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Martin W

HMS Fly by Martin W - Victory Models - 1/64

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Martin , this may be way too late but the best way I've found to make windows look real is to spray one side with " Dull Coat ". I don't remember who makes it but I find it at Hobby Lobby. The side you spray becomes the inside of the window and gives them a slightly used look. I figure on a ship plying the seas the windows would be pretty cloudy about an hour after launch.

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Hi Martin

As far as I understand were those window openings in the hull constructed in a similar way to the gun ports - in this case about the size of the middle field of the 'glass case'. Wider openings would unnecessarily weaken the structure and deprive protection against enemy gun shots. To use the glass case for a view forward or aft you would have to put your head through the opening. For me, those openings visible in post 471 seem about right.

On my models I try to open all windows through the hull. You may not always note the difference to a just black painted hull but for me a real opening just feels better.

Cheers

Peter

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I would agree with Peter, the rectangular shape of the light is a per the Swan drawings and other examples I have seen. It would be quite authentic to see boards behind the  glass panels. These features were more ornamentation than practical purpose, and even on larger vessels with quarter galleries, some of the lights were dummies, there for purely aesthetic reasons, and sometimes blanked out for privacy.

 

B.E.

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Thanks for the input, guys.  I hadn't thought at all that it would be proper for the planking to be visible, but what you say certainly makes sense, especially for a 6th rate.

 

And thanks, Dwight for the suggestion of Dull Coat.  I'm definitely going to check it out.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Hi Martin -  Looks great.  I see your struggling with some of the same issues I had, When to Do What, or conversely What to do When!  Good luck on the carving, that's really ambitious. I look at some of these books of museum models and carvings are exquisite.  I've never had any luck carving stuff.  I don't think I'll start now.

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Thanks for checking in Skip and Nils, and thanks for the nice words.  Nils, everytime I check out your work, I get inspired to pay more heed to details, and maybe even figure out some innovative solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

 

Skip -- the question of what to do when seems to arise every time I sit at the workbench.  I've mostly been following the sequence laid out in FFM, but skipping a chapter here and there has led me to make a list of every thing I still have to do.  As for carving, really, if your tools are sharp, and you're patient, you can surprise yourself.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Following everyone's advice  and encouragement, I embarked on the quarter badges, and have effectively completed them.

 

I began by figuring out the placement, setting a tracing from the NMM plans where the badge would go.DSCN3944.JPG.e15e744eb79c3e13daa7afa28203ebd6.JPG

 

With that, I cut the pieces, again using tracings from the plans:

 

DSCN3950.JPG.cdcb51d1034feebf18e17472f7d9e3d8.JPG

 

In hindsight, I would have saved myself lots of headaches if I'd made the Upper Finishing first, and then cut the Upper Stool to fit it, rather than vice versa.  Getting a tight fit between the stool & the finishing took half a dozen tries, because any deviation along the depth of the bell portion set the Finishing askew.

 

At any rate, after getting the upper & lower stools in place, the next step was the munions and lights:

 

DSCN3978.JPG.a5217ce2cb375b9a007de1d176613997.JPG

 

Next I cut out the stools, once again by tracing the shape from the plans then gluing the tracing onto the stock and cutting it with the jeweller's saw (I gave away my scroll saw about 6 weeks ago and then came across an intriguing carving project that made me want it back  :angry: ).  Here you can see that I've glued the piece to a backing board that I used to shape it with chisels and files:

 

DSCN3985.JPG.bfb3ca3e5b398d97f6ce57c8d3362bac.JPG

 

In the end, this is where I ended up (this photo is of the port version, since it's the one I've actually finished):

 

DSCN3991.JPG.b3bee27438b73c36e280d97a3bfc2491.JPG

 

As for the decorations, well, I tried afixing some ribs in various configurations, but they all looked too big and clumsy.  So I'm going plain here, even, at least for now, leaving off the decorative scrolls that go on either side.

 

There's also the problem that I lost the pieces of the  molded rail that I pulled off, and the scraper that I used to cut the molding broke.  The chances of making another scraper that will fit the pattern at least closely are slim, but I'll give it a go.

 

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take on the challenge of this piece.  I learned quite a bit from doing it.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

 

 

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Well Martin, it seems you definitely took another plunge - this time past the boundary separating 'normal' modellers from those practising the dark arts of scratch building. Wonderful work.

