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Everything posted by HSM

  1. Minwax also sells a "pre-conditioning" product that (I think) is basically the liquid carrier in a can of stain, but without the pigment. This wets the wood and when the stain is applied it is much more even.
  2. Are the rest of the masts more clearly documented? Look for an online photo of the replica from the side and measure the mizzen relative to the mainmast and then use that ratio for the model.
  3. I have always used a thread and needle to "sew" the ratlines through the shrouds and then glue them in, even on scales as large as 1:76. Right now I am working on a 1:47 scale ship (Friedrich Wilhelm zu Pferde from Euromodel) and will try the clove hitch method. Not looking forward to it though!
  4. They were for fighting fires and were not unique to clipper ships. The HMS Victory has them.
  5. I use a needle to thread the thin line through the stay and preventer. You can adjust the tension of each segment to keep it relatively straight and avoid pulling the two stays together.
  6. Try mcmaster.com. Everything mechanical including belts.
  7. My guess is that is a measuring tool. If you open it up and then touch one of the the openings to both sides of a material you can measure the thickness of that material by measuring the opening at the opposite end. Measuring the thickness of a ship's boat would be a good application for that tool.
  8. Totally agreeing on the Dremel being a great first power tool. I use it more than all my other power tools combined. Another thing, if you haven't already bought it a digital caliper is very helpful for us because you can immediately convert between metric and imperial with it. Much easier to read too.
  9. I use the same stuff wefalck spoke of. The brand name is called "liquid tin" and is meant to tin the copper of printed circuit boards. Dip the brass in this stuff and it looks very much like stainless steel or chrome if you shine it up. http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/MG-Chemicals/421-500ML/?qs=X5SXQx2ktnMrYFBNsFayFg==
  10. I have a "day job" that pays the bills, but I have also been building and selling ship models for about the last 15 years or so. I am working on model number 34 right now. Of the 33 that I've completed 30 have been commissions for 18 different clients. The remaining 3 were models that I chose and built just because I was missing the building, but the hope was that I would be able to sell them but that hasn't worked out very well... I still have 2 of those 3 and the one that did sell I had on hand for about 4 years before it finally sold. I don't actively advertise those remaining two completed models any more, but I did at one time and got very little interest. Also, when a collector finds a builder that he likes, they tend to stick with you. I've had one collector buy 6 models from me and another 2 have bought 3 each. Of the 3 Constitutions I've made 2 of them were for the repeat customers. The point there is that people who buy ship models have something specific in mind to fill a hole in their collection or to complement a display on a certain subject, and the chances of them wanting the exact thing I have on hand to sell is slim. Also, if a serious collector (one who knows what good models are worth) wants a Constitution or a Victory chances are they already have a builder they like and will want to commission it rather than buy it "off the shelf". It sounds strange in this day of instant gratification, but I've had 2 clients tell me part of the enjoyment for them is waiting in anticipation and watching as their models are being built. If I were to build something that wasn't a commission again I would make sure it was a subject I like because I expect it to be around for a while!
  11. When I started doing this on a commission basis I hooked up an hour-meter to the lightswitch in my workshop. I had good intentions of logging different stages of the builds, but that never worked out as I had hoped. I end up using the workshop for so many other things that it wasn't accurate. All I know is how many hours the light was on, and have to guess how long I spent on the ship vs. rebuilding car parts or whatever else I've been monkeying with.
  12. Hmmm... can't think of what that might be. What does it look like in the side-view? Are there any other drawings of the chainplates and channels? Is the box-art photo of any use?
  13. I have two displayed in my home, the first one I made maybe 15 years ago and another more recent one. I do still look at them and from a purely aesthetic point of view I think "That looks pretty good!". From a more technical point of view after having completed dozens since then I think "Wow, the workmanship is crap!". Everyone else who sees them seems to be impressed though! I think you will enjoy them and be happy to display them in your home.
  14. I use Testor's dullcoat in an aerosol can. Whatever type of flat clearcoat you use make sure it is mixed/shaken/stirred well.
  15. Richard, is that piece of paper covering the whole transom, or just the area where the letters are? What do you use to glue that on?
