with my first attempts at rigging the guns so I'm still experimenting. First, I wanted to see if I could incorporate a ring into the 2 mm blocks. There are tried and tested methods for this, but I wasn't sure how practical they would be with such tiny blocks. I started with a small jig consisting of a block of wood with three pins - one 0.5mm diameter to form the ring, and two of 0.3mm to fit the sheave holes. With the block pushed onto the pins the 0.2 mm wire is wrapped once round the pin... ...then round the block: One end of the wire is wrapped around the other as shown above then cut off as close as possible. The remaining end is formed into a hook with a pair of fine needle-nose pliers and the excess wire snipped off. I was quite pleased with the result: Dunking in acetone followed by Brass Black worked well. The wood looked a little dried out, probably due to the acetone, but a dab of matt varnish sorted that: For the seizings I decided to use fly fishing thread. The one I like is just 0.04 mm/ 0.0016" - arguably TOO fine at just 2.5 mm/ 0.10" real size, but I'd always rather err on the side of under scale than over scale. Here it is on the bobbin, and being used to seize the breeching: I tie the seizings in the normal way then put a tiny dab of the fly tying cement on the knots. Within a minute or two the excess line can be snipped off. Here's the first gun rigged temporarily to see the overall effect: I'm still not sure about the side tackles. Apart from anything else, they completely hide the neat little ringbolts I made on the carriage for the breechings. I've seen rigging where much more rope is left between the side tackle blocks, leaving space for more realistic frapping and allowing the whole tackle to hang down and show more of the breeching. Alternatively I could move the rear ringbolt onto one of the carriage steps. I'll do some more experimentation. Having said all that, it doesn't look too bad from a distance 😀. Derek
  13. Congratulations on completing your first ship model - the first of many, I hope. Well done! Derek
  14. I second B.E.'s praise - those fashion pieces look beautiful, and your detailed explanations and photos will help other modellers. Derek
  15. Tell the War Department that's fine, so long as she doesn't mind the furniture being 1:64 scale 😀
  16. Looks good to me too Ernie - a very sound basis for your second planking.
  17. Thanks Chuck & Vlad. I've just ordered Model Shipways' 18th Century Longboat - another Chuck-designed classic that should make a fine addition to the fleet. Derek
  18. Welcome to the club! Very neat work on the counter, btw. Derek
  19. There's a danger this is going to turn into "the cannon rigging log", 'cos that's all I seem to be doing these days. Having said that I'm enjoying the challenge, including the opportunity to refresh old skills such as silver soldering. Having decided to fully rig the guns one of the first tasks has been to make the 28 ringbolts required for the breechings. I made my first attempt with 0.50mm brass wire... ...and quickly decided it was over scale. I settled on 30 s.w.g. / 0.32mm which equates to 20mm/0.8" at 1:64 scale. My method for making rings is fairly standard, starting by winding the wire round a 1.0mm drill bit... ...then cutting along the resulting coil with the smallest snips I could find: The wire I'm using is soft, so squeezing the individual pieces back into rings is fairly easy - apart from the inevitable tendency for rings to go pinging off to be lost in the black hole lurking in most workshops. I probably lost around one in five that way (and yes, I've read the entertaining forum topic on that phenomenon and tried the various solutions suggested, all to little or no avail. But I digress). I thought I could get away without soldering the rings, but unfortunately the brass is so soft and easily bent that I had great difficulty getting them to stay on their bolts. So, out with the silver soldering kit. For very small jobs like this I use silver solder paste which works a treat as the flux and solder are combined in the one material. The brass is so thin I found the solder melted into the join when I got within about 20 mm with the torch. Here's what happened when I got too close: Believe it or not, the blob on the right is all that was left of a ring the same size as the one on the left. Next, I fitted bolts by just bending a piece of wire round the rings and snipping it off short. Before going any further I checked the breeching would pass through the ringbolt: The breeching I'm using is 0.75mm rope I made on my Syren rope rocket. Another of my favourite tools. That test passed, I blackened