Had some time over the last couple of days to get the Solent moving along. So, have got all the stringers in which took some time to make sure everything was square at the end. some swearing and cussing did ensue at points trying to get clamps on, nails in whilst trying the aproach of wishing I was an octopus with 8 hands! spent 2-3 hours sanding, planeing and shaping said stringers and formers to get even curves to make life easier when the sheeting started. And so the sheeting starts! My logic says sheet from the keel upwards so that by the time I get to the bulwark and overlap can be sanded before sheeting the deck. Sheet 17 went in nicely requiring just a little balsa fillet on the curve at the bow to get a nice flowing finish. My approach on the prop tunnel was to sheet with 0.8mm ply first, I will then add strength from the inside with a 1/4 balsa layer before a final layer of 0.8mm ply, should be strong! once sheeting is complete, then will be the process of filler where required, sanding, glass clothing, and a whole lot of sanding and priming.
Hi Norm, the GA I have, as on active service 1940, doesn't show any sponsons between the 2nd 4.5"AA and the director abaft the front of the island!? It also shows TWO 8 barrel pompoms starboard between the radio mast and the island! It also shows the 4.5 turrets much flatter, almost flush with the flight deck! What you have may have been later add ons. I suspect that the smaller square one was simply for access to the radio mast and the tuning unit which would be at the foot of it. Since the round one also has a door and bulwarks to stop people sliding overboard it would have been manned sometimes and I suspect that either a Quad Vickers 0.5" MG AA (see pics) or a 20mm Oerlikon AA might have been mounted there. Most carriers initially had up to 8 of these Vickers, but they were b.. useless against fast metal aircraft and were soon replaced with 20mm. So if I were you I would be tempted to put a twin 20mm on there. At some stage of the war it would be correct! The Vickers is impossible to find in a reasonable scale, only teeny weeny etch sets. I once went bonkers putting one together in 1/600 scale for my HMS Manxman, makes yer eyes go funny 😲 There are 8 at 1/350 on my Ark Royal 😡 I'm currently in contact with Adrian Smith of Battlecrafts to get some made up in 1/72. He's just done me some 4.7" guns for my 1/72 HMS Hotspur H class destroyer. Not cheap, but damn good 👍 If he ain't got it he'll make it if we can give him photos and drawing or reference sources. The original ship builder often has such an online archive; Vickers for instance. http://www.battlecrafts.co.uk/ What date are you depicting with your model? Can you post a pic of your plan? Where did it come from? I've also forgotten what Scale you are building! Aha just found it 1/192 ! Hope this helps more than confuses! Cheers Doug😎 Last pic, Illustrious, date unknown, is bit tiny but does show 'something' on sponsons aft of the 4.5s. look like twin 40mm to me, so maybe the sponsons were enlarged at this stage?
Maybe you can answer a question about these tugs for me. The plan I have shows large washports in the bulwarks. On all the pictures I have seen it is very difficult to make them out. So my question is, where these tugs built without them, or did they have hinged covers which were tight fitting, or some other arrangement? Too late to make changes to my model, so this is simply out of curiosity.
