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Found 2 results

  1. After a month of work on my new project it's at the stage where I suspect it might turn into something worth continuing so here it is... A Cruizer class brig in 1:36 scale which is (hopefully) destined to be a working RC square rigged sailer. I've kicked this project off before finishing the rigging on my current Granado build after seeing a few build logs and being filled with inspiration and a reckless confidence to simply have a go. It's a good vessel to practice on as it's relatively simple with flush decks, only two masts and little decoration. I can experiment with the rc servos, ballast keel and sail operation once the hull and masts are done and if it works then move on to the nice to have items like head rails, carronades and deck fittings. The cruizer was a possibility for my next scratch build originally planned at 1/64 but I'd helped my father build the 1:20 scale Valdivia schooner kit from Robbe a few years back and being so taken with sailing it that I wanted one of my own. I'd love a 1:24 scale RC Surprise or cruizer from Steel Chapman and Hutchinson Ltd http://www.modelsailingships.com/ships/grasshopper.html But it's out of my price range once freight etc is taken into account, hence an effort to scratch build, especially after seeing the very informative logs from Jerry Todd for his Macedonian, Constitution and others. 1:36 was chosen as it's large enough to look the part and have some sailing ability and be easily managed with a length of 84cm on the gun deck. If successful with the brig the ultimate goal is a frigate and at 1:36 scale a large vessel like an Artois class frigate of 146 feet on the gun deck would be just manageable for transport and launch at roughly 120cm. But that's pretty optimistic at this stage and I've got a lot to learn yet. The plans for this vessel are those included in EW Petrejus' fine book 'modelling the brig of war Irene' scaled up with bulkhead widths and deadwood for building purposes etc drawn in. Using relatively cheap materials was a must for this project as there's still an element of doubt over if it will work. If it doesn't I don't want to feel like it's been a huge investment that fails. As such the brig will be built from 9mm plywood for the framing with the keel and planking from matai - a New Zealand native timber which is moderately hard enough to hold detail at this scale while still easy to work and has a nice tone although the brig will be painted anyway. The matai is in the form of old tongue and groove floorboards from a demolition yard that are going for about $6/metre for short lengths that are pretty much unusable for anything else. I can mill these on my table saw and with a home built thickness sander. The hull will be built upside down on a building board for stability and will be cut loose once planked. A base line parallel to the keel a few cms above the max height of the sheer line was drawn on the plans to provide a point from which to measure from. All the bulkheads were drawn with this line as a top (or bottom once upside down on the board) square edge to ensure they would all sit at the correct height from the board and provide a level run for the keel to attach to. A test run of bulkheads on the board. To avoid installing deck beams later these were drawn onto the bulkheads using the camber indicated in Petrejus. The bulkheads were then cut down to ribbing size. In hindsight I should have left the bulwarks above deck ticker to account for the reduction from subsequent sanding but it's nothing major. Most of the framing on the build board here. The keel and stem is matai ripped on a bandsaw and run through my drill powere thickness sander (thanks to MSW member Snowmans for his fine instructions on making one) down to 9mm. The stem was then cut in one piece on the bandsaw and gammoning and bob stay holes/slots drilled.
  2. All right, ye bilge rats....in response to a rapidly diminishing number of requests, here comes the build log you've been dreading. If God is both patient and willing, this log will cover the constructing, painting, rigging, and display of a somewhat generic HMS Cruizer class brig-rigged sloop of about 1797 in 1:300 scale. All of the historical heavy lifting has been done by Dave Fellingham----over on the Nautical History thread-- a great piece of research. All I can do regarding this history is to reiterate that the class was probably the most numerous of the Royal Navy, and that with its 16x32lb Carronades, it was fast, seaworthy, as mean as a frigate at close quarters for far less cost to build, and 1/3 the crew. The kit is made by Langton Miniatures, known best for 1:1200 wargame ships. Why Rod and Carol Langton ventured into the 1:300 swamp with these complex models is a mystery to me--- anybody who makes one of these things and bashes it around in a game should be neutered forthwith. Suffice to say that I love both company and product-- when I first saw the John Westwood built ships on their website, I was hooked. The books that pertain specifically to what is called "extreme miniatures" are: 1) Two wonderful titles by Donald McNarry-- "Shipbuilding in Miniature" and "Ship Models in Miniature". Every modeler's library should have these, especially since they are all but free on the used market. 2) "Ships in Miniature" by Lloyd McCaffery a curious fellow who may set your teeth on edge a bit, but who is a crazily skillful builder.3) I also admire Phillip Reed's books, especially "Period Ship Modelmaking". Of course, all other good model ship books are useful, but these are specific to small scales. A couple of general comments apply for "The Short Ships". I've found that if anything on these teeny-weenies is out of scale, it looks like hell. Better to suggest or omit detail if you can't get it down to size. Also, one of the things that really makes a small waterline model great is a strong sense of "taper", ie, a heroic effort to not let the topmasts, bowsprit, and yards look too beefy--- a problem which limits the realism of small scale. The question "why not scratchbuild" is probably pertinent here. I've done a bunch, but just don't feel the urge to set up for that work anymore. Part of this is living in the sticks and not being able to find raw materials--- even the model RR store in Albuquerque shut down-- there is no bigger buzz-kill for me than not having what I need. These kits solve most of that problem---as you will see. OK--- The pix...#1 is the box laid out--- note chapstick for scale, and little in-progress waifs in rear. #4is the hull, which at this stage looks like a dead albino anchovy. #3 are the plan sheets-- plenty good though not exhaustive. #2 is intended to dispell the notion that one needs delicate hands to do this work--mine,as you see, look like mutant tree roots from years of US football.(Note also phone # of Fly-Tying shop in Alb. scrawled on hand-- a fine source of wire, etc. for minis). This is more a mental challenge than a physical one. Please be critical. I've gotten into some patterns of sloth and carelessness which I hope will improve with this log. The next installment will show a few efforts to improve the basic kit. john

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