Sunday, 18 August 2019

Airfix - Golden Hind

The reason I haven´t posted in the last couple of weeks. I read somewhere that  this kit requires 70 plus hours to complete….I reckon that´s About right.
Ok, it´s not medieval but why not ? *

The kit Comes with "pre-waved" stickyback Flags which are slightly shiny so I created my own printed versions and replaced one ( Christopher Hatton´s Coat-of-Arms)  with the Tudor Rose.

The kit doesn´t give the choice of a full hull or waterline version, just full hull so some surgeory was needed to create a waterline one.
Also...I went for a "we´re just larking about on the water" look with  the lower gun ports closed...apart from one slightly open but without the gun Barrel protruding.
The decking. Badly warped I think. Hot water Treatment solved this Little problem.
The rigging. No blocks are supplied with the kit. It comes with a "rigging Frame" for creating the Shrouds and ratlines and two lots of white thread. White? Well that had to be sorted and blocks aquired. Luckily I have a lot of blocks etc from various "wrecks" that, due to missing a load of thier bits, will never be completed.
The Colour of the rigging? Black?  Brown? HERE is  an interesting discussion concerning tarred, therefore darker coloured,  or not tarred ratlines.  I re-wrapped the threads onto short sticks and  dumped them in a bowl of warm water with a teabag and a spoon of coffee powder.  The black rigging was made with bought thread.

The Crew.
From RedBox 16th-17th Cent Spanish and English sailors.
...and Airfix

The Guns.
Generic red coloured carriages, black iron barrels and Fittings (they look shinier in the pic than in real life)
They got a wee bit of an upgrade. Barrels bored out, Scratchmade Breeching ringbolts added and handles added to the quoins.
I could have gone well over the top with them by adding  Train tackle and gun tackle loops  but that meant adding 5 more smaller rings to each gun so I  went for the Basics and did 16th-17th Cent guns have all the bells and whistles anyway?
The hot water Treatment more or less worked on the deck  but s the hull and deck still needed holding together with rubberbands, hairbands and masking tape. Some joins needed extra glueing with second glue.
Waterline Version. How to cut the hull so it sits more or less flat?
Drawing a line? Tape? Guessing?
After a bit of thought...get a bucket of paint and literally float the hull in it.
I attached wires to the fore and aft railings, pushed the hull into some White wall paint, lifted it out and using the wire,  hung it out to dry before cutting of the hull below the "waterline"
Holes drilled for attaching thread for  opening of the gun ports and work started on adding some detail to the railings.
The deck on the prow. I removed the excess plastic and the hinges got replaced on the rudder as they looked too thin and weren´t offset enough as a pintle type hinge would look.
Woody bits painting  pre Details
Stern and bulkheads paintjob
Extra Detail being added to bulk out the railings etc. They were made using an old plastic Advertising placard and each piece had to be cut to length and width before glueing in place.
I swore at myself for even thinking of doing this as it was extremely fiddly and took ages.
Hull painted. I didn´t  go for a full Colour scheme. Any more than what I´ve done would take too long and, IMHO, any more would look gaudy. Less is sometimes more ?
Big fancy Stern lantern made from bits of sprue, pin rails for belaying Pins, and cleats (left over from one of the Cogs) added to the Bow Sprit
Mast painting finished, pulleys for the shrouds, pin rails and lantern added.
The kit comes with a rigging frame for creating the shrouds/ratlines but I decided to go for adding them "in situ" so tiny holes had to be drilled in all the dead eyes, even the tinsy winsy ones. 
Guns roped and stowed. Ropes added to the  gun hatches
The kit Comes with 4 anchors but one of them was so badly broken it was irrepairable so, seeing as some examples online show only two anchors, two it is. Thread was also added to the Anchor stocks (wooden crossbar bit)
As to wether the anchor is positioned exactly as it would have been.  Having the flukes (metal hook bit) any further back or forward on the shrouds would have meant the pulley wouldn´t have hung freely so it is were it is.
Masts added, work on the Shrouds/ratlines started, some rigging added.

Scratch made swivel guns. The one on the right was made using the Barrel of a gun from the Risk Game, the one on the left from a toothpick, strips of paper and the handle for the chamber a bit of    copperwire.

Sails painted and roped up. Blocks etc added  as far as I could determine where they would be needed. It took 6 Hours of work to get that lot done and a further 6 to add them and the rest of the rigging, which was a combination of   various examples so in reality probably wouldn´t work at all.
Tip. As the sails are thin vac-formed it´s wise to add a thread around the edges of them. This prevents any tearing when drilling holes and when adding thread to hold them to the spars etc. Use second glue to do this as due to them being thin, using plastic cement could dissolve them.
Final rigging of the shrouds..adding the ratlines. Drop of second glue on the left shroud, drop on the Right and add a length of thin thread, hold tight for a second or two. When all ratlines have been added, the bits inbetween get a dab of PVA to secure the ratline to the shroud and a bit dabbed on top of the second glue to ensure a secure attachment.
 When all dry, cut to length and paint over where the ratline crosses the shroud.
The piece of paper made it easier to see the shrouds.
I cut groove in the sides of the boxlid as a rest so the ship could sit at an angle making work easier.
Was it fun to make?
TBH, it was more a challenge to complete than  fun.
The fit of the hull and the deck was difficult, the bulkheads and the walkway on the Stern don´t fit 100% flush but that´s probably down to my ignoring the sequence suggested in the instructions but, if I had followed them, it would have been more difficult to paint the various parts.
There´s no proper rigging plan or blocks etc and rigging it was a test of Patience.
No choice of a full or a waterline Version.
My additional "up-grades" didn´t help with making the build any easier but I don´t think I could just have gone ahead and not added them.