 

Your Granado is going to be a unique piece of art. 👍:stunned:

 

Cheers

Peter  

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Very kind words, Peter, thanks.  I have to confess that my long term goal (very long) is to do a scratch build.  I haven't quite gotten myself accustomed to retirement sufficiently to spend more than an hour or two in the boatyard, however, so I'm still a very slow builder.  This build is already well over 5 years long, so an actual scratch project would probably take me into the next world.  ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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To make the binnacle, I decided to use some scraps from the cherry I'm building a tool chest out of.  I basically followed the design in FFM, but chose to put legs on because they make sense in wet environment.  I also put in 2 drawers, because you can never have too many maps on hand:

 

DSCN4025.JPG.43b452a3b3e14ae47ad9a4d6961d9554.JPG

 

As you can probably guess by looking, when I set it on the Quarter Deck, it proved to be much too big.  So I made another, smaller version:

 

DSCN4026.JPG.3162028ffcc783a1caf85eec9b40f5de.JPG

 

Hmm, I didn't realize how bad the focus was, sorry.  The reason there's a bit of a lean on the smaller version is that the legs have been adjusted to fit the slope of the deck.

 

Next up, I've decided to work on the figure head.  So far I've gotten through the roughest bosting-in stage where I just work out the different levels:

 

DSCN4020.JPG.2f7c8cc082362ef46488c299f6f41251.JPG

 

Obviously there's a long way to go, and as with every other carving I find that all my tools are too, too big for such fine work.  Mrs W has been dragging me off on various "pleasure" trips (the furthest I like going is out to my workshop), but I think there's a brief respite ahead, so I hope to move with some dispatch.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Beautiful work on those quarter windows.  How are you proposing to present the actual glazing to those who see your model?  My own (simple) solution was aluminium paint - looks as tho light is reflecting off the windows.

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Hi Brian -- thanks for the kind words.  And thanks to everyone for the Likes.

 

Brian, I have actually gone back and added glazing to the various windows, using a product called Micro Kristal Klear.  I'm about halfway pleased with it, since it does dry clear and glass like, but as glazing it's uneven.  Maybe that's due to my own inexperience with it, or with the size of the individual lights that I had to fill in.

 

Sorry to see that you've put down your tools.  My outside shop is also unheated, and un-air-conditioned (which matters more here in Oklahoma).  I found a small and supposedly efficient heater last winter, but by the time I installed it, the winter (always brief yet severe here) had passed.  I'm hoping this winter it will warm the shop up enough that my tools don't feel like ice-cicles every time I touch them.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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Hello Everybody, and Happy New Year!

 

Checking the log I keep for myself in the boatyard, I see that it was 3 October that I started work on the Figurehead.  I proceeded in a somewhat methodical fashion, but suffered several setbacks that made this little project longer and more involved than I'd expected, even for such a slow worker like me.

 

One setback is that the Coolpix I've had for only about 9 years, and that replaced the old Nikkormat I bought in 1971 stopped working with any reliability.  My sister and wife pressured me last summer into buying a smart phone, and I have just this morning figured out how to upload pictures from it to my laptop.  Pictures of the steps in carving and the mishaps don't exist, I'm afraid, so I'll rely on verbal narrative.

 

I began by working out a clay model that helped me understand the basic design issues.  Setback #1 came when I wanted to study that model for some detail, and found it completely squished under the glue bottle.  By that point, I was committed to the carving, so I didn't bother with resurrecting the flattened clay version.

 

I decided to try carving in cherry rather than my usual boxwood (castello), just for a switch.  One consequence is that the grain of the cherry is more obvious in the final carving than the boxwood's would have been, and it made the overall piece more fragile.  I oriented the grain lengthwise, but still suffered two major breaks.  The first was when the entire right arm (on the starboard side) broke at the shoulder.  That was early enough that I could glue it back into place, and then follow the Roman technique of supporting the thin piece of the arm through connections with the body, one at the shoulder, of course, and one at the wrist.

 

The second break came with the foot on the same side, because the back-bent angle of the legs meant that the calves and ankles were cross-grained.  I left the feet outlined only as "boots" since any more detail would have led to more breaks.  And when I glued the foot back on, it broke again almost immediately, so I've left it off until I put the figurehead permanently into place.

 

So here are some views from different angles:

 

IMG_20191231_170229503.thumb.jpg.f85a8dd0f8d34849fb785418361c35e6.jpg

 

The pointing arm on the port side, I carved separately, and then pinned on.  It's a bit larger than the right arm, because I had to allow room for the hand and fingers.

