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 sail...so 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? 

Sunday 5 May 2019

Rubber Ducks - A Warning!!

There they are, bobbing in the bathtub or sitting next to the soapdish, wearing, similar to you,  nothing but a smile. Nearly everyone and that´s the clue, nearly everyone has one somewhere in thier living space. Big ones...small ones...ones that squeek when squeezed. Mainly yellow but they come in a wide range of colours and guises, Santa Ducks, Cowboy ducks etc. All cutsie but....do not be decieved. When there´s enough of them, when there´s one duck for each Person on the planet, this friendly Little chap...
....will turn into this ! A hunchbacked Horror!!!! A belly hook and three claws per arm for gouging and tearing! This Thing will hunt out your soft areas for burrowing into to form a nest with ensuite larder.
Be advised...The day will come so don´t Keep them in your bathroom,especially in or  near the  foot end of the bath!!
A happy day out Floating your ducks? Yeah right! Think again..it´s an Invasion!!!!
Photo by Andreas Schwarzkopf