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Frigate Diana by DavidG - modified OcCre kit - 1:85

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chainplates next. I used the kit channel parts, reinforced by pins, painted black. The kit offers an easy solution for the chainplates by the use of wire, hooked into a pin, the issue of having the gunports in the way is bypassed by simply omitting the problematic ones. As much I wanted to make it a little bit more correct, there is no solution for the setting the correct angle due to the placement of the ports above and below. That's why I settled on the perpendicular arrangement, when it was possible (but had to make some compromise on the main mast). I used 5mm deadeyes, stropped by wire, soldered the links and installed the lower links, which are from my leftover parts box. These are fastened by two nails, cut to length and glued in. The kit supplies nice 3mm boxwood deadeyes, which I will use on the mast tops.


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getting close to finishing the work on the hull, it was time to think on the boats. I was not a big fan of the supplied castings (left one). It is not excluded, they could be finished to a reasonable standard, but it would involve adjust the hull shape, plank it, sand away the inner frames, make a capping rail to hide the excess wall thickness etc. By the time it requires, I can make a better one, so chose to replace pretty early.

Back in the years (~2010) I found the Caldercraft resin kits are the best ones out there from the rather limited selection (middle one). Good hull shape, sufficient detail, and decided to build one. This one is still unfinished, as it had to be painted, and I realized it wouldn't look right on a natural wood model. I might use it for some future project, but put it aside for now.

Finally I found a Master Korabel 95mm boat kit, which is just the right size, color and detail (right one). The kit features some sophisticated engineering and hyper precise laser cut parts, which still didn't prevent me to misunderstand the assembly sequence and glued the frames to the plywood core, expected to be removed later. At the end I had to grind away the plywood plug, but surprisingly the boat itself remained intact and I was able to finish it. The precut planking makes building very convenient, my only concern is the visible plank joints due to burned edges - it is a matter of taste, I like my planking to be smooth.

The boats fits to the model pretty well - which also means, I covered the last visible parts of the gun deck :) IMG_4764.jpg.2fc9795d45d164a449ad1585a355731b.jpgIMG_4761.jpg.9553bc6d9e72a104e04f6244ec8d0436.jpg

There is not much work left on the hull. I have to make some cosmetic improvements, install some cleats (yet to make them) and start rigging.

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the build log catches up to the present.

As the hull is almost ready, I started to do some preparation for rigging. I still don't know which rigging plan I will use, I have several sources as the Petersen book, Swan class book, kit instruction, other build logs of frigates, etc. I'm not going for historical accuracy (especially for this ship, which is not specific to any source) but see it as a learning opportunity, and most probably I will investigate each feature separately during the work. I rigged ship models before, but now I will try to advance the quality of my work.

As a start, I decided to use quality rigging supplies; I was able to find a local source for high quality rigging thread, and purchased Master Korabel and Syren blocks. I also try my hand at serving lines, which I haven't done before, I will use the Syren tool for this. This post about is my experiments with serving shrouds. The mizzen mast has the least number of them, let's start with these.


According to sources, the middle 1/4 of the shroud must be served. I thought it's easy: tried to measure the length of the shroud, served it with thin line then rigged the deadeyes just to see, my initial measurement was way off, and the end of the serving on the pairs was not paralel. I need to find a way to establish the proper length of the shroud before serving, so I set them up temporarily, and used wire spacers to rig the deadeyes at both end (I made a throat seizing for this).


Having the - hopefully - proper length, I can measure the middle 1/4, and mark it with masking tape:IMG_4767.jpg.aeaab7da0b19a48787906d657ea046e8.jpg

then it can go to the serving tool. I had to recognize, now having the deadeyes at both ends, I can no longer fit the thread through the rods and had to insert dowels to the inside of the gears. This is fiddly job, but allowed me to drive the serving tool with a handheld screwdriver, as a 5 mm hexagonal head perfectly fits to the inside of the axles. This tool is pretty slow, maybe the same speed an experienced user achieves by hand, but provides uniform speed.



Being a beginner in this trade, I'm not completely satisfied with the quality if my serving yet. For the most part it is very smooth and even, but I have issues at the start, where the line simply doesn't want to lay evenly. Unfortunately this is the most visible part of the serving. I have to experiment more with the proper angle or speed - nevertheless, there are several shroud pairs ahead of me to gain experience.


This is the current state of the experiments. I will rig the seizings above the deadeyes first, then check on the model how it came out.

I see this whole process is a bit complicated vs the way I rigged shrouds in the past (without serving). I'm open to any better idea.

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slowly the model is getting to the rigging stage. I will use it as a learning opportunity, and try out new things I haven't done before. Like serving lines (I'm getting better in it..) and making a rigging plan. The kit instruction is not much a of help, and decided I'm not going to use it (except for tracking belaying points maybe), the books of L.Peterson and Mr. Antscherl are here to help. I also recognize, the construction of my model has limitations, like the rather small scale, the initial kit design, and my modifications, which were or were not properly planned. Building without a set of plans is a new experience anyway, so let's try.


