Jump to content

Queen Anne Royal Barge circa 1700 by Blue Ensign - Syren Ship Models - 1:24 scale

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

Hi Derek,

I too have made my own like yours, but Amati have brought out this more formal set using a brass plate.


I first saw them on one of James Hatch’s logs, they are called a clamp set (Item 7377) and contain 12 clamps.


I still use my home made ones as well, but these are a useful addition to the clamping arsenal, and they don’t exert too much pressure, which is good when working on more delicate framing.


If I want to exert slightly more pressure I bend the handle on the homemade version slightly inwards.






Edited by Blue Ensign
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Post Nine



Fitting planks 3 and 4



This is where the clinker comes into play.


Port and Starboard can get a little confusing when it comes to these pre spiled planks. What initially looks like the outboard face of Plank 3 on the fret is in fact the inboard face.


When working with the hull inverted I have to remind my addled old brain that Port is on the right and Starboard on the left.


Having bevelled the inward face of plank 3, the corresponding bevel of plank 1 is carefully pared down at the bow to allow  plank 3 to fit into the stem rabbet with a feather edge.


I find the 2mm Swann-Morton chisel blade perfect for this.



The plank is water/heat treated to form the bend around the bow, and a small amount of lateral twist is imparted to the end of the plank to allow it to sit flush against the stem rabbet.



With the plank temporarily in place the aft end can be marked for trimming on Futtock 2.


As with the first planks I prepare both sides before any glue is applied.


 The Portside plank went on without trouble using ca, but I keep a small pot of acetone at hand to clean off any overspill on the face of the plank.


The main concern now is to ensure that the opposite side plank has a uniform meet at the bow rabbet.



For this reason and to give me a little tweak time I used pva for the rabbet join and the first two Futtocks.


This allowed me to sight along the bow and make any minor adjustment before clamping in position. Use of ca would have precluded this.




Light pressure is used and the model is set aside for the pva to cure.



Plank three successfully (I hope) attached. I continued to use pva which worked out ok.



It will stand a little more feathering into the bow but that can wait awhile.



Onto Plank 4


Very little fiddling needs to be done, I did impart a little twist towards the end to allow the plank to lie flat without tension across Futtocks 9 and 10 and the Transom.




At the sternpost I added a balsa support piece to brace the planking for gluing the extensions beyond the transom.



The final plank 4 goes on without incident.







At this point the clinker has yet to be feathered out at the stern.



Onward and upwards to the sheer strake.





Edited by Blue Ensign
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Michael and Kirill.


Post Ten


Completing the planking.


Three planks per side to complete what is the Sheer strake.

For this work I have the hull the right way up as I find it easier to see and check the fit.



I work with the model atop of the kit box which gives me a comfortable working position.



The first bow plank (5) requires a bend to follow the bow curve into the rabbet and also a little twist so it lays square to the rabbet.


A little tricky this one, on my build anyway; getting the plank to sit tight down on lower plank between the first Futtock and the rabbet was the main concern but a hairline gap should be covered by a moulding.


The middle section (6) simply requires cutting to length and ensuring a close butt joint to the previous plank.


The aft section (7) required a little shallow bending to round Futtocks 9 and 10 without tension, but I found it the most tricky to attach to the Transom and the extended plank run.




I devised a bamboo pole support system to hold the plank tight against the Transom. Balsa wood support blocks prove useful in this situation.



The final plank is put into place.

It may all look a bit dramatic but the pressures are light and hopefully sufficient to produce a good bond.



I left the hull to cure overnight.



I have started to feather the clinker towards the stern, more to do but I think I will wait until I have fitted the Flying Transom which will stop any flex in the planking.







The next stage is to fit the Flying Transom.




Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Eleven


Flying Transom.


This is another tricky piece to hold in the correct position whilst the glue bites.



I used pva and bamboo poles to secure the angle and to support the Flying Transom whilst the glue bites.

It allows me time to sight and check the Flying Transom  set-up from various angles.







With the Flying transom in place I use a template taken from the plan to mark the curve down from the underside to the Transom base.



The stern area is then taped up to provide stability for the next stage.



I then carefully pare down to this line using a No 11 scalpel.



The plank ends are then sanded back to the Transom face.







The next stage sees her released from the base and the removal of the frame centres.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Chuck, Glenn, Michael, and Kirill, and for the ‘likes’.


