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Part VIII: Building V108 - Miscellaneous Bits


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At this point, most of the major structures are completed.  It's down now to finishing off miscellaneous small bits scattered around the ship.  I have some personal, general guidelines I follow (not necessarily to the letter) when I add these parts: 1) Work from the center superstructure towards either end, and 2) add shorter structures first, since tall structures are easily knocked off when working around them on the model.  This means the parts numbering sequence is out the window.  Of course, it has been for a while now, hasn't it?


We'll start at the forecastle.  Parts 54 are chocks.



These are easily built, though tedious to cut out, as are many of the parts to follow.  Color the back side of the chocks before cutting them out.  The horns are glued on the lines running down the middle of the base plates.



There are parts for eight chocks, but only six are needed, four on the forecastle and two at the stern.



There's also a two-tiered capstan on the forecastle, part 50.



Don't bother edge coloring the tiny bits for this assembly - just paint the entire part black once it's finished.  Part 50c gets cut into three strips.  Each strip gets glued into a ring.  The parts are then glued into a stack - two parts 50c onto 50a, capped by 50b and topped with another 50c plus 50d.  Looks like this:



After painting the capstan, glue it down to its spot on the forecastle deck.



Finally, there's a breakwater (49a) to add.  It glues down to the angled line that crosses the forecastle deck in front of the gun mount.  49b are the braces that go aft of the breakwater.  The larger braces are inboard and get progressively smaller as you work outboard.  To prevent these tiny parts from getting lost, cut the braces from their doubled parts sheet only as needed.



The finished breakwater looks like so:



We'll add the anchor hoist later due to its delicate nature.


Return to Part VII: Building V108 - Armament

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Now we'll head to the stern, starting with the grating (part 47) that covers the steering gear.



You'll need to paint the visible portion of the deck beneath this part before gluing it down.  Apply the edging (47b) to the grating (47a).  Note that the aft edge of 47a gets no edging - that's where the tiller would pass through to the rudder.  A few bits of locator strips are helpful in getting this part positioned correctly.



I have no idea what parts 43 are - some kind of vents, or perhaps companionways.  Anyways, these are also fairly easily constructed.  Just remember to round the back (43a) part before gluing it to 43b. 



Attach the finished assemblies to the aft deck.



Between the aft stack and the large funnel are locator marks for a pair of hose reels, parts 53. 



It's a good idea when gluing the hose drum (53a) between the end plates (53b) to glue it so that the seam is on the bottom and out of sight.  Other than that, the only tricky part about the reels is being very careful with the delicate legs.  Be sure when you glue the two end panels to the drum that they are aligned properly, so that the reels will sit level on the superstructure.


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Next we have a series of small ventilators.  One in each pair of ventilators is actually a venturi vent.  Air passing through the tapered bore of the venturi created low pressure, which in turn drew air from inside the ship.  Thus air flowed into a normal cowl ventilator, through the interior, and back out a venturi - a clever means of cooling in the days before air conditioning.


The venturis (37) are easier to build, so start with those.



Each venturi is simply a conic section seated on top of a short tube.



The forward venturi goes on the starboard side, while the aft venturi mounts on the port side.



The cowl ventilators (38) introduce one of the banes of card modeling: petals (shudder!).  Petals are one way of tackling curved tubes or rounded cones (the other is consecutive slices, as was done with the large ventilator between the stacks).  The problem with petals is that they are, in my esteemed opinion, one of the most difficult card structures to form and glue properly.  Fortunately, the number and size of petals in this instance is small; any flaws in their construction will have a minimal visual impact.


Start by rolling the tube (38a) for each ventilator.



Then, gently bend over each petal.  You'll see that the petal tips will want to come together at a point.  Brush some white PVA onto the petals, being sure to get some into the seams.  Gently form the petals together with your fingers while the glue sets.


The cowl is made by gluing 38b into an oval to match the opening of 38a.  Glue the cowl to the tube, then work the seams, either with your fingers or a blunt tool, to get them sealed as well as possible.  I find it best with small cowls like these to paint the entire finished cowl.  Mount the cowls to the opposite side of their venturi partners.



Now, pat yourself on the back for having finished your first card petals!

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At the stern is a small hand winch.



The two sides (46a) get doubled.  After these parts are dry, cut out, and colored, glue the gear (46d) to the inside of one side panel, then use a small pin to make holes for the crank.  There's a template on the parts sheet for forming the crank (46e), which should be made from very fine wire - which I happened to not have on hand anywhere, so I used some less-than-ideal larger gauge wire.  Assemble the drum (46b and 46c); when that's done, attach the drum to one side of the winch.  Don't attach the second side until after the crank is inserted.



Thread the crank through one side, then the other, then glue the second side to the drum to complete the winch.



