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Having completed HMS Alert, which is now safely in a case, I'm left with a kind of paper emptiness...

 

I have plenty of projects, but I'm so accustomed to having a paper model project in the works that it just didn't seem right to not have one now. So, I've taken on the 28-gun Enterprize-class 6th rate frigate HMS Mercury.

 

Shipyard (Vessel) makes 2 versions of HMS Mercury. One is a 1/72-scale boxed kit with laser-cut parts and all the fittings, brass cannons, resin figurehead, wooden spars, cloth sails, plus paints, brush and rigging line, etc. However, that version is a lot pricier than the simple 1/96-scale paper model where you have to cut everything out yourself. 

 

I got the latter from Ages of Sail for around $40. The kit includes pre-printed parts that you have to cut out, plus laser-cut framework that makes hull-construction very quick and accurate.

 

 

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I've actually had this kit for quite a while, probably at least a year or more. I also started it some time ago so I would have a hull that illustrates how these kits go together. I was going to just do a partial start and give it to Ages of Sail as a demo model. But, that never happened.

 

As I got further along on the Alert, I thought about how interesting a larger ship might be. Also, knowing the complexities of a 3-masted square rigger, I thought I might just build this as a kind of admiralty style model. Possibly building a launch ways and adding pole masts for the launching flags. In fact, right now, that's my plan unless I eventually change my mind and decide to rig this model.

 

 

The kit includes some 15 pages of printed parts, the laser cut framework, several sheets of drawings and templates, including patterns for making sails. Printed parts are included for two different color schemes. The completed, fully rigged model, measures about 26" long. The hull itself is just about 16" long.

 

I put the hull framework together many months ago. It goes together very easily and takes very little time. 

 

 

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More recently, I started putting on the first layer, which basically turns the model into a hollow solid hull model. As you can see, I also added the deck. The parquet floor is a separate piece which sits on top of the wood-pattern floor.

 

 

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Lastly, over this past weekend, I wanted a distraction, so I started working on the cabin partitions. I have to say that this is one advantage that these paper models have over their wood counterparts – there is much more internal arrangement provided in these kits. It even includes furniture for the great cabin.

 

 

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So, there you have it. Another paper model begun. As I said earlier, this isn't a priority project, just something I'll tinker with over time. But, like HMS Alert, it may very well get to the point where it takes on a life of its own and demands more of my time to take her to completion.

 

Clare

Edited by catopower
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Clare, I'll tag along too!!

 

I'm building HMS Wolf and HMS Victory (both paper rather than card) at the moment -  must say I'm quite infatuated with these kits! They're very fun and quick to build! I'm thinking of buying Mercury too, but will have to wait a while I think. 

 

Cheers

Jonny

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Welcome everyone! You'll have to be patient with this one in particular since it's very much a secondary project. But, I'll try to make periodic progress on it to keep it moving forward so you won't forget about it.

 

Tonight, I sat down and worked on the bulkhead supports. These particular pieces look like inverted deck clamps and seem to be something of a model kit anomaly. The only references I could find that showed these a set of plans by the same company. Those plans are for the Spanish warship Santa Leocadia. Interestingly enough, I have another set of plans from the same company, but of another English frigate, and the plans show no such part.

 

I am surmising that the part is the equivalent of bulkhead extensions in a wooden kit. They're needed to help shape the hull and to support the bulwarks planking, but they don't necessarily exist in real life. No matter. These are mostly hidden below the spar deck.

 

 

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I have to make several of these and it does take a bit of time. These are a little trickier than many other parts because of the inside curve that has to be carefully cut. Here's the process for building the part (similar process for all parts).

 

The entire piece has to be about 2 mm thick. What I do is to then glue the main pieces onto card stock to make each half 1 mm thick. I use digital calipers regularly with paper model work. 

 

 

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The first cuts I make using a scalpel or scissors. Note that an Xacto blade is really too thick for this work. A razor blade may be the best for cutting paper, but not entirely convenient. A scalpel is somewhere in between. Nice this is that you can buy a box of 100 blades, with blades coming individually packaged, for $5 with a basic handle. I bought a handle with a molded plastic grip on Amazon where I also bought the blades.