After the sail, I added some hardware to the spars, namely jackstays. I also ordered some aircraft plywood and used it to make new winch drums. These are sized to my current plan of only bracing the tops'l yards. Hopefully, this is the last set I'll have to make. Seeing into the dark interior of the hull can be a pain, more so the brighter it is outside. Mark got some red LEDs to light up the dash of his old pick-up (ute for my Assie friends) and gave me a left-over section. It requires a 12 volt supply (I'm running 6) and red doesn't really help in daylight, but I like the idea. If I can find a white LED strip that'll run on 6 volts, this will definitely get put in. The stern also had folding bulwarks like the bow, but that wrapped all the way around. On the real ship these were replace with a fixed bulwark except for a couple of panels that allowed access to the stern boat. By the time the ship came to Baltimore in 1955, these too were gone, with all their hardware. Again, I'm not making them functional, and decided to built these on the model rather than as separate pieces like on the bow. The hinges are represented inboard by card stock and brass eyes. The barrel portion of the hinges outboard at the bottom of each panel will be a little section of 1/16" wood dowel. The forward bulwarks were epoxied in place and the support rods were installed all around. The tops are raw because they all get a bright cap rail (varnished natural wood) and I'll put that on when it won't get messed up with paint or glue. A friend sent me a box of stuff, among which was a nive little cat face perfect for my catheads. Only having one, I was going to cast a pair in resin. But I'm out of casting resin and epoxy glue didn't set up in a way I liked, so we'll come back to that. The tops'l yards on the ship are hinged iron bands, line with wood staves. I wanted to replicate that functionality not only because that's what the ship has, but because it would allow me to take them off the mast without unrigging half the ship. I cut some heavy copper I use for everything and bent it into two half circles; soldiered brass tubing to the ends, and sawed out the notches with a jewelers saw. If only it had been that easy. Soldiering here tended to un-soldier there, cold soldier joints wouldn't hold. I gave up in frustration. I changed the gun carriages based on some research I did, but I'll post separate entries dealing with them and the ship's boats. I went looking for information on soldiering little things, and took another whack at the parrels. This time it worked out much better. I reused the copper band and brass tubing for the main and made the fore the same way. I still have to make the mizzen tops'l yard parrel, but my soldiering has gotten much much better. Last May ('17) I took the boat to the Baltimore Port Expo for National Maritime Day again, surrounded by members of our newly formed White Rocks Model Boat Club. I didn't manage to get her controls set-up in time, so she didn't go in the pool, but sat on her cart and looked pretty. I put her courses and trys'ls on her for this. The trys'ls won't be used when she sails, but can be set for static displays. The courses will get used, but I'll be able to buntl them up as shown to reduce sail. Also to reduce sail, the t'gallants and royals will be easily removable, or replaceable, as the case may be, depending on what wind there is. That pretty much brings us up to date as of July 2017. I'll post something about the boats and guns in a bit, as well as any other progress that's made. There's far more detail, images, and notes at my website on this, and the other models I'm working on at: http://todd.mainecav.org/model/ There's a few items I skimmed, or skipped over, like her signal flags, that are covered in detail there; like the day she was almost dismasted by the garage door.
The maritime museum's event, scheduled for October instead of May, was cancelled as a hurricane blew up the coast and pushed water up the bay flooding a lot of coastal bay towns like St Michaels. I couldn't make the next Port Expo in 2016, but I tried to be ready for the maritime museum in October. I started making the forward bulwarks. The real ship had sections that folded down on bronze hinges a few of which still exist as she still had her forward bulwarks when she came to Baltimore. They could also be removed. I mad all the section as a single piece and I don't intend to make them functional, just something to snag and need to be repaired. As mentioned, the original winch drums warped and I made new ones with styrene drums instead of wood. These vanished around the time I moved and haven't been found yet, so I got some sheet plastic to take the place of the CDs and made a new pair. I have to say, I'm not happy with these at all. I did add a small block of Delrin to each winch to brace the drums against the pull of the braces/springs. Constellation's board at her entry port were carved. I took a photo of an original at the ship and traced it in PaintShopPro. Scaled it to the model and printed it. I glued this to some bass wood. I have some mahogany I can slice some thing slabs off of, and I may try using a rotary tool to carve a set for real, but till then, these will do. I tried to make the tops'l yard parrels which are iron hoops lined with wood. There's a pin for the yard's yoke to ride on, and the hoop can be opened and hinged to be removed. I wanted all that in case I need to remove a yard at some point without pulling down the whole rig. I tried it with some sheet brass, and again, I wasn't too hgappy with the result. We'll come back to that. So, I fiddled around with cutting combs to make hatch gratings, and actually managed to get something done, which led to making the main hatch cover. I had cut a bit of plywood as a cover, just to keep dust from going below while I was working - I based my hatch cover on this piece, framed the bottom; installed ledged for it to sit on inside the hatch coaming, and made gratings and fake beams on top. It's a bit simplified buy what the ship actually had, but it gets the point across. A couple of smaller gratings also got installed giving the deck a more finished appearance. I wasn't thrilled at bumping the bottom of a pool again, but the maritime museum is on the Miles River. I needed to be able to launch and retrieve the model at a boat-ramp or shore, so I started designing a launch-cart....
