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HMS Jason by Beef Wellington - Caldercraft - 1:64 - Artois-class frigate modified from HMS Diana 1794

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Thanks Jason, the capstan turned out great.  A mate drew up the one I needed in a #D programme and we have also just had it printed at shapeways.  I think we used ultra high definition plastic.  I am just assembling my Vampire printed with the same  stuff and it gave nice detail - just a cow to clean.  What did you use?





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@Pat - I tried using a very fine sanding stick after coat of primer had been sprayed on.  This worked in some cases, but less so in others, and not at all in all those hard to reach corners.  I've never seen many samples of 3D printing to compare to so I may be being a little unfair, and of course it comes down to the materials supplied.  I ordered the "Smoothest Fine Detail' option which was the 'best' finish of those available.  Its odd as one side is almost perfect, the other much rougher...https://www.shapeways.com/product/9VPR7D8CW/1-64-lower-capstan-18th-and-19th-century?optionId=64749325.  I suspect other materials offered by other suppliers could give better results.


Taking stock:


Not too much time in the shipyard this weekend, trying to get the garden ready for winter.  The shipyard did however get a bit of a spring cleaning as I was getting a little bit tired of working in a 2"x2" square on my cutting mat despite working on a pretty large table.  A few overall shots of where things stand as its been a while.  Now the channels are glued, the chainplate locations could be drilled as well as the emergency rigging eyebolt positions.  The scuppers have also been completed.  The positioning of all of these things requires quite a bit of planning and luckily I didn't encounter any problems with the airing ports.  (I seem to recall leaving off the foremost one because it is very tightly positioned between preventer links and would have been impossible to locate correctly and likely resulted in a necessary compromise with the chain alignments. 


Nearly all the parts for the upper gun deck have been completed an I'm still following the mantra of not gluing something into place until it absolutely needs to progress.




Syren rope will be used, and I would welcome peoples' opinions on which size to use for the breech rope.  Picked two sizes that seemed most appropriate, left is 0.025"/0.63mm, the right is 0.35"/0.88mm.  Even though I'm sure it exists, I can't find info on what regulation would be - and even if I did, the carriages and barrels are best efforts at matching scale and undoubtedly not spot on, so the right "look" is probably more important.  Upon consideration, I think I'm leaning toward the smaller size, but again would appreciate input...




Edited by Beef Wellington
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Carl  - sadly Victory doesn't have any 18lb'ers...


Found the exact info I needed after a lot of digging in the 'armament' section:  This translates as follows:

  • 24lb 6 1/2" circumference - 0.82mm diameter at 1:64
  • 18lb 5 1/2" circumference - 0.69mm diameter at 1:64
  • 9lb 4 1/2 circumference - 0.57mm at 1:64


So not surprisingly, the smaller size is slightly too small (91% of actual), and the larger too large (127% of actual).  Mathematics would point the smaller size being least inaccurate, so as always it seems it comes down to the 'eye of the beholder'.  Interestingly, I had initially leaned toward the larger size as well, but changed my view.


Cannons on Trincomalee are 18lb'ers, but the breech rope do look bulkier, however no info to suggest that these are indeed the 'period correct' size either.  And so the modelers dilemma, follow sources, try to replicate (possibly inaccurate) real life examples, and/or follow your eye!  (The cheesed hauling tackles jump out at me as a little incongruous being probably not contemporary practice (rather than more practical frapping) but this is a look modelers follow because it does look good!)


The jury is still out...of course, this isn't a matter of life and death, its way more important than that 🙂 






Edited by Beef Wellington
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By the way, in the midst of discussion about rope weights, I think we forgot to say your model looks absolutely stunning. Love seeing photos of the whole thing.

Your finishes are very very clean. And the limited, consistent palette of colours you have chosen to use, is very pleasing to the eye. It gives your model a classical quality.

I really admire your work.



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6 hours ago, Beef Wellington said:

Carl  - sadly Victory doesn't have any 18lb'ers...

that isn't necessary, it is the way it looks, which in the end will define if it looks correct or not, for would you see the difference with the naked eye between

0.82mm and 0.69mm diameter


0.69mm and 0.57mm diameter

(although you will probably see the difference between the extremes) in the end it is you whom decides

Edited by cog
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Looks great Jason, one of my favorite logs on this site.


How did you do the scuppers?  Does the kit come with rings that you just glue on?  My Caldercraft Badger kit had rings for the scuppers - they drove me a bit nuts because they kept brushing off the hull.  I bought some kind of product that is used in electrical applications that is like a metal tube with a flange on the end (forget what it's called).  So, I'm thinking that using those will have more stability because I can insert them into the hull.

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Mike - yes, the scuppers are PE from the kit...and yes, I had the same experience as you!  The carpet monster also ate a few, and I don't even have carpet!  I found the technique of attaching to masking tape, smearing some CA glue on the back side and then positioning, seemed to be enough time to adjust before it fully set.  Holes were drilled at an angle to the hull to try and give the impression of the tube angling up to the deck,  but that proved a little hit or miss.  Closeup, think the PE definitely looks overscale, but from regular viewing distance they blend in OK, and they will probably blend further when the other hull fixtures are added.


