Jump to content

HMC Sherbourne 1763 by tkay11 FINISHED – Caldercraft – Scale 1:64 - A Novice’s Caldercraft Sherbourne

Recommended Posts

The following is the reconstruction of my build logs for the Sherbourne following temporary loss of the Model Ship World Site in February 2013.


First posted May 6th 2012.



It started with a birthday present in January of £200 from my daughter. What could I possibly want that would have some meaning over the year? I suddenly remembered that as a younger chap I had really enjoyed rigging plastic model ships, and had had a long-time yearning to work with wood.


So on to the web, find out about ship models. Amazon for books, found 'The New Period Ship Handbook' by Keith Julier. It didn't give much (any) detail, but I thought maybe the Lady Nelson would be good. So researched that. Found this forum.


Many days reading the variety of experience. Asked questions, thought about the Chatham as well, tried to get it but it was out of stock, so bought the Sherbourne Kit. My plan was not to go for the perfection of the other builds, but to get a basic understanding of the whole process, as I knew I would be making some frightful mistakes, and likely to be a bit messy as well. How right I was!


Read all the planking advice on the Database, how to make filler blocks etc, then plunged in. Bought the kit, checked all the parts, stuck the tiddly little ones into the bags in the photo, put the frame together.

Thought I'd be a clever little so-and-so and follow Danny's suggestion of inserting nuts in the hull to take pedestals at some future date. Even lined the bolts up with the bulkheads and epoxied the nuts in -- ensuring no glue was caught in the threads. All well and good ... so far.



Edited by tkay11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

First mistake: I followed the instructions and stuck the stem, keel and stern posts on before planking. As a result, you'll see from the photos how much scratching there was on these.


I filled all the bulkheads with balsa wood (not just bow and stern) and sanded down. That, at least, proved to be a great blessing.


First layer of planking went well, though the garboard planking was done by shaping the wrong side. All the planks seemed tightly fit.


A big problem at this stage was the stern where it met the transom. Looking at other builds I saw most had the same problem. With a bit of sanding, though, it didn't seem too bad and I thought it would become clearer what to do later.


For the second layer I bought 0.5 x 5 mm walnut as well as some lengths of 0.5 x 10mm walnut for the garboard planks. This time the garboards went in very nicely (for my standards, anyway). The 0.5mm planking was used because I foresaw problems with edging the planks at bow and stern, there being no rabbeting left after the first planking. Also, the 5mm width planks went up nicely enough at the stern.


I still have great difficulty in understanding how spiling can work because when starting top and bottom, working towards the middle, and when taking into account the effect of stealers and jogging planks, the concept of equal breadths of planks seems to go astray. All the same, it worked reasonably enough for the planking to follow some kind of curve.


I bought 0.5mm x 4mm planking for the bulwarks, because it seemed from the plans that the main wale was exactly 16mm from the top all round. So I thought that 4 planks of 4mm would work nicely as an edge for the wale. These 4 were bent laterally after stencilling the cutouts for the bulwarks onto an old strip of pine, soaking the planks, then holding them to the jig using mapping pins. The pins have an 4mm radius, so were perfect for holding the planks perfectly flat whilst settling into their new curvature.


And back to that stern/transom join. All I could do was to put a stealer each side, as will be seen in the photos in the next post.


So far so normal. The next posting will show what happened next.


In the meantime, I have been reading Underhill’s excellent 2-volume ‘Plank-on-Frame Models and Scale Masting & Rigging’. These cost £50 as a set from Amazon UK, but they are certainly worth every penny and more. Thanks to all those on this forum who have touted these books as invaluable.


I have also read George Bandurek’s book ‘Super-detailing the cutter Sherbourne’. The photos of his build on this forum provide a kind of preview for this.


Finally, of course, I am indebted not only to those who have produced such wonderful build logs of the Sherbourne, but to all those who have directly or indirectly given me tips in the past couple of months.



These photos show:


1. the general side view showing the extra stealer at the transom end, along with the poor drilling into the keel for those pedestal bolts. The way I fixed that is coming up in another post.


2.  the difficulties with the last bulkhead and transom. I wondered whether this was because the bulkhead was not quite perfectly square. I’m waiting to see how the wales turn out.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

This demonstrated to me how hard it is to hide mistakes. At the sharp curvature of the bow, my plank snapped. I cut it away and inserted a short plank. If I hadn’t chosen to have full length planks for the bulwarks it might have been ok. However, this is the only length now which has a butted end in it.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now we have the famous holes for the pedestals. After drilling into the keel with a 3mm bit (the keel is 4mm) I didn’t get it quite right and opened up the side. I thought if I tried filler, I wouldn’t be able to continue with the idea of a pedestal. Yet I was reluctant to give up the idea since I had put effort into fitting the nuts in the hull (even though they were only some old nuts and bolts I found in the cupboard).