I began laying the deck on April 5th. It had snowed as recently as the week before, but it finally warmed up enough to use glue. The strips were cut to 6-5/8" length, about 20' in 1:36 scale. I used a black marker on two opposite sides to represent the pitch in the seams. The deck was laid in a 5-plank pattern to mix up the butt-joints as much as I could. My research on her decking found she's had various styles and plank widths over her life. The earliest photo showing her deck that I could find, showed it straight planked with 7 or 8" wide boards based on the number of planks between her waterway and the main hatch coaming. Her waterway logs seem to be placed ON the decking, as there's no margin planks or joggling - even today. The planking was set with gel CA. Gorilla sells it in a nice bottle with a metal pin in the cap to keep the spout open. It would up taking 3 of these bottles to complete the deck. The planks are cut at a 45 on the ends along the fore and aft access hatches, to try and hide this seam as much as possible. Once the deck was down, I scraped it. The glue is more resistant than the basswood is, so sanding would have scalloped the wood between seams. Scraping makes everything level. Some lite sanding, more to polish than remove anything, was done last. I had planned to stain the deck a very light grayish tint, but an active naval vessel gets holy-stoned regularly and wouldn't be gray as the ships that sit at a dock today are. In all it took 455 pieces to complete the deck and there wasn't any scrap longer than 1 inch left over. In all I have 3/4" deck beams, 1/4" plywood, a layer of 4oz cloth and resin, and a 3/16" basswood deck - I don't recall why I designed it so heavy, but it certainly doesn't hurt the model at all, and I think the 3/16" square strip will prove to have been easier to set than the 1/16" x 1/4" planks Pride and Macedonian will get. The deck go a coat of water-based satin poly, and I stared working on hatch coamings, cap log, and waterways. The cabin skylight and two hatched forward of it, including the capstan, and all combined into one hatch where the battery is accessed, and which hides the aft ballast rod and main power switch. The cap logs Are 1/2" wide x 1/4" tall basswood that was tren'led, glued, and copper nailed, onto the deck, flush with the outside of the hull covering this seam completely. The the angled wood waterways were installed around the inside of the cap log, and the deck got a coat of oil-based satin poly. This actually leeched in and made the marker seams bleed a little. In hind sight, I think I'll go with paint over marker for seams in the future. The coamings got painted black. I'm not sure why the Navy painted deck fittings black. It was even common to paint to top surfaces of tops black. I wonder how many injuries and losses this cost the navy that white paint would have prevented. Anyway... Constellation didn't have "solid" bulwarks, but rather she had hammock irons bolted to her cap log. These were removed when Baltimore tried to pass her off as a frigate and tossed in the bilge. When the ship was restored as a sloop of war, they found all but one. These irons are designed to have wooden rails at their tops, inboard and out, and have holes so several lines can be run through them. The Navy in it's wisdom though, decided to wainscot them to appear as solid bulwarks, despite the additional splinter hazard that would be in battle. I wasn't making all those metal stanchions just to hide them under wood and tarps, so I made wood blocks sheathed in sheet bass, scribed to look like vertical wainscotting. It was the end of April by now, and the Baltimore Port Expo was in two weeks. I wanted to have hammocks in the bulwarks, as she appears in the portrait, but there was no time to figure this out, so I layered on some balsa and shaped it so it looked like tarps were laid over the hammocks. When I figure out how I'll represent the stowed hammocks, I can pull the balsa off easily enough. The bulwarks on, I made some fittings for the spencer masts; installed the eye bolts at the base of the masts; made some bollards (or whatever name they gave those posts), made and installed the catheads, which are laminated 1/16" basswood. I then started setting up a jury rig and her controls so she could sail at the Port Expo. I set her t'gallants and all three heads'ls this time around. By the night before the Expo, she was ready to go.
