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Naval Cutter HMS Alert 1777 by catopower – FINISHED - Shipyard - 1/96 scale - CARD

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Well, I’ve done it. I started messing around with a card model from Shipyard because I was really curious about them. I didn’t mean to turn this into a real project, but I can’t help it, this thing is so frikkin’ cool!


I’ve already described the kit in detail in the topic I started: here, so no point in rehashing that. I’ll just say that I’ve been distracted by this model more and more and now I might as well just get it over with and make a regular project out of it. Luckily, this card model seems to be progressing a lot faster than my wooden model projects. I think it’s because all the parts are already defined. I don’t have to figure out anything, I just have to build.


So, I started tinkering with this kit back in August and picked it up every now and again to add some more to it. Now, I’m at the point where I’m spending multiple evenings in a row on it. At this rate, I don’t think it’s going to take all that long. I'd better really get working on this or I'll never get back to my other projects!



Here’s where it all started...




Framing was easy using the laser cut parts included in the kit. Note that not all of the shipyard paper models include laser cut framing. Instead, they give you the parts printed on standard paper and you are required to laminate that paper onto layers of card stock or plain paper in order to build the part up to the proper thickness.



On a model this size, the frame density and the stiffeners seem to make the hull enough to work with






The first layer of the hull covering is made up of thin pieces that fit nicely across the bulkheads. It's hard to avoid a little overlap, but I found it important to try, otherwise it creates a wavy surface for the planking.



With the layer of stiffners in place, the first layer of hull planking is laid. There are two layers of planking, so I guess you can consider this a double-planked hull.



The first layer consist of belts of planks. It's nice that these are printed with properly shaped planks. This makes this model more accurate than 90% of the wooden ship models kits out there, at least in terms of hull planking.



The first problem I ran into was the in determining the proper positioning of the bulwarks piece. But, that looks like it will work itself out okay. The second problem is shown here with the laying down of the planking belts. This is a 2-D object laying down on a 3-D surface. The belts are relatively narrow, but not narrow enough to avoid creating a wavy surface along the edges. Fortunately, there is another layer of planking to go over this, so maybe I was worrying about it too much. But, what I found was that after the glue set, I could wick a tiny amount of CA into the edge and then push down on the bumps to flatten them out a bit.



That has it's own hazzards as you can see here the glue fingerprints that I haven't seen since my early days of plastic model building. This is the point where I decided to try painting the surface of the hull using paints sold by ShipYard.





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So, here's the model as it looks, planked, but no keel, stem or sternpost. The inner bulwarks is only test fit and not glued into place yet.




I've just installed the shear molding under the gunports, laminated many of the parts to give them thickness. I also made the mast coat, hawse pipes, prepped some of the mast top hardware, began shaping the wooden dowel mast, and glued up the anchor stocks, but haven't been added yet.


Parts are in the process of construction, so still look rough, particularly the round ones.



Some deck hatches. The only thing I'm not super happy with is the gratings since they're only printed. I know I could just make scratch gratings from wood, but it would be nice to see how the final ship looks as built from the kit.



View of the quarterdeck. I had a bit of a white gap at the bottom of the bulwarks and tried to even out the look with paint, but I got a little on the printed deck. After cleaning, I had to give the deck a wash of paint to even out the look.




A view of the bow showing the friezes, wales, stem and bow planking. Note the horseshoe. The one on the other side tore when I cut it and it doesn't look as sharp.




Close up of the bow planking.




Everyone who’s seen this model is amazed at how sturdy a card hull can be, including me. The lapstraked planking really makes this model solid. I also get a lot of people asking me what kind of wood was used for the deck planking, right before they say “this is paper?”



This being my first card model, I’ve learned to cut carefully and to soak parts with CA to make them stiffer and to make it easier to shape them and so that the edges don’t “fuzz up”. Plus, it makes it easier to cut very delicate pieces without them tearing up. I’ve also learned to cut out the hollow portions of parts before cutting the parts from the sheet.

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Hi Clare,


Glad to see you decided to start a build log of your Alert. Looking forward to more..


Note the horseshoe. The one on the other side tore when I cut it and it doesn't look as sharp.


 I’ve also learned to cut out the hollow portions of parts before cutting the parts from the sheet.