@ Glenn – Clamping is such an important part of ship modelling, I don’t think you can have too many clamps, and getting inventive with methods is part of the skill set.


@ Kirill – I do use ca gel but usually only in those areas where clamping is difficult or instant grab is necessary.

 I use pva in preference as it is kinder to the wood (and me)  and it doesn’t mark the surface of timber or make it brittle, as does ca.


The pva I use is a high quality non waterproof glue that grabs in around 5 minutes, unwanted spread is easily cleaned up with a paintbrush dipped in water, and water is used to de-bond the glue if necessary.


The main thing I would use ca for is applying copper plates to hulls.


Bonding other metal items, where I would have previously used ca I now silver solder where possible.





Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Post Twelve


A Barge emerges.


A point in the build that I suspect many builders are pleased to reach.


The hull is removed from its building board. I took this slowly and carefully as advised by Chuck, and it didn’t prove too onerous.

I now have my first sight of the model the right way up unencumbered by the board.



Front part of the board removed, so far, so good.


At this point I was tempted to add the Garboard strake as shown in Chuck Seiler’s build, which would also no doubt help to counter any tendency for the hull to hog, given the length and fineness of the keel.


I rather liked to look of it, but I also liked the view of the deadwood at the stern which would be obscured by the Garboard strake.

Decisions, decisions, but in the end I opted for the original Chuck presentation.



I modified the building board for the second stage of the build as suggested in the instructions. Stem and stern post supports are necessary to hold the hull secure.



I am a big fan of Balsa blocks to support models whilst working.

They are endlessly re-worked to suit each new project.



The barge is now held firmly in place for me to begin the business of frame centre removal.



For this delicate operation I am using an etched fine-toothed scalpel saw.



The whole process went very well, a few of the frames broke away from the planking but were easily re-glued, and there were no breaks in the frames themselves.



Once cut, the centres came away easily using a gentle rocking  motion. The discarded centres will no doubt come in for other projects.



My covid hairstyle continues to develop, and still several weeks away from a barber, but who needs a barber when you’re busy building a Barge.



With all the centres removed I can now sight along the hull and clearly see whether my fitting of the Transoms looks right.



 It looks ok to my eye, but stare at something too long and……….



A chance to compare this 36’ Royal Barge to my 21’ Pinnace, both at 1:24 scale.







Four weeks fairly steady work to reach this point and I have what looks like a Barge in Frame.


Back under its cover for the Pinnace, and onto what Chuck describes as the most delicate stage of the build.


I suspect progress is about to slow down.





Edited by Blue Ensign
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Bruce, and Rusty.

@ Rusty – I only hope I can match your standard of rail/frame completion.

Useful tips on your log, I like your use of a width gauge for the rails.

Did you first start by thinning the inboard rails, or the frames? It seems to me that the rails would be sanded horizontally along the grain, and the frames vertically.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Thirteen


Cap Rails and frames

I can’t say I’m looking forward to the slow and delicate process of adding the cap rails and fining down the frames.

The Cap rails are first fitted and then the frames and rails thinned down to achieve a consistent 5/64” width along the entire length of the rail.


I scratched my head a little over this.


As we in the UK have used the metric system for many years, (Napoleon did at least win this campaign, eventually) for ease of working I need to convert.


5/64” as a decimal = 0.0781 x 25.4 = 1.984mm

The finished rail is indicated as a hair less than 3/32”

3/32” as decimal = 0.09375 x 25.4 = 2.38mm


I was a little puzzled as the working width seemed less that the finished width, but by less than 0.5mm.

I decided to aim for a working width of 2mm.


First things first, the frame tops are to be levelled flush with the sheer strake.

Chuck is right these took more work than first envisaged.


I started with the Starboard Bow rail.

This needed a deeper recess at the stem point to allow it to sit at least flush at all points with the planking at the bow on the outboard side. (Probably something to do with my fairing of the bow area.)



Once set, I fitted the Port side rail which was no trouble at all.



The long centre rails were trimmed and fitted next without issues.


The final stern strips involve a little more work, bevelling to meet the Flying Transom and notching of the Transom to take the rail.


This begs the question how much of a notch? Given that the finished rail should be 5/64” or 2mm in my world. I opted to make the notch 2mm including the thickness of the Sheer strake.


I pre-cut the stern rail from the Flying Transom forward to Frame 10 to a 2mm profile.



The rails needed one further tweak, a slight edge bend to follow the inward curve as the rail meets the Transom.