Hi all, I have this afternoon released my model of the Victorian Class C Cutter, "Vanity", from her building board. First surprise was how light it is! I really can't believe how light. Being a plank-on-edge craft she is very deep draughted and with such a light weight she should be able to carry her ballast internally which is much the preferable way for me. Now the really hard stuff begins. Preparing the inside of the hull to take the strains of the various bits of standing rigging, somewhere to fix my patent dual sail winch and get the deck all levelled and cambered correctly. She had a very complex deck, with teak covering boards joggled round the bulwarks, which were simply extensions of her doubled oak frames, then narrow boards (on the model 3/16th") deck panks which follow the covering boards as all good yachts should, but unusually, Vanity did not have a King plank and so there is no joggling of the inner ends of the planks, but they must, of course, all meet perfectly. The deck furniture was also rather splendid as she had a roundhouse aft, glazed and several companionways and deck lights, plus the usual Samson post and bitts. Her tiller was a huge lump of mahogany about 6 feet long. The level of woodwork throughout was like this:-https://model-boats.com/media/np/s/200/1493829043 That's how she looked when I lived aboard her in Burnham-on-Crouch She was like this when sailing https://model-boats.com/media/np/s/200/1493829032 Cheers, Martin
Here is a trick I am proud of. The cast hawser hole in the bulwarks can be difficult to carve. This is the easy way. Drill a hole down the centre of a dowel, of a suitable size. Cut off the end at a sharp angle, then a slice at a slightly less angle. Then cut in half across the shortest point, turn one piece over & glue back together. (right hand side No 4) A bit of sanding jobs a good'un. Coming together. Yes but its the little bits that take the time.
First the hand rail fitted then bottom plank on bulwarks, then chain plates. then the rest of the planks, Around the stern the planks are vertical. Started on the topgallant rail. Also made a vent for the engine room, from the handle of a milk container.
Thought I would have ago at the fittings for the booms. The bands around the mast made as before ( bore a bar to fit & part off). Solder a lug on place on a mandrill together & drill pivot hole, so they are the same. The barrel, drill down the centre of a 3/16th rod to fit a 3/32 rod. Solder on a lug wile soldering the rods together. Notice the small rod protrudes farther out at the bottom. This is so as I take the tension of the sail the top can pull out freeing the barrel, allowing the sail to be rolled around the boom. The lug is drilled 10BA clearance. The rod in the centre of the boom is turned from hexagon bar, a saw cut down the centre of the remaining hexagon. Drilled & tap 10BA & clearance one side. Now looking in my old gears, thinking of a size to make the reefing drum a stroke of luck. I found the wheels from a correction tape dispenser just the job. Made the stanchions in the 4 jaw. A jig to get the holes the correct distance from the out side of the hull. As the hull planks are 3" & the bulwark planks only 1" the do not run up flush as nearly all models show.
Hi Colin The Billing plank on frame models are from an earlier era and were very popular in their day. My first model was their Mercantic. I used Cascamite glue which worked fine for about 20 years but then the wood cracked along the glue lines😡. The solution depends on the hull finish you seek to acquire. If you want a bare wood finish then you need to fit and glue the planks very carefully so that the joins look correct. You then need to seal the inside with a thin coat of resin run all over the inside right up to the bulwark. For best results you can use tissue, glass fibre or cloth cut to fit between the formers. Just make sure you stipple the resin into the cloth and try to avoid any bubbles. If your hull will be painted then, after final preparation, you can cover in a similar way as described above. You then rub down and fill any imperfections with Body filler. I usually also do the inside also to protect the internal wood from any water ingress. When I built the Olympic and Titanic with my friend Bill we used this method. I have attached a few pics showing the stages. We built from plans with ply frmes and 4mm balsa sheet. The outside is covered with glass cloth and epoxy resin whilst the inside is covered with Fiberglass cloth and poly layup resin. We took many pics and I have them on my Dropbox account. If you send me a private message with your email address I will share. Its free to join and you can view on line and download as many as you want. Have fun Dave
Have used a variant of this for some years. Get the hull level in both axes, on a flat, level, surface. I use a spirit level to do this. Then, using a laser level, carefully work your way around the hull, marking the laser points at regular intervals. Join the points in pencil and then reinforce them using masking tape. Have also used this technique to ensure bulwarks are level during construction and even the mast is vertical as my laser beam can be turned through 90 degrees. Makes this task much easier and more accurate.
So, there are 46 Rib Supports that go around the Bulwark. Marking of the Rib spaces in crucial as the Ribs will look uneven other wise. The Ribs do add a bit of detail to the Barges, as their really isn't much to see in the way of details