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Brazzera by Gbmodeler - Scale 1:48 - Adriatic 10-meter boat used for fishing and cabotage (freight and passenger service)


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Just started a new boat project.  After seeing a photo of a small Brazzera with two lateen masts on Veniceboats.com (http://www.veniceboats.com/brazzera.htm), I had to build one!  I have not yet found much historical information about Brazerras rigged this way, but there are several plans for single masted boats available.  
 

My model will be fictional, based on the type.  A ten meter boat was chosen based on the only photo I could find, from Veniceboats.com.  The length of the boat was determined and scaled off the people in the photo, and a comparison to photos of a single masted, 9-meter Croatian boat, "Our Lady of the Sea".  
 

The "Our Lady of the Sea" is a modern replica of an 18th century boat.  I place the photo of my model in the late 19th century, and plan to make it in Italian ownership (maybe a sponge fishing boat?)...

 

Any info or feedback on Brazzeras, especially those rigged with two lateen masts, would be greatly appreciated!

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So, after working on the frame (rescaling the line plans, printing out the keel and bulkheads (12), cutting them out from the paper with scissors, gluing the paper cut-outs to basswood plywood, cutting-out the plywood bulkheads and keel with a scroll saw, assembling and gluing all the parts, adding deadwood to both the stern and bow sections), I realized I hated my creation (as shown earlier).  
 

In the planning stages, I was concerned this very wide boat would look TOO wide if I did not account for the width of the planking.  Therefore, I reduced the bulkheads by 10% from scale, before I printed them out.  Although it seemed correct at the time, this was way too much!  
 

Looking at Brassera images on the internet, they are thick, chubby vessels.  I read somewhere that the width was typically 1/3 the length.  Measuring several different images, they are more like 38% width to length.  Unfortunately, I had created a skinny and malnourished looking Brassera...

 

Past experience tells me, if I'm not happy with a model or model part, I better repair it it or re-build it.  After a day or two of stewing, I decided it could not be repaired to my satisfaction.  So... we start anew!

 

The new frame is on the left; old on the right (perhaps I can use it on a future project?).

F67ABB4C-D9F8-497E-A06A-FBD956DA9CD8.jpeg
 

Formers added to the frame for the deck camber...

2BFEA784-9C37-45A7-A4B1-6D72D28319BB.jpeg
 

Repurposing an old cereal box as a base for the decking... 

65B72EDE-6094-42C3-8A6F-B4DE9311C195.jpeg

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Started the decking process by gluing the cereal box as a "false deck" and staining basswood strips for planking.  I am using 1/16 x 1/8 inch strips for planks; and, I always stain the planks before gluing them.  Even though they will be heavily sanded later, if you don't stain them before gluing, you run the risk of having dried glue "block" any stain you apply later, or as touch-up.  That will give uneven and unsatisfactory results.

 

In this case, I am going for an old weathered look for the deck.  I mixed my own "stain" to "weather" the wood.  The ingredients are black India ink, isopropyl alcohol, black artist's pastel powder, and water.  I haven't ever measured the proportions, I just mix until it looks good.  It goes on much darker when it's wet than after it dries, so I test it on a scrap of wood first, making sure the dried coloring is what I want.  I've used it to make old wood posts and model railroad flat car floors, but never as deck stain for a ship.  I don't know how it will work on a boat, with lots of sanding and re-staining as the model progresses.  This could get ugly...

 

The stained strips.

1816AA49-96D0-486B-BFAC-F3D21251B875.jpeg
 

Gluing the edges of the deck planks to thin black construction paper (for caulking) with white glue.

4AB04A06-9879-43AB-BC92-8269366EDCEF.jpeg

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On 10/22/2020 at 8:03 AM, Gbmodeler said:

Past experience tells me, if I'm not happy with a model or model part, I better repair it it or re-build it.  After a day or two of stewing, I decided it could not be repaired to my satisfaction.  So... we start anew!

The new frame looks much better to me also. I like these "chubby" boats. 

 

3 hours ago, Gbmodeler said:

I always stain the planks before gluing them.  Even though they will be heavily sanded later, if you don't stain them before gluing, you run the risk of having dried glue "block" any stain you apply later, or as touch-up.  That will give uneven and unsatisfactory results.

 

Great piece of advice!

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OK, you are already quite a bit into the project, but otherwise I would have considered to write to Gilberto Penzo, who runs the Web-site www.veniceboats.com, is the historian of Venice boats and has written several books on the subject, to see, whether he can point you to resources. He is a nice guy and speaks English actually. I visited him in his shop or workshop on several occasions. I would have to check in his books, whether there is any information on the brazzera.

 

Good luck with the project.

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This one has been a tough one to plank.  Mainly because of my inexperience and poor planking skills.  It has driven me to study-up on the subject, and I'm almost anxious to start another project so I can apply what I've been learning...

 

Anyway, The Brazzera has been planked, filled, sanded, primed, and sanded again - from the deck line, down.  I sawed off the plywood keel, stem post, and stern post and replaced them with nicer looking basswood.  The stem post is probably too large, and I'm thinking I'll sand it down after planking above the deck...

