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HMS Victory by dafi - Heller - PLASTIC - To Victory and beyond ...

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Hi Daniel


Just checking in to see what great up dated you had in line for us. It seams that you will never complete your Victory for all of your re-works. And with each one your ship keeps getting better and better, seam that there is no end to all of your improvements and up-dates, WELL DONE,                                                                          ENJOY.


Regards   Lawrence

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Ok, time to do some stupid things ...

... I! WANT! ... I! WANT! ... I! WANT! ...
... sails :-)
For some time already - actually years - I was cogitating about how to do the sails. For scale reason I do not like the cloth ones as for their too coarse structure, paper ones almost always end up with small crisps and waves from painting. Silk is too transparent. Paper easily gets crisps and tears and rips if formed in a wet state. Cloth is too rigid for my scale to give a realistic fall of the folds, paper is ...
Also I wanted to find something more realistic for the usual way of imitating the seams with pencil - or even worse black stitches. In reality the stitches themselves are mostely invisible as they have a similar color to the sail. What one can see is a difference in transparency as the area of the stitches consists of 4-time folded cloth, being almost invisible with light from the front and to be seen as a "shadow" of blocked light if it comes from behind.
Could go on for ages lamenting. So I decided to laminate ...
(Got the pun?)
That is why I wanted to try a unusual test, combining both materials. Cloth with paper glued to both sides, thus giving the better paper structure but using the strength of the cloth within. By using wall paper glue, I aimed in being able to soften up the sail where needed by wetness or steam to be able to form the sail afterwards.
One still is young and has dreams ...
So on we went, trying out a series of small squares of 5 cm of different cloths and papers and surprisingly this crackpot idea really seemed to be not completely out of this world.
So and even further we went, investing in a wedge frame, putting the Silk of pongé 5 - the thinnest I could get - onto it ...
... and evenly spreading the glue. Then ading the thinnest paper I had on both sides. And one sees immediately the problem, the paper gives: the waves and crisps.
Got better after drying ...
... the transparency was perfect ...
... but the sidelight revealed the small crisps still being there. 
Next I tried to glue the seams onto this base which did not work at all, as the paper got soft with the glue ...
... ripping to shreds and proving its unwillingness not to perform straight lines :-(

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So I went on to search for different kind of papers and found something from the restoration department :-)
Immediately had to try this out - and I never have been that near to what was being encapsulated in my strange brainsalads ...
... the back side was without any crisps ...
... and the transparency was perfect too ...
... and if I still manage to fit the doubling on the front and back sides to to match ...
... and I further on renounce to put two strips of "canvas" atop each other - as to be seen in strip n#6 -...
... yep, then ...
That is why I immediately did the next test piece. And got the appearence even closer to my aim. The doubling is made a layer thicker as it consists in reality of 4 layers of cloth, not just two.
Also I added some copper thread in the seam, even though it will possibly be a bit difficult in a larger sail.
Then painted with some diluted wall paper glue dyed very carefully with a mixture of 3 parts light grey and one part yellow ochre :-)
Here some shots of the nice play with light, changing appearance from frontal, side and back light
Slowly we go :-)
... slowly ...


Edited by dafi

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Your experiments look very effective, Daniel. Try using acrylic paint with a ruling pen to get the seam doubling with less transparency and see what you think. I've used this  very effectively at a much larger scale (1:48) on SilkSpan. One needs to pre-stretch any paper as one would for watercolor paper to avoid sags and wrinkles when wetted. Also, Silkspan won't tear when wet.

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Awesome work Daniel, truly inspirational.


I know it is debated all over the did she didn't she lol well to add another twist to the debate.. Was flicking through one of my many books, a cheap book that I had picked up just because, had it for over a year and barely looked at it.


It is called the Nelson Encyclopedia by Colin White, anyway one of the many images enclosed is an engraving dated 1778 clearly shows the entry port on the Stbd side.


