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HMS Blandford by DocBlake - Cross Section - Scratch Built - 1/32 Scale

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This will be my build log for a project I've been building, on and off for some time.  The cross section is of the HMS Blandford, a 20 gun Sixth Rate frigate launched in 1720 and represents a small segment of the ship at the level of the main mast.  Included are the mast, the well and shot lockers, chain pump as well as elm tree pump details and weather deck details including 2 cannons.  The model will be plank on frame with hull planked down to the wales.  There are two decks.  As I usually do, I hope to use no paint or stain (or at least as little as I can!).

 

The plans are based on "The 20 Gun Ship Blandford" by Peter Goodwin, one of the AOTS series.  The plans were drawn by one of my cyber friends, Mike41 who posts here.  He did a great job.  Although there are some simplifications in the framing (no chocks or scarfs in the hull frames, for example) the plans are fairly close to the AOTS drawings.  The second photo shows the cross section's location in longitudinal view.

AOS Blandford.jpg

Blandlong.jpg

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Amazing! I've been contemplating a Blandford cross-section myself and even bought the NMM line drawings and profile for this, but have been so swamped with work (and other modelling projects) that I've not made much progress.....just a bit of preliminary planning and drafting.

 

There is some contradictory or vague information in the AOTS volume, and if you have some cash to spare, I would strongly recommend getting the NMM plans - can't remember the catalogue number off hand - they are the original basis of Goodwin's book. But I think overall it can be a great resource

 

I built the Corel Greyhound kit as the Blandford several years ago - an exhausting but ultimately very satisfying project. She makes a lovely subject and I'll definitely be following your build closely - I may even be able to be of help!! Regardless, I'm sorry you beat me to this, but glad that someone is doing it here for me to copy from later on! Good luck!

hamilton

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for looking in, guys!

 

 My first decision was materials.  I decided to make the keel, keelson and frames out of European beech.  I bought  2 big slabs of European beech on the internet.   I've never had the opportunity to work with European beech so this was interesting. It looks like oak with small silver flecks in it, but is more tan with a touch of red in color. The grain is probably too pronounced for 1/64 or 1/48 scale, but is fine at 1/32 or 1/24. 
The first step is making the building jig.  The base is 3/4 plywood and the top is 1/4" ply.  I cut the notches small so I can file them making the frames fit snugly.  The keel is fixed to the buildinf jig by brass pins, which will then be used to mount the model for display.  The next task is   building the keel.

 

eurobeech.jpg

jig1.JPG

jig2.JPG

Edited by DocBlake

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I might have overstated the simplifications in the frame construction.  While the frames themselves have no  chocks or scarfs (like the frames on the MSW Triton group build), the disposition on the frames on the keel does have the frames rising on the keel moving aft, as well as the frames narrowing toward the stern.  The easy out would have been to have made all 9 frames identical and sitting on a flat, straight keel with no “rising wood”.

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Posted (edited)

Before actually working on the keel, I decided to build the frames, so that I could more accurately fit the frame floors to the notches on the keel.  The notches would be cut out after the keel and false keel were assembled and cut to length.  I'm not so sure the sequence is all that critical, because the build jig also plays a role in determining where the frames go.

 

I laid out the frame components (futtocks)on my beech billets, each 1/4" thick.  The frames are double, so the finished frames are 1/2" thick or 16 scale inches.  All the parts were then cut out on the scroll saw.

billets.JPG

Edited by DocBlake

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Very nice.  Looking forward to seeing this progress as an example of how someone can use one of the AOTS books. 

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May I ask what glue you (and others use) to glue the templates to the wood so that they stick but are easily removable?  

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I finished cutting out all of the parts for the 9 frames. Each frame has 2 floors which have the notches that fit into the recesses on the keel. The first step was to file the notches smooth and get a nice fit. I used a piece of the blank I used to make the keel to fit the notches. Then the 2 floors for each frame were glued together while mounted on my piece of keel stock to keep the notches aligned. I used Glad-Wrap to prevent glueing the floors to the keel stock. All 9 floor assemblies were glued up. Next is to finish glueing up the remaining futtocks to create finished frames.

