Jump to content

Union by moflea - FINISHED - Constructo


Recommended Posts

Hello,

 

Three years ago I received as my birthday gift (now that's what I call a nice present) a kit of the Union brigantine from Constructo, scale 1:100. Even if there weren't any ship of that name, Constructo says it is representative for its period (late 18th century, first of 19th). 

 

The box looks something like this:

 

81ohCwnSKEL._SL1500_.thumb.jpg.52c6b894e53e28e5874ef20231a1118c.jpg

 

And the content:

 

155503731_9144c47748.jpg.b1846a646c4f68efb6f4a85710086ad4.jpg

 

These are not my pictures, I posted them so you can have an idea of what's inside. The hull is solid. It needs a lot of sanding and filling to get the shape right and smooth, especially when it comes to joining the keel and the bulwarks. I didn't take pictures 3 years ago when I started, I was way too enthusiastic and I wasn't sure it will come to an end that I would like. I've worked for about 1 month then, taking a 2 year break after that. Two month ago I returned to this kit and I am posting now a few pictures showing the progress to this day.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some dimensions:

 

Length: 40cm

Height: 36cm

Width: 13cm

 

About the quality of supplied parts:

 

Constructo is supplying the plywood as 2mm balsa sheets. Very delicate to cut off the sheet. Fortunately these sheets are available at any DIY store so I can replace the original ones if I make a mistake (which of course I did).

Wood strips: Sapelle of different thicknesses. Very nice wood, straight and consistent along length.

Masts: Ramin (or at least looks like it) dowels, very nice.

Cannons: precasted. Horible, but at this scale I had nothing to replace with. The barrels were already bent, I had to snip them off and reglue them in a more natural position. I tried to 3D print them, but they are too small for it (or for my friend's printer at least).

Sails: printed on canvas. I'll replace them with another finer material, the lines printed at the edge of them will look bad on this scale.

Capstan, blocks and tackles: they seem made of boxwood, so it's nice.

Eyebolts, nails: brass

Paints: 3 bottles of acrylic already dry :) 

Threads: good colors but way out of scale. I'll replace them as well.

 

My conclusion is that the materials supplied are OK, considering the kit was about 80 euros.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The instructions say the deck should be simulated by using a pen and straight lines directly on the solid hull. I didn't like the idea so I've searched in my goodies shelf and found some 2x1mm lime wood strips. I glued them to the hull using PVA colored with black ink to simulate the caulking and then sand it so I can lower the deck with 0.5 mm or so. I did that before mounting the bulwarks. The strips are 8 cm long.

 

IMG_0077.thumb.JPG.94808f2d977affb3c388b11e7d604da2.JPG

IMG_0076.thumb.JPG.49e35ede4c440bf86179945fa0d05016.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keeping adding the elements on the deck.

 

IMG_0086.thumb.JPG.9add87c18dfe4c6244b4770e92cf08b3.JPGIMG_0090.thumb.JPG.f3804277c6f22b68ca8db44ff7a53865.JPG

 

The interior of the bulwarks were planked using some leftover 0.5 mm strips. The instructions say that it should be painted, but I was afraid I would ruin the planking (I am not a skilled painter) so I left them natural.

 

IMG_0092.thumb.JPG.30d3a9a4097a0fd53472cc41022dffb4.JPG

IMG_0093.thumb.JPG.3d769f43a82f4501e076eb2fc655642a.JPG

IMG_0094.thumb.JPG.1ec8bb92020ac91221cbc09d57765b37.JPG

 

I used all the supplied materials for it, excepting the stairs, made them from some leftovers.

 

IMG_0099.thumb.JPG.4c19ba90f61f7b8a684d2ab7028ddb97.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ended up using the supplied cannons. Just painted them after correcting the direction of the barrels. If the scale would be a little larger... In fact the problem with this ship is that is so small, some things are really tiny..

