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I am building the jig for coppering the hull of the Syren.  In the kit there is a packet with brass nails.  I am wondering if these can or should be used In making the stamp.

If not, would 3/64 round brass rod be to large?


I appreciate your thoughts.



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Richard -  I used the pounce wheel method as given in Gene Bodnar's coppering tutorial on the home page.  As for those nails in the kit, I honestly can't remember what I may have used them for!

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Hulls of wooden sailing vessels for the protection of the underwater part from damage by worms was covered with copper plates (also lead or zinc plates).

Copper plates was  48X21ins to 86x64ins depending of period and country of ship origin.

The nail heads were from 3/8 to 1 1/4 ins diameter and recessed into the plating

in order to surface was smooth.
Manufacturers often offer modeling kits in sets of copper plates but in my opinion they are not properly made ​​for models in scale 1:75 - 1:100. In particular too visible nails that secure the plates to the hull. Proper implementation of coppering is very important to the final look of the model.

For these models, a convenient solution is to use a self-adhesive copper tape, which is available in various widths. The edges of subsequent sheets of copper, we can easily do by pressing a chisel.
This allows for the most realistic appearance performance of our model.

Desirable was the application of the patina but far I did not have found efficient method for it.


Drwg from " The Constuction and Fitting of the EWnglish Man of War 1650-1850" by Peter Goodwin

Fot.1-3 HMS Victory coppering remainings and model

Fot.4-8 Jylland - The Danish frigate 1860




My models:

From kits

Vasa, HMS Victory, Le Solei Royale, Friesland

From scratch

HMS Warrior 1860, Esplanade, Grosse Yacht

Norman’s ship, HMS Speedy, La Royale

Peter von Danzig

Polacca XVII cent.

Current project:

SS Savannah 1818










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I have a pounce wheel and plan to compare its results to that of a the jig described in the Syren instructions. I think the one I have does not run small enough, but I will try it anyway and see how it looks compared to using the nails on the jig.



Great Pictures, Thanks.  Lucky for me the kit supplies the copper in an adhesive roll.  It just looked like the nails supplied would be too large for the 1:64 scale.  I went back and checked my copy of Goodwin's book for sizes (great suggestion, had it sitting on the shelf.)   



I measure the existing nails in the kit at 1/32" or 0.03125". Using Tadeusz's suggestion, I checked my copy of Goodwin's Construction and fitting of English Man of War and at their largest suggested nail size was about 1 1/2" long and 1/4" wide (for a 74 gun). 


(Taduesz, I did not see 1 1/4" width, just 1/4" width in the write up and 5/32" width in the drawing on page 225.)


So, using the largest size discussed I tried to calculate the actual myself.  I posted them below to see if my calculations were correct... (hey, I was an arts major in school... cut me some slack :)  )


Actual nail width of 1/4" is .25" decimal

At 1:64 this reduces to .00390625" width for model size. 

So unless I messed up the math or am wrong about the actual size of the nail, this is one tiny part and is not going to happen.


So my question becomes, how small a nail is appropriate? 

I guess I can file down the nail heads but am not really sure how small I should go before it becomes wire and loses its rigidity and its ability to make an impression. 



What size nail width would you all recommend? 

Also, Can anyone suggest an online source for nails smaller than 1/32" diameter?


(by the way, its really great to be able to run this by other more experienced builders to check on new skills I am acquiring.)


Edited by rtropp
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Richard -


The only thing I am verifying here is your math.  1/4" scaled down 1/64th is indeed .00390635, (or about 4 1/1000s inch among friends).  The 1/32 nails you have are 8x too large.


My thought is that you are reaching the point where you may want t consider leaving the detail off entirely.  There has been a lot of discussion around coppering lately and I recall reading that on the real thing the nails were set flush with the plates.  At 1/64 scale you are at the point that anything you do will be too large and it's something that probably wouldn't show at this scale.


Having said that, I've seen instances where modelers have put dimples into their copper plates and the effect looks very good.  In the end, it's your ship, it's your call.  I look forward to seeing what you make of it.



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Hi Bob,

believe me I considered that, but this is my first kit and a learning experience so I am trying to push myself. 


Thomas Gahm left a note in my build log suggesting the use of needles from diabetes testing and increasing the number of pins.  His boat really looks great so I am considering it. 


I guess I really am a glutton for punishment :)



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