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About robdurant

  • Birthday 03/29/1979

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  1. How interesting. Thank you. Yes it would be fascinating to understand the journey from one usage to the other.
  2. Thanks Jason I've been pondering the ship's boats... (My backup plan is to buy the caldercraft resin boats - which are okay, but a bit pointy at the bow, and I'd rather conquer the challenge myself) The kit bulkheads have caused me no end of trouble so far. I couldn't get the curves at either bow or stern, and if I wanted to make the center removable I couldn't get the planks to stay together. It's weird, because I managed the ship's boat on Royal Yacht Caroline - for some reason this is just fighting harder. Anyway - I decided to go back to basics. I had a look on the RMG website for 32 foot pinnaces and found a design from Portsmouth from a few years before Ethalion was launched. J0859, here: https://prints.rmg.co.uk/products/32-ft-pinnace-j0859?_pos=18&_sid=f62fc5df9&_ss=r And I've been creating my own framework to build the boat on... As below: It's a work in progress, but the resulting frame should be much much better for laying those really thin veneers onto, and getting a good curve. So far I've only cut out a few of the bulkheads to test out my theory. The design is printed onto A4 paper, glued (with Pritt-Stick / UHU-stick) onto 1.5mm ply, and then cut out with a piercing saw and finetuned to the line with sand paper and files. It's time-consuming, but quite rewarding really. As you can see, I haven't cut the centre slots yet... they weren't on the design when I did these ones. They are now. I'll add them manually for these bulkheads. As you can also see, the bulkheads all stretch up to a universal line, so that they can be mounted upside down on a board, as I believe Harold Hahn did for his models. As I say the designs are very much in progress, but here are the frames as an A4 PDF if you want to take a look. wip_32ftpinnace_bulkheads.20200517.pdf I expect to build the frame over the bulkheads and then remove the majority of the bulkheads - but time will tell how that really works out. Anyway - that's my thinking so far. Rob
  3. The BInnacle (courtesy of Vanguard Model's excellent mini-kit!) Here's the space it's going into... The kit is a single sheet of laser cut pear, well packed in solid mdf. There are no instructions,but it's a pretty simple shape with plenty of support, so it isn't too fiddly. I decided against putting the compass and lantern inside as it's virtaully impossible to see, but I'm sure others will choose to The next step was to put on a chimney, as per the Victory binnacle below (my photo): The first attempt was with a paper cone at the top... The paper cone was far too fragile, and (for me at least) was just a mess. The second attempt was with plasticard mounted in my mini drill and files... A little ring of styrene tube was added at the bottom. I left off the back side so I could glaze the windows (having painted as much as possible - inside, white, outside, red). And then it was time for final assembly, some light sanding, a final coat of paint and fitting to the model so that the guys at the wheel can steer true! The chimney was painted with black then copper to give the copper a darker toned down sheen. Thanks Chris for an excellent addition - I've been surprised by how much it adds to the quarterdeck when put alongside the upgraded ship's wheel. It really looks the part. Happy building Rob
  4. Thanks so much for the likes... I have some more progress to report. Driver boom - the jaw was completed (with considerable re-shaping - the kit part seems somewhat oversized to me), the boom painted, and the pin inserted to place it on the mast. The height of the boom above the deck was calculated based based on the gap between the taffrail and the boom when the boom was parallel to the waterline. (I calculated a reasonable gap to be 8mm). It was a bit fiddly, but I'm pleased with the results. (Apologies for the quality of the first photo) Hammock cranes - I don't know whether others have had this problem, or whether I was simply not gentle enough when handling the photo-etch, but a good number of the rings on the tops of the hammock cranes had been completely destroyed (or were entirely missing) on my photo-etch sheet. Rather than try and botch a work around, I decided to manufacture my own (with some trepidation). A helpful topic on this site (which I'm afraid I've since lost track of) mentioned some 1mm brass tubing that could be used. Having order some, it turned out to be 0.9mm. Coupled with the small caldercraft eyelets (as supplied with their Pickle kit) to make the rings, and some 1:48 stanchion ends for the uprights (I got these from John Haynes for Cottesmore, and they've come in handy again), I had all the components to solder up some cranes. Having worked out the dimensions in CAD, I decided that hammock cranes on the open-bulwarks would be somewhat vulnerable, and instead, I would just build the main ones for the waist of the ship. This also meant I had enough materials to get the job done! A jig was made to ensure all the cranes ended up similar in size using walnut glued to ply (so I could solder without melting things), then work began. The eyelets were crimped into the top of the cranes (this avoided superglue which didn't seem to hold very well, and could stop the brass-blackening working well. Below and to the right, the caldercraft part is below the home-brew part. Once done, the cranes were blackened, and fitted to the hull Lines rigged through the cranes, and the netting cut to size (slightly over). The netting is the modelling fishing net. I bought black and white, but white seemed to me to look better. It's not done yet, but I'm pleased with it so far. Thanks again for all the encouragement. Rob
