Jump to content

Bluenose by Grey seal - unknown 70s kit - Restoration


Recommended Posts

So here we go!

 

This is a model I built way back in my teens. I found it last week when I cleaned out my father's garage. It's been knocked about but it is in better condition than I thought, although there is 20 years of garage dust and spider nests on it.

 

The kit was a very basic one and I have no idea who made it back in the mid 70s. I made all the little details myself and felt quite proud of it. (still am... ;) )

 

I'm going to renovate it (I got the go ahead for a restoration log from the community at the "New Member Introduction) and at the same time upgrade it and add things to it that I did not have the money or skills to do when I was a kid. There is no grand plan at the moment and I guess I'll think of things to fix as I go along.

First order of the day is a thorough cleaning!

In order to get it home, I had to lower the masts. They had come loose anyhow, as had a lot of the smaller items on deck. But the easiest way to do this is to disassemble it as much as possible and after that see what needs to be done.

 

I want to keep many of the original details for senitmental reasons, even if I could replace them with better things now, but some things irked me even back then. Things like the wooden beads I had to use since I could not afford "real" blocks, the crappy anchors I soldered from some wire hangers, the lack of oars in the dingies, and so on.

We'll see where it all ends up.

 

I also have to get hold of plans and pictures to work from. Any tips are welcome. I'll be looking for some inspiration on other Bluenose builds here as well. It will be slow work since I have a lot of other things to do, but it will be nice to have something to relax with from time to time.

post-17997-0-24709900-1460752286_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-71300900-1460752287_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's hope I do this right, I've not yet got the hang of how to post on this site and my computer is most uncooperative since it has Swedish settings. Please tell me if I go about this the wrong way.

 

I've detached the mats, sails, strings and all from the hull. (Atchooo!!) Think I'll just cut away all the strings and beads. It's going to be replace anyway. So this is what it looks like "raw".

 

post-17997-0-94749800-1460756726_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-90883000-1460756728_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-74434600-1460756729_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-44306300-1460756730_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Chap,

Looks like a very Nice Bluenose 1

I don't think that you'll have too many issues with you restoration Pretty simple Rigging to restore. I built an A/L version a few years ago. (You can find this on :the "Ship Modelling Forum" under HOF00 (I guess my photos are still there, I started a thread: Calling all Bluenosers which was, at the time met with a little derision.)

 

I look forward to seeing your progress.

 

Brings back some memories.

 

Cheers....HOF.

Edited by hof00
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no expert on restorations but it looks good at this point.  What are you planning on using to clean it?  I hope it doesn't involve running water (or a bucket of water).

 

 

Haha Mark, no, no buckets of water will be involved. I've been present at some conservation/renovation/cleaning work of artifacts at museums and that usually involves a lot of soft brushes and pads plus a year's supply of q-tips. I think I'll borrow some of those methods. A mild detergent, preferably what we in Sweden call "linsåpa", a kind of liquid soap made from linseed oil which also contains glycerol, is preferred. It is made for cleaning wooden things especially. That way you get rid of the grime without damaging anyhting.

 

(Finally!!! I had to switch to another browser to get the paste + quote-box thing working.)

Edited by Grey seal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

True to form, (I like the research part as well) I've also just ordered some books about the ship from an online used book store:

 

* Darrach, Claude: Race to fame, 1985, ISBN 0889992800

* McLaren, R. Keith: Bluenose &Bluenose II, 1984, ISBN 0888820429

* Merkel, Andrew; Schooner Bluenose, 1948

 

I saw that there were more books on the subject, but these will do for starters. I think I want to go with the design of the original ship rather than the modern vesion (Bluenose II). Hopefully the books will reveal which version the kit was for originally.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi grey seal,

 

I am pretty sure that you have the Billing Boats 576 Bluenose Kit, which is the Bluenose 1

But to be honest, the resemblance to the original is "shaky" at best.

From your pictures I recognise various details which look exactly the same as in my kit (most of which I do not plan to build  ;) )

 

I'll take a seat in your shipyard!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi grey seal,

 

I am pretty sure that you have the Billing Boats 576 Bluenose Kit, which is the Bluenose 1

But to be honest, the resemblance to the original is "shaky" at best.

From your pictures I recognise various details which look exactly the same as in my kit (most of which I do not plan to build  ;) )

 

I'll take a seat in your shipyard!

Thanks for identifying it.  :)

"Shaky" it is, but as I said, I built it when I was a kid and didn’t know much about authenticity, and while some details are not perfect I will keep them as nostalgia and do my best with the rest. It will be good enough for my living room at least. If this was a new build, my approach would be very different.

 

Grey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your soap sounds a bit like 'Murphey's Oil Soap' available here in the States.

You might try first, once you have the 5000 Q-Tips in hand, distilled water as the least aggressive, then, if that is not doing the job, and please, those with delicate constitutions look the other way, saliva.  It's not very sanitary, but is an excellent enzymatic cleaner and solvent.  A noted ship model restorer used that method on a 1700s three-decker model he was restoring for a museum collection.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Grey

 

Just so no misunderstandings occur: I meant to say that the resemblance of the Billing Boats kit (see also my build log) with the real thing is shaky at best. I did not intend to comment the resemblance of your model, since your model is yours and you build it any way you like to. Your model should give you the satisfaction of building it and possibly of looking at it afterwards (depends on what you do with it), so it is entirely up to you to do it any way you like to. 

We are here to support you to realize it or with opinions, if you like, but not to criticize. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your soap sounds a bit like 'Murphey's Oil Soap' available here in the States.