 

Important thing with cutting paper with a knife, you need a cutting mat to work on, and you want to make multiple passes without trying to cut through in one pass.

 

below, I made the initial cuts with a pair of sharp scissors along the easy, relatively straight lines. The inner curves require more careful work.

 

 

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Tight turns require multiple short cuts. One thing that is useful is, after glueing the two pieces together, wick some thin CA into the cardboard. That will make it work like plastic and you can sand that inside curve smooth with a piece of rolled sandpaper. 

 

 

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Finally, some spacer pieces are built-up, cut and added. The completed pieces glued into place on the deck. One thing that is very confusing is that there is a difference between the port and starboard side pieces, yet the parts all have the same part number, and there is no indication that I can find to explain which side the longer piece goes on. In fact, all of these bulkhead supports are the same way. You can see what I'm talking about in the second photo above.

 

 

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Finally, I thought I'd include a couple photos to show what the instructions look like. 

 

 

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One pair down, another 4 pairs to go...

 

Clare

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Hi Carl,

 

Yes, wood is definitely faster for some things. Then again, it's taken an incredibly short amount of time taken to get the hull to this point. But, cutting paper is a slow process when you have these inside curves to cut. For straight sided pieces or gentle curves, a pair of scissors is very quick!

 

Clare

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Hi Chris,

 

I just wish there was another card model build or two going on here. I'd love to see someone building one of the boxed laser cut kits. Ages of Sail has several. The 1/72 scale HMS Mercury kit is a bit too much money for me right now, but I would have considered starting the HMS Wolf kit if I didn't already have the 1/96 scale HMS Mercury paper model kit.

 

Anybody out there thinking of starting one?

 

Clare

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Jonny,

 

sorry I missed your post earlier about you building HMS Victory and HMS Wolf from card. Do you have a build log somewhere? If not, I hope you'll start one here on MSW. For one thing, I'd really like people to see that there are those of us who really are building models from paper (card), and they really are cool.

 

Clare

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Anybody out there thinking of starting one?

 

 

Card models intrigue me and I follow your builds (and Doris O's creations are just amazing), but a couple of things are keeping me from starting one.

 

1) I have probably 8-10 years of kits on the shelf already (non-card).

2) Scale.  I discovered doing my first 1:80 scale ship that I really don't like the smaller scales, and I don't plan to do anything smaller than 1/64 if I can help it, and the card models all seem to be 1/72 or 1/96.

 

Mostly that first one though.  :)

 

Keep on showing us cool card stuff though, it's quite interesting to see.

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Clare,

 

I started HMS Wolf back in March and have been working on it as a sideline project. I didn't start a build log because I've been fairly busy developing a comprehensive 3D CAD model of my Grandfathers yacht to 3D print and present to him on his 80th Birthday. I've managed to get the hull of Wolf to a reasonable level of completion, but as it's my first paper kit, I've probably made avoidable mistakes on the kit. I'm considering bashing the kit even further by 3D printing a number of item such as the 3 lb guns and 1/2 lb swivel guns.

 

As for Victory, I recieved the paper kit for my Birthday in July, and was surprised to find that not a piece of card was supplied with the kit to build up the "skeleton" so all I've managed to do on Victory is cut out the main spine and roughly cut out bulkheads 1 to 5 & 16 having glued them to 1mm thick Artist Mount. I have another 19 bulkheads to cut out, and then the intermediate/lateral support and deck pieces. So there is a lot of ground work to do before starting a build log in full force. 

 

Once I have the yacht off the desk I'll start a build log for Wolf and Victory.

 

Cheers

Jonny

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Nice start Clare. I've always been intrigued by cardboard kits and wondered how it all works.

I've got the plans for an Enterprize class frigate like Mercury from Shipyard that I've scaled up to 1/64 with a view to one day building in timber.... One day.

In the meantime I'll watch your build.

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Thanks for all the replies! I really hope to see some more card model blogs soon. Makes for much better discussion when others are going through similar steps and card modeling issues. 