 

IMG_0125.thumb.jpg.8d70c97dc7996ea1f694a36ded63023a.jpg

IMG_0126.thumb.jpg.d2305ae3aba8827924bf6f48df7b799e.jpg

Painted them using the same acrylics, this time with a little brush, but most of the time with a toothpick. The cannon length is 1.9cm...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sails:

 

I bought some canvas from Amati. 

 

For the moment I made only one of them. I soaked it in black tea for around 6 minutes. After it dried, I brushed a diluted PVA solution (50/50) so I can cut it using an x-acto knife.

 

I have tried using the sewing machine, but after some several attempts I realised it looks way too oversized for the scale, so I picked some brown coloring pencil from my daughter's room and simulated the seams. At least now I know how to sew on the sewing machine :)

 

I did the same treatment to another piece of canvas (black tea + diluted PVA) from which I've cut some 4mm strips and glued them on the edge of the sail. I then glued a piece of rope on the edge of the sail. The "rope" is actualy a string used in the kitchen to tie meat when put in oven. It is white, quite thick (1mm) but I've colored it as well with the black tea.

 

This is my attempt, I'm not sure yet if it's ok or not. I hope it is as I run out of canvas :)

 

IMG_0123.thumb.jpg.ed5d9c378a9257f992bc44782c682871.jpg

The reef points are made of linnen. For the moment they are just glued but not aligned. The color is strange in the picture, in reality they have the color of tan and do not contrast so much with the sail.

 

I am rigging the shrouds for the moment, the scale is soooo small and I just realized I need glasses from now on.

 

So this is where I am now. Quite surprising, this little ship gave me a lot of satisfaction working on it.

I will post more pictures of it as I progress. Even if I like it a lot (in reality it looks better than in pictures, I don't know why in some pictures looks dirty), I decided to make it a gift for my sister in-law and her husband who gave it to me in the first place. After all, I can always make another, the kit is only 80 euros and I worked on it for about 3-4 months until now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello moflea

 

I enjoyed your posting about this build. I am building the same kit although it is an older version and has a different name. So far I have almost completely redesigned the kit and have used almost nothing of the original wood. You are further along in your build than I am and your work looks very nice. I almost wish I had done the same thing and built it more out of the box. If I had gone just a little further the kit would have made a much better early 19th century brigantine than a late 18th century vessel.

 

Looking forward to more installments on your build. I also agree that it is a very small model to work with.

 

Lou

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I started rigging the deadeyes on the channel plate.

 

IMG_0164.thumb.jpg.40cb40a11d3fdf1ddffa3bae5ebe1d89.jpg

 

The kit provided some weird copper like wire to simulate the chain wales (not sure if this is the term). It couldn't be blackened and it looked really strange, so I decided to use a black thread, twisted so you can't say it's actually a thread :) Also rigged a lanyard in the picture above. The process was easier than i thought.

 

 

Also, some more sails were made. In the picture they look more yellowish than they actually are.

 

IMG_0169.thumb.jpg.130ae341624ab6dc05a3eb92ea349536.jpg

Edited by moflea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now comes the point I know I'll get a lot of criticism that I hope I can handle :) 

 

I was trying to do the ratlines like all the masters here are doing... using clove hitch knots. I really tried that. I was using a 0.12 mm linen thread. The distance between the shrouds at the bottom is around 3 mm, and at the top is less than 0.5 mm. No matter how good the clove hitch knots were, the scale is just too small and the knots were way too visible and large and it didn't look right to me :(, it was like a tic-tac-toe table with all the cells filled. I've tried using a thinner thread, it was kind of all right but then, you couldn't see the thread anymore unless you were about 20 cm away from the ship (during this process I realized my curses vocabulary is way richer than I thought).

 

So I decided to do something to get over with, and that is to glue the ratlines directly on the ship. I know... 

 

IMG_0166.thumb.jpg.4e66b7ff34ed41e4804d9f28339a1e36.jpg

 

I know it's not ok but my skills are just not good enough at this scale.

 

I forgot to mention that sometimes I get assisted by this sailor. But after seeing the mistakes I was doing, she decided she has something better to do. I later realized she was sleeping on the cloth sails I've just purchased, so in my precedent post about preparing the sails, it was a hard process of getting rid of all the hair.

