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HM Brig Badger by gunslinger4hire - Caldercraft - Scale 1:64, first wooden ship build by me


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UNBOXING THE BEAST (1)...

 

Although my workspace is not ready yet, i moved to a new home shortly, i will start my build log already today.

Today getting my hands on my new kit, i could not resist opening it. So i decided to take the first pictures of

unboxing the beast...

 

I did a lot of reading and researching on the internet and some books, which model should be the first for

me. A bloody beginner in model ship building. After all that reading i took as my only technical rule of thumb -

beginners should start with a model in scale 1:50.

 

During this studys i stumbled over different descriptions about the quality the different kit manufacturers deliver.

After all the different opinions and experiences (until now not my personal opinion or experience), CalderCraft

seems to be some of the better quality makers.

 

So, today i walked into my local model building store. I think we have quite a excellent one. The store serves

all types of model building, not only ships. Astonishingly i found a far better range of wooden static ships, as

i expected. Softening my only rule of thumb, 2 models were identified as the right canditates.

First the HMS Bounty from Constructo, Italy, scale 1:50 and second the HM Brig Badger from CalderCraft, scale

1:64. 2 Reasons took me now to my decision, why i have chosen the HM Brig Badger kit. 1. the manufacturer

and 2. the HMS Bounty has no cannons... ;-)

 

Ok, back to the kit... As i mentioned, today i bought my kit from the HM Brig Badger.

More info here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Badger

and here

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Badger_(1777

 

Contents of the kit are:

  • 2 Building Manuals english
  • 2 Building Manuals translated in german (nice work at krick, the distributor of CalderCraft kits in Germany)
  • 10 scale plans of the model:
    1 of 10: Hull Assembly
    2 of 10: Deck & Bulwark Fittings
    3 of 10: Hull Fittings
    4 of 10: Mast Assembly
    5 of 10: Bowsprit & Yard Assembly
    6 of 10: Blocks & Horses
    7 of 10: Rigging Stages 1 & 2
    8 of 10: Rigging Stages 3 & 4
    9 of 10: Rigging Stages 5 & 6
    10 of 10: Rigging Stages 7 & Belaying Plan
  • plywood
  • first & second planking
  • mast parts
  • brass etchings
  • copper cannons
  • and rope

The contents were complete and no part is missing as far i could check it now, without tearing every plastic bag open.

 

So for now i let the pictures speak...

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Questions before the build (1) (edit)...

 

About some details of the building are still some question marks swirling around my head.

The order of the questions are not their order of relevance and i will flesh out over time.

Comments are welcome...

 

Finishing: Hull

I am not sure about the last finish. On the one hand leaving the wood itself, to show the beauty

of the wood. Oiling comes here to my mind. At the other hand, fine painted models are a pleasure

to see... Also i love seeing such old turned weathered paintings... Awesome...

I think i will make my decision, if i have to cover some imperfections in the build... Hmm, i have to

find out, what would be the last step in the building process, i have to make my decision.

I found franks excellent build log of the HMAT Supply, where he shows some impressive skills in weathering

the finish. I love it...

 

Deck Planking

How i should do the deck planking? I like the plankings where the extra effort was made to plank the

waterway... I hope this is the right term for the broader plank at the outermost edges of the deck.

 

Lettering of ships name

I think the kits brass etched nameplate font is not quite suitable. Anyone knows what kind of font

would be right?

 

Sails

The kit comes with no sails and no special rigging plans if i want to spice up the model with sails.

Mike already gave me some hint, where to get some cloth for making the sails by myself.

 

Adding planking to the vessels superstructure

The small hut around the stove is just made of some plywood. I do not think that the final outcome

of this detail as shown in the building instructions, i will like. The hut plywood is to be glued at flat

sides at the corners. Thus this will show me the ugly faces of cut plywood. Even when painting this,

you will ever realize the difference in the grain of the surfaces and sides of the plywood.

 

 

to be continued...

Edited by gunslinger4hire
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The Caldercraft Badger is my first kit as well, and it's been a fun and challenging kit to work on with plenty of opportunities for adding unique touches.  The link to my log is in my signature - unfortunately, I don't have the time to recreate the 20+ pages from my original log, but am happy to answer any questions.  I'm just about done with the standing rigging, and from there will move to adding furled sails to the yards and the running rigging.

 

I ended up using tung oil for most of the natural walnut areas, and used the Caldercraft Admiralty paints and stains for the rest.  Painting is nice because it helps erase mistakes :)  I'm less of a fan of it, and will try to avoid using paint to the extent possible on my next build (instead, will use specialty woods and stains).  The black and red ochre look fine to me, but I think the "dull" white paint is a bit too garish for my tastes.

 

Good luck!

