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  • 2 weeks later...

The hawse holes got additional bolsters to give more protection to the lower bow cheeks.


Then I tried to attach the cathead. Some corrections were necessary to achieve the required angles forward and upward. Short pieces of leftover deck planks were glued onto the sides to help to create a yellow- black pattern. After painting the starboard cathead, it was glued on. However after installation it seemed much too long, protruding too far. I can only assume that the length is calculated to install it through the bulkhead. So I took it off again and shortened it by about 10 mm and redecorated and painted it. Now it looked more to scale and I could attach the support which had to be reworked first as well, to match the angles of the hull side and the cathead.


Then pieces of the white metal profile were bent and put in place to finish the upper railing. Contrary to the instructions I continued the profile over the support and to the underside of the cathead. Several sources show a continuous decoration in this manner.

The head rail was shortened a bit to fit behind the upper check rail, painted and glued on. The starboard side was now finished but awaits some rework to smoothen the various bumps.


I painted the figurehead, puzzling over the instructions. Finally I decided to provide the hero with a golden helm instead of the bronze as instructed - he deserves it. Also the shin protection is golden, however I'm still unsure about their form and what parts to paint golden. The cast seems to indicate that also the calves were covered and that's strange. The breast was painted brown as instructed. Perhaps he had a light leather armour. The goat's head of the chimera is red, as seen on some illustrations. The still removable hero completes the impression of the starboard bow.



a rather strong seaman holds the first variant of the unpainted cathead




this looks disproportionate




cathead 2.0 with support




upper railing finished




head rail added





the successful hero holds the chimera's goat head - I still don't know, why he didn't take the lion head and what kind of strange weapon he holds in his right hand...

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Hi Peter -- Your choices for the paint scheme for Bellerophon seem appropriate, bronze would have been too dull.  And that weapon does look odd -- who knows.  Maybe it's supposed to be a kind of curved short sword.  As for the goat's head over the lion's, my guess is that the goat coming out of the back of the lion looked so ridiculous that Bellerophon cut it off to make the chimaera look more presentable.  And I have to envy that heroically narrow waist!





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Hi mate love your  work on Billy ruffian ( easier  to spell) I have  been  following  your build .

I have just started  my planking  but while I was waiting  I did the  figurehead  ,I didn't  like that sword  either  so I cut it off and added  the one off the vanguard .keep up the great  work  I hope mine turns out to be as good  as yours cheers snowy 



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Hi Snowy


A very clever idea and an equally successful sword transplantation - and the patient even is alive!

He probably used a sword to cut off the head, while he used a spear (with a lump of lead on the tip) to kill the beast. I'll think about a spear in his hand while trying to find out what he actually holds.


Stay cool!


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While working on the port side I tried to give the upper rail a more elegant run up to the cathead. Unfortunately I succeeded and knew I had to redo the starboard upper rail. Before I put the port head rail in place I  glued the head gratings in. I used walnut stain on them and added a 1x1 mm strip across the foremost part to cover the foremost bow rail frame entirely.

Then the starboard rail came off again and  - because Mr Murphy had time to pay a short visit - 3 bars of the grating with it. The new rail however looks much better now.

The figurehead got another layer of paint and a short search in the web revealed that Greek soldiers had metal  greaves as a shin protection. They were available in metal for the elite and anatomically formed and reached around to cover also the calves. In case of our hero they are not only metal but I offered also gilding which means I painted the entire lower legs golden.


the port side upper rail looks more elegant


with the head rail  added, the bow is almost complete



the gratings in place



the new starboard rail looks definitely better



the skipper ponders about how to repair that grating

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  • 2 weeks later...

The next problem was how to place the ornamental Pegasus between the bow cheeks - it was more than 1mm too high. After cutting away the laurels and bending the horses legs a bit it fit but looked very meagre. As an alternative I reworked the Vanguards respective element to fit, thinking with its serpent head it could represent the chimeras carcass with its snake tail. Then I took the snake Elephant's elephant was trampling and combined it, with the same idea in mind, with the slimmed Pegasus - this looked to be the best version.

The carpenter in the meantime had repaired the grating, installed the latrines or seats of ease and fixed the two knight heads on both sides of the provisional bowsprit.

Finally the skipper - always with the welfare of his crew in mind - wanted a rope rail installed above the head rail to prevent them falling overboard while being at ease.



a reworked element from Vanguard



the final version with a part of Elephant and Bellerophons Pegasus



the skipper examines the finished bow and criticizes the inadequate protection



rope rails added with some leftover stanchions

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  • 3 weeks later...