I was going to write a spiel on what I have found about cutting out small delicate or slender parts but see you are finding your way also.  I plan my sequence of cuts trying to always cut against a good bit of waste and the element being cut is supported on the other side by more waste or the part itself.  Cutting out holes first was also an answer I arrived at pretty quickly :P .


For small edges and holes, particularly if you have hundreds (like the spaces in tank track links I grind down old No.11, 16 & 17 knife blades to the correct width and sharpen like chisels with a Dremel and use them vertically to chop down.  Gives good clean sharp edges and corners and reduces tearing and dragging you might get doing a regular 'pulling' cut  with a blade on tiny elements.  For my tracks I was doing I had 4 knife handles each with a different width 'chisel' and chopped out 800+ holes  :o  a lot quicker and neater than trying to do each hole in turn with a normal No.11. Also used them to cut off the staggered edges as well using 2 different sizes per side.


I keep them in a box and go through them to see if they are a fit when doing other stuff as well.




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Hi captgino, thanks for the kind words.


I have been working on this for just about 2 months now, just kind of on the side though. So, I guess it has moved along pretty quickly. I'm finishing up the hull details and started on the deck furniture, so it's visually a little slower now, but still moving along faster than my wooden ship projects.


You asked if the mats are included. If you meant masts, they are not included in this kit, but dowels can be obtained easily enough. There is actually a separate masting set available, as well as a sail kit and a blocks and deadeyes set, but all the needed parts are printed in the kit anyway. 


I went ahead and ordered the masting and the sails sets to check them out. The sails actually look pretty good, but I may just make my own using the kit plans as a guide. A good set of drawings of the sails is included – much better, I might add, than the sail plans in most wood ship kits I've seen. However, after making many parts now, and with plenty left to go, I decided to go ahead and order the blocks and deadeyes set. One could easily use wooden ones, like those sold by Chuck Passaro, but it's kind of cool keeping as much in paper as I can. The blocks set still saves me from all the cutting and much of the laminating. You just have to glue up the parts and paint them.


The masting set and the sail set. Some boxes of paints I ordered from ShipYard are on the right.



Close up detail of the sails set.



Close up detail of laser cut parts in the masting set.




Ordering direct from ShipYard, the cost for each set is pretty low. It is after all a 1/96-scale cutter, so not a lot to these. The prices are listed in Polish currency, but in dollars works out roughly as follows:


HMS Alert Masting set     $6.50

HMS Alert Sails set     $6.50

HMS Alert Blocks and Deadeyes set     $20.00

Shipping, of course, is extra, and adds a lot if you order things separately. But shipping small packages from ShipYard takes about 10-14 days to get and doesn't cost too much unless you start ordering multiple ship model kits or the boxed kits.


Of course, if you get the larger 1/72-scale boxed edition, you get all this stuff included, plus brass cannons, paints, glue, and all the parts are laser cut. But you can get this 1/96-scale paper model kit, which includes laser cut frames, for less than $30, so it's very easy to get started.


FYI, Ages of Sail, whom I've been helping out a bit, recently got in a big shipment of ShipYard kits. They don't carry the add-on sets, but have just about all the ship and lighthouse kits including all the boxed kits.






Edited by catopower
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Great job on this kit and the extras you purchased will go along way to bring to life this little vessel.  I also see you have discovered you are able to paint, this can really make a card model look as if it was crafted from wood.  I have seen modern vessels painted and they looked like a plastic kit when done.  Card models are one of the mediums you are able to take to different levels by the amount of time and effort you are willing to put into it.  Thanks for the site for purchasing shipyard kits, already found my next project.  I am currently building the Shipyard 1/72 Santa Maria, this is a complete laser cut box kit, though not cheap, as for carding, this is a great kit.  I do not however recommend this kit to anyone but those with several builds under their belts.  But from what I am seeing of your build, you seem to have the skills needed to assemble one of these.  This is the 2nd such kit I have built, of this type kit, completely laser cut box kit.

Shipyard makes some of the best card models around, the HMS Victory, I would love to see that one done as a complete laser cut kit! :o

Look forward to more of your build.


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Hi Clare,


Thank you for the information, this is exactly what I needed. I will check out the Shipyard website. I just purchased their Caravela Pinta model from eBay.

My first paper model!

I look forward to see more of your progress.


- JP

Ok, so lets see that puppy.........the more the merrier!  Never enough card models going/build threads. :cheers:

Rick B)

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CaptGino, good luck on the Pinta model, it's a good looking kit. I hope you start a build log.


