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Guns of History Naval Smoothbore by Osmosis - Finished - Model Shipways - 1:24

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I decided that this would be my second build instead of the bluenose. I thought this would give me a little practical deck planking opportunity as well as some scratch building/kit bashing practice as I will get into later.


I purchased this kit while visiting Model Shipways a week or so ago. Where I got to see behind the scenes what goes into these kits before they go into the box so to speak. I would encourage anyone in the South Florida area to make the trip to Miami it was well worth a look.




The kit itself is very complete with a nicely turned brass cannon and nice wood and cast metal fixtures, all the line, wire and chain you need is included. The instructions are not very specific written as more of a description than step by step procedure. There are enough illustrations to get the major point across though. I did not realize until opening the box that the carriage is made of cast metal and rather disappointing in my opinion. The thickness and shape of all the carriage parts is inconsistent and sloppy at best. Besides they were really made from wood weren't they.




So after doing a bit of research and some quick calculations I was able to come up with what I think will make a nice replacement carriage.




Using Harold Hahn's publication as a guide and after determining the real world size of the barrel as 8-1/2' and that the size of the included carriage parts most closely resembled the 12 pounder I decided that is what I would go with. So then it was just a matter of spending a couple of lunch hours reverse engineering the barrel converting the appropriate dimensions according to Mr. Hahn and drawing up a new carriage. Here is what I have so far I will finish the drawings and make a dimension set on Monday.


By the way I made the 3d model in Inventor so if anyone has access to a laser cutter and wants to build one of these I would gladly trade the files for a couple of laser cut sheets.




I am not sure if this will work (PDF) if not I will save it as a jpeg on Monday.


in the mean time iI am off to the workbench. I will update you as work proceeds.

Edited by Osmosis
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I built this last year. Although I used all the kit parts, I agree that the castings for the carriage are of relatively poor quality in addition to not being as authentic as wooden parts. I also found that many of the rings were cast solid and needed to be drilled out, which was very difficult to do without breaking the soft metal of the rings. I think you'll definitely do well to build your own carriages and use good metal rings as needed. That being said, it's definitely a fun build and a neat little display piece (I did both this and the carronade, and they look good together in my opinion; a photo is here if of interest).


Looking forward to seeing what you do with this kit.

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Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and the likes I will try not to disappoint.


I set up the table saw to bevel the long edge of the base plywood at 10 degrees as per the instructions. As you can see in the pic below there is a slight warp in the base. I have a couple of ideas on how to correct this as I go along. You can also see my caulking strips in the upper right.




Below is a test of the caulking method I plan to use. I am not sure if it was on this forum or another that I first saw it but it involves gluing thin strips of black construction paper between each course of deck planks. Then trimming with a razor and of course sanding. Not to bad.


First attempt at taking out some of the warp. Clamping to the edge of the work bench after each course of planking is glued on.


Below is a close up of the paper strips between the deck planks. You can see the first seam just trimmed with a sharp razor. once the glue is good and dry this one will get trimmed the same way. It is a bit more time consuming then simply coloring with a pencil but I think the end result is worth it.


Hopefully I will get a few more planks done before bed time.


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I just realized that there are no cannon balls included with the kit. Seems sort of odd don't you think? Why go to the trouble to design a kit displaying a typical naval gun installation and not include even a couple of round shots.


After a quick search of the forums I found several good replacement ideas though.


Thanks to all

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Thanks Scott and to all those who liked this thread.


I have decided on BBs for cannon balls for 2 reasons. I have a ton of them that I use for ballast in my RC yachts and, since I am building a 12 pdr in 1:24 scale they are the perfect size. The only question is can someone recommend a good way to blacken them. I have searched and found lots of ways to blacken steel or brass some easy some not so much. But nothing specifically for BBs. I think they are brass plated steel if I am not mistaken. Is there a simple way to remove the plating and just blacken the steel.? I don't want to paint them unless there is just no other method.



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The deck planking is finally complete just a little more fine sanding then it is on to the bulwarks. I don't know why my phone decided to take wavy pictures tonight bu I can assure you that the planks are straight as can be. This was my first attempt a deck planking and while it is not a very large or tricky job I think it was still a good learning experience. For example;


"LESSON LEARNED - THINK AND LOOK AHEAD" Being my first attempt and being such a large scale 1:24 I had intended to include nail bungs in the planking. However I was in such a rush to get there that I did not measure each shift. Instead just eyeballing the next butt joint in each row. So while they came out pretty close if you lay a straight edge across the joints some are off by as much as an 1/8 of an inch. I think now if I were to add the bungs it would just amplify the error.