 

 

floors.JPG

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Hi Dave:

Looking really good - at such a large scale there will be a lot of opportunity for nice detailing. I'm wondering how you will handle the keel/rising wood...One of the ambiguities I found in Goodwin's book and the NMM plans was the rising wood, which clearly seems to curve upwards aft, but whose dimensions as given in Goodwin's tables only indicate the width. Will you just have a level rising wood, or do you have a solution for depicting the upward curve it takes towards the stern deadwood. It may be that the section you're dealing with at mid-ships doesn't have this feature....anyway, really enjoying watching your progress on this build

hamilton

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8 minutes ago, hamilton said:

Hi Dave:

Looking really good - at such a large scale there will be a lot of opportunity for nice detailing. I'm wondering how you will handle the keel/rising wood...One of the ambiguities I found in Goodwin's book and the NMM plans was the rising wood, which clearly seems to curve upwards aft, but whose dimensions as given in Goodwin's tables only indicate the width. Will you just have a level rising wood, or do you have a solution for depicting the upward curve it takes towards the stern deadwood. It may be that the section you're dealing with at mid-ships doesn't have this feature....anyway, really enjoying watching your progress on this build

hamilton

Hi mate  how you doing.

 

OC.

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Hi Hamilton!

 

The idea was to keep things simple.  The keel was designed so that the aft-most frames (7, 8 and 9) sat higher on the keel than the first six.  When the rabbet was cut, I just cut it to simulate a gradual rise, rather than an abrupt "step".  The illusion of the rising wood was completed by sanding the frames to create the rise, and sanding the floors of the frames to accommodate the rising keelson.  Hope that makes sense!  Here's a section of the keel plans..

keelplan.jpg

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Hi Dave:

 

That explains it well as do your drawings - the NMM plans/Goodwin are certainly vague on this question. Looking forward to more progress (no pressure!)

hamilton

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Posted (edited)

This is my method for glueing up the frames:

I use Weldbond - it's easy to dissolve with isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and easy to scrape off the wood with an X-Acto blade so it won't block any stain penetration.
I don't use a sheet of glass, but rather tape the frame plan to a flat surface. A piece of melamine shelving works great. Once in place, I lay down Scotch double-sided tape over the frame outline. The first layer of the framing is laid down congruent with the plans and the tape holds each piece in place. I put a small drop of glue on the abutting surfaces of the first layer. When that is done, the second layer of the framing is glued to the top of the first layer with glue at all the butt joints also. I place a piece of plywood on the glued up frame and weight it down. The frames can come out in about an hour, but I wait overnight to remove the futtock templates and do any sanding.

 

pattern1.JPG

pattern2.JPG

pattern3.JPG

pattern4.JPG

pattern5.JPG

Edited by DocBlake

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Dave,

 

I discovered this morning your log of the HMS Blandford cross section. Looks like a engaging project, on scale 1/32 it will become a very nice model.

I subscribe to follow your log.

Wishing you an interesting build.

 

Lots of regards, 

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Thanks, G.L.!

 

 I was looking at the drawings of the HMS Blandford in the AOTS book. In the section represented by this build, there is a vertical scarf joint in the keel located right at the step of the main mast. It extends between frames 4 and 5. I think it would add interest to simulate that scarf joint and treenail both sides with 6 scale treenails. There are scarfs in the keelson at both ends of the model section, but since they end up as partial in this cross section, I think they are best ignored because they may look weird. I've enclosed a photo of the area in question with the scarf identified. 
 I simulated scarph in the keel as shown in the AOTS drawings and used 18 gauge copper wire to simulate the bolts. You can see how much the beech resembles oak.  Next up is blackening the copper. I'm trying a new method... hope it works!

blankeel.jpg

keelbland.JPG

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Looking good Dave - your method of gluing up the frames is a great combination of simplicity and effectiveness - though I guess the joints won't be visible on the finished model will you be exclusively using butt joints for the frames, or is there any thought of experimenting with scarf joints or chocks as per ship-building practice? 