Rick, thanks for the kind words. I'm plugging away at it. Hey, before you go wishing for an HMS Victory in what ShipYard calls their Laser Cardboard Series (boxed), have you seen HMS Mercury? The box is the same size as all the others, but it's packed. I took one to the NRG Conference and it definitely got some attention. Kind of pricey in relation to the other kits, but it's a fully laser cut kit in 1/72 scale and nearly a meter long.


But, yeah, a 1/72-scale Shipyard HMS Victory model would rival Caldercraft's kit. That would be something to see.



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So, I was at the NRG Conference last week, and as an NRG member, I really wanted to bring a model, but couldn't see how to safely transport one to the conference. At the last minute, I decided to bring my little HMS Alert model-in-progress so people could get a better idea of what a card model looks like, even if it's not complete.


Boy, did it get a lot of attention... I don't think a single person passed by the vendor table (I went to represent Ages of Sail) without stopping to look closely at the model. I can't tell you how many times I answered "no, it's all paper" and heard the comment "I never thought a paper model would feel this sturdy". Interesting to learn how many people really like the idea of paper models. Sold two of the HMS Alert 1/96 scale kits and a 1/72 Laser Cardboard version. I suspect more people will be building one shortly.


I didn't intend to be an advocate of card models, but I just kind of ended up as one. I was even teased about turning the NRG's wooden ship modelers into card modelers. 


Anyway, I've been working on HMS Alert a bit. First off, it got handled a lot at the conference, so I gave it another coat of paint on the hull. 


At this point, with the hull basically complete, I've moved to the task of making the detail parts. 



Below are the taffrails at left, the parts for the anchors in the middle, and the parts for the windlass bits on the right.






The transom planking didn't cover the transom completely, so I printed some parallel lines at 3/32" intervals off my laser printer and painted the paper and cut it to the proper shape. They're not perfect, but they're on the model now.






In addition, I made the catheads and mounted them. They need to be cleaned up a little, but they're on the model.





Finally, the side view showing the placement of the hatch coamings and mast coat. I went ahead and started shaping the mast. I initially used the dowel that came in the masting kit, but I was lazy and found a dowel I had on-hand that didn't need as much sanding down, so I'm using that instead. 






I'm now getting to the point where I'm going to have to start thinking about how I'm going to mount and display the model. My initial thought is to just use brass posts like I did with my Mary Taylor model and English Longboat. This model is small enough to where that should work very well. I have a lot of Cherry wood on-hand and it's easy to obtain, so I'll probably make the base out of that.



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Most paper modelers are converts from some other medium, I find.  I was wooed to the Dark Side by David Okamura's models shown at meetings of the Ship Modeler's Association down in SoCal.  There are some world-class wood scratch-builders in that club, but there is something just so darn intriguing about seeing those paper wonders in the mix.  I still have HMS Fly waiting for my attention, but paper projects seem to be taking up all my modeling time these days.  I think you'll be proven not far wrong about some more card kits hitting the ways based on your NRG exhibit - a good thing, in my view!



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Hi Chris,


Funny you should mention David Okamura's models. Two modeler's I know both bought card models at the SMA's Queen Mary event way back after seeing his models on display. I've never seen his models myself, but I understand they are really nicely done.


Well, on the Alert, things slow down a bit as I work more on cutting small parts. The cheeks of the gun carriages take a lot of cuts to make. There are only 12 guns on this model – not so bad. I also cut the timberheads. These are really small, but I think I shaped them okay.



All these parts are listed as 1mm thick. I've found that I don't really like using 0.5mm or 1mm cardboard as it's kind of soft, so I like to use 3M spray adhesive to laminate sheets of printer paper. This seems to cut cleaner than cardboard. The paper I use is pretty thick, so two sheets of printer paper, plus the kit part sheet comes out to 0.5mm.





The kit parts for the gun carriage cheeks are lined up on the kit sheets very nicely, allowing me to glue up several parts at one time.





The parts show cut, yet to be cleaned up.





The cleaned up, painted parts. 





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  • 1 month later...

As a side-project, work on the Alert continues and I'll probably be focussing on cutting more of her parts this week. 