Also stern galleries and the more elaborate figure head.



However in the book (not the ebook version by the same authors which is totally different) HMS Victory First Rate 1765 includes an excerpt from the sketch book of Midshipman Richard F Roberts, the sketch shows the side steps but no entry port lol


The book is by Jonathan Eastland and Iain Ballantyne, in the paperback version there is only a little narrative but a great collection of photographs, where the ebook version is a History of the Victory with reference from the very first ship of the name, got the ebook free when I ordered the paperback.

Edited by AndyW

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Hello Andi :-)


The last engraving with Victory showing the old fashioned entry port - as depicted in Slade´s drafts - is 1779 Victory, „Sailing by the White Cliffs of Dover“.


In 1780 she had a refit also and was coppered for the first time - and since that day the port vanished from all sources until it reappeared in 1828 after another repair. But by then, the port was one more opening further in the back. Since then it was to be seen in all sources until it was moved to todays position in the 1920/30ies.


The disappearing side entry port is nothing specific to the Vic, it started to disappear from all first and second rates around 1760, the time of the Seven Years' War and the War of Independence - high times on the seas and plenty of trouble with the french. A coincidence? The ports just started to reappear around 1803/1805.



Edited by dafi

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One Daniel care package great fully received :)


Surprised at the weight, quality etched parts indeed, although my scale is going to be 1:94 not too much difference and as discussed can be built around, ie already decided that the binnacle and poop skylight will be Walnut framed with the etched parts used as/converted to insert pieces this gives me the wood and brass mix, also lets me jig around any scale issues.


Thanks again.

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To put the rule to the test, or - in other words - here comes the big rag, part 1.


To get the overlap right this time I constructed a small light table: 2 logs, some glas and a lamp.




Above light from underneath, below light from the top.




To get things straight I printed the pattern onto a paper and glued it face down onto the glas with a minimum spray glue.

As I also sprayed the back of the paper, the silk is nicely fixed and does not move while working. Do not face the print towards the 

silk, or the heat will transfer the laser toner onto the tissue - unless it is wanted :-)


The silk I used for the gaff was is pongée 8 as this sail was a more heavy cloth.


Constructed a small cutting machine for the panels ...




... and started bravely ironing. First side went rather fast, then flipped over, adjusted to the grid and restarted and went immediately tilted ...




... but was no problem to scratch that off :-) 


Here the result in changing ambient light conditions, just what I wanted to see, every time it looks different :-)










The overlap is still to broad, that was a mistake of mine. To make the overlap more visible, I still added a 1 mm stripe atop, see the spaghetti in the back of the picture. It was surprisingly easy to do and exact in the outcome. 




Then the slightly curved reef bands and the other doublings ...




... and step one was done.


The size of the sail can be seen as soon as my little ship yard worker is added. 






And just for fun: The original out of the box :-) :-) :-)




So next steps will be great fun: Adding the bolt ropes and the glue-paint mixture and waiting if everything stays as crisp as it is now!


Edited by dafi

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On ‎16‎/‎02‎/‎2013 at 0:12 AM, dafi said:
The following period was my own research for how far I would like to go in the details.





Most time went into the chainplates, as I don´t like the photo etched parts to much because of their flatness and as I could not find in those days any reference on the internet onto how to massproduce these parts in a sufficient quality. I had to learn how to solder and I finally got the results that I was searching for:






Hellers interpretation of the chainplates im memoriam:












and my interpretation on a test piece


















Further came the cannons with all necessairy bolts and breeching rings ...












... and the carronades with wheels and elevation screw


















The chimney got the handles and the frontcover and the belfry it´s handle












One big decision was taken at this stage too: the lower gundeck got it´s riding bitts, manger and the pumps and will still recieve full traetment :-)












The last of the "normal" adaptations was to try out the selfadhesive Tiffany copper foil for the copperworks which worked marvellously and will be used. The picture does not pay justice to the apparence.