Glue the completed winch to the locator marks aft of the gun mount.  The side with the extra gear goes to starboard.


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Next we'll add the searchlight (parts 45a-g).



First, I'll show you how to replace the paper lens (45e) with an optional clear lens (key word: optional).  Start by rolling 45 into a tube.  Next, dab one end of the open tube into some white PVA, so that a film of glue covers the entire opening.  Set that aside to dry.  In the meantime, cut out the back of the lamp housing (45b). We'll use the resulting hole in the parts sheet as a guide for cutting out a small circle of reflective material for the inside of the housing.  I used the foil-lined seal from a vitamin pill bottle - the foil is backed by paper, making it easy to glue the reflective liner to the back (interior) side of 45b.  Make sure the liner is cut slightly smaller than 45b, because 45b will sit on the tube, but the liner must fit inside the tube.  Here's the lamp housing with the optional clear lens, the foil-lined seal, and 45b with the foil liner cut to fit.



I didn't add louvers.  If you want those, you're on your own. ;)


And here's the finished lamp housing.  I know -- exciting shot, isn't it?



The searchlight mount (45a, c, f, and g) is a straightforward assembly, although once again it has some pretty small parts.  Just work patiently and make sure you hold the parts over your work place.  Up to this point I have dropped a couple of the smallest parts on the floor, and during the ensuing searches I found dirt particles on the floor that were larger than the parts.



Attach the lamp housing to the mount (the sides of the brackets, 45c, should reach slightly past the small box, 45e, and up onto the sides of the lamp housing), and then glue the mount to the top of the bridge.



Let there be light!


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Next we'll add the rangefinder platform.  At least, I think it's a rangefinder -- looks like one, and it's not a searchlight, so that's what we'll assume it is.


The platform (parts 41) does not present any new challenges...



... unless you want to replace the printed railing (41c) with thread railing.  I use quilting thread for making thread railings; it has a nice diameter and is far more fuzz-free than ordinary sewing thread.  This particular railing will be more than the usual degree of difficulty, because the railing is actually part of a conic section.  Use the printed railing as a template and cover it with wax paper.  Stiffen the thread somewhat by running it through your fingers with a bit of PVA glue.  While the thread still has some tack, you can stick it down onto the wax paper covered template.  The wax paper will prevent the stick from being permanent.  Start by laying down the curved railings and then glue on some short pieces of straight thread for the stanchions.  Let this dry thoroughly before removing the railing from the wax paper.  Paint the railing gray - spray gray primer works great.  This PVA-glued railing will not be as stiff as the CA-stiffened railings we'll make later, so it can be formed into the necessary conic section shape before gluing it to the platform.  I think it's a good idea to be consistent on how you mount your railings; I mount mine with the stanchions inboard.  It's a minor detail, but one that might drive you to distraction if you later discover you have some stanchions inboard, but others outboard.


The finished platform looks like this:



Now to the rangefinder itself.






The post (42a and 42b) is no problem, but the rangefinder itself (42c-g) is an exercise in patience.  The bottom of the rangefinder (42c) is a devilish part, no matter how you slice it.  Start by removing the glue tab.  Again, on these little parts, it's better to form the cone, add a little CA to the seam, and pinch the cone closed.



You can use the printed part 42g, in which case I would suggest cutting it into parts and gluing only the external portions.  Or, you can replace 42g with a piece of wire, as I did.  The wire needs to run through 42c, and because 42c is so narrow, if you punch the holes before rolling the part, the risk of tearing increases dramatically.  If you punch the holes after rolling the part, you risk crushing 42c.  It's six of one, a half-dozen of the other -- pick your method and work very carefully.  I recommend adding parts 42d-f in that order.


Here's the finished platform and rangefinder.



There should be a gap where the railing edges don't meet at the aft end of the platform.  Likely there needs to be a ladder added from the deck to the platform at that point.  The ladder can be made in a manner similar to the thread railings I'll show you a bit later.

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Ship's boat (48) is next.



A paper ship's boat is mainly all about forming, forming, and more forming.  I don't color the edges before hand, because whenever possible I like to paint the boats after making them.  I use my scribing tool and the round end of a paintbrush to get the shape of the boat (48c) as close to the finished product as I can before I glue any of the seams.



Next I seal the seam at the stem and add the transom (42d).



I glue the middle seams last.  The boat now has its basic shape.  It might need some additional forming to get it to match the outline of the caprail.



After the boat is painted, add the thwarts and caprail (42a and 42b).



The kit doesn't include any boat chocks, but I can't imagine the ship wouldn't have had them.  They're easily scratch-built from scrap card.



Mount the boat on the chocks (or to the deck if you opt for not adding the chocks).


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Believe it or not, there's just a few things left to do on the basic structure.