 

IMG_0131.thumb.jpg.32d98c3424b91d6f604c549b3ecfb63a.jpgIMG_0132.thumb.jpg.fb40569651d5e8b3eac99a11879639ca.jpg

Edited by moflea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both masts were installed.

 

IMG_0174.thumb.jpg.50e6663534626991d03809c947fcae95.jpg

 

I have read in some books and posts that there is a certain order to install the pieces (masts, spars, sails, shrouds...). I've spent a lot of time thinking what the order should be for this small ship. I came up with an order that looks good so far, I can reach all the narrow places with no effort. At least so far :)

 

My order would be: masts & spars with all the blocks fitted, standing rigging, shrouds & lanyards, running rigging, sails, and some leftover running rigging at the end.

Edited by moflea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello moflea

 

I am in no way an expert. I can only hope that mine looks half as good as you are doing with this kit when I get to your point! But to me the quality of your build and the methods you are using are nothing short of outstanding for this kit.

 

It looks like you will have a model to be proud of when you are done.

 

Lou

Edited by lmagna
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am now at a point where I need some advice. In order to proceed, I have to install the spanker boom and spanker gaff, along with the corresponding sail. The picture below is from the Constructo's plans.

 

IMG_0170.thumb.jpg.575978ddf3dfcc56f3fb7e50be3c6c5c.jpg

 

I am wondering... what's the best way to attach them to the main mast? The picture below shows more details.

 

IMG_0171.thumb.jpg.2626b3a50f69517a843622920bdf6595.jpg

 

I don't trust CA to hold them... The mast is made of wood, obviously, and the end of the spanker is made from cast iron. This is the weakest connection I have to handle. Like I said before, the ship will be sent to my sister-in-law (who is 2300 km away from me :) ). I trust all the components to resist the trip, is these connections I am worried about.

 

I considered drilling a hole in both the mast and the spanked end and to install a hard wire to help the joint. There is close to impossible to drill a hole in the cast iron (which is 1mm thick :( )

 

Would some resin hold them better? (I have to think of a way to support the spankers while the resin dries). Any idea would be more than welcome.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually you gave me an idea. I know how in real ships these things were made, but when you posted this picture I realized i can make some kind of a brace that can be supported with a pin below (so it wouldn't slip) and the rigging would support the upper part. I can definitely try that. Not sure I can make those beads (just look at the size of my fingers in the photo), but I'll think of a way to simulate the whole thing to NOT look out of the real world :) 

 

I have 2 more builds at the same time but this is the more advanced one. It is amazing how you can imagine how the builders did it at the time... so you can figure out what all the bits and pieces were supposed to do in maneuvering wooden ships. There's nothing more magnificent to me than wooden ships... especially those in the 16-17th century. Most beautiful vehicles ever :) I don't know where this obsession came from (I can't even swim or visited an wooden ship), but since i first saw a ship model when I was 12, I really got a feeling for them, and now, 31 years later I still envision them before I sleep.

 

And thanks a lot for the likes.

 

Alex.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

moflea

I know what you mean about ships and loving them. I have been loving them since childhood as well but even though I live less than a mile from the ocean I have spent very little time on ships of any kind, and I am almost 70.

 

As for the parrels for the gaff and boom you could use the small seed beads you can get at most craft stores:

http://www.michaels.com/dazzle-it-10%2F0-czech-glass-seed-beads-purple-lined-aqua/10478801.html They are very small. 

 

For that matter you can also possibly use the double beads:

 http://www.michaels.com/darice-preciosa-twin-2-hole-czech-glass-beads-transparent-red-dyed/10478791.html

when you start doing the rigging as blocks. They are pretty small as well.

 

i think that if you are unsure about the strength of the gaff jaws then you could cut them out of brass sheet, cut a slot into the boom and gaff and glue them into place. When you can paint them black or cover them top and bottom in thin wood you would have very strong gaff jaws without going out of scale size.

