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HM Colonial Cutter Mermaid by olliechristo - FINISHED - Modellers ShipYard -

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Hi everyone. Before rushing into buying my kit i first wanted to setup a really good work space, so i built/renovated one..  Kit arrived yesterday - 17 Oct 2013


And did some scratch building of smalll items to get back into fine timber work... I made a shipping crate out of some old timber that has been sitting for many years from dads instrument building years.. (western red cedar) I believe.


I found these series of 8 collectors plates and 5000 were made, based of paintings done by an Australian Maratime artist, Dennis Adams (1914 - 2001) He studied at the Royal Acadamy in London. I got one for a good price on ebay and made a local timber "Silky Oak" (from a old house renovation) into a plate stand.. It is good inspiration for the build and will look great with it finished..


I have fitted and tweaked some parts but no glue yet. I am not familiar with the all the terminology as its not only my first build of this calibre and i dont know that much about sailing... :piratetongueor4:  I love to learn and am very handy, though i am glad i have you guys to help me out.. i can see many moments of perplexed pondering... Hrs count so far - 1.5 Hrs.


Regards Ollie





Edited by olliechristo
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Hi guys, im off to flying start and starting to understand how it goes together..  I have done the fairing and removed deadwood, i'm happy with how it is going. I am using a few different glues that are very strong and set fairly fast... I saved a lot of time with fairing by making two tools - 40 grit paper on a piece of quadrant so it can curve sidewards as needed and 40 grit on a piece of stiff plastic that can bend longways.. They are great... I dont mind that the edges are a bit coarse as this will help glue adhere..








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Now i have started my modifications...


I am painting and coppering one side of the hull and other side being left timber finish with a cut away of hull to show planking and some of interior. (including stairs or ladder and rum kegs in bottom of hull)  It as all still very strong..


here lies my first ponderings...  I have some pictures to work with but the detail is very grainy. I can make some of it out... sail cupboards on left anothe rcupboard on right perhaps..


What im wondering in particular is would the main gangway have stairs or a vertical ladder coming straight down into below?  :huh: I am thinking stairs as it would be very hard to bring large items or take injured or sick crew up a ladder


Also wondering how much platform and what sort of opening would lead to steps / ladder.   A round hole through deck or rectangle?


Any help or ideas would be very much appreciated.. Thanks Ollie :D







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Hi Ollie,


This looks like it will be a very interesting build, I like what you are going to do with the interior.


On A small Cutter such as Mermaid, I think that most companionway openings were rectagular as they were easy to cut and could be supported more easily by the adjacent frames. The access ladder would probably be set at an acute angle of say 70 -75 degees.


Hope this helps and I will follow your build with interest

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Thanks so much Jeff, appreciate your comments... I assumed a steep angle would be the case and yes a rectangular opening, that makes sence..  :) You have helped me already..   Much thanks.  Ollie


I look forward to any more replies that anyone has.. I am very appreciative..


I have made sure mast fits as the deck hole was way out with groove below originally..  and  well its looking like a ship for a moment.


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Well after work today i scratch built a stairway from some cypress of some discription it has a nice fine grain.. They are built at 75degrees and seem about right, number of treads are matched with that in the picture.. about 6.


Next i will be scratch building some barrels to go in hull and trim out interior before planking, regards Ollie






Edited by olliechristo
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Thanks so much Jeff and ZyXuz.  I appreciate it...  I only use basic tools and a keen eye.


I am well into scratch building the barrels for under floor.. It s been 3 hours at least over 2 evenings..


I cut strips at angles and made them all in one tube.. because the lengths are wedges, when i sand the curve at ends of barrel it gives the appearance of planks narrowing and in fact they do, just not as they really woud, but working at this size you cant build like you would a fulll size item, so one has to improvise a little. ;)


I used "sika" super glue. it is good quality, then i filled tube with an expanding glue that helped hold the small bits together.. These are not going to be seen from alll angles so i thought better not get too carried away,, i tend to do that..


The bands i'm not 100% sure on yet, i made prototypes out of hammered soldering wire but think i need a thinner guage,, the effect is great.. and very nice to bend around two angles :D



















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Thanks Rowan. Wow sounds like you have a lot on your plate. Mine arrived fast,, good luck with your choice on starting.. i've got a long way to go ^_^


Jim, thanks mate. i have only cut half of size of gangway, would there be room to stand inside or just straight through door onto ladder? cheers guys.. appreciate the support, have made some progress today and more pics to come.. Regards Ollie

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Thanks again, i have one more question. I am customising the main gangway door to be open, just wondering would it most likely oprn outwrads or inwards?


I am getting closer to getting the below deck work sorted and back to the plan.. More work to be done on barrels, including filing down bands thinner and painting them darker..


Many thanks and regards Ollie



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I decided the decking was way too dark and after looking at some interiors of other ships of similar era i decided it needed to match the top deck, so into the wood pile and I hand cut strips down with a craft knife that resemble the kit supplied decking very well.. quite happy now..


I presume decks below are almost identical to those above? anyway this is what is going in now.. 


The barrels are done now... moving forward.. Thanks all, happy crafting.. Ollie






Edited by olliechristo
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I'm happy to find someone kinda new to wood too.

Nice pick for a first time!

Watch out on the rigging ... don't buy the "artest" version, mistakes are often made there.

I found the Anatomy of a Ship Searies "Cutter Active" to be trust worthy. The lead of the lines is important

and can make or break an otherwise good model.

I'm really looking to see more of your work!!



ringbolt2013 (Tom)

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Hi all, so i made good progress tonight. I satin clear coated the interior deck and stained the stairway. Also did a bit on the gangway. I needed to cut new front panel as i cut up original to make the door as it had great detail from laser cutter..


Edited by olliechristo
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Now im finishing the interior and the plan i have is hard to read at best... Could anyone guess what the fixture i have circled would be most likely..


I have thought a lot, it seems like its next to the stores and perhaps the galley. Maybe a sink or wash area or perhaps some sort of closet.. I will just adlib it if its too hard to judge..




Here is the link, on this PDF you can zoom in, but quailty of original image is still poor..   http://www.anmm.gov....s86_Mermaid.pdf


Edited by olliechristo
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I have been getting some inspiration from this lovely photo of inside the Endeavour replica.. I am not sure what colour to do walls in interior but im thinking of planking them horizontally and painting white or raw timber perhaps, any suggestions welcome.. Thanks so much everyone.. Ollie


Edited by olliechristo
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Well yet another thing to ponder.. And another question. I had been looking at the gangway door thinking it looks very small... Then i noticed this model by dave it is the same ship and i think it suits it quite well what he has done with his door. Any thoughts regarding what would be more authentic?


Regards Oliver

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I am really enjoying the work you are doing. I am learning a bunch!!

I know that interiors are a bit sticky White is a good 1st choice but they used a lot of yellow too

in the same places. War ships used red on the walls and overhead and the gun decks.

The officers country usually was stained dark with white overhead and heavy canvas on the deck

kind of like a carpet. Some of the richer officers had real carpet. You can check it out on the Victory site.


Cutters usually had a Warrant rank as captain...where master and commander came from...and had a crew of up to 60 men.

Not good for privacy. All dependent on size and job and armament.

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