At this moment, the directions for me were set :-)


MMnn. Shame you didnt look at the way the copper was laid. Starting from the Stern each plate slightly overlapped the one behined it. They where laid like Tiles NOT Bricks. It was laid this way to prevent the sea from tearing of the tiles. While the way you have laid then ie Along the waterline LOOKS right (and better) the tiles dropped towards to keel towards the centre of the ship
When I buildt my Victory in the 80's I even used sal almonac to weather the copper. (But did lay the tiles alnong the water line like you have
Rest of the ship looksawesome

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Thank you all for the nice comments.



Looks like you did not manage to go through the whole report yet ;-)

Still further down the page there is more about the copper ...


... and down the road you will find more here ...


... and the most important update here:


... and some more adventures there:



Actually the Copper is laid over the original Heller structure which surprisingly gets the pattern quite well. Only flaw is the exaggerated height of the overlap. Seen the original thickness and compared to the scale, actually no step should be visible. Even pictures from coppered ship´s bottoms do not reveal the step, only real close ups do show. Next life I will sand the plastic imitations down and will tile the copper flat, the overlap just indicated by a hint of nails.


Also there are much more shades of color on weathered copper, telling the story what the ship did last and where it has been, see here:



Cheers Daniel


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Not too much time to tinker lately due to my working scheme and other private commitments.


In the meantime I was already looking for my cat for quite a while. 


And how do you know, that you found the new daytime hideout of this feline creature?



Very easy, the box with the spare parts is drowned in cat hair and cat sand and the the plastic bags inside show a suspicious unidirectional scratching pattern ...



... luckily all this leftovers were not to be used anyway as I alraedy prepared scratch replacements ...


... but even myself could not have destroyed the parts better, and I AM a professional in this sense :-)



Next modeller´s meeting there will be a lot of chilly con cat ;-)



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Ok, no cat got harmed

so far



I think every scale needs its own technic, as the challenges change. For scale 1:48 thin cloth can work out fine, from smaller than 1:150 paper gets a wonderful choice. My scale of 1:100 is somewhere in-between: The cloth is too coarse or too transparent, on the other hand the sails are too big for paper, also I would like to add some details, that would be difficult in paper alone.

In real life I did not have to much time to tinker around due to job and privet commitments, but some small experimenting I could afford. 

I prepared a small extract of a stay sail, using my laminate technic. I reinforced the leeches by 0,3 mm copper wire


The material is that thin, one can see the copper shining through.

Took a wet cotton stick and resoftened the sail partially to slowly form a soft wave.


The anvil were the handles of a scissors and the hammer was the hot iron.


And here the fascinating thing, how the appearance changes with the different moods of light ...




... as originally intended :-)

OK, one could guess what comes next ?!? Almost.

Another reason for testing to see the limits of the material. And what should I say?!?

If one uses hard and pointed tools to make smaller crisps into the material and one slips, the material breaks!


But also one can see the benevolence of the material ...


... cleaned and a new leech glued on - this time no copper inside - and it looks like new!

And to prove that this invention is really mine, I left a good part of genetic material in the superglue to provide enough DNA-Tests for the future :-)


Then formed the hanks for the stay ...


... and tried to fix  them, still without leech rope, but still it was quite stable.


First trials on the right were not so really shipshape, useful was the third hand of table, clamp and clamping tweezers.


And slowly ...


... I was happy. Even though the fixture of the hanks is on the really outer edge, it proves to be very stable.


So tried the technic on my small sample and heaved it up.


Even though it looks soft, it is quite rigid and keeps well the form due to the white glue used to stiffen it up.

Then resoftened with a wet cotton stick partially to get the wave stronger (remember - went bad already once ...)


But this time it worked out fine :-)


So slept over night - or perhaps not that good as one of the 17 beers that night must have been bad ...

... felt a bit crunched and wrinkled and had the feeling, the sail should exactly represent that.