then fitted the ringbolts: I'm happy with the size and appearance. Unfortunately they rather show up the photo etch rings for the side and train tackles, but I draw the line at making another three ringbolts for every carriage. I'm sure all will look fine when all the tackle is in place. On tackle, I've re-thought my approach to blocks and hooks. Although the method I described in a previous post works - gluing the hook in a hole drilled in the top of the block - the process involved is fiddly and nerve-wracking to say the least, and I'm not convinced the resulting tackle will be robust enough to withstand handling when I come to rig the guns. I can imagine a fair percentage failing. So, in search of another approach I ordered some 0.20 mm brass wire. This is 12 mm/0.5" at scale which seems reasonable. I can't photograph the process I used at this scale, and neither can I claim copyright. I got the idea from EdT's magnificent Young America log - here. Basically, you take a short length of wire, wrap it round the block, take one end and wrap it round the other, and shape the latter into a hook. I dropped the block complete with hook into acetone followed by Brass Black, which didn't seem to do the block any harm. This is the result: At 4 mm overall length I'm happy with that. Only another 83 to go! Derek
  20. I really like that deep, rich red - to my eye it goes very well with the pearwood. Like you, I'm usually more interested in vessels of the Georgian era, but I could be seriously tempted by this little cracker. Derek
  21. Very impressive Glenn. That cedar is beautiful, especially with the wipe on poly. If I hadn't known different I'd have assumed it was boxwood. I'm seriously tempted to add this ship to the dockyard waiting list. Derek
  22. Thanks guys. I'm still a bit daunted by the amount of work involved in fully rigging the guns (I think I'll be well over Chris's estimate of 50 - 70 hours for the build!) but at least I now know it's possible, and hopefully worth the effort. My jigs are not usually that posh! The stand was lying around unused from a previous build - a Victory cross section that I built a picture frame for instead. Derek
  23. First attempts at cannon rigging Thanks (?!) everyone for encouraging me to fully rig all Speedy's 14 four-pounders. I wanted to have another go at making my own blocks. However I haven't been able to make anything acceptable at the required size, the smallest I can manage being about 2.75mm. Here it is with a Syren 2.0mm block for comparison: Syren blocks aren't available at the moment but I was able to order some from Vanguard and they arrived today. I'm very happy with the quality: ...nicely shaped, with good grooves for the strop. Here's my first go at adding a strop and hook: In both cases I made the hooks from brass wire, using the thinnest I have (0.33mm) for the new Vanguard block. Apart from my difficulty in achieving a consistent shape, I can't get them small enough to look right, so I had a re-think. Eventually I found I could drill a #80 hole in the end of a block, which is just right for the thinner wire. First, I pushed a short length of wire through the top sheave hole to prevent the shaft of the hook from interfering with the rigging line, then drilled through the top of the block until I hit the wire. Keeping the wire in place, I put a minute drop of CA on the hook and inserted the shaft in the block. No-one could have been more surprised than me when the glue held the hook, in what must be a truly tiny amount of wood. I've tried this before with tiny blocks and they've just crumbled under the drill, so it says a lot for the quality of Vanguard's pearwood. Here's the new hooked block alongside the previous attempts: The hook isn't perfect and I should be able to improve it, although at this scale I'm not sure how much it will show. I took Glenn and Blue Ensign's advice and made a little jig from scrap wood to rig the tackle off the model: This is just a test for the side tackle so I've not blackened the hooks and I'm just using some spare 0.1mm line. I'll probably dye it a bit darker for the real thing. This is my first go at frapping: Could do better, as my school reports often said! However I'm quite pleased with the scale and overall appearance of the tackle, and that's what I was most concerned about. As I said previously, if I couldn't have managed something small enough and neat enough I'd rather just leave the guns un-rigged. Onwards and upwards then. Derek
  24. Thanks B.E., very helpful advice. I must admit I’ve been struggling to work out how to manage hooks that size. Derek

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