Something we didn't add way back during the hull construction are the propeller guard struts.  Same as we did with the bridge supports, start by carefully punching holes in the hull above the guards (there are locator marks).  Cut small pieces of wire slightly longer than needed for the finished strut.  Insert one end through the hull and pull the opposite end down onto the propeller guard.  Secure it with CA.  When the glue dries, the loose wire ends at the hull will allow you to move the guards up or down to get them level with the waterline.



The galley stack (61) is one of the last parts for good reason -- it is easily knocked off the model if it is mounted earlier.  A long, cylindrical part like this can be made from paper alone, but I prefer to give it some more substance by rolling the 20# bond version of the part around an inner core, in this case styrene rod.  Start by tacking the glue tab side of 61 to the rod.



When that's dry, simply roll up the remainder of 61 onto the rod and add the cap.  Notice in the previous picture that I left a small stub of styrene at the end of 61 - this will be a locator peg for mounting the stack on the model after drilling out the locator mark on the roof of the galley.


(You may notice in this photo that two of the photo-etch rungs have come off the forward stack.  They disappeared into the ether and have not been seen since.  I had to cannibalize two replacement rungs from the PE fret. :angry:  )


The anchor crane (51) will require some very careful cutting.



Start by removing all the interior white bits, using the push-cut technique we learned earlier.  Before removing the crane from the parts sheet, stiffen the part by applying some CA to the back side.  Parts 56c are a pulley; adding it to the crane requires making a tiny cut into the end of the boom and then inserting the pulley.  Probably no one will notice if that's too much surgical detail for your liking and you omit the pulley.  After cutting the crane out, folding up the back corners, and adding the base and pulley, I gave the whole thing a coat of gray spray paint before mounting it to the deck.  You can try adding a cable if you so desire.



Next we'll make the anchors (56), but we won't mount them to the model until after the railings are added.



The anchors are another assembly I prefer to paint after constructing them.  Punch the holes for the stocks before cutting the anchors (56a) from the parts sheet.   Cut out and glue the flukes (56b) to the anchor arms.  While those dry, you can use the template (56c) to cut two small pieces of wire to length for the stocks and add the bend.  The knobbed end of the stock is easily made by dipping the wire into some PVA glue.  The surface tension of the glue will pull it into the desired round shape.  The glue shrinks as it dries, so you might need a second dunk.



Add the finished stocks to the anchors and give both assemblies a coat of black paint.



Next I'll show you how to make something that will really add a sharp touch to your model: thread railings.

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The Digital Navy V108 kit does not, with a few exceptions such as the bridge wings, include railings for the model, nor does it include any templates for railings.  But hey, it's a free model, so we won't complain too much, right?


But that doesn't mean you can't add railings.  Railings add a lot of subtle visual appeal to a card model, and there are four ways you can add them: 1) made from paper, much as the bridge wing railings (these create the illusion of open railings); 2) after-market laser-cut railings (to my eye these are overly stout-looking, but they come pre-cut obviously, and that's worth something); 3) photo-etched railings (the best-looking and also most expensive option); or 4) thread railings.  I'm going to show you how to do option #4.


Start by downloading the free railings template at Paper Shipwright.  You'll have to go through the whole checkout procedure, but relax - you don't get charged anything for the transaction.  The Paper Shipwright template is in 1/250 scale, so you'll need to scale it up for 1/200 by printing at 125% of the original.  At that size, you won't be able to print the template on one sheet of paper.  What you do absolutely need is both ends of the template; I managed this by printing two copies of the template in landscape mode. 


(L to R: full-sized template, middle portion enlarged 125%, two copies at 125% printed in landscape mode.)


Next you'll need to glue the templates onto some heavy-duty cardboard.  I found that a case for liquid fabric softener worked well -- it's very rigid, because of course liquids are heavy.  Use spray adhesive to glue down the templates.  In this picture you can see that I've spliced the two landscape-mode copies together to make a single template.  There's also a thread ladder template, which I won't be demonstrating, but which works in principle exactly like the railings template.



Next, remove the center portion of the template.



You're now ready to start wrapping thread.  I use quilting thread, but regular thread will also work.


The template works like this:  At each end are tic marks labelled two rail, three rail, and four rail.  These are the marks you will use to align the railing threads.  Notice that the two-rail marks actually consist of three marks - the bottom 'rail' is actually used to mount the railing to the model and doesn't count as one of the real-life rails.


On opposite sides of the template are drawn railings with the stanchions spaced at different intervals.  The smallest interval is about 5.5 mm.  The stanchion locator marks on the model are 6 mm apart.  I don't know about you, but I'm not going to nit-pick over 0.5 mm, so I used the 5.5 mm spacing.


Start by wrapping the rails first.  Use some tape to secure the thread right on top of the tic marks.  Go ahead and use all four sets of two-rail marks - you'll get four lengths of railing as a result.