Here the lower Starboard rail has been subjected to the treatment.



The ‘tweaked’ stern rails.



Stern Rails in place, the pre thinned area aft of Frame 10 will eventually be continued along allowing for a flare at the bow.







Sanding down of the rails to be flush with the exterior planking is mostly done, a little tweaking here and there.


I now need to work out my approach to the internal fairing of the frames.












Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎25‎/‎2021 at 8:43 AM, Blue Ensign said:

Did you first start by thinning the inboard rails, or the frames? It seems to me that the rails would be sanded horizontally along the grain, and the frames vertically.


Sorry for the late reply B.E.

If I remember correctly it was a combination of both. I would sand horizontally at the rail and the first 7-10mm or so as of the frames as they were strong there. Then the as much as possible the lower portions of the frames were sanded vertically. 


Hope this helps!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Rusty.👍


Post Fourteen


Fairing and thinning.


I felt myself getting a touch of the modelling yips trying to decide on the best approach to this task.


At first glance the fining down of the frames and thinning of the rails seems a task fraught with danger given that there are some 46 delicate frame sides to reduce to a uniform and elegant shape.


I decided to start at the stern area taking in the aftermost five frames.



I am using a No11 scalpel blade to pare away in an upward motion to achieve a narrowing curve up to the rail.

This reduces sanding time, creates a nice clean line, but has its risks in that I am working with the blade coming towards my steadying fingers at the rail.

For this reason, a fresh blade is used every two or three frames, keep it sharp, keep it clean.



Once I have pared down the frame to rail level, I sand the rail horizontally and repeat the exercise.

I use a pair of dividers set a tad over 2mm to score the width of the rail which I then line with pencil as a guide.


I picked up on Rusty’s log where he describes his use of a simple width gauge to check the rail width as he progresses.



The difference to the yet unworked frames is clear.

At this point I decided to move forward to the following frames and reduce them to the same degree before returning to fine tune the whole set.



In my next post I hope I will show the successfully completed frame reduction task, but this may take some time.








Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Fifteen


Completing the fairing of frame and rail.


The method I trialled on the first few frames worked out well.


Use of the scalpel speeded up the process, and I also used the scalpel to carefully reduce the width of the rails which saved a lot of sanding.


Having sanded the outboard of the rail flush with the planking I used dividers to lightly score the near finish line which was sufficient to prevent the scalpel point running off-line.



I used a template from the plan to guide the shape at the bow where it meets the stem post.



Not there yet but getting closer.



Using the width gauge to check a uniform width of 2mm

Once satisfied with the rail I turned my attention to fine tuning the frames.



The simple width gauge can be seen lying on the frame centres.











The prominent sheer is apparent in these shots.



It can be difficult to know when to stop, but I think I’m there with the rails and frames.

Test fitting of the floors may prove me wrong in relation to the frames.


I think some tidying up is required before I proceed to the next stage.








Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Sixteen


First internal fixings


While I continue to fettle the frames, at this point I felt it time to install the floorboarding and Platforms.

The main floor went in without issue.



The Amati planking clamps proved useful once again.



I made up the aft and Fore platforms, pre-formed strips that went together without issue. These are simply edge glued together.



Fitting the aft platform involves using Chuck’s simple height gauge to mark the correct level on the frames, which may be subject to some tweaking. I found that Frame 9 did need further reducing to allow the height to be marked.

The gluing area is pretty small so weights are used to obtain good contact.



Aft Platform completed.


The Fore platform proved the trickiest to fit and by the end I was wondering whether Chuck was having a little joke at my expense.

It is in two parts fitted either side of Frame (I)

The larger section effectively balances on only one frame (H) and butts up against Solid Bulkhead (I) without any batten like support. The smaller section is butted against the forward side of Bulkhead (I) and rests on the ‘V’ the Foremost Frame ( J)


I so wanted to add a support rail beneath this platform, and certainly would have done had I been solid planking the hull.



I noted that Jean-Paul (JpR62) used a temporary batten taped to the Bulkhead to give support while the glue took, and I happily followed his example.



Frame H took a lot of fairing to get the platform to sit in the right position with the aft end sitting on the forward section of Frame G and the forward end of the platform at the right level on the Bulkhead.

Again, there is little gluing area and I used weights to ensure a good contact.



 The final piece of this testy little exercise is to fix the fore end of the platform where the intention is to make it appear to have mortised thro’ the Bulkhead.