That one won't happen again and no lives were lost and no animals were injured in this lesson.

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Looks great.  I like your thought of adding black construction paper between planks.  I'm so stealing that idea. I think I'll add the nails to the planks just to see how it goes.  Still no luck getting my kit.  First of this week it said it was in Canada then on Wednesday it said it was in Miami.  I have no idea when I'll get it.  Tonight though I ordered the other cannon kit MS had.

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Thanks for the kind words Derek. I forget where I saw that trick with the construction paper but it certainly was not my idea. It looks really good after the final sanding. However I don't think it would be of practical use on any scale smaller than this. It is time consuming also I was only able to do 4-5 planks in a single evening. Also don't make my mistake be sure to line up your shift joints.


By the way nice work on your Bluenose build I am following that one as I have the AL kit lined up right after this.

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Thanks for the recommendations I will be sure to check them out.


Well after a very busy week or so I finally had some time to relax and get back to hobbying. I made some progress on the bulwarks today.20171111_160624.thumb.jpg.db518f00575937aa46eb6eaa0a0f8a71.jpg

After scoring the back side to match the front "planking joints" and attaching the two outer timbers I noticed that there was no gun port sill provisions in the instructions. I am no expert on ship building but I do know a little about carpentry and I suspect there would have been one there. Luckily I had some 1/4" X 1/2" Basswood stock and after chiseling out a couple of mortises I cut and trimmed the sill.




Not glued on yet but I think it is an improvement.




The "Clamp" timber was a bit oversized and even after sanding was wider than the bulwark itself. After some debating I decided to leave a shadow line on the outside. I think it adds a bit of depth and I just like the way it looks.




I plan on staining the entire bulwark, clamp and cap rail before I attach them to the decking.


That's it for today hopefully a little more progress tomorrow. Although I did talk the Admiral into going to see Casablanca in the theater tomorrow.

Edited by Osmosis
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Just got back and it was great.


I had time to get a little more done and still take in a movie. As I lay in bed last night I realized that I had forgotten to notch the clamp timber for the gun port chain prior to gluing on the cap rail. So I had to drill it out this morning. Then I laid out and drilled for the treenails. I stained the entire bulwark prior to filling the holes with Dap wood filler. Probably not historically correct color wise but it makes a nice contrast to the basswood just the same.



I will let the stain dry for a couple of days before attaching it to the deck.



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Glad to see you went with treenails, not the brass brads they include. I use the seizing thread for the port lid lift, rather than the chain. I could not find any pictures or drawings that showed chain used on ships for this. I also think chain would have abraded the lid surface, in real life.


While almost no ships used a lid like this on the weather deck, I did find one drawing of a ship, that did. I think it was one of the Anatomy Of The Ship series books.


I also fabricated hooks for the running tackle blocks, as shown in several drawings. Mine came out a little large, but improved the looks.




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Thanks Steve and Ron.


I posted this in another thread but I will repeat it here.


The other day I stopped into a cabinet/molding shop around the corner from my work. Just browsing around at all of the exotic lumber. These guys supply cabinets and custom molding to the luxury yacht builders here in South Florida. Teak, Holly, Red Heart, Cherry anything you could ask for they had. When I told the owner that I build model ships he took me out back to the "Scrap Pile' and told me I could help myself to as much as I liked. I found some really nice 1"x3/4" walnut about 6' long that I will resaw and use for my gun carriage and a 1'x18" piece of walnut veneer I am sure I will find a use for eventually. On my way out I stopped at the front counter and asked how much and He said no charge and told me I was welcome to come by and root around as often as I like.



Today I cut the blanks for my gun carriage plus a little extra just in case. I also made a fixture to hole the brackets at the proper angle while I work on them.


I had a few pieces of deck planking left over so I stained them to wrap the edge of the plywood base.

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Nice job. Will throw this into the hat, do with it as you like, it goes against normal practice. I know what muzzle blast does, and how it acts and how objects react to it, having picked up first aid and phone boxes torn off splinter shields by it. Because of that I notice when gun port lids are not drawn clear back to the hull and out of direct contact with muzzle blast and held there. Models look neat with the gun port lids out at an angle to the hull, but the carpenters making repairs, would soon be stopping the practice making so much work for them. Want them out at an angle, then stop them from flapping by having a line holding tension on the opening rig, thereby stopping movement during blast, or pull them on up and tie them off against whatever is avable, Hull, Molding, Bulwark or Chains so they can't flap which was probably the normal practice. Again nice work, making me want to do something similar until I get start on my LST. Here is a little muzzle blast from a 40 MM, 1967 RVN aboard LST 821.5a10b196aca5a_DIRECTFROMCEARCLICK309.1.thumb.jpg.5369402aa4c385e897e113fcb46976ae.jpg.