 

First off, for those who haven't seen the contents of a Shipyard paper model kit, here's a peek as what you get...

 

 

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Now, for a progress update. I've been putting in a lot of ship modeling hours, getting myself better organized and more productive – at least for now. HMS Mercury has benefitted quite a bit.

 

For this most recent step, I've been constructing these inverted deck clamps. Strange addition, but most people won't know, and it's clear that they will support the bulwarks. 

 

 

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Next up, I'm piecing together the interior doors and the gun port linings. I'll also cut out the bulwarks panels and figure out if I should glue the gunport linings to them before or after I put them on the model. I'm thinking, before.

 

I haven't decided if I'll have all the doors in the open position or not.

 

 

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This is only my second paper model, so I'm still learning quite a bit. I think I'm wising up in my cutting and pasting techniques. Mostly, it's about the kinds of glue to use, the kinds of cardboard, whether to glue the printed pieces to the cardboard, then cut the whole thing out, or to cut parts while they're thinner and easier to manage, etc.

 

One thing I've found was that while CA glue can really solidify a piece, the thinner stuff has a tendency to wick in the printed paper and cause discoloration. It's mostly noticeable on the printed deck. I'm going to have to do like I did with HMS Alert and give the deck another couple thin washes of slightly darker wood tone. That not only hides discoloration, but it takes the shine off of the printed paper parts and makes them look a bit more like wood.

 

Clare

Edited by catopower
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Gunther,

I have a lot of kits in my closet too. But, I work on what intrigues me the most regardless of what's in storage. After all, I'll probably never get to all of those kits, and there's no rule that says I ever have to. I usually go through and cull them periodically, deciding which ones I don't really need after all. There's too much cool stuff out there.

 

On scale, I know what you mean. I'd sworn off 1/8" scale at one time. But, I've come to accept smaller scales because of the sheer size of some models. I have a Victory in 1/78-scale in the works and it's big now, but when that bowsprit goes on, it's going to get crazy here. So, I've just put up with the small scale. Anyway, you can get away with faking more at smaller scales!

 

 

Johnny,

I'm looking forward to seeing those build logs. I need to see how this is done!

 

 

Hey Chris,

That's the beauty of paper models. How room do you really need to cut and glue paper? My wooden ship modeling work is all over the place. But, all the paper model work I can do in one small place. And, there's no "stuff" needed except glue, cutting mat and a few small hand tools. Well, of course, I understand your situation, so I don't slight you for not working on any paper models... much  ;)

 

 

Bill,

Do you have a build log for your Goeben? I'd love to see how the kit goes together. I bought the GPM kit of the Japanese pre-dreadnought battleship Shikishima. It's pretty interesting, but a very different kind of construction than these Shipyard sailing ship kits.

 

 

Mike,

These kits are amazing well engineered. It makes me wonder why these paper kits can have so many interior details, when a wooden kit has to be heavily modified just to be able to look through the gallery lights to see the inside of the great cabin.  It does make me think that one of these days, some company is going to make a larger scale wooden ship model kit with lots of laser-cut parts in the fashion of these paper kits. 

 

 

Timmo,

The Enterprize class is the one set of plans I don't have from Shipyard. I figured this HMS Mercury, being an Enterprize-class frigate would do. But, it would be interesting to try this in a larger scale. Don't get me started!

 

Carl,

You know, that remark about wood being considerably faster... If I didn't have so many other projects to finish, I might take that as a challenge. I'm beginning to think this model could go together very quickly.

 

 

Clare

Edited by catopower
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You know, that remark about wood being considerably faster... If I didn't have so many other projects to finish, I might take that as a challenge. I'm beginning to think this model could go together very quickly.

Clare,

 

I refered merely to the standards (as per Druxey's explanation). Setting up the hull, you did a lot faster compared to wood

Edited by cog
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Druxey,

 

Thanks for the explanation! I don't have Shipyard's HMS Enterprize plans, which is the same class as HMS Mercury. I'd be curious to see if they included standards in those plans. They don't show up in their plans of HMS Success.

