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Frigate Essex by Heronguy - Aeropiccola Cross-section


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This is a older kit picked up from a estate - someone with a large stash of model ship kits.  I bought 2 of the last 3 available - I didn’t need the wood for a  scratch build Essex so I only purchased the 2 kits.

 

I gather Aeropiccola has been out of the model ship kit business for many years but I can't be sure of the date of the kit.  The plans indicate they were published in 1984.  

 

Since this an old kit I'll show the contents.  I am quite satisfied with the quality of the parts.  The plans consist of 2 sheets of detail images and construction expansions.  The instructions are very brief but I think the plans are going to guide the build quite well.

 

 

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Hi Don and Steve.

 

Don, the kit as provided suggests painting the lower hull copper coloured.  I've ordered some copper foil tape so that I can try out coppering.  I'm considering copper for the Prince de Neufchatel and for the Syren so a warm up is in order.  

 

I think this is a fun looking build and it has several positives associated with it:

-  it is easy to plank so I can get to other aspects of the build

- it is going to take up a lot less display space when complete

- it has significant but not overwhelming standing rigging

- the cross-section lets me see what goes on below decks since most POB kits don't bother.

- it will be a a great test bed for steps I have to learn - rigging the cannons, 2nd planking, copper plating, and square rigged mast configuration.  

 

 

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I have do a bit of work on this project before I started this build log - so I'll catch it up with the current state with a couple of posts.

 

The 1st planking of the outer and inner hull is such a breeze - not a taper or a bend in any of the strakes. 

 

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It was going so easily I forgot to stop on the inner planking to leave a gap for the deck to sit on.  I only had to remove a couple of planks to fix that since the width of deck gap was an integer multiple of the  plank width.  Very considerate if the designer - thank you whoever you are!

 

IMG_1632.jpg.928af77c73aa70061cc57998015a0b06.jpg

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The next step was to smooth off the ends of the planks.  Once again the shape of the section makes this a very easy process.

 

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I 2nd planked the  outer hull for the experience.  I am planning to copper plate below the waterline and paint above so it wasn't necessary but I wanted this to be my testbed for various procedures I haven't done before (like getting in the shallow end rather than diving into the deep end!)

 

Next was to cut out the gun ports.  A bit nerve wracking but I thought I could turn the 1st one toward the wall if I botched it too badly.  It worked out ok.

 

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You might notice in the last photo that the 3 gun ports further from the camera have been framed in while the 3 closest have not.  They are all done now.

 

This is where it stands at the moment.

 

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I need some advice.

 

I don't have a very well developed aesthetic for colour.  This cross section obviously has ends of the ribs showing. Before I can go on with installing decks and furniture I need to apply some finishes to the hull and to these ribs.

 

I have a plan for the outer and inner hull but I'm not so sure about the ribs.

 

The box shows them stained in natural wood finish.  Seemed reasonable so I tried one part with Ipswich Pine. Seemed way to light.  So I stepped it up to Golden Oak - slightly better but the basswood frame doesn't really look that good.  Pushed it up to Jacobean (dark brown) and thought it looked hideous (so I do have some sense of what I like).  Sanded that off so I didn't have to look at it.

 

So here's where I am at the moment. Either

- Live with the Golden Oak stain (and look at other parts of the completed model)

- Paint the ribs (black maybe?)

- Use some nice veneer cut to the profile of the ribs

 

Any advice?

 

Untouched end

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End with Golden Oak on left hand arm

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I love these kits, they're a slightly larger scale and size than the others, and in my lowly opinion, are under-rated.  They had a kit of the Serapis that I haven't seen from any other mfr. - but searching for builds of these kits I haven't come across any that seem to be well done, with the exception of yours - you're doing a great job!  I'll be watching with much interest - I'm looking for this cross section and the Nonsuch, but so far have missed out on the few that I've come across - Carry on, Lad!  Steve M

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Hello ragove and Steve.  I do think the cross section idea is pretty useful. When I 1st thought about ship modelling I didn't think very highly of them - after all they wouldn't float would they!  As I got a little more information and a tiny amount of experience I have come to a different opinion.  If I'm ever ready to tackle a scratch build (not a given) then I think a cross section would be must sensible.

 

 

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9 hours ago, ragove said:

Looks very nice.  I am thinking that a cross section might be a relatively painless way to do a scratch build.  Only a few frames to construct!

Or you COULD go the other way - build a full model AND a Cross-section of the same to show some of the interior detail that can no longer be seen after hull and deck planking :

 

Vulture Finished.jpg

Vulture Cross-section.jpg

 

:cheers:  Danny

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8 hours ago, donrobinson said:

Wow! That is a beautiful model Dan, I wish I was in that league. Doug adding veneer is a good idea, but the ends of the planks would not match properly would they. I didn't mind the looks of the black paint.

 

I was also concerned about how easily I would find it to cut the veneer into the horseshoe shape especially as there are a couple of projections (deck support timbers) that possibly wold look best if consistent with the rest of the end (I'm not actually sure of that).

 

A quick test with a piece of veneer and some black paper to simulate the paint:

 

Traced the rib (partially)

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A couple of vies go the result with just veneer

 

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and with the black arm 

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I think the grain in the veneer distracts from the overall appearance - in a sense I think the end of the cross section shouldn't blend with the hull but rather contrast with it.  If I paint the ribs I would leave the ends of the planks natural rather than painting over them.  How much of a challenge will preventing bleeding of the paint do you think??

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If you apply the finish to the hull and the ends of the planks first you shouldn't have too many problems with bleeding. My thoughts are that unless you can show the actual pieces making up an individual frame, as in Danny's, I would go with paint.

Just my thoughts you are the Captain!!

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I think I'm with Don on the grain vs. paint idea, but I think the black might be a bit too strong - think of those end frames as a picture frame, I think you want something that captures the eye and draws it toward and complements the interior colors, but not too jarring - maybe tone down the black a little, or how about a driftwood color, I think that would be very in keeping with the nautical theme, perhaps applied as a stain, but as Don said, you're the Captain!  Like your idea of using pieces of paper to check the various color effects.  Steve M

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Minor progress.  2nd and 3rd decks built and the upper bulwarks added.  Almost ready to do interior finish below gun deck and then exterior hull finishes.  Although the plans are pretty good there are some contradictions between plans and the model photos on the box cover.  Having to puzzle out what I have to actually do!

 

Also noted I have one more pair of gunports to cut  for the upper deck

 

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On 7/11/2017 at 6:55 PM, Dan Vad said:

Or you COULD go the other way - build a full model AND a Cross-section of the same to show some of the interior detail that can no longer be seen after hull and deck planking :

 

Vulture Finished.jpg

Vulture Cross-section.jpg

 

:cheers:  Danny

 

Danny, you shouldn't put ideas into my poor little head!  I just saw and ad for a OcCre Trinidad and cross section kits.  I purchased them.  Now they're going to sit on the shelf taunting me for the next few years 'til I'm confident enough to start in on them.  Thanks loads!!!! :piratetongueor4:

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Small steps forward.  Applied some stain and poly to the lower interior hull.  Now preparing for the outer hull.  The recommended scheme is Black above and below the gun ports, white on the gun deck, and copper below the waterline.  I'll try out copper adhesive foil in preparation for copper bottoms on the Syren and Prince de Neufchatel.  This kit is a great testing ground for me.

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1st coat of black

 

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