*I refer any historical innacuracies to the Management.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

English Sailors 16-17th Century - RedBox

Blimey!!..nearly 6 weeks without a peep and now two Posts in a row!!!*

Another load of sea dogs to add to the previous 10.
Again, as with the Spanish sailors, a Tiny bit of Flash to deal with. Over at PSR the set gets bad marks for the mold but as I´ve said on previous Posts , it probably depends on which set you get.
Now they are all painted...what to use them for? Or are they all painted? After all, RedBox has a quite large range of Late Renaissance bods so it´s possible there´s more  to come :-)

*There were quite Major house renovations to deal with and a lot of our team at work are either sick or on Holiday and the early hot weather made sunbathing more fun  so I have  a couple of small excuses for not painting :-)

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Spanish Sailors 16-17th Century - RedBox

One of those subjects that, when you go looking for references for clothing Colours and the like, there´s virtually nothing. 

There´s one or two contemporary paintings showing Crew, like  Johann Theodore de Bry´s  "The renewal of the alliance between Francisco Pissarro and Diego de Almagro ...(to explore and exploit Peru) …(HERE)  
Mostly blues, reds and Yello/Browns but the mix of Colours on the painting Looks..concieved. Still, better than Nothing. 
There´s a Little Flash to deal with  but not a lot. Over at PSR the set gets a decent review (HERE)
Why am I painting late Renaissance bods? Well, you´ll have to wait and see. 

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Pencil Palisades

Recently, in a effort to create a wooden Palisade fort and after a couple of ideas that didn´t really work, I came up with this method.
Simply cut old pencils to the desired length, re-model the Surface with a pair of pliers,  which works fine on all different types of pencils, round, 6 sided, even 3 sided and stick them together with PVA.
After one attempt with sticking them whilst layed on a flat Surface led to a slightly slanted result I came up with a old Cassette case.
The pliers have serrations which marks  the pencils Surface with a sort of bark type pattern simply by squeezing. Don´t squeeze too hard as some pencils are a bit brittle but don´t be too soft either.

2B or not 2B? That is the question.* No, they can all be used, HB, 2HB, 3B,,,all of em. 
Ok, I´m going to have to aquire a lot of old pencils to create what I have in mind but I discovered the lot above after a quick rummage through cupboards and drawers..
Also,  DIY Shops and a certain Furniture shop whose Name begins with I and ends with A give pencils away for free.
Ok..I´m not going to run off with the whole box on offer but one or two might end up as palisades after a visit. I mean, you put one in your pocket and then Forget which pocket so it´s easier just to take another and then Forget where that one went and so on...or?

*I know, Not that great a gag but it´s bloody hot here :-)

Just heard some very sad News. Leonardo Torricini   (Phersu miniatures) the creator of some exceptional bods and extras has passed away :-(

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Zvezda - English Medieval Ship Thomas

Another "it´s gonna take more than a couple of days" Project finished
This one completes the Collection of the Revell/Zvezda Cogs
24 Crew from Valdemar, Caesar, Airfix and LW (the hooded priest)
I added some Holding rings to the aft Castle for the tent. Tent on a ship? I suppose it has a stable thicker wooden Frame inside instead of a couple of tent Posts otherwise it would keep blowing over.
I also added a rope ladder. Two threads and bits of stretched sprue for the rungs. Took feckin ages to make!!! but how else would they get up there. At least the crusader Version has some sort of pulley System that theoretically would  allow someone to be hoisted aloft.
The kit come with Transfers for the sail but they were;
A. too shiny. I know, there´s all those new fangled matting agents but I´m a model builder not a scientist :-)
B. Fell to bits as I tried applying them. Even if they hadn´t fallen to bits, they wouldn´t have fitted to the curvature of the I binned them and handpainted the Emblems.
The entire fleet.

Rant time...I apologise for any bad language used
I ordered this model from a dealer in Holland..just over 200 k´s away. I noticed on the Tracker that my address had been Computer generated and was slightly wrong so immediately contacted the carrier per E-Mail and telephone...did this have any effect? None.
Only the Road Name was wrong and not by much..everything else was ok, Name, Post Code, house number,  town..
A Monkey with Basic reading skills could have worked out where it was supposed to go. The post Code shrinks the area down massively then a quick guess at the address would have been possible and then the Name and number on the door would have confirmed it. I tried tipping the incorrect address into a Navi and what came up? My feckin address!!!
Their so called customer Service is, IMHO, a load of bollocks!! It took them over 24 days to eventually realise the error and deliver it. Even  after the address was corrected and on thier advice,  I made a specific delivery day,  it turned up when I wasn´t at home. Tossers! Useless feckin tossers!!