Eventually I thought I’d have a go at chiselling out a rebate of 5mm in the keel and inserting a patch of 0.5mm walnut. I knew the woods would not match, but reasoned that (a) I was going to give the hull a walnut varnish; ( B) that the pedestal wood surrounding the bolts would cover the keel; and © I was going to paint the bottom white – so that any joins would would not be seen through the pedestals or the paint.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now to show the tapered planks I put at the top of the bulwarks bow and stern. I couldn’t mimic the outer planking of bending the planks to the curve of the bulwarks, as that would have left a really awkward fill by the deck at bow and stern. I therefore planked the first three planks parallel to the deck, and cut rebates in the 3rd plank at the top to allow some stealers at stem and stern. This is of course nothing like real life, but I reckoned that it was all going to be painted and that the joins of the stealers would be relatively hidden under the rail that goes on top of them.


The last picture is of the bows, showing just how badly I have done in achieving any kind of symmetry.


Still, it’s all down to the learning, and I’ll keep you all posted as I go along so you can put me right rather than trying to figure out very poor solutions for myself.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now for the deck planking. I became a bit muddled here. I probably hadn’t made up my mind about spirketing. So I went ahead and painted the inner bulwarks. Then I thought about the spirketing and tried to establish a good height for it. Part of the problem is the range of heights of the gunports, with one near the bow being very high. I had seen reference to this before, and some modellers adjust the height of the gunport by planking it over then cutting lower. I now wish I had done this since the spirketing is supposed to come up to the lower edge of the gunport. When I tried variable height spirketing, it looked ridiculous, so I settled for a 3 mm high plank to act as the spirketing. I cut this from a spare 4mm x 1mm walnut strip that came with the kit, then glued this to the already painted bulwarks. On reflection, I should have done this with 3mm x 0.5mm planking as that is probably nearer the scale size.


You’ll see this in the photos. You;ll also note my plank bending tool which is an old Ikea cabinet fixing screwed into a bit of MDF. I soak the planks in water then gently bend round the fixing.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, now for the deck planking. It might have been easier to put the spirketing on after the planking as that would have made the edging at the bulwarks a bit easier. On the other hand, it would have been harder to paint, and in any event I’d be doing some shaping anyway. So the first decision at this point was about the margin plank and waterway. I reckoned that I could do without a waterway as it would essentially look just like a concave groove between margin plank and bulwark and I thought that would be very fiddly for someone with my lack of experience.


So I went for having a margin plank 1.5 times the width of the normal planking which meant I bought 6mm x 0.5mm maple strips to match the maple strips for the 4mm x 0.5mm maple decking supplied with the kit.


To get a rough idea of how to curve it round the edge, I pressed some paper onto the deck and drew an outline (next time I’ll trace the outline of the ply deck before fitting it to the bulkheads). I then realised that I could not achieve a 6mm margin plank as cutting the curves out of the 6mm strip meant I had to go for a 4mm margin. This I did by drawing a rough 4mm edge round the outline, then taking strips of the 6mm maple and cutting rough lengths. You’ll see this in the next picture.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I then placed the rough cut-outs round the edge of the deck and overlapped them to find out where I’d be cutting them for joining. Since the width of the margin would be 4mm, the point for the join would be where the two planks on meeting would have a minimum width of 4mm. This is shown in the next photo.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

With all this done I could move to the central body of planks. After reviewing the various bits of practice and evidence on the forum and elsewhere (e.g. ‘Historic Ship Models’ by Wolfram zu Mondfeld) which suggested that nibbing into the margin was a practice on ships later than the Sherbourne, I tried my hand at nibbing the planks towards the centre. Again the 6mm maple strips I had bought came in handy, since this meant that I could nib out by 2mm and cut the rest of the strip as a normal 4mm plank. I cut the planks as shown in the following photo.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The lengths of the planks were determined by the standard length of plank I had opted for: 12mm which was staggered on a 3-shift basis. The centre planks were cut so as to fit between the deck cut-outs. This is where I started to have some doubts about the layout, because I had half thought of having king planks as in Dubz’s work (See ‘Pimp my Sherbourne’ and photo gallery (at https://plus.google.com/photos/112214601525161753861/albums/5652264829451899889?banner=pwa&authkey=COr25uLXuOOWRw). He, however had chosen to have 3mm wide planking, and when I came to fit a pair of planks either side of the hatchways, making them 5mm wide, it just looked ridiculous as I couldn’t get them to edge up to the hatchways without changing the width of the 4mm planking. So the idea of the king planks was discarded.


