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Sinagot by thibaultron - Heller - PLASTIC - 1/60th - Small - French fishing boat

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It has been a long time since I worked on any of my boats, and it will be a while before I can continue on them, but I needed to do something, so I picked out my Heller Siganot kit for a quick build.

This is a model of a ~42’ French two masted gaff rigged fishing schooner in 1/60th scale. Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the kit contents.


It includes the paint, but I don’t know how old the kit is, quite by the box wear, so I may use my Vallejo Paints. I may have to make new decals, also, the ones provided in the kit are black, and will not stand out well on a black hull. The box art also shows a slightly different pain scheme, with the white trim, not a color provided in the kit.


First was gluing the hull halves. The fit was quite good. I’m using Faller glue.



Next I built the boat’s tender.


As a general note, yes I’m getting a bit too much glue on the joints. My hands shake a bit, and sometimes this affects my glue application. I need to get some liquid glue, in addition to the thicker Faller type.


Next I assembled the stand. The pedestals had ejector marks on one side, so I put a piece of 400 grit sandpaper flat on the bench, and sanded that side in a circular and back and forth motion. A figure 8 motion is better, but these parts are small and difficult to hold.



There is a supplied name plate, but I’m going to wait until the boat is mostly done to attach it, as the keel sits at an angle,  so the pedestal openings are not the same height, and I’m not to the point of setting the hull on the stand, to see which “direction” makes the hull level, nor which side of the boat turns out looking better.


Now I found a problem. Heller’s instructions, have you set the tender inside the stern, for display. This would prevent sailing the boat, in real life, and is also not really true to life. If the boat was moored the tender would be used to get to shore. If docked, they might pull in in, I’m not sure.


In any case, if sailing the tender would be at best towed behind, or perhaps left at the mooring. I'm still debating displaying the sails as set or stowed. Not a real problem, except, they have a untextured mounting boss on the deck, for positioning the boat for display! It would not look good, if I decide to build her with the sails set.


Above is a picture of the boss, with it partially whittled away. Using a curved #22 blade, I carefully carved it off, even with the deck surface. I used a large razor saw blade to cut in the planning grooves. I then dragged the saw lengthwise over the area and the surrounding deck to blend it in with the molded in texture.


After some cleanup, it blends in well. The hatch has already been attached.

Today when I went in, I had a small shock. There is a small hollow cube that attaches to the deck, near the foremast. I think it is the air pipe for the live well. Last night I glued the two halves together and left them clamped in a clothespin, to setup. This morning the clothespin was sitting where I left it on the bench, but there was no part in it! It has apparently gone to that great part heaven in the sky! I looked, but my shop is a horrible mess, from moving stuff, while I renovate it, and it has fallen in some crack, and disappeared! At least it will not be hard to make another one.

The last part today was installing the deck and a forward bulkhead. Hopefully that won’t disappear too!


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Today I had to make a decision about the rigging and painting the boat. The Heller instructions as shown below, have you add the rigging line to parts before you glue them in place, a not unreasonable approach, but not if you want to paint the boat as an assembly, to avoid glue damage. Also the foredeck takes a bit of force to get in place, and doing so would damage the nearby paint.

So I decided I’ll have to add the rigging in creative ways later.


Another problem is that the mast hole in the foredeck is cast off-center, making the mast lean to one side. The deck also didn’t fit quite right. I sanded one side to bring the hole more toward the center, and allow the deck to fit all the way forward. The best I could do still leaves the mast tilted, but much less so. I’ll trim the locking tab off the bottom of that mast, allowing me to shift it to correct this problem. The slight offset of the mast will be less noticeable than trying to enlarge or redrill the hole.

The part that I mentioned disappeared yesterday, turns out to be a support for the thwart (part 16) shown above, as well as a strengthening post for the mast base. I cut a replacement out of wood.


The next task was to carve away an ejector pin mark that prevented the thwart from sliding far enough forward to sit properly, not a difficult task. The other ejector marks were below the plank surfaces, so didn’t interfere. I’m not going to try to carve these away, for a better bulwark appearance, I’d just do more damage than good.




Here is a shot of the support, foredeck, the thwart, and stern seat installed. The wood support was attached with superglue, due to the dissimilar materials. I now shy away from this type of glue, due to the tendency to shear under a shock load, but no chance of that here.


I also cleaned the flash off of the bowsprit, masts and one of the gaffs.

