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HMS Bellona 1760 by SJSoane - Scale 1:64 - English 74 gun, as designed

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Thanks, everyone, for your comments.


Marc, the parallel jaw pliers are terrific for flattening a construction without denting the soft metal. And they are not all that expensive, relative to other jeweler's pliers. I found mine at Contenti.


Tony, my strainer is plastic, so I hoped that would be OK in the pickle. I did make the mistake at the very end of using the strainer in the baking soda and then putting it back into the pickle without first washing it. So I probably did kill the pickle with that mis-step. I will look into the bar-tender strainers in the future. It would be nice to keep the parts in a strainer all the way through to the JAX solution, instead of picking them out individually with tweezers. But I take your caution, and ideally would use separate strainers for each step of the process. The smallest pieces, the wedges for retaining the carriage trucks, were so small that many actually fell through the strainer mesh. Very bitty process....


Guy, here is a sketch of the measuring device. The horizontal screw locks the pointer in place, after using the fine adjustment screw at the bottom.









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I think height adjustment is the vertical screw though the ebony piece. The horizontal screw holds it firmly in position.


I now see the the answer has already been provided.  Should read all replies before acting - ah wel, learn from ones mistakes is part of life

Edited by Landrotten Highlander
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L.H., yes, you guessed it!

Marc, here are the cutter and the parallel jaw pliers.

The pliers are: https://contenti.com/brass-jaw-flat-nose-parallel-pliers

The cutters are Lindstrom 8141, found on this page:  https://contenti.com/pliers-cutters-n-shears/jeweler-s-pliers/lindstrom-pliers/lindstrom-80-series-micro-bevel-flush-cutters


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druxey, a workshop on jewelry making, or miniature metal smithing for ship models, would be a welcome break right now. If only....

Guy, happy to help out. I have learned so much from others on this website, I am glad I can contribute some myself.


I am at a crossroads on the Bellona right now. I am trying to think ahead to the order in which things must be done so I don't tangle myself up.


I was headed towards installing all of the standards, gun carriages and ironwork, but then thought that cutting the mortises for the decks above would be spraying wood shavings all over the delicate gun hardware, impossible to clean away without potentially breaking things. Also, I still have to turn the hull upside down to mask and paint the wales, which probably should be done before all of the delicate stuff is installed on the gun deck.


And as long as I am painting the wales, I might as well do the paint on the stem, which first needs the cheeks and hawse holes pushed along.


Long story short, I think I need to move onto more external work and painting, and then cut mortises and fit beams for upper decks. Only then should I finish up the work on the gundeck, when it is a little less vulnerable to this other work. It will be a bear to fix anything down there once the upper decks start to go in.


At least this is my story today.....🙂





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What you need are mini-tarps to tuck around each gun....


Seriously, I learned all kinds of neat things from jewelry making. My silver soldering success rate went from 50% to 99%, amongst other things. My wife benefitted as well; a custom white gold ring and a repousée silver 'waterfall' necklace.... The latter developed my sheet metal forming skills. I miss my days in the jewelers' studio.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi druxey, I so wish I could take a jewelry class somewhere. I seen now how exceedingly helpful that would be. Silver soldering still eludes me...

Other things in life have taken me away from the shop. But while distracted by other things, it helped clarify my next steps, resolving the numerous chicken and egg issues of what has to come before what.


I have concluded that I cannot install the barrels of the guns on the gundeck afterwards. The stool bed and wedged quoin are way too delicate; several have broken off just picking up the carriages. I will need to epoxy the barrels both at the capsquares and at the quoin, possibly pinning somehow at the stool and quoin. So all of this has to happen before I start closing in the gundeck with the upper deck over it.


And once the cannon are sticking out (druxey, is that the official naval description?), I need to avoid putting the hull on its side or perhaps even upside down. So everything requiring turning the hull upside down or sideways needs to be completed before the cannon go in and I can start on the upper decks.


So, I first need to finish as much carpentry work as possible that will create shavings inboard, so I can tip the hull over and clean it out before proceeding. This means cutting all of the mortises for the beams on the upper deck, quarterdeck and forecastle, and roundhouse. Also, drilling the hawse holes.


Then I need to finish up the outboard work including planking as much as possible, so I can turn the hull on its sides for painting the wales and the cutwater at the stem. I also need to consider finishing more of the stern works, which will also require turning the hull upside down--particularly for the frieze painting on the lower counter.


Next step, then, cutting the beam mortises. Last time, I laboriously measured each beam location from the drawing, then measured from a station line on the hull. I had to square every beam up, to ensure they were parallel. This was complicated by the fact that many beams were asymmetrical due to the halved joint between the two parts. Each side was offset a little from the other side.


Now many years later, with CAD drawings available, I am planning to print the upper deck, glue it to some stiff card, and lay it on the beam shelves. Then I can simply mark the location of each beam for the mortise.


For the first time, I took electronic copies of my CAD drawings to the local UPS store, where they printed out very accurately dimensioned sheets on 30 X 42 inch paper. Doesn't look too bad, hate to cut up the sheet. But it was only $3 US per sheet, so I will go back for more.





Edited by SJSoane
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Well the gun deck cannon issue is a serious one. And you wonder why so many models show the gun deck ports closed? One idea (thinking laterally); why not show the lids closed and display the armament for this deck on the model's baseboard? It has been done before; I recall at least one POW bone/ivory model in the Rogers' Collection with a similar presentation.

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Probably speaking out of the top of my hat here.... But would it not be possible to make a cradle that you can hold the hull in and be able to revolve it and lock it into position for various operations. The model engineers do it for working on the underside of model locomotives, The automotive industry does it for building cars.

Beautiful work on the metal parts Mark.



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