I also discarded the early idea of following Dubz’s sound plan of having the plank butts lie on top of where the frames would have been. As soon as I tried laying out my deck using Dubz’s positioning for the frames, I realised I could not follow it accurately enough. I therefore reverted to the standard lengths for the 3-shift pattern.


The end result is shown in the following photos, where you will all see immediately the problem I faced on the port side where I decided to change the widths of the last two planks to accommodate the 11mm left at the widest point. I chose to have a 5mm nibbed plank wne a 6mm width plank tapered to fit the remaining space. It was only when I moved to the starboard side and finished the planking there that I realised I could in fact have fitted three planks into the space – albeit with a sliver of plank at the edge after the two 4mm widths.


I then debated whether to tear up the over-sized port planks, but after experimenting with planks glued to a strip of pine and left for a day, I discovered that I might make more of a mess than it was in already, so left it to mock me gently whenever I look at it in the future.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then, on to the treenailing. I experimented with copper wire but that was too bright and obviously not from a tree. I then thought of bamboo sticks but don’t have a draw plate and won’t buy one as they are far too expensive. So I tried a block of Liberon wax filler stick (Light Oak 02). I had seen Dubz’s photos of pouring molten wax to the deck, but tried instead shaving fragments and pressing them into the holes. I this seemed to give a very nice colouring. I tried 0.8mm holes to mimic 2 inch treenails, but they looked too wide for the equivalent of the 10 inch planks, so I used a 0.6mm drill instead. To sharpen the edges a bit I inserted a 0.3mm pencil into the hole and edged it round, then pressed the wax in. Doing it this way meant the pencil bled a bit into the surrounding plank, so I thought I’d varnish using a polyurethane silk varnish first. You can see the results in the photos following. The pencil did still bleed a bit, and of course the holes I drilled are far from being in straight lines (despite my using masking tape to establish the line). Part of the problem was that I had not been accurate enough in aligning the butt ends of the planks across the deck. Another, and irritating problem, was my choice of continuing with the wider port planks which again meant symmetry was all to pot.


All the same, I feel I am learning from all this whilst at the same time have a very enjoyable time finding out some of the ins and outs of this lovely hobby.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

This part of the log was initially added on June 21st 2012



During the last month I’ve been learning on a number of levels. First off was TurboCAD which I decided to learn in order to be able to re-scale and create plans from which I could draw various components – as well as to prepare for general modelling from plans in the future. Then I spent some time learning about anchors, catheads and rudders. Then I tried various ways of making the rudder pintles, gudgeons and braces. Finally I decided on whether and how to paint the hull.


Learning about TurboCAD was a revelation, as suddenly I understood why so many of the modellers on this forum use a CAD programme. I could instead have used Photoshop to resize plans and work with layers (as I am very comfortable with that software), but CAD seems to do this in an easier way, and is more flexible in analysis of measurement.


So, back to the Sherbourne.


First off was putting on the bulward capping rails, the upper rails, and main wales. I discovered the reason why the kit main wale was to be put on in two 3mm strips: the hull has a sharp edge near the stern around which the wale has to be fitted. For the starboard side I pinned the wales to the hull, but found that it was easy enough to glue to the side without pins for the port side by just holding the planks in place for long enough. One thing that I remain puzzled by is the fact that the plans seem to show the wale ending slightly before the stern counter. I followed the plans, but it looks a bit odd. Other builds have put it right up to the stern counter.


The upper rails seemed to be straightforward. I used CA glue, putting the strip in one continuous piece as recommended, then cutting out the strip over the gun ports.


The capping rail seemed fairly easy as well. Pinned as in the photo to the bulwarks, and cut/sanded off at the stern.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

The next issue was the stern fascia. Many builders have noticed how it seems too low, and there have been many ways of approaching it. I decided I’d raise it by an extra plank, then cover the whole fascia with a capping rail.


First was to cut a piece of the same thickness from the board that held the stern fascia. Apart from the fact that the board was handy, it also allowed me to have an accurate curve for the extra piece, as can be seen in the photos.


You’ll also note that I used dividers to scribe the edges of false planks in the stern fascia so that the top new piece looked more natural (well, to make the whole fascia look more natural as it was made of planks). I scribed the backs of the fascia as well as the stern counter as well.