Some last pieces to be fitted to the deck before it's too late, here a railing fitted front of the main mast. I also took out the bits made by the kit plan and replaced them.


I rigged the mizzen shrouds first, to establish my working sequence, followed by the ones on the main mast. This time I installed burton pendants, although only one pair, due to lack of space.

Lack of space became appearent by counting of deadeyes - when installing the channels, I reduced their number to be able to install proper links below, now I have to live with single backstays instead of two pairs per side.



Preparing to making the stays, I installed the mizzen stay collar. I made these following the Swan books, eyes on both ends, held together by a lashing (the picture is of the fore preventer stay, but works the same logic)


And installed on the mast. The lashing is less than tidy, and if I gain some more experience doing them maybe replace it.


Before I start the fore shrouds, wanted to make some progress with the bowsprit. I had a lot of issues with it, partly coming from the longer than expected head rails but also because the kit is designed with a different rigging scheme in mind which I plan to execute. The picture below is it's current state - I wanted to install the wooldings , but they have to go. I need to make space for the bobstay collar to clear the figurehead, even I will make the bowsprit longer by 3 cm. The bees and cap to be painted black later.


Next tasks to come:

- bowsprit collars (6)

- main stay collar (kit shows this rigged to the bowsprit, but sources indicate it passes a hole in the head)

- bowsprit rigging (bobstays, bs shoruds)

- fore shrouds 

- then all the stays (5). After it, I can move to the topmasts. I'm sure it will take a while..





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I had some progress in the last 3 months. I'm not a fast builder, but try to get some work done each day, even it sometimes to try a knot or two.

After finished the rather straightforward (but lengthy) exercise of setting the lower shrouds, I started work on the lower stays. I concluded, the kit rigging plan is not any help at all- while I know nothing about the Spanish practice, some of the features shown are rather dubious (tying off topmast shrouds on the middle of masts, rigging fore stays with blocks, ect). For rigging lower stays I had more confidence, so started with these.

The mouse was made on the lathe from dowel, the drill bit makes a good job the prevent the rather small part from braking. 


I gave a short thought to wave or serve the mouse but dropped the idea and simply painted it. This is the first one, installed on the mizzen mast.


main mast:


I chose to rig the main stay collar through a hole drilled to the head. 


Still don't know, what is proper way of tying off the lashing between the hearts. The example above is the most pleasing for my eye, and probably will use this form (v1), but I saw the lashing finished similar to a deadeye, tied off around the shroud above the heart (v2) and also tied off on itself, but only around the upper lashing lines, ie not holding the upper and lower lines together (v3). Any thoughts on this is appreciated, as I still haven't decided and most of the lanyards only temporarily rigged. 


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Having the lower stays done, I started to work on the bowsprit. Despite of there are reliable sources how to do it, I struggled a lot in this area. Given the dimensions of the head and the length of the bowsprit, the lines simply doesn't fit. The first issue is the bowsprit itself, I had to make it longer than the plan to fit the required fittings (and still had to remove the woolding behind the bees) and keep the lines away from bow rails. Then came the question of the figurehead. The kit supplied a nice one, with the small issue it doesn't really fit. The rigging plan bypasses this by leaving the bobstays slack to make space for the figure. My attempts to modify the figurehead or the whole arrangement of the bow were less than successful, moreover I accidentally dropped the poor figure casting broking her arms, to arrive to the conclusion I will have no figurehead on the model. Things got much easier to manage then. 


First, made the required collars for the bobstays, bowsprit shrouds and fore stays. Also cut two open hearts (the closed ones are from Vanguard Models).IMG_5141.jpg.47c4e335d93a1b9a3c430fdfa8c41d2b.jpg


Then set up the lines. The bowsprit shrouds and the bobstays along with all collars are served, it is also visible, how little space left for the figurehead. The bowsprit shrouds have a thimble holding a hook on the other end, attached to an eyebolt. I plan to add another pair of them, as shown in Petersson's book. 




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Before moving to the topmasts, some tasks were due around the mast tops. First is to install the catharpins and futtock shrouds on the main and fore masts. I used 1x1 mm wooden strips for the futtock poles, in retrospect they are a bit on the thick side, next time I may try to use thread instead. 



The futtock shrouds take a turn around the pole and secured by two seizings below. The hooks on their upper end are made from modified eyebolts (these are the small Amati copper ones), then darkened by heating them and dipped in oil.


Then made the slings and the strops for the jeer blocks. The latter should have double strops, but I wasn't able to fi them to the blocks. 


Finally rigged them to the mast top.



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In the meantime, I started to tie ratlines. It is made by clove hitches, using size 50 Corona cotton thread :)



Currently I'm setting up the topmast shrouds, the next milestone will be the completion of the topmast stays.

Here is an overall view of the model in it's current state:





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