Been away the last couple of weeks – been following on my iPad, but forgot my login info haha – now back at home so I can post again to builds that I follow 🤔 Nice work


PS: The crew of my return flight let me upfront for taxi, climb to cruise - and then some - My first time in a B787 sweet machine. Start ups are - well - not the way I used to have to do them haha


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Thanks Michael

Had a discussion with a bank clerk about passwords. Even she uses the same for all her accounts and credit cards - it isn't "1234". So I feel justified to use the same few passwords for the accounts without safety risk. Don't ask me however, which one I use for MSW.

Never been on one of those plastic aircraft. But it seems an interesting concept, also when you consider all those fume events (extremely harmful oil residues from the engine lubrication system entering the cabin via traditional aircraft air conditioning systems) which happen again and again on other aircraft. But I don't thrust those composite hulls regarding ageing and especially small ground collisions (e.g. ramp vehicles overnight) because you probably won't see a trace of them in the morning although the damage will be there, within the layers of the material. But as long as they are new and the batteries don't have a thermal runaway - they are certainly great birds.



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Points well taken - and indeed the empirical data are not yet well seasoned in terms of 787 cycles. Yes ground collisions may be better hidden. After JALs batteries were catching fire (now as you know fixed) decided to buy BA - good call. I read a comprehensive article written by an engineer that questioned the ability of the 787 fuselage to hold together after a crash landing.  --- The Max, however is another all together diff. issue - might have some criminal potential.

PS: Sorry to take away from your log with these side comments - all done here


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Finishing the hull


Next was the starboard fore channel. Instead of wooden knees on top, the kit contains iron supports below to stabilize it. I'm not sure if this is historically correct but the Victory in the AOTS series book shows similar features. And they are in the same positions as the knees would be. So I followed the easy way and did as the manual told me.

Fortunately I found RMC's note about attaching the associated gun port lids together with the channel and could  avoid later difficulties.


A feature I wanted to add was the anchor lining or bolster. In the AOTS books Bellona and Pandora I found drawings to show some information about the form but there was still some guesswork needed to build them as historically correct as possible. Finally I tried to keep it simple while offering maximal protection for the chains without blocking the foremost gun too much.




It looks OK. The skipper came to enquire about the argument between the carpenter and his mate.





anchor lining

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  • 1 month later...

All the channels are in place as well as those gun port lids which are between the chains. To improve the stability of the chains I tried to close the middle link with some tin-solder. It doesn't look perfect but seems more stable.

While constantly turning the hull for and back I came across our hero's sculpture every time and was more and more irritated by his brown breast armour. As higher Greek ratings anyway were entitled to a metal protection I replaced his leather by metal and even offered a heroic gold plating - means I painted his breast golden. It looks now more in line with the other colours, simpler and better.



mizzen channel




fore channel




our hero looks good in his new, shining armour





Perhaps it's just another one of my obsessions but I try to install scuppers on all my models. They should show that ship's hulls are just fragile and leaking eggshells  and the water which comes in has to go out again.

Learning where to install scuppers was difficult. Finally I found a note in 'Bellona' from the AOTS series saying that there are 6 per side on the gun deck and 7 per side on the upper deck. However no plans where to install them were included. I think that those on the gun deck could be installed similar to those on frigates where I found some information and for the upper deck I will try to find logical positions. It seems that scuppers:

- are about evenly spaced in the central part of the deck

- are not below a gun port and therefore covered by a gun

- may be in the form of a slightly bigger pump dale near the mainmast

Scuppers on the upper deck should additionally not be above a gun port or a scupper of the gun deck.

The locations were chosen accordingly and the one near the mainmast on the gun deck is a pump dale and therefore slightly bigger.

I used again ferrules from the electric compartment with a diameter of 1,5mm respective 2mm for the pump dales . As they are all placed within the black wales I painted them black as well.



all scuppers except the foremost on each deck



main channel with scuppers

the second scupper from the left on the (lower) gun deck is a slightly larger pump dale







Originally I planed to step Bellerophon onto 3 pilars mounted on an oak base, similar to Pegasus, Pickle and America.

