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32 Pound Carronade by Stubby - Marine Model Company Inc. - Scale 1/2" = 1'

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So my dad found this cool model at a garage sale.  The model kit was sold by a company called Marine Model Company Inc. - which is a precursor to Model Shipways.  In fact, Model Shipways still makes this kit, but it is a little different than the older form.

It is pretty interesting to see the differences between the model and the older kit.  Obviously, Model Shipways is pretty well known for its laser engraved pieces, but this isn't the case with the older kit.  Also, the older kit has more metal pieces than the new kit, and they are wrapped in tissue paper to keep them safe.

I do have a couple of other projects going at the moment, but this looked like a fun diversion that I could finish relatively quickly, and the large scale would allow me to try some cool techniques I've learned on this site.  So... here goes....


- Stubby




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One thing I didn't like about the older model kit was that there is no planking; the deck is a block, and the directions call for "scoring" to mimic the deck plates.  So for that reason I decided to build the platform (at least) from scratch.  So instead of a solid base, I went and bought some wood for beams and planks.  

The kit included 1/4" x 1/4" pieces for the timber heads, so I made the beams match.  The directions called for "scoring" to be every 1/4", so I got 1/4" planks.  I cut the beams and timber heads yesterday and fussed with them for a while.  The pivot block in the kit is cast metal, but in the modern kit it is wood.  I liked the wood version better - and think it's more accurate - so I reproduced it from some scrap wood.  The pivot block is 5/8" x 1 1/4", the latter being the spacing between the timber heads (and consequently the beams).  I also constructed a waterway, which isn't mentioned in the kit. 


Based on the scale, the deck planking would be 6" wide on the deck, so I looked up the proper pattern for dowling/tree nailing the deck.  Here is where I could use some advice:  I've not seen the pattern shown in my book before.  I think it might look good, but certainly a departure.  Also, looking at the pattern in the modern kit, the planks don't seem to line up with the beam.  I hadn't planned on being too detailed with the cross-deck beams, as the model will be resting on them and they won't be terribly visible.  Do the cross-deck beams account for the fact that the planking doesn't seem to line up with the deck beams?  I'm trying to decide whether to ignore the pattern in the new kit and go with the one in the book lined up with the deck planks, or if I should do some kind of hybrid between the two..... or maybe I'm overthinking it and should just keep it simple....


- Stubby 




Edited by Stubby
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I got the carronade model plus a long gun.  See my build log here <http://uvsmgshipmodelguild.wikispaces.com/Projects>

I placed my carronade on the quarterdeck, so any spikes or trunnels would be plugged with the grain running with the plank and thus not very noticeable.  By the scale of the model, your trunnels should be only about half what they seem to be.

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  • 3 months later...

So it's been quite a while since I last posted an update - been a crazy busy couple of months.  I have however, don a little work on this model.  I measured out the deck planks and drilled the holes for the tree nails.  I am painting the edges of the planks to simulate caulking.  I tried the pencil trick with my other model, and while a generally liked the result, it was kind of messy.  So... giving the paint approach a try....

The photos show the progress.  None of the planks are glued in place yet.  I plan to paint the caulking on all of the planks and then glue them in place.  Then I will make and install all of the tree nails and sand and stain the entire deck.  I'd welcome any constructive advice along this lines, as I have never attempted it before. 

I also recreated the carronade platform out of wood, because I thought it would look better.  Not done yet, and not perfect, but I am generally happy with the results. 





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So, I haven't been very chatty about my progress, but have been progressing none the less.  

I installed the hull planking, cap piece and rail cap, and am pretty happy with it.   I decided not to use tunnels on the hull planking - mostly because I was being lazy, but also because I wasn't sure if they would show up under the black paint.  Looking at it now, I think they probably would - but I can live with it.

I also put together and attached the gunport lid.  I made a few minor mistakes as I went through, but I don't think they are too noticeable.  The next step is to install the block system that raises the gunport lid.  I also need to start prepping the actual carronade.  I've been putting that off because it came so rough.

The last picture shows the carronade base.  Not yet installed - just sitting there so I can pretend I'm farther along....





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Attached the gunport tackle today.  The blocks that came with the kit were too brittle, so I made new ones.  I'm not completely happy with the hook - which I fashioned out of wire, and the eyes - which I made out of black thread which was really too thin for the task.  I haven't cut the chain yet just in case I want to redo it. I doesn't look bad; I think I'll sleep on it.



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All right; I looked through some logs on this site and found some great ideas for block and tackle.  I'm not quite up to the quality of some, but I think it is a marked improvement.  I also moved the eye and the cleat over a bit because I had them too close to the port.  I wasn't too happy about that because it left holes in the clamp beam where they were previously, but the one hole is covered by the single block, and the other by the rope so it's not too noticeable.  You can see the former hole for the cleat in the larger picture right beneath the eye.



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  • 2 weeks later...

Like Mark says, Bondo Spot putty. They have several formulas, as I recall, so read the label and get one for metalwork. I have some orange label Bondo for plastics and it's a good filler. However, wear gloves and a good mask, since the stuff is loaded with VOCs. Work outside or with good ventilation.

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Good candidate for using your bondo corrected and cleaned up part to create a rubber mold, then a wax model. Might be able to take your wax model to your local Community College Art Dept and have a lost wax copy made. Your wax model and it's copy will be a true copy of every flaw and finish you allow. You can do it at home with low melting alloys, but using an art department with kilns that will handle brass you can upgrade from a Babbitt alloy.


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Jud - That may be beyond the level of effort and experience that I currently have, but I will certainly keep that in mind for future projects.  I found a link describing the molding process with silicone, but I think I will start with the Bondo Spot putty for this one!


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  • 5 months later...

Wow, five months since I posted on this project!  It's been a crazy summer.  Among other things, I built a new workbench over the summer.  I'm going to build overhead cabinets too, but I'm going to wait a bit before taking on that project.  The room is a bit messy, but here is the workspace as it is....


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I did do a little work on the model too.  I had to manufacture the block and tackle brackets for the sled and the cradle to mount the carronade itself.  I tried shaping solder to make the brackets, but while i could get the right shape, it was really to soft.  I then tried regular wire, which I soldered to make it a solid piece.  The wire I used was not very conducive to solder - I'll have to get something that will work better for the future.  Still - I deemed it "good enough."

I then shaped the cradle pieces from wood, painted and attached all.  The photo shows the carronade installed - the center of gravity is off because the barrel is not hollow.  I'm counterbalancing with a clamp in the picture, but I'm hoping that glueing everything will overcome this problem.  

There!  SOMETHING was done.  I'm hoping to do some block and tackle this weekend.... we'll see how it goes.




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