Since my last post, I added some of the timber heads at the bow. Not really thrilled with my ability to cut small paper parts consistently. But, when I set it aside and came back to it, the issues I was having seem less significant than they did. 






I've been taking the Alert to ship model meetings now and again and in order to protect the hull better I decided I'd make a display stand. I cut a piece of cherry sheet wood and routed the edges to make a base. The kit comes with a paper cradle, but I decided to go for something more elegant and made a pair of brass posts, similar to those on other models. 3/32" brass rod fit the keel very nicely, but I was worried about putting too much stress on the paper around the holes in the keel, so I soldered a brass strip onto each post. I had pre-drilled these and bent them to fit the keel so that the post would fit into the keel, while the u-shaped seat would hold the sides of the keel snugly. So far, it seems to work quite well.







Meanwhile, I still am working on a counter that I'm happy with, so I'll be working on that and on fitting the rudder, which I'll just pin into place. I also prepped the shot racks, which will go on shortly. With all the decorative work, this model seems like it would represent the ship when she was first built, or at least when she was envisioned in the painting of her portrait. As built, she carried 10 4-pdr cannons. In the model's scale of 1:96, the cannon balls would be about 0.8mm and I managed to order some stainless steel ball bearings of the appropriate size on Ebay. I had ordered some previously, but hadn't noticed they weren't stainless steel. This is important because I've been using a blackening agent specifically designed for stainless steel and it works GREAT. However, on the high carbon steel ball bearings I mistakenly got in the past, it doesn't do a very good job.


I'm figuring it will be easier to glue the cannon balls into place on the shot racks before I glue them in place. Otherwise, it become like one of those plastic "Cracker Jacks" prize games where you're trying to roll all the tiny little balls into place!




Edited by catopower
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ken, pinball wizard indeed! I finished the shot racks yesterday, but pinball at least comes will a lot of bells and flashing lights, and a chance to win a free game. Loading those shot racks with 0.8mm ball bearings is quietly painful. And the last thing I want is a free game or an extra ball when lit!  :D


I ended up using the smaller 0.8mm ball bearings over the ones I originally started with, which were 1mm. I didn't measure them with the micrometer to verify their sizes, but just went with relative appearance. Here's a comparison of the two sizes in the shot racks.




The larger ones are more visible, but 1mm is well out of scale for this model. The ship originally was armed with ten 4-pdrs, for which the 0.8mm ball bearings are perfectly sized for. Later, she was armed with a dozen 6-pdrs, which should be right in between the ball bearing sizes I have, but closer to the larger size shown here.


So, loading up the shot racks all went pretty well, but I do expect to find tiny ball bearings around the work table every now and again. And it turned out a lot more like the game "Operation!" than pinball, only reverse. I dab a tiny amount of Insta-Cure+ CA on each position and use hemostats to pick up individual cannon balls and drop them into place. It was actually not all that painful.




When it was all done, I glued the completed racks into place and touched up the pain on the racks and cannon balls.







Progress is slow because it's not my main project. But then, what's my excuse on my other builds???


I'm still really enamored of these paper kits, but cutting out the really tiny parts is hard on my fingers and I'm trying not to switch to a larger scale, laser-cut kit. I remember making those Guillow's balsa airplanes and having a similar pain from trying to cut those printed parts carefully. I didn't enjoy those kits without the die-cut parts. As much as I love the way this model looks, I may have to switch kits.



We'll see – I don't want to let any followers of this topic down!






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Clare, I was looking at #6 or so bird shot (shotgun shell ammo), since I have some dark gray stuff. Unfortunately, it's about 3 mm diameter - way too big. Might work in 1/4" scale.

The deck and rails look good. Are you using Shipyard paint?

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Hi Nils, thanks for the compliments. Yes, I think that photo shows that a paper model doesn't have to be left to display on the kit provided paper stand. It's like spending a little time and money to nicely frame a photo. It can really bring out the beauty in it. I might be able to get away with this kind of mount for a small model. I think a larger one would at least need those brass side-supports you often see on museum models.


Ken, on this model, I think even the smallest bird shot that I could see listed is too big. Larger models I think bird shot is fine as long as it's lead free. I've seen the results of lead rot on models and it ain't pretty. But, good priming, painting, coating should take care of it.


The steel ball bearings I got are from China and they end up costing something like $5 for a bag of 500+ and that includes shipping. The 0.8mm size is perfect in this case and I've got many other sizes on hand now too.