You might try first, once you have the 5000 Q-Tips in hand, distilled water as the least aggressive, then, if that is not doing the job, and please, those with delicate constitutions look the other way, saliva.  It's not very sanitary, but is an excellent enzymatic cleaner and solvent.  A noted ship model restorer used that method on a 1700s three-decker model he was restoring for a museum collection.

 

Thanks for the tip Joel, I knew the expression “spit polish” had to come from somewhere. B)  It’s in line with a tip I got from a photographer a long time ago: When screwing in lenses in cameras, or lubricating other parts of very, very fine machinery, just touch your nose and smear what little grease you get on your fingertip on the thread. Gross? Yes. Effective? Very.

 

Grey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Grey

 

Just so no misunderstandings occur: I meant to say that the resemblance of the Billing Boats kit (see also my build log) with the real thing is shaky at best. I did not intend to comment the resemblance of your model, since your model is yours and you build it any way you like to. Your model should give you the satisfaction of building it and possibly of looking at it afterwards (depends on what you do with it), so it is entirely up to you to do it any way you like to. 

We are here to support you to realize it or with opinions, if you like, but not to criticize. 

 

Don’t worry Jan-Willem, I’m not offended at all. I’m an easy going person and I read it as directed mostly at the kit. I remember how disappointed I was that there were so few details in the plans, not even a picture of the original ship. Back then, getting books from outside the country was a huge project so I had nothing else to go on. Building models have certainly evolved since then.

 

Thanks for your support!  :piratebo5:

 

Grey

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok fine, you never know  ;)

If you are looking for documentation, you might want to check out the Nova Scotia Archives (or NSA  :D ): http://novascotia.ca/archives/bluenose/

There is a large number of original pictures (but never enough when you are looking for a detail  ;) ) from the Bluenose (1) through the years.

I base most of my work on what I see on those pictures.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The books just arrived!

The middle one, “Schooner Bluenose”, seems to be the most interesting one with most pictures of the original ship. At first glance the main difference between no. I and II seems to be that the deck of the first ship was much more cluttered (read interesting). The original ship also seems to have had at least two sets of sails: one with “fringes” of ropes and one without. Maybe I’ll add those to my models since it is now the plain version. I think they look rather cool.

 

To be continued after I’ve had a better look at the books.

post-17997-0-26406500-1461260960_thumb.jpg

Edited by Grey seal
Link to comment
Share on other sites

All the rigging has now been removed and the sails are soaking in cold water with some "linsåpa". If that method is good enough for medieval textiles, I guess it's good enough for my sails.

 

I have given the deck a thorough dusting with a large soft brush and I've started to pry loose whatever I can. If I knew what glue I was using when I made this, I would be recommending it to the people trying to come up with materials for final deposition of nuclear waste, since it seems like it will hold strong for the next 30,000 years...

 

I also tested the spit polish recommended by jbshan above. It worked like a charm (see by the red arrow where it looks like a drunken snail has been skidding about) but the amount of "cotton mouth" it seems to develop makes me want to move on to more sanitary cleaning methods.

post-17997-0-26574500-1461410423_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-54714000-1461410425_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-52918000-1461410426_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice going!

If you damage your deck too much by prying the things loose from it you can always still think of planking your deck.

Interestingly, on the last picture I seem to notice the same torsion in your model as I have in mine (just the other direction). Maybe it's a "feature" of this kit. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Masts, sprits and spars are now detached from the rigging and sails. I'll see what I'll do with the assorted little bits. The brass mast rings are now very lopsided and open. They will have to be welded shut and made into more, well, rings.
I made the belaying pins from thick wire dipped in a glob of Plastic Padding and painted them. Think I will continue with that technique, but this time I'll file the ends to get rid of the pointy ends left by the cutters.
The dinghies are very rudimentary. The are carved from a block of balsa and could definitely be improved.

post-17997-0-90606300-1461412398_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-09408800-1461412414_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-93318700-1461412445_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-86057200-1461412455_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice going!

If you damage your deck too much by prying the things loose from it you can always still think of planking your deck.

Interestingly, on the last picture I seem to notice the same torsion in your model as I have in mine (just the other direction). Maybe it's a "feature" of this kit. :D

 

Yep, torsion it is. Let's call it a special feature. :P 

It's even more evident in this pic.

post-17997-0-73485800-1461413035_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exactly  ;)

Maybe you have seen the first pics of my log: same problem. Since I started my build roughly 22 years ago, I do not remember if this was already there at that time (due to me not taking care or having not enough experience) or if this happened while the hull sat on different shelves in different rooms and different countries (humidity, sun, ...) for 20 odd years. Anyway it is there and it is there to stay. So might as well call it a feature  :cheers:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

The brass rings have been detached from the masts. They have been more properly joined and then hard soldered using an easy flow 50% silver solder with a rather low melting point (about 650 °C) and pickled in sulphuric acid. Now comes the tedious part of filing down the solder globs... oh joy.

post-17997-0-68939500-1462292459_thumb.jpg

post-17997-0-34687700-1462292488_thumb.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rings are now closed and round but a bit too shiny after the pickelling. 

 

post-17997-0-77383300-1462706654.jpg

 

Since I want them looking "weathered" and not totally blackened, I opt for the gooey way of aging them. Two egg yolks (no whites they dont have any sulphur), one boiled to get the right sulphur chems and one raw for additional sulphur but also to act as an electrolyte.

 

post-17997-0-30080800-1462706872.jpg

 

Put in a plastic bag and leave overnight.

 

post-17997-0-09207600-1462706918.jpg

 

After rinsing, leave on a sunlit warm windowsill for a couple of days while there is still some sulphur on the surface. After that they are "as good as old" again.

 

post-17997-0-92557600-1462707033.jpg

 

(Again with the gigantic pics... I guess I'll have to live with that.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...