I must admit the gaps between floor and platforms I find untidy looking and unfinished. Surely a shaped beam, attached to the frames would have been used to support and secure the inboard ends of the platform planking.


On a practical level whilst holding the model I did inadvertently put pressure on the forward platform which gave way along the seam. I am still toying with the idea of attaching a beam to the frames to give support.








I will spend the rest of the day cleaning and fettlin’ before I apply a coat of wipe-on-poly to dry overnight.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Seventeen


Adding the nails


Following on from my last post I have applied wipe-on to the decking and the framing below the hull planking, and a further coat to the keel pieces.


I now need to consider the nailing.


Having applied some several thousand copper nails to the clinker hull of my Alert build, this seems like light relief.


20lb black Filament is supplied and a#74 drill bit is recommended for the purpose.

Some 1650 mm of line is provided which is sufficient for 330 5mm lengths, more than enough to fulfil Chuck’s suggested arrangement.


I’m not familiar with either filament or #sized drills, but converted to metric a #74 drill = 0.5334 mm ø drill

                                                                                                                                           #75 drill = 0.5334 mm ø drill


The filament has a 0.5mm diameter, and I used a corresponding drill to suit.


0.5mm ø at scale equates to 0.47” which seems somewhat overscale, and less than half of this is probably more appropriate.

However, I appreciate that the whole nailing set-up is purely artistic license, but I rather like the effect.


For the lower plank I have restricted the nails to only where the plank crosses a frame, it seemed pointless to insert a nail into a plank without anything to connect it to.


In reality a clinker-built boat would be planked from the keel up.



For this operation I inverted the boat for ease of working.



I eyed the position of the nails and used a simple jig to fix the drill point at 1mm from the edge.


For the upper plank nailing I followed the kit scheme, again sighting and marking the position, and using the jig for the drilling.



This time I had the boat the correct way up for marking and fitting and inverted for drilling.





I have decided not to apply any more wop to the planking until I have fixed the moulding rails which is the next stage of the operation.





Link to post
Share on other sites

I just got caught up on your build of this beautiful model, BE, and, of course, you're doing an exceptionally fine job as usual. This build has been on my radar ever since I first saw it a few years ago. So I'm onboard for the journey.


I've been on a prolonged hiatus from ship modeling of late. Playing guitar and photography have taken center stage for me recently and, now that my wife and I are fully vaccinated, we are on an extended road trip in the southern California and Arizona. I'm afraid I've become an "armchair ship modeler" for the time being but excellent build logs like yours get me excited to get back to modeling again. Good luck!



Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Michael and Bob,


@ Michael -  Yes those are the untrimmed filaments, works quite well in this situation with a delicate hull and not much to drive into. Easily trimmed with a scalpel blade, and to sand flush.


@ Bob - sounds good to me Bob, and your trip sounds wonderful, have a great time, and stay safe. 👍






Link to post
Share on other sites

Post Eighteen


Ears and Cap rail mouldings.


These are provided in the form of pre-shaped Boxwood pieces for the ears and Boxwood strip for the mouldings.

These items require a shaped profile to be scribed into the face.


I start with the ears; the profile must be simple given that the edged surface is a mere 1.2mm wide.


The means is a single edged razor blade, and the way is to cut the profile shape using the edge of a mini file. This is a method I have used on all my models requiring a fancy edge to rails.



Several passes along the ears, and the centre groove is cleaned using the point of a micro file.

The same procedure is used to create the profile in the Boxwood strips six of which I think will be required, barring mishaps.


The big danger with the fragile Boxwood strips is running off-line as the profile blade is drawn down its length. These strips are 1.20mm wide and 0.90mm thick, and 325mm in length.



I use a simple guide jig to hold the strips to prevent lateral movement. Well, that’s the plan.



The very tiny profile shape can be seen here cut into the blade.



The ‘ears’ go on first, needed a tiny bit of fettlin’ to get them to fit reasonably tight against the cap and stem.



I used pva to glue the ears on.



With the glue set, a little re-shaping was necessary, which resulted in re-scribing of the profile pattern where it meets the stem.



I used ca to fix the top moulding along the cap rail, and heat bent the forward end to de-stress the curve around the bow section.



For the stern section I found it better start at the Flying transom and move forward, as the moulding finishes at the forward edge of the FT and is angled to suit.



I now need to establish the position of the lower moulding to allow for the frieze work and decide at what point I will paint the area between.





Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...