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  • 1 month later...

After a somewhat bumpy ride towards the end o’ 2015, CaptainSteve be a-makin’ it his New Year’s Resolution to be steerin’ Kit-Basher’s back on her original tack. Thusly and therewithforth, I doth be planning on scouring the Build logs and a-pesterin’ some o’ you to share your fine ideas to repurpose-eth everyday items.


As such, the following was used with the permission of MSW member, Cobr@ ...


There is a way you can make good rings with brass wire.

First take something round which is the same diameter as the ring you want to make, a screwdriver for instance. Then wrap the wire around it in a spiral keeping it as tight as possible.



Once done, slide the spiral off the object you chose to wrap the wire round and cut it in the place i have highlighted in the second picture, you can cut off as many as you need all the same size and perfectly round. Note in the pictures the spiral was not tight as it was only to be used for reference purposes.



And here's a shot from Cobr@'s HMAV Bounty build, showing the above rings used to make door-knockers ...


... the brass rings can be chemically blackened and/or painted.


O’course, as ye well know, all may feel free to post their own ideas …

Edited by CaptainSteve
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Hi Captain Steve


I use a similar method with a bit of a 'twist' so to speak. I have taken two different diameter brass nails and cut off the heads. I filed one side of the top of each nail flat so that I could drill a 0.8mm hole through each. The nails were then whipped into dowel handles. Using two different diameter nails allowed for different sided rings and hooks. Rings are produced in the same manner as you demonstrated except that I start by placing the brass wire in the hole before wrapping it around the nail. This allows more 'grip' and produces a 'tighter' ring. Hooks are made similarly. I place one end of the brass wire in the hole, bend to shape then cut the wire, reverse it and bend again. I usually then place them in my fly tying vice and silver solder before blackening with Birchwood Casey Brass Black.






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Yes it is! I use some stuff in a spray can that artists use to protect their pencil or pastel works from smearing. Since I got this in Mexico I don't think it will make any sense to tell you brand or where I bought it. Look for it in artists or hobby shops.


I extend the mesh over a piece of wax paper, spray it heavy with the stuff, place the acetate over it and then a heavy book or similar object to press evenly. (Pressing between 2 sheets of glass would be ideal)


A couple of sheets will serve you for a life time.


Hope this helps.

Edited by Ulises Victoria
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  • 2 weeks later...

For those who may have missed it, re-printed below, with permission, is MSW member donrobinson’s brilliantly easy method for making oars for your ship’s boats …


The dowels I am using are 2mm and found at a local hobby store. I soaked one end in water for fifteen-twenty minutes then put in my mini vice. I put them in at a depth of 15mm and left them clamped for about the same amount of time.

My vice has notches in the jaws for holding stock so that is why I am using the angle iron so as not to distort the dowel.


This picture is showing the initial dowel(at the bottom) how it comes out of the vice and then the various shapes that I made. They may look a little crooked in pictures but they are straight just the photo playing tricks.

These last two pictures are just trying to show the edge of the blade.
I show clamping two dowels at once but in reality just do one at a time by the time you take one out(and replace it) get it shaped properly the next one is ready and so on and so on.........

Try it out it is quite easy and beats laminating or carving down larger stock to shape. Different size stock can be used but just adjust your soaking and clamping times.


Thanks, Don.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...



A number of modellers here on MSW show remarkable skills when it comes to sculpting small details to be added to their ships. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but just a few of the amazing sculptors I have seen are:
- NM Brooks
- Sawdust Dave
- Piet

… or, indeed, anyone who has modelled the Wasa, Sovereign of the Seas or any other heavily-ornamented ship.


Not to take anything away from the fine work done by these gentlemen, but not everybody (me !!) possesses their level of sculpting talent.


For the rest of us, the following idea may prove useful. Seen here, RSchissler shows how he has taken a pack of plastic figurines and trimmed them to create his knechten figureheads. These figures can be purchased in a variety of scale sizes, so choosing a size to suit your own build is very easy.


With Randy’s permission, I have lifted these photos from his Golden Hind build log. His steps should be self-explanatory:



Edited by CaptainSteve
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  • 3 weeks later...

WATCH PARTS - Search E-Bay for this phrase: "steam punk". A 30g packet containing hundreds of miniscule cogs, gear-wheels, coils and springs cost me less than A$20.00 (including shipping). Watch-spring coils will, I imagine, make excellent mast-bands!!




Not bad Steve,


Steam Punk, maybe some suitable wheels for modeling winches, etc....



Edited by Mirabell61
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  • 4 weeks later...



Simple, custom battery holder with switch.


I have zero experience with electronics or model lighting so this made things easier. I picked a 3mm red LED and a 3V battery to light a lantern. Start with making a small box that fits the battery snug. Cut two strips of copper tape and adhere them to the inside surface of the box. Make sure you drill a small hole in the bottom to be able to insert a toothpick in and push out the battery. Next cut the copper on each side into an 'L' shape, leaving one side long and the other the length of the box. Add a thin copper strip to to the cut down side, making sure to not have any part of the two touching. These become the switch.



Next, cut a void out of another piece of veneer and glue it on top of the side with two strips, leaving two squares of copper exposed. Cut a thin strip of veneer that will easily fit in this void and put a piece of copper strip on the end. Make it big enough to contact both copper spots(the other part of the switch). Then glue another piece of veneer to sandwich on top. Bend over and glue the copper legs to the box face, scrape off the self adhesive and paint, if desired. Next, tape down the ends of the wire to each side of the box with copper tape. Paint, if desired. Make sure the copper on the strip faces the copper on the box.



To turn on, simply insert wood strip, copper to copper. Pull out to turn off. This can be adapted to fit whatever size battery you need and can easily be disguised into a part of your model and/or stand.


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1x7, 1x19 and 7x7 strand wire rope in sizes down to .008" diameter is available from fishing gear suppliers.  Great stuff for making wire rigging and other things require wire rope.  Here is a link to one place that sells it.  There are others including Amazon.



Edited by grsjax
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  • 1 month later...

I use an old cereal box for glue dispensing.

Keep a side of the box handy, when you have a glue task (PVA, 2 pack or CA) cut about an inch square off.

Drop a small puddle on the waxed side, it won't soak in, dispense with a sharpened toothpick.

Once done fold the square in on itself (stops you gluing the square to the inside of the bin) and throw away.



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I use the plastic covers that come on some canned goods (so the unused portions can be preserved in the fridge) - the PVA glue does not adhere to the plastic so after a while I just peel the built-up cured glue off and start over. CA doesn't peel off so easily - for that I use a piece of scrap card stock.

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For PVA which I usually dilute, I use the clear caps that come with the big laundry detergent containers.  The PVA of course doesn't stick to it, and it makes for a small, reusable container.  With three kids we're always doing laundry in my house, so I have an endless supply of these :)

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