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HMS Vanguard by RMC - FINISHED - Amati/Victory Models - scale 1:72

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That coppering looks great RMC, I think the Amati copper plates are the best on the market in terms of authentic look and flat profile which allows the stealers to overlap (a look I like better as well).  Looks to be an interesting option to be able to install them in strips, is that an approach you'd recommend again vs single tiles?  I can imagine it would save a quite a bit of time and help with the alignment.

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Jason: thanks for the comments.

 

Yes, the strips work well, and I certainly recommend their use.  I began laying the full strips of seven plates from the centre of the hull and worked forward and backward from there.

 

For the stealers, as I approached the stem (in particular) it was sometimes necessary to correct for the curvature of the hull by laying strips of fewer than seven (I tried to lay as many as possible in a single strip) and at the stem I generally laid only a single plate to obtain the correct curvature.  I used a pair of sharp, heavy scissors to approximate the curve and filed it to final shape using a dremel abrasive wheel.  It may not be obvious, but where there is curvature and two strips had to be joined, I filed the edge of the new strip to minimise the gap between the two strips. As well, it was sometimes necessary to file (using the dremel again) a tiny fraction off the lower middle of a plate to make sure the new set of plates fitted snugly to line of plates below it.

 

Once the stealers were in place, I overlayed them with full, seven-plate strips to the stem and to the stern post. And then started the whole process again ....

 

I used Selleys Quick fix CA gel. It stays where you put it and is 'repositionable' - though you still have to be quick.  I found ZAP gel just a bit too quick.

 

I hope this helps.

Edited by RMC

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I have found an excellent concoction for getting rid of the tarnish on the copper.  Despite misgivings regarding the use of salt, I tried the following mixture.  Lemon juice, bicarbonate of soda, and (a little) salt.  Rub on with a soft cloth, wipe off with a wet cloth and the copper come up beautifully, leaving the etched rivets unaffected.

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Bob, the salt lemon juice mix is good for copper cleaning but may not remove stubborn traces of c.a. which will show up and marr  the finish.

 

For this I have found Acetone removes the marks, applied by fine wire wool if necessary, although your plating looks remarkably clean in the photos. :)

 

B.E.

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BE:

I have been cleaning off the CA with acetone, more or less as I go, though I am sure I have missed a few spots.  Once I finish the coppering I will go over the entire job to pick up any survivors.  I have found that in a couple of instances where the CA is stubborn, a drop of CA debonder does the trick.

 

The CA I am using stays in place and in the main, doesn't end up where you don't want it.

 

Bob

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I hope that the hard part has been done now that the plates have been laid to the waterline at the stem.  My theory is that when I get to the waterline at the sternpost all the rest of the plates in between will fall into place.  Well that's the theory anyway.

 

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The marks on the next two photos are reflections and the apparent gap shown in the last of these pictures is also non-existent.

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Edited by RMC

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Chris: unfortunately I don't have a polarizer, but I have started using the "beach" and "snow" settings on the camera.  Both seen to make some difference.

 

Bob

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I have finished the stealers at the stern I hope.  In the following photos I have tried to show how I have gone about it.  The following two photos show laying the first of the rows of stealers which will then be overlaid with a full seven-plate strip.

 

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Here is the overlay applied.

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Now the next four rows of stealers.

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This is the way I have applied the CA to the seven-plate strip.  It ensurers the edges are covered.

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The strip applied.

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Edited by RMC

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Nice bling!

Are you going to weather the copper a bit, in order to get a less shiny appearance, or are you just waiting for the elements do do their job?

 

Jan

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Many of the plates have been badly and unevenly tarnished so I have cleaned them up with the lemon juice, salt ,carb soda mixture I mentioned earlier.  When I have finished the coppering I will cover it with matt polyurethane spray.

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The coppering is proceeding - slowly.  I am getting to the stage when I am unable to apply the full seven-plate strips.  I can see that as I approach the waterline it will be possible to apply fewer and fewer in strips.  Nevertheless it has worked out well and has enabled accurate laying of the plates until the layers hit the waterline at the stem and the stern.  Now all the rest should (?) fall into place so that both sides of the coppering  are symmetric.  Well, as earlier wrote - that's the theory.

 

I have made an incidental discovery too: in getting rid of tarnish, rubbing a piece of lemon seems to work as well as the salt, carb soda lemon mixture.

 

The following 4 photos take the copper up to the waterline at the stern.

 

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The following show progress to date.

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The first couple of rows before and after reaching the waterline proved to be quite difficult.  Both trimming and curving the plates at the stem and the stern were a bit of a pain.  In one or two cases it took nearly hour to get the right shape and then to attach it.  My vocabulary was fully tested.

 

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Edited by RMC

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I have finally finished the coppering to the waterline on one side. The other is within a couple of rows of being finished.  At the moment I am sick of the sight of copper plates. It has so far turned out acceptably. I have certainly learned a few things in the process.

 

Applying the plates in complete strips to the waterline worked well - enabling accurate matching of the coppering on both sides.  Once the waterline was reached, fewer and fewer could be applied at once, but the accurate placing of the strips to the waterline made it easy to accurately place the remaining plates.  In effect, they fell into place as earlier I hoped they would.

 

I used "repositionable" CA. In general it worked well.  However I would better describe it as "unpredictably repositionable". If I positioned a plate poorly, it was certain to stick instantly.  On odd occasions when pressure was applied at an angle (to close up a gap) the plate leapt off the boat landing on the floor with the inevitable result that those who have dropped buttered toast know all too well.  With experience I did get better at it - but then you would want to.

 

Here are some pictures of progress.  The plates have been roughly cleaned with lemon juice alone.