  5. Hi all, Plenty of progress to report. I finally put the taffrail on. I used the violin rib bender to get the curve, which meant it was simply the right shape, and no force at all was necessary to stick it in position. Gunport lids The foremost gunport and three sternmost have gunport lids. These were planked with boxwood veneer, and then the blackened hinges were added. I looked at rigging them, but I wasn't confident I could do a job of this that would look a) to scale, b) neat, not least given the proximity of the chainplates and channels in places, so I opted to keep it simple and neat. Finalizing Channels I finally got round to filling in the gaps in the port side channels where the deadeyes are mounted. This was done with scraps of boxwood, and then the whole sanded gentle down to make neat. (This is stunningly boring stuff, so no pictures!) Mast bases I sanded, painted black and installed the mast bases. Bow pinrail Trying to insert the belaying pins into this part demonstrated that it was woefully small, and the pins were jammed against each other (probably because the belaying pins are somewhat oversize). Instead of trying to force the issue, I made a replacement pinrail which was a good 5mm bigger on each side. The results are below (with the original part just in front) The protective parts that stop the anchor damaging the channels (name?) were now put in place (stained with admiralty models ebony stain, as per the Wales) Since then I've been working on masts... but I'll put that progress in a separate post. Happy building Rob
  6. Hi Allan, Thank you so much for your quick and extremely helpful answer. As you say, the pictures say a thousand words. Not sure how I missed that diagram in AOTS. Now I feel confident to proceed. I wonder where the studdingsail yards would be kept when not in use? On the skid beams perhaps? So. For my model, I shall have the studdingsail booms represented, but as it is not rigged, the stunsail yards will not be there. Thanks again Rob
  7. Hi, I've been looking through the Anatomy of the Ship book for Diana, as I prepare to turn the yards for my model. I notice that in the spar dimensions table, it mentions both studdingsail yards and studdingsail booms for lower, top, topgallant on both main and fore masts. I had assumed that the boom was the yard, so clearly I've misunderstood something. Both are in addition to the yards themselves, which have their own entries. For example, the main lower studdingsail boom has a diameter of 9 1/4" and a length of 45' 8", and the main lower studdingsail yard has a diameter of 5 1/4" and a length of 26' 1", so they are clearly different spars. Could anyone shed some light, please? Many thanks Rob
  8. Wow - that post made me sit up... Hope you don't mind me adding a few pictures of the last (very dusty) radio controlled semi-scratch model I built... (Also HMS COTTESMORE, in 1:48). Fascinating vessels. That's a beautiful waterline model of her!
  9. Thanks for all the likes, input and encouragement. I went through the NMM website to try and find that plan of the Diana Main Yard in their collections, but couldn't for the life of me track it down. Anyway - there it is in their prints site. Given that plan is 80cm across, I make it 38.5cm across at 1:64 scale... and 24.6m across full-size (AOTS translated from 1:96 (26cm) to 1:64 measures 39cm so that's close enough for jazz). That's a serious bit of kit! A quick search tells me that Victory's main yard is around 31m (I remember last time I visited Victory being very struck with the scale of it, struck down on the ground next to Victory's hull, it runs a fair bit of the length of her (57m?) !) I'm sure in a high sea / winds, 12 metres felt like an awful lot longer to climb out. A question: The TopGallant masts have different types in AOTS (called pole heads?) - what were those different pole heads (stump, common, long) for? Was it different wind conditions? Whim of the captain? Progress so far has been in bits and bobs this evening... The gratings have been sanded down to height - the following shot shows the before and after left to right... The gratings have now been fixed in place, save the one next to the capstan platform, which I've also been working on (using some boxwood from an old ruler which is being gradually repurposed for the coaming surround for the capstan platform and gangway). I've also FINALLY completed making up the blocks and tackles for the carronades and guns on the foredeck, so those will be fully rigged by the end of tomorrow. (Trust me, that's way too repetitive for a photo... just look back through this topic for other similar things going on) I've been gradually planking the 32ft pinnace with what I think is maple veneer... It's painfully slow going, but I'm making progress slowly. Photos to follow shortly. Finally, I hope no-one will object, but I figured some photos of lovely things happening in the world might encourage us all... so here is a pleasant surprise from a pot I forgot about in the corner over the winter... It's my day off tomorrow, so I hope to have more to share with you all then. In the meantime, happy building, and God bless. Rob
