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HMS Mercury by catopower - Shipyard - 1/96 scale - CARD

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Hi Carl, it also ties me to the build too. I can't write something like that and then just leave it at that.


Just a little progress, but it's something. Plus, it was a pretty neat assembly – the Brodie stove in the forecastle.


The instructions were a little messed up in one spot, showing the top of the stove mounted backwards. Another drawing showed it correctly after I'd done the work.


Since I wanted to make a slight detail modification anyway, I cut the top free and reattached it in the proper orientation.


I also decided to insert a small block of basswood inside to make the stove body more solid before cutting the top off and I'm glad I did.


Here's an early pic showing the basic structure. Note how I have it in backwards at this point. It's actually the top that was backwards.




Below is the rebuilt stove. There was a very 2-D looking chain assembly printed in the kit. I replaced this with wire and the end of a small dowel that I filed down. After I saw what the real thing looked like, I added the shaft onto the arms.


You'll note the white cover handle. This is again a modification of the kit, and the one I originally made popped off during "surgery", and the new one hasn't been painted yet.



The completed stove is shown here, temporarily in place. I want to figure out what I need to do for the carriage guns before I install it permanently. 



Below is another view of the stove temporarily in place.



While not part of this model, working in paper led me to making a small detail that will go into the cabins at the stern of an HMS Victory model that I've been working on. These clearly are rough and not accurate, nor are they meant to be. I just want an observer to see a representation of interior space, should they manage to look inside the gallery lights. Again, this is really a direct result of working with these paper kits, since they actually include these kinds of details. 


Also, the pattern came from an HMS Victory paper model kit. I enlarged a scan of these partitions to the scale of my model and used those as templates for making them out of swiss pear.


At this stage, there are really different aspects of the ship model I can choose to work on. I have some furniture to make for the great cabin. That's actually in progress now and I'll probably be posting some pics of those items next time. At least some of them. 


I'm also thinking about finishing the deck by completing the deck hatches/gratings. I also have to make some cannon carriages and possibly I'll try making the barrels from paper. But, on my HMS Alert, I just used brass cannon barrels.


The matter of which color scheme to use is also a decision I'll need to make very soon. The kit includes parts printed for an 1778 color scheme, as well as parts for an early 1800s color scheme. If I go with the 1800s scheme, I'll probably copper the lower hull. If the 1778 scheme, I may want to come up with some form of planking patterned after the nicely printed planks of the sheets that will cover the existing hull.



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Okay, here's a very brief update again.


I don't know why it's so easy to get sucked into a paper project, but it is...


About a week or so ago, I made this chest of drawers for the Captain's day cabin. The kit photos showed a couple items sitting atop, and I'm contemplating a rolled up map, maybe a book. Yeah, it gets addictive.




Just today, I set it into place to see how it would look and above it, on the partition wall, was an empty space, and I thought "That would be a great place to hang a painting".


Next thing I know, I'm on the Internet looking for paintings appropriate to a British ship of 1778 or later. I hunted down a Willem Van de Velde the Younger, Royal visit to the fleet in the Thames Estuary, 6 June 1672. I also found a nice portrait of King George III, but settled on the former.


I found a site that sold framed artwork that allowed you to see what the painting would look like with a choice of frames. I figured that tastes were more toward what we would consider gaudy. So, I did a screen grab. I probably should have photoshopped out the matte, but didn't think of it. I don't know if I really care, though I might if people could really see the painting clearly.


The pic in the screen grab had a watermark, so I used photoshop to overlay another image I found that didn't have one, then proceeded to size it appropriately. A put a few different sizes on a small piece of photo paper, which I printed on my inkjet.



Now, if I had been more ambitious, I might have also built up the frame a bit, so it didn't look so two dimensional. But, I did laminate the print to card stock to make it thicker. I also edged this with a gold paint pen. If I'm not happy with this when I go to install it, I do have a somewhat larger image I printed earlier without a frame. I could always build up a frame and use that instead.




Anyway, it was yet another fun distraction.



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HMS Mercury's Cannons

Before I can put too much of the interior detail into place, I really need to add the cannon carriages and probably the gun tackle too. The main reason is that if I am going to add any amount of gun tackle, I need some room to add ringbolts and blocks and such in the tight confines of the model's interior. This will be more difficult if I try to do this after adding other interior furnishings.




Now, if I built this as a real dockyard scene with launch flags flying, as I've been considering, the cannons wouldn't be on the model at all, as this was something done after launching. Of course, I could take some artistic license and create the launch scene, even if I do add cannons.


I'm still a little torn about the whole idea of the dockyard scene, because it feels a little like cheating since I'd be avoiding all the masting and rigging. But, I've seen some beautiful models built in this style. And who's to say that I won't build a fully rigged paper model next time? Yes, of course I'm rationalizing.


In any case, I think I've decided that I'll add the cannons regardless of the final model type. I can go ahead and get started on the carriages first. I will then give some thought to the barrels and the gun tackle. I think it's common to build a ship model where the cannons have no tackle or just the breech ropes rigged. But, a serious ship modeler would  most certainly fully rig the cannons, and I expect I will do just that.


And the barrels? I used brass cannon barrels on my HMS Alert model, which look absolutely great, but I may just put some effort into making them out of paper this time. Anyway, I don't know of good sources of small enough pre-made carronade barrels, of which I'll need several for the quarter deck. But, first things first. Time to make carriages.


Building the Carriages

The task of cutting all the parts to make good looking gun carriages can be quite intimidating, particularly the trucks or wheels. Luckily, this step is simplified by the fact that the GPM HMS Mercury Details set I bought includes all the gun carriage parts all neatly laser cut.