... fits ...



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Born out of a brain fart while joking around in the german forum, a crazy idea became reality and within 12 hours more than 12 people already wanted to take part in it.

Soon later we had 20 pirates from all over Germany plus some admiralties in tow that went to the Ijsselmeer, or better to say the Markermeer in the Netherlands.

In a well planned and immaculately executed attack we were successfully boarding the beautiful Staatenjacht Utrecht and we found ourselves in the mids of our wildest pirate dreams.



And so the scum of several german forums gathered underneath the blood-red-yellow-lioned flag.


Foolhardy pirates ...



... applecakesmutjes ...


... in short, the whole landlubbery motley crew was overwhelmed ... 


... as the cake was marvelous and more important than the captains speech: "If we sink, do not panic, the water is only approx. 2 meters deep, so be prepared to only get wet feet."


But one could see his thoughts: "Oh my god, what have I done to deserve this?!?"


Finally on the endless sees of this lake: Putting up sails, everybody had to help ...



... what a delight for a pirate´s soul ...

... then the staysail ...




... and to put up the jib one had even to climb outboard defying deaths and horrors.


Look at these professionals at work.


The master gave the directions how to coil the ropes ...


... but as usual it ended up in some kind of private bondage lessons.


The leeboards had to be put down and up depending on the tack ...


... even the the tiller we were allowed to touch and steer ...


... and - big management mistake - even me they dared to try to cope with steering, so of course the company went a bit off course ...


... but just look, isn´t my silver medal glowing beautifully under this tropical sun ?!?


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Just realised, I never told you how I got the medal on the last picture of the Utrecht




Not too long ago I was visiting some friends on a modeling exhibition at Fürstenfeldbruck near Munich.

I suddenly saw some people disappearing with some great models. I told the guards about the supposed theft and they calmed me down: "Going to the competition" they said.


Wanted to see what this means I went there and I saw hundreds of tanks, bi- and triplanes, strip-downs and full-dressed and loads with evil crosses. And then I dicovered one single ship among all those competitors: a wonderfully build RJN Hiryu.


Then I saw the medals for the categories, heard the price to take part: 2 (zwei, two, deux, due) Euro and only 1 competitor for the ship´s category?
First cheap enough and the second to little competition for my taste ;-)


So I ran to the car, got my slice of Victory out - By the deep 17 if one remembers - ran back and 2 (zwei, two, deux, due) minutes before the  submission deadline I threw my model onto the table like James Bond his hat in direction Miss Moneypenny.


Then some times later the big medal awards ceremony, can you guess what?


I made a wonderful second (2, two, deux, due, zwei) Place!!!


The other competitor in the category "Ship" only made it to before last. And the only one ahead of me was becoming "Best of Show"!

What do we learn from that?

- First, dafi never took his medal off again, everybody who saw me evermsince can confirm that!

- Those 2 (zwei, two, deux, due, two) Euro were economically well invested

- dafi is stupid, for another 2 (zwei, two, deux, due, two) Euro he would have gotten also the bronze medal as he had another slice of Victory still in the car.


This is Frank who got a bronze medal with his biplane-strip-down against a competitor field of a felt 723 other planes. So I was better than he was as my beloved medal is SILVER.



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And then the most important thing of the day: Food! Food! Glorious food!


Then they sat in all the corners possible ...


... and enjoyed themselves quietly ...


... and after a bombastic fennel soup there were still plenty of hearty slices of bread coming ...


... everything freshly prepared on board :-)


So we got the power to get some lessons in working the windlass, now we know how it works ...


... tough job but in the end the anchor was finally up.


And then the most important: the desert :-) 
Some sweet slices of Victory, made and presented by confectioner dafi ...


... everyone was allowed to get a taste of it ...


... and was delighted upon the awarded piece!


That was a dream getting true: Going to sail with my models :-)
How many did have the chance to present their models in such a true surrounding!?!


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