 

Good luck

 

Lou

Edited by lmagna
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remade the jaws, this time from wood. I drilled a hole on the sides for a pin to go into the mast. The lighter is to show the small scale. 

 

IMG_0184.thumb.jpg.6ea91696c85adf3453d98cee2349f838.jpgIMG_0188.thumb.jpg.041afa91262df9f612de6d95036fd90c.jpg

 

 

I also tied the sail to the spanker boom and gaff.

 

IMG_0189.thumb.jpg.e49b4509b67979574df7c327abb2fec5.jpg

 

Test fitting the whole thing. Two pins are inserted into the masts.

 

IMG_0190.thumb.jpg.54f009613916a9baef0a4d2d24232237.jpg

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I was checking every jewelry box I could find in the house, the Admiral remembered she has some earrings she never wore. And voila, they had beans, around 1.5 mm in diameter. After I fixed them, I realized I didn't even need a pin, a thread through the holes would have been just as fine, but well, it was too late.

 

IMG_0193.thumb.jpg.4bbb2fb9f455fe53e6fe17e7cea88ca6.jpg

 

I am not pleased with the way it looks, it's kind of over sized, but I'll take it. The beads are still a little too shiny, even after they were painted with mat black. I will varnish them later with some mat varnish I have, I hope their shiny look will go away. 

 

Now it starts to look like a real ship.

 

IMG_0195.thumb.jpg.b9f07e7c91dd4680ad11f568f13f2cdd.jpg

 

After rigging the lower spanker, the whole thing is very strong. I will rig the upper one later because I saw there is a tendency of the mast to twist a little, so it will be done after the sails on the main mast will be tied. 

 

Alex.

Edited by moflea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great job Alex

 

As you know the reason I am following your build is to show me how to try and make my kit at least partly as good as you have done. I am currently stuck on redoing my third redesigned transom!

 

I wish I had an idea for the shiny beads but to be honest I don't. I think there are some beads out there that are made of plastic instead of glass that could take paint better but I am not sure. I also think you will find that the shine on the parrels will not be as noticable when you start filling in all that open space with rigging and stuff. After all they are REALLY small.

 

Keep it up, you are definitely showing me the way.

 

Lou 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for the likes and the comments. The shininess went away after the black paint dried, so it's ok. I'm sure you can find plastic beads, I would search in supermarkets in the toys section, where the girl's stuff is (I did find such beads but they were like 3 mm in dia). Another shot would be in some markets or stores that have really cheap "jewelry". Cheap, so they would be made of plastic instead of any other material. Anyway, I would explore the stuff made for little girls, I am sure you can find them.

 

Before I found those earrings, there was an online store in my country selling all kind of beads. Yes, most of them were glass, but I found some metallic ones also.  

 

I really need to improve my skills in making knots. Unfortunately the scale of this ship is so small it's almost impossible to control the knots. To get an idea, there is a 1 mm space where 8 shrouds are to be tied. I'm lucky my phone zooming capabilities are so poor. I have practiced some knots on the workbench before I would try them on the ship. All good and nice, but doing them on the ship in those tiny spaces... different story. So many clove hitch knots turned into overhand knots with the help of CA to hold them.

 

Alex.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Moflea

 

Again great progress.

I am glad that the beads worked out for you. I have a bottle of 1.5mm beads that i bought just for this ship and even though they only cost a few dollars it is nice to see that they look so nice in your Union build before I do it on mine. :)

 

On my "Union" I made many changes to make it look more like a late 18th century Brigantine, at least I hope so. In some ways it would have been better if I had made it into an early 19th century brig as the hull is a better shape for a ship of that time but I did not want to do that time period and I would have had to do MANY more cannons on the more open decks!

 

When I got to the transom I just felt that it needed to be a more rounded shape and different design, so I changed it. The first attempt ended up not shaped right. the second looked OK until I looked at it close up like in the pictures you take and it made me want to do better so now I am almost finished with what I hope will be something worth looking at and not to be ashamed of. I would be finished with it except a few things in my daily life have changed and have kept me all too busy in dealing with them.

 

Lou 

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...