Well, I asked the question and MSW answered!!  Thanks everyone for your input, you've swayed me to the larger size, not a single vote for the smaller dimension.  Of course the larger rope will require far more taming but I'll solve that in due course.  Now to figure out how to attach to the ringbolt with a scale appropriate solution...


Just before putting this to bed, here is a picture I found from Endeavour which shows a smaller size breech rope which initially played into my deliberation.



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Cheesed lines like that are used decoratively. For inspections. They're impractical for daily use though. The first problem is they aren't free to run, they'll kink as they run through a block which is decidedly bad because each turn around the cheese ads a kink to the line. Next problem is that they get wet and the deck rots beneath them. Again, decidedly bad.

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Hi Jason

I wouldn't take much notice of that picture it looks like a display model, the carriage looks like plastic as well, I sent an email to Mauritius archaeology about the carronades on my Sirius for Information and the example they have in the museum is a replica/display model with no provenance



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Happy Thanksgiving to all of those in the US!  Unfortunately the  shipyard has had to suddenly close due to a minor, but messy, health and safety violation involving a clumsy thumb and Xacto knife - nothing serious but plasters/band-aids preventing fine work.


Good opportunity to sit back and ponder gun rigging as I'll need to order additional materials from Syren.  Think I'm done with additional detailing on the cannons in the interests of sanity;

  • Monograms are from Syren, given a quick dash of 'dark iron' Cpaint and glued into place with CA
  • Cap-square eyebolt made with wire and the cap square joint bolt is one of the smaller PE ring bolts.  



First mock up of potential rigging, as previously discussed, the breech rope is 0.88mm Syren line.  This line does make the half hitch a little more cumbersome, but think it can still work, even though they will be somewhat hidden even for most visible guns in the waist.  Going to live without the wheel lynch pin and cap square pin/chain.


Cannon rigging:

Breeching rope does require some dilute PVA to hold into position on the button.  Wanted to give the hauling tackle a feeling of 'weight', and have been experimenting assembling these off the model using a serving machine to get consistent spacing and also do the frapping.  Procedure still to be finalised…


Details as follows:

  • Block are 1/8" (3.18mm) single/double blocks from Syren
  • Blocks are stropped with 0.012"(0.3mm) line
  • Port tackle line is 0.008" (0.2mm) line
  • Hooks are 4mm from Syren (these are black plastic which I ordered some time ago and don't think Chuck still offers them which is a shame as they seem easy to work with)


Edited by Beef Wellington
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  • 1 month later...

Happy New year to everyone!  First off my apologies for not being on the site as much as usual and checking in on everyone's progress, something I hope to rectify soon. 


My progress has been limited, some small steps have been taken, and problems encountered that stopped me in my tracks for a while.


Channel Brackets:

The kit supplies PE channel support brackets, unfortunately I found this unworkable as is as the profile impinged on the decorative molding, they're also a little wider than indicated on the plan.  The PE parts are scored pretty heavily at the bending points so trying to tweak these was not really an option.  The problem also identified by others is that there are not enough provided in the kit (per the AOTS there are 3 shown on the mizzen, 6 for main and 4 for the fore channel) and only 11 provided, so the kit is 2 short.  Further analysis suggests its likely 3 short as there are 2 brackets used between ports, and it appears that one is simply hidden behind the stock of the anchor on page 69.  I'm going to reflect 5 brackets on the fore channel.  Another slight complication is that the mizzen brackets need to be smaller to account for the lower position of the channel in the open rail configuration I'm following.  Basically I needed to make my own, and without any really good photos to follow went with my gut.




Not having any other suitable materials handy, my eye turned to one of the spare sets of PE from other CC kits I had purchased a while back.  Not sure which kit, but a little filing and cutting to length allowed the chains to be workable.  These also appear to be almost exactly the same narrower width as shown in the AOTS profiles.  The center portion of the Diana PE part was re-purposed to attach to the channel.  Exactly the same approach was taken for the mizzen, except that the top of the Diana PE part was used and different dimensions for the bracket supporter.  This was all rather fiddly and took rather longer than I'd care to admit... 🙂







Once the channel supporters were in place I could then proceed with installation of the cannons.  These are now glued in place (using CA), I didn't pin these in place as this would have been a little problematic at this stage, and they seem quite secure as is.  Breeching ropes were attached off the ship prior to installation.  Another self imposed delay was decision to go with 'light brown' Syren line rather than the 'tan' used previously - this seems to have a tone that blends better with the colour palette.  The Syren line is very nice to work with and the usual trick of using dilute PVA was used to fine tune the final profile.  For these more obscured cannons, I used a simple eyebolt to secure the breach rope, for the more visible ones in the waist, I want to explore using ringbolt as per practice, but even using a simple eyebolt gives a satisfactory result to my eye at this scale.




And finally, the exterior shot...in retrospect I'm happy with the decision to install the channels and brackets first as I'm pretty sure there would have been collateral damage to cannons during installation.  5 down, 23 to go.


Edited by Beef Wellington
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impressive view, seeing her with bared teeth ... I can imagine the disapointment with the brackets. I think I wouldn't have gone for the PE version anyway, although you were forced into that decision. Especially at the spots where the bend must be made it is often very weak. Again marvelous work ... you are getting in the habbit of delivering but that

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