 

Also - in my modelling I would normally blacken any simulated iron parts prior to installation - but is the idea to blacken the bolts on the keel while they are in place? Curious to see how this is done. 

hamilton

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Hi Dave,

That beech looks great - it does suggest oak, but the grain is more suited to the scale than that of actual oak would be. Is it nice to work with, I've never used it.

David

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Posted (edited)

 Hamilton:  The idea was to keep the framing relatively simple, so a novice builder would be comfortable.  I have no earthly idea why I chose copper for the bolts!

David:  The Beech is really nice to work with!

 

After I realized my mistake in using copper for the keel scarf, I figured out a strange way to blacken the copper.  Normally to simulate black bolts I would cut of the ends of toothpicks and let them sit in a bath of Solar-Lux Jet Black wood dye.  The dye penetrates the full thickness of the toothpick so no white core.  Just put the tip in some CA glue and push them into place. Clip and sand.

 

This is kind of crazy but let me explain what I did to "blacken" the copper bolts in the keel. I first tried "painting" the exposed copper with Jax Black and Brass Black. The black residue that formed bled into the surrounding wood and made a mess. I sanded back to bare wood and metal and tried again. I tried painting the copper flat black, but the results were not uniformly round, and the paint looked terrible. Sanded to bare wood and copper again. The I saw something on the internet! 

Hard boil, cool and peel 2 eggs. Chop up the eggs and break up the shells and layer them on the bottom of a plastic container with a tight fitting top. Secure the keel to the top with bread bag ties so the part isn't sitting on the eggs. Wait over night. You can see the results in the photo. I did put a coat of poly over the blackening so that I don't damage it or rub it off somehow. The bolts still look like metal - but used and oxidized metal! It's the sulfur in the eggs!

black keel.JPG

eggs1.jpg

boltsclose.JPG

Edited by DocBlake

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Huh???? I have to say - that is one of those ideas that makes me wonder how it got discovered.....the perfect combination of counterintuitive thinking and random luck? Anyway, it looks great - I don't suppose you can eat the eggs afterwards, though....

hamilton

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Nice save Dave.  For copper, look into Liver of Sulfur as it doesn't affect the wood.  EdT uses it in his models with great success.  You brush it on, give it a bit and then wipe it off with a damp cloth.  

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I added brass tubing to the keel bottom and drilled holes in the build jig to keep the keel stationary. The Frames are dry fitted to the keel and the jig. Very small adjustments are being made with files and shimming so each frame is square and plumb. Once that's complete I'll glue and dowel the frames in place.

framed1.JPG

framed2.JPG

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 I finished the keel and used brass tubing, glued to holes in the keel to fit into holes drilled in the build board to mount the keel. It's removable.
I sanded the inboard side of all the frames with my spindle sander and I marked the location of both the upper and lower deck clamps on each frame from the plans. Then I scored each line with an X-Acto knife so the location marks would remain, even after final sanding. I carefully plumbed each frame and centered them on the keel using a squaring jig and line level. the first 5 frames are virtually identical and are glued in place. Frames 6-9 taper inward moving aft and begin rising on the keel also. That's next.
 

blan1.JPG

blan3.JPG

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Thanks, Hamilton, and thanks to everyone for the "likes"!

 

 After careful sanding and fitting, I glued the keelson to the frame floors using epoxy. I'll add some reinforcing bolts a little later. I cut the rabbet for the limber boards into the first strake using my Byrnes saw. The limber boards are one continuous board, with separations simulated with a X-Acto blade, a narrow needle file and pencil marks. I drilled 5/64" holes (2-1/2" in scale) for the finger holes. I then started laying the floorwaling. The last photo is a detail of the limber board-keelson anatomy. None of the wood has poly yet. All the hold planking is European beech.

 
 

Img_1085.jpg

Img_1086.jpg

Img_1087.jpg

Img_1083.jpg

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