To make the stern capping rail, I rolled a piece of paper across the top of the fascia so I could get the curve right, then with a compass measured a 4mm width (as you will see in the photo), then cut the rail out, soaked it and bent it to the top of the fascia. You’ll see the finished rail later on when I discuss the painting. I had to glue it with CA glue, though.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now the rudder. My, what a lot of grief this caused me.


I started with the tiller. Like many others, the design of the kit tiller seemed wrong in terms of its attachment to the rudder. So I cut a strip of wood from the kit and shaped it roughly according to the design for the Cutter Alert. I then drilled a hole through the tiller and squared it off with a needle file. To mimic the metal plates on the rudder above and below the tiller, I cut strips from the black paper supplied with the kit and glued them to the rudder using PVA. No real problems there, and a pleasure to find I can do this kind of thing. You’ll see the picture of the tiller in a subsequent post on the painting.


I studied the plans for the Cutter alert for some time and saw how the pintles and gudgeons were made. I was mightily impressed by how narrow the gap was between stern post and rudder, and thought that I’d have a go at achieving such a narrow gap. I also studied the ways that other modellers have made the pintles and gudgeons, and as I didn’t have solder and couldn’t see my way to having the skill to bend brass plate so accurately, I set out on the idea of making the pintles by putting a wood spacer on the rudder, cutting a groove, gluing in a 0.5mm brass road with epoxy adhesive (CA glue didn’t seem to hold it well), then holding the whole assembly with a brass brace. The gudgeons I thought I could make from wood, then wrapping the braces round them.


The brass was blackened after cutting.


Pintles first.


I cut the 0.01” brass plate into strips by scribing the plate with a scalpel, cutting with some kitchen shears, then filing down to the exact width. I drilled the 0.6mm holes for the brace bolts with a drill press and Proxxon drill (the only power tool I have at the moment).








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now the gudgeons. My attempts at cutting out of wood showed how fragile the walnut is at that size as the pieces just disintegrated. So I made the gudgeons by gluing brass plate to the top of 1mm walnut strip then cutting out. The assembly was then glued with epoxy adhesive to the braces. You’ll see from the photos that I had to experiment with the drilling to get the holes as near to the edge as possible.


It was only after doing all this that someone on the forum told me I could have done the gudgeons with brass tube – something that seems blindingly obvious and clearly something I must have missed in studying other people’s logs. Still, at least I knew the 0.6mm holes I had drilled in the brass plate would provide a reasonably tight fit for the pintles made from 0.5mm brass rod.


Unfortunately, after all that effort, I still failed to obtain a narrow enough gap between rudder and stern post, and the middle combination of gudgeon/pintle was not perfectly aligned. The reason for this was simple. I first had thought that I would have to glue the braces of the gudgeons to the stern post. This would have to be done to a painted hull, and my first attempt using rapid epoxy adhesive on all the gudgeon braces at once resulted in lots of slippage. I then had to remove the gudgeons with their braces and start again. I picked up an idea from Dan Vad and decided I’d fix them with bamboo dowels. Seeing as I now had a nice stock of 0.6mm and 0.8mm dowels made with my new drawplate, I gave it a go. I also discovered that the easy way of aligning it all was to put the bottom set of gudgeons/braces in first. That way the rudder could rest on the bottom set whilst aligning the remainder of the gudgeons.


So the problem of gluing to paint never arose – I simply fitted the braces using dowel covered in PVA glue. It seems very strong. But I still had that middle gudgeon out for some reason. I think it must have been my eyesight at the time.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

Painting was now a consideration. Against my wife’s wishes, I decided to paint the hull. She liked the wood so much and the detail of the planking, but my argument was that I wanted to have experience of the different aspects of model building.  Initially I thought I’d paint to the waterline, but after some discussion and research, I decided to paint to the wale following the example of models in the National Maritime Museum, several paintings pointed out to me by other members of the forum, and two notable builds of the Sherbourne in this forum (Siegfried and Daniel).


Also I decided against trying to be authentic as to colour or weathering. I just used plain white. Also, following the example of the Cutter Trial of 1790 at the NMM, I painted the bulwark capping rails and planks beneath them black, but left the upper rail unpainted. The stern fascia and its capping rail are painted black while the inner part of the fascia is red ochre.


Finally, I decided not to have the hull ultra-smooth as I wanted to see the edges of the planks as much as possible.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

It’s now the time to do some of the deck fittings. First of these are the catheads. One thing I thought I couldn’t handle at my level of skill was the reproduction of the carving on the cathead end. One day, maybe, but simpler things first.