I like those stands because the model almost seems to float on them. But while handling that rather heavy hull and thinking of the rather sof MDF which should hold the 3 screws which in turn would take all the strain I started to have doubts. Some destruction tests with  leftover MDF slid into the pilars' slot did nothing to dispel those doubts.

Reluctanly I accepted the kit's craddle as final support for the model. Painted with palisander stain it achieved a colour slightly darker than the aged copper but lighter and more elegant than the dull black shown on the kit's box.



Most of the still missing, fragile details on the hull will have to wait until the rigging is completed. I think the fuselage could be delared completed and it's time to start on the wings. Also this is the time for a celebration beer - I'll check if there's still  some Corona brew in the cellar.:cheers:



ready to launch...

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Well done!  I'll raise a glass or two in your direction!


And I agree about Bellerophon's breast plate -- it should definitely be gold, or at least bronze.  And as I recall, there's something about a belt, though I can't remember the details.





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  • 4 weeks later...

34 foot launch


Next I wanted to try the first boat. According to the manual I started with the big launch.


Up to now I used resin shells with additional built in details to make boats. This was the first plank on frame built. It went quite well albeit much slower than the 3 weeks the manual mentions for all 4 boats. Also not everything went as intended. When putting in the ribs, the base of the floor boards in the aft part proved to be mounted askew. I hope to disguise this mistake with the benches and perhaps some of the boats equipment stowed inside.


The inside was painted yellow with floorboards and benches only varnished. Most of the outside is painted white with black wales and a yellow rail.

After about two weeks of occasional work the launch is finished. No thwarts are put into the launch because the 18 foot cutter will later be placed inside. She is quite large compared to other boats I made so far. But I can see the usefulness of such a craft for a variety of tasks.


I don't remember seeing much about building these boats in other logs. Therefore I put some additional pictures into this one.






Skeleton with first plank.





First planking in progress...




...and finished. Some filler was necessary to get  smooth lines.




The transom was planked horizontally - contrary to the manuals vertical planks.




2nd planking under way





... and finished. Now the bulkheads were removed.





floor boards in place




The rail was preformed and added in one piece and then the rowlocks filed into it.





2 stripes of cartridge paper serve as gudgeons for the rudder.




The finished and painted launch is checked by the crew.





Provisionally put in place on the beams of a 74 the launch looks huge.

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Hi Martin


A bit belated I rise an answering glass towards the west - one of my last Corona beers. It's too hot for red wine.

About Bellerophon's belt: Was it perhaps mentioned in some writing or seen on a statue? I only remember Orion's belt and would know how this one looks...


Take care


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Hi flyer

Just a question  did you  use .5×3 mm strips  for both 1st and 2nd planking  and did you  stagger  them from  1st to 2ntd planking 

Thanks  mate great  looking  ship

Cheers snowy 

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Hi Snowy


Yes, the same stripes for 1st and 2nd planking and yes again I tried to stagger it by starting the 2nd planking a bit too high and then sanding off the top 1mm of the 2nd planking. (With some foresight I would however have done this to the 1st planking because it would be less obvious.) Anyhow I still had a few areas where the seams of both layers met - and split during sanding. Reinforcement with liquid CA glue helped. Btw I used CA glue for the whole 2nd planking and epoxy glue to fix the rails.



Hi Sailor1234567890


Well I think you could start with the boats. Me, I was impatient to see the real dimensions of the ship and started with the big one. I don't know if you could use the boats as training pieces, if that is on your mind, because they are fiddly work and you have less room for corrections with those thin planks.


I had to check where that place Shubenacadie is. I hope you forgive me that I had never heard of it. Well, that looks like a nice location, quite close to Halifax and therefore much closer to the sea and the navy than my place.


Cheers all


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Hi Peter -- Beer is always good, even in the cold.  I don't have my classical sources at hand right now, since I've packed them up in preparation for our move out of the prairie.  But I do recall a warm evening in Cambridge with some friends, when we were foolishly drinking merlot instead of IPA, and we entered a wager into the College Betting Book about the construction of Bellerophon's belt.  Whether the bet was ever resolved, I can't say, because of that initial error of drinking merlot in such warm weather.  Never again!



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I need to update that. I have sold my home in Shubie and we now live in Halifax, pretty close to downtown. We're looking to purchase somewhere not too far from town with a bit of space. We've outgrown this home by a lot. Funny enough, Shubie is close to the Bay of Fundy so I was still close to the water. Navy allows me to live out to just past Shubenacadie without any problem but it's convenient living 5 minutes from the dockyard to go to work. 