When the rails are done, cut the thread and secure the end with tape, taking care to ensure the thread stays taut and properly positioned.  Next, add the stanchions in the same fashion.  You have to kind of train yourself to concentrate only on the stanchion interval you want to use, otherwise you wind up with irregularly spaced stanchions.  You can cut off the other stanchion spacing guides if you find them too distracting.




When all the rails and stanchions are wound, it's time to secure the joints by giving the entire railing set a coat of diluted white PVA glue.  You can also try medium-cure CA, which will make the railings stiffer.  I didn't use CA this time around because my bottle of medium-cure is on the old side and is more like medium-slow, which is too viscous for this job.  Before brushing on the glue, I find it helpful to add some tension to the railings by sliding a piece of dowel or strip wood under the rail threads at either end of the template; this will push the rails up and against the stanchions.  After the glue dries thoroughly, you can paint the railings in any manner you choose.  I use gray spray primer.  One thing to take note of here is that any thread will have some fuzz on it.  Quilting thread has less fuzz, but it still has it.  Spray painting causes build-up on the fuzz, and too many coats can make this build-up unsightly.  It helps to pick off as much of the fuzz as you can before and/or after painting.


When the paint is dry, you can remove the finished railings from the template.   Here's my set:



At this scale and template length, I got about four feet of railing, which should be more than enough to do the model, even if I mess up on some and have to try again.



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So, how do our thread railings look on the model?  Judge for yourself:



Adding the railings consists of measuring off the right length of railing to add, adding any extra stanchions that might be needed due to cutting to length, and gluing the railings to the model.  I use PVA for straight sections and CA where necessary to tack down any sharp curves.  I brush the PVA onto the deck where the railing goes, not to the railing itself - these springy railings are a great way to spread unwanted glue on your model.


Here's the finished forecastle railings:




The forward flagstaff is a short length of wire.


Anywhere there are angled bends in the railings, I prefer to cut the railing at the joint and glue down two separate panels.  Unlike photo-etched metal or card, thread does not like to make nice, crisp bends.

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After installing all the railings, there are only a few items left to do.  The anchors can be glued to the deck on the forecastle.  If you wish, you can add anchor chain.  Some kits include printed anchor chain, but this one does not.  Another item is masts and rigging.  There are any number of materials you can use for making masts, including wood dowels, toothpicks, metal rod, and/or styrene rod.  Heck, I even used dry spaghetti on one of my early models (brittle and not recommended!).


I used styrene rod for this model.  The instructions include 1:1 templates for making and tapering the masts and spars.  One tip to make construction easier is to assemble the entire mast off the model, including the halliard and topping lift on the mainmast, and then spray paint the entire assembly before gluing it to the model.



You can add as much or as little rigging as you like.  The rigging on this model is made from two pound mono-filament fishing line.


The kit does not include an ensign, but adding one is not difficult.  I found an image on-line of an Imperial Navy ensign, scaled it to the proper size, and printed two copies of it on 20# bond paper - one in its normal orientation, and one flipped horizontally to make the other side.  I cut out and glued the two sides together and then added some folds so the flag would will hang naturally.  The finished flag was then glued to the mainmast halliard with some CA glue.


Next:  The Reveal!



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And finally, a few dabs of touch-up paint here and there, and a careful separation of the model from its working base (sliding mono-filament line between the two does the trick neatly), and V108 is done, done, done!





I hope you have enjoyed reading this tutorial as much as I have enjoyed creating it.  I really, really hope that at least a few of you will be emboldened by this little treatise to step out and try a card model of your own.  Let's see what you can do!

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I finished up mine today, I skipped some pieces but I don't think that anyone will care that it doesn't have railings or anchors.

It always comes back to balancing how much detail do we wish to show with how much pain and/or effort are we willing to endure to get that level of detail.  I include more than some guys, and some guys include more than I do.  Hopefully, each of us is happy with what we produce.



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On 8/7/2013 at 1:48 AM, ccoyle said:

So, how do our thread railings look on the model?  Judge for yourself:



Adding the railings consists of measuring off the right length of railing to add, adding any extra stanchions that might be needed due to cutting to length, and gluing the railings to the model.  I use PVA for straight sections and CA where necessary to tack down any sharp curves.  I brush the PVA onto the deck where the railing goes, not to the railing itself - these springy railings are a great way to spread unwanted glue on your model.


Here's the finished forecastle railings:




The forward flagstaff is a short length of wire.


Anywhere there are angled bends in the railings, I prefer to cut the railing at the joint and glue down two separate panels.  Unlike photo-etched metal or card, thread does not like to make nice, crisp bends.

Thanks for the tutorial my first card model. Not as good as yours but quite chuffed with the results. Onwards and upwards. 



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