 

IMG_20191231_170813766.thumb.jpg.daa268071dc5e251349f50a0b8d158bc.jpg

 

IMG_20191231_170250001.thumb.jpg.addcebd8d3e4550df17aa09c149c5fbf.jpg

 

And here, by way of contrast, is the kit-supplied figurehead:

 

IMG_20191231_172846483.thumb.jpg.416a13e6c355c8fe292067ca78d9d30a.jpg

 

Oddly, this version looks decidedly feminine, in contrast to the masculine Mercury figure of the plans (and in FFM).  Her arm -- and the one on the plans -- is raised more vertically than mine.  And in the plans (and FFM) Mercury is pointing a single finger upward.  That struck me as slightly offensive, so I had my Mercury pointing the way Onward.

 

I'll add a few coats of wipe-on poly, then store it away, with the detached foot, until the whole ship is done.

 

I'm unsure what to do next, since I don't really want to add any fragile details for a while.  Mrs W & I plan on pulling up stakes here on the prairie and establishing our retirement home in some cooler region.  I have no idea how to move a ship model, and have already begun to dread the damage I'll inflict on this one and my other two.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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The figure head looks great.  As far as moving the model, I took Atalanta from Chicago to Las Vegas and back for the 2018 Conference without any mishaps.  Here is my suggestion...  Make a building board which is a few inches wider and longer than the model.  Take a look at mine for an example.  Drill holes on either side and run wire through the holes and over the top rail (after protecting with with a towel).  Tighten the wire and you're done.  

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Hi Martin

 

Despite any shortcomings you may see, the new figure head is a great improvement.

 

If you really are looking for a cooler region to live, could I perhaps propose this?:

20200101_125403.jpg.e16fcecc4bab2ac802562e4605f0ceb0.jpg

 

Hope this is cool enough. Ok, the lake isn't even fully frozen but it's still a few weeks to go until you reach the lowest temperatures. Every February there are horse races on the lake - no Pegasuses or seahorses allowed, so the lake must be frozen.

(Over the holydays I was going to hike a bit in the snowy mountains but  got a severe cold the first day and was reduced to stroll among the tourists at St Moritz.)

 

A very happy new year to you (and everybody here)!

 

Peter

 

 

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Happy New Year Martin .

 I was trying to explain to my Admiral that the satisfaction was not finishing but working on each element. BUT I am just not going to try and follow you down this route - far too much opportunity fron getting blood on the piece with my shaky hands and rubbish eye sight !

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Hello Everybody -- Thanks for all the kind comments, they always remind me that ship modellers really do form a community.  And thanks to everyone who clicked the Like button.

 

Mike --  Pegasus would be interesting to carve.  There's lots of opportunities for working out details, and as I found out making that rocking horse some years back, there are some long-standing conventions that can guide you along the way.  Best of luck with it, and I can't wait to see what you come up with.

 

Toni -- As always your advice is really good.  I hadn't thought of using a building board, because I'd become fixated on using a mounting board.  But your suggestion sounds much more stable and protective.  I still worry, though, about the fact that the models will be riding in the seat of an F-250, which has never been known for its smoothness (or quietness).  And then there are my other two builds that are rigged -- with those I can only think that I'll have to make cases for them.

 

Peter -- I would absolutely LOVE to spend the rest of my life in the Alps.  I'd need to relearn both the German and Italian that I've long since lost, and I'd have to find resources well beyond those of a retired university professor.   One reason I'm eager to get to a cooler region is because I miss ice skating terribly.  My wife & I have been talking about a trip to Lugano -- which I haven't seen since 1988 -- and that's made me start thinking about the food, which I might miss even more than the skating.

 

Cheers to all,

 

Martin

 

 

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Hi Spy -- Your response came in right as I was submitting mine.  It's great to hear from you.  And I can't count the number of times I've bled over some part of the build.  I keep a box of band aids at my work bench, and go through them apace.  My own eyesight is  terrible, and last summer I got an infection in a finger joint which left the whole finger almost unusable so that working on fine details has become even more of a challenge than before.  Nonetheless, we endure.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

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And here I am, looking at going to a warmer climate after retirement.  Although this winter in Chicago has been unbelievably warm.  Martin, I agree that you are stuck with casing the rigged models.  However, If you are going to move them yourself, the enclosure can be made of pegboard or even cardboard.  Many years ago I moved cross-country with three fully-rigged models in cases made of cardboard boxes.  Aligned along the back seat of our Datsun they gave each other support and prevented tipping.