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Made a little progress this weekend have not had a chance to update until now. I don't have any power tools geared toward smaller work pieces so good old fashioned hand tools. It is actually quite relaxing.


1st I laid out and cut the mortises for the axtrees.20171119_084026.thumb.jpg.9e075a9021cd9ae4dcfef1566ed90955.jpg


Then cut and shaped the bottom arch detail.


The I laid out the stair step pattern on the back side.




After cutting and filing.



Still have to cut the mortise for the trunnion and some final shaping to do but I am pleased with the way it is coming along.


I then finished wrapping the base with some left over deck planking that I stained earlier.


A first test fit just to check proportion and barrel height. It sits a little low right now but once I get the trucks on it should be fine. Thats it for tonight, tomorrow it is axtrees and trucks.


Edited by Osmosis
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I managed to get a little work done even with the holiday. I finished up the brackets as far as I thought practical just need to drill the holes for the rigging rings and trunnion clamps.


Before and after.



After and after. I know it looks ruff but every thing will get a final sanding prior to finishing. But at the same time I think in real life after a while the edges would be rounded over with use and normal wear and tear. That is kind of the look I want even though I probably took it a little to the extreme. I would appreciate any feedback on that as this is my first attempt.


Got to work on the Axtrees this morning.



I started by laying out the first shoulder cuts on the Hind Tree.


Then very carefully with an exact-o chisel blade cut down until I had the shoulder exposed to wok against.



Using emery boards I shaped the larger diameter for the hub.




Then I laid out and kerf cut for the spindle diameter.



Lather rinse repeat for the spindle.



Not to bad for my fist try.




A #8 flat washer has the perfect inside diameter to use as a guide.


One end down and three more to go should not take me more that a day or two.



Edited by Osmosis
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Well a minor fail and a minor success should bring you up to date.


I cut and laid out the blanks for my trucks. Since I decided to tree nail the bulwark planking and not use the brass nails provided in the kit I thought I would use them as lamination reinforcements on the trucks. I pre-drilled for them before mounting them on a #10 screw with nuts and washers and chucking them up in my drill press to turn using a rasp and emery boards. I did not document the entire process as it has been shown before in other threads.


Even though I took great care in centering everything and not trying to take too much off at a time. As you can see I wound up with two unsatisfactory trucks after my first attempt. they came out slightly egg shaped and my pre-drilled holes are off center. I think the reason was that I did not chuck it far enough into the chuck leaving a long length of screw exposed. The resulting "bounce" made it impossible to achieve a round shape.


I only tried one set and have plenty of material to experiment unit I come up with the right method. 20171126_193001.thumb.jpg.d7c8ebcdf6a80d511110414291a7d72a.jpg20171129_195653.thumb.jpg.ceab7b5c24adb8fb5de8689ed7202fd7.jpg

In the mean time I found some small ogee molding laying around and decided to make some feet for the platform. I saw this on another manufacturers kit and liked it so I figured I would add it here. A couple of minutes on the chop saw then carefully refining the cuts with 400 grit sand paper. Glue them up and that's that.20171129_195731.thumb.jpg.8b4217da7e7786dc1a9f9e737f3f8a32.jpg





I will stain them prior to attaching them then I can finally put a coat of poly on the entire structure before starting to add the metal parts and rigging.



Edited by Osmosis
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Last night and today I experimented with blackening some of the different metals I will be using in this build with some pretty amazing results. I posted a thread Link here in the metal working section. Take a look it is much easier than you might think and I only used readily available household/shop chemicals.


Edited by Osmosis
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I managed to get a little bit done between trips to our storage unit and putting up X-mas decorations.


I stained and attached the display feet that I made earlier.




Many thanks to robdurant and his excellent pictures of the HMS Victory. I finally decided on how to display on deck round shot stowage. Pictured below.


These are freshly made waiting for the stain to dry before attaching them and that will finish all of the wood work I intend to do on the deck and bulwark section.


Then I trimmed the flashing off of all of the cast bits I will be using. After a wash in ammonia they are ready for blackening.


Below are a couple of the pieces after about 5 mins in a bath of full strength Marikates Bottom Cleaner.20171203_155116.thumb.jpg.c506af23df74c0d2622aa887c3654ec6.jpg

The after 15 mins and a thorough rinsing with fresh water.



Still not to sure about using the bucket I might try to make one.


That's it for now.


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