Edited by Landlubber Mike
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Damn Mike... Your Badger already looks impressive. You set a high standard for me with that... ;-) Maybe i can raise the bar a bit at the end... ;-) I am happy to have a companion with some experience of the kit. Be asure that i will come with some questions...

 

Do you make the sails by yourself or did you get some ready made sail kit for the badger? I could not find any ready made.

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Hi Oli: ....... Welcome to MSW. You made an excellent choice in the Badger for your first build , it's a nicely detailed model.

There are a few Badger builders here, so I'm sure you'll get all the help you might need. If you decide to weather your build , I'd be more than happy to help ypu in any way I can. Have Fun.!!

Frank

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Thanks very much Gunslinger.  I'm sure you'll be able to do much better than me on this.  The kit is nice with lots of details, but the wood strips are not very good.  The walnut in particular is prone to splitting, which can be very frustrating.

 

Another recommendation I would make is to think ahead and not necessarily do things in the order of the manual.  For example, i would do all of the rails at once, before starting the cannons.  I think the instructions have you do some rails before the cannons, and some after, which just led to me continually breaking off the cannons.  The instructions also have you completing the ships boats at the very end.  I dont think it would be all that easy to install them in the middle of the ship when all the rigging is up, so I installed mine before the masts were set.

 

For the sails, I don't think there are pre-made sails out there for this kit.  I'm building them from scratch, either using sail cloth from Model Expo or silkspan (leaning towards the ME sail cloth).  It's taking me a lot of research though to figure out whether I need to run extra lines, etc., especially for the jibs.

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There are a couple of pages on the Badger in Chapelle's "Search for Speed Under Sail."  Aside from that, I haven't found much.  Interestingly, the rigging pattern for the standing rigging in that book looks a little different from the Caldercraft kit (the book also shows a small figurehead).  It could be that there were different Badgers at that time.

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I also did some more research about the Badger... But information is really rare, even already when i search on google afetr "Brig Badger", my own build log appears as the 7. search result...

 

But i found some posting in a german forum (http://www.napoleon-forum.de/index.php?showtopic=411) about the "Brigg Badger", Nelsons first command... There they speak of "Nelson's Ships", a book by Peter Goodwin (http://www.amazon.com/Nelsons-Ships-History-Vessels-1771-1805/dp/0811710076#_). In which detailed plans of the badger are. In the post they are also talking about, that Caldercrafts rigging plan is quite different to the rigging in the book and probably the dimensions of the mast are not correct... Hmm...

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I think also, that for my first model all my concentration should go into mastering the skills and not in historically repreducing the ship...

And as i saw my pictures of the unboxing again today, i have to buy some other camera. Taking the photos with my handy cam is a no-go... ;-)

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Take your time and enjoy the build - it looks fun. Don't worry too much about the camera - what you have is definitely good enough for the build. You may want to borrow or buy a nicer one for your finished ship...but that is awhile off. Can't wait to see what you do!

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Hi Oli. You made a good start! You got the box open! :)

 

Mike has given you excellent advice on finishing wood with Tung oil but I haven't any idea where you can get it in Euroland. I'ts not something you will find in any paint store etc. but keep a lookout for it. The tree that produces the oil it's extracted from is indigenous to China who produce literally 100% of global demand. There is a smaller plantation in the US but they can't satisfy the local demand. It's mainly used to make high quality printing inks and if you've a contact in this industry he may be able to set you right. (Coates Inks etc. are big users.) Anyhow, it's early days yet and about 250ml will set you right for a few models. You can get as much as you will ever need in Canada. 

 

The important thing to remember is that it must be 100% pure Tung Oil. Not modified or adulterated in any way.

 

Cheers,

Richard

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Getting the Tung Oil here in Germany is not difficult. I already found a online shop selling it.

 

But i think i am sure for now how the beauty should look like when finished.

 

Yes, the box is open... :-) I could not resist opening it. And i can't hardly wait until i can start with the building.

I think i will get the first parts assembled this weekend...

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Hi again Oli,

 

Tung oil does come with it's own hassles so I will prepare a method for you and pm the information. In the meantime, don't put it on anything. Once you have the info and have done some tests you can make up your own mind what you want to do. I was going to recommend it for your next build.

 

Cheers,

Richard

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Hello Gunslinger, 

 

Welcome to the ship modelling world, you've chosen a nice kit as your first build, the Badger will build nicely out of the box, and with some modifications, can turn out into a mighty fine brig. As you've noticed, the timber can be a bit of a disappointment and if you wish to build her mostly in natural wood, then using some exotic woods like those from Hobbymill would be of great benefit (something I should have done when I was still building her). On the other hand, if you plan to give her a paint scheme, then the walnut planks should do just fine. Good luck on your build, take your time and most importantly, have fun :)

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Tung oil does come with it's own hassles so I will prepare a method for you and pm the information. In the meantime, don't put it on anything. Once you have the info and have done some tests you can make up your own mind what you want to do. I was going to recommend it for your next build.