 

 

Carl,

 

You're right about those being faster to construct from wood. Once I get past the "paper" model project, it would be interesting to build multi-media style. Using materials that work or are easier to fashion, rather than trying to stick to a class of model. Still, I love wooden ship modeling, but working with another medium is quite liberating.

 

I have Shipyard's Santa Leocadia "Super Modellar Plans", which includes the basic hull parts and some detail parts in paper. I pieced the laser-cut hull framing together as a demo display. Might be interesting to build that as such a model.

 

We'll see. Long ways to go here.

 

 

 

Back to my model... If someone out there works on one of these kits, and were I to do this again, I would consider taking and cutting a razor blade so that is very narrow and has a cutting edge maybe only 1/8" long or so. It might be possible then to chop out the printed window panes. Then, sandwich a piece of clear acrylic between the paper sheets for the windows. I'm beyond that stage now for these interior partitions and doors.

 

For the gallery and quarter galleries, I have the Super Detail parts set from GPM. One of the nice things about the set is that it includes laser-cut gallery lights. So, I won't have to worry about those windows looking like silver colored paper. The set is about $24 at gpm.pl (Polish site) plus $12 shipping. It takes only a couple weeks to get, but you just have to put up with the fact that their address form isn't formatted quite right for US addresses. I kind of rearranged my address so it appears correctly. But, USPS seems to get it figured out okay regardless.

 

The set also include laser-cut parts for the capstan, gun carriages, blocks and deadeyes, mast tops (I think), gratings (!), and figurehead. I don't remember what else. It's definitely worth the cost. I much prefer having these gratings on my model than the 2D printed paper.

 

 

Clare

Edited by catopower
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This SHOULD be my last update for a little while as I've got some other things I need to get back to. 

 

HMS Mercury has been a great part-time distraction and it's terribly addicting to work on. I'll TRY to set it aside for the next couple weeks as I get some other project work done and prepare for a trip to Japan I'm making at the beginning of next month. More on that later/elsewhere.

 

Well, I managed to put all the interior partition doors in place. For the most part, since these are separate parts, I left them in some degree of openness. This lets light shine through, which is useful, since the internal windows are just printed. As I mentioned before, the gallery lights are also just printed, but the separate "detail set" from GPM has laser cut window frames, so the gallery lights should look a lot more natural.

 

 

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I was all set to start making the gun port frames, which are constructed from 4 pieces each. Then, I discovered that I'd lucked out and don't have to cut out all those parts because the detail set has them already cut. There'll be plenty of tiny parts to cut later. For now, it's nice to avoid that step.

 

 

Here are the kit's printed parts, ready to cut...

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Here are the detail set parts, already laser-cut, shown here painted, ready to remove from the sheet and glue up...

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What you may note here though, is that the gun port frame pieces are individually numbered, because there is a slight difference between them. The detail set isn't number like this, but the parts still differ. Fortunately, the parts are laid out on the sheet in the same order. But, you definitely have to keep the printed sheet intact to serve as a reference. 

 

Also, this makes it difficult to make all the gun port frames all at once. Best to make them one at a time and then attach them to the hull before losing track of which one is which.

 

Clare

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Clare,

 

I do have photos of each stage completed so far. Basically, it is the framework for the hull as well as the secondary battery.  I am stuck on the casemates, though.  I may have made the secondary gun shields too large, so I have to redo them.

 

One thing that I do is to run copies of the kit sheets on my printer on heavy stock paper.  That way, I can mess up something and have the original from which to make new copies.

 

One question I have for you . . . what are the outside measurements of the original magazine for this kit?  The reason I ask is that I just bought the Shipyard kit of the HMS Cleopatra from a Chinese source (Not any of those prohibited!).  It arrived wrapped in shrink wrap that contains an 8X11 magazine.  The pages are not bound, making me thing that they bought the original kit from Shipyard, copied them to a flash drive, and are simply printing them up.  I'm not sure that the kit I received is printed in 1/96 scale.

 

Thank you for your help!

 

Bill

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