The catheads themselves had to be cut to allow for the bulwark capping rail and the spirketting planking on the inside of the bulwarks. This brings up one question I should have asked earlier: would the catheads and their knees have been cut into the capping rail rather than be cut? I would have thought that cutting into the capping rail would have made more sense from the point of view of strength. Any views anyone?


I spent some time thinking about how to replicate the sheaves. In the end I opted for drilling 0.8mm holes for each of the ends of the sheaves, then connecting the edges of the holes by straight lines cut with a scalpel, and digging away the wood between the holes to just below the surface. I also used the drill bit to angle the edges inside the ‘sheaves’ to give more of a circular appearance. I then drilled a hole at right angles to this to represent the sheave pin, and inserted a 0.8mm dowel made from bamboo (yes, I finally bought a drawplate as I found one for £3.50 made from Indian steel, and a pack of 100 bamboo barbecue sticks for £1).


I made the iron cleats for the cathead stoppers from brass sheet as per the plans for the Cutter Alert. These had 0.6mm holes drilled and I also drilled holes right through the cathead so that the dowels could be seen on the other side as well. The cleats were blackened with brass blackener.


As an aside, I found that the slight patchiness arising from imperfect use of the blackener was simply remedied by a touch of black paint. In this way I touched up the pintles and gudgeons as well.


I am now making the knees for the catheads. Again I used the wood for the catheads from the kit. The advantage here was that the angle for abutting the lower part of the cathead was correct, so all I had to do was cut out a rough area, then cut into one side to allow for the capping rail and the upper rail, then file the outer edge to shape.








Link to comment
Share on other sites

This section of the log was first added on Sep 30 2012



I spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to do the hatches and companionways. The kit plans seemed a little boring as they would all look identical, so I turned to the ‘Anatomy of the Ship’ book of the cutter Alert. There each hatch is different, and poses problems of its own for construction.


First off was the aft-most (captain’s) companionway. This, in the plan, has glass placed in mullions on a vertically opening hatch. So I tried to find out how to make glass panes that might look somewhat realistic. As is so often Hubert (‘Bosco’ on this forum) came up with a nice idea for making a jig (I'll have to research this link again, but you'll also find it on his site 'Wooden Ship Modelling for Dummies').


As a result I made the window using some thermoformed packing material, and by cutting strips of wood 0.6mm sq using the jig shown in the photo.








Edited by tkay11
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Next up was the main hatchway. The plans for the ‘Alert’ indicated an edging strip into which the combs were inset. The question was how to achieve a constant width edging strip with such indentations.


The most obvious way of making the edging strip seemed to be to lay the supplied cones on their side and place those against the hatch. This would entail cutting down the teeth to provide enough of a gap with the hatch cover.


One of the interesting factors was that the ends of the combs supplied in the kit had teeth that were slightly wider than the inner teeth. This meant that at each end of the hatch they would provide a bit of extra distance against which to place indentations.


However, the hatches were going to have to be shorter than the combs provided. So the main hatch was made by cutting them in the middle to the appropriate length and then splicing the remaining ends using epoxy adhesive as shown in the photo. The pieces were left to dry in a jig made from the full length combs from the kit.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

The cover was then placed on a form made of 3x0.5mm walnut, and the whole assembly sided by 4x0.5mm walnut as shown in the photo. To allow for the jointing at the ends, the side pieces were cut over-size then jointed, then cut down as shown in the photos.


This was not entirely successful from the hatch’s point of view, since you can still see lines where the combs are spliced. However from my own point of view I have enjoyed the effect achieved with the edging strip.


The same procedure was followed for the fore hatch, except that in this case the combs were not spliced and a narrower gap used to separate hatch cover from edging strip.







Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last hatch to consider was the companionway to the after platform. This is shown in the ‘Alert’ plans as a sliding hatch. I posed a question about this in the forum (see http://www.modelshipworld.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=21153&highlight=). My problem was how to make the roof look like a single pane as shown in the plans. I had thought this was either one block of wood, or even possible made of lead in the original.


In the end, since nobody came up with an answer, I went ahead and made the roofs by butting 1x4mm planks together and then sanding fairly vigourously.


I made the rail for the sliding panel from a 0.6mm sq strip using the jig I had used for the mullions in the previous postings.


This was topped off with a handle made from 0.5mm brass wire.


It will be noticed by many that neither the captain’s hatch cover nor the roofs for the companionway to the after platform were curved to match the deck’s curve. I only did this for the fore and main hatches, and, of course curved the bases of all the hatches to fit closely to the deck.


None of the hatches are yet glued to the deck. This will allow me to make any small adjustments in relation to the needs of other deck fittings such as the pumps.







Link to comment
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...