Thanks for the information tung oiling the wood. I will read it carefully. But at this point i am still far away to put on anything... ;-)

 

Welcome to the ship modelling world, you've chosen a nice kit as your first build, the Badger will build nicely out of the box, and with some modifications, can turn out into a mighty fine brig. As you've noticed, the timber can be a bit of a disappointment and if you wish to build her mostly in natural wood, then using some exotic woods like those from Hobbymill would be of great benefit (something I should have done when I was still building her). On the other hand, if you plan to give her a paint scheme, then the walnut planks should do just fine. Good luck on your build, take your time and most importantly, have fun :)

I already ordered some substitute walnut masts instead the light ones delivered with the kit... ;-)

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Hi Oli,

 

I am familiar with the Jotika kits from Caldercraft but Kriek looks like a different stable in the Group and perhaps their raw materials are somewhat inferior. I have not had any experience with them. Don't be shy to replace anything that doesn't meet your expectations. (My avatar pic is a stern view of my last kit build that was the Agamemnon from Caldercraft - Nelson's Navy selection).)

 

There is a technique followed by some modellers called "painting with wood" where the strategic selection of a various coloured wood is used to represent the original colours of the painted ship and some stunning results have been achieved. You will need a good source to satisfy this demand and an outfit called Constantines comes to mind. They were in NYC but moved out of town some years ago. Google will probably find them. They did have a very extensive colour guide of lots of wood species to select from but having decided on colour, you should research suitability for the intended application and local availability. You have the full resources at MSW to guide you on this.

 

Cheers,

Richard

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Step 1: Dry fitting the Ship Stand (shipstand_001)

 

So today i started the build with the ship stand. Nothing exciting, but first i wanted to get the feeling how the laser cut

ply wood will fit in their counterparts. As the false keel and the bulkeheads are made from the same plywood, i will get

some good feeling how these parts will fit together.

 

Removing the parts was quite easy, but the scalpel i used is not the best for the 5mm plywood i realized. I have to

find some better tool to remove the other 5mm plywood and walnut parts. Maybe i will just try some saw blade

without a handle.

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After cutting and filing back the remainings of the small gutters and some roundening of the edges i dry fitted the parts

together.

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While dry fitted it was clearly obvious that the ship stand will not stand square to the ground, when the parts just pushed

together til the ground of the nutches.

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So disassembling the stand again and putting it together with some more caution. Now the dry fitted stand will rest on

all feet equally. A much more nicer result as the first try.

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Next step will be sanding the ship stand, glueing it together and apply black paint on it. The faces where the ship will

temporarely rest on, i will cushion with some nice fabric. But now i already know, this will not be the final ship stand

whenever finished...

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Hi Richard,

 

yes i totally agree with you. I already managed to get a used one today as a gift from a friend. Lucky day...

But i need something more like a "silent killer" method. My workshop is in my kitchen and my main building times will be in the evening.

I think i have to go the hand saw way...

 

Oli

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Looks great Gunslinger, nice job.  I highly recommend the Amati Keel Klamper for the initial stages of the build.  Once planked, I moved to using the kit's stand.  Once I finished with most of the hull and deck items, I set the hull on its permanent display base.  Looking back, it might have been easier to work on the deck items with the hull on its permanent display base, but the kit stand was fine.

 

I bought some inexpensive felt from a hobby store that I glued onto the stand so as to not scuff my model's hull when using the stand.  

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Thanks for the compliments... But this was not so difficult, if it would be, i shouldn't start building the rest... ;-) Yap, i will get me some felt for glueing to the stand. About the permanent display base i did not make any thoughts. One question Mike, was your kit also short of the black cardboard that was listed in the parts list?

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Step 2: Anchors (anchors_001)
 
Today as i sorted all the bits and pieces into a storage box the anchors looked so tempting. So i got the walnut board
with the wooden anchor stocks, the metal anchors and some tools.
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The grooves in the two pieces of anchor stock were a little bit to tight. So i had to fit the anchor neck that the anchor.
stock pieces would easily be glued together without cracks.
After fitting the metal pieces i already painted them with a first coat of finish. And after dry glued the anchor stocks onto the anchor.
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The original manual recommends using some black cardboard for the anchor banding. Fortunately i had some brass at
home. So i cut a narrow piece of 1mm brass and bend the anchor banding from brass strips.
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The bandings have to be paint black also. And the anchor ring is also missing.

Edited by gunslinger4hire
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Step 2: Anchors (anchors_002)

The bandings painted black. For the sides of the bandings i need a finer brush... Also bend one ring but wrapping

the rope around the tiny ring was not so easy... The first attempt was a mess so i removed it again...

Probably the bandings thickness is somewhat off scale, but i like it more than simple cardboard...

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