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Hello Everybody -- For these past 6 months, I've started on some phase or other of the Fly only to realize I had packed away the tools I needed to get it done.  I put together a batch of Syren's deadeyes, and used the sanding contraption to round them off, but then saw I had no equipment to solder the chainplates.  I started on the masts and spars, and tried out different species of wood, ultimately ending up with the spruce that I used for the Rattlesnake.  But then I only had stock long enough to cut 2 masts.  And then packing took over.

 

We bit the bullet and bought a house in NW Connecticut, having sold our house here much faster than we had imagined possible.  I finished my last two woodworking projects (a blanket chest for my sister out of walnut, and a credenza for Mrs W out of white oak), then used my full scale tools for one final task, that of packing the two models I'll be able to take with me.  Here's the process, based on Toni's sage advice.

 

IMG_20200529_145449192.thumb.jpg.adf660c2f102acc445bf812d0667f874.jpg

 

Here's the old Rattlesnake perched on a piece of pegboard, to which I've screwed some pieces of scrap that will hold the sides.  The frame is the white oak credenza (minus the drawer pulls, which I've roughed out, and will have to finish carving in CT).

 

IMG_20200529_152510788.thumb.jpg.adce4c97bd81e5f23f514b30479168b9.jpg

 

Here you can see the back of the box that will encase the model.

 

And here's the fully encased model:

 

IMG_20200530_113637564.thumb.jpg.e13889626f4b902da1d919631d4f6e5c.jpg

Next up is the Fly, which will be easier, since it's unmasted and will take a smaller box.  It isn't on its final base yet, so I used a piece of one-by pine that I had lying around the workshop:

 

IMG_20200530_114010421.thumb.jpg.c399994390a563011639d657b42a367a.jpg

 

The process is just the same as before, but with a smaller box, and with some baltic birch 1/4 inch ply I wanted to use up:

 

IMG_20200530_124328080.thumb.jpg.6b003b3ca1c0283a788b554ab24dca22.jpg

 

And here's the last glimpse before getting to my new boatyard:

 

IMG_20200530_125117787.thumb.jpg.7f113deaeee4441a444c226f9528f19a.jpg

 

The only problem now is that with no modelling to do, and no furniture or carving projects going, I can only twiddle my thumbs till we start the drive.  I might have to take up beer-drinking.

 

Cheers,

 

Martin

 

 

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Congrats on the new home, Martin!  You're moving to my general area of the country!

 

When do you leave?

 

Ron

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Hello Martin!  Congrats on the new house and upcoming move!  Good luck with everything - glad to see your Fly and Rattlesnake making the trip with you :) 

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Thanks everybody! 

 

Chris, 38 moves tops just about everyone I know.  My parents were with an oil company and moved 32 times -- I settled down somewhere around the 25th, and REALLY hope this will be the last.

 

Spy, it's great to hear from you.  There was a time when the Swan class builds were all over the place, different, and exciting.  I still hope that when I finish this Fly I can take on a scratch-build of a Swan at 1/4 scale, which will be much easier on the eyes.

 

Ron, we're leaving town next week, and right now from the perspective of non-stop packing it seems both like an infinitude and much too soon.

 

Jason, we will be almost neighbors -- I'll be in Winchester.  When I get my wits about me again, and if CT doesn't enter a second shutdown, we'll have to get together to talk ships.

 

Mike, I have gone around in circles about taking these two ships.  I gave the Prince away, just because 3 of these crates wouldn't leave any room for the other things I have to squeeze into the cab of my truck.  I reminded myself of Bob Fine's motto of one ship in, one out, and decided that someone else might enjoy looking at a model and maybe even get inspired to try their hand at it.

 

Thanks for checking in, Toni, and thanks again for the suggestion about the peg board -- aren't you also about to make a big move?  Florida?  Santa Fe?  They're both pretty warm.

 

Cheers to all until I get to Litchfield County!

 

Martin

 

 

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Hi Martin

 

When checking on CT, I noticed that you will not get completely rid of the cows but you will have some decent vineyards nearby. Being in a nice rural landscape but only 2 hours from NY and BOS looks just great.

 

I wish you save travel and a very happy landing at your new home.

Peter

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