The next installment will be a few days away. I’m busy the next few, and then I have to dig out my airbrush equipment. Though the latter might not be needed if I decide to try the Humbrol paints.


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  • 3 weeks later...



I started out by going out to wash down the hull, to get it ready for painting. While looking over it, I realized that I had forgotten a part. It is a loop that goes over the tiller handle, to limit the tiller throw.

Not a big problem, at least until I tried to attach it!



The picture in the instructions shows it being attached on the inner part of the stern timber. Alas, there is no “inner” part of the stern timber, on the model! The hull, as cast, has the stern timber, ending at the outside of the planking.


Above is the part held near the stern timber.


I cut a slot the width of the timber in the gunwale, and fabricated an inner piece from .060 styrene. The cast timber is actually .075”, but I only had the .060. Once I glue the loop on, you will not be able to see the difference.



I tapered the edge that sits against the hull (the lower edge in this photo), and cut it free. I left it over long, and trimmed it when the glue had dried. The photo below is out of focus, but you can see the part.



I decided not to try to fabricate an additional piece to fit between the stern seat and the deck, it would be all but invisible on the finished model.

I also noticed that there is a gap between the foredeck and the gunwale, probably due to the sanding I did to center the mast hole. I filled it with putty, and will finish it up when it dries.



I can also see in the photo, that I need to remove the seam on the top of the gunwales and the stem, that I had not noticed before. Nothing like a nice closeup shot to shows you problems with you parts! 😊

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Yesterday I took a closer look at the box art for the loop over the tiller.


It turns out that the loop is a type of main sail traveler. It also mounts on the aft of the stern timber, not the inside , like I thought from the instructions. I should have looked at the art first. Of course, the artwork also shows knights heads fore and aft, not the cast in cleats on the model, but I’m not going to make that change.


On the back of the box a closeup drawing of the stern is also given, but without the traveler in place. This drawing, seems to show that there should be a, at least, a little of the stern timber inside the boat, so I shaved the piece down that I’d added earlier. It also, unfortunately, shows random lines going nowhere, including to the top of the tiller!


Here is a shot to show the relative size of the model, compared to my hand.


I installed the traveler, and finished blending in the foredeck/gunwale area.



I’ve decided to not mount the tender in the boat, so I need to detail the tender’s bottom. I started out by sanding in some woodgrain. The grain on the interior runs fore and aft, so that’s the direction I ran it on the bottom. There is no indication on the inside of the tender to indicate any planking joints for the bottom , so I’m going to model it as one full width plank on each side of the keel.


My next step is to add a keel, but unfortunately, I can’t find my pack of styrene sheets, so that will have to wait until I get paid next week. I’m sure I have that pack somewhere, but it’s gotten buried in the moving of stuff during the shop renovation.


I’m thinking of mounting the supplied base to a board, and suspending the tender on a clear rod attached to that base, as if it is being towed behind.

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The kit did not supply any blocks for the rigging. They would be quite small, but I’m going to try to add them. The first thing I need to know, of course, is what size blocks are needed. The box art shows some blocks, so I decided to scale the blocks shown.


Correcting skew and perspective in a photo – A quick guide


The photo program I’m using is Photoshop Elements 15. As a note, the Photoshop “Elements” programs, are basically the prior version or two of the regular Photoshop software. I got my copy (a real licensed one) from Ebay for a reasonable fee. Note also, that the new version of Photoshop, is a subscription only software, so if you want a regular nonsuscription copy, find one now!


First, I had to get a good picture to import into my CAD program. I started with the following photo.


You can see that the box narrows at the top. I’m simply going to “square up” the picture. If this was a plan set, or I needed to create a drawing for modeling, I’d scan the material at a higher resolution, and be more careful of the XY scaling. This section is more to give you an idea of the process involved.

First, using the “Selection Box” tool, I drew a box around the area in the photo I need to fix.


Then I drew orthogonal guide lines (blue lines shown by the arrow) to define the final desired shape. To create the guide lines, place the cursor in the ruler area, press the left mouse button, and drag the line to the location you need. I could not show this step, in progress, as my screen capture (the “Print Screen” keyboard button) does not display the cursor.



I then opened the “Image – Transform – Distort” tool.


Once selected you will see “Handles” displayed at each of the “Selection Box” corners (circled).