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Hi Martin


A search in the web revealed that that belt was a gift and it was dyed purple. I guess that was an expensive colour then. However nothing about its construction - some fabric perhaps. Anyhow, I'll think about adding a purple belt to my Bellerophon.

So, you are close to moving. Might I ask where to? Someplace which is cooler, with more wine and less tornadoes and cows perhaps?




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Definitely cooler, more wine, and probably only the occasional remnant of a hurricane:  Connecticut, where I'm already designing (or dreaming of, depending on whom you talk to and whether my wife is involved in the conversation) my boatyard/wood working shop.  When we'll actually manage to get there is another issue.  Till we do, and I get a work place set up, I'm mostly entertaining myself by watching other builders' progress.





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  • 3 weeks later...

Mizzen mast

In order to make the following work more varied I decided to alternate between building a boat and a mast.


As the mizzen mast is the smallest I started with that. Still having no lathe I had to file the dowels first square, then octagonal. Then they were put in a drilling machine and worked round with increasingly fine sanding paper. So far I made all my lasts and yards that way and it seems to work.


The mizzen presented some minor difficulties. The lower mast was quite straightforward to build, only a saddle for the boom was added. Several books, e.g. 'Victory' in the AOTS series show such a device but not my main reference of the Bellona. But she still shows the lateen mizzen yard.


The foots of the topmast and topgallant mast were doubled up to a rectangular form, not square. This was necessary to fit them in the right distance to the lower mast heads into the tops. The topmast cap was also too small to fit and had to be doubled up by 1mm in length and width and the holes were slightly adjusted to get the right distance. I don't quite understand why the caps are presented lengthwise cut in two and quite imprecisely so. A cap in the right size in one piece as in other kits would be easier to work with and more precise. The fact that the head of each mast and its hole in the cap should be square and not round was not corrected - black paint will hide that flaw.


The mizzen top got also some vertical  battens glued on, on top of the iron rings which strengthen the mast head.


A rather minor but important change was made to the top of the topgallant mast. The plan shows a 1mm hole front to aft just below the top for the tie of the topgallant yard. It is rather unwise to weaken the mast in its thinnest position that way. I remember at least one model where I broke a topgallant mast in exactly this position twice when I got caught during rigging work. According to Lees the tie was led anyhow through sheaves in the masthead so I drilled that hole about 1 third from the top through the head.


As always I finished the mast off the ship and glued all parts together. That way I have a mast with all parts truly in line. The shrouds may be attached without problems to the finished mast.



lower mast, topmast, topgallant mast and top - fids already inserted




saddle on lower mast and reworked topmast cap




topmast cap being reworked - the left hole and the head of the lower mast should actually be square




mizzen top. iron rings, bolsters and battens added




topgallant top with hole for the tie






finished mast top with blocks attached




the first mast stands provisionally - this model really takes up a lot of space

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  • 3 weeks later...

Surprisingly (but I should've known by now) the making of the 3 yards, boom and gaff was more time demanding than  the mast itself. I did deviate from the kit instructions a few times, mostly when making the crossjack.


First of all making the crossjack with a 8mm dowel was grossly out of proportion. I tock a 6mm one. Making the centre part 16 squared turned out to be rather difficult. Finally I made 16 battens with a cross section of 0,5x1,1mm from leftover deck planks and glued them on. Battens were usually held with iron rings. Those were simulated with stripes of cartridge paper. After all that work the centre section looked more round than hexadecagonal. (I'm not sure if that word really exists in English - I'll have to ask Sheldon Cooper or another authority on complicated words.)

The spritsail yard, which is even smaller and also should be 16 squared in the centre, will probably have to be content with a round centre.


Another change I made, was to replace all stirrups for the footropes by 0,5mm black thread. A eye splice was simulated at the end by threading the rope back through itself twice and hardening that small sling with glue to keep it stable. The upper end was glued onto the yard with three round turns. This looks less orderly than the usual etched metal stirrups on models but I like it and think it's a bit closer to the prototype.


The rest of the work was done according to plans and instructions except that I left off those strange 4 battens on the topsail yard. If ever it should have 8 and only when the yard is made from 2 pieces. Mine is one straight piece of wood with the usual octagonal centre part.




the 3 yards



boom and gaff






centre part of crossjack- supposed to be 16-sided






topsail yard



topgallant yard













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