Regarding the paint, I have indeed been using the stuff that Shipyard sells. It's a artist's acrylic made by a Polish company call Renesans. The stuff is dead flat and has a bit of transparency, so it doesn't cover up the planking lines and such. It also has a somewhat coarse texture. Not really noticeable except to the touch. I've been pretty happy with it so far.



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So, I managed to sneak in a little more time on this build. I'm taking it to a couple ship model meetings this weekend, so it's nice to be able to show some progress in it. 


Added the rungs on the side of the ship as well as channels and bolsters at the bow.




Also spent some time thicknessing some of the parts for the deck furniture, but not much to show there.


In order to show some accomplishment, I decided to work on the mast. I had purchased the masting kit from Shipyard. It was only something like $8. Now, it's even cheaper given the rise of the dollar. But, I wasn't thrilled about the wood quality, so I just used some birch dowels I have on hand and did the usual cutting, tapering, etc. It's nice to be in familiar ship modeling territory!




I decided to make the masts based on the kit plans and not the Goodwin book. The kit has the topmast forward of the lower mast like one of the models show in Goodwin, not like in his drawings. I'm not out to redesign this kit. Just trying to learn how to build a model from paper.




I was working on the bowsprit and got it shaped based on the kit. But then realized that the kit has a round cross-section for the full length of the bowsprit. Well, I have to draw the line somewhere, so I'm going to redo it using square stock wood. I might use basswood, but I actually have a birch board on-hand and may just cut some down for the task.


For the color of the masts, I used a mixture of TransTint alcohol-based wood dye. By the way, the trestletrees and the mast cap are paper.



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Hi Clare,


Your Alert is outstanding!


I enjoy doing the small fiddly components best but I know what you mean about fingers and cutting small parts.  A few weeks ago I spent 4 hrs cutting out little curves.  I made a sheet brass template but needed to press hard down to prevent it sliding on the paper. Once I was finished 2 of my finger tips were numb with pressing hard...3 weeks later and the very tip of one finger is still numb but apparently can be 2 to 3 months before it returns to normal.


I have been working on a card vehicle and I can comfortably work with 0.8mm laser cut card nut heads.  It calls for even smaller and have 0.6mm but its impossible for me to works with these...just looks like specs of dust but under magnification they are indeed hexagonal.


Anyway great work and hope you do progress with it.




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Nice work! just wondering how you blackened the ball bearings, or were they black already? I tried steel ball bearings for my own 1/64 model, but couldn't blacken them. Ended up using 1mm shot which unfortunately was variable in size. Others have used coloured plastic balls, but they are very expensive.



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You might want to try putting some fine sandpaper under your metal templates to eliminate slipping. I did it to a steel ruler that I use for both marking and cutting out pieces.

Might also consider cutting out those little triangular glue tabs and curved parts with a small chisel blade. Might be easier than pressing down a #11 with your index finger.

Edited by Canute
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  • 3 months later...

Thanks Slog, Ken and Tony for the kind words and advice.



Well, today, I thought I'd take the opportunity to mention that several months ago, I acquired Shipyard's HMS Mercury kit, but not the super deluxe 1/72-scale laser cut version that looks EXTREMELY AWESOME in the box, but the regular 1/96-scale paper model kit. I had to check it out as part of my research into the hobby and also because I just couldn't help myself. 


In addition, I bought a matching laser cut detail set from GPM. The basic kit includes the laser cut frames, but the detail set includes some very nice features like the gratings, parts for the ship's boats, cleats, blocks and deadeyes, cannon and carronade carriages, and especially nice are the laser cut parts for the stern and quarter galleries. I just couldn't imaging using the printed windows or trying to cut out the frames. 



Don't worry, I'm not giving up on the Alert and starting the Mercury just now. But this does lead me to some issues I've been having with the Alert. I do periodically pull it out to work on it, but I'm finding that cutting the small parts has been SUPER difficult and it's really slowed me down. I'm doing it, but I'm used to working with wood and being happy with the results. I'm not used to making something that I can't get looking as nice. I've been tempted to cut my losses and go with the 1/72-scale laser cut Alert kit or something. But, then I came up with a nice time saver that may save my project. I looked over the 1/96-scale HMS Mercury detail set and discovered that several items in that set are compatibly with this kit. Maybe that's saying that the kits aren't to precise scale. But, I was going to build the small Alert kit and if I can get laser cut parts that are the same size as those I would otherwise have to cut-out, then I don't care where the scale might be off at this stage.