 

First strake above the deck was a 1/32 strip, upon which to build scuppers!  You can see the result here.  After cutting out the holes, the first strake above the scuppers was added.  

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33F8F021-319D-40B8-BEF1-4E516025FD78.jpeg

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Thanks Thanasis!  
 

I do plan to add a couple of frames (ribs) at the bow, with what appears to be a horizontal brace (is that the trincarino?).  I think there is a similar feature aft?  I have been debating whether to attempt the curved "notches" at the bow that some boats have, before I add those features.  Also, the stem and stern posts are not finished off yet, but I agree with your observation.  Thanks!

 

 

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Hi.
There's no need to place more frames... In fact, I think that pair in left and right of the stempost are not required but you may leave them as supporters of the gunwall and inner structures. 
I can't see clearly, so I guess  the same happens at sternpost.
But I I think an image speaks better...

A.jpeg.38168b9b5cad78dc52c5062da69e2492.jpeg
So see the correct installation of the frames that are facing the central axis. You should think that if they were real frames, they already would have been installed vertically on the keel...
Trincarino is the Italian term (Trepetee or courzeto in Gr) for a kind of margin plate with cuts, that locks the frames at the level of the deck.
Depending on the method that a modeler  builds a hull,  is usually placed on an already finished deck and before the false frames on which they step...
See the links (needs translation even it's not accurate)

Thx

https://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/ricerca/trincarino/

 

https://nautipedia.it/index.php/Trincarino

Edited by Thanasis
Grammar
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Finished up the thick railings that these stout little boats displayed, and for me, I think, the hardest part of the hull is finished.  It took a lot of wood bending to get the bow done, but I really like the results.  I used Chuck Passaro's planking method and I love it! (https://modelshipworld.com/topic/22975-chuck-passaros-planking-videos-where-are-they/?tab=comments#comment-679771).  Wish I had seen it before planking the lower part of the hull... .

 

I see these boats had "crowns" on the top of the stempost, and am undecided what to place there.  Anybody have any thoughts about what was "typical"?

 

Hard part done.  Now for the detailing fun!!!

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A 90 degree bend on the bow...

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Bow.   The rails were done in strips...

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Stern...

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I added some length to the sternpost...  Pear wood veneer was used for the interior rail sides...

BD124592-3169-4A8A-9A3F-2D70AD632CBB.jpeg
 

Bow shot...

200FBF05-13BA-4AAD-8372-FC59F1805E86.jpeg
 

Stern shot.

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Edited by Gbmodeler
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The adding of details (the building of deck houses, winches, etc.) is one of my favorite activities.  A notable feature of the Brazzera and other Adriatic boats are the "eyes."  I understand they are very important, since a boat without eyes can not see where it is going.  This is new to me and looked like a fun project.

 

Since I mainly only have basswood to work with, I started there.  The general outline of an eye was drawn freehand with pencil on a 1/8" (3.175mm) sheet of basswood and cut out:

75D39279-8014-48C2-ACAC-92B33C21C503.jpeg
 

Next, using a hobby knife and a homemade sanding block, the general shape of the piece was reached.

4432276C-7D3F-4A6D-AC65-E4EA0D186985.jpeg

 

Edited by Gbmodeler
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Since basswood can be so delicate and crumbles easily, especially in carving situations, the rough cut-out piece was coated in very thin (viscous) CA (super) glue.  This can be a very dangerous operation, especially while handling such a small piece.  The superglue spreads wildly and gets on fingers easily.  One has to be extremely careful!  
 

I imagine, if our models survive through the millennia, future archeologists will wonder why modelers in our age incorporated bits of skin, and in some cases whole fingers, into our model building!  Perhaps by then, they can clone me back to life from one of my models, and ask me....

 

69BAD24C-AC38-4A43-AE48-5C5C14FDF5BA.jpeg
 

After impregnating the wood with CA, carving could be much more robust.  I also wanted to add some 3-dimensional attributes to the eyes, so I scribed a semi-circle along the round edge to have a line from which to carve down the rest of the eye.  This left an "eyeball" effect.

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Pupils were drilled out by hand using drill bits, and the final smoothing applied...

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Edited by Gbmodeler
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These eyes, that are very common around the Mediterranean also in painted form, date back to antiquity and are an apotropaic magic, meaning to ward off evil.

 

I tend to use varnish to make kind of compound materials because of the inconvenience of using CA, but CA make indeed a much stronger material.

Edited by wefalck
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I see these boats had "crowns" on the top of the stempost, and am undecided what to place there.  Anybody have any thoughts about what was "typical"?

Take a look there: https://www.cherini.eu/etnografia/Italia2/index2.html  at no 117 and  in the next page, from no 188 to 202.

But I'm sure you will find interesting all  the  sketches...

Thx

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As far I can remember there was such a discussion (lost with Msw1)  about that fleece, in which the main viewpoint was that it used to be set there, to protect the sails from the long stempost (?)

Felouque.jpg.1442729d1c051087ccb00660dbaabec7.jpg

 

@Gb If you  follow the "curly hair" version  on the stempost, I have a very good Idea.
Thx

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