I've generally been pre-painting the laser-cut parts before removing them from the sheets. The Shipyard printed parts are a natural wood brown color, but if you look at a lot of dockyard models the gun carriages are most commonly painted red, and this is the way I've decided to go with this model. It's easy enough to choose the desired color since the laser-cut parts need to be painted anyway.


I painted the carriages using Renesans brand acrylics from Poland, specifically the Renesans Colour 08, Cynober (Cinnabar). I've written about my hunt for this line of paints in another post. As an alternative, I had initially tried to use Blick Matt Acrylics, Deep Red, but it was just a tad darker than I wanted. My desire was to match the color of the printed bulwarks as closely as possible, and the Renesans paint is a better match.






Since I painted the parts before assembly, once the carriages are completed, I'll have to go over them one more time to color the edges. Also, I'm going to try a little gloss medium in the final paint coat to make them less dead flat.


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I recently purchased this kit, so I am eagerly watching your build.

Like ýou I will have to build mine as a side project, while working on other things.


I am intrigued...is the process with a card model quicker or slower than an equivalent wooden kit?





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Hi jct,

The laser-cut parts do help a lot. I don't have to cut or laminate the parts. The only issue is that the card stock sheet isn't as sturdy as laminated thin paper. So, I'm finding that I have to be more careful with them. 



It's been fun and challenging, but it's hard to say if it's really quicker or slower than an equivalent wooden kit. If I were working in wood, I'd spend more time thinking about how I want to approach each step. Also, since I've been a wooden ship modeler for over 20 years, I'm more concerned with how to get the details right. The paper model kit pretty much does what it wants and I probably don't spend the same kind of time getting a detail just right when I'm working with paper – I'm just happy if things fit together well. 


Technically, I think building a paper ship model kit is easier than building a wooden ship model kit, at least this type of build. It's a simpler skill set: laminate, cut, fold, glue, etc. But, there is a LOT of it to do, and you have to be okay with that. Masting and rigging should be about the same.


If you're scratch building or modifying, then that's an entirely different story, which I can't really comment on. At least not yet.


I'm looking forward to seeing you start a build log. Then, maybe you can show me how to build this thing correctly!


But, this is fun. I'm really enjoying it (the laser-cut GPM detail set helps). It's mentally much easier than working with wood, takes up much less room, uses few tools, and is less messy than working with wood. 


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I will say that I kind of wish that I had started Shipyard's HMS Wolf first. I think it's fully open gun deck would make construction simpler at this point. Only issue would be that GPM doesn't make a detail set for that kit. But, as I did with the Alert, I think it would be simple enough to adapt parts from the HMS Mercury detail set, such as cannon carriages, blocks, gratings, etc.


Still, enjoying the HMS Mercury build.



Edited by catopower

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And speaking of the GPM detail sets, here are some photos of the cannon carriages built from the GPM detail set. Construction is mostly complete on the first half of the gun deck carriages. I still have the ironwork to do, a little cleanup, and I have to figure out if I can add the quoin and quoin bed. But, I'll make the barrels before I to that, so I can determine if I ca fit them in and have the barrel elevations look good. 


The quoins in the detail set are extremely tiny and narrow, so they're hard to see and work with. I didn't use them on the Alert, and I don't think it mattered at this scale. On the Alert, I also only rigged the breech ropes and not the tackle blocks as they would have looked way out of scale, so I preferred to omit them.




One issue I ran into, which I didn't deal with on the Alert, is that the detail set has a hole in the gun trucks for an axle, but don't provide any detail for the axle itself. I just used the carriages "as is" on the Alert, which looked fine. For HMS Mercury, I thought I'd deal with that detail by shaving down a basswood dowel to 3/64" diameter for the forward gun trucks. The rear trucks have a smaller diameter hole, so I took the leftover dowel and shaved it down to fit.




I just glued everything up using Elmers wood glue. After it all dried, I then took the completed carriages, and applied thin CA to stiffen it all up. Without the CA, it's flexible and still a little delicate. The CA wicks into the card stock very well. 




I finished painting the carriages with the Renesans Colours acrylic paint. Color number 08 is a perfect match for the printed parts. I think I mentioned before that I really like these paints and I finally found a source in Poland for them, thanks to the folks at Papermodelers.com. I've since heard from a fellow ship modeler, who read my post about them and also managed to buy successfully from the same shop at https://www.swiatmodeli.eu/pl/c/Renesans/58.


Below, you can see the visual test I did, just to see how all the carriages will look in place on the model. 





Still have another dozen carriages to do for the gun deck. Then, I need to do the ironwork. After that, I will have to tackle the making of the barrels – something I avoided on the Alert by using 3rd party brass barrels. 


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wowsers- thanks so much for posting such an awesome array of photos for your build process. very well documented and written- a pleasure to read (catch up on) as i am a newcomer to the site. i am about to embark (pardon the pun) on my first card kit- so following your story has been very informative. i recently purchased the shipyard kit  1:96 Papegojen and am trying to figure out what exactly i should augment the kit with - for example- the age of sail site has a laser cut block set (MK005). this would seem a requisite if i am going to mast and rig- any thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome.

i should mention that i have also purchased a couple of JSC 1/400 scale paper kits and am going to whet my hands on them before tackling the papegojan! i will start a build log for them to document my own trials....

looking forward to your next round of posts


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Posted (edited)

I purchased the blocks, sails and masts for the Wolf.


I wouldn't want to tackle the card blocks that come with the kit.


The masts not being kit supplied are a must unless you are able to make your own.


The sails are a personal choice. Others on the site may choose the kit sails  or make their own. 


There is a YouTube upload I did on the blocks if you refer to my Wolf build.

Edited by Richmond

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