  16. Not crazy at all, that could be called "scale weight" and makes perfect sense! I used to do that with plastic armor models when I made them many years ago. For me though, I ship away all of my ship models so extra weight means more costly shipping and more chance of damage if the crate is shaken around.
  17. The type of plates, the surface they were glued to, and the way they were attached is important. If you can detail this we can probably offer better assistance.
  18. Agreed the first power tool should be a dremel, but since you already have that, and full-sized versions of the rest.... IMHO the best tool to get you started ship building would be a miniature table saw. The rest of the full-sized tools can be used to make miniature stuff with some limtations. Most hardware store 5" disc/belt sanders work better than the model sized versions because they have more power and rotational inertia if you are sanding frames or other larger items. A full-sized drill press will work as well as (probably better than) a miniature one as long as the chuck can accept very small drill bits. If you're kit-building I'm not sure how often you'd use a lathe for ship building. In my 30+ models I have used a lathe maybe 12 times (I have access to one at work). More often than not I can chuck a piece of wood in the drill press and use files to turn railings or whatever I need. This is my experience, might not work for everyone, but it works for me!
  19. I use acrylic paints from the craft store almost exclusively. They are cheap and easy to find, come in thousands of colors and stick very well to wood or properly primed metal and plastic. I don't see a need for special model paints. 30+ ship models later I haven't seen a reason to change!
  20. That's quite an ingenious device. Thanks for posting it!
  21. I've always resisted making full sails because I don't think I have ever seen them look like sails do in full scale, full of wind. Not saying it's impossible but it would take a ridiculous amount of effort to make it look good. Model material can't possibly mimic the stiffness or flexibility and the way gravity acts on full-sized fabric and rope. I do like the look of partly furled sails if made from silkspan or similar material though. They can look very realistic.
  22. If this is a legacy piece that will be a family memento of your Opa, and you can commit to finishing it off that is great! But ship model building and especially a complicated subject like the Vasa can be very daunting. We have discussed often the number of kits that are started with good intentions and then are left unfinished. Completing a legacy model is kind of like restoring a damaged one, and the philosophy there is to use as much of the original parts and techniques as possible, and for the completion or restoration to appear as if the model were made by the original builder, start to finish. Start by making the masts and see how the process goes. Evaluate how much you like spending time at it, and what chance you give yourself to see it through to completion. If you are still excited about it when it comes time to start rigging or permanently glueing your new stuff to the model then carry on! Keeping it within the family is of course the best way to go. The suggestion to start with a small model to build some skills is a very good one. Building and rigging a ship model is actually quite easy and doable for someone moderately skilled with their hands, it's just that those easy tasks have to be done hundreds of time before you are done! Perseverance is more important than raw skill. You have a long-term project, and more of a marathon than a sprint so understand that it may take a year or more. If you don't enjoy the process, or you lose steam or interest then consider having someone else complete the model before permanently altering the existing work. Perhaps there is another family member that could do it, or you could hire a professional to do the job. I have done several restorations and completed one legacy model (Constitution, from the masts-up) and I am sure others on this list could complete the job as well, if you decide to go that way. Just something to consider.
  23. I agree that compressed air is compressed air, no matter how it is made or how much the compressor cost. Everything involves compromise and you will have to give something up to get something else. Low cost, quiet operation, small size, useful for other things, smooth airflow... It's a personal preference balancing act. I generally don't buy hobby equipment (except for my Preac table saw) because they are made for hobby-sized jobs and can't be used for much else. My drill-press is from Canadian tire and takes a #80 bit, my compressor can blow up a car tire or power an air-nailer, and it works marvelously with my airbrush.
  24. I use Krylon leafing pens and love them. Have had the gold for maybe 10 years and it still flows nicely. The liquid comes out a little thick and dries with some thickness and that can be either good or bad. If you are coating something with fine detail it might soften the valleys a bit, but if it is a casting from an old mold and maybe with bubbles it fills in the imperfections and looks very good to my eye. I bought mine at Michael's craft store, but here is an amazon link. http://www.amazon.ca/Krylon-Leafing-Gold-Paint-ANK9901/dp/B003ZTNENS

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