By selecting a “Handle” and holding down the mouse button, you can drag the “Handle” and distort the picture to bring the corner of the box to meet the guide line intersection. Note, that the other corners may move a bit to, so once the first round is finished, you may have to go back a time or two, to refine the results. In the picture I’ve dragged the “Handle” to the left until the corner of the box meets the corner of the guide lines.


Next I used the upper right “Handle” to move that corner.


After I got the box square, I once again selected the “Selection Box” tool. The program then asked if I wanted to save the changes, and I selected “Apply”.



Next I selected an area outside the existing “Selection Box”, to clear the old one, and created a new “Selection Box” around just the box itself. Then I cropped the imaged to remove the unneeded area of the picture. While not really necessary, it just makes it a bit easier to work on once its imported to the CAD program.


Scaling The Blocks


The CAD program I use is DesignCAD, but any of them can do this task.


I imported the picture to the CAD program, drew a vertical line down from the visible aft of the rudder, and another down from the fore end of the bowsprit. Then I drew a horizontal line between them. In DesignCAD the function I used was the “Dimension – Units” tool, to scale the horizontal line to 508” (215mm model length X 60 / 25.4 (mm per inch). Sorry being American, I like to work in feet and inches.


Then I used the “Dimension” tool to show the length of the drawn blocks, which I decided came out to a 6” block average.



I will be ordering a set of single and double blocks in 2mm and 2.5 mm sizes from the Syren Ship Model Company. I’ll choose which size to use once I see how they look compared to the model size.


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The Syren blocks I ordered have come in 2mm and 3/32 single and doble blocks. Man are they tiny! I'm going to check the blocks on some of my 1/96 kits. I may have to move to a larger scale for future builds!


There will be a delay before I continue on this build. There is a couple I know that are building a new home, and just found out that the husband has cancer. The trailer they have been living in leaks and he will not be able to move back into it, after Chemo, due to mold issues. I am helping them to finish the house, so they can move in.


The local inspector, is being a real butt. Everything has to be just so, or he rejects it, not so a typical most times, but he keeps saying, "No one can build their own home now a days.", then he gives them a list of "Recommended" builders!

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On 24-7-2018 at 4:07 PM, thibaultron said:

The local inspector, is being a real butt. Everything has to be just so, or he rejects it, not so a typical most times, but he keeps saying, "No one can build their own home now a days.", then he gives them a list of "Recommended" builders!

Sounds like Dutch GO's


Take your time Ron, do what's important first. You've had some interesting solutions

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

I haven't given up on this build. I tested my airbrushes, and practiced some with them. I had to order new primer, and it came the other day. Hopefully Sunday I can shoot the first part of the primer on the model. I'm starting with Red-Brown on the outside of the hull, then I'll switch the next day to gray for the railing and interior, as well as the masts.


I bought 2 oz. Red-Brown, White, Gray, and Black Stynylrez primer (the last three came as a set that was $2.00 cheaper than the single Red-Brown!). I bought them from Amazon, for a good price. I have found it better than the Vallejo Primer. It sets overnight and has better sandability. Even with my external mix airbrush the initial rougher surface (compared to a double action brush) smoothed down as it set. The best brush I found for priming large areas was my old Badger 250-1 plastic airbrush I bought about 35 years ago, it gave the best large area coverage. The double action brushes had too small a line to effectively cover several square inches of scrap plastic.


I'll likely used just the Red-Brown primer as the anti-fouling coat, rather than add another layer off topcoat, unless it looks too light. I'll use the Vallejo paints for the rest of the model.

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Sinagot Fishing Boat – Heller – 1/60 – Plastic - Small




After much delay I am one again working on the Sinagot!


I bought some new Stynylrez Primer. I had gray, but wanted to get at least their new (since the last time I bought the gray a couple of years ago) Red Brown, to use as the anti-fouling bottom paint. While looking at Amazon, I found a three pack of Gray, White, and Black, also, so bought that to. I'll used the white for the railing (painted white in the box art), and the interior, which is a light blue, then the gray for the rest of the parts.




Here is a shot, from Part 4, of the box art, on the front of the box, showing the white railing. This picture varies from the next and the instructions, in that the hull interior is shown as natural/tan.




The next picture, also from Part 4, is from the back of the box. It shows the light blue interior, as per the instructions, but with the railing in black. I chose the white railing for my model. I'm also going to go with the Main Sail Traveler in black, like almost all iron work on ships, and the rudder pindles and grunions the same color as the surrounding area (black above, anti-fouling below).




