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BobCardone

Philadelphia by Bob Cardone - Model Shipways - Scale 1:24 - Kit build with modifications

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45 minutes ago, Duanelaker said:

The diorama you have pictured is by Jim Rogers...he is on this site.

 

Didn't he display that at the NRG Conference in Vegas last year?

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I messaged Jim, he graciously responded:

 

"I used  these products https://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/show/category/Water
Their website has many how to and hints. I used Murky Water and got all the grasses and cat-o-nine tails from railroad model shop".

 

Very glad to have this info, It'll help a lot.

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On 3/27/2020 at 8:18 AM, BobCardone said:

Cast metal parts I prime, and brass parts I blacken for prep.

Bob, I've been using Jax Pewter Black for blackening brass and I have had problems with it flaking off and rubbing off in places exposing the brass. I've followed the directions carefully and have cleaned the parts thoroughly and rinsed and dried them before applying the blackening solution and it still happens. I've resorted to painting the brass parts with Vallejo Black Acrylic and then weathering them with Doc O'Brien's Rusty Brown Weathering Powder. They look pretty good afterwards but I like the blackened brass better but I can't seem to get the brass parts to stay permanently blackened without rubbing off when handled.

 

What blackening agent are you using and how well has it worked for you? Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks. 

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I use Birchwood Casey Brass Black, available online and at sporting goods and gun shops. It blackens brass, copper and bronze, and may even work for some other metals and alloys. It's main chemicals are selenius acid and fluoboric acid, so be careful, it's kinda nasty stuff (if you use it, read the safety notes). It's used for gunsmithing, nameplates, plaques, castings, sculptures and other hobby uses.

   This is how I apply it, there are better ways but this works for me. First CLEAN IT. Use a good cleaner/degreaser ( I use a small brush to scrub the PE sprue with the parts still attached) then rinse with cold water (I use distilled, no minerals). Next, I abrade the PE sprue with either a fine Scotchbrite pad or ink eraser, depending on the size of the piece. Wash it again and don't touch it until you're ready to apply the black.

   I use either a cotton swab or small brush to apply the black, leaving it on for about a minute then rinsing with cold water. Keep re-blackening and rinsing it until you get the look you want. Try to keep an even coat with no pooling, a paper towel helps. It dries fully in 24 hours, and leaves a dead flat finish. I've found it's pretty durable, but you can usually touch up any trouble spots with paint.

   Here's a brass chain I just finished. The sloppy end will be cut off where it was held while dipping.

 

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Thanks, Bob, great explanation. Maybe I have been going too fast with Jax Pewter Black but I'll look into the Birchwood Casey Brass Black that you use always.

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   I decided on Minwax Puritan Pine stain for the masts and yards, Minwax honey on the main top and mast cap. Test fitted all the parts of the mast and everything lines up nicely. I've got a lot of deck work and other stuff to do before starting the rigging, but I'm getting closer... I also never comprehended how tall the mast really is...

 

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Oh oh... Slim's got a REAL problem now! Should've never left the door open, who knows  WHAT could get in...

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5 minutes ago, Chuck Seiler said:

Who do you think opened the door?

Hmm...

A few suspects. My garagecam caught the indoor crew plotting with a local OG to bring in some "outside talent " to persuade Slim to quit swiping their cat food...

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If you guys want to stay away from chemicals, a number of overboiled eggs mashed up in a Ziploc bag with your parts also creates a pretty cool effect.

 

Alan

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53 minutes ago, EricWilliamMarshall said:

Bob, Just a heads up, I use Birchwood Casey Brass Black and find if the brass isn’t clean, the black will rub off as well.

What cleaning method has worked well for you, Eric?

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17 minutes ago, knightyo said:

If you guys want to stay away from chemicals, a number of overboiled eggs mashed up in a Ziploc bag with your parts also creates a pretty cool effect.

 

Alan

Alan, what is the effect you are referring to? Blackening? Do you have a photo you can post?

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26 minutes ago, BobG said:

Alan, what is the effect you are referring to? Blackening? Do you have a photo you can post?

 

Yes. I've attached a photo showing my experiment with the egg method. As you can see, there was a variation in color.  I think I should have left the nails in the bag with the egg a bit longer.  In fact, they may all be going back in the bag, as I'm going to use them for my Nina instead of my Syren.  Still debating that tho, as the Nina hull is very dark, and I kind of like the variation in color on these. 