  10. Wow... what an amazing plan... that is totally going to be a part of my build now Thanks so much! Interesting that none of that detail is shown in AOTS. I wonder how many of the yards had woolding? Rob
  11. Wow. A lot has happened since I last posted. And some of it in the shipyard. I paused work on the tops, and have worked on the following: Rigging quarterdeck guns and carronades (complete) (There's some weirdness going on with the wide-angle lens on the photo below - the carronades aren't sloping down like that in reality) Finish off bow rails (the rails that lead from the cat heads are particularly tricky - I wanted to make my own parts, but it's added a few grey hairs along the way.) These are now fitted and complete. Rigging fore-deck guns and carronades (in progress) Shape topmasts (foretopmast and maintopmast done) and dry-fit with fids, and start looking at the cross trees Shape driver boom for mizzen and jib boom to assess out full length of model when complete. (complete) Make up belfry, barricades for fore-deck, and mount along with galley-chimney, quarterdeck capstan and hatches (complete on fore-deck). This involved sanding down the height of the hatches significantly as originally I made them the same height as the gun deck hatches, which looks odd. I've decided to live with the width of the coamings being too wide... It's too tricky to sand these down evenly without power tools (which I don't have) Replace kit supplied ship's wheels with the after-market Caldercraft 24mm ship's wheel. I've always felt the kit supplied wheel was somewhat insubstantial as a single layer of brass etch... This substitution was WELL worth it. I have a picture of the difference below. (Kit on right, after-market on left) All in all, I think I'm getting close to topping out the hull, and the focus will be much more on the masts, spars and rigging pretty soon. Very happy building to you all. Rob
  12. Wow Peter, this is great progress - you'll storm past me in no time. That gun rigging looks really neat! I used Casey's Brass Black and didn't have any problems with the blackening rubbing off afterwards, although I did read that it needs to be a thin layer, otherwise it can cause problems. I did find the brass black brilliant for all the eyelets that are required... painting them didn't appeal somehow. I did the whole batch in one go, along with lots of the photo-etched bits, so they're all ready to use now. (Nasty stuff, that brass black, mind you! Definitely one for goggles and gloves!)
  13. Hi Barbossa, OC, Thanks for the likes and encouragement. Yes, I was really pleased with how the contrast worked out. Having looked at the AOTS book and seen the planking marked, it seemed like a good choice. A little progress to report on the tops. I've added the eyelets, and the cross trees with holes for blocks underneath. I may have mentioned that I was a little concerned because the fore and mizzen tops had a bit of a twist in them that was about 3-4mm from side to side... enough that it was irking me. Well, I've recently acquired a rib-bender to help me in a new hobby I'm dabbling in - making a violin... and it turned out to be perfect to steam these parts straight. At 250 Celsius, with water applied to the underside of the top, I could infuse the part with steam, and it became malleable and I was able to hold it flat until it cooled. Not sure I'd recommend it just for fighting tops, though! (I've included two sneaky pics of my first bash at bending violin ribs... It's rough and ready, but I'm learning! Amazingly, once the ribs are bent, they simply hold their shape. There's no force at all necessary to get them to stay put.) Anyway - back to Ethalion! I've also continued making up the training tackle for the quarterdeck armament. The tops dry-fitted in situ. Rib bending iron used to flatten out the misbehaving tops... \ My first attempts at something new! The main top with eyelets and swivel gun bases added. Also, the paint has been touched up around the edges. The view from above gives a little idea what it must have been even only at the top of the main mast when working these ships! Holes drilled for the blocks... And more blocks for the quarterdeck armament... 24 pairs to do, of which 14 with rope, and 7 without rope are complete so far... I've lost count of how many times these have pinged out of my fingers. A real exercise in patience, but I'm on the home stretch with the guns now. Right. That's it from me for this evening. Rob
  14. Oh, how disappointing. I typed out the whole message, and then it disappeared when I hit Submit... Oh well. Let's have another go. Thanks so much to everyone who has offered likes, encouragement, advice... it's so helpful, and a great spur to keep going on what is now a four year project! I've been busy rigging the weapons on the quarterdeck - not much to show, really... breeching ropes, and training tackle, just like the gun deck. All the breeching ropes are fitted, then I use watered down PVA to fix them so they look like they're falling naturally (or at least that's the plan). In the meantime - as I wait for the glue to dry so I can have my tools, which are keeping them in place as they dry, back, I've been working on the crosstrees. That meant first fitting the cheeks to the mast. These were pre-painted so that the lines between the black and the ochre were really crisp, then glued in place. The crosstrees are glued together, but not attached to anything yet... However, dry-fitted it all goes together really nicely... Here are the pictures... Thanks again to everyone who looks in, and happy building! Rob

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