I had already washed the parts down to remove molding and skin oils. This is a very important step with the new acrylic paints. After that you need to always wear plastic, latex, etc. gloves while handling the parts, until painting is completed. I stored the washed parts in a clean covered cardboard box, until I was ready to paint. After painting I left them in the spray booth to dry. The booth has a removable front cover to keep the dust out.


I just painted the outside of the hull and the rudder, with the Red Brown primer. I taped off the railing area, for its later coat of white primer.


Below is a picture of the hull and rudder sitting on the painting turntable. The turntable is one I modified from a two tier plastic one I found at a yard sale. I cut off the tube connecting the upper and lower tiers, and made some rough round cardboard covers for the lower tier. I just traced the outside of the tier onto a collapsed mailing box, which was made with thin cardboard, and added three tabs that fold down over the sides, so that I can tape a cover in place. I cut through both layers of the box, giving me two covers when finished. Of course, as it is illegal to use the USPS boxes for other than mailing “stuff”, I always save and use only the ones from packages that I receive in the mail, right.





I used the turntable for the hull, and held the rudder using the clothespin when painting.


I used my 35 or so year old Badger 250-1 airbrush for the primer coat. The double action brushes produce too fine a line for easy coverage of large areas, which even this small hull constitutes. While external action brushes like this brush (and this one is a very kludgy cheap introductory design) generally give a rough surfaced coat of paint, compared to even a spray can, the Stynylrez smooths out nicely as it dries. I will say though that this is the first airbrush I bought, and the one that showed me I could use one, and get a better finish with the old enamel paints, than with brushes. It also showed me that the airbrushes could be cleaned without the Herculean effort always talked about in the magazines of the time.


You may ask, “What is wrong with just taking more time and using the double action brush, or a quality external mix brush?” The answer is over spray and the temptation to pull the airbrush back to get a wider line. Especially the later, as pulling back from the surface gives the paint more time to dry, before it reaches the model, and can leave a rough powdery surface. I learned this from a YouTube review, that unfortunately the address for is on the hard drive of my dead desktop. When I finally get a new computer, and can get to the content on those hard drives, I'll post the address here.




Here is the painted shot and then one after I removed the tape.







On a side note, I found as couple of spots on the hull after I finished cleaning the airbrush! I'd accidentally sprayed a few drops of either water, or cleaner on the hull! I resprayed those areas with the double action brush, and will, from now on, move to another area to clean the equipment!




After a couple days to allow the paint to fully dry, I'll mask off and paint the rail and interior, in the white primer, as well as paint the top of the rudder, that was shaded by the clothespin.




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I'm enjoying watching your build of this little Heller kit. I built the Heller Thornier Armor fishing vessel a few years ago, and it was

a fun project (1/125 scale). Just wanted to share some photos of the completed model and am looking forward to seeing the results

of your work.


Thornier Armor 1.jpg

Thornier Armor 4.jpg

Thornier Armor 5a.jpg

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No progress on the model itself, but I did find several pictures of restored Sinagots online. The most useful search was for "Jolie Vent" a restored boat originally built in 1958. Several pictures that will help me figure out the rigging. I also ordered " Sinagots : Histoire d'une communauté maritime en Bretagne " a book on the Sinagots. Its in French, so hopefully it will have lots of pictures! I may have to scan it in and use google to translate it!


I did find out that the boats were used in protected waters, and had no dedicated stays or shrouds. The sails are set so that the foresail is always raised on the Port side, and the main on the Starboard. When running into the wind, one of the sails billows against its mast. The boats generally had black hulls and were differentiated by the color of the railing.


There is a wooden kit in 1/20th scale, but I can only find it from one supplier, and will stick with the Heller one.


There is a nice video of "Jolie Vent" at


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It doesn't look like much now, but here is the rough 3D CAD "Clothes Horse" I drew to start my rigging plan. I'm going to draw in the lines as I find them using the photos I found.




The red is a very rough representation of the hull, the green the spars, and blue masts. The orange points are the bitts on the hull, and the black the traveler.


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Ron that is an interesting boat you have going there and I like how you are using the computer to help solve some issues.I have to agree a single action brush usually can cover more area than alot of the duels since they are setup for fine painting.I just in the last year damaged my Badger 150 after 20years of diligent work still have the Badger Renegade.keep up the good work I have you set to "Notify" ;) Kevin

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