 

I'm also going to take off the poorly done hinge straps below, resurface the overall finish of the sides and replace with more "darkened/blackened" copper straps at some point on my Syren.

 

Alan

Blackened Nails.jpg

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15 minutes ago, knightyo said:

Yes. I've attached a photo showing my experiment with the egg method.

Thanks, Alan, does the black color stay on well and not rub off when handled?

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1 minute ago, BobG said:

Thanks, Alan, does the black color stay on well and not rub off when handled?

 

I don't think it rubbed off at all, Bob.  Although, if the nails stayed in the bag for a longer duration and blackened up more, perhaps some of that might have come off?  I'm not sure; it's an easy test to do however, provided you can find eggs which haven't been hoarded. lol

 

Alan 

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Eggs! Well I'll be darned. Never heard that before. I only just started reading this build. The weathering and detail are incredible. You're using some of the same techniques as guys who build 16mm scale live-steam powered garden railway stuff. That's 1:19 scale, the metal work and wood weathering are very similar. I never knew about this kind of boat before. I'm off to do some Sunday reading about the "Philadelphia".

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Thanks, Keith! 

The railway stuff and techniques translate well to this scale.

1 hour ago, Keith S said:

I never knew about this kind of boat before. I'm off to do some Sunday reading about the "Philadelphia".

She's an example of the minimum boat required to carry the maximum firepower. "Guns and Tons" without the tons... Rude and crude with a 'tude!

 

Another note on blackening...

As others have said, prep is the key for a good finish. This applies to anything- brass, PE, cast metal, plastic etc. CLEAN IT WELL. After you think it's clean enough, do it again.

2 hours ago, knightyo said:

If you guys want to stay away from chemicals, a number of overboiled eggs mashed up in a Ziploc bag with your parts also creates a pretty cool effect.

Cool idea! I'll have to try it when eggs aren't so scarce (at least in Florida).

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18 minutes ago, BobCardone said:

Cool idea! I'll have to try it when eggs aren't so scarce (at least in Florida).

 

I also wanted to thank you for creating this log. I've never been satisfied with the finish on my basswood Syren, and your log has been a gold mine of great information. Your model looks sensational!

 

Alan

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Bob,

 

Great job.  It's very interesting to see someone with your skill level bringing a sensibility--the weathering and real world coloring--that one tends to see in plastic, but not as much in wooden (ship) modeling.  Those photos taken outside from earlier in your log are especially effective.

 

Ron

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Thanks!

17 hours ago, rlb said:

Those photos taken outside from earlier in your log are especially effective.

Outdoors is always better. You can't beat that really bright thing in the sky for proper color correctness...😎 Unfortunately, most of the pics I take have to be bench shots with artificial light...😖

 

   I received some more 3D printed cases and barrels to substitute for the ones I screwed the paint up on. I'll use the proper primer this time and hopefully they'll come out better than the last ones. I also got some very nicely detailed resin castings of bedrolls, packs, tents, nets and other assorted stuff. The company I got them from ( Value Gear Details ) has about 20 or so packs of assorted accessories, most meant for 1:35 military armor. The one I ordered (universal storage set #16) is pretty generic, and will be appropriate in the Philly timeframe. All I have to do is NOT botch up this batch when painting and weathering.

 

   Here's a shot of the unpainted 3D and resin pieces. Slim's got another "visitor", but at least he found the musket rack...

 

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23 hours ago, BobG said:

What cleaning method has worked well for you, Eric?

Nothing perfect yet. The current approach is a bit of ammonia and fine steel wool for prep. I also let the solution be in contact with the brass longer than suggested and I let everything alone for a day or two before handling. Something in that list makes the brass a little more resistant to touching, but I'm not sure what. <shrug> I'm still searching. Let me know if you figure it out. :)

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Hi all,

   Well, I've reached the point where the base and display case need to be addressed. I figure to do the base first, and concurrently design and build the display case as I go along. I want to display the boat with the bow beached in a diorama type fashion, with some rocks, trees, gangplank and foliage. To make this look right, I have to take into account the draft of the boat (remember... even though this is flat bottomed, it is not a waterline model). In this scale, that means the waterline should be about 3/4" up from the hull bottom.