The detail kit for the Mercury cost me about $35 shipped from Poland, and I'm quite willing to sacrifice it for the good of the cause.


Turns out that the quarter deck cannon carriages are a perfect match for the Alerts carriages (and the right quantity), the gratings look like I'll be able to cut them to size, some of the cleats are perfect match and there are some others that I think I can trim quite easily. Also, while I've already acquired laser cut blocks and deadeyes of the right size, the Mercury detail set has a ton of these and enough of the smaller ones are the right size to use for the Alert.


Anyway, the point here being that if you want to make your life easier with this kit (and probably others too), get one of the detail sets from GPM. It's definitely going to give my project a boost!















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Hi Ken,


I ordered direct from GPM. I've order from them maybe 3 times now and it's worked out fine. They seem to have a problem formatting US addresses correctly, but my orders have been arriving okay. Each time, I'd modified the address information I typed in so that the final address looked okay. 


The last time I ordered from them, it took a little over a month. That's the longest I can recall. I was about to write off the order, but then it finally showed up. 


On the laser cut parts, the one issue I have with them is that I painted some small parts while still on the sheet. I've been using the paint that Shipyard sells, which is an artist's acrylic. It's water based and it seems to weaken the card stock. So, the small parts fell apart a bit too easily and I lost a few. When I do get the parts free, if they are intact, I touch the parts with a dot of thin CA. That wicks into the part and holds it all together pretty well.


Here are a couple photos of the new gratings cut, painted and dry fitted into place. You can see the gratings included in the kit laying on the deck as well. I also found that I could slice off the bottom layer of the grating, opening up the laser etched holes completely. 


Big improvement.














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Chris, have you looked at the 1/72-scale HMS Wolf? It just came out last year and it looks like a much more reasonable project to take on as far as sailing ship card models go. It's also about half the price of the Mercury kit.


Druxey, thanks for the tip! I will absolutely be giving that a try. I had the same problem in attempting one of the paper model lighthouse kits that Shipyard makes. The laser cut versions of those (also available in the paper model / cut out and laser cardboard / everything included kits) are reasonably prices and no compound curves to deal with. But, I had the same problem with large paper areas that wouldn't react well when painted with water based paints. Enamel or Lacquer primer okay then?


Tony, I'm sorry I missed your question about blackening the ball bearings. I have some stainless steel blackener that has worked quite well on some of the ball bearings. It's called Caswell Stainless Steel Black and it's a thick gel that works terrific on stainless steel. Unfortunately, the formula didn't work very well on these ball bearings. It did darken them a little, but not near enough. I suspect that this is some kind of alloy. 


I ended up having to roll them around in black paint, and I can't remember now what kind. Having attempted to blacken them though, I think it created a surface took the paint just fine without primer. 



Well, I wasn't sure what the fate of the Alert was going to be, honestly. But, after working on it yesterday, I'm having fun again. It's just so intimidating to look at a sheet of uncut parts, thinking about all that cutting that needs to be done so carefully. But, once you get going, it's not so bad. Last night I  mounted the rudder, added timberheads and mostly finished the deck pumps. Cutting the handle out on that last one was VERY intimidating. 


Now, I'm starting to think like a ship modeler again and looking at the hatches. The kit doesn't show them, but I think I'm going to cut the holes in the main hatch grating for the anchor cables, and I may have to build my own companion way deck hatch, the sliding type as shown in Goodwin's book on the Alert. I'm also thinking about how I'm going to do the skylight over the captain's cabin.


I'll post more pics soon.



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Nice to see progress, Clare.


One way of avoiding soggy paper or card is to spray with grey primer first. Then you can use acrylic paint over it, as it renders the card waterproof. I've done this for years with models of stage sets I've designed.

Druxey, coat the side without printing or both sides? With wood, I'd seal both sides before using acrylics, else we get potato chips/crisps. Pitting paint over the printing seems counter intuitive. :huh:


Clare, the grates look very good. Last order I got from Poland/Ukraine, it sat in a NY post office over a week. Customs, I presume. Took <1 day to get from NYC to the hinterlands of western NC. :) Must have used an SR-71. ;)

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