I had to send at least 6 E-mails, phoned 3 times. One actually read my correct address back to me and another ignorant git on the other end hung up! I complained on thier blog and applied to a lawyer (of which I notified Hermes of) put up three Reviews of thier toss Service on various sites  (which in one E-Mail I linked back to them) before the useless A-Holes actually reacted.

200 k´s! It would have been faster if I had literally crawled there and back. Crawled whilst pulling a hay cart behind me and being excessively drunk. I know that since the digital expansion the post is refered to as snail mail but they don´t have to take the saying   literally. Or, Maybe they are so thick,  they do.

Hermes was the Greek god of trade, Heraldry, Merchants etc. .This lot using the Name for thier Dis-Service is an Insult to the Name. Mind you, he was also the god of thieves and trickery so Maybe that´s what they are referring to.
Still theyéd be better of with the Name of the Greek god Ouranos,  the latinised Version that is,  Uranus but they could write it  Ur-Anus.
Basically, it´s easier to  swop the M for a P of thier present Name.  The result is an STD which transmits way faster than they do and is a lot more efficient.
No wonder that  thier ex logistic executive is taking the Ur-Anus´s to court for fraud etc (Link in German but it Shows how scheming they are)

Anyone selling anything, even if I really wanted it and thier carrier is Hermes,  then they can keep it. Hopefully Herpes,sorry, Hermes  will end up going bust.

This guy probably got promoted for initiative.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

The "Silk Dress Balloon" Gazelle

Unlike the US, the Confederacy had no Access to a lot of White silk so used Coloured silk from a Dress maker supplier. Silk because it´s light and they then covered it with varnish to make it gas tight. 
Link to a pic of the fabric used to make the Gazelle. I went for a Overall colour as it´s a model, not an historical Repro.

How to
High density foam..the type used for cladding houses. Cut it into 2 blocks. Make sure the blocks are a lot bigger than the size of Balloon intended. Stick the 2 blocks together using toothpicks. 
The Basic shape is created with a sharp carpet knife. Basically hack away, removing Corners first until you´ve got the desired shape.
Always cut away from yourself as occasionally you´ll hit a toothpick which, with a bit of pressure, will cut through but  when it gives,  the blade slices through the foam behind it at Speed. Not good if any part of your anatomy is in Close proximity to the blade. 

Take both halves apart, remove the toothpicks  and hollow out the inside. This reduces the weight, not by much but better than leaving it solid. Leave about 1cm aorund the sides ..too thin and it makes it difficult to fit together
When that´s finished, glue with PVA. I used  toothpicks shoved into the sides to pin it tightly together Fill any holes with wall filler and when dry use sanddpaper to smooth any edges.
Jam something up the vent end as  holder for painting and later modelling stages. I used a thin rounded metal file..being a file it has a better grip on the styrofoam than say a pen or paintrush handle

Next bit, after the paint has dried..adding the ropes. Basically, I don´t try to  over think it. 4 Need to be roughly evenly spaced at 90° to each other for attaching to the basket  but the rest are basically added "more or less"
I´m sure that they could be added so they create an even finish but it´s for wargaming and not a Display Piece so the General effect is what´s wanted...well, at least in my case.
Looks horrible eh? The PVA dries clear and adds a bit of a "it´s been painted with varnish to make it gas tight" effect.
The basket.
How big? I´ve made mine so that it´s 1.5 cm´s high and each side is 2 cm´s across. It Looks comparitvely bigger than how the baskets look in the photos but I have to consider the bod´s base.
Basically thin Card marked out, folded and glued into shape. Acrylic paints for the design...which btw,  I´ve made up but kept it similar to the Union Version.
When painted flrist wire (0.8mm) can be added. Just lie the basket on it´s side, add two rods to the bottom two Corners using a thick sausage of PVA.
When totally dry, turn the other side face down and repeat. The two previous rods Need supporting but to do that, just push a Piece of blue foam that´s been cut to size under them.
When totally dry, I left them overnight,  bend the rods, at about 3 cm´s or so just above the basket slightly outwards. Then bend the top ends, again at about 3cm´s, at more or less a Right angle inwards. Stick the ends into the ballon at equal (or nearabouts) spacing between the hanging ropes,  into the balloon. They won´t need glueing unless they were bent too far outwards. 
Turn the balloon upside down and place it in the pot. Using florist wire, create a square and attach it where the wires bend slightly outwards (Just above the Basket)
Glue with cyonate and leave to dry before attaching the hanging ropes.
The stand. Mine is made using a cork Coaster. After creating the winding gear using a bit of sprue and some basic triangles cut from a CD case, add 3 lengths of florist wire at equal spaces...for those who want to be exact......….120° apart.
Bend 1cm  of the top of each wire  so they end up horizontal. On top of them glue a square of thin Card that´s the same size as the Bottom of the Basket.
Paint all the wires as rope.. A mix of mid Brown, black , White and yellow seems to come close to looking like rope. You Need to Experiment with the mix but who cares wether it´s too White or Brown or whatever?