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About robdurant

  • Birthday 03/29/1979

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  1. Well, the ratline tying continue apace, Foremast ratlines done, and the shrouds in place on the mainmast ready to rattle down... Nothing very exciting in terms of pictures... But I also had a nice parcel from Cornwall Model Boats containing the dowels I needed to get the yards done. So... Main yard and Fore main yard are begun. Here's my progress so far after an enjoyable hour with the lathe (just sat on top of the tops to get an idea of what they might look like). It's broken up the ratlines nicely Ready for the main mast now.
  2. I think this may be the first build log I've seen of Danmark - I remember years ago thinking that it would be rather wonderful to make this kit, but I never have... She's going to look even more splendid when done! Kits certainly have come on a lot since these were made. I made a Billings Blue Star 25 years ago or so (ABS hull), and the parts for the superstructure were all cut out by hand for that too - at least the lines seemed to be in the right place which was more than I could say for the next kit I built back then. Tedious, but perhaps that brings a greater sense of satisfaction when you get to the other end. Thanks for sharing your progress with us all.
  3. Hi all, It's a few weeks since I last posted, and lots has happened in the shipyard. Fighting tops I wanted to finish off the fighting tops, so I could get shrouds in place, and start the (significant) job of the ratlines. That meant constructing the barrier at the back of the fighting tops. I was concerned that wood would be a little vulnerable in that position as I rigged the ship. Also, I suspected that the ship itself had metal posts, and not wooden uprights, so I ordered the smallest square brass cross-section I could fine, and set about soldering them with a little jig made using balsa and pins. Burton pendants These are added to the mast before the shrouds - made of 1.25mm thread, tied with .25mm thread and secured with watered down Aliphatic glue (carpenters PVA). My understanding is that they're attachments to which temporary rigging can be fixed when necessary. Starboard first, Larboard second for the main and fore, one hanging down on either side on the mizzen mast. That was achieved by unravelling the rope in the centre by twisting it - passing it round the mast, and then letting it spring back. Shrouds Again, a starboard pair, then a larboard pair - starting at the front and working back. I used 1.25mm black rope for these. (The recommended 1mm looked a bit weedy to me!) It's worth noting at this point that if the shrouds don't sit on top of each other, but sit side by side (i.e. the higher loops are bigger and sit down around the lower) - you may run out of space between main and top masts, and it will force the base of the topmast forward, thereby stopping the two from being parallel. Thankfully, when I checked this hadn't proven an issue, but it almost caught me out, so hopefully others will avoid the dilemma. Bent steel wire was used for spacers on the deadeyes whilst rigging the shrouds... I found the recommended brass wire both too large in diameter for the deadeyes, and suspected the wire I had might be too soft. As you can see below, I rigged the lanyards on one side of each shroud pair first, before I secured the other end of the shroud so that I could be confident of the length. As it was, I think I still left the shrouds a little loose, but I didn't want to pull the chainwale off the side of the hull causing all sorts of inglorious muttering and holding of head in hands. As running rigging, the lanyards were 0.5mm light rope, and I'm quite pleased with the contrast... Rattling down the ratlines I wanted to learn serving, and rope-making, but those are going to have to wait for the next model DISCLAIMER: Now comes the controversial bit. Bear with me here. I've used both light and dark rope in the past for ratlines. I like the light. It's a personal choice. I know it's showy. And this is a showy frigate... just look at the paintwork - the captain would rightly have been proud of this crack frigate... so I've gone with untarred manila! I know it's probably not the right colour, but hey... it's my model And I really like the effect it made on my Pickle schooner... Sherborne and Royal Yacht Caroline both look great with black ratlines, but I also found the 0.1mm thread much easier to get neat scale tidy ratlines with... So. That's the decision. I'm 1200 knots in, so the decision is well and truly made... and I'm not about to go anywhere near this model with india ink (as the instructions suggest) - I'm simply not brave / foolish enough to attempt it over neat maple decks. With that said, I printed off a bunch of CAD sheets with lines 5.8mm apart, and used these as the guides. Here are the pictures of progress so far. It always takes me a bit of head-scratching to remind myself what a clove hitch looks like... (at least the way I do them - am I wrong again?) And an inspection of the work so far... I find by applying watered down PVA to each row as I finish it, the whole thing stiffens up quite well, and as I go it gets quicker... This way I can pull out the tension as it shrinks, too and avoid the whole thing bowing in and becoming curved along its length. (to some extent at least...)
  4. One question - are each of the planking strakes straight, or did you curve them to fit the hull? It sounds from your description like you made them straight, then used plenty of pva to make them pliable enough to side-bend when fitted?
  5. Wow - that's how my first attempt was going to turn out in my head, and mine ended up in the scrap heap... Beautiful work Jason. You have every reason to be pleased. Having just attempted to build this mini-kit, I have some idea of quite how fiddly it is.
  6. Hi Eamonn Thank you for your kind words. There's something very pleasing about working out the lines for yourself - and on the scale of a ship's boat, it's manageable - I'm in awe of those who try to draft entire ships themselves. That's another level! Thanks Jason It's going to be immensely over-engineered, but that's the joy of this hobby... I can choose to spend more time than is rational, simply because I want to I hadn't quite appreciated how small it was on the screen, but when I printed it out and began to cut it out, the challenge became apparent pretty quickly! Thankfully the parts are quick to shape because they're so small. Any mistakes, and one can simply make the part again. I taught myself 2D CAD using QCAD Pro, because I got frustrated with trying to get other applications such as Word to print things out at the right scale, and it's proved useful time and again as I've worked through this build. Rob
  7. Time for another update, although progress has been limited. I've done a little to the pinnace, drafting, cutting out and making a build board for the skeleton of the boat. I'm hoping to make the keel a snug fit but not glue it, and then once the hull's planked, I shall try and lift keel and shell off the former... then I can add scale frames, and details. That's the plan. Time will tell whether it works. I'm beginning to realise that I wrongly assumed that thin planks would make planking the boat easier - in fact, if anything slightly thicker stock may be easier, as it is more forgiving to be sanded down to achieve a neat shape... I'm interested by Jason (Beef Wellington)'s suggestion he may use card to create a clinker effect... the thought had crossed my mind (having done a little work on a Shipyard Models HMS Mercury)... perhaps natural wood on the inside, and card on the outside? We'll see. Some of these photos have the caldercraft supplied frame alongside to show the difference. In addition, I've finally finished the cross trees for the top mast / topgallant mast junction. These were small and fiddly, and the wood wasn't the best, but I'm pleased enough with the outcome. This photo is of the smallest - the mizzen cross tree - note the lack of holes on the foremost cross member. I'm using the topgallant mast as a spacer to make sure the mast fits once it's all glued. These are now painted, and the ship has reached her full height. (All dry-fitted - hence the slightly odd angles - until the rigging is well under way - indeed, much of this will remain dry-fitted once complete, as the rigging holds it all nicely in place.
  8. How interesting. Thank you. Yes it would be fascinating to understand the journey from one usage to the other.
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Wow - I ordered from you on Tuesday, and lo and behold, the binnacle's here already. I look forward to assembling it forthwith. It's the first sight I've had of the work you're now doing with your laser cutter, and it looks exceptional! Thank you Chris.
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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

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