   First, I finalized the base size. Taking into account the shoreline detail I'm adding, I came up with a length of 34" and a width of 16". Height of the display case will be about 27", that dimension is still flexible. I decided to use 15/32" 5 ply cabinet plywood for the base. Light, strong and smooth. To "recess" the boat to the correct waterline depth I got some 3/4" thick insulation panel foam and cut out a rough outline of the hull. I then fitted up the cutout foam panel to fit the base and started adding elevation. 

   This is a ROUGH draft of the final pose, and will probably evolve as I go along. The diorama detail I'm not too worried about, my previous model railroad scenery building experience will help with that. I'm still not sure on how I'll do the water, I've got some ideas to test out first.

   One of the things I really noticed after recessing the hull to the proper depth was how more "real" the boat's stance is. One of the tricks of a good diorama is getting the subject "planted" into the diorama so they complement each other without one overpowering the other.

Here's some in progress pics... excuse the mess... now I have to get Slim to clean the shop of all the little white Styrofoam chunks. Note to self: Cut Styrofoam outside next time...

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6 hours ago, BobCardone said:

now I have to get Slim to clean the shop of all the little white Styrofoam chunks. Note to self: Cut Styrofoam outside next time...

    I don’t know how much foam cutting you do Bob, but if it’s a lot, using a hot wire system saves you all that static mess that sticks to everything.  When I started making my wife’s X-mas lighted village display scenery those beads were everywhere when I used various saw blades.  Saw blades can still be used for texturing, but to get a neat clean cut, a hot wire is the way to go especially when using the thick foam.  

    Micro-Mark has quite a few of these cutters ranging in price from $25 to over $300.  I finally went to this unit that consists of a variable heat power station and 4” straight wire cutter made by Hot Wire Foam Factory shown below that cost me $130.  They also offer quite a few other accessory cutters.

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Thanks, Dave!

   Hot wire cutters are the best to use, I've got a friend who does custom fender flares and body parts for cars and he carves his master molds from foam with one. In my case, the Styrofoam I'm using is only a mock-up. It's quick and dirty 😁 but lets me visualize the layout and make adjustments easier. The final lake bed, shoreline and rocks will be a combination of newspaper, wire mesh, plaster, Durham's Water Putty and a LOT of gravel, dirt and foliage.

   I've decided to reduce the size of the base from 34" x 16" to 30" x 14" for a number of reasons. First, the base overpowers the boat. As I mentioned in a previous post, everything's got to balance. Secondly, the original size was unmanageable, the reduction makes it much easier to work on. Thirdly, I had to reduce the amount of resin needed for the water pour. The original plan needed about 250 oz of resin...Yikes! Way too expensive and heavy. By increasing the shoreline and reducing the pour depth, it looks like I'm down now to around 125 oz. It'll be done in two or three pours, with tints on the first and second layers to simulate depth. The total pour depth will be 1-1/4", with the boat bottom 1/2" above the base. The boat will actually be "floating" on the first pour, with the rest of the pours done with the boat in place. I'm going to use Saran wrap taped to the hull and then coated with Vaseline as a mold release so I can remove the boat as needed.

   Here's the latest iteration, it's getting closer to what I'm shooting for. The base will be boxed in all around, with 2-1/2" high boards on the back and sides and a 1-1/4" board in the front. The side boards will be cut to taper down from the back to the front. This build is quickly turning into three separate builds... the boat, the base and (soon) the case. I know that this forum is for ship model build logs, so I'll try and keep the base "in the background" and keep this build focus on the boat itself.

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Another shot with frame mocked up.

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The display method is just as important as the model itself.  No need to skip details of the display.  It will help many who have not done it and want to try.

I for one would appreciate you providing details.

Kurt

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13 minutes ago, kurtvd19 said:

The display method is just as important as the model itself.

Absolutely right, Kurt.

   The display should enhance and complement the subject without distraction. A good display will also provide context to the 5 W's and H... Who, What, Where, When, Why and How. Like a painting, the display (or background) and subject should combine shapes and colors in a pleasing way and also tell a story. I've seen mediocre models with great displays win contests, and great models with crappy displays lose.

   I'll be glad to continue to provide the details on the base, shore, casting and lake bed along with the boat's progress. The main thing that's going to be sketchy is the water. I've never done a pour this big and complicated and the old adage applies... "What could possibly go wrong?".

 

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Bob, make sure you get a tight seal around the base where your resin is going. The resin will find any pinholes and leak out. I've had personal experience.😮

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