 

I found that when a plate needed to be shaped to fit the waterline,particularly when the required part of the plate was very small,  it was best to shape that last plate so that it fitted snuggly between the waterline and the lower plate but not worrying about its length.  I would test-fit the penultimate plate so that it would overlap the last plate, so providing the required length of the last plate.  I then cut off the last plate to the required length, glued it and then applied the penultimate plate.  On the odd occasions this was required cutting off the end of the plate was not noticeable (I hope).

 

 

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Here are shots of the the coppering (finally ) to the waterline.  Aside from completing the other side, I still have to take to copper to the bottom of the keel (about 2mm). I haven't yet decided how to do it. Starting where I did - just hitting the garboard strake - seemed like a good idea at the time.

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Edited by RMC

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Two further points have occurred to me.

 

1. Bamboo meat skewers are ideal for positioning plates; and

2. As you approach the waterline midship (say about 4 or 5 rows) there is a significant curve in the line of plates. Filing a very small scallop in the top of each plate (a small fraction of a mm) will minimise the gap between rows of plates.  Arthur (AEW) has also made this point.

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Hi Wackowolf.  A belated thanks for your encouragement.  I have just had a note from Fake John Bull (Mitsuaki) explaining how he covered the lowest 2mm of the copper to the keel.  I hope I may be able to finish the coppering  in a week or so (other things intervene) and will then update the pictures in my log and try to describe how things went.

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Cool. Did the instructions say anything about how copper plating was originally applied? Patterns used in order to cover the whole ship while wasting as little copper as possible for instance? Or perhaps for aesthetic reasons? Just asking.

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I have done the coppering according to the pattern shown in the kit, and indeed this is the way the copper plates fall naturally with the curves of the hull.  Aside from my occasional stuff-ups, there is comparatively little wastage. My understanding is that this is the way it was done for ships of vanguard's vintage. Later I believe a row of whole plates were applied along the waterline and I presume the penultimate row of plates trimmed and then taken up to the final row.

 

Others are far better qualified to answer your question, but I am sure if any of this is incorrect, I will be corrected soon enough.

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I have finally finished coppering the other side to the waterline.  The final few plates proved to be very fiddly and time-consuming.  I have now started on the 1.5mm 'gap' at the bottom of the keel.  While also time-consuming, it is proving easier than I expected.  Some later photos will show how I am going about it.

Here I put lines of copper paint along the edges of the bow. I hoped that if there were any gaps between the bow plates and those on the sides, this would disguise them.  Fortunately the fit turned out to be quite good. As there are no dedicated plates for the bow, I decided to alternate plates from the two sides as I think having all the denser rows of rivets all on one side would look rather odd.

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Following Mitsuaki (Fake John Bull), I decided to bend the plates over the gap and the bottom of the keel.  The rivets provide a good guide for the place to make the bend.  I held the plate to be bent along the side of the keel and along the gap, and noted where, with respect to the bottom of the keel, the bend needed to be made (roughly along the row of rivets +/-).  Having attached the existing plates in strips made for a uniform gap along the keel, so there was little variation needed in the position of the bend. Anyway, so far so good.

 

I used a small hand-held vice to make the bends.

 

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Edited by RMC

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By taking your time and thinking about it you have done a excellent job in my option. Lovely work. Please keep us posted and also keep the pictures coming.

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The coppering looks fantastic, I really like the Amati copper plates and you've done a really accurate job with them.  Well done.  Have you considered putting a false keel under the copper, that would also help keep the bottom of the hull looking neat?

Edited by Beef Wellington

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Thank you all for the kind comments.

 

Jason: thanks for your suggestion. While I have heard of a false keel, I really don't know how I would go about putting one on, or what it would look like.  Unfortunately, what I know about period ships could be written on a tiny postage stamp with enough room left over for War and Peace.

 

I would certainly like to like to give it a go if it is straight-forward as I am certainly suffering from copper fatigue.

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Hi Bob,  a fine job you've done on the coppering. :)

 

Not much can be seen of the false keel with the model the right way up, but basically it was a strip of wood nailed to the bottom of the keel to protect the copper in the event of the keel grounding.

 

I fitted one to my Pegasus.

 

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It was just a thin strip of  timber slightly narrower than the keel width ca'd to the  bottom of the keel. I didn't go to the trouble of scarph jointing the false keel but just used a continuous strip.

 

It obviously needs to be done whilst the model can be inverted.

 

Cheers,

 

B.E.

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Hi BE

 

Thanks for that. I'll give it a go. It really does finish off your  Pegasus beautifully. At 1:72 what sort of thickness would you suggest?  I have 0.5mm or 1mm timber, one of which which may be about right.  If necessary, there's probably some thicker stuff somewhere around if I can find it.

 

Regards

Bob

Edited by RMC

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Hi Bob, my false keel was if anything a little undersized. It should be 4" deep - at scale 1.58mm,  but I went with around 1mm. which looked ok to my eye.

 

I have had a look at the dimensions given for Bellona (AotS series book) and this is 7" deep - 2.78mm at 1:72 scale. The False keel will need to be chamfered down towards the fore end to meet the gripe of the stempost, that is the curved bit at the bottom that fits against the keel.

 

I think you may need to trial a depth of timber to suit Vanguard, you can always laminate some of the strips you have to build up a depth, and the lengths can always be joined or scarphed if you're up for it.

 

B.E.

 

 

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Thanks B.E.

 

I can can laminate two pieces of timber to a depth of 2.4mm.  A quick look at this depth on the model suggests it would be fine.  3mm looks too heavy.  I will need to join two pieces of the laminate as the wood I have is not quite long enough.  In the meantime I